Superman in Crisis

SiC 43 — Post-Crisis (12:26:1985)

Reviewing the final Superman adventure of 1985, from Action Comics 577, and then responding to your feedback!

4 replies on “SiC 43 — Post-Crisis (12:26:1985)”

Wow! You’re through a full year of this podcast series, with six months left. I, for one, will be sad to see this end, but I will savor the upcoming episodes.
I don’t recall reading this particular story at the time it came out, and I’m sort of glad I didn’t, because I’m generally not so much a fan of Superman going up against a supernatural opponent. His “science fiction” origins and powers rarely seem to fit well (to me, at least) in stories of the supernatural. I also didn’t like his letting Catiff go in the end. I realize that was a valid story choice, but I just didn’t like it. Again, though, that’s just one man’s opinion.
On a technical note, as I listened to this episode, it sounded to me as if there was running water in the background. I can’t imagine that was really the case, but maybe something going on with your microphone or settings? Or maybe I was hallucinating. Did anyone else hear it?

Hi Jon. You’re like a real life superhero the way you uprooted your life and changed your entire scenery for love. It’s a modern love story and I’m happy for you. I’ve lived my entire life in NY and I salute you.
Action # 577 was quite good, I was surprised. Vampire stories are not my bag, but the way the story examined his side being just trying to survive was unique. Up til this story, Vampires have always been mustache twirling fiends. I smiled when Caitiff justified his killing as mercy killings and therefore okay. That’s the slippery slope that has been used before for other Characters like the Punisher and a few others that escape my mind. It was a shocker that Superman just gave him a pass for being the “ last survivor” like him. It’s an interesting viewpoint but doesn’t pass the smell test. At Caitiffs’ beginning, surely he feed on anyone and not just terminal people. I might have to track down his next appearance In JLA.

And so we move into that nebulous “post-Crisis, but not really post-Crisis” era that existed until the Man of Steel miniseries came along. I think this demonstrates how new and unprecedented this kind of world-changing reboot thing was at the time. These days, I suspect it would be carefully planned so that the new continuity would start up, company-wide, as soon as the Crisis miniseries was over. But this was still pretty new in 1985, so we got this brief period of transition. It will be interesting to see what it’s like.

Giffen’s art style really worked well for this story, as he makes Caitiff look truly monstrous and inhuman. It’s too bad that there weren’t more stories about him, since this story hints at some interesting history. The details about scientists having dissected his children, for instance, and the rest of his race having been hunted down. It feels like there’s a whole backstory there that we only get a tiny glimpse of. It’s too bad that we didn’t really get to see any of it.

I can’t support Superman’s decision to let Caitiff go, however. Much as he tries to claim that he is preying only on those who are about to die anyway, that seems like a dubious claim, considering that the only killing that we actually see in the story is of a man who was recovering. We can sort of understand Superman’s feeling a kinship for Caitiff as the last of his kind, especially as they kind of linked minds earlier, but it feels rather questionable to me.

Surprisingly enough, I had run into the word “caitiff” before somewhere, although I can’t quite remember where. I only had a fairly vague idea of what it meant, just that if was an insult without knowing the exact definition. It’s an interesting word for Giffen to pull out here. It’s always a challenge to come up with names for fantasy characters, so why not use a real, but obscure, word from history?

Have a happy new year, and best of luck at your new school. Until next time!

Hello again, Jon. Still working on catching up, but that’s okay. After all, we’re already 2/3 of the way through this podcast, so if I’m slightly behind it’ll last that much longer, right?

Now that Crisis is over, we are really moving into the era where I’m not going to be able to read much of what you cover (come on, DC Infinite Ultra!). That’s okay, because you always do a great job talking about what happens. As you were doing that, I thought that maybe I had read the issue without knowing because Caitiff sounded really familiar…but then you mentioned him showing up in JLI and it clicked into place. Giffen must have loved him enough to bring him along post-Crisis, right? Is there anyone from pre-Crisis Superman that you wish had been used post-Crisis?

Well, I’ve already read the DCCP issue for the next episode, so I’m halfway there. See/hear/talk to you soon!

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