Monday, March 15, 2010

Mort Weisinger's Superman: Key Dates and Issues

I have written about this previously, but sometime in 1958 Mort Weisinger and his writers and artists set about creating the character that would come to be known as the Silver Age Superman. It was an era of tremendous creativity, that saw many terrific stories and innovations. Here are some of the most important:

April 1958: Adventure #247 introduces the Legion of Super-Heroes.
July 1958: Action #242 introduces the Silver Age Fortress of Solitude..
September 1958: Action #244 introduces Brainiac and the bottle city of Kandor.
October 1958: Superboy #68 introduces the teen-aged Bizarro.
December 1958: Adventure #255 introduces Red Kryptonite.
February 1959: Superman #127 introduces Titano, the Super-Ape.
April 1959: Jimmy Olsen #37 introduces Lucy Lane.
May 1959: Action #252 introduces Supergirl (Kara Zor-El); Superman #129 introduces Lori Lemaris and Atlantis.
July 1959: Action #254 introduces adult Bizarro.
August 1959: Superman #131 introduces Mr Mxyzptlk (Silver Age version).
April 1960: Adventure #271 introduces the teen-aged Lex Luthor, and establishes the motivation for his hatred of Superboy/Superman.
January 1961: Superboy #86 introduces Pete Ross.
April 1961: Adventure #283 introduces the Phantom Zone.
June 1961: Superboy #89 introduces Mon-El. (Corrected the intro of the Fortress and Brainiac/Kandor).


colsmi said...

Mort Weisinger still gets a tremendous ill-press in some quarters, & reading the opinions of some of his co-workers, it's difficult not to be swayed by what they say he was like as a person. And yet the truth remains - as you've shown in this post - that he did an awful lot of good, an awful lot of creative good, for the Man Of Steel. These milestones you've noted by Weisinger & his team are a substantial achievment, & those concepts have been nurturing Superman ever since.

Blaze Morgan said...

I've needed an excellent time line list like this for a while. Every time I'm among comic fans bellyaching about the changes in their beloved character, I'd pull it out and wave it at them. Inspired geniuses and slackjawed hacks are ALWAYS messing around, rearranging the furniture.

Can you imagine if the interwebs existed in 1960? How the forums and tweets would rage about Superman getting a GIRL cousin? WTF? A colour of kryptonite other than green? That turns Superman into a dancing hippo? OMG!

David said...

I don't care if Mort was an ogre, I love his era on Superman.

Honestly, if I was overly concerned about what jerkwads creative types are in real life, there would be almost no pop music, movies, lit or comics to enjoy. Just appreciate the genius of the work itself and let the creator's kids and co-workers deal with the abuse. That's their problem.

Pat said...

David and Colsmi, amen. Although I did have to chuckle a bit on learning about Roy Thomas' half day working for Weisinger. :)

Blaze, one of the reasons Marvel was so successful in the 1960s was DC's refusal to tinker with their main characters. Superman was the definite exception to that rule (especially in those first three years under Weisinger), and was far and away the best-selling character of the decade.

Dan Hamilton canada said...

great list but i noticed an error

July 1958: Action #242 introduces the Silver Age Fortress of Solitude.
September 1958: Action #244 introduces Brainiac and the bottle city of Kandor.

should be action 242 is brainiac and 244 as fortress

Pat said...

Thanks, Dan! I have made the necessary correction.

Jamie Rodgers said...

I thought it was adventure 252 that introduced red Kryptonite?