Friday, November 6, 2015

That Time Superman Went to the 'Nam.

Okay, first... check out this awesome Joe Kubert cover:


Now before we get into this issue, please understand that I am not trying to be political or make any snarky comments about the Vietnam War or those who were affected by it.  I'm only commenting on the story.  Fair enough?

Obviously, we have an issue that was very topical back in 1969:

Fair enough.  It never made a whole lot of sense as to why Superman didn't go over to Europe and end WWII until they retconned an explanation in the pages of All-Star Squadron.  The previous explanation was that he didn't properly read the eye-chart because his X-Ray vision had inadvertently caused him to read the chart in the next room.  

Decades later, by the way, Roy Thomas came up with the notion that all the heavy-hitters in the DC Universe back in the day were prevented from entering the fray because Adolph Hitler had stolen the Spear of Destiny and it had magical powers that would put Superman and Co. under his thrall.  So, only the ones who didn't have the power to shatter a diamond planet with a swat of their hands were actually in the European Theater at the time.

More than you wanted to know?  Sorry.

Anyhoo, this was Clark's solution: 

But if you go as a soldier, I don't think you get to just come back when it's convenient.  Probably not a great idea, Clark!

Anyway, he passes the physical and indeed gets a commission as a medic.  And as you can tell by the cover, suddenly Superman's "I took a vow not to kill ever" gets pretty relaxed.

For example, Clark slips away and does this to help out his unit:

That's just property damage, but when you disable the weaponry of one side and not the other, you kinda do have a hand in what follows, and I'm pretty sure it's not going to end without casualties.  I appreciate that he "didn't like killing," but I think he's splitting hairs here.

But since he's Superman, he's limited to doing things that appear at first glance to do nothing more than reduce the fighting:

After all, how can you argue with a guy who simply destroys cannons so they aren't used to bomb an orphanage?

Anyway, Lois went along as well and gets a fever.  Superman is about to take her to a hospital, but Lois (being Lois) has a request:

Okay, ew.  Lois has a fever.  I know he's invulnerable, but still.

And then this happens:

Why are they singing that particular ditty?  I have no idea, and I read the entire comic.

We'll see how long Superman's tour of duty is when I read the next issue.

See you Monday!


maw maw said...

Kinda off topic, but is that John Costanza lettering? If so, it must be some of his earliest in the field.

Gene Phillips said...

What, no comments on "King Cong??"