Superman in Crisis

SiC 39 — Jurassic Planet (11:28:1985)

Reviewing Action Comics 576 and giving brief mention to All-Star Squadron 54, then responding to your feedback!

4 replies on “SiC 39 — Jurassic Planet (11:28:1985)”

Superman fighting intelligent dinosaurs! Great premise; less great execution, I thought. It seemed odd to me that, as far as I could tell, everyone on the “sister planet” was opposed to Klystro’s plan to wipe out the population of Earth in order to take the planet, but, if that were true, how did Klystro manage to have the giant gamma ray cannon designed to accomplish his goal? Surely, he didn’t build it himself, without any help. I guess it was a good thing that his own evil plan (and not Superman’s actions *wink* *wink*) led to his death.
In “The ‘Monumental’ Menace of Metropolis”, I have to scold Jimmy Olsen for being so slow on the uptake. Seriously, what longtime reader of Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen see’s “WATCH” as a clue in a story with Jimmy, and doesn’t immediately think “signal watch”? How was it not the first thing Jimmy thought of (especially because, at this point in continuity, Jimmy was long past being portrayed as a lunkheaded kid)? It was a lighthearted story, though, so I guess I can forgive a young Mark Waid for this one.

I thought this was a pretty fun issue, even if it’s a bit difficult to take either story too seriously. The old “What if dinosaurs had evolved human-like intelligence” premise gets a workout here. It’s too bad that they couldn’t do more with it than just “try to conquer the earth.” I like the way that, in those days, they could just casually slip an extra planet into the Solar System. I’d bet anything that it’s never mentioned again.

William Woolfolk, the writer of this story, was a name I’m not familiar with, so I looked him up. He did most of his comics writing in the Golden Age, and seemed to be very prolific back then. He wrote for all the big names: DC, Timely, Fawcett, Quality, and even Archie. Maybe that’s why the story had that Golden Age style ending to it that you mentioned. It’s too bad that Woolfolk isn’t better known today, since he appears to have been a very successful Golden Age writer. He later moved on to TV and novels, which makes me wonder why he was back doing a comics story in 1985.

I have to agree with Dave’s criticism of Jimmy for not immediately understanding “Watch” to mean his signal watch. Heck, I knew that’s what it meant immediately, just from hearing your synopsis, and I’m not even Superman’s Pal. Do better, Jimmy!

The presence of two unfamiliar writers (well, Mark Waid isn’t unfamiliar now, but he would have been then) made me realize a curious thing: it seems like at this time, Action Comics didn’t really have a regular creative team. Just looking at the issues that you’ve covered over the past year, we’ve seen stories by Elliot Maggin, Paul Kupperberg, Bob Rozakis, and Joey Cavilieri. Craig Boldman had a brief run, but only for a bit. It seems strange to me that there wouldn’t be a consistent writer-artist team like you see with most series.

Congratulations on your relationship, and on moving to Indiana! As I mentioned before, that’s my home state. I seem to recall there’s at least one other regular commenter who’s a Hoosier as well. We’ll have to all get together for a drink sometime. That’s it! We meet in a tavern. That always goes well…

I DID enjoy it. Listened while I ran errands. I love you too. As a chemically employed person, I am acutely concerned that comics seemed to promote (propaganda to counter liability???) exposure to uncontrolled, non therapeutic doses, of radiation in any forms.. Gamma rays cause ionization of the matter they penetrate( they can penetrate several inches of lead and require a few feet of concrete to stop them, so they can go straight through human meat rather rapidly,unhindered). Dont know if comic fans understand that ionization is the vibration of molecules, it vibrates them with enough power to knock electrons right out of an atom. Ionizing radiation can actually damage DNA in genes. That being said, I would be interested in a comic that utilizes IONIZATION OF DNA as a method of altering the genetics of humans to create mutants…ohhhh….wait. Wrong podcast.

Hey, Jon!

Can’t comment too much on the Action Comics issue, as I haven’t been able to read it. Sounds like I would have enjoyed it well enough, even if it was just checking out early Mark Waid.

Enjoyed the usual Superman read-through update (thanks for reminding me about where you are in Firestorm) and the feedback section (and not just because I was featured twice).

Big news that you’re moving to Indiana – congratulations! Did you imply that you got a teaching job for next semester or did I just infer it? If so, care to spill any details? As I write this on Friday night, the students come in just 9 more days before Christmas break and the last one of those is a half day (I have to work a full day that day and a half one the next). Getting close!

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