Superman in Crisis

SiC 29 — Bring On the Bad Guys (08:29:1985)

Reviewing Crisis on Infinite Earths 9 and Action Comics 573! And then your feedback!!

5 replies on “SiC 29 — Bring On the Bad Guys (08:29:1985)”

A most enjoyable episode! Thank you! I hadn’t thought, when I read Crisis #9 originally, about how much harder it must have been for Superman to grieve his cousin, while maintaining the fiction that Clark Kent doesn’t have any special connection to Supergirl. That thought makes my heart ache for him now. I wonder if, in her part of the story, Power Girl’s “irritability” might, in part, stem from her mourning her “sister”. Even though they didn’t seem to have interacted a lot, she must have felt some connection to her counterpart.
Action #573 gave us a couple of fun stories. “The Sale of the Century” felt like taking a trip back to the Silver Age, or even the Golden Age of Superman, and you Harry Mudd voice for J. Wilbur Wolfingham was absolutely the right touch. “If I Were Superman . . . ” was a nice little “wish fulfillment” story, not just for the hot dog vendor, but probably for a lot of readers. Who among us hasn’t thought, “If I were Superman, I would . . .” I liked that the vendor also sometimes considered that his original thought wouldn’t work well, and re-thought his “plan”. I guess he’s been at this game for a long time.

A few side-comments:

I can’t agree that a librarian is not a teacher. In the high school where I taught, our librarians were definitely teachers. Whenever the English classes began to do research papers, the first thing they did, as a class, was go to the library for lessons on how to research their topics, what the standards of citation were, and generally where to find what they needed in the library. One of my very good teacher friends was an English teacher who later became the school librarian, and she would always bristle if anyone implied that she was no longer a teacher.
I join you and all the other teachers in welcoming all to this little community, teachers, non-teachers, wannabe teachers, auto mechanics, doctors, carpenters, etc. The more the merrier. C’mon in! The water’s fine!
Finally, I feel compelled to join the discussion of “antepenultimate”. When I was a senior in high school, I took an Ancient Greek class. In fact, I was the class, as in, I was the only student. This class was where I first encountered the words “ultima”, “penult”, and “antepenult” (the last, next-to-last, and second-to-last syllables in a word), because in ancient Greek, those are the only syllables that can be accented, and the placement and type of accent depends on the length of the vowel in the ultima. I have proudly used those words whenver possible in the intervening decades.

Hi, Jon. Good discussion of these two issues. I well remember that Crisis cover, with all the villains looking out at us. Perez did have a knack for creating striking cover images, didn’t he? This issue, as you say, was a mostly fighting, but that’s okay. Comic books need good fight scenes every now and then! The scenes of Clark mourning Kara without being able to really explain to his friends what was wrong are very touching, and the emotion is surprisingly understated. Emotions in comic books tend to be so bombastic and over-the-top, it’s interesting to see something quieter like this.

I can’t help but feel that the other heroes being so concerned about Power Girl, asking if she’s okay and telling her to be careful and so forth, is a reaction to Supergirl’s death. If it could happen to one Kara, it could happen to the other one, and for many of the superheroes, this may be the first time that they’ve had to really confront the possibility that one of their own could die. I can understand their being especially worried about someone who is, in some sense, the “same person.”

The Action stories are much more light-hearted, and were both pretty fun. I liked your Harry Mudd voice. Indeed, I like the fact that you “do” voices in general when you’re reading these. It’s a nice touch. On the subject of Superman not making a good mint julep, I wonder if that’s one of those “morals clause” type things. In the same way that Superman couldn’t smoke (not just wouldn’t, but physically couldn’t), he also can’t serve alcohol? Maybe? That’s my best guess for why that bit was in there.

In response to Dave above, thanks for the kind words about librarians. It’s true that we often perform some instruction, but I try not to overtly claim the title of “teacher” since it’s not my actual job title. Both of my parents were teachers, and my wife is a teacher. It’s a position that I hold in great respect, and one that I’m sure I could not do full time.

Have fun at Dragon Con, Jon. It’s a con I’ve often contemplated going to, but somehow I’ve never made it down there.

