Rare copies of Superman’s first appearances outside the United States offered on eBay

Fans of Superman may want to check out two rare opportunities to buy copies of British adventure titles featuring the superhero’s earliest appearances published outside the United States, in the long-running weekly adventure paper, Triumph.

Copies of Triumph featuring Superman, previously sold by ComPal
Copies of Triumph featuring Superman, previously sold by ComPal

First published in 1924, Triumph, published by Amalgamated Press, was a hugely successful adventure paper of the period, the title now owned by Rebellion Publishing. 21 issues featured reprints of Superman, the character first making his debut in Britain only a year after the publication of Action Comics #1, June 1938.

Reprints of early Superman stories were, largely, adapted into the picture and text format presentation that was very much the norm of the day in British children’s and teenage titles of the time, and ran in Issues 772 – 792 (with a house advertisement featuring Superman in Issue 771), the Kryptonian hero returning in Issues 807 – 814.

Silver Acre Comics is offering a copy of Triumph No. 784, one of four issues of the title to feature a cover credited to John “Jock” McCail, the price tag set at just over £1900.

Triumph No. 784 featuring Superman
Triumph No. 784 featuring Superman
"Superman" as presented in Triumph No. 784
“Superman” as presented in Triumph No. 784

Meanwhile, collector Ewan Brownlow is offering a rare copy of Triumph and The Gem No. 807, cover dated 6th April 1940, its masthead reflecting a recent title merger, featuring an early Superman story by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Copies of the second Superman run are much rarer, due to paper rationing and recycling of comics, newspapers and magazines to help the war effort.

Proclaiming “Superman Returns!” and the arrival of “Marvellous New Adventures of the World’s Wonder-Man!”, very few copies of this particular edition are known to have survived, so it’s little surprise there’s a price tag of £650 for this gem.

All issues from the Superman / Triumph run are extremely rare with only a handful of copies still in existence, with the Comic Book Price Guide noting bound copies of the issues have sold for tidy sums in the past.

John McCail (1894 – 1962) was an artist who worked mainly for the Amalgamated Press, but also for some smaller publishers in the 1940s. There’s more information about his long career, which began at DC Thomson, here on Lambiek and here on UK Comics Fandom.

Check out Triumph No. 784, on offer from Silver Acre, here on eBay

Check out Triumph and The Gem No. 807, on offer from Ewan Brownlow, here on eBay

Triumph on the Comic Book Price Guide

With thanks to Richard Sheaf

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.



Categories: British Comics, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, US Comics

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