Monday, February 09, 2015

A Brief Origin of Superman's Fortress

Disguised as Clark Kent in this story from 1965's Superman #176, Superman has helped the passengers on his plane get out safely when it lost power above the Arctic.  Now he's going to finish the job of getting them to safety, while preserving his secret.  Clark walks from his touchdown point (without a parachute) towards the group ...

Right past that regretful piece of Green Kryptonite!   Quick thinking and a snowball toss saves him, and he helps get a fire going, with the last match.

Of course, no airplane could be tossed like that; not only would Superman's hands sink into the plane like sticks into a marshmallow from the weight, but neither the plane nor its passengers would survive such a super-toss as depicted in the central panel, without a fatal "loss of integrity."  But who cares?  This is a comic book, it's a cool idea!

Now we see that this whole sputtering-plane, Green-K-encountering scenario is in fact a Silver Age telling of the Origin of the Fortress of Solitude!  Note in Superman's thought balloon the references to previous locations for his secret hideaway.  Don't those few lines look re-lettered?  Maybe somebody had to re-adjust this thought balloon after consulting a few big-brained types.  One of my heroes, E Nelson Bridwell of mine own Okie City, began working for DC as an assistant to Uncle Mort.  He would have been the perfect person to ask about this sort of thing .... but I doubt that he was on staff when this story was prepped in fall of 1964.

Tune in Wednesday for another few pages of this "Tale of Green Kryptonite"!


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