On March 31 1959, Supergirl made her debut in the pages of Action Comics #252. There were precursors to the character – the most famous was Super-Girl, created by occasional audience proxy Jimmy Olsen in 1958 thanks to a wish and a magic totem --- but it was the strong response to that story that persuaded series writer Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino to create Supergirl for real, as a permanent addition to Superman’s supporting cast.
Many of comics’ most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.
With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the best Lex Luthor comics.
In late October, a bit of controversy arose when silver age DC Comics artist Al Plastino discovered that his original art from the commemorative edition of Superman’s Mission For President Kennedy — printed soon after the president’s assassination — which he believed had been donated to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library, was up for auction. A shocked and upset Plastino spent his final weeks campaigning for the return of the artwork, until the Supergirl and Legion of Superheroes co-creator passed away last month.
Fortunately, DC Comics has fulfilled one of Plastino's final wishes, as the publisher announced it has acquired the pages, and will donate them to the museum, as per the late artist's request.
Today the comics community mourns the loss and celebrate the life and work of cartoonist Al Plastino, a veteran of DC Comics whose enduringly popular creations include the Legion of Super-Heroes and Supergirl. Plastino was in the news this year after it was discovered that the artwork for which he was most proud, created for a story in which Superman undertook a mission at the behest of American President John F. Kennedy, was available in a high-priced auction and not donated to the late President's museum as Plastino said he'd been promised.
One of the best parts of any comic convention is going through bins and art folders, looking for that back issue you've been missing for years, or a piece of art to add to your collection. Even if you're only "window shopping," it's usually a good time.
But that wasn't the case for Al Plastino at this year's New York Comic Con. The renowned Silver Age artist, writer and editor, best known for his contributions to Superman in the 1950s, discovered that his art from the commemorative edition of Superman's Mission For President Kennedy -- printed soon after the president's assassination -- was in the possession of an exhibitor at the show, and was about to be auctioned off. The only problem? For the last 50 years, Plastino believed the art to be in the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library, where he was told it had been donated.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we've created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it's new, some of it's old, some of it's created by working professionals, some of it's created by future stars, some of it's created by talented fans, and some of it's endearingly silly. All of it's awesome. In honor of this year's 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Superman and this weekend's release of Man of Steel, we present for the second time a compilation of some of the coolest portraits of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's brilliant creation that we've highlighted in this feature over the last few years. We know it's cheating but we didn't count on going away for a month and then coming back in the middle of a big media event. All-new next week evermore.
You may not have heard about it since Warner Bros. is keeping it pretty quiet, but there's a new movie about Superman coming out this week. That means that it's once again time for a new group of people to try their hand at bringing Superman to the big screen, and if there's one thing we've learned from past movies, it's that this is a darn near impossible task. Even in the best of circumstances, even if Clark Kent himself steps up to play the lead role, they're always going to get something wrong.
Over a lifetime of reading comics, Senior Writer Chris Sims has developed an inexhaustible arsenal of facts and opinions. That's why, each and every week, we turn to you to put his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions...
DC's Silver Age comics get a bad rap sometimes. A lot of people look back on them as silly artifacts of a time when comic book stories were knocked out over lunch hours by people who thought catering to an audience of children meant that they didn't have to make the effort actually make sense, and while that's certainly the case for a few of them, that really sells things short...