DC First tabloids ad

Debuting in 1974, First Edition (or 1st Edition, depending on your preference) was a series of tabloids that ran in parallel with DC’s main tabloid range Limited Collectors’ Edition. The idea was to make the first issues of various series available to the public in facsimile form—well, facsimile apart from the fairly considerable size difference. Although comics in the Golden Age were indeed larger than their mid-1970s counterparts, they weren’t anywhere near as large as the tabloids. Even so, there were reportedly cases of the tabloids being passed off as the real thing—fairly easy to do as beneath the dead giveaway card outer cover was another glossy cover that exactly mimicked the original.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the first oldie to get the treatment was the comic that featured Superman’s first appearance, the one that thereby launched an industry, Action Comics #1. As a facsimile of the original, it contains not just that legendary Superman debut by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, but also stories featuring the likes of ace reporter Scoop Scanlon, magician Zatara (whose loins later bore Zatanna-shaped fruit), and, er…, Sticky-Mitt Stimpson. A heady brew to be sure.

You might notice that in this ad, the logo is missing the “Famous” legend that was added to final published version. Which, I suppose, means that the title ought to be called Famous 1st Edition. As, the ad makes clear, later issues featured representations of the debuts of Batman, Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman. A late edition to the range—timed to coincide with the big movie—was the first issue of Superman. And that one was the only one I ever saw back then.

If only Action Comics #1 was still just $1800 eh?

Image ©2012 DC Comics