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Superman Without The Rose-Colored Reading Glasses

July 5th, 2006

Yesterday I cracked open the second volume in DC Comics’ Showcase Presents reprint series collecting the Silver Age adventures of Superman. This book covers the end of 1959 through May 1961.

As I have previously revealed, I am a dyed-in-the-wool Silver Age DC fan who was less than enthralled with the previous volume of old Superman stories. I’m a hundred pages into the new book, and I’m pleased to report that there’s much less reliance on Superman acting wildly out of character as part of an elaborate ruse.

Which is not to say that the stories aren’t bugfuck nuts.

Here, out of context (but honestly, the context wouldn’t make them any less ridiculous) are some of my favorite, laugh-out-loud bits of dialogue from those first 100 pages:

  • “Gentlemen, if there’s one man I can trust to enter the palace and not assassinate me, that man is Cosmic Man!”
  • “Faces! Faces rushing at me…with the speed of rockets! Faces! Faces!! Faces!!!
  • “I captured Superboy through his sheer dumbness!”
  • “That’s the best telepathic news I’ve heard yet!”
  • “You typed the story backwards! Who do you think you are, Mr. Mxyzptlk, the silly sprite from the 5th Dimension who goes back to his own world only if he says his name backwards?”
  • “That Lois burns me up! She’s not even looking at me…or my fake arm!”

And here’s one bit of dialogue that exemplifies what I love about old superhero comics: “The mermaid I love is mortally wounded…I’ve got to rush her back to Atlantis for medical treatment–and my path is now blocked by an atomic sea-monster on the rampage!”

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