Action Comics #7
Cover Artist: Joe Shuster
Writer: Jerry Siegel
Artwork: Jo Shuster
A new circus comes to the city and Clark Kent is sent to interview the owner, who is the victim blackmailing. Clark sees the man as an inspiration due to his optimistic front, and is encouraged to lend a helping hand as Superman offers to join the circus a professional strong man, of course, what else? People word of the new recruit, as does the blackmailer, who arrives to see this ‘Superman’ fail as he makes his earth-shattering appearance. The blackmailer is unpleasantly surprised by what he sees and attempts to sabotage the success of the circus. In the midst of the wreckage Superman seeks out the culprits, as he plans to settle the score.
The story of this issue covers a few moral grounds, which I like to see! The circus owner, although he being blackmailed and is slowly heading towards defeat, puts on a brave and optimistic front when being interviewed by Clark. The way that the man is represented gives you the feeling that he is suffering with mental health, despite the happiness and fun a circus is supposed to bring. For example; he is referred to as a ‘tortured mind’ at the start of the story, and some of the panels show his negativity as he debates with himself. As well as this, the story features Clarks’ bullying co-worker, who because he doesn’t react, continues to prank him to show off at work. Whilst he thinks he is getting away with it, Clark gets his own back in front of the whole workplace (lightheartedly of course), and he immediately stops. Although this is a tiny aspect and addition of the story, it shows that bully’s do not get ahead and can be stopped, which is a great message for young readers.
The artwork seems to take a step back surprisingly, with missing details and nihilistic colouring again, but this is outshined by the storyline. It’s simple, meaningful, genuine, and fun. The fact that the issues that come up in this story are still relevant is almost shocking, but it is amazing to see the creators of this try and successfully tackle it. And you can really see the positive influence that Superman’s character could have on readers of Action Comics. I know I say this a lot, but this is my new favourite issue.