Politics and Punishment on Krypton in Superman #65, Up for Auction

The late 1940s to early 1950s era of DC Comics is probably my favorite period of time from the publisher. Unlike many other publishers of the period, DC Comics had no overt Atomic Age — and of course, some of its superheroes enjoyed continuous publication from the Golden Age, through the early 1950s, and into the Silver Age.  But compared to much of the rest of the comic book industry's output during this period, early 1950s DC Comics are almost like undiscovered country — underappreciated and understudied compared to the more scrutinized Golden Age and Silver Age periods.  But there are a few moments of magic in early 1950s DC Comics, during which you can see the building blocks of the continuity and backstory of what the DC Universe would become by the Silver Age and beyond. Issues like Superman #53, Batman #47, and Wonder Woman #45 are all examples of this of varying importance, and while most of those are fairly well known, Superman #65 is a bit of an undiscovered gem by comparison. There's also a Superman #65 (DC, 1950) CGC FN- 5.5 White pages up for auction in the 2021 September 26-27 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122139 from Heritage Auctions.

Superman #65 (DC, 1950)
Superman #65 (DC, 1950)

Over a decade before Adventure Comics #283 introduced the Phantom Zone and perhaps the most famous Kryptonian criminal, General Zod, to the Superman mythos, Superman #65 had a very similar storyline.  In the cover story of that issue entitled "The 3 Supermen from Krypton", three of Jor-El's rivals on Krypton's ruling council created a doomsday machine of sorts to force the citizens of Krypton to make them dictators of the planet.  When the plan ultimately failed, the three criminals were put in a state of suspended animation and shot into space inside of a rocket.  In Adventure Comics #283, banishment to the Phantom Zone was General Zod's punishment for attempting to take over the government of Krypton.

Of course, Krypton's attempt to make its problems disappear via such methods would eventually have consequences for Earth in both cases — like the more famous Phantom Zone criminals, the three Supermen from Krypton would also become as powerful as Superman himself.  1950s DC Comics are underappreciated and cheap by comparison to other vintage comics of similar importance, and this one is no exception. An interesting 1950 building block towards what the Superman mythos would eventually become, there's also a Superman #65 (DC, 1950) CGC FN- 5.5 White pages up for auction in the 2021 September 26-27 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122139 from Heritage Auctions.

Superman #65 (DC, 1950)
Superman #65 (DC, 1950)

Superman #65 (DC, 1950) CGC FN- 5.5 White pages. First appearance of Mala, U-Ban, and Kizo. Al Plastino cover. Plastino, Wayne Boring, and Stan Kaye art. Overstreet 2021 FN 6.0 value = $348. CGC census 10/21: 3 in 5.5, 34 higher.

View the certification for CGC Certification ID 3715077015 and purchase grader's notes if available.

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About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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