Friday, January 29, 2010

Come With Me Now to Those Thrilling Days of Comic Book Ads!

One great thing about being a kid in the 1960s was reading the ads in between the stories.

The "Comic Pack" had four 12-cent comics for 47 cents. Nearly always, there was a great comic like Superman or Flash on the top of the stack, while inside the pack were some losers like Binky or Young Love. Bleahh!

Then there were the house ads, like this one for the Second Superman Annual. I very seldom had the cash (a whole quarter) for one of these 80-Page-Giants when they were "new." But I caould afford to buy 'em second-hand at that downtown grocery-store/used-book-store, or swap for them with my friends.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Part Two of This All-Luthor Issue!

Here we have the second part of Superman 168, a “Special All-Luthor Issue,” “Lex Luthor, Daily Planet Editor!”

Only a month after Superman had left Lexor and destroyed those pesky mind-numbing crystals, Luthor has come up with yet another scheme to best the Man of Steel.

How convenient that the super-scientists of Lexor’s past had created an “inventing machine” – because Luthor has used it to create some Red Kryptonite to short-circuit Superman’s great powers.

Now, also thanks to the inventing machine, Luthor will head to Earth to nullify his nemesis’s powers and return him as a prisoner to the world where Lex’s word is law.

However, perhaps that inventing machine had a few bugs after all. Because Luthor makes it to Earth, all right – but to San Francisco, in 1906! A chance encounter with an out-of-towner who has a fatal accident leads Luthor to take on the man’s identity – as the new Editor of the San Francisco Daily Planet!

Meanwhile, nowadays, Superman decides to check up on Luthor’s whereabouts, and discovers that he is no longer on Lexor – or on Earth, either! Earth NOW, that is …

So, it’s off through the time barrier to California and 1906. When he can’t immediately track down his enemy, Superman decides to take a civilian job whole searching. World, meet Clark Kent, Daily Planet reporter!

For some reason, Luthor recognizes Superman, but merely assumes that the Kryptonian has “adopted the name of his friend Clark Kent while he hunts for me in this era!”

Similarly, it seems a bit fishy to me that Supes doesn’t recognize his arch-enemy, even under bushy sideburns.

After a few tough story assignments by his draconian boss (aka his sworn enemy), Superman/Kent is finally maneuvered into exposure to Luthor’s Red K.

Whoops, the inventing machine screwed up again! Sure, Superman’s strength and flight powers are gone, but this pseudo-Kryptonite has left him all his vision powers. Testing
this, Superman sees a ship in the bay on fire .

Using his heat vision on the burning ship’s cargo, voila! Fire-retardant foam is invented!
Plus, in a strange twist of fate, take a gander at the young whippersnapper whose life Superman has just saved! Why, it’s Perry White himself!

Before long, though, the jig is up, and Luthor captures Superman, forcing him to row them to an island in the middle of San Francisco bay. On this island, the criminal genius has used some of the machinery from his wrecked rocket to create a teleportation ray. Soon both captor and captive will be on Lexor, back in the present day.

That darn inventing machine! Once again, the fates are not kind to Mrs Luthor’s pride and joy. He disappears, leaving Superman behind – and causes the Great 1906 Earthquake to boot!

Superman has a high old time cooking soup in a relief kitchen until his powers return and he can come home. But, upon a quick view of Lexor, Supes discovers that Luthor once again didn’t reach his intended target.
A little historical deduction leads the Man of Tomorrow to deduce that the island from which Luthor disappeared has another name – Alcatraz! And, by golly, that’s where the Greatest Criminal Mind of Our Time is discovered. How embarrassing!
All original content
© by Mark Alfred