A long-thought-lost Superman story, likely written by co-creator Jerry Siegel, is set to be published by DC Comics in celebration of its landmark Action Comics #1000. And this particular story has a very interesting past.
Years before he went on to become one of DC’s most prolific and respected writers, Marv Wolfman was a regular comic book fan who had the chance to visit the offices where his favorite superheroes were brought to life with ink and paper. There he happened upon “Too Many Heroes,” a discarded 12-page comic from 1945—thought to be written by Siegel and illustrated in co-creator Joe Shuster’s studio—that never made it to print. The sole copy of the story had been with Wolfman this entire time, but this April, in celebration of Action Comics’ 1000th issue, “Too Many Heroes” is finally being released as part of 80 Years of Superman, a hardcover collection of historical comics that helped define the Man of Steel.
Speaking to Newsweek, DC publisher Paul Levitz explained that while the company isn’t 100 percent certain whether Siegel and Shuster actually worked directly with each other on “Too Many Heroes,” receipts from the time confirming Siegel’s payment for the script have been identified. In addition to the rare new addition to Superman’s history, 80 Years of Superman will also include essays penned by comics giants, including New Super-Man’s Gene Luen Yang, about the character’s lasting cultural legacy. Laura Siegel Larson, Siegel’s daughter, also contributed some words to the collection.
The 384-page tribute to Clark Kent will also feature a number of new comics, but it’ll be especially nifty to see whether Siegel and Shuster knew all the way back in 1945 that someday the world would be overrun with enough costumed vigilantes to give Superman a headache.
Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman hits stands on April 19.