Superman strip January 16 1939

The first Superman strip, January 16, 1939

Superman comic strips ran in newspapers from the 1930s through the 1960s, under the title Superman. Printed daily, they were the first stories to go into detail about the planet Krypton, expounding on Jor-El and Lara.

The first strip was published on January 16, 1939, with a separate Sunday strip added on November 5, 1939, running continuously until May 1966. At its peak, the strip appeared in over 300 daily newspapers and 90 Sunday papers, with a readership of over 20 million.


The Superman strips were published by McClure Syndicate over its 27 year run. During the National Comics Publications v. Fawcett Publications court case, the District Court ruled that McClure Syndicate failed to post the copyright notice on some strips, placing those strips in the public domain.


The daily strip was host to many storylines, unique from the regular Superman comic book titles. The strips contained the first appearance of a bald Lex Luthor, the first appearance of Mister Mxyzptlk and the first telephone booth costume change in comics. Other stories of note include Superman saving Santa Claus from the Nazis, WWII-era stories of Superman protecting the American home front and Clark Kent marrying Lois Lane (where they lived together for years without her figuring out that he's Superman).

Later Newspaper Strips

Lois Lane, Girl Reporter was a newspaper comic strip and topper to the Superman comic strip, featuring Superman's supporting character Lois Lane. The comic strips accompanied the Superman Sunday strip in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and originally ran irregular between October 24, 1943 to February 27, 1944. A total of twelve comic strips were produced.

Superman appeared in the newspapers again in 1978, with the newspaper strip The World's Greatest Superheroes, which lasted until 1985. Between these two comic strip series, Superman appeared in almost 12,000 unique newspaper strips.


Beginning in 2006, Sterling Publishing began reprinting the strips in book bound volumes.