Just a few days after I finally figured out how to browse Yahoo Auction Japan’s web site to look for strange and unusual foreign Superman items, a seller turned up with the first eight issues of this very early (maybe the earliest?) Superman Japanese reprint series, all in Japanese and all in pretty nice shape. Well, except for the punchholes that made me cringe a bit. Though I was the high bidder on a couple of them when I went to bed, I woke up an eight-time loser, with each of these selling for over $300 and the first issue easily topping $500. Just as well, because I really know nothing about them and it’s kind of dangerous to buy in total ignorance.
The seller described them as being from 1949, which is certainly when most of these stories originally appeared. The original auction descriptions also included pictures of the interiors; these reprints appeared to include not only Superman, but Batman stories, too, as well as one page gag strips and text filler pages typical of the period.
Though I sadly didn’t win any of these comics, I did save all of the images, including these great looking covers. I hope I can find more, and maybe one day get lucky enough to own a few of them.
This cover is from Superman #53, the origin of Superman, originally published by DC in 1948.
This cover is from World’s Finest #39, originally published by DC in 1949.
This cover is from Adventure Comics #136, originally published by DC in 1949.
I couldn’t identify this one. Is it a Japanese original?
Can’t ID this one, either. Any suggestions?
What’s this? Batman on a Superman comic cover? This one is from Batman #49 from 1948.
This cover originally appeared on World’s Finest #42, published in 1949.
This great cover was from World’s Finest #34, released in 1948.