“DC Comics Before Superman” Takes A Look At The Past

by Jeff Testanero
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When someone hears DC Comics, the first character that comes to mind is Superman.  Why not?  After all, Superman is the pinnacle for all superheroes in the history of superheroes.  Without Superman, comic books and superheroes do not exist…or do they?

Set to debut at SDCC in a few days is the new biography entitled DC Comics Before Superman which looks at the Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson days as publisher of DC Comics as a pulp story publication for mystery, suspense and detective adventures that began the trend of published illustrated stories.

DC Comics Before Superman is the first look at the relatively unknown contribution that Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson provided to the start of the comic book business. His story provides detail and context for the growth of this comic book company during the depression and a glance at a noteworthy, and largely forgotten, career.

The remarkable beginning of original comic book stories (as opposed to comic strip reprints) started with Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson’s fledgling publishing venture and would grow to become DC Comics. The writers, artists and editors that became part of DC history, including Siegel and Shuster, began their careers with “the Major.” Prior to Superman, many of the characters serialized in these early comic books had their beginning with the Major’s pulp adventure stories. This groundbreaking new book provides background and examples of comic book stories with art by Leo O’Mealia, Tom Hickey, Munson Paddock and Sven Elven, lushly reproduced by Hermes Press with over 170 pages of the original comics.”

The book also includes stores and art from Siegel and Shuster before they created Action Comics #1.  DC Comics Before Superman is 170+ pages of these early stores that were published before men flew across the sky and millionaires dressed like bats and fought psychotic clowns.


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