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Author Topic: Superman in the Silver Age  (Read 94521 times)
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Aldous
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« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2003, 03:41:19 AM »

Fortress of Solitude

No takers for my wonderings regarding "The Super-Key to Fort Superman"?

Anyway, moving on...

One thought I had about the Fortress...

Carved out of rock and ice in the Arctic, it's no stretch of the imagination to see that it must be VERY VERY COLD inside that Fortress. Except... visitors to the Fortress over the years are shown walking around comfortably in street clothes, often in different parts of the sanctum.

This would seem to indicate that Superman maintains parts of the Fortress at a temperature comfortable for ordinary human beings.
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2003, 07:14:42 AM »

Not quite! Check out this real life Fortress of Solitude!

http://www.riverdeep.net/current/2001/01/013101_icehotels.jhtml

"Staying Warm    
How is it possible to stay warm in a hotel room built of ice? The secret is the fact that ice and snow are good insulators. An insulator is a material that prevents or slows the flow of energy in the form of heat, electricity, or sound. In contrast, a conductor is a material that allows the energy to flow. For example, feathers are a heat insulator; aluminum is a heat conductor.

Ice helps keep the Ice Hotel relatively warm. It traps the heat inside the hotel room and keeps the colder air outside. Even if the outside temperature drops to well below freezing, the temperature inside the hotel room remains just a few degrees below freezing.

The Ice Hotel is an oversized, complex Eskimo igloo. Igloos are built of snow. During construction, snowflakes that fall on the igloo melt and then quickly refreeze into ice. Once an igloo is complete, the Eskimos place a hot lamp inside and seal the entrance. As the snow begins to melt, it runs down the interior walls of the igloo. When the walls are all wet, the builders remove the lamp and leave the door open. The sudden exposure to the cold outside air freezes the water on the walls, creating a layer of ice. The igloo now has a triple layer of insulation: an ice coating on the interior of the snow walls, the snow walls themselves, and ice coating on the exterior of the snow walls.

Ice also gives structural strength to both igloos and the Ice Hotel. Legend has it that an igloo can withstand the weight of a polar bear, if one should decide to visit. Hotel guests do not have to worry that the building might collapse if a blizzard dumps several feet of snow on the roof.

Like an igloo, the Ice Hotel is temporary shelter. Once the outside temperatures climb above 0C (32F), the structure will begin to melt."
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Osgood Peabody
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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2003, 07:56:37 PM »

Glad to find this crowd still hanging out somewhere !

Aldous, my impression of the Fortress story is that its significance was found mostly in hindsight as the forerunner of all the Weisinger innovations that followed it.  The story itself, aside from being the first Fortress story, had one other milestone attached to it - it was a celebration of sorts of Superman's 20th anniversary - being published in June 1958.

I believe Weisinger began being credited in the indicia as editor as of issue 239, just 2 months prior (Whitney Ellsworth being listed beforehand), but that he was involved behind the scenes as editor on all of the Superman comics since the '40s.  What inspired this unprecedented burst of creativity in '58-'59 is a matter of debate I suppose, but I would conjecture that his getting full credit as editor for the first time was at least part of the explanation.
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2003, 08:40:46 PM »

actually, Morty served in WW2 so he couldn't have been the editor during that time.
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Aldous
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« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2003, 10:30:52 PM »

Osgood Peabody

Hi, Osgood!

Quote
Glad to find this crowd still hanging out somewhere !


You bet!

Thanks for the reply to the "Super-Key" post. You've covered everything I was wondering about.

As that is your first post here, let me say Welcome. These are great discussion boards. There are a few really knowledgeable comic book fans here, so you will fit right in. I am looking forward to learning from you all about Superman history and super hero comic books.

And let's not forget the odd heated debate! You know how I love to argue...  :wink:
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Rugal 3:16
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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2003, 07:20:38 AM »

How was Superman (and DC) been able to survive during the Marvel Age? what was weisinger's reaction, his views to the change of sudden fan mood (coz usually from what I've heard, Mort would get plots from kids next door)

I'm sure since Marvel was really becoming huge.. superman readers were being reduced into a cult ministry kind of thing.. ever had any thought of this.
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« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2003, 01:31:11 PM »

Quote
How was Superman (and DC) been able to survive during the Marvel Age? what was weisinger's reaction, his views to the change of sudden fan mood (coz usually from what I've heard, Mort would get plots from kids next door)

I'm sure since Marvel was really becoming huge.. superman readers were being reduced into a cult ministry kind of thing.. ever had any thought of this.


From all I've read, Mort, and DC in general, were in denial about Marvel's success.  Having seen numerous companies come and go over the years while DC lumbered ever onward, the prevailing wisdom was that Marvel might enjoy a brief flash of popularity, but would ultimately fold.

The fact that DC actually *distributed* Marvel titles for the first few years proves they didn't consider them a huge threat.  And from interviews I've seen with Neal Adams, Carmine Infantino, Roy Thomas and others I gather that DC practically had an editorial policy of self-imposed obsolesence.  

I see things like the Schwartz-helmed revamp of Batman in 64, the appointment of Infantino to publisher and other developments as part of DC's effort to reinvent itself.  Unfortunately this often took the form of aping Marvel rather than forging their own path.  Doubly unfortunate since it's obvious the DC crowd didn't really understand the appeal of Marvel comics and so was only able to imitate certain attitudes and styles, but without the "sparkle" to make it really work.

I don't know that Superman was all that devastated by Marvel's rise at this point in time, at least not to the point of becoming a "for cultists only" title. I think he still appealed to the juvenile crowd even if Spidey and the Hulk were claiming college kids.  But it was almost certainly a lie when DC ran that banner that said, "World's Best-Selling Comics Magazine!"

Unless they meant it in an historical sense.
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Aldous
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« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2003, 10:29:02 PM »

I wasn't even born when the FF, Hulk, and Spider-Man hit the marketplace, but I would love to hear from anyone who was around, and who actually remembers seeing the new Marvels on the newsstand, and what you honestly thought of them at the time.

I love early FF, Spidey and Dr. Strange, but I discovered them many many years after they originally appeared, so I have no feeling of "context" in terms of the marketplace. Actually, growing up in NZ in those days, I had no inkling of context anyway... I had no knowledge of the comics scene in the States. I only knew what I liked, and that's all I cared about. (Yes, I lived in an insular world where other people's opinions about comics didn't matter a d*amn. My, how times have changed.)
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