A missing chapter in Superman’s long history will finally be told. This April, when DC publishes the landmark 1,000th issue of Action Comics, a separate 384-page hardcover tome will contain a previously unpublished Superman comic from the Man of Steel’s original creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
On Tuesday, DC announced Action Comics 1000: 80 Years of Superman, a new collection set for an April 19 release, that will celebrate the magazine’s eight decades (including the years it was renumbered and retitled Superman: Action Comics). The book will be stacked with material, including essays from writers like Tom DeHaven (It’s Superman!) and Gene Luen Yang, and some of the best Action Comics issues ever from writers like Otto Binder, John Byrne, and Grant Morrison.
But the biggest attraction will be a never before seen Siegel and Shuster comic, “Too Many Heroes,” a 12-page Superman story unpublished for almost 80 years. And it was only by chance the comic is now seeing the light of day, thanks to legendary writer Marv Wolfman (Crisis on Infinite Earths).
In a statement, former DC editor Paul Levitz said DC used to give out unused, one-of-a-kind material as souvenirs on public tours of its New York City offices. It was a different time, before such items could sell for thousands at Comic-Con. “Back when DC did regular tours of the New York office, it was common for fans to get original art that would have been otherwise disposed of as a tour souvenir,” Levitz said.
It was fate that the Siegel and Shuster comic would be given to a young Marv Wolfman when he attended a tour. “It’s incredible to think that Marv not only rescued this unpublished story, he then went on to become one of DC’s most prolific writers, and shared the story with DC to publish as part of this special new collection.”
“Too Many Heroes” will be illustrated by the Joe Shuster Studio, so rest assured the tale will be seen the way it’s meant to be seen.
Besides “Too Many Heroes,” the book will also contain a number of published Action Comics issues. Highlights include:
- Action Comics #1 and #2 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
- Action Comics #242 by Otto Binder and Al Plastino (features the debut of Brainiac, “The Super-Duel in Space”)
- Action Comics #252 by Otto Binder and Al Plastino (features the debut of Supergirl, “The Supergirl from Krypton!”)
- Action Comics #554 by Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane (“If Superman Didn’t Exist…”)
- Action Comics #584 by John Byrne and Dick Giordano (“Squatter”)
- Action Comics #662 by Roger Stern and Bob McLeod (“Secrets in the Night”)
- Action Comics #0 by Grant Morrison and Ben Oliver (“The Boy Who Stole Superman’s Cape”)
Action Comics 1000: 80 Years of Superman will be released on April 19.