Hi Jon! How ya doing? Did you have a good time at Dragon Con? Aw, glad to hear it. How am I? Well, that’s nice of you to ask. I just finished listening to your delightful podcast again. Shall I share my thoughts? Oh. Well tough, I’m gonna anyway. 😛

Crisis #9. The villains united, could this legion spell doom for our heroes? Ah, you’ve caught my clever wordplay again! First this cover is amazing, and feels like the Legion of Doom, complete with a giant skull ship in the background, albeit Brainiac’s ship rather than the Vader ripoff from the cartoon, but there’s plenty of villains from the show to enhance that feel. Plus lots of others to up the ante of the threat. But in contrast, this is just a fraction of the villains in the DCU at this time. I wonder if the design was solely Perez’s, or if editorial said “don’t do TOO many characters, we don’t want to confuse the kiddies.” I mean, look how many figures fit onto #7’s cover, so Perez could have fit more and made them work, if he wanted to. There’s no way to know either way, just my idle brain.

Now I did allude to Villains United which spun into Infinite Crisis many years from this issue, which I think had to homage this part of Crisis, including having a Luthor leading the bad guys. Also, the Freedom Fighters did not fare too well in either story, but the less said about the later situation, the better. Just a couple of mild parallels which go above and beyond the “sequel” nature of Infinite Crisis to outright reruns.

Gosh, I’ve been thinking about Aquagirl’s death in this issue, and how little fanfare it gets, which is sad. But also, I just remembered that a mere year before this issue, Tales of the Teen Titans #45 features a Perez cover of Aqualad holding her in a pose remarkably similar to Superman holding Supergirl in Crisis #7’s cover! That’s a lot to unpack! Foreshadowing? Cover homage of an homage? Yeesh!

And I know it’s a minor point, but I gotta stay on brand for my podcast by saying I enjoyed seeing the Outsiders as a group in the issue, and having Batman and Jason Todd Robin along with them. I always wanted to see Jason mix with the Outsiders in their book, even just in passing with how often the team went to the Batcave. I’m sure it was purely editorial reasons, and that makes me sad. Some Halo and Robin scenes would have been delightful!

As for Action, thank you as always for describing the issue so well. DCU Infinite still doggedly refuses to make those issues digital, so I’ll just continue to enjoy them through this show.

See you next time, and looking forward to reach the antepenultimate issue of Crisis next month! Hey, I (correctly?) used the word!

Oh no! I forgot to mention something “extremely important”! So important! Are you sitting down? Ok, brace yourself.

On the cover of Crisis #9, pictured are both Star Sapphire and The Predator! (You know, that guy on the left hand side, silver helmet, red eyes, black bodysuit.) Why is that notable? Well, it was revealed in Green Lantern #192 that those two are the same person! Sure, it was 3 months beforehand, so of course it’s easy to see it slip through editorial. But in today’s internet outrage, I guess I’m supposed to make this a “big deal”!

Whew, glad I got that off my chest. You can go back to the other feedback now.

Aw, you noticed I was caught up to real time. That said, I’m no longer in real time as episode #30 is already sitting in my feed. Although since there’s no feedback, am I really that far behind? And no, why would I make time puns about a comic that featured Chronos…but on second thought…

Your comment about the storage rooms made me laugh. The simple explanation is Clark’s super lockpicking ability (I mean, if he has super-ventriloquism). Or maybe Batman gifted him with a master key that allows him to get into any room.

This felt like the first Crisis issue that spent a decent amount of time setting up the crossovers. Of course, I was a sucker for those in 1985 and bought as many as I could find and afford. It was cool to see all those villains and heroes fighting it out both back then and now. As for the concern for Power Girl, I took it as the fact that she is sorta the Supergirl from Earth-2 and people were trying to look out for her.

The Action Comics issue sounded fun – too bad it’s not on Infinite. Ah well.

Well, this teacher (hello, non-teachers, you are all cool too) is going to get back to the last day of the first 3-day weekend of the school year. Hope you’re having a blast at Dragon Con!

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