Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics

Action Comics #6

Action Comics #6

Cover date: November 1938

Writer: Jerry Siegel
Artist: Joe Shuster

Reviewed by: Micah Nichols

The story starts off with Clark Kent being assigned to a story. He is introduced to a man name Nick Williams who claims to be Superman's personal manager. Williams says he has a contract giving him commercial rights to the "Superman" name and that the cash is pouring in. Williams says he came to the Daily Star to make a deal. He says that he will give the Daily Star the heads up on Superman's exploits before he pulls them if they'll print it in the news!

The Editor in Chief asks Clark what he thinks of it; Clark wants to know how they know that Williams is who he claims to be. Williams turns on the radio "five o'clock, just in time." The radio announcer announces that "Superman" will be a new radio series. Williams then points out the window at the sign being pulled across the sky which reads "Use Superman Gasoline for Super-Power!" He then points to the nearest billboard which reads "the Superman Streamline-Special, America's Favorite Automobile." Williams goes on to explain all the other licensed products with the Superman name.

Williams says that he met Superman who liked his idea, leading to a partnership. Clark doubted openly to this statement so Williams offered a personal interview with Superman! Lois gets wind from an office boy (who very much reminds me of Jimmy Olsen) that Clark will be getting an interview with Superman, she decides that she will too! She tricks Clark into taking her with him by telling him that she had an offer for a date tonight, but ONLY tonight. He couldn't pass so he takes her along.

Meanwhile the fake Superman is preparing in Williams office. Williams says that with the papers behind them, there won't be anything preventing them from "cleaning up." Williams says that seeing as Superman is probably just a Myth, at least someone should cash in on the publicity.

At the dance club Clark takes Lois to before the interview, she drops a drug into his drink to make him sleepy. When Clark passes out, she takes off to get her story. When she leaves, Clark gets up unaffected from the drug "Double-crossing a pal, eh? Just like a newspaperwoman!" Clark changes into his Superman outfit and dashes off!

At William's office he is shocked that Lois, a girl, enters the office! She states that Clark was re-assigned. Williams snaps his fingers to signal the fake Superman who comes in through the window. The fake Superman asks if this is the reporter who doubts the story. Williams asks him to demonstrate his strength so he picks up a desk with one hand and bends a steel bar and asks Lois if she is convinced. She says, "NO! I'm going to prove that you're nothing but a bunch of fakers." Lois picks up the desk which is made of cardboard and bends back the aluminum bar and states that she has already met Superman personally so she knows that this one is a phony!

As Lois tries to leave Williams grabs her arm telling her that she knows too much! Williams drags her to the window with the fake Superman and tosses her out. Superman arrives just in time to catch Lois. The fake Superman watches and states that he thought Williams said there was no Superman. Williams says "I was mistaken; Let's get outta here while we can!"

Superman reaches the elevator just as the doors shut closed. He effortlessly rips them apart and yanks on the cable. As they clamber out, the pseudo-Superman makes a feeble attempt at resistance and uppercuts the Man of Steel instantly breaking his fist. Superman carries Lois and the two crooks high above the earth! He deposits the crooks outside the police station and tells them to press a charge of attempted murder.

Later, within the station the crooks are about to plead innocent when the fake Superman sees Superman out the window and realizes he'd be safer from the REAL Superman if he was in jail and tells the judge that it was true, but that Williams made him do it! They get tossed in the can.

4Story - 4: This is another excellent story. You can really see the series starting to take off. You can really see a difference in the times when reading this. There is no way you could go this long with something this publicized this day and age without having a YouTube video or some kind of photographic proof, but the whole story is based on a man's belief that Superman is a myth. On an interesting note: An "office boy" with blond hair and a bow tie listens in on Clark's conversation with Williams in the beginning. If I had to guess, this office boy has something to do with the origins of Jimmy Olsen, not saying he is Jimmy Olsen, but he looks a lot like him and is doing very Jimmy Olsen-like things. That's just my opinion, but if you read it yourself you would most likely agree that this is a coincidental prophecy.

4Art - 4: Shuster is really starting to clean up, his art is clearer and you can really tell a difference in his characters. His backdrops are getting increasingly better as well, even more of an improvement over the last issue (not as noticeable though).

Cover Art: The cover is very well drawn and very colorful, but it is not a Superman cover. Action Comics #1 featured Superman on the cover and he doesn't show up again until Action Comics #7, (the issue following this one).

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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