Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Superman... Falling Faster than a Speeding Bullet!

I'm in the second issue of Superman, and it's going to be hard to tell exactly when we have the "first time" landmarks like heat vision, super breath, etc. because Action Comics was being published simultaneously and I'm not interested enough in Superham history to figure out which came first.

That being said, he's not flying yet.

This creates a couple of interesting situations.

Like accuracy:

And more importantly:

See?  Even if he gets you, he can only resist gravity for so long, so you're gonna hit the ground.  I appreciate that he "took the brunt of the shock" there, but it still looks like that was an awful landing for that guy.

And then this happened:

Okay.  That's fine.

That dropping pose looks okay.  I can live with that.

But then...

Hmmmm... not exactly the most majestic nabbing of a bad guy you'll ever see, but okay.  I guess.

And then this happened:

In the previous panel, Superham was behind the guy.  That means the above panel was after Superham crawled around the guy to hold him that way.  Can you imagine how silly that looked?  And the poor guy is so freaked out he's actually holding Superham because... well, what else do you do?

Anyway, there's a dignity problem there for the Man of Steel, so I would imagine we'll be seeing flying soon.

But what I really want to show you is this: 

Okay, Supes and this guy were having a verbal argument.  Supes got a little physical with him, but nothing awful.  Although, if push came to shove, Supes was clearly the aggressor and the guy in the jaunty purple plaid blazer was the victim.  The cop is clearly just investigating a minor skirmish.

And then proceeds to gun this guy down:

I'm not trying to "lawyerball" this blog, but exactly what justified the use of deadly force there?  Not a thing.  I'm just saying, you need to behave yourself in Metropolis, because they're not clowning around.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Scientific Explanation of Superman's Amazing Strength! Sorta. For Now.

I know you can't enjoy a comic without having a plausible scientific explanation for superpowers and whatnot, so here's some 'splaining from Superman #1!:

What I find really interesting about this is that they used the concept of evolution.  They weren't created making these fantastic leaps and such.  Nope.  They evolved.

My fundamentalist parents would have pooped watermelons if they'd seen that.

And frankly, it makes no sense.  It's one thing if my muscles compensate for Earth's gravity, so I'm able to jump around on some other planet like that.  But why would my species evolve an ability not just to survive the gravity, but make huge leaps on Krypton itself?  That makes no sense.  I'm sorry if I'm coming across like Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, but that simply makes no sense.  

No wonder the changed it to the whole "yellow sun affects him differently" explanation.  It's outlandish but at least that follows it's own made-up logic.

Moving on, it appears that Lois Lane wasn't the only terrible woman in Metropolis:

Hmmmm... I'm starting to think Mary didn't like Tommy Burke for his fabulous taste in sports jackets.

Here's another couple of funnies from Wayne Sallee!:

I want to know who won that contest and what their parents' reaction was when a pony showed up on their front porch.

And here's a head-scratcher:

I didn't do the math, but if they were that specific, I'm prepared to guess you had coupons worth $3.37 in that comic.  I could be a rube and falling for a con, but I just can't help but think that if they went to the trouble to do the math, it's probably a safe bet.  Although I guess wouldn't have been much trouble if you have one coupon for three bucks and another for thirty-seven cents.  But that's just me being cynical.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, June 26, 2015

In Which I Develop a New Respect for the Black Rat

Let's take a Bulletman break, courtesy of Bulletman #6!

I guess it was decided the Bullet had enough of a rogues gallery that we could see them teaming up.  So, the Revenge Syndicate was born:

The Black Rat and the Murder Prophet were covered in previous posts.  The third guy, the Weeper, had given the Bullets some grief over in Master Comics, which I don't think I have access to.  So, if you know of anyone who has any issues of Master Comics, please send them my way because I loves me some Captain Marvel Jr.

Anyway, the Weeper was arguably the most entertaining:

You see, the Weeper was sad all the time.  Even when he was successful, he saw the down side of it.  But he was a true "misery loves company" kind of guy, because he wouldn't put up with anyone else being happy, either.  The guy just hated happiness.  He kind of reminds me of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.

Here was an interesting side of the Black Rat:

You know, I would have expected the guy to just say something along the lines of "Awesome!  More money for me!"  But he actually saves his allies.  I'm not saying that makes him a great guy, but I don't see Victor von Doom doing that very often.  Basically, if you were under a car at the bottom of the river, Vic decided you were too useless to live.


I know what you're thinking from what he just said: The Black Rat is going to keep them around as long as he has use for him, but then he's going to bump them off.  The thing is, he doesn't.  We don't see so much as a single thought balloon that the guy has any intentions of betraying his alliance.  That kind of honor is downright strange among bad guys in comics.

This tickled me:

See?  I'm actually taking a shine to the Black Rat.  I didn't see that coming.

Anyway, this version of the Weeper isn't the Weeper I first knew about from Justice League of America #136 (volume 1) or this issue of The Joker:

And no, it isn't because the Weeper was originally a Fawcett character.  Nope.  In fact, the original Weeper returned in an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold in 2011:

Because Batman: The Brave and the Bold was all kinds of awesome.

