There isn’t anything new worth discussing this week, so I’ll tell you about the back issues I picked up during this light week.
We’ll begin with what is my new favorite Superman cover. #221 is inspired. Even among the many transformations Superman went through in the Silver Age, this one stands out. No, it’s not a gorilla, lion, baby, egghead, or insect. This Superman is fat: corpulent. Ponder the image below. I’ll wait and rejoin you if you make it to the other side of awesome.
This is actually the second feature in the book. The first story is forgettable fare about Supes rescuing some people from an island. Regardless, you can’t feel ripped off.
The two-ton Superman story is wholly worth the $.15 cover price. The long and short of it is that Superman is suffering from an allergic reaction to an alien liqueur called Scarlet Nectar. Apparently someone lost his epi-pen. So the plot revolves around a morbidly obese Superman trying to lose weight quickly because he’s got to be a certain weight to open a safe…there’s really no good way to explain it further. Trust me. It’s Silver Age, just go with it, man. On top of this imperative, he’s got to juggle life as a tubby Clark Kent (holographic projectors cover this). Now hold on, Hondo. Doesn’t Superman have robot duplicates for just such emergencies. In one panel, he explains what he can’t use his trusty robot pals: sunspots knock them out of commission. That’s right. Sunspots. Ridiculous as it is, this story’s a hoot and a holler. As an added bonus, there’s a full page portrait of the entire Superman Family. It’s accompanied by an explanation of each character. Did you know Comet is actually an enchanted Centaur? ‘Strue!
The rest of this week’s books came from the bargain bins.
To start, I picked up the first 11 issues of Rex Mundi. It’s not so bad. It’s just a little tired. Like zombies, pirates, and vampires not shooting themselves out of cannons on the moon, the “secrets” of the Catholic Church have become over exposed. And these issues are several years old. So why’d I pick it up? I’ve heard good things, and it was cheap. Don’t get me wrong; this is a well crafted story. I’d much rather see this as a movie over the 2 hour research paper that was “The Da Vinci Code.”
I also grabbed the first three issues of Bluewater’s Leprechaun. Jesse and I are (mildly) obsessed with these movies. The fourth installment is arguably the greatest non sequitur ever committed to film. These books are not of the same glorious quality. After the Stephanie Meyer biocomic, maybe I should have known better.
The last set of books I picked up from the bargain boxes is Amanda Conner and Warren Ellis’s Two-Step. I like Ellis from the early part of the last decade, and I like Amanda Conner. It seemed this would be a great treasure. This is a little three issue gem from 2004, and it was published by Cliffhanger. I don’t really know how to react to this book. If I told you the three issues were about the theft and destruction of a giant mechanical and musical penis, you’d call me a liar. Yet, that’s all there is to it. There’s not much character. There isn’t much conflict. There is the usual Ellis crazy tech distopia… and a giant techno penis that plays Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkeries.”
Having hauled this treasure chest home, the book I left behind: Bluewater’s Pistol Fist. Maybe next time. My hope is that this book will be so bad it’s unbelievably good.