"Superman’s Service for Servicemen Continues"Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - Jan 7 through Feb 25 1945
By September of 1945, the conflicts in Europe and the Pacific Theater will be largely concluded, and so also Superman’s Service for Servicemen - a more-than-year-long story arc in which Superman answers direct requests for assistance sent to him by America’s armed services - winds to a close over the course of the year.
Early in 1945, Superman entertains soldiers stationed in the Aleutian islands by bringing them all the warmth and wonders of a tropical island paradise (including dancing girls), helps along a romantic triangle between a young woman and her two noble beaus stationed overseas, and reminds the folks at home that a soldier’s morale depends on receiving encouraging correspondence from home.
The titles of these arcs are as follows:
"Aleutian Dancing Girls" - January 7, 1945 to January 14, 1945"The War Medals" - January 21, 1945 to February 11, 1945"If You’re Not a Fighter - Be a Writer" - February 18, 1945 to February 25, 1945

"Superman’s Service for Servicemen Continues"
Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - Jan 7 through Feb 25 1945

By September of 1945, the conflicts in Europe and the Pacific Theater will be largely concluded, and so also Superman’s Service for Servicemen - a more-than-year-long story arc in which Superman answers direct requests for assistance sent to him by America’s armed services - winds to a close over the course of the year.

Early in 1945, Superman entertains soldiers stationed in the Aleutian islands by bringing them all the warmth and wonders of a tropical island paradise (including dancing girls), helps along a romantic triangle between a young woman and her two noble beaus stationed overseas, and reminds the folks at home that a soldier’s morale depends on receiving encouraging correspondence from home.

The titles of these arcs are as follows:

"Aleutian Dancing Girls" - January 7, 1945 to January 14, 1945
"The War Medals" - January 21, 1945 to February 11, 1945
"If You’re Not a Fighter - Be a Writer" - February 18, 1945 to February 25, 1945

15 notes

"Bringing in the New Year" Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - December 31, 1944
It’s the end of 1944 and Superman’s Service for Servicemen rings in 1945 with a promise of greatness in the new year and an actual appearance of the New Year’s Baby right in the theater of war…

"Bringing in the New Year" Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - December 31, 1944

It’s the end of 1944 and Superman’s Service for Servicemen rings in 1945 with a promise of greatness in the new year and an actual appearance of the New Year’s Baby right in the theater of war…

22 notes

Superman’s Service for ServicemenSuperman Sunday Newspaper Strip - January 2 to December 24, 1944
The Sunday strips for 1944 continue the late 1943 storyline of Superman personally answering requests on behalf of servicemen stationed at home and overseas. Throughout the year, Superman does everything from performing all the gruntwork on an Army base for a single day, to bringing a homesick G.I.’s pet dog overseas for a brief (but eventful) in-trench visit, and setting up a whole Pacific battalion with barbers, manicurists and a shoeshine boy to prepare them for a starlet’s visit. 
There’s also a few inventive diversions where a Japanese unit makes a request of Superman’s Service for Servicemen (it doesn’t turn out well for the Japanese, of course) and Superman has to defend his 4-F status to a cantankerous veteran of three wars.
For completism’s sake, the Service for Servicemen adventures of 1944 are:
"A Corporal, A Kid, and a Kangaroo" - January 2, 1944 to January 9, 1944"Joining the Service" - January 16, 1944 to March 5, 1944"The Army’s Day Off" - March 12, 1944 to April 16, 1944"The Japanese Letter" - April 23, 1944 to May 28, 1944"The Lowly Foot Soldier" - June 4, 1944 to June 25, 1944"Taming the Devil" - July 2, 1944 to July 9, 1944"Socking Sergeant Leeds" - July 16, 1944 to July 23, 1944"Canine Combat" - July 30, 1944 to August 6, 1944"Natural Hazards" - August 13, 1944 to September 3, 1944"Boot Training" - September 10, 1944 to October 1, 1944"Superman, 4-F" - October 8, 1944 to October 22, 1944"Raising Morale" - October 29, 1944 to November 5, 1944"Careless on Furlough" - November 12, 1944 to December 3, 1944"Shave and a Haircut" - December 10, 1944 to December 24, 1944

Superman’s Service for Servicemen
Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - January 2 to December 24, 1944

The Sunday strips for 1944 continue the late 1943 storyline of Superman personally answering requests on behalf of servicemen stationed at home and overseas. Throughout the year, Superman does everything from performing all the gruntwork on an Army base for a single day, to bringing a homesick G.I.’s pet dog overseas for a brief (but eventful) in-trench visit, and setting up a whole Pacific battalion with barbers, manicurists and a shoeshine boy to prepare them for a starlet’s visit. 

