Lost Superman Story From Original Creators Surfaces

A Superman story from Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster will see the light of day in Action Comics #1000.

Superman in Action Comics #1
DC Comics

April is going to be a big month for Superman fans. The publication of Action Comics #1000 is getting suitable fanfare from DC Comics. For one thing, it’s going to feature the return of Superman’s red trunks to his costume. For another, it has a ridiculous, all-star lineup of talent (including Superman: The Movie director Richard Donner) contributing to it.

But there will be a deluxe edition of Action Comics #1000 as well, which will feature material not available in the already hefty “regular” version. Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman is a 384 page hardcover that will feature a stack of essays and bonus stories highlighting some of the greatest moments in Superman history, all edited by Paul Levits.

But the biggest deal is a previously unseen Superman story by his original creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The story is called “Too Many Heroes” and while details on it remain scarce, it must date from the 1940s.

“The found Siegel and Shuster story is a true treasure with a fascinating backstory,” Paul Levitz said in a statement. “Back when DC did regular tours of the New York office, it was common for fans to get original art that would have been otherwise disposed of as a tour souvenir. As a young fan on a tour Marv Wolfman found this Superman story and kept it all these years. It’s incredible to think that Marv not only rescued this unpublished story, he then went on to become one of DC’s most prolific writers, and shared the story with DC to publish as part of this special new collection.”

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Levitz continued, “It’s an honor to edit this collection of stories and essays that chronicle key moments and contributors to Superman’s epic 80 year run as one of the most iconic characters in all of pop culture. I’m particularly happy that Laura Siegel Larson’s tribute to her father and his legacy are part of the book.”

Check out the full lineup:

  • A new cover by legendary artist and DC Publisher Jim Lee

  • Text pieces including: an editor’s note by Paul Levitz, a tribute to ACTION COMICS by Laura Siegel Larson (daughter of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel), an introduction by Jules Feiffer, plus essays by Tom DeHaven (“It’s Superman!”), David Hajdu (“The Ten-Cent Plague”), Larry Tye (“Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero”) and Gene Luen Yang (SUPERMAN, NEW SUPER-MAN and the National Book Award finalist “American Born Chinese”)

  • “The Coming of Superman,” from ACTION COMICS #1, written by Jerry Siegel with art by Joe Shuster

  • “Revolution in San Monte,” from ACTION COMICS #2, written by Jerry Siegel with art by Joe Shuster

  • “The Terrible Toyman!,” from ACTION COMICS #64, written by Don Cameron with art by Ed Dobrotka and George Roussos, featuring the debut of Toyman

  • “The Super-Key to Fort Superman,” from ACTION COMICS #241, written by Jerry Coleman with art by Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye, featuring the first appearance of the Fortress of Solitude

  • “The Super-Duel in Space,” from ACTION COMICS #242, written by Otto Binder with art by Al Plastino, featuring the debut of Brainiac

  • “The Supergirl from Krypton!,” from ACTION COMICS #252, written by Otto Binder with art by Al Plastino, featuring the debut of Supergirl

  • “The World’s Greatest Heroine!,” from ACTION COMICS #285, written by Jerry Siegel with art by Jim Mooney

  • “The Superman Super-Spectacular!,” from ACTION COMICS #309, written by Edmond Hamilton with art by Curt Swan and George Klein, featuring an appearance by President John F. Kennedy

  • “Superman Takes a Wife,” from ACTION COMICS #484, written by Cary Bates with art by Curt Swan and Joe Giella

  • “If Superman Didn’t Exist…” from ACTION COMICS #554, written by Marv Wolfman with art by Gil Kane

  • “The Game,” a new original story written by Paul Levitz with art by Neal Adams

  • “Squatter,” from ACTION COMICS #584, written by John Byrne with art by Byrne and Dick Giordano

  • “Ma Kent’s Photo Album,” from ACTION COMICS #655, written by Roger Stern with art by Kerry Gammill and Dennis Janke

  • “Secrets in the Night,” from ACTION COMICS #662, written by Roger Stern with art by Bob McLeod

  • “A Hero’s Journey,” from ACTION COMICS #800, written by Joe Kelly with art by Pasqual Ferry, Duncan Rouleau, Lee Bermejo and others

  • “The Boy Who Stole Superman’s Cape,” from ACTION COMICS #0, written by Grant Morrison with art by Ben Oliver

  • “The Mystery of the Freight Train Robberies,” from ACTION COMICS #1, written by Fred Guardineer with art by Guardineer, featuring the debut of Zatara

  • “The Origin of the Vigilante,” from ACTION COMICS #42, written by Mort Weisinger with art by Mort Meskin, featuring the debut of the Vigilante

  • “The Assassin-Express Contract!,” from ACTION COMICS #419, written by Len Wein with art by Carmine Infantino and Dick Giordano, featuring the debut of the Human Target

A couple of higlights I’d like to point out include “The Boy Who Stole Superman’s Cape” which is a lovely little short story and the masterful “If Superman Didn’t Exist” by Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane. I’m so happy that one is going to get seen by a new audience.

Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman arrives on April 19.