In June 1938, a new comic book hit newsstands and dime stores, capturing the imagination of American children nearly instantaneously. What merited such attention? The first issue of Action Comics established the superhero genre with the creation of Superman, an archetypal comic hero for the ages. The brainchild of writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, the Man of Steel quickly became a cultural icon. The flood of Superman merchandise that followed the success of Action Comics included everything from brightly colored miniature statues to superhero rings. Seemingly overnight, the powerful superhero had become cultural phenomenon.