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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Showcase Presents
Superman Family - Volume 2


Authors: Otto Binder and others
Artists: Curt Swan, Wayne Boring, Kurt Schaffenberger and others
Titan Books
RRP: £10.99, US $16.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 812 6
ISBN-10: 1 84576 812 4
Available 23 May 2008

With the increasing popularity of the Superman comics DC Comics sought to expand the franchise by giving Jimmy Olsen and Louis Lane their own comic book series. Showcase Presents: Superman Family - Volume Two collects together black and white versions of these silver age comics.

Superman’s Pal: Jimmy Olsen began its run in 1954 and this latest anthology contains issues twenty-three to thirty-four of this rather camp comic. The book finally stopped in 1974 after one hundred and sixty-three issues and usually followed a formulaic story of Jimmy getting into trouble having to be rescued by his old mate Superman, or poor old Jimmy transforming into another creature, Gorillas were popular for some reason. Never the most successful of DC’s line the book would eventually introduce some important elements of the DC universe when Jack Kirby took over the title in the seventies; unfortunately the anthology only reaches as far as 1959. 

Also contained here are issues one through seven of Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane, which started it run in 1958 and finally stopped in 1974 after one hundred and thirty-seven comic books. If it were at all possible this title was even more simple in its construction than Jimmy Olsen, with each story concentrating on Lois’ attempts to get Superman to marry her.

Both comics would consist of three, self contained, short stories, mostly comic in tone and rarely did they affect the ongoing mythos of the more popular Superman books. This run of comics is written by Otto Binder and Jerry Coleman, with the art being provided by such luminaries as Curt Swan, Wayne Boring and Kurt Schaffenberger.

The reprints are fairly cheaply reproduced in black and white on the sort of cheap paper that reminds one of the originals. That said the price is cheap and you’re unlikely to be able to pick up many of the originals in this good a quality.


Charles Packer

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