Who Says You Can't Go Home Again?, Part 1

Bloggified by Jake on Tuesday, February 6, 2007

I've been sitting on this one for a little while. In fact, I dare say I've reached capacity for Silver Age DC nonsense. Between the Superman, Batman, and Teen Titan Showcases and all the comics I picked up at Wizard World Texas, Phoenix Comicon, and the ones Ryno got me for my birthday (along with Jimmy Olsen and Perry White figures that now grace my desk at work), I feel safe saying I could do three to four posts a week without running out of material. Unfortunately, I'm falling well short of that pace, which means I could go until about 2009.

"Superman's Return to Krypton" from Superman #141 (not to be confused with "Superman Returns to Krypton" in Superman #61), however, is one of those stories that jumped its way to the top of the pile while stories of Lois Lane adopting a Native American baby or becoming incredibly elderly could do nothing to stop it.

The story, a three-part novel, is far too complex to cover in one day. I don't want to reveal too much, but I am proud to introduce for this review the "Superman Melodram-ometer." Roughly 45% of this story is exposited to readers through Superman's thought bubbles, most of which feature him getting all choked up about how much he loves his parents and how helpless he is to save Krypton.

Considering Krypton blew up decades earlier, Jerry Siegel needs a reason to send Superman hurling back in time. So Superman is called to the Metropolis Observatory to see a creature as large as a planet. He flies into space to stop the creature from attacking Earth, but the creature flies away and Superman chases it.Superman, who in the 1960's regularly traveled forward and back through time, accidentally breaks the time barrier because he wasn't paying attention to how fast he was flying. And if he didn't catch that planet-sized creature because it was flying faster than he was, doesn't that mean the creature traveled back in time too? Unfortunately, unlike every other time he's gone back in time, Superman can't fly back through the time barrier to the moment he just left because he has flown to Krypton and the red sun has sapped him of his powers.

Instead all he can do is fly do the surface and--yes, I said "fly to the surface." I don't know, I guess he only had a little bit of yellow solar energy left and could make it safely to Krypton, but not back through the time barrier.

As you can imagine, being stuck on Krypton of the past has one overwhelmingly negative aspect.Resigned to being a mortal on a doomed planet, Superman stumbles into a job as a movie actor by wandering around a jungle. I'm pretty sure that's how Eddie Furlong got his role in Terminator 2.While Krypton hasn't perfected rocketry, that doesn't mean they don't use it in low-budget science fiction flicks. Superman and a bunch of other actors pile into a rocket that blasts into the stratosphere, loses control, knocks the pilot unconscious, and plummets toward the ground. Apparently, while Americans were blasting chimps into space and the Russians were using dogs, Krytonians were using D-list actors.

Fortunately, while Superman may not have superpowers, he does have the fucking sense to turn on the "emergency rockets" while everyone else is too preoccupied with screaming in terror. His quick thinking (and more than likely his tight pants) grab the attention of the film's star, whose name I won't tell you yet, but see if you can guess her initials.Having provided a stupid excuse for Superman to walk around in his outfit every day for the next few months, Siegel shifts his focus to Superman getting all verklempt. Hitching a ride into town, he sees a news report about Jor-El and his soon-to-be bride, Lara, and decides to crash the wedding.

And... sniff... guess who always cries at weddings...Hours later, he's still shaken up by the realization everyone on Krypton will die... except him and his cousin and his dog and King Krypto the Super-Gorilla and the people of Kandor and anyone in the Phantom Zone and... jeez, what's he gettin' all worked up about?As part of his plan to become close friends with his mom and dad, Superman builds a gyroscope that impresses Krypton's top scientist, completely explaining the problems with the Kryptonian rocketry program. How can a planet with flying cars not understand a concept as simple as angular momentum?Jor-El offers to let Superman become his assistant if he can pass some scientific exams, then gives him a pillow that whispers all the answers in his ear while he sleeps.Given Superman's "power of total recall," the test is merely a formality and Kal-El becomes Jor-El's assistant.Working with the most respected scientist on the planet--even if it appears you have kind of a crush on him--has its perks, like getting to meet big movie stars like Lyla Lerrol, who embodies all the good things about every other woman with L.L. initials.So Superman must decide between escaping Krypton or getting some Kryptonian poon and opts for the former... for now. Can he do both? Find out in chapter two!

0 sarcastic replies:

Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)