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Author Topic: "Superman Ends The War" Correction  (Read 10109 times)
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jasonk
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« on: December 01, 2005, 03:43:20 PM »

Wasn't sure where to go with this so I figured I'd post it here:

The comic "Superman Ends The War" (http://superman.nu/tales2/endsthewar/) is dated as a 1943 release.

But another site here:

http://www.goantiques.com/detail,superman-war-1940,887263.html

Dates it as a Feb 27, 1940 which would match it up with the Das schwarze Korps, 25 April 1940 article deriding Jerry Siegel (http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/superman.htm).

Just so you all know.

I'm working on a paper on comics in World War Two and found this info so I thought I'd share.

Thanks for a great site.
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Great Rao
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2005, 04:41:26 PM »

Thanks for pointing that out, Jason.

I don't remember where I got the 1943 date.  That may have been what was given in my reprint source, which I believe was DC's original version of "The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told."  I don't know if the story is in the new version of the book.

I'll do a bit of research and then make the appropriate correction.

For people interested in this subject, the article Jason points out has been discussed here.

S!
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2005, 05:46:53 PM »

Quote from: "Great Rao"
Thanks for pointing that out, Jason.

I don't remember where I got the 1943 date.  That may have been what was given in my reprint source, which I believe was DC's original version of "The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told."  I don't know if the story is in the new version of the book.

I'll do a bit of research and then make the appropriate correction.

For people interested in this subject, the article Jason points out has been discussed here.

S!


Indeed it is listed as Look Magazine 1943.

In fact this is the actual magazine cover:

http://dialbforblog.com/archives/105/look_feb1943.gif

It's cover date is February 1943

http://dialbforblog.com/archives/105/
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ProfPotter
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2005, 10:01:36 PM »

Quote from: "Super Monkey"

Indeed it is listed as Look Magazine 1943.

Hmmm.  If you look at the comments on that page, you see the date in dispute there too.  I can't read any date on that cover, so it's hard to say what the date is.  Look was published weekly at that point, so it wouldn't be just "February", but a specific date in February.

The linked article says that the German response to these pages is from Das schwarze Korps, 25 April 1940, p. 8.  That would make the February 1940 more supported.  It specifically refers to these pages, describing the panel where Superman confronts the German plane.

The Internet is a mess on this.  Some site refer to the 1943 date, some to the 1940 date, although I've seen both February 17th and 27th listed.  Until someone digs up an actual cover with a readable date, there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer.  I tend to lean towards the 1940 date myself, though.

What does Superman the Sunday Classics say?  I believe it is reprinted in there.
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2005, 11:32:14 PM »

Quote from: "Great Rao"
I don't remember where I got the 1943 date.  That may have been what was given in my reprint source, which I believe was DC's original version of "The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told."

It looks like DC isn't even consistent on this.  The "Superman in the 1940s" TPB (which also reprints the story) gives the date as February 1940.

I bought the original two pages that were for sale at Jason's link.  Hopefully the date will be on one of them, although it doesn't look it.  Maybe on one of the flip-sides.

I'm wondering if there are any clues in the story itself.  According to Wikipedia, the term "Westwall" was widely known in 1939, so that's no use.  It also states that there were no battles there until 1944, so that fight scene in the story seems like it's a bit misplaced, regardless of whether it takes place in 1940 or 1943.

Stalin could be a clue - Germany and Russia were allies until 1941, when Germany turned on Russia and invaded.  At that point, Stalin took direct control of his country's armed forces.  Germany and Russia could still be allies in this story, but that also looks like a military uniform on Stalin.

At this point, I suspect that the story is actually from 1940 and that the 1943 date originated from a mistake in DC's first reprint credits.

S!
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2005, 03:56:24 AM »

I checked the copies of it that I have.

The copy in The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told says "LOOK MAGAZINE, 1943."

However, in Superman: The Sunday Classics, which I'd think is more accurate since they meticulously collected newspaper materials from that time, the specified date is February 27, 1940.
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2005, 12:54:44 PM »

Doing research on Superman's anti-war exploits?  Besides the original stories, a good place to start is Ian Gordon's book "Comic Strips and Consumer Culture".  Gordon discusses the discrepancy between Superman's image as a propaganda strip and the actuality: despite a few stories and several covers, there was not much anti-Germany/Japan war-related stuff in the comics.  Superman was more successful in stimulating the economy on the homefront, according to Gordon.
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2005, 09:36:35 AM »

The 1940 date seems most likely, since in the story, Superman scoops up Stalin as well as Hitler. At that time, the Molotov-Ribbentrop, or Nazi-Soviet, alliance was still in force. So it seems consistent that Stalin, as an ally of Hitler's, would have been identified as the enemy.

By 1943, however, Stalin was one of the Big Three and pretty widley thought of as one of the good guys, so I can't really see how any magazine of the day could have depicted him as an enemy; for all I know, you could have been arrested for such overt criticism of an ally in those days.
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