Saturday, January 29, 2011

Back to Our Story

Here are the next three pages from "Clark Kent's Great Superman Hunt," the first story of Superman 180.

Here we see that, at least, the stated goal for Clark's wild crusade has come to pass -- The Daily Planet's circulation is skyrocketing!  Meanwhile, our reader stand-in, Jimmy Olsen, is worrying about "that skunk," Clark Kent, ruining Superman's life by exposing the Secret Identity.

I like the depiction of Clark's mental image of Lois in captivity.  She's holding out her arms, pleading for her hero to rescue her.  And he's doing the best he can!  If only she KNEW how hard he's trying.

Meanwhile, building on the staged autograph collection of the days before, Clark has isolated the letters F and H as the probable initials of that Secret Identity.  (We, the readers, can't help but wonder what the heck is going on.  We know, of course, that Superman's initials are CK.)

Therefore, Clark has announced that since Superman has super-teeth, maybe he doesn't need a dentist.  So Clark, using super-speed, cross-references dentists' records and the phone book to narrow down "FH" guys who haven't seen a dentist recently.  Clever, huh?  Of course, the super-speed stuff gets done off-camera...

Well, Clark announces that four guys fit the criteria he has manufactured.  Trailing a camera crew, he goes to each man's address, building the suspense.

(When I read the couple of panels about Fang Hogan, I first wonder about the marketability of the trade name "The Human Beaver."  Human TERMITE, maybe.  Secondly, I wonder that, even in comic-book land, somebody could make a living by biting into telephone poles.)

With three "suspects" eliminated, we now turn to "FH" Number Four.  Herb Farr, come on down!

Now things begin to come together for us.  Herb Farr, the guy fingered by Clark Kent's investigation, is also "The Wheel," the guy who kidnaped Lois Lane and has held her under a death watch while telling Clark Kent to expose the Man of Steel's identity.

(In Creative Writing in college, our professor Val Thiessen summed up this turnaround plot twist by naming it "the biter, bit.")

So when Farr, "The Wheel," shows up at his mob hideout, his cronies are wise to things -- they think!  But consider the absurdity of the situation.  They think their boss, a big-time mobster, is Superman.


Is it just me, or does this seem a bit silly?  Especially when his skin bends a pinprick, and his hair breaks a pair of scissors.

What is up?  Obviously either Superman has had a third identity all along, or he is pretending to be Herb Farr.  But why?

Come back next time to learn more!

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