If 25¢ Is Too Much

SUPERMAN 10¢ ADVENTURE #1, DC Comics, March 2003
In 1999, I stopped buying comics to invest in a new hobby: Paying off my fucking student loan (born 1/09/89, died 1/09/06). I dropped everything, cold turkey. By 2003, I started buying a few trade paperbacks here and there, so I was getting all those free comics in my load. And while Marvel was dishing out their introductory comics at 25¢, DC made sure comic book stores DIDN'T actually sell them by offering them at 10¢. That's a 3¢ profit margin for stores. You have to be a really cheap asshole to charge a kid the 10 pennies.

This is the first issue of Superman I've read in years (having dropped the books a bit before the whole Electric Superman plot), but the 10¢ adventure is supposed to catch me up, right? Well, I'd heard about President "can't do worse" Luthor, so my first "what the hell" moment is that Metropolis has been turned into a futuristic city, and its penitentiary is floating in orbit. Don't know how that happened, but it's got to be more involved than that time the movie version of Gotham was sitting behind all the modern buildings, and all it took was some guy to blow the glass towers up to change the cityscape.
As an introduction to the current run of Superman, I guess I would have liked to have that explained instead of learning about Superman's powers.
Heat Vision. Super Hearing. No shit, Sherlock. If there are people who don't know Superman's powers by now, it's not a matter of not knowing which one he has, but which ones he doesn't. Thanks to the Superman movies, I'm sure there are legions of noobs who think he can turn back time, shoot telekinetic beams from his eyes, and survive losing the spotlight to Richard Pryor. Sorry folks, he can't do any of those things. But heat vision and super hearing? Everybody knows. Don't use captions to say it, just make your artist draw it more clearly. (Not that I can fault McDaniel's Frank-Milleresque cover, it's fab!)

Story? Yeah, there's a story. It concerns an immigrant with poofy sleeves who's angry at Superman because he got his visa before him (I guess) and who can shockwave him to the moon. He's also got unerring accuracy, because he throws Supes to Armstrong's landing site. Superman's less focused, because he can't avoid hitting a satellite on his return trip. And here I thought space was too big for that to happen...
That's a mite unnecessary, isn't it? And it goes on from there. Perry finds Clark's unused passport. Superman swings a giant train around. A new Supergirl is born. Lois gets a giant cup of coffee heated. It's the kind of slam-bang action that only works if you use sound effects like TEKT, CHOOM, WHA-BOOM and K-SMASH, not to mention BASSSH, SLAMM, SHINKKD, SHRAMM and SPLOOSH. In under 2 pages.

5 comments:

Austin Gorton said...

Speaking of Superman turning back time, I recently watched the Richard Donner cut of Superman II. Many were the improvements (more Jor-El, less plastic-y S-shield weapon thing).

Now, it's been a few years since I saw the original version of Superman II, but I seem to recall that he didn't turn back time in that one, leaving that particular trick to the first movie.

But in the Richard Donner cut, he spins the world around, reversing time, AGAIN. What does this "ability" have on Richard Donner?

Siskoid said...

By the fourth movie, the power's become more focused. He shoots beams from his eyes that turn back time on a local level.

Unless it really is TK Vision.

In other words "he's Superman, he can do anything".

De said...

Turning back time was originally supposed to happen in the second film. This site has a ton of details about the problems involved in production.

Unknown said...

Oh yeah, I forgot about that particular Supergirl. Thanks for reminding me ... I think.

LiamKav said...

"But in the Richard Donner cut, he spins the world around, reversing time, AGAIN. What does this "ability" have on Richard Donner?"

As stupid as that is in terms of repeating the story, it's also the most sensible thing for him to do. If you had the ability to rewind time, well, he should be using it all the bloody time. Meet a villian, have a fight, beat him, reverse time and then lay a trap for the villian, rinse and repeat.

 

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