The July 1942 cover to Startling Stories, one of the few pulps I actually own, offers an interesting image of a giant toting around the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.
Now in the real world, you can’t just lug a building around like that — it would crumble in his hands — and I’m sure that the Statue of Liberty’s skeleton wouldn’t take that kind of abuse. Such feats are just impossible, but it’s the kind of thing that you see in comic books and cartoons all the time.
Superman, in particular, was known for similar physics-defying activities such as lifting battleships from the water and shoving planets out of his way.
These actions bothered comic-book fans and creators enough that some came up with a theory that Superman had a subtle, little known power that worked in conjuction with his super strength: When he activated his superstrength on an object, he surrounded it with a meager “force field” that allowed the object to retain its structural integrity.
I guess the New York Giant above has the same ability!
You can buy this cover as a poster at this Web site: http://www.rainfall.com/posters/scifimag/26779.htm