Fight Stupid with Stupid, Part Two

Bloggified by Jake on Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Previously on Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge:

  • Terra-Man escaped from prison by transporting the prison to the desert
  • Clark Kent got a guy fired just so he could leave work twenty seconds early
  • Terra-Man tricked Superman into believing he was kicking his own head in
  • Billy Anders was diagnosed as the first AIDS victim after his body completely lost the ability to heal itself
  • Terra-Man kidnapped Billy and his pet lynx, even though he only needed the lynx
Back in his invisible space ship, the "Western Wizard" hatches a plan to rob Superman of his superstrength for good. Placing Billy Anders's lynx inside a telepathicly shielded cage causes everyone to forget the lynx ever existed.Okay, where were we?
12. Invisible spaceship
13. Memory erasing forcefield

With Superman powerless--well, except for his heat vision, x-ray vision, telescopic vison, microscopic vision, ability to fly, invulnerability, superbreath, superspeed, superventriloquism, superhearing, superintellect, superphotographic memory, and anything else that's been mentioned over and over in the 35 years leading up to this issue--Terra-Man lures the Man of Steel to the desert for a showdown. Superman spots a dustdevil approaching with a person inside, but recognizes that the figure is too short to be Terra-Man.14. Dustdevil transportation
15. Shape shifting (or holographic disguises)
16. Proton-blasting shotgun that can be disguised as a crutch

Again, what the hell is up with Superman? Terra-Man greatest power is the ability to turn Superman into a complete idiot. Superman can fly around the world in half a second, yet he takes a nice slow approach, offering a good target to the kid who's been kidnapped by a man who made Superman himself believe his legs had been severed and were attacking him, would make a perfect decoy, just emerged from a mysterious mini-tornado of dust, has a dangerous look on his face, and is pointing his crutch threateningly. For that matter, in the time it takes to say "That can't be Bil--", Superman could dismantle that gun, destroy Terra-Man's hologram generator with heat vision, and fly to Gotham City to hit the clubs with Batman.

This is supposedly the off-the-scales Silver Age Superman who was so ridiculously overpowered that when an editorial mandate came down that he had to be toned down, the severe drop in power was illustrated when he stood at ground zero of a nuclear blast and was knocked unconscious for half an hour. So to put that into perspective, weak Superman takes a 40 megaton blast and is out for thirty minutes while strong Superman gets shot with an alien's shotgun and is out for several hours.17. Magic talking canteen communicators
18. Geological hollowing and escape proofing

Terra-Man explains that he has not only hollowed out the boulder determined to be one of the oldest on Earth and used as a centerpiece for a state park, but he has altered it with his alien technology to counteract any of Superman's various powers, making it escape proof. The only way out is for Superman to use his superstrength.

Why leave that option open? Sure, he assumes Superman will never remember the lynx as long as it remains in its telepathic cage, but why take the risk? As long as Superman is out cold and you're going to take the time to make the rock superbreath and heat vision proof, why not reinforce it a little too? Think how much more entertaining it would be to watch Superman run through his entire repertoire of powers, coming up snake eyes every time, then struggle to find the "trigger-image" to bring back his strength, then finally find that image and regain his strength only to find he can't break out of the rock any way.

Better yet, why not just cut off his head while he's unconscious?

While Superman tries to superyell his way out of the rock, Billy Anders hobbles around Terra-Man's ship trying to remember whether he had a pet or not... because why waste time trying to escape or getting access to Terra-Man's weapons or broadcasting and SOS? It's like when Patty Hearst was asked why she never tried to get away from the Symbionese Liberation Army when the opportunity presented itself and she explained, "Well, I had this song stuck in my head and I couldn't remember the title."

Fortunately for everyone, the combination of Billy's inability to heal and ill tempered lynx left enough evidence to overcome the telepathic cage's influence.Once Billy remembers, everyone remembers... "everyone" consisting of Superman having his superstrength restored and Billy's mother suddenly remembering she's going to have to be shoveling lynx shit off the carpet again.Having completely destroyed one of the greatest geological specimens in the world, Superman hurries to spring Billy from the invisible spaceship, finding it much more easily than he would if there were more than three pages left in the story. Looking around the ship, Superman fiddles with some gadgets and figures out a way to cure Billy and to permanently return his own superstrength.

Back to full power, he takes off after Terra-Man, who has stolen an armored boxcar full of one million dollars worth of gold bullion. Of course, Terra-Man could alway patent all the alien technology on his ship and make billions, but that's beside the point. The cowboy lounges atop the boxcar, satisfied with himself when the now fully powered Superman shows up. Facing the much more formidible foe, Terra-Man does what you'd expect...

Completely show up Superman.Oh, no, Superman! Terra-Man is trying to dump you off the side of a fast moving train? Don't fall or you'll be crush--no, I suppose you wouldn't be, would you? Well, even if you are invulnerable, you'll never catch back up unless you had some kind of superspeed--um... well, don't fall off or your nice clothes will get all dirty... unless you could fly or some--

Again, why does Terra-Man suddenly make Superman so damn stupid?

The two wrestle and Terra-Man pulls his gun to shoot Superman with a teleportation bullet that will rip open a wormhole to another dimension, banishing Superman from Earth forever.19. "Faster than the speed of thought" quickdraw
20. Eyesight distortion bullets
21. Transdimensional teleportation bullets

And that's that. Twenty-one powers, abilities, or gadgets, not including the machine that restores superstrength accidentally bestowed upon a ten year old boy and cures completely decimated immune systems allowing a nice little bow to be put on the Billy Anders storyarc debacle and shuffle the damn kid to the bottom of the pile forever.Really, Superman? Do you think Terra-Man gave you that much credit? Because based on his observations, I think he'd be amazed if you could feed yourself without getting soup all over the dining room floor. When he doubted you could get free from the exile dimension, it may be because there is a doorknob you have to turn to get back and he assumed that was beyond you.

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