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Rose Mary
By Rosemary McKittrick
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SUPERMAN REMAINS TRUE SUPERHERO FOR TODAY'S COLLECTORS

SUPERMAN REMAINS TRUE SUPERHERO FOR TODAY'S COLLECTORS
Superman No. 1; (DC, 1939); Action Comics; first comic devoted to a single character; $47,150. Photo courtesy of Heritage Comics
He is the ultimate pop culture hero, the man of steel who inspired kids like me all over the country to tie towels around our necks, get ready for takeoff and dive off the porch.

What a takeoff it was, climbing toward the clouds faster than a speeding bullet. Thanks to Superman, life didn’t get any bigger or better. At least in my imagination.

Whether through comic books, movies, television, novels or cartoons, it seems like Superman has always been here helping us believe in heroes.

Look up in the sky. His story is not an unfamiliar one. Rocketed to earth as an infant from the doomed planet Krypton, Superman acquired miraculous powers under the rays of Earth’s yellow sun. He can defy gravity; bend steel in his bare hands, move mountains, and leap buildings in a single bound.

Despite his Herculean strength, the man of steel is not without his Achilles’ heel. The deadly radiation of kryptonite, meteoric loose ends from his own planet, can diminish his powers and kill him. Even so, as long as evil terrorizes life in Metropolis, the earth or wherever, Superman will be there to fight for truth, justice and fair play.

Sixty-six years ago, the biblical story of Moses was not lost on Superman’s creators, writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster. They decided, like the good son of Pharaoh, Superman would surface from his humble beginnings and lead his people to a better world.

Who could ask for more? Wrapped in his blue tights, and big red “S”, Superman was the hero every kid aspired to be when I was growing up. He gave hope to that part of the American Dream that still held out for happy endings and the eternal triumph of good over evil. Naïve? Maybe. But, in Superman’s world, it was all possible.

That’s why Superman is still around. That’s why people love to collect the old Superman comic books.

Superman is a holdover from what’s known as the Golden Age of comics. Beginning in 1938 with Action Comics No. 1, Superman made his debut. From then on, many of the most popular comics featured heroes with supernatural powers.

The most desirable comic books are those in which a new hero like Superman was introduced or, after being introduced, was first published in a series with his own name. In addition, to Action Comics, No.1, there was the 1939 Superman No.1, in which Clark Kent and Superman got a comic book all to themselves.

The Golden Age dates from 1933-1959 and includes early Batman, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman and Captain America characters.

The most desirable of these comic books are going to be the ones that look like they just came off the shelves even though they’re 70-years-old.

On Feb. 6-7, Heritage Comics in Dallas, Texas, featured its signature auction which included an assortment of early Superman Golden Age comics. Here are some current values.

Superman comics

Superman No. 18; (DC, 1942) patriotic cover proclaiming “War Savings Bonds and Stamps Do the Job on the Japanazis”; $1,208.

Superman No. 15; (DC, 1942) classic pose as Superman repels a sinister power ray; condition problems; $1,323.

Superman No. 11; (DC, 1940) Man of Steel; simple cover; $2,990.

Superman No. 14; (DC, 1942) appeals to sub-genres of collecting including Superman patriotic covers, flag covers and black covers; $4,255.

Superman No.1; (DC, 1939); Action Comics; truly a historical book; condition problems, detached centerfold and cover; $18,975.

Superman No. 1; (DC, 1939); Action Comics; launched a year after Superman’s first appearance in 1938; first comic devoted to a single character; $47,150.

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