ACTION COMICS #1 (1938)
JOE SHUSTER

What more can be said about the most copied, parodied and reproduced comic book cover of all time? It is, quite simply, the grandaddy, the progenitor, of every superheroic adventure cover ever created. It's not hard to imagine a kid walking up to his local newsstand on a summer day in 1938 and taking a gander at this image, the likes of which had never been seen before. "Criminy! That guy's lifting up a CAR! What the heck is THIS all about?!" In this single picture, Joe Shuster explained and dramatized an entire genre, which heretofore did not even exist. The simplicity and economy of the cartooning, the direct impact of the tableau and its historic importance make this an essential iconic image of not just comic books, but Americana.

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