There’s also a few inventive diversions where a Japanese unit makes a request of Superman’s Service for Servicemen (it doesn’t turn out well for the Japanese, of course) and Superman has to defend his 4-F status to a cantankerous veteran of three wars.

For completism’s sake, the Service for Servicemen adventures of 1944 are:

"A Corporal, A Kid, and a Kangaroo" - January 2, 1944 to January 9, 1944
"Joining the Service" - January 16, 1944 to March 5, 1944
"The Army’s Day Off" - March 12, 1944 to April 16, 1944
"The Japanese Letter" - April 23, 1944 to May 28, 1944
"The Lowly Foot Soldier" - June 4, 1944 to June 25, 1944
"Taming the Devil" - July 2, 1944 to July 9, 1944
"Socking Sergeant Leeds" - July 16, 1944 to July 23, 1944
"Canine Combat" - July 30, 1944 to August 6, 1944
"Natural Hazards" - August 13, 1944 to September 3, 1944
"Boot Training" - September 10, 1944 to October 1, 1944
"Superman, 4-F" - October 8, 1944 to October 22, 1944
"Raising Morale" - October 29, 1944 to November 5, 1944
"Careless on Furlough" - November 12, 1944 to December 3, 1944
"Shave and a Haircut" - December 10, 1944 to December 24, 1944

"Gremlin Sabotage" Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - December 19, 1943 to December 26, 1943
The mischievous, supernatural gremlins which were known to wreck and sabotage airplanes for their own amusement suddenly disappear from landing fields and airplane hangars across the United States, leading officials to believe the little green menaces are occupied in other, more insidious deviltry. Superman eventually discovers the imps descending on good American citizens, tempting them to unpatriotic endeavors like shopping the Black Market or skipping their regular investment in war bonds. 
The Superman writers - operating under Siegel’s pen name, since he had been drafted - obviously had a lot of fun scripting the gremlins, the Squiffies and Lois’ troublesome niece Susie, not to mention the comical Prankster and Toyman, because Superman’s most absurd, seemingly laughable opponent is now just around the corner…

"Gremlin Sabotage"
Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - December 19, 1943 to December 26, 1943

The mischievous, supernatural gremlins which were known to wreck and sabotage airplanes for their own amusement suddenly disappear from landing fields and airplane hangars across the United States, leading officials to believe the little green menaces are occupied in other, more insidious deviltry. Superman eventually discovers the imps descending on good American citizens, tempting them to unpatriotic endeavors like shopping the Black Market or skipping their regular investment in war bonds. 

The Superman writers - operating under Siegel’s pen name, since he had been drafted - obviously had a lot of fun scripting the gremlins, the Squiffies and Lois’ troublesome niece Susie, not to mention the comical Prankster and Toyman, because Superman’s most absurd, seemingly laughable opponent is now just around the corner…

22 notes

Lois Lane, Girl ReporterSuperman Sunday Newspaper Strip - October 24, 1943 to February 27, 1944
For a few months, Lois Lane starred in her own series of “Toppers” - companion comic strips which ran along the top or bottom of Sunday comic main features - in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, at the very least.
Naturally, the Lois Lane strips accompanied Superman’s Sunday outings, although the Lois of these strips wasn’t terribly reminiscent of the main strip’s leading lady; the strip’s Lois was put-upon, peevish and the subject of slights and swipes from her fellow reporters, and the strip in general was a gag strip with foot-in-the-air punchlines. In all, a very different tone from even the most light-hearted Superman strip.

