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Author Topic: The "Is it Canonical?" game....  (Read 8638 times)
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Gangbuster
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« on: May 24, 2005, 07:53:01 PM »



I just joined Supermanica a couple of weeks ago, and I've enjoyed updating it (well, I just went to Belize for a week, but I enjoyed it before that.) We've already flogged the Crisis horse to death, but I do have a couple of other questions about potential canonical sources, mostly pertaining to the Golden Age Superman.

I'm assuming that newspaper strips aren't canonical unless they are reprints of comic books, (plus they're not listed in the canonical sources) but in the case of the radio show, can the characters created in that show (Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Atom Man) be referenced to the radio show, or do we begin only with their first comic appearances? If we can reference radio origins, what would the abbreviations be?

Beyond that, I have a question about a couple of other books. I have come into possession of what I think is the first Superman graphic novel, Superman Smashes the Secret of the Mad Director (1966) by George S. Elrick. I think it deserves to be added to the canonical sources; plus, I would like to write the entry on it.

My last question pertains to novels. Maggin's novels are included in the canonical sources, but George Lowther's is not. I guess my question is the ever-annoying "Why?"

Thanks for your patience. Back to my writing...
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TELLE
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2005, 07:49:44 AM »

I've wondered about the radio show as well.  It seems that the characters who made their premiers there are also adequately introduced in the comics.  If we ever decide to include it, I suppose it would be abbreviated as STRP --Superman the Radio Program.  

Maggin's novels are there because he is the patron saint of pre-Crisis Superman (and of this site) and because he developed the characters almost more than any other writer.  

Tell is more about these other sources.
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Gangbuster
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2005, 03:57:12 PM »

The other two sources that I mentioned are George Lowther's 1942 Superman novel:

http://superman.nu/a/Novels/adv.php

and Superman Smashes the Secret of the Mad Director (1966) by George S! Elrick (ok, so I added that exclamation point.) In this tale, Lois and Clark are investigating a film director, who makes horribly realistic movies. They discover that the people in his movies are being mind-controlled through some sort of contact lenses and proceed to stop him. It's a good example of the classic relationship between Lois and Clark, where she suspects that he is Superman but cannot prove it. Though an obscure book, it might be the first Superman graphic novel, published by Whitman with a 29-cent cover.

I also have the radio scripts book for "Superman vs. the Atom Man." Was Atom Man ever introduced in the comics?
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Johnny Nevada
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2005, 07:01:43 PM »

Quote from: "Gangbuster"
The other two sources that I mentioned are George Lowther's 1942 Superman novel:

http://superman.nu/a/Novels/adv.php

and Superman Smashes the Secret of the Mad Director (1966) by George S! Elrick (ok, so I added that exclamation point.) In this tale, Lois and Clark are investigating a film director, who makes horribly realistic movies. They discover that the people in his movies are being mind-controlled through some sort of contact lenses and proceed to stop him. It's a good example of the classic relationship between Lois and Clark, where she suspects that he is Superman but cannot prove it. Though an obscure book, it might be the first Superman graphic novel, published by Whitman with a 29-cent cover.

I also have the radio scripts book for "Superman vs. the Atom Man." Was Atom Man ever introduced in the comics?


World's Finest #271 (which I finally found a copy of a few months ago) shows Superman meeting Atoman (odd spelling). The story was an anniversary issue of the Superman-Batman teamups, and meant to be Roy Thomas' attempt at reconciling all of the various contradictory "first meetings" of the two heroes (with the "Robin meets Superboy" story thrown in for good measure). The main plot involved Atoman showing up on Earth-One to battle Superman and Batman; we're shown his origin, and how the original radio story apparently took place on Earth-Two (though the origin shown here doesn't reconcile with how the Earth-2 Superman didn't discover kryptonite until that 1949 "Swami Riva" story---unless that story took place earlier than originally published...).

-B.
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TELLE
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2005, 08:01:44 AM »

Thank Rao for Roy Thomas and his needle and thread!
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2005, 03:28:58 PM »

Quote from: "TELLE"
Thank Rao for Roy Thomas and his needle and thread!


Yes, he did a pretty nice job---though he did forget to include *one* Batman-meets-Superman story: the "Executioner" tale. Then again, since everyone *else* forgot about said tale, guess he was in the clear... ;-)
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2005, 03:57:34 PM »

IMHO, Maggin's novels would normally not be considered canon.

But they were brought into continuity by the Superwoman/Kristin Wells stories.  Said issues made Miracle Monday canon.  Miracle Monday had references to Last Son of Krypton which made that canon, too.

But without those Superwoman issues, I'd leave Maggin's novels out of canon.

Regardless of how great a contributor to the SA era Elliot was, it's the actual comics that determine whether his work is canon or not.
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2005, 08:04:52 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
IMHO, Maggin's novels would normally not be considered canon.


I guess I would ask, under what circumstances would a vast Superman encyclopedia, cribbed from an already existing but outdated 20-year-old book, created by fans of Maggin's novels (who hate most aspects of the modern Superman since 1986) be considered "normal"?  Cheesy

Maggin's novels are ultimately one of the top 3 reasons for the creation of Supermanica and by extension, this message board, the notion of an exclusionary canon, etc.
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