“The Superman Chronicles” reprints every comic appearance of Superman in exact chronological order, and Volume 1 starts from the very beginning. So yeah, the issues here are very cheesy and “old-fashioned”, not that it’s a bad thing. To my huge surprise, this earliest version of the famous man of steel is not the Superman I thought I knew. Here, he punches people, throws cars, destroys cities, among other stunts you wouldn’t expect Superman to do. Reading these stories made me curious to find out what other superheroes were like when they were first introduced.
I had assumed that people of the past weren’t so sophisticated in their thinking when dealing with fiction, and that’s why characters like Superman can get by without anyone asking why he has all his superpowers. How wrong I was. This comic actually bothers to explain (with science!) why Superman can run faster than a bullet, lift heavy weights and things like that. The explanations here do make sense… well, sort of… maybe… although I still prefer a simple “he comes from another planet”. One thing that’s interesting though, is that Superman doesn’t actually fly. He just jumps really far. In the words of Woody and Buzz Lightyear, that’s “falling with style!”
I think teens nowadays are more interested in Batman than any other superhero because of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. There is “The Batman Chronicles” if you want your golden age Batman fix, which I’m planning to check out soon. Batman may have the advantage of a more diverse rogues gallery, but Superman is still the more universal and relatable character if you ask me. In this volume, you see Clark Kent (his secret identity btw) going to work, rushing to meet deadlines, having trouble asking the girl out, etc. He’s more human than Mr-sit-in-a-cave-with-infinite-money!