Superman in Crisis

SiC 45 — The Quest for Peace (01:09:1986)

Reviewing Superman 418 and Superman’s Golden Age origin in Secret Origins 1, before briefly looking at Power Girl’s appearance in Infinity Inc. 25 and responding to your feedback!

6 replies on “SiC 45 — The Quest for Peace (01:09:1986)”

Out of order, but I must begin by saying that I really loved the Golden Age Superman origin story in Secret Origins 1. Even though my formative years of reading Superman were solidly in the Silver Age, there’s something about that not-fully-formed Superman who would stop crooks by picking up their car and smashing it, or deal with a wife-beater by yelling “You’re not fighting a woman now!” while punching him through a door. These are not things we would see in comics so much in later years, but it’s very much “of its time”, and, viscerally, for many kids reading in the ’60s or even later, there is something exciting there.
“The Replacement” in Superman 418, for me, was an odd story, with Superman himself not really involved, and the behavior of the Superman-X robot, although arguably logical in some respects, quite odd. I guess it’s a case of “All’s well that ends well”, but I didn’t find it all that engaging.
It was, as always, good to hear your voice again, and I’m looking forward to your next episode.

I didn’t have any thoughts on the first story other than the “we have to let humans screw up on their own” trope is a fun one to play with. I’m not sure how far I’m willing to accept on that these days but it can make for a good yarn.

The Secret Origins issue is a favorite of mine. Boring and Ordway make for a good team. They also drew the Who’s Who entry for this Superman and it is the, to me, definitive shot of the OG Earth-2 Superman.

You joked that Superman looks embarrassed by his more youthful exuberance and I’m not sure I fully agree with that. During the JLA/JSA crossover where they were fighting Nazis on Earth-X he was all about beating the crap out of them. To be fair they weee Nazis, so they had it coming but in the same story he made several decisions that pointed to the fact that his old “champion of the weak and oppressed” were not behind him.

My reading is that he is sick of looking at things through crystal balls but he is trying to be polite. But that’s just me.

I appreciated you going through the evolution of Superman’s origin. One of my favorite bits of Superman trivia that I will talk about at the drop of the hat is how one of the most iconic origins in super hero history didn’t get fleshed out in the actual comics until 1945. And in the Superboy strip. It’s so weird.

You weee correct about Sarah and Eben being in the George Reeves series.

Jerry Thomas is more than likely a mixing of Jerry Bails and Roy Thomas. Bails was one of the founders of what we think of as comic fandom and published Alter Ego. He was a proficient letter hack and one of the greats of our people. If I’m correct it was Jerry and Roy writing about their love of All-Star Comics that got school teacher Roy to become comics writer Roy.

Also, my take on Roy bringing All-Star Squadron to an end and starting something new was all about having one of the big parts of his end of DC taken away from him. The Crisis on Infinite Earths absolute edition has a companion book with internal memos from different creators and editors and Roy’s are full of ideas of how to make things work. Also, his relationship with DC was starting to sour a bit at this time. So that probably has a lot to do with how things went down.

Great show as always!

Just realized I never addressed your question about me coming back.

As you said Superman and I did have an ugly divorce back in 2009/2010. I will admit that it was mostly me. He had evolved into someone that was different and I wanted it to be like the good ol’ days. We got back to together less than a year later and it was fine at first but then he went through this five year period that could best be described as a mid-life crisis. He grew his hair out. He was irritable. At one point he shaved most of his hair off and was just angry all of the time.

Then things got better and our relationship had something of a rebirth. It was two glorious years before slowly this new guy he was hanging out with convinced him to strip away all of the things that I liked about him including his secret identity. And I was done. For a bit.

Apparently he stopped hanging out with that guy and started hanging around some new people but it still wasn’t what I was looking for. At the time I was still a little sore about everything that had gone down and the gaslighting that I received from people. Some well meaning but still. I knew why I was upset and I knew it was “just a story” and that things would change eventually but that doesn’t mean I have to hang around until they do.

Back in October I was reading about his plans for 2023 and suddenly it seemed like things were getting better. Not exactly what I wanted but close enough so I decided to come back and started catching up on his adventures after that other guy left. Then it was announced that he was getting his secret identity back and that sealed the deal.

