[Superman Fan Club] Weekly Reader Issue #5 .. July First Silver Age / Bronze Age Reading .. July 16th 2020

For our [Superman Fan Club] first reading in July, hold on to your seat belts, because we are diving head first into the two-part EVIL King Superman story of the Silver Age! Oh, and remember as you read these, RED KRYPTONITE IS REALZ (MAYBE…well, Krypton is anyway….I assume kryptonite is really really tiny krypton…)

ACTION COMICS (1938-) #311 – 312 (released April, May 1964) Action 311 Link Action 312 Link “SUPERMAN, KING OF THE EARTH!” Red Kryptonite splits Superman and Clark Kent into two separate beings: a tyrannical Superman who forces the United Nations to declare him king of the world, and a non-super Clark Kent who leads an underground movement against him. (plus lots of Supergirl Silver Age fun in the backup stories)

SUPERMAN (1939-) #238 (May 1971) Superman 238 Link “Menace at 1,000 Degrees!” Dennis O’Neil / Curt Swan art, the Amazing New Adventures of Superman (circa 1971) continue with breakout villain Sand-Superman!!!

DC Comics Presents (1978-) #4 DC Comics Presents #4 Link Very very similar story from 1978 to the current 2020 Metal Men storyline, Superman and the Metal Men team up to battle Chemo!!! Oh Daaaannnn…

And, the desert to this reading’s smorgasbord of Superman family goodness,

SUPERMAN (1939-) #123 (August 1958) Superman 123 Link “The Three Magic Wishes.” Jimmy Olsen gets his hands on a wish-granting totem, and wishes a “Supergirl” into existence. We need more Jimmy, so here he is!

Reflections (Spoilers alert, whooop whooop whooop whoooop):

  1. Rate the two part “SUPERMAN, KING OF THE EARTH!” 1 to 5, 5 being these two issues are among the most inventive, enjoyable comic books you have ever read.
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  2. What do you like about “sand” Superman in the Superman #238 story this time around? Anything?
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  3. Any favorite scenes or panels from the fun-fest of DC Comics Presents #4 with the Metal Men? Please post
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  4. Was the “pretend” Supergirl in Superman #123 someone that you would like to see return someday? Why or why not? Very stylish, wouldn’t you say?

In two weeks, I think we may need to visit Superman’s Girl Friend and also his Pal to get a perspective on all things Silver and Bronze Age….

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Action 311 bow

American tourists, amirite?

Oh, and I like the speculation from Casually Comics on Superman #123

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I watched about 10 minutes for now, which speculation were you thinking of? very peppy review

Ah, I conflated this video in my mind with the follow-up, where she discusses the recolored version of this story. Note the Jimmy-esque red hair now:

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Looks more like Pope Superman
I’m really into these 1970s stories with the sand Superman looking forward to where it’s going

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It is quite the stylish dictator hat, isn’t it?

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While Action 311 and 312 seem on their face just fun Silver Age silliness, they are actually some pretty compelling stories. Jerk dictator Superman and Clark and Co. trying to start a rebellion is entertaining stuff. Then, when we get the big reveal it’s actually a little surprising. This Khrushchev moment made me laugh out loud. For that reading audience, this really meant Superman was evil.


Sorry, this is creepy weird.

And once again, the Sand Superman story is really first rate. I remember reading that O’Neil thought Superman was too powerful so he looked for ways to bring him down. This is really a clever way and sustainable over issues. The result is a Superman who really has to think his way around a problem. Nice selection.

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Yeah those visits of Nikita Khrushchev to United States in 1959 then 1960 were wild. All kinds of talk about destroying and burying America while visiting here, along with smashing his shoe while he visited the UN in his anger.

download

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That’s a poll question, who bangs theirshoe better Khrushchev or Superman

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Ok, time to wrap this one up. Any final comments on:

ACTION COMICS (1938-) #311 – 312 (released April, May 1964)
SUPERMAN (1939-) #238 (May 1971)
DC Comics Presents (1978-) #4
SUPERMAN (1939-) #123 (August 1958)
???

SPOILER ALERT DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT A SURPRISE READING THE 2 PART KING SUPERMAN EPIC

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Well here’s some final thoughts from me on the excellent two-part King Superman saga that we read for this particular round:

The artwork, mainly by Curt Swan but also with some assist by Jim Mooney, was excellent with lots of fine detail, everything is well-proportioned and the action scenes are really good.

The two-part storyline really works well and has excellent fictional logic. The surprise ending ties in perfectly with the laws and rules of the Superman Silver Age universe that are stated at the beginning of the story.

SPOILER ALERT: RUN IF YOU DON’T WANT THIS RUINED FOR YOU:
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This story is one of the many crown jewels of the Silver Age Superman era!

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