Sunday, September 5, 2010


I had originally thought I'd put this together as a "One-Panel Critics" post...

... because in many ways, that image stands just fine on its own.

At some point when I was talking comics with Mike, years ago, I growled out this line of dialogue, which I had read for the first time when I was five years old. It lodged in my head over the subsequent years of re-reading. Superman #304 was one of the first comics I ever owned, and before I stash my minuscule collection of crappy 1970s Superman comics back in its place, I thought I'd quote you a few instances of the story's refrain.

Yes, even Jenet Klyburn, rocking a short skirt with her S.T.A.R. Labs science coat, gets supercharged and aggro enough to take a piece out of the Man of Steel.

And young Jon Ross, the kid who knows who Clark Kent really is, rages so hard he kicks Supes in the breadbasket.

One of the things I've always liked about the Curt Swan and Wayne Boring versions of Superman (this one is by Curt Swan) is how awkward both of them sometimes make him look, as if there's something kind of uncomfortable about living in his thick-chested, balloony physique.

And that's when he isn't getting Keds in his solar plexus.

This moment in the story gives the comic its cover image, by the way. But for some reason they replace the awesome Hulkstyle refrain with a much more patient explanation of cause and effect.

The cover also does away with the dynamism in Jon Ross's tantrum rage:

... But in return it gives us a playground full of kids cheering to see the Last Son of Krypton getting his butt whooped by a ten-year-old.

Of course, Superman does eventually figure out what's behind all the "HATE -- HATE -- DESTROY!," and as you might expect, it involves moonlight passing through the power prism that the Parasite has been wearing.

But that's not what I remembered about this comic for more than thirty years.

Won't you join me in the chorus one more time?


Mike said...

1. I love your label for this post, dude.

2. I LOL'ed at the close-up of the kids cheering from the playground below.

3. This reminds me of a line from Percy Bysshe Shelley's correspondence which I have quoted regularly ever since I first read it over ten years ago: "Death--Hell--Destruction." Would I enjoy Shelley's poetry better if it were illustrated by Curt Swan?

MiriyaB said...

The answer to #3 above = an unqualified YES.
Thanks for sharing these images, Isaac!

Isaac said...

Mike, you will without a doubt love this post's label even more when you see what else it indexes.