Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics

Action Comics #5

Action Comics #5

Cover date: October 1938

Writer: Jerry Siegel
Artist: Joe Shuster

Reviewed by: Micah Nichols

The issue starts off with the world being alerted to a terrible disaster as the Valleyho dam cracks under the strain of a huge down-pour. If the dam breaks the water will kill thousands and destroy the fertile land!

In the Daily Star office the editor in chief yells for Clark Kent to come to his office. Lois responds and lets the chief know that Clark isn't in the office. She is told that the story is no job for a woman and is ordered to go find Kent. After running into Clark on the street, she asks him if he would do a favor for her by covering her assignment, of course he agrees. She sends him to the maternity ward to cover a story on septuplets. Meanwhile, Lois is getting a round-trip ticket to Valleyho.

At the City Hospital a nurse tells Clark that someone has been spoofing him and that no one up there is having septuplets. Clark gets back to the office and gets a scolding from the Editor in Chief who tells him that the last train for Valleyho has departed so he might as well go to the cashier because he is fired. Meanwhile, Clark changes into Superman to get the story!

Superman makes his way to the story, but finds himself reaching a railroad trestle when it is beginning to lose its supports. A train comes and Superman dives down and holds onto the support, keeping it from collapsing. When the train passes over he lets go and down comes the trestle. Lois, along with other passengers, rush to the windows of the train to see what happened. The conductor told the other worker to send out a warning at the next junction that the bridge is out.

When Lois reaches Valleyho, she seems to be the only one at the station who is trying to get INTO Valleyho. When she asks a taxi for a ride to the dam he says that she can have the car because he's getting out of there. She drives herself to the dam.

Meanwhile, Superman is atop the dam battling like mad to keep it from breaking until everyone clears out. Suddenly with a great burst the dam collapses and Superman leaps above the water's turbulent fury. Lois on the other hand is directly in the path of destruction.

Superman notices the car and leaps down to get her, but before he can reach the auto it is caught up and swept along by the flood. When Superman reaches it he tears the car apart and rises with Lois in his arms to the surface. He gets them to shore and races with her in his arms as fast as he can to beat the rushing water. Getting ahead of the water he springs to a high pinnacle and uses his tremendous strength to push a great rock in the way. When the avalanche settles, it diverts the water away from Valleyho saving all the citizens.

Lois is so happy that she kisses Superman, he replies with "WOW, what a kiss!" Lois tells Superman that she used to be afraid of him, but that now she loves him. Later, Clark Kent calls from Valleyho and states that he got there by airplane and asks to be connected with a rewrite man. As Clark leaves the phone booth he encounters Lois and says that even though she pulled that stunt, he still likes her. She responds with, "Who cares", thinking to herself that she can hardly look at him after having been in the arms of a real man.

5Story - 5: This was a great story that reminded me of "Superman: The Movie". I really like the "real" life problems of this issue. I very much enjoy the newer comics, but I wish they had problems like this, disasters that ACTUALLY happen. Now-a-days it seems that every little issue in the stories are tied to the end of the earth, if not, the end of the UNIVERSE!! That gets old, IMO. I love this version of Lois. She is pretty awful, she lies, she's rude, I really don't know what he sees in her, but it makes me want more of this old style Lois. I also find it funny that when they kiss at the end, the kiss is not shown. Oh, how the times have changed. I don't even like my niece to look at some of the pages of comics that I buy her.

5Art - 5: There's a MAJOR improvement in Shuster's art this issue. It is crisp, there are no repeat characters and his backdrops are getting better and better (this evolves in all comics during this time).

Cover Art: Issue number 6 is a great cover with lots of emotion, but yet again it is not a Superman cover.

Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews



  • Superman #76 (May/June 1952) - “The Mightiest Team in the World”
  • Superman #80 (January/February 1953) - “Superman's Lost Brother”
  • Superman 3D (1953) - “The Man Who Stole the Sun”, “Origin of Superman” and “The Man Who Bossed Superman”
  • Superman #87 (February 1954) - “The Prankster's Greatest Role”
  • Superman #88 (March 1954) - “The Terrible Trio”
  • Superman #89 (May 1954) - “Captain Kent the Terrible”, “Superman of Skid Row”, and “One Hour to Doom!”
  • Superman #91 (August 1954) - “The Superman Stamp” and “Great Caesar's Ghost”
  • World's Finest #88 (May/June 1957) - “Superman and Batman's Greatest Foes”
  • Superman #115 (August 1957) - “The Midget Superman!”
  • Superboy #65 (May/June 1958) - “The Amazing Adventures of Krypto Mouse”
  • Action Comics #242 (July 1958) - “The Super-Duel in Space”
  • Superman #123 (August 1958) - “The Girl of Steel”
  • Superman #127 (February 1959) - “Titano the Super Ape”
  • Action Comics #252 (May 1959) - “The Menace of Metallo” and “The Supergirl From Krypton”
  • Superman #129 (May 1959) - “The Girl in Superman's Past”
  • Superman #130 (July 1959) - “The Curse of Kryptonite!”, “The Super-Servant of Crime!”, and “The Town that Hated Superman!”
  • Jimmy Olsen #40 (October 1959) - “Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl's Pal”




Compilation Volumes


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