Wednesday, September 30, 2015

In Which We Remember the Time Superman Helped the President Trim Up a Few Fat Kids

For those of us who weren't around or cognizant at the time, we can only imagine how traumatic the assassination of President John Kennedy was to the nation.  This was acknowledged in the pages of Superman #168:

To continue the tribute, the story mentioned there was reprinted in Superman #170.  It was a nice thing to do, but the story was still ridiculous.  Here is a highlight:

Yes, a steam bath apparently takes weight off at the rate of about 10 pounds an hour.  Take that, makers of Slim-Fast!

And now, a CMNS Moment.... of Comic Book Greatness! (tm!)

This has been a CMNS Moment.... of Comic Book Greatness! (tm!)

And, lest we forget:

Superman without his powers gets beaten up a lot.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

In Which Superman Shows No Regard for the Laws of Other Lands

Troubling questions abound in Superman #168:

Yes, these people groove on Luthor.  And, as we've seen, Luthor loves 'em right back... even to the point of sacrificing his freedom strictly for their benefit.

The point is, there is no one on Lexor who doesn't think Luthor is a great guy.  He has broken no laws, and those people have taken him in as one of their own.

None of which means a pile of pecan pancakes to Superman:

You know, I'm pretty sure this world has no extradition treaty with the United States.  Superman is basically attempting a kidnapping here.

Yeah.  Seriously, Superman... I'm pretty sure you don't have jurisdiction here.  Luthor has broken no laws on this planet and they don't want you touching a hair on his head, figuratively speaking.

I'm not saying these people are particularly bright:

No, they can't tell a statue from a living person. But that's not the point.

You remember yesterday how I was wondering about why effective inventions are never used again?  Add this one to the list:

Yeah, if Luthor really figured out a way to temporarily give himself super-powers, he should probably hit the old Random Ray Usage (tm!) before he goes and confronts Big Blue.  But I guess he's just so bloated with inventions that he has a "I will only use a device once, no matter how successful it is," policy.

Here was a house ad for the Silver Age Hawkman:

I really liked the Silver Age version of Hawkman.  I liked his use of ancient weapons.  But I'm pretty sure "Wheet Wheet!" wasn't a battle cry that worked too well for him.  I would have gone with "GOT A MACE FOR YOUR FACE!" or something to that effect.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Time Luthor Quantifiably Proved He is Tougher than Superman, Part Two.

I find myself with more questions than answers as I perused Superman #167.

First, and foremost....

Why in the world do prisons keep giving Luthor access to labs and workshops where he can get the materials to make these inventions?  It's not like this doesn't happen all the time.  This man will pull a Shawshank using nothing more than gum wrapper and an apple core. 

Ruh-roh.  Check it out:

You can call Sigmund Freud on me all you want.  We all know what that looks like.

This wasn't Brainiac's first appearance, but they certainly went a new direction with his origin:

Okay, first?  If you want him to be a human spy, consider making him some color other than green.  I'm not saying that the galaxy wasn't disproportionately filled with Caucasian-populated planets back in the Silver Age of Comics, but they should have at least gone with a color that humans actually are.  This is like building a.... well, I was going to come up with a metaphor, but this is really the penultimate example: It's like building a synthetic human being with artificial intelligence and making his skin green. 

So, why the change?  I think it was to avoid a lawsuit:

See? They turned the character into an ad for the Berkeley Enterprises product!  It's a clever way to avoid a trademark-infringement lawsuit.

Anyway, this is supposed to be a big secret:

I don't know why it would be such a big secret.  I mean, if you make Brainiac green, he's probably going to be met with a certain amount of suspicion.  People would probably be more receptive to him if they knew he was a living computer, because that's kinda cool.

Random Gas Usage! (tm!)

If he perfected that gas, I'm not sure why Luthor doesn't use it every time he runs across Superman.  I mean, if I were fighting Superman, that would be my first form of attack.

So, what happens when Superman doesn't have the advantage of incredible powers?  He gets his ass kicked by Luthor.  Again:

And he gets beaten up by the computer, too:

Random Ray Usage! (tm!)

Random Ray Usage Again! (tm!)

Just like with Luthor's gas, the coma ray works like a charm.  It actually takes the people of Kandor defeating Brainiac and coercing him into reversing the process to set things right:

So, once again... Why doesn't Brainiac use that coma ray all the time?

Seriously, geniuses.  You have two things that totally work against Superham, neither of which depends on Kryptonite or magic.  But I don't think we ever see either of these devices again.  Either they are terrible at being evil geniuses, or I am surprisingly good at it.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Superman vs. Wonder-Man. Prepare for Disappointment.

Let's finish up the week with a few random Super-musings!

I'd give it to Luthor on that one.  It really doesn't matter what size Superman is if he still has his powers.  That's like saying I deserve your lottery winnings if I hold the door open for you at the convenience store when you buy it.

Next case!

Hey!  Recycled Names! (tm!)

Yup!  Hyphen notwithstanding, there was a Wonder Man who would debut in the October, 1964 ish of The Avengers.  The date of this issue?  February of that same year.  Coincidence?

While we ponder the conspiracy, let's check out some highlights from that issue: 

I'm going to use, "Go scratch yourself," as a way of telling jive turkeys to step off.

That was possibly the single greatest conversation ever.

See you Monday!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Superman vs. a Mob of Monsters... including a Giant Ape! YEAH!

Yet another imaginary story from Superman #166.  Basically, it's gonna be magic, Kryptonite or imaginary.  That's how Superman comics work.

I don't know that Superman is being very honest.  I mean, if you have one kid that can fly and one can't... are you really going to love them both equally?  You can either spend your time with the flying kid or the one with poor grammar who throws tantrums.  This ain't exactly Sophie's Choice.

And that was the theme of the issue, but it turned into a "let the artist draw weird creatures" festival.  Thusly:

Not that I'm complaining.  Funky creatures are generally the most interesting thing in a Superman story and... well, giant apes are awesome.  Always.

Hey!  It's time for some Random Ray Usage! (tm!)

Followed up by a new thing we had to call:

Random Gas Usage! (tm!)

Random Gas Usage (tm!) is normally followed by something along the lines of "Gas! Choke!"  But dogs don't talk.  Unless they're hit with some Random Ray Usage (tm!) that would allow for that.

See you tomorrow!