Monday, April 09, 2007

Showcase Presents Superman Vol. 1 (Part 2)

Continuing the trip through Silver Age (although, is 1958-59 Silver Age?) goodness. I've read the first 176 pages. Here are some highlights:

* People from the 50th century control Superman in an effort to have him gather various artifacts from around the solar system for a time capsule that won't be opened until then. The places where he gets them from spell out SUPERMAN. Except Superman can't tell anyone that the future people did it because he's worried about seeming arrogant--except everyone thinks he was faking and is an arrogant prick anyway.

* When Jimmy imagines Superman as president, Clark Kent is his VP--and then resigns because THERE'S NO POINT IN BEING THE VP TO A PRESIDENT WHO CAN'T GET SHOT. And Superman's plan for eliminating the deficit? Sunken treasure. That's until Jimmy wakes up and Clark's all "HA! Superman's an alien and can't be president, you stupid punk!" But Clark Kent would be--"Not that he'd ever think to, though!"

* Superman had superpowers on Earth because it has lower gravity than Krypton, not the yellow sun.

* In a 3-part story, Jimmy gets an ancient token that grants three wishes every century if its jewel is rubbed under a full moon. His first wish? A Super-Girl for Superman. Take THAT, Lois Lane! Except this Super-Girl just gets in the way and exposes his secret identity. Thus, she must die. And she does. AND NO ONE CARES. Because Superman is so worried about protecting his secret identity that he proposes marriage to her as Clark Kent and she's all "PFT! Clark wouldn't propose to me if he were really Superman!"

* In the second story, the token is stolen and some criminals wish Superman's powers away and he gets Jimmy to help him fake it, including one scene where Jimmy manages to hold up Superman using a long piece of transparent plastic to make it look like he's flying in a parade. Apparently, Jimmy Olsen is one motherfucking strong dude. And they catch the crooks and Superman gets his powers back.

* The third story has Jimmy wish that Superman could meet his real parents, except he wants to surprise Supes, so he just types out the wish. Except he later discovers that there's a typo: he wrote "mate" instead of "meet." Cue the porn music. Sadly, all it means is that Ghost-Superman is sent back to before his parents were married and instead have been arrested for joining a radical political party beant on overthrowing the government. But wait! Jor-El is a secret agent but doesn't have any proof he is and the only person who knows DIED THAT MORNING! So, they get shot off into space and Superman is made real and they fight against the evil guy who ran the political group--and they've all got superpowers since they're no longer under Krypton's gravity. It looks like it will be a stalemate until Superman tricks the evil guy into accidentally making Kryptonite--since apparently, nuclear explosions are Earth science and Kryptonians don't know about that sort of thing being an advanced society in every conceivable way. And then Superman comes back home, having never mated with his parents. Damn token didn't do the job right.

* Superman gets turned into a lion by a descendent of Circe and Lois takes him to go see "Beauty and the Beast" because she's a fucking bitch.

* Superman gets wounded by a magic sword and everyone makes fun of him for being such a pussy.

* When Superman and Lois get stranded on an island that is then surrounded completely by Kryptonite particles, he shrugs and goes "Ah, what the fuck, if I'm going to be here for a few years, I may as well get me some" and asks Lois to marry him. But, right after he reveals his secret identity and sets up the marriage with the chief of the local tribe, there's an earthquake or something that gets rid of the Kryptonite, so he makes it look like Clark Kent tricked her into agreeing to marry him and then chickened out. And then Lois filled in all of the holes in THAT logic because she's so crazy over Superman, it never occurred to her that he's a lying bastard.

* Some alien crash in the ocean and plan to take over the world by killing everyone since they can only breathe under waster, so Superman stays with them, pretending to be in love with the woman alien. Everyone on the surface gets worried, so they try to capture Superman and, at one point, Superman evades capture by letting out crude oil from a sunken tanker to block their view. The moral of the story? SUPERMAN HATES SEALS.

* A "renegade scientist" (coolest job ever) escapes from the Bottle City of Whatever after Lois cracks the bottle and uses Superman's electronic plastic surgeon to make himself look like Superman. So, Lois quizzes the two Supermen on something and when one answers wrong, she shrinks him and put him in the bottle--except the real Superman is the one that answered wrong--ON PURPOSE. See, he wanted to avoid a fight, but then realises once in the bottle that he doesn't know how to get out. But, no worries because the fake Superman does everything the real Superman would do because he likes the fame and adoration of everyone--and this way, he can bang Lois. Except after they're married, Lois wants to know his secret identity finally AND HE DOESN'T KNOW! But, no worries because the real Superman has escaped and the fake one tries to escape by dressing up in regular clothes and glasses and Superman catches him right away because he looks just like Clark Kent. It ends with no one going "Hey, wait, if Superman knew that was the fake and he looked just like Clark Kent, that means--" Seriously, Lois Lane is the shittiest gal reporter ever.

* That story ends with the best panel ever.


CLARK (with a total "you're a dumb bitch, you know that?" look on his face): ER...HOW WOULD I KNOW, LOIS?


* Lois has a dream after she mistakenly thinks she's getting a blood transfusion from Superman where she has superpowers and instead of dreaming of team-ups and marriage with Superman, she dreams that Clark gets injured and she gives him superpowers through a blood transfusion. Clark then proceeds to be a shitty superhero and she nags him throughout for being such an idiot. See, she claims to love Superman, but this dream clearly proves she really wants to marry Clark and boss him around since she's a strong woman and doesn't really want to be subordinate to Superman. Strangely feminist story, in a way.

* Clark Kent once beat a lie detector test in college when asked if he was Superboy because it was then that he began thinking of himself as Superman. LYING BASTARD.

* The last story I read was the one where Superman can make a tiny Superman-like creature shoot out of his hands and do his bidding. Except, he then gets jealous of it until it dies saving him from Kryptonite. Grant Morrison mentioned this story once or twice in interviews for All-Star Superman as some sort of genius story. All I learned is that when criminals see miniature versions of Superman, they're so freaked out that they immediately give up. That's really weird.

To be continued . . .