Saturday, October 29, 2011

Reign of the Supermen #374: Shrinking Superboy

Source: Superboy vol.1 #61 (1957)
Type: Transformation1950s comics often seemed like it was all about giant props, or perhaps, making the heroes tiny as they raced across giant typewriters. In "The Shrinking of Superboy", everything becomes a giant prop as the Boy of Steel starts to shrink!

It all begins when Professor Lang finds the space capsule from Doctor Who's "Fear Her". Behold:
Clark's microscopic vision sees little aliens inside, and these shoot a harmless beam at him. Later that day, Superboy realizes he's shorter than a life-size statue of himself! (Because 1950s, that's why.) Soon, he's the size of a midget, of a cat, and then of a toy. You know what else seems to have shrunk?
The Shakespearean canon. Damn you Roland Emerich! Anyway... Superboy is caught by Lana and has to make like he's a wind-up doll, and then fly home to give Clark Kent some cover. Lana can't see him because he's busy doing homework. Proof: You can hear the typewriter going up in his room. The real reason for this sequence is of course that all these stories MUST, by law, feature a giant typewriter.
Then there's a ridiculous sequence where Superboy hides from Lana in the middle of a dart board, and she decides to play a game and he has to deflect the darts with super-breath so that they don't shatter on his tiny body. Then he helps his Ma do some sewing. Then he stops a bullet from the gun of one of those Smallville hitmen. Punches a giant mosquito. And FINALLY, he's small enough to enter the alien spaceship. Twist: They don't want to fight him, they want his help. Seems like a meteor caused them to crash and they need super-powered repairs to get the rock out of their hull. This done, they fly off.
And Superboy keep the meteor as his smallest trophy yet, the size of a grain of sand. (Superman Museum officials in the 30th century tell me they hate this exhibit, which is both unpopular and hard to keep track of.)


Steve said...

The sheer insanity of those early comics never fails to amuse. Were Batman comics ever this strange in his early days?

Siskoid said...

Definitely. This is the era of zebra Batman and all those times he went to other planets.