This week will see the release of the highly anticipated and a first in the industry event, number 1000 comic book; Action Comics 1000. The comic that started it all for the superhero genre. The introduction of the iconic and hero for all heroes, Superman! The legendary Man of Steel, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, made his triumphant debut way back in 1938. This week will mark the massive 1000th issue and it has been building up at DC Comics’ marketing department.
The industry’s and DC’s best artists have all been called in to add their own rendition of the Man of Tomorrow for this celebratory issue. The artist names that have partaken in bringing us this massive moment in history include the brightest stars; Jim Lee, Clay Mann, Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Copiel, Tim Sale, Jerry Ordway and Dan Jurgens.
Dan Jurgens is possibly the most important figure to have been involved. Dan is responsible for bringing us Superman’s perhaps most known and best ever story arch, ‘The Death of Superman’. His artwork on the final issue where Kal-el drops dead after bringing the rampaging Doomsday to a halt, is nothing short of epic.
Since Superman’s death and of course return, he has had some image testing and has been through some turbulent and often testing times for readers in any case. Superman Red and Superman Blue, maybe best forgotten but again featured the work of Dan Jurgens with once more his artwork emblazing our brains with an infamous image of Superman Blue in his crackling electric outfit. In recent years Superman was once again re-suited for the New52 relaunch of DC Comics across the board range of characters and comics. This time Jim Lee took the reins and provided the Kryptonian a neck-collar and more alien looking suit but more importantly, and to tie-in with the then soon to release Man of Steel film from Zack Snyder, the red trunks were trashed. With DCs’ Rebirth in 2017, the trunks were also not present in the designs and nobody was complaining.
Superman’s outfit is as iconic as anything we can think of brand-wise; red boots, red cape, blue suit with red undies over the top. Back in the day of 1938, his design was purposely so to please sensitive audiences and because of printing specifications the undies were a necessary addition to the design. However with the Man of Steel film and the launch of New52 the trunks were thankfully gone. Superman is after all referred to as the ‘Man of Tomorrow’. But it seems with Action Comics 1000 we will be seeing the return of the undies-on-the-outside look. One can only hope that it will be restricted to this 1000th issue as a sort of tribute.
Thanks to Zack Snyder and his films, Superman had been given something that he sorely missed amongst readers and fans. Something that Dan Jurgens had brought to Superman by killing him. Something Zack Snyder definitely achieved and sought out to do with his films; making Superman relatable and (almost) human.
Superman is a difficult character to tackle, ask any artist and author that has worked on a Superman book. It is difficult to ground an alien, a being with tremendous amounts of power and seemingly just two obscure weaknesses; Kryptonite and Magic. The issue surrounding Superman has always been making him relatable. By killing Superman, Dan Jurgens had managed to make him mortal, no longer a god-like being. Zack had placed Superman on earth with human struggles and human frustrations, emotions. Zack understood that we needed Clark Kent, a relatable figure so that we could care about an alien. He had created Clark Kent in grounding the alien before he becomes the iconic Superman. Both Zack Snyder and Dan Jurgens are maybe just a few people that truly understand, through-and-through who and what Superman is and what he should mean to readers.
Brian Michael Bendis has transitioned from Marvel over to DC Comics and it is said that some huge plans for Superman will come with as he heads-up the events that take place in Action Comics 1000. Just by looking at what Brian accomplished at Marvel in his long running time there, the future for Superman can only be exciting.
Needless to say that Action Comics 1000 is possibly one of the rare issues in comic books that everyone is waiting for, just to see what happens and to also own that collectors comic for decades down the road.
Action Comics 1000 is available Wednesday and is certain to be a ‘sold-out’ history making event in Superman’s comic book life.