superman.nuMary Immaculate of Lourdes Newton<Holliston School Committeefacebook    
  •   forum   •   KRISTIN WELLS' "FINAL ENTRY!" •   fortress   •  
Superman Through the Ages! Forum
News: Superman Through the Ages! now located at
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
May 25, 2024, 06:21:50 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Down
Author Topic: Was the Phantom Zone inspired by "A Christmas Carol?&qu  (Read 12443 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Superman's Pal
Offline Offline

Posts: 21

« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2006, 09:22:09 PM »

Marley wants to help where he didn't in life.  But he's "deader than a doornail."  It's impossible to redeem once you are dead.  But not on Krypton.  It is possible to leave the PZ.  Maybe the plan is that PZers will share Marley's remorse and thus be rehabilitated?  I'd like to think so anyway.  We need that here in real life....
Superman Squad
Offline Offline

Posts: 589

« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2006, 12:46:30 AM »

Honestly, it could probably be inspired by the idea of phantoms itself, or any reference to them. I wonder where the idea of ghosts or phantoms originated?...I know these ideas are ancient.

I didn't watch that serial all the way to the end, but it makes sense. Personally, the Phantom Zone reminds me more of Purgatory ( being a state in which one is serving a sentence but cannot die) or Hades. It's a good thing the PZ ray doesn't turn people into zombies instead....

"Trying to capture my wife, eh? That makes me SUPER-MAD!"

-"Superman", 1960

Last Son of Krypton
Offline Offline

Posts: 267

« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2006, 01:40:13 AM »

I have both the serials... but have not watched them in years.  I do recall Superboy, while trapped in the PZ, used the same trick to "type" a message to Pa Kent as to how to get him out of the Zone.. it's posted here on STTA
