In the 1930's, America was introduced to the idea of comic books. The first comic book was a collection of several comic strips. And soon after, many funny books came out. And, in June of 1938, Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, appeared on the stands.
Ah, what I would give to go back and buy Action Comics #1. Why would I buy that issue of all issues? Quite simple. Not only did it contain the first appearance of Superman, but it is now worth $180,500, yet it originally cost only ten cents.
Many people still wonder how Superman, a comic book created by two 18-year-olds, managed to become a media hit. Not only did it do great as a comic book, but also spun-off a radio series, a cartoon, a live-action television series, and all types of other doo-dads. And it's no wonder that soon after many more masked marvels appeared on the scene. From Batman to Wonder Woman to Namor the Submariner, these characters revolutionized an industry.
However, not everything is that simple. In the 1950's, Dr. Fredric Wertham published a book called Seduction of the Innocent proposing that comic book reading causes juvenile delinquency. In true McCarthy-era fashion, the U.S. Senate held hearings to investigate Wertham's claims. The Comics Code Authority was formed prohibiting any controversial comics. Because of this, comic books no longer were allowed to do whatever they wanted and some companies, such as EC Comics, were forced to shut-down. To this day the Comic Code Authority still governs comics, even if they do not have as much word as they used to.
There is one character who came about during the Golden Age who still diserves mentioning. Although he is no super-hero, Archie Andrews, who first appeared in Pep Comics #22 in 1941, is as well-known as Superman. In fact, it is believed that today, more people in the United States have read comics featuring Archie than Superman, since he and his friends are so popular with the girls.