I love crossovers. Even when they don't really work that well or make a whole lot of sense, it's almost always interesting seeing how characters that don't usually hang out bounce off of each other -- and it's especially fun when you've got a character like Superman. That guy's such a well-known, well-defined cultural institution that there has to be a huge temptation to see how he interacts with pretty much anyone else, even if you don't actually have the rights to do the real thing.
But really, that's the magic of comics. Even if you can't get the genuine article, you can always file off the serial numbers and do your own version and get the same effect. Sort of. And that's how Superman ended up spending a good chunk of the '70s hanging out with Captain Strong, a thinly veiled stand-in for Popeye the Sailor Man who was addicted to alien seaweed.
Look: I have read a lot of weird old DC comics. It's kind of my thing. But the great thing about them is that no matter how crazy they get, every time I think I've seen the weirdest thing that comics have to offer, they always somehow manage to top themselves. Case in point: a Cary Bates/Ross Andru/Mike Esposito classic from 1968 that has somehow managed to outdo every other comic I have ever read. I realize I say this all the time, but this is, without question, the absolute balls-out craziest comic I have ever read.
Seriously, folks, I'll go ahead and tell you right now that Batman casually mentions owning a time machine in this one, and as far as weird stuff goes, that's not even in the top five.
As much as I tend to enjoy Superboy stories for their sheer kookiness, I've never really been a big fan of the concept. For the most part, they tend to just be standard Superman stories with Metropolis swapped out for Smallville and a slightly different girl with an alliterative name giving him a headache...
I think we can all agree that the problem with Silver Age Superman was that he just didn't have enough powers. Flight, super-strength, invulnerability, super-speed, heat vision, X-Ray vision, telescopic vision, microscopic vision, super-breath, super-memory, super-ventriloquism, super-hypnosis, super-intellect -- I mean, honestly, how is anyone supposed to tell a story with such a limited set of tools...
While DC's upcoming Flashpoint event is poised play out across an altered present, the publisher's also got plans to pay tribute to the past this July through August. This afternoon during the DC Nation Live panel at WonderCon, DC Entertainment co-publisher Dan DiDio announced Retro-Active, a wave of one-shots that will pay homage to the spirit of the Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, and Justice League of America stories of the '70s, '80s and '90s...
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