Superman Through the Ages! Forum

Superman Comic Books! => Superman! => Topic started by: Maximara on May 28, 2005, 12:38:05 AM



Title: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: Maximara on May 28, 2005, 12:38:05 AM
Superman #307-309 (1977) has to be one of the stranger stories I vaguely recall. In it Supergirl along with the Kandorians cook up this half baked idea to convince Superman that he and Supergirl are really human mutants because Superman has gone into hyper enviromentalism mode. How exactly this is supposed to get Superman out of his hyper enviromentalism mode is not really explained and this results is Superman basicly abandoning the rest of the cosmos for Earth.

Is it just me or do the Kandorians and Supergirl come of as a few cards shy of a full deck in this story or is my memory a little faulty?


Title: Re: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: VRLowKey on May 28, 2005, 04:12:20 AM
I recall that it was 'Kryptonian Psychology' to eliminate painful memories by eliminating the reality.  It seemed really strange to me, too, and I can only guess that the editors were away on vacation when those issues were published.
  I think they were trying to get to a 'What If' story, unfortunately they didn't get there.
 Nobody's Prefect


Title: Re: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: Maximara on May 29, 2005, 05:57:42 AM
Quote from: "VRLowKey"
I recall that it was 'Kryptonian Psychology' to eliminate painful memories by eliminating the reality.  It seemed really strange to me, too, and I can only guess that the editors were away on vacation when those issues were published.
  I think they were trying to get to a 'What If' story, unfortunately they didn't get there.


It certainly was weird though it does sound like some of the nonsense some psycologists had at the time which seemed to create more problems than it solved. Also I did not understand how the whole thing could be kept going - how do you explain Kryptonite for example the Phantom Zone, and the dozens of other things connected to Krypton?

Also while the shared universe was a lot more compartmentalized then it is now all it would have take was one person like Hal or Hyperman would have blown the whole plan to smitherenes. Heck even Batman and Robin knew where Krypton was (To Kill a Legend).  Then you have the matter of after all this time coping why did the Kandorians and Supergirl desided to play with poor Kal-El's mind.


Title: Re: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: lastkryptonianhere on May 29, 2005, 01:02:30 PM
Well it wasn't the best Superman story of that era but the Jose Luis Garcia Lopez art was amazing.


Title: Re: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: Captain Kal on May 30, 2005, 10:52:32 AM
Well, as you said, it does fall apart when you think it through.  That's exactly what happened in the third part when Superman wondered where his indestructible costume came from, about Krypto, and why Supergirl kept calling him 'cousin' when his mutant origin story meant they weren't related at all.

But the thing that I thought they were going for to explain these inconsistencies was an older concept Maggin (?) introduced about his super-power of suggestion.  Luthor once took advantage of this to make Superman believe he had the power to turn him back into Superboy with a gadget when he apparently did so to Batman and the Flash.  Ordinary people can be hypnotized into believing something has happened that didn't.  Superman's mind is so powerful that whatever he believes is made into reality.  So, if he believed he could be turned into Superboy, then he turned into Superboy in fact.  By refusing to accept this reality anymore, he returned to being Superman and beat Luthor soundly.

I thought it was an interesting plot device Maggin created to explain the plotholes and inconsistencies of the Bronze/Silver Age.  At least Kal's -- or any other super-mind like Kara's -- was fudging with reality at least on a local scale.  So, the costume, for example, was indestructible because his super-mind made it so with a false history for it being so.


Title: Re: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: RedSunOfKrypton on May 31, 2005, 06:38:44 AM
Now that I really don't like, omnipotent beings aren't interesting. Interesting way to tie up the loose ends though.


Title: Re: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: Maximara on May 31, 2005, 09:51:14 PM
Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Well, as you said, it does fall apart when you think it through.  That's exactly what happened in the third part when Superman wondered where his indestructible costume came from, about Krypto, and why Supergirl kept calling him 'cousin' when his mutant origin story meant they weren't related at all.

But the thing that I thought they were going for to explain these inconsistencies was an older concept Maggin (?) introduced about his super-power of suggestion.  Luthor once took advantage of this to make Superman believe he had the power to turn him back into Superboy with a gadget when he apparently did so to Batman and the Flash.  Ordinary people can be hypnotized into believing something has happened that didn't.  Superman's mind is so powerful that whatever he believes is made into reality.  So, if he believed he could be turned into Superboy, then he turned into Superboy in fact.  By refusing to accept this reality anymore, he returned to being Superman and beat Luthor soundly.


The super-hypnotism was used as a way to explain why if people having pictures of Suerman and Clark Kent side by side could not spot the simularities. Seemed Superman created a Super-hypnotism effect when wearing his Clark Kent glasses that was so powerful that it extended to photos.

