[Superman Fan Club] Presents: The Event of the Year Week 2 September 12, 2023: Superman #124 & Adventure #283!

Welcome to The Event of the Year that started September 5th, 2023, DC Universe Infinite is releasing digital versions of Superman Silver Age Comics week after week for a month and maybe two or three!!

Week 2 : September 12

Two great Silver Age Superman Family Classics!

Superman #124

(link is blurred to avoid spoilers for this 65 year old story)

My favorite story in Superman #124 was:
  • “The Super-Sword”
  • “Mrs. Superman”
  • “The Steeplejack of Steel”
0 voters

Adventure Comics 283

(link is blurred to avoid spoilers for this 62 year old story

The first appearance of General Zod!

Please share any favorite panels from this time around below.

To join the [Superman Fan Club] (and enjoy the chic benefits of membership such as direct messaging for club members only and our occasional audio Discord [Superman Fan Club] chats), click here: Click Here to Join the Superman Fan Club

To stop by the Superman Fan Club Lounge Area , click here: Club Lounge Room Entrance

And be sure keep an eye out for our once a month first Thursday evening of the month Listen A Longs of the classic 1940’s Superman Radio Show adventures (in the Watchalong aisle), the next one being Thursday October 5th !!



For sure, one of these three stories is quite eye popping!


First appearance of Zod, I’m down for that!



That is so cool! I’ve always wondered about Zod! Now I can read his first appearance!


So my favourite this time around was definitely “The Super-Sword” because it was so ridiculous it was good. What an absolute ROUNDABOUT way to lure in a criminal, 10/10 for creativity, 0/10 for efficiency.

The Super-Sword
We are starting off strong on the very first page! “Jimmy! Call the police! The Black Knight wounded Superman!” Yeah Lois, what do you think the police are gonna do? They’ll eagerly get RIGHT on that whole ‘arresting the guy strong enough to hurt Supes’ thing.

I wanted to crack wise about climate change and the random iceberg floating into the Metropolis harbor, but once I realized it was staged it kinda ruined the joke. ALAS.

Did anyone else realize Superman was faking the moment he got stabbed in the arm but for some reason decided he needed a crutch? Way to yuck it up Supes - you have many super abilities but lying is apparently not one of them.

:arrow_down:This is the best version of Perry White and nobody can tell me otherwise.

Mrs. Superman
“STUCK HERE. SIGH. MIGHT AS WELL MARRY LOIS. :man_shrugging:” … “JK also I lied a bunch.” God I feel so bad for Lois in these older comics.

I love all the close-up face shots of Supes in this one. He has such perfect eyelashes?! I am beyond jealous. :arrow_down:

The Steeplejack of Steel
Superman was such a handyman in this issue! I didn’t even pay it much attention until this last story, but the guy built a full on skyscraper, an island home, and a realistic looking police car and armored truck out of wood. Where’d he learn how to do all this stuff? Like dang.

:arrow_down:These were simpler times.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma you may to be entitled to financial compensation!

ANYWAY. So Adventure Comics 283.
I kinda prefer this phantom zone over the newer versions, anyone else? It seems like more of an apt punishment to be still aware of everything familiar around you but unable to interact with it, rather than sitting around bored in some lesser dimension just waiting. That’s just me I guess.

“This box has a warning saying not to open! I’M GONNA OPEN IT.” Ugh, Superboy deserves everything that happens to him in this issue.

Army of bizarro-lookin’ Zod robots. I don’t even need to say anything about them. Just LOOK AT THEM. I love it.


Imagine comics today deliberately being full of unconnected episode stories that were meant to be clever puzzles, beginning and ending within four or five pages. I guess there are still TV shows that are like that where there’s a basic premise and then each episode is utterly unrelated and totally forgotten the next episode.


The stories were fine, and it was pretty cool that the Superboy story used a plot device from the Atom Man Vs. Superman movie serial (using thought waves to operate a typewriter from the Phantom Zone). But I can’t help but marvel at how elaborate the schemes to fool crooks (and others) usually are. Couldn’t Superman have found an easier way to catch the crooks in the Black Knight story or did he just want to show off?

And there are many stories, like the third one in that issue, where Superman takes another identity and job. If Superman does such a thing, what happens to his reporter’s job? In one story, he even adopted a kid and again took on a new identity with no explanation as to his job at the Planet. It drives me crazy that there are some stories that have such big holes you could drive a truck through them. I know these were aimed at kids back then, but dang!