In all seriousness, because I can be over dramatic, I left because the books weren’t what I wanted and I came back when they were. There’s been some good stuff coming out in the main stream books. I even liked Dark Crisis, which surprised me.

But that’s the story. Thanks for allowing me to be silly.

Well, I’m late to the comments, I see. A lot of what I would have said has already been said. I will concentrate on the Secret Origins story, since that one was more interesting to me, and just echo other people’s thoughts that it was excellent. It’s one that I remember picking up when it was first published, largely for Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway. I was a big fan of both of them at the time, having been a huge fan of All-Star Squadron, plus all of Roy’s work in general. I’m afraid that I was only vaguely aware of Wayne Boring’s name at that time.

Anyway, I very much enjoyed it, both then and now. Like you, I appreciated the reference to Nietzsche when talking about “Superman,” which was not only topical for the time, but showed Clark Kent to be somewhat well-educated, which I think is important to his character. For awhile there, it seemed to be somewhat common to downplay Superman’s smarts, especially when comparing him to Batman, but I think it’s worth remembering that he’s always been a very bright guy. Like Michael Bailey above, I find it very interesting how “piecemeal” the presentation of Superman’s origin story actually was.

Fun fact: in the radio show, at least originally, he didn’t even have a childhood. He emerged from the rocket a fully-grown adult, all set to start being Super. They later retconned that.

Finally, to answer your question about Fifth Third Bank. Yes, I’ve heard of it. You’ll find that it’s fairly prominent throughout the Midwest. As I understand it, the name comes from the fact that it’s a merger of the Fifth National Bank, and the Third National Bank. They probably put it in the order they did to make the name more memorable. At least, that would be my guess. Now that you’re in Indiana, this is likely to be just the beginning of you discovering various regional businesses that you never would have heard of down south. Enjoy it!

All the best, until next time!

Hi Jon! You know, I don’t have much to say about this week’s issues. Shocking, I know. I have read Secret Origins #1, and it was fun, but I guess I’m losing my taste for Roy Thomas’s writing ticks. Still, I loved you sharing the source material for the issue. That elevates the story immensely.

Maybe if the Superman-X issue comes to DCUI Ultra (so many INITIALS), I’ll give it a try then. But for now, meh.

About Jimmy Olsen’s comment about Metropolis attracting superheroes. From Jimmy’s own experience, the city did draw the occasional New God, and probably assorted one-time heroes in the Superman stories, plus Supergirl would show up a lot. There’s also Black Lightning who worked out of Suicide Slum, but at this point, was in Gotham with the Outsiders. There’s Blue Devil who actually lived in both Metropolis and Hollywood at this time thanks to his homes being linked via the House of Mystery. (Weirdness magnet, ya know.) Less known is the Thorn of “The Rose and The Thorn”, who will appear soon in Booster Gold’s 1986 series. And of course, Booster himself. That’s a pretty good concentration for a DC city, and without a team being headquartered there and no strong relationship between the various heroes.

Oh, the Fifth/Thirds Bank. It’s not local to my area, but I saw them in Cincinnati, and I believe that’s where it originated. I could swear some coworkers told me its name was because its original building was located between 5th and 3rd streets, but they might have been gaslighting me since I wouldn’t know the difference! But hey, if the Skrulls can be from the fifth quadrant of the Andromeda galaxy, sure, why not have a fifth third of a bank? (Oh, my math brain is hurting.)

Hey, you said it lot in this episode, so I’ll reciprocate. Happy New Year to you, my friend! Thanks for reading.

Hi, Jon!

Even though I couldn’t read the Superman issue, I found the concept of Superman X interesting. I was more struck by the information that Metallo hadn’t been around that much before the issue. I really started Superman with the Byrne relaunch and assumed Metallo was a big character because he was introduced so quickly. You know, I should probably jump into that second Man of Steel HC soon.

As for the Secret Origins issue, I know I bought it off the spinner rack and read it, but it was like I read it for the first time. Kryptonians had super powers on their home planet? Orphanage? The story was wild. I did enjoy it and agree that Jerry Ordway’s inks really helped Wayne Boring’s art shine.

I am always happy to hear the comment section and not just because I’m often it it. Feels like we diehards are talking to each other through you talking to us.

Until next time!

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