Tuesday 14 January 2014

Superman comics I have owned. Part One: Superman itself.

I believe I've mentioned before the curious contradiction that I always thought I was never that interested in Superman as a child but have since come to realise I had more original American comics featuring him than any other super-hero.

Admittedly this could be because his greater fame meant his comics were easier to find in perfidious Albion than other American comics but, having said that, it's not like anyone forced me to take them from the racks.

In retrospect, I was showing remarkable taste for one so young because, while they might not have been the most knuckle-whitening tales you'd ever encounter, they do have a certain winning charm to them - and pleasing artwork by Curt Swan.

There's really not a lot of point reviewing them individually because, frankly, you could write pretty much the same review for every issue of Superman from the era in question. Therefore I shall post the covers of the ones I had, and try to recall what I can of them.

Superman #271, Brainiac

Someone's causing trouble for Metropolis. But who can it be?

In fact it's Brainiac, who shows his huge intelligence by falling for a trick that makes you wonder if he's quite the genius he keeps telling us he is.

This tale has always slightly baffled me as, all through their fight, Brainiac keeps taunting Superman with strange jibes which I suspect are meant to have a meaning. But the only one I can recall ever understanding is the one where he refers to Superman as being a county in England. I can only assume he means Kent.

Quite what his other jibes in the tale are referring to is anyone's guess.
Superman #272, 100 page magic issue

It's one of my childhood faves.

How could it not be? It's one hundred pages and devoted to magic.

I seem to recall Saturn Girl being involved in the main story and Superman having to have her pet Proty stuck to his face in order to fool Circe, which seems a rather unpleasant fate to some of us.
Superman #273, the Wizard with the Golden Eye

There's a new hero in town, so who needs Superman anymore?

It turns out Metropolis does, as his rival's powers leave behind a wake of pollution, forcing a light-speed chase through the cosmos for the pair of them.
Superman #274, Protectors of Earth, Inc

A scientist creates a device that can destroy the Earth if it's not kept perfectly still at all times - and for some reason Superman actually helps him with it!

I will say that something happens to Superman in this tale that stretches all credulity - not to mention the man of steel - and how he gets up and walks away from it afterwards is beyond me. I mean, I know he's Superman but he's not Mr Fantastic.
Superman #276, Captain Thunder/Marvel

Who'd win a fight between Superman and Captain Marvel?

Obviously Superman would but, here, we get the first clash between the two - sort of - as our hero finds himself up against Captain Thunder, hero from another dimension, turned evil and gagging for a fight.
Superman #280, Duel of the Diamond Demons

I've not read this for a while but I seem to recall that ever-annoying sportscaster Steve Lombard turns into a diamond monster and decides he's going to give Superman a slap.
Superman #282

I recognise the cover but have no memory at all of the contents.
Superman #283, The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street? That title rings a bell from somewhere.

After someone threatens to rumble his secret identity, Superman adopts a new one in a tale that's clearly at least partially inspired by the conspiracy theories about the moon landings.


Unknown said...

It was hose great Nick Cardy covers that got me to pick up Superman comics way past the age most kids moved onto horror or Marvel comics as they always looked really exciting no mater the subject matter, but s you say sadly the stories were generally pretty lame - Like yourself I probably picked up more Superman related comics (Superman, Action, Worlds Finest etc) than any other character as a kid but th ebig guy was cool in his day. Mcscotty

Dougie said...

As an obsessive chronicler of the Adult Legion of Super-Heroes, I feel I must point out that it was Saturn Woman in the Circe story.

For years I wondered if Chameleon Boy had bequeathed Proty to her as a dying act (choke!). What tragic circumstances led to the thought-caster from Titan now being the mistress of a sentient blob of sputum?
Probably a poor memory on the part of the scripter,