As the first and greatest superhero of them all, it only stands to reason that Superman would be leading the charge with some of the wildest and weirdest comics of the time. His amazing list of super-powers allowed him to have crazy adventures that many other characters couldn’t dream of having, but he also got strange new (but often very short-lived) powers to let the creators go even crazier with him.
All of which leads us to why you’re really here, to see this gallery of panels from Silver Age Superman comics presented completely without context. Some are weird, some are wacky, some are befuddling, but they’re all pretty fun, and the best part is this is just the teeniest, tiniest tip of the iceberg when it comes to Silver Age insanity. Just try to make sense out of them and enjoy!
After roughly four million installments of this column, it's probably pretty clear that I have a deep and abiding love the stranger side of old comics. That's one of the reasons that we're living in the best possible time to read comics, in an era when there are folks out there with a focus on digital preservation and archiving, which has given rise to an entire cottage industry of books like I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets, The League of Regrettable Superheroes, and Boody that put the focus on to the forgotten heroes of eras past. The latest entry into that shelf full of bizarre anthologies is Super Weird Heroes, an anthology curated by Craig Yoe, and folks, it kicks off with a doozy.
See, the book opens up with one of many heroes who took the name "Atlas." What sets this guy apart, though, is that unlike all these other Silver Age long-underwear characters all of his super-powers are real! For... certain values of real.
On this week’s episode, part two of a four-part crossover week across DC shows, aliens invade Central City, Flashpoint secrets get revealed, and Barry gets the gang together. “Invasion!” was directed by Dermott Downs from a script by Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing.
This week, Caitlin goes rogue as her ice powers kick in, Wally becomes an Inhuman, Savitar pops his claws, and Alchemy is revealed. "Killer Frost" was directed by Kevin Smith from a story by Judalina Neira, and a teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg and Brooke Roberts.
Thanksgiving is just over the horizon, and that means that it's time once again for the annual bout of anxiety about spending time with your relatives. If it gets bad this year, though, maybe you can take a little comfort in knowing that even Supergirl has problems dealing with her family when they come to town .
It's not Superman who's the hassle --- although you really have to think that the conversation about him just dropping her off at an orphanage an hour after she landed on her new home planet had to be awkward, and for better or worse, Argo City's utter cosmic destruction headed off any difficult conversations with her parents well before they could be a real problem. No, it's her conniving older sister Kranna who's so hard to deal with.
Everyone knows the Silver Age was pretty wacky at DC Comics. But for Wonder Woman, who was already pretty weird in the Golden Age, it was even bizzare. Silver Age Wonder Woman comics are full of giants, evil doppelgangers, aliens, and dinosaurs. There's a lot of stuff about romance and dating, but two of the love interests are a merman and a bird man. There's also a blob who sings rock and roll songs. So yeah, it's pretty strange.
We've collected the weirdest Wonder Woman panels from the Silver Age we could find to show you just how outrageous things got.
This week's episode, "Outlaw Country," finds the team returning to the Old West to stop a rascally varmint from taking over the entire region with some science-fiction rocks. Cherie Nowlan directed the episode. The script is by Matthew Maala and Chris Fedak.
This week, Wally is tempted by the dark side, Caitlin is frightened of what she might become, and The Flash fights an actual shadow, because hey, if you have a theme, why be subtle about it? "Shade" was directed by JJ Makaro and written by Emily Silver and David Kob.
So here's the thing about He Man and the Masters of the Universe: I don't know anything about it. Fortunately for me, the last few years have seen something of a MOTU renaissance that included a massive hardcover collection of the minicomics that accompanied the toys. I figured that if the underlying mythology was originally codified in those bite-sized chunks, I could probably get a handle on it. The only problem is that these things are both completely bonkers and completely amazing.
So let's talk about the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club for a minute.
I love Jimmy Olsen, and I will go to bat for him as being one of the single greatest comic book characters of all time, but even I am occasionally mystified by the fact that in the canon of the Silver Age, he had a worldwide fan club whose members thrilled to his every adventure, purely by virtue of just being Some Guy Who Knew Superman. I mean, Lois had a fan club, too, but that makes sense. She's an ace reporter and a go-getter. But I've read a lot of Jimmy Olsen comics in my day, and I don't know that I've ever seen any indication that he's actually any good at his job.
Perhaps the weirdest thing about the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club isn't that it exists, but that it once inadvertently caused Jimmy, Superman, and Supergirl to screw up so bad that it took a dozen tiny Supermen to fix it.
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