DCAU #204: Maximum Effort!

IN THIS ONE... Bibbo tries to help Superman, mostly unsuccessfully.

CREDITS: Written by Mark Evanier; art by Rick Burchett and Terry Austin.

REVIEW: Finally, a Bibbo story! And told from his perspective, in his own voice, too! Well, in the first few pages, and nobody believes his tale of heroism. His bar friends know him too well to ever take his wild tales of being "Superman's Pal" seriously. He'll desperately try to turn them into reality through most of the issue, and despite all his bumbling, and making things worse, and getting into trouble, he'll reach his goal in the end. It's that kind of sweet story where Superman shows up at the end to shut the bullies up, with the amusing twist that yes, a rough-and-tumble dock worker like Bibbo gets essentially bullied. The comparison between Superman and Batman at which Bibbo bristles, that it's not very heroic to face danger when you're bulletproof, turns him into a very mortal hero even though he doesn't realize it, so earns that final moment. Superman's isn't a pity fly-by.

Evanier provides a fun script, with colorful expressions, and an unlikely hero, but also makes it about Clark Kent doing some legwork and proving, on his end, that Luthor is involved in an insurance scheme. The story therefore plays as a little more adult, despite the comedy stylings.

But the comedy is nevertheless where the story really sings, and we get such scenes as Clark Kent unable to open a jar, a cute bit that cements his non-Supermanness when Lois has no trouble. There's also the scene where Clark searches the archives at superspeed, shocking the clerk. Luthor's dead pan when he's caught. And Rick Burchett's art perfectly complements the tone of the story, with strong expressions and well-choreographed action. I think he may be becoming my favorite DCAU artist.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: Bibbo mentions the Atom, the first reference to this hero's existence in the DCAU. The armored crooks employed by Luthor hold a clue to their boss' identity in their color scheme; purple and green is the color of his pre-Crisis costume and battle armor). Of course, there's a lady at the insurance company who also wears those colors.

REREADABILITY: High - It took a long time for Bibbo to show his worth as a DCAU character, and I kind of wish it had been on TV. A great little tale.


Brendoon said...

I can't imagine why, but when super tales are on the funny side I can't resist 'em.


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