While Clark Kent was changing into his Superman cape and adventuring around saving people, he had a second alter ego who was really into whips and chains. While the Superman comics sold like hotcakes, a second comic book was making the rounds called Nights of Horror. These books featured Superman and Lois Lane getting down and dirty. Joe Shuster, one half of the team who created Superman in the 1930s, lost the copyright to the characters and was receiving practically no money for his hit cartoon. He was super strapped for cash, so he started anonymously freelancing for the mob and took up illustrating these racy comics. Nights of Horror comics were sold under the counter at Times Square bookstores during the early 1950s.
Oh, it gets seedier. In 1954, a neo-Nazi Jewish teen group known called the Brooklyn Thrill Killers went on a murder spree, and many blamed Nights of Horror for being their inspiration. The magazine was deemed so inappropriate that the U.S. Supreme Court banned it. Keep reading »