On a side note I vaguely remember a story where Superman is trying to reveal his secret id and this kid will not believe him. While not mentioned the plot device of the Super-hypnotism come up when trying to convince the kid he is Superman Lois runs in and open up his shirt to reveal Superman's costume. At which point she berates Clark Kent for pretending to be Superman!

At wits end Superman asks what will prove that he is Clark Kent and the kid askes of all things to see Kent's bathroom. He opens up the medicine cabinet and finding it empty say now believes because Superman would not need things a normal man would have in his medicine cabinet like shaving cream, razor, medicine for the occational illness and so on. I think the kid wad related to Pete Ross but it has been so long I'm not sure.


Title: Re: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: Gary on June 01, 2005, 11:02:08 AM
Quote from: "Maximara"
Superman #307-309 (1977) has to be one of the stranger stories I vaguely recall. In it Supergirl along with the Kandorians cook up this half baked idea to convince Superman that he and Supergirl are really human mutants because Superman has gone into hyper enviromentalism mode. How exactly this is supposed to get Superman out of his hyper enviromentalism mode is not really explained and this results is Superman basicly abandoning the rest of the cosmos for Earth.

Is it just me or do the Kandorians and Supergirl come of as a few cards shy of a full deck in this story or is my memory a little faulty?


This story was by Gerry Conway. Conway had written some pretty decent stuff in earlier years but at this point he was basically just a hack who was writing about half the DC line, seemingly putting into print any half-baked idea that came into his mind.

Julie Schwarz should've known better, though. Oh well.


Title: Re: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: Captain Kal on June 01, 2005, 12:11:41 PM
I stand corrected on the 'super-power of suggestion' reference.  Cary Bates was the author not Maggin.  It was in Action Comics #466.

The story "The Master Mesmerizer of Metropolis!" was by Martin Pasko based on a story concept by Al Schroeder III.  That story stated that Kal's super-hypnosis power was always on at a low-power which was amplified by the peculiar characteristics of his Kryptonian-glasses.  This isn't quite the same thing as it was projecting outwards the image he wanted to be seen as.

The Bates story about 'super-power of suggestion' meant his super-mind was altering physical reality itself instead of just the perception of it.  My suspicion was Cary was trying to create a plot device to explain all the continuity gaffes in the supermythos of that time, and perhaps extend this to the DCU in general.

Both of the above story concepts were never revisited, were one-shot wonders, and seem to have been retconned out of existence in the Mopee tradition of just ignoring they ever happened. (Mopee being the supposed 'real' reason Barry/Flash got his super-speed.)


Title: Re: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: Gary on June 01, 2005, 01:52:41 PM
Quote from: "Captain Kal"
The Bates story about 'super-power of suggestion' meant his super-mind was altering physical reality itself instead of just the perception of it.  My suspicion was Cary was trying to create a plot device to explain all the continuity gaffes in the supermythos of that time, and perhaps extend this to the DCU in general.


I can certainly understand why they wouldn't have wanted to keep that. If Superman had such a power then eventually he'd figure out a way to control it. While this would lead to some interesting story ideas, it would radically change the nature of the series. We expect Supey to punch the bad guys, not to alter their physical reality by the power of his mind.

In a similar vein, I remember a Jack C. Harris Supergirl story in which SG quite unconsciously (and one would assume telepathically) used her super-vision to hypnotize a male interest, making him become a super-villain. Not surprisingly, they let that one die quietly as well.


Title: Re: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: NotSuper on June 01, 2005, 08:58:53 PM
I haven't read the story in question, but the premise of Superman actually being something different than he thinks is a good idea. It's one of the reasons that I liked Alan Moore's run on Miracleman.


Title: Re: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: Maximara on June 02, 2005, 06:55:50 AM
Quote from: "NotSuper"
I haven't read the story in question, but the premise of Superman actually being something different than he thinks is a good idea. It's one of the reasons that I liked Alan Moore's run on Miracleman.


Well the idea is an old one. Remember it was not until 1949 that the Golden Age Superman found out he was from Krypton so until then he just knew he had the special abilities.


Title: Re: Superman - Mutant?
Post by: Genis Vell on June 02, 2005, 10:29:07 AM
This trilogy is one of my favourite pre-Crisis stories. I remember when I have read part 2 two years ago... It was very odd. Superman human? Impossible, obviously, but I liked to see him with Lois acting like a normal person. I didn't know it yet, but it was the sequel of a sub plot started with "Who took out the Super from Superman?", then ended with the Amalak saga. I have bought parts 1 and 3 months ago, so I have discovered the truth about this story (it was only a Supergirl's hoax)... Yeah, I really like it. Even because there are Josť Luis Garcia Lopez artworks! He is one of the best super heroes artists ever.