Silver Age Superman catch-up day!

I used to own Superman #124, so I’ve read it before. It’s a really fun issue, but doesn’t contain any of the miracle conceits I love so much. I really like that Lois was left as acting editor of The Daily Planet in “The Super-Sword” just as she is in current Superman comics. It shows how respected Lois actually was even in the Silver Age which was not the most forward thinking era in terms of how it portrayed women. It’s also hilarious that the villain of the piece was essentially thwarted by this:
Folding Sword

“Mrs. Superman” was fun in how it set up this sort of romantic Robison Crusoe scenario.

That said, “The Steeplejack of Steel” was my favorite story from the issue for two reasons. First, it was a rare example of Silver Age Supes being a sort of social crusader. Silver Age Superman was generally not allowed to be the kind of social crusader his Golden Age counter-part was. That was, in part, due to DC’s strict adherence to the Comics Code Authority during the era. Despite the Silver Age being my favorite Superman era, it is something I generally feel the absence of in his stories from the 50’s and 60’s. This story doesn’t exactly meet the same level of social commentary that Superman did in the Golden Age or in the New 52, but, hey, going after a crooked contractor counts! So, it was good to see even a minor example here.

The second reason is how Superman picks up a new secret identity to fit the occasion. If you know me then you know one of my personal crusades is over how Superman didn’t directly relate to the Clark Kent identity until after COIE and Man of Steel. Throughout the Silver and Bronze Ages I’ve seen evidence of Superman taking on new civilian secret identities when he needed to. This is another example of that. Superman’s mission was more important than his civilian life and he proves this over and over again by picking up new secret identities and dropping them when they’ve served their purpose.

Finally, it was great getting to read Zod’s first appearance in Adventure Comics #283 since I never had before. I like how the story used the conversation about a typewriter to foreshadow how Superboy discovers he can use his brainwaves to communicate from the Phantom Zone. Whenever a conversation that seems out of place like that occurs in a Silver Age story, you can bet that it’s setting up the eventual finale. I also really love that Zod’s clone army resembled Bizarros. The continuity of the Silver Age was never exactly tight, but they would establish fun rules of the universe that would pop back up. In this case it’s the idea that Kryptonian clones always come out like imperfect Bizarros. One last thing to note, this story was an example of a recycled plot. The Silver Age would often repeat plots after enough time had past under assumption that the kids who read it the first time would have moved on from comics by the time they revisited it again. That’s the case here as this story had many of the same plot elements as “The Lost Secrets of Krypton” from Superman #74 where Superman discovers a vault of Jor-El’s inventions floating through space.

Good stories, fun times! Now I’ve got to hurry over to Week 3!


Thanks for those observations, @patterson65.37405 , you definitely make some great points about some of the silliness of the Silver Age Tales which is part of what makes them so entertaining to read for us super fans (much like the radio shows we enjoy).

Speaking of which you’re mentioning of the movie serial makes me wish I had done some more watch alongs of them when they were available on this site…frankly I can’t find it anywhere for free.


@TheCosmicMoth you make many brilliant observations. I couldn’t have said all that better myself.


I do have the DVD of both serials, but it would be great if they turned up on Max as well (a blu-ray release would be appreciated too).


@TheCosmicMoth Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and observations on these two issues.

I feel like to this day the whole “secret identity” of Superman theme is still being reconsidered by the writers and the relative importance of the Clark Kent identity being redone back and forth. In a way, I guess many of us have different “personas” we use depending on the social situation (said “Don-el” lol), but the Superman / Clark Kent situation could drive a person insane perhaps trying to pull that off. In the Silver Age, he surely doeth lie a lot for such an icon of goodness.

I may be in quite a pickle when the Adventures issues start featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes again in a few weeks…if the Bizarro Family Tales also are in those issues. Decisions, decisions…


The Bizarro World trumps any and all other stories. It’s been scientifically proven.


Thank you, @patterson65.37405! I appreciate it! I’ve done a lot of analyzing of the Silver Age stories over the years, so it’s always good to hear that I succeed in communicating much of it!

I always considered his ability to juggle multiple identities and not go insane as an extension of his super powers. Like, his Kryptonian mind has more bandwidth and gives him a more relaxed sense of identity than the rest of us have. That said, it does get real “multiple personality disorder” the deeper we get into the Bronze Age and that did make it harder for fans to get behind. I like how Waid has been handling his identity in The Last Days of Lex Luthor."

