10 Comic Books That Made A HUGE Impact In The Real World

1. The Birth Of A Genre - Action Comics #1

Crime SuspenStories #22
DC Comics

Action Comics #1 was published in mid-1938 and sold for a dime. The 64-page comic featured the first appearances of not only Superman but Zatara the Magician and whip-wielding Tex Thompson, who would later take the hero name Mr. America. The comic reached its 1000th issue in 2018. Action Comics # 1 is also the most valuable comic book in the world. On August 24, 2014, a copy graded 9.0 by the Certified Guaranty Company was sold on eBay for $3,207,852 USD.

The Superman in Action Comics #1 isn’t the “Big Blue Boy Scout” or even the defender of “Truth, Justice and the American Way” that would come later. For one, he wasn’t nearly as powerful as he would later be. He couldn’t fly. Superman instead jumped long distances with his powerful legs. And he fought, like most of the heroes of the time, for social justice causes. This not-yet “Man of Steel” battled a wife-beater, corrupt politicians, and gangsters.

Action Comics #1 is widely considered to be the beginning of the superhero genre. The sales of the issue were so significant that publishers looked at Superman and told their creative staff to “bring me one of those”. What resulted was a plethora of characters of varying degrees of quality filling the shelves of newsstands, and more publishers came into the business creating an eventual glut and collapse.


John Wilson has been a comic book and pop culture fan his entire life. He has written for a number of websites on the subject over the years and is especially pleased to be at WhatCulture. John has written two comic books for Last Ember Press Studio and has recently self-published a children's book called "Blue." When not spending far too much time on the internet, John spends time with his lovely wife, Kim, their goofy dog, Tesla, and two very spoiled cats.