Saturday, 18 January 2014

Superman comics I have owned. Part Three: The Miscellaneous Years.

At last the world can rejoice, as I reach the pulse-pounding climax of my latest feature where I ramble on cluelessly about the Superman comics I had as a child.

We've already had a look at Superman's own mag and Action Comics - but what about all those other comics I had that starred the Big Blue Cheese?

DC 100 page Spectacular DC-18, Superman
Superman gets his own 100 page spectacular, in possibly the hardest to find comic on the entire Grand Comics Database. Seriously, try to find it. See how long it takes you.

As for the comic, it's one of my faves, as we see Superman help America win The War, not by smashing up the Nazis but by typing fast and fixing an engine. Hitler must have been wetting himself.

Meanwhile, we also meet TNT - who fights crooks by throwing a child at them till he explodes - and The Golden Age Atom who's in the habit of using his observatory to look in through women's windows.

Highlight of the comic is of course the epic tale of Superman Red and Superman Blue.

You can read my review of this magnificently insane comic right here.
Superman Family #164, 100 pages, Jimmy Olsen


Straight after Jimmy Olsen's mag folded, DC launched Superman Family which, logically, started with issue #164.

None of the stories are masterpieces but we do do get to see Jim Mooney's Supergirl fight Brainiac.

You can read my review of this comic right here.

Superman vs The Amazing Spider-Man

It was the battle that had to happen!

Well, it wasn't really, as it made no sense at all for Marvel and DC's top heroes to meet each other.

Inevitably, Spider-Man got overshadowed by his partner.

More annoyingly, so did Doc Ock who was treated as little more than a dim-witted flunky to Lex Luthor.

You can read my review of this epic right here.

Jimmy Olsen #160, the Harpies

Jimmy Olsen finds himself in a castle full of harpies and sets out to sort them out without Superman's aid.

Needless to say, the self-declared, "Mr Action," ends up needing Superman's aid.

You can read my review of this issue right here.
Jimmy Olsen #163, Kublai Khan

I don't remember too much about this one. I'm pretty sure Jimmy finds himself in the court of Kublai Khan who thinks Jimmy's Marco Polo or something. There may have been a rhino involved. There might not have been.

This was the last issue of Jimmy Olsen before it transmogrified into the aforementioned Superman Family.
DC Giant Lois Lane #104

To be honest, I didn't own any issues of Lois Lane.

But my sister did - and that's good enough for me.

Although, the truth is I don't remember too much about them and found the Rose and the Thorn back-up strips far more compelling. This may have been purely because the Thorn wore thigh-length leather boots and Lois Lane didn't.

I think this is the issue where I discovered that Superman shaves by deflecting his super-heat vision off a mirror and back at his own face. I have shaved by using the same method ever since.
Lois Lane #112

I recall nothing of what happens within but who could forget the sight of Superman turning into a tree?

Nice to see Lois on the cover thinking only of herself and not of the actual victim of the catastrophe.
DC Giant Lois Lane #113

My main memory of this is the tale where a pink monster falls in love with Lois.

Wait till it sees how she reacts when it starts to turn into a tree. Then it'll see the error of its ways. Thigh-length boots! It needs a woman with thigh-length boots!

I seem to remember a  Supergirl story with the same premise as this one. I wonder if it was the same monster?
 Lois Lane #136, Wonder Woman

After all those years, Wonder Woman and Superman finally show some sense and get round to doing some super-canoodling with each other.

Sadly, it all turns out to be a trick to snare some villains.
Tomb of the Unknown Superman

This is the Tomb of the Unknown Superman.

I'm pretty sure the first Superman comic I ever owned was one I got from a jumble sale at my local community centre. It had no cover and all I can recall of it is that, at one point, Lois Lane hides in a piano. It was also the comic where I first encountered the word, "Invulnerable."

At the same jumble sale, I stuck my hand in a sawdust filled Lucky Dip and came out of it with an Ancient Briton style plastic brooch. I'm sure Tony Robinson's Time Team are green with envy.

But, Reader, if you know what that comic was, please let me know.
World's Finest #218, Capricorn

Batman and Superman team up to deal with would-be arch-criminal Capricorn, who ultimately escapes them by hiding in the sewers. Because they're made of lead, Superman can't spot him down there.

You'd have thought it might occur to him to think, "I can't see into those sewers, what with them being made of lead. As I can't see Capricorn anywhere else in the city, perhaps I should check inside them."

But it doesn't.

Nor does it occur to Batman either.

Nor the police.

10 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Apart from Superman vs. Spiderman I've never seen any of them, my local WH Smith's didn't sell DC comics until about 1982.

Steve W. said...

I don't remember ever seeing any in Smiths either. Markets were definitely the best place to find American comics in the 1970s.

Colin Jones said...

What a pity there weren't any specialist comics shops, on the rare occasion that I visit Forbidden Planet I'm overwhelmed by the bewildering number of U.S. comics, what a difference from the '70s when finding an imported Marvel comic (for me) was like finding Aladdin's cave! By the way this is my first comment since October so a belated Merry Christmas and happy new year,Steve!

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that Marvel and DC have not combined for more publications. I do recall there was a Superman-Fantastic Four book at one time. Some fans have called for a Wonder Woman-Invisible Woman fight.

Steve W. said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too, Colin. :)

Colin Jones said...

Marvel/DC crossovers were pointless gimmicks and totally illogical as the characters obviously lived in separate universes. Spiderman vs. Dennis the Menace would be just as plausible.

Comicsfan said...

On that Giant Lois Lane cover, it looks like Superman has--green blood? Or is she mourning a Vulcan? :)

Steve W. said...

His skin's green too. I suspect the presence of Green Kryptonite in it all.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, when Superman and other Kryptonian characters were suffering from exposure to Green Kryptonite, their skin turned green. I don't remember any mention of green blood, but then, comics back then usually did not depict bleeding (or any other really graphic violence). Re: shaving, I remember it being explained (in the 1960's) that Superman didn't have to, because his hair and nails did not grow in Earth's atmosphere.

Phil said...

I used to hate those Lois Lane comics. Now I miss them. They may have been dated but they always had nice art and were attempts to humanise Lois, Clark and Superman. Nowadays they're aren't even together and if they were I bet DC would kill Lois in the most gruesome way imaginable.

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