- Superman (First appearance) (Origin)
- Supporting Characters:
- John Kent (First appearance) (Mentioned only)
- Mary Clark (First appearance) (Mentioned only)
- Lois Lane (First appearance)
- George Taylor (First appearance)
- Bea Carroll (First appearance)
As a distant planet is destroyed by old age, a scientist places his infant son in a space capsule and launches it toward Earth. The capsule is found by a passing motorist, who brings the baby to an orphanage, where the child astounds the attendants with his superhuman powers. The child, who is named Clark Kent, can jump over buildings, lift enormous weights, and run faster than a freight train. Furthermore, his skin is impenetrable. Realizing that he has powers far beyond normal humans, Clark dedicates himself to serve humanity as Superman, the champion of the oppressed.
Superman learns that an innocent woman named Evelyn Curry is to be executed for murder. He captures the real murderess, and delivers her, bound and gagged, to the governor’s mansion. He breaks through the door to confront the governor, and convinces him to call off the execution at the last minute.
At the Daily Star, where Clark works as a reporter, he’s given the assignment to cover the stories about a man with amazing strength named Superman. He hears a tip about a wife-beating, and rushes off to cover it — then changes into Superman, and stops the man before he kills his wife.
Returning to the Daily Star, Superman asks fellow reporter Lois Lane out on a date; she accepts out of pity. A thug named Butch tries to cut in while Clark and Lois are dancing. To protect his secret identity, Clark pretends to be a cowardly weakling. Convinced that Clark is a spineless worm, Lois slaps Butch and walks out. Enraged, Butch and his friends leave the club and take Lois prisoner. Superman spots them and gives chase, smashing the car with his bare hands. He picks Lois up into his arms and carries her to safety. She’s astonished, and the next morning, she tells her editor about her experience with Superman — although she’s even more cold to Clark than before.
Clark is given an assignment to go to San Monte, a war-torn South American republic. First, he goes to Washington, D.C., where he spies a slick lobbyist, Alex Greer, trying to convince Senator Barrows to involve the US in a war with Europe. Superman grabs Greer, and demands to know who he’s working for. Greer refuses to talk, so Superman jumps up to the top of the Capitol building, and threatens to smash Greer to the ground.