First appearance of Lex Luthor
I don’t believe there is currently any real debate regarding the first appearance of Lex Luthor in DC Comics. However, I’d like to see how collectors feel about it as some evidence points to another possibility. Vote based on how you feel the rules of first appearances should work.
Before I go on, this is not a debate about cameos versus full firsts. Both issues in question contain multiple pages of the character with color images, speaking and named.
This is the most widely listed information in the market:
|Action Comics #23
1st appearance of Lex Luthor
2nd appearance of Lex Luthor
Numerous online sources claim that Action Comics #23 is the first appearance of Lex Luthor including CGC and CBCS. The only source I can find that states otherwise is Comic Vine. Comic Vine states that it's Superman #4.
Here are my findings:
- Action Comics #23 has a cover date of April 1940 (shelf date Feb 22, 1940)
- Superman #4 has a cover date of Spring 1940 (shelf date Feb 15, 1940)
The Grand Comics Database lists the following:
Action Comics #23 – The on-sale date (1940-02-23 listed on the webpage) is the publication date reported in the U. S. Copyright Office filing in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 2, Periodicals, New Series, Volume 35, 1940, Number 2. Second class permit. Copyright number 449540. The filing states that Detective Comics, Inc. is the publisher and copyright holder.
Superman #4 – The publication date of January 23, 1940 was reported in the U. S. Copyright Office filing in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 2, Periodicals, New Series, Volume 35, 1940, Number 2. Second class permit. Copyright number 452451. (However, a house ad in Action Comics DC 1938 series #22 states the issue would be on sale on February 15, 1940.)
Superman #4 hit the shelves at least a week earlier although the events take place after Action Comics #23. If Superman #4 was on the shelf before Action Comics #23 should it be considered the first appearance of Lex Luthor?
Let your votes decide!