Superman in Crisis

SiC 62 — Some Final Bits and Bobs (06:19:1986)

Swamp Thing 52 and 53, Infinity Inc. 30, Batman: The Dark Knight 4

2 replies on “SiC 62 — Some Final Bits and Bobs (06:19:1986)”

I don’t have any comment on the Swamp Thing story, because I haven’t read it, but I did enjoy your commentary.
I remember the Infinity, Inc. issue as a kind of “wrap up” after “The Last Days of the Justice Society” story, giving a sort of ending (I guess setting things up for the Post-Crisis versions of the characters), and that was a bit sad for me at the time. I imagine it was intended to be a bit sad for the readers.
I was never a great fan of The Dark Knight miniseries, because of the depiction of Superman as, to me, a collaborator with a fascist government, even if he seemed ambivalent about it. My vision of Superman is that he would never, even under duress, abandon his Never-Ending Battle for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. I know he has had a history of deference to authority (at least after his earliest days), but I think the government depicted in this story would not square with his notion of “the American Way”. Just my opinion. At least he seemed to have a little bit of redemption at the end, but for me, . . . too little; too late.
Overall, these last group of episodes remind me of my feeling at the time, that this was a period of sadness for longtime readers and fans, and uncertainty and confusion about what was coming. I guess that’s real “nostalgia” for you, since the word comes from Greek roots meaning “homecoming” and “sorrow”, and some of these stories provided that in spades.

Hey, Jon. It was a pleasure to see new episodes pop up in my feed again after the brief hiatus. I haven’t finished listening to the final episode yet, but I thought I would go ahead and write in to give my thoughts on the most recent episodes, and the project as a whole.

First, I have really enjoyed the whole podcast, and have had fun hearing your thoughts on a lot of issues that I have never read before, as well as those that I had read and remember very well. It’s been a heck of a ride, and I’m glad that you undertook such a project. I had been wondering what I was going to do to replace it in my podcast rotation, now that it’s over. And then I noticed that Ninjas ‘N’ Bots promo, just sitting there enticingly… (Smiley Face)

As for the specific contents of this episode, I can help you out a bit with the details of the Swamp Thing continuity. You mentioned that you weren’t sure what Abby Cable was under arrest for. It was for sexual deviancy, essentially. Someone had filmed her having intimate relations with Swamp Thing, and released the film. Even though Superman himself doesn’t appear in either of these issues, he is mentioned obliquely. In issue #53, when Batman is talking to the mayor, he says that if they’re going to enforce those laws against sex with non-humans, they’ll have to start arresting a lot of superheroes who are in relationships. He mentions Hawkman, Metamorpho, Starfire, and Martin Manhunter specifically. Then he concludes with “Not to mention What’s His Name. He lives in Metropolis.” Kind of a funny line in the midst of a serious story. And of course, you were right. Swamp Thing did survive his apparent death at the end of this story.

I think I’m a bit older than you. I was in college when The Dark Knight first came out, although I didn’t read it until it was collected into the trade paperback. I really dug it at the time, even though it was one of the stories that helped usher in the “Dark and Gritty” trend in comics that I really didn’t enjoy too much. I remember thinking that Dark Knight, along with Watchmen, was one of the greatest comic series ever created.

In retrospect I can see some of its flaws. Like you, I ultimately don’t like Miller’s characterization of Superman. Much as people call him The Big Blue Boy Scout, and much as he like to work with the authorities whenever possible, the Superman I like reading about would never be cool with institutional corruption and abuse of power. And I think that final fight between Superman and Batman, exciting as it may be as a set-piece, is one of the major factors that led us to the whole “Batman can beat anybody” attitude that so many fans seem to have today.

I’ve developed a little mantra over the years, which I occasionally have to repeat to myself: “Do not look to Frank Miller for definitive Superman information.” It’s been very helpful.

Anyway, I expect to finish listening to the last episode tomorrow, and I will miss the podcast when it’s gone. Thanks so much for the ride. Looking forward to your next project!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *