Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling pop culture commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!
Action Comics #148 – September, 1950
Cover art by Al Plastino
Immigration is the hot button topic in the United States and Europe right now, with the Syrian refugee crisis leaving political leaders (and the wannabes) struggling to figure out how to help these desperate people without allowing terrorist factions to slip through cracks in the border.
So with that polarizing issue, plus next week’s Thanksgiving holiday and highly anticipated television shows like National Geographic’s Saints & Strangers and PBS’ The Pilgrims soon to air, we figured this was the perfect time to showcase Action Comics #148, wherein Superman saves Metropolis from reverting back to Indian ownership.
A Native American man has paperwork showing that Metropolis Island was illegally sold to the white men back in the 1600s, so Supes has to travel back in time to ensure the purchase is made under fair and legal circumstances.
In the 50s, like today, many people forgot that our forefathers were actually immigrants arriving on the shores of North America, and that they did not treat the native inhabitants in any way that Superman of today would consider fair.
Apparently, in 1950, messing with the space-time continuum was not a big concern, and in 1644, according to this story by comic writer Edmond Hamilton, a big white dude in blue-leotards and a red cape was not cause to raise an eyebrow either, as the Indians don’t really even question Superman’s presence or his meddling in their affairs.
Through some convoluted plot devices that involve a “wampum belt” with Superman’s Indian name (Flying Eagle) on it, the Man of Steel saves the day, proving that Metropolis was actually given to him for helping the Indians avoid warring with each other in the 17th century.
I love comics like this. Books that provide a unique (and not always comfortable) look at history as seen through the eyes of the authors in the time and place that they were written; exposing the prejudices and skewed view of the world during that particular time and place. It makes one wonder, ‘How will our actions and our view of the world be judged by our grandchildren?’
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers!
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