Lois Lane, Girl Reporter
Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - October 24, 1943 to February 27, 1944

For a few months, Lois Lane starred in her own series of “Toppers” - companion comic strips which ran along the top or bottom of Sunday comic main features - in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, at the very least.

Naturally, the Lois Lane strips accompanied Superman’s Sunday outings, although the Lois of these strips wasn’t terribly reminiscent of the main strip’s leading lady; the strip’s Lois was put-upon, peevish and the subject of slights and swipes from her fellow reporters, and the strip in general was a gag strip with foot-in-the-air punchlines. In all, a very different tone from even the most light-hearted Superman strip.

46 notes

"Cadet Training" Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - March 28, 1943 to August 8, 1943
The Sunday strips are about to make a change from multi-episode, months-spanning stories to episodic adventures which wrap up in a week or two, with Cadet Training - where Superman must protect the Daily Planet’s “Model Air Cadet” from the schemes of Nazi agents seeking to break American morale - being the last lengthy arc for a while.
Why begin abbreviating the Sunday adventures? Well, beyond any editorial edict, America (and, in general, the world) is beginning to suffer a paper shortage, what with most vital materials earmarked for military needs or shipping off to the overseas Allies.
This paper shortage - and the subsequent paper drives which followed - contributes to the topography of comics history by seeing many comics of the Golden Age shipped off to the recyclers. The rarity of so many older comics - some of which sold literally millions of copies a month - can be attributed to the numbers of which were patriotically pulped for the war effort. 
Likewise, the newspapers become more of a rarity, and many regular readers may have considered the Sunday paper a luxury in wartime, indulged in so infrequently that an ongoing story becomes a burden.

"Cadet Training" Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - March 28, 1943 to August 8, 1943

The Sunday strips are about to make a change from multi-episode, months-spanning stories to episodic adventures which wrap up in a week or two, with Cadet Training - where Superman must protect the Daily Planet’s “Model Air Cadet” from the schemes of Nazi agents seeking to break American morale - being the last lengthy arc for a while.

Why begin abbreviating the Sunday adventures? Well, beyond any editorial edict, America (and, in general, the world) is beginning to suffer a paper shortage, what with most vital materials earmarked for military needs or shipping off to the overseas Allies.

This paper shortage - and the subsequent paper drives which followed - contributes to the topography of comics history by seeing many comics of the Golden Age shipped off to the recyclers. The rarity of so many older comics - some of which sold literally millions of copies a month - can be attributed to the numbers of which were patriotically pulped for the war effort. 

Likewise, the newspapers become more of a rarity, and many regular readers may have considered the Sunday paper a luxury in wartime, indulged in so infrequently that an ongoing story becomes a burden.

27 notes

"The Blaze" Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - September 27, 1942 to December 6, 1942
The super-villainous Class of 1942 has been a little slim on super-powered Nazi agents, so The Blaze will perform an admirable double-duty; he’s not just a Nazi saboteur who has taken the place of a missing American for whom he’s a dead-ringer, but is also the inventor of a protective suit in which he can control deadly, intense flame at command. Wreathed in fire, he commits acts of murder and sabotage until confronted by Superman, whose invulnerability is tested by The Blaze’s fire. A tear in the suit’s protective lining means that The Blaze is quickly consumed by his own inhuman flame, so that puts an end to another villain packing an impressive visual…

"The Blaze" Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - September 27, 1942 to December 6, 1942

The super-villainous Class of 1942 has been a little slim on super-powered Nazi agents, so The Blaze will perform an admirable double-duty; he’s not just a Nazi saboteur who has taken the place of a missing American for whom he’s a dead-ringer, but is also the inventor of a protective suit in which he can control deadly, intense flame at command. Wreathed in fire, he commits acts of murder and sabotage until confronted by Superman, whose invulnerability is tested by The Blaze’s fire. A tear in the suit’s protective lining means that The Blaze is quickly consumed by his own inhuman flame, so that puts an end to another villain packing an impressive visual…

106 notes

"The Superman Truck"Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - June 14, 1942 to September 20, 1942
Superman enters the lexicon of his fictional world much in the same way he entered the lexicon of the real world – as advertising. A “Superman Truck” is unveiled, a tremendous transport vehicle which, five years prior, might’ve been called merely Colossal or Titanic. It’s tough to decide if Jerry Siegel is presaging the preponderance of  “Super-“ this and “Super-“ that’s which would be marketed in the wake of his enormously popular co-creation, sneering at the common acquisition of the term which propagated in his own day, or is merely building his hero’s in-canon reputation. 

