DescriptionJoe Shuster, Paul Cassidy, and Wayne Boring - Unpublished Landmark Superman "K-Metal from Krypton" Story Page 13 Original Art (c. 1940). This piece must be counted as one of the earliest original Superman comic book panel pages to exist -- no panel pages earlier than 1940 are known to exist... and it's signed by Noel Neill who portrayed Lois Lane in two Superman movie serials and on the 1950s TV show The Adventures of Superman.
According to comic lore, the fascinating, long-lost "K-Metal from Krypton" story was slated for Superman #8 (the January/February 1941 issue). Joe Shuster and his studio illustrated Jerry Siegel's 26-page script, but the radical, trend-setting tale was shelved by DC's editors. Comics historian Gerard Jones, in his book Men of Tomorrow, cites this decision as the moment that creative control of Superman's destiny was wrested from Jerry Siegel.
The history of this landmark story has been detailed in numerous articles (Alter Ego #26, #30, and #37), in Gerard Jones' classic Men of Tomorrow book, and in the just-published Creators of the Superheroes, by Thomas Andrae.
This twice-up scale page was created in ink over blue pencil on Bristol board with an image area of 13.5" x 19". The page has multiple rips, some in the middle of the image area, all neatly repaired with tape from the backside. The edges and corners are worn and rough. Overall in Good condition. From the Ethan Roberts Estate Collection.
The "K-Metal" story was forgotten and languished in obscurity -- some of Siegel's planned changes to the Superman mythos never taking place until decades later. The twenty-six pages of finished artwork produced by the Shuster studio were seemingly lost to the ages until 1970 when Jim Steranko's History of Comics, Volume One printed small reproductions of four of the pages. However, neither the story nor its plot were discussed, the pages were simply identified as being from an unpublished Superman story.
Siegel's "K-Metal" story has been called by some historians, the "most important Superman story ever written." This never-published classic includes the first-ever appearance of Kryptonite (called "K-Metal"), and Superman learns for the first time what it's like to lose his powers. This story also includes the first time Superman learned that he hails from the planet Krypton, and Clark Kent reveals to Lois Lane that he is Superman.
Another milestone in the "K-Metal" story is that this is the first time Daily Planet editor Perry White's name is used (previously, Clark's boss was named George Taylor). This story was deemed by the editors to have too many dramatic changes to the Superman mythos and thus was never published. Kryptonite would finally be introduced into the Superman mythos three years after this story was created, for the Superman radio show, in 1943, and wouldn't appear in the Superman comic books until 1949. Likewise, Superman did not learn of his birth on Krypton until 1949, nine years after this story was created. Finally, in the published Superman mythos, Lois Lane never learned for sure that Clark Kent and Superman are one and the same person until the 1990s, 50 years after the creation of this story.
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