Action Comics #4
Writer: Jerry Siegel
Artwork: Joe Shuster
The issue starts when a pedestrian is killed in a hit and run accident, Superman chases after the culprit. But instead overhears a vindictive plan from a crooked football coach who hires thugs injure the opposing team’s best players during a game. Clark selects an unloved and bullied player (Burke) on the opposing team to imitate, who’s girlfriend is about to leave him for a more successful athlete. Again, when I said Superman is much more cunning than you expect in the older issues, I meant it… In this issue he drugs Burke and ties him up where nobody can find him. Of course, the new football player (Superman) is flawless on the field and impresses the coach who finally takes him off the bench to play in the finals, catching the attention of the corrupt coach. The real Burke is then kidnapped to ensure that the original plan goes ahead, but of course, they kidnap the wrong one and the thugs and Burkes ex-girlfriend are given a huge shock during the final game.
I love the simplicity of this storyline and it almost seems innocent to me, which is very uplifting. I also think that the simplistic artwork of this issue, works in its favour and I don’t think it would have the same effect if it had too much detail. You can truly tell that you are reading one of the earliest comics’ and that isn’t a bad thing.
As per the previous issue, the story necessarily doesn’t follow on. I’ve also done a bit of reading ahead of this issue and I can see that each issue is mostly a mini-story. But I like that, you don’t necessarily have to wait to find out what happens, however they have a lot of simple, traditional yet predictable stories of Superman. And again, the cover does not match the storylines, not even a little bit… As you can see.
Overall the story is fun and innocent and there is something that is really comforting about that – like a warm hug – and I can’t wait to read more of these mini-stories. However, I don’t think the storyline is the strongest, nor does it have any underlining morals within it, but it does teach you that being rich and famous doesn’t always get you where you want to be, and not to mess with Superman!