Welcome to the [Superman Fan Club] Event of the Year that started September 5th, 2023! DC Universe Infinite is releasing digital versions of Superman-related Silver Age comics week after week for a month and maybe two or three!!
Week 4: September 26 2023
Superman #126 (January 1959)
My Favorite Story from Superman #126 (1959)
- Superman’s Hunt for Clark Kent
- The Spell of the Shandu Clock
- The Two Faces of Superman
Adventure Comics #284 (June 1961)
My Favorite Story from Adventure Comics #284 (1961)
- Gravity Girl of Smallville
- Shame of the Bizarro Family
Please tell us why you chose that particular story per issue!
I’m beginning to think my life might be an Imaginary Tale or maybe a Tale of the Bizarro World with these coming out weekly continuing through October now LOL.
I really love these solid color backgrounds this time around!
Oh yeah, it’s BIZARRO time! I swear I could read these issues over and over and never get tired of them.
It’s hard to believe Lois and Superman would wind up married after years of playing mind games with each other (apologies to the late John Lennon, of course).
And if you thought that Bizarro story (a classic, by the way) was strange, here’s an episode of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In with a Superman related sketch at 7:21 with Patti Deutch as Super Mom!
I just have to do a follow up and say that Tales of the Bizarro World would make an awesome animated series. Maybe from the people behind Harley Quinn or My Adventures with Superman.
I also think that, if the Doom Patrol live action series had continued, wouldn’t it have been cool to see them mistakenly land on the Bizarro World? They could have a story in which Cliff and Jane would be punished by being made trash collectors. Of course, this being the Bizarro World, “trash” is stuff like diamonds, gold, silver, etc. So…"Trash collectors reporting for duty, sir!
There could be a montage showing Cliff and Jane gathering up the"trash " and putting it in bags to take back with them. Finally, a good Samaritan on the world would help the Doom Patrol with repairs to the time machine and they can all go back. But when Cliff and Jane check out their stash, they find it missing (the others don’t know what they have). It’s then revealed that the person helping make repairs was…a trash collector! As the time machine leaves, the others notice Jane looking out the portal. The final shot is an image of Jane with a tear in her eye. Cue the credits.
With Superman 126, I think I would put my favorite for Superman’s Hunt for Clark Kent. It took what’s kind of a been-there-done-that premise of “hero loses identity” and gives it a bit of an extra spin by having said hero create almost the same identity in an effort to find his old one.
The Two Faces of Superman was kind of interesting in that it seems to try to tell a moral about not being superficial in the most toxic, gaslighting way possible, in true Silver Age fashion. The funny thing about this story is the face that Superman gives himself…that has to be Alfred E. Neuman, right? Makes me wonder if DC already owned the rights to Mad Magazine already, or if they were just not afraid of being sued.
The Speel of Shandu Clock was easily the least interesting of the three, but I thought it was hilarious that Superman was so adamant about there being no such thing as the supernatural considering the DCU as it is now. It did make me wonder, and this issue came out in January 1959, and Brave & The Bold #28, aka the first Justice League story, came out in February 1960. So unless this iteration has met some supernatural staples of the DCU already, in a little over a year he’s going to get a lasso-wielding Amazon coming his way and disproving any such ideas in Superman’s brain.
With Adventure #284, I sent against the grain, it seems like, by going for Gravity Girl of Smallville, mostly because of the idea of Clark following Lana around to try to figure out her secret identity, while technically stalking and terrible, also kind of hilarious. Also, I’ve never really liked or cared for that many Bizarro stories in general.
From what I can see, DC Comics / National didn’t own Alfred E. Newman’s face until 1966, long after this comic was printed. My assumption is DC figured if the face didn’t look identical to Alfred’s, they could get away with it.
Concerning Bizarro World stories, I also have never been entertained for long with the weird backwards way they’re supposed to think and talk. But I’ve been curious to read these very first stories that they appeared in in the Silver Age. And there’s actually a few of these that i’ve enjoyed that were published digitally the past few months, especially the one where Jimmy Olsen from the real Superman universe of the time shows up on Bizzaro world.
I just remembered another thing that came to mind with reading these two issues.
Between “Superman’s Hunt for Clark Kent”, where Superman ends up with a secret identity close to his own despite having no memory, and the Bizarro story talking about Superboy having all this knowledge about his future self as Superman, it gives this interesting idea to me of determinism – like baby Kal-El was always meant to crash in the Kansas cornfields, become Superboy, Superman, etc… For all his being the most powerful man in the world, he can’t do anything to change his fate.
It was probably not even remotely what was in the creators’ minds as they did these stories, but it’s interesting to think about.