So, what happened?  Well, you can look it up, but I'll reveal all when we get around to the original Weeper's final comic book appearance in Bulletman #10 in the next couple of weeks.

Longtime reader pal Wayne Sallee has sent a few choice panels we'll be looking at over the next few days.  Here's some Fun with Out of Context Dialogue (tm!) from what I believe is a Silver Age Captain Atom comic:

"Weirdo" is a term, you didn't see a lot in comics.  The trick now is that the next time you give a toddler a juice box, you're going to have resist the urge to say, "Let's see how you like juice, weirdo!"  I'm not at all sure I can do that.

Let's finish things up with another installment of Well... Touche! (tm!) taken from today's ish of Bulletman:

Well.... Touche! (tm!)

See you Monday!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Superman Heroically Fights the Guy in a Green Bathrobe and Red Polka-Dotted Nightcap

I'm still going through the first issue of Superman.  And bear with me, because it's a biggun.

Superman had a bit more 'tude in the early years.  It lent itself to several moments of

Well.... Touche! (tm!)

For instance:

Well.... Touche! (tm!)

Well.... Touche! (tm!)

Well.... Touche! (tm!)

Notice how Superman doesn't have the red boots on?  Unlike the occasionally disappearing cape or trunks, I think this was deliberate, because it carries over into other stories.

Here's a moment from Superman's early days he'd probably like you to forget:

Yup.  There was no such thing as Kryptonite back in the day, so what you saw there was Superman getting pushed off a boat by a couple of goons.  Yes.  That happened.

EDIT:  So, was Superman simply clumsy and fell off the boat, or was he pushed?  In my original post, I didn't include this panel:

So, were the thugs simply boasting, or was Superman actually shoved overboard in between panels?  I guess he could have been shoved and then "braced himself" against the rail.  Perhaps we'll never know.  We can only agree that one way or another, Supes landed unceremoniously in the drink. 

I also like Superman's attitude towards Lois:

That's right, Clark!  Keep her guessing!

That was probably in response to Lois's terrible attitude problem with Clark when he was in his secret ID.  I can't say I'd be above it, either.  Make me a sandwich, Lois, and perhaps I'll save you the next time you place your life in danger.  Yeah.  That would be me.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Superman and the Phallic Shaped Baby-Carrying Rocket from Another Planet

So, whilst I try to figure out our next big-name focus of CMNS, let's take a look at Superman's solo title.  The first story was reprinted from Action Comics #1, but the origin changed a bit:

As we saw in Action Comics #1, we were a bit hazy on who raised infant Clark.  But now, it turns out the Kents went right back to the orphanage where they had dumped him in the first place and decided they wanted to go all takesies-backsies.  I can't swear to it, but considering the first issue of the Superman solo book came out a year after the first issue of Action, I think we have one of the earliest and quickest examples of ret-conning an origin. 

It was an improvement to have the Kents raise Clark, and it certainly added some depth to the character.  

But he still wasn't quite invulnerable:

That scene always struck me as stupid.  Are you trying to keep your powers a secret or not?  Don't encourage the doctor to break more needles on your skin!

Anyway, I never really knew why Clark decided to be a reporter: 

That also makes a certain amount of sense.  It's not like they had police scanners back then.  And they didn't.  I looked it up.

Still no flying:

And this created logistical problems for Supes that we wouldn't see for long:

I guess at one point someone just said, "Can we just have the guy fly and be done with it?"

We'll take more of a looksee tomorrow, hepcats!  See you then!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Why Is Crime Like a Bottle of Olives?

You may have noticed on yesterday's cover that there was reference to "The Riddles of Dr. Riddle."  Well, consider this riddle:

Hmmmmm... a bad guy who leaves clues about the crimes he's going to commit in the form of a riddle?  Who does that remind you of?

Even non-comic book nerdlingers know the answer to that one: The Riddler, Batman's old foe.  

But there's a twist to this riddle:  Dr. Riddle came about first.  By a few years.

How about that?

Dr. Riddle also stands out in that he's one of the few Bulletman foes who didn't slap Bulletgirl silly.  But, to be fair, he never got close enough to her to do it.

Not like the Murder Prophet!:

Yeah, it is a pleasure to smack Bulletgirl.  I'm not so much with you on the murdering thing, but we have some common ground on the whole "smacking Bulletgirl" thing.

Of course, you can do that sort of thing to Bulletman:

And we all know I love it when people say, "AIEEEEE!"

But then along comes Grover Dill.  Google that.  You'll find the comparison hilarious, I assure you.

Wait for it... wait for it...

Well.... Touche! (tm!)

Ain't that the truth!

And then...

HA!  I stopped reading there and pretended Bulletman just flew away and let Bulletgirl take a dip in the boiling lead.  Let me have my happy ending, won't you?

See you tomorrow!