On June 16, 1939, The Man of Steel appeared in newspapers for the first time. The comic strip would run until 1966, but the Superman of the early days was a mite different than the one we’d come to love. Version 1.0 would let bad guys die, even kill them himself. And he had no problem with, well, handing out a spanking. That’s right. The Son of Jor-El would administer posterior swats to…and I am making enormous, dramatic air quotes here,deserving” females. And he wasn’t alone, even in the funny pages. Both Batman and The Phantom would deliver similar, again with the quotes, justice.      

You’re listening to Benny Goodman and His Orchestra with the appropriately-titled “Superman”. It was released by Columbia in 1941, and they were no dummies. The strip was syndicated that year, appearing in hundreds of newspapers, and an animated cartoon.

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