When We First Met – The Fortress of Solitude and the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak
This is a series spotlighting the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic book lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of all the first appearances features so far! Check ‘em out!
Today, we look at the first appearance of Superman’s Fortress of Soltitude, the first time Sue Storm used an invisible force field and the first mention of the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak!
First Fortress of Solitude
The first we hear of any secret base for Superman is in 1942’s Superman #17, where we see Superman’s “Super-Citadel”…
The story was written by Jerry Siegel, with art by John Sikela. That issue also contains a story which is the first “Lois tries to prove Clark Kent is Superman” story ever (you can read about that one here).
Seven years later, in 1949’s Superman #58, we get our first mention of Superman’s polar “Fortress of Solitude”…
Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye did the art, although no one is exactly sure who wrote the script.
It would be nearly a decade before we actually SAW Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, and that was in 1958’s Action Comics #241, written by Jerry Coleman with art by Boring and Kaye…
“They’ll never guess I am not Clark Kent, because I have a room just for him. No presents, because I clearly despise Clark Kent, but still!” The rest of the story in Action Comics #241 is quite good (if strange), so I’ll likely spotlight it in a future I Love Ya But You’re Strange.
It is worth noting that the Superman books just outright lifted the idea of an arctic Fortress of Solitude from Doc Savage.
First Mention of Cyttorak
Reader Adam F. thought it was worthwhile to point out that Cyttorak (the deity that gives Juggernaut his powers) actually was first mentioned in Strange Tales #124 in 1964…
nearly a year before X-Men #12 shows us how Cain Marko became the Juggernaut…
That’s some mighty fine inter-connected continuity there, Stan Lee (who wrote both comics. The Doctor Strange story was drawn by Steve Ditko and George Roussos, while the X-Men story was Jack Kirby layouts then finished pencils by Alex Toth and inked by Vince Colletta).
First time the Invisible Girl used a force field
Reader Joe M. wanted to see the first time Sue used a force field. It happened in 1964’s Fantastic Four #22, the same issue that saw the first appearance of “It’s Clobbering Time”! Written by Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby and George Roussos
Feel free to send in ideas for other debuts that you’re curious about! Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org!