"The Superman Truck"
Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - June 14, 1942 to September 20, 1942

Superman enters the lexicon of his fictional world much in the same way he entered the lexicon of the real world – as advertising. A “Superman Truck” is unveiled, a tremendous transport vehicle which, five years prior, might’ve been called merely Colossal or Titanic. It’s tough to decide if Jerry Siegel is presaging the preponderance of  “Super-“ this and “Super-“ that’s which would be marketed in the wake of his enormously popular co-creation, sneering at the common acquisition of the term which propagated in his own day, or is merely building his hero’s in-canon reputation. 

109 notes

"The Champion of Democracy" Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - May 31, 1942 to June 7, 1942
With the popularity of the Superman strip growing (at its peak, the Sunday strip would appear in 90 papers), the McClure Syndicate (which owned the distribution rights to the strips) had the creators reintroduce the public to Superman with a bookended pair of “origin pages”. Given Superman’s media immersion at the time, it may not have been actually necessary – at the very least, the average man on the street probably recognized the blue tights, red cape and bold pseudonym from advertisements and movie posters.
An interesting note worth revisiting in regards to McClure: The syndicate neglected to add appropriate copyright notices to many of the strips, rendering some of them as public domain – some of the only Superman material which is public domain, alongside the Fleischer cartoons. 

"The Champion of Democracy"
Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - May 31, 1942 to June 7, 1942

With the popularity of the Superman strip growing (at its peak, the Sunday strip would appear in 90 papers), the McClure Syndicate (which owned the distribution rights to the strips) had the creators reintroduce the public to Superman with a bookended pair of “origin pages”. Given Superman’s media immersion at the time, it may not have been actually necessary – at the very least, the average man on the street probably recognized the blue tights, red cape and bold pseudonym from advertisements and movie posters.

An interesting note worth revisiting in regards to McClure: The syndicate neglected to add appropriate copyright notices to many of the strips, rendering some of them as public domain – some of the only Superman material which is public domain, alongside the Fleischer cartoons. 

115 notes

Arson EvidenceSuperman Sunday Newspaper Strip - March 22, 1942 to May 24, 1942
Part of the appeal and efficacy of Superman’s adventures is his moral certitude – surely his unerring ethical code is as intriguing a component of the escapist fantasy as his leaping over tall buildings or racing locomotives. It’s an enchanting idea to imagine one’s self imbued with the power of flight, but probably no moreso than having absolute and incorruptible moral authority.
That’s why this arc of the newspaper strip is such a distinctive entry in the early catalog of the character; Clark Kent investigates a series of arsons, and the evidence he turns up condemns a man to death – but was Clark wrong? Superman’s career as a journalist puts at his command a power almost as potentially deadly as his unearthly abilities, and must be wielded even more carefully. Doubting his own investigation, Clark calls on his alter ego to verify with certainty whether Clark has exposed a murderer or falsely accused an innocent man …

Arson Evidence
Superman Sunday Newspaper Strip - March 22, 1942 to May 24, 1942

Part of the appeal and efficacy of Superman’s adventures is his moral certitude – surely his unerring ethical code is as intriguing a component of the escapist fantasy as his leaping over tall buildings or racing locomotives. It’s an enchanting idea to imagine one’s self imbued with the power of flight, but probably no moreso than having absolute and incorruptible moral authority.

That’s why this arc of the newspaper strip is such a distinctive entry in the early catalog of the character; Clark Kent investigates a series of arsons, and the evidence he turns up condemns a man to death – but was Clark wrong? Superman’s career as a journalist puts at his command a power almost as potentially deadly as his unearthly abilities, and must be wielded even more carefully. Doubting his own investigation, Clark calls on his alter ego to verify with certainty whether Clark has exposed a murderer or falsely accused an innocent man …

116 notes