Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How Orella's Mightiness Backfired

As we near the end of our page-by-page trip through Superman 180, we wrap up the tale of "The Girl Who Was Mightier Than Superman."

Turns out, not only did the ladies from Matrion trick Superman into coming to their island refuge; one of them, Orella, almost cheated Superman into marriage by stealing some of his super-powers.

But Supes figured things out and rewired the power-siphoning device to overload Orella.  She messed up the marriage rituals and now everything is being revealed.

In this last page of the story, we get contrition from the cheaters and a real downer of an ending when Superman glances skyward with his Super-vision and discovers that the women's home planet is a planet of the dead now.

Take a smart-alecky look at the top leftmost quadrant of the first panel on this page.  Orella is ejecting a Super-Sneeze.  Is it just me?  Without the sound-effect "achooo!" I think the picture looks a lot more like Super-Projectile-Vomit.

Note the bit of 1960s slang when, in the penultimate panel, Superman thinks about having barely escaped "doing the bridegroom bit."

At the bottom of the page we have a reversible ad for Tottsie Roll Pops.  When you turn the page upside down, you have to wonder why the kid's head has been cut off and balanced on top of a cereal bowl?

One the next page we have a house ad and a truncated Metropilis Mailbag.

This particular letters page is a fine example ot the give-and-take between readers and DC staff.  (Probable) Mailbag writer E Nelson Bridwell actually apologizes for a livestock goof in the first letter.  Note the reference to the SPCA, because according to the story referenced, "The Revenge of the Super-Pets" from Superman 176, the actions in the story actually INSPIRED the foundation of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Otgher letters project a timeline of future Super-Book anniversaries, try to catch errors in previous stories, and highlight Superman's pervasion of popular culture by noting a contemporary Jeopardy! TV reference.

The in-house ad that take up the bottom of the page highlights an accidental trilogy of silly (or at least light-hearted) comic issues.

While Kurt Schaffenberger's Lois Lane art is really impeccable, there's something about his depiction of Superman (rearing back on his heels, hand to forehead) that reassures us that both Lois and Lana will be wide-awake and catfighting over Superman by story's end.

On the right side, we have another of the famous/infamous tales of when Superboy was Super-Tot, this time in the prizefighting ring.

And in the middle, we have the jaw-dropping fun of the Krypton Crawl, from Jimmy Olsen's time-travel-tale, "The Red-Headed Beatle of 1,000 BC!"  Yeah, yeah, yeah!

See you again soon for the wrap-up of this classic ish!
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© by Mark Alfred