As for the lying, well… Ultimately, I think Silver Age Superman is a good guy because he chooses to use his powers to help and not to dominate or harm. That said, I have pointed out and will continue to point out that he is far, far, far from perfect and in ways that I’ve found to be sometimes uncomfortably realistic. One of the reasons I love this era.

We could always just do a combined Superman/Legion Fan Club discussion.


Superman 124:

The Super Sword story by the end just left me with a sweeping feeling of:

At first I was intrigued by what this Black Knight guy could be. Then after stabbing Superman, I was disappointed to see the Black Knight just running around smashing crap and stealing from banks because that motive didn’t seem to make sense for a guy who just worke up from Arthurian times. And then when it was revealed to be a ruse with Perry White involved I was like "…Surely they could have done a lot less to simply entrap some random gangster.

I will give the story this much credit – I was impressed by what they did to invoke the feeling of Superman being “stabbed.” I have to imagine that’s something that they couldn’t show at all given the CCA (I have to imagine the twist of Superman never being stabbed played a role in getting this out), so leaving it in shadow was a moody, clever way to make you imagine what could be happening. Well done.

As for Mrs Superman…I feel like there could have been an interesting story here, it kind of delivers on it’s click-bait like opening page, but an unsatisfying end. I can see a story where Clark is trapped on this island and he has to wrestle with whether he should just give in and confess his love and identity to Lois, but how it actually turns out and Lois’ thought that Superman just made that whole story and marriage up just to protect her from gangsters for a week I think kind of cements just how much I don’t like how they use the Superman and Lois relationship back then.

It’s funny, this thought and the name of the story makes me wonder what things would be like if Siegel and Schuster’s “Mr. & Mrs. Superman” story was actually published and Lois learned Superman’s identity and married him back in the 40s.

…At least I think that was the case. I could have swore that there was a story they did about this that was unpublished and pages of it eventually came out, but now for the life of me I can’t find it. Did I make this up?!

Anyway, onto “The Steeplejack of Steel.” First off, I learned a new word with this one! Second, like @TheCosmicMoth, this was my favorite story of this issue for a similar reason: to see Superman harken back a bit to his Golden Age roots. It was neat to see him face off against a corrupt businessman that was hurting people and threatening lives – actual superhero stuff and not just “hilarious” mishaps.

Adventure Comics 283 was surprising – I would think that with this story introducing the Phantom Zone and General Zod, it would have been digitalized sooner. Anyway, the story itself was decent – it was odd that there was this constant threat of these horrible weapons that criminals could use, and an actual criminal gang moving in Smallville, and those two narrative beats never met.

There is one thing about this story that I have to address and that’s General Zod. I have to ask…WHAT IN RAO’S NAME IS HE WEARING?! The top half screams Nazi General and the bottom half screams Chippendale Dancer! The man needs a lifetime sentence in the Phantom Zone, both for crimes of insurrection and crimes of fashion!


Upon a review it looks like everybody on Krypton was wearing the same bottom half of clothing for that story.

A lesson on being mindful concerning adopting the latest fads I suppose lol.

1 Like

You did not make this up, but you are misremembering it a little. The story you’re referring to is called “The K-Metal from Krypton.” It was written by Siegel & Shuster in 1940, and was significant for two reasons. First, it would’ve introduced Kryptonite (referred to as “K-Metal” in the story) three years before it debuted on the Adventures of Superman radio show and nine years before it actually surfaced in the comics in Superman #61. Second because the story has Superman revealing his identity to Lois by the end. It was ultimately axed by DC (or National as they were known back then) because of the identity reveal. To be honest, I kind if agree that it was too soon for that. They were only two years into Superman’s publication history and revealing his identity to Lois would’ve significantly altered the stories from then on.

Things would’ve ended with Lois becoming Superman’s partner in fighting crime. So, no marriage and it didn’t even kick off their official romance as she realizes that she should be mad at him for lying to her for so long at the end. Even though the story was never published, you can still read the story through this restoration based on the original script:


Sorry for not noticing this sooner, but thanks for the refresher and the link! I knew I wasn’t crazy! …Well, in this regard, at least. :rofl:


No prob! At this point in my fandom, I have a lot of those “did this really happen or am I making this up in my head” moments, so I get it :joy:

The only other thing I’d add on the topic is that I do think that Cary Bates did channel this story a bit when he had Golden Age Lois and Supes marry in Action Comics #484 and with the direction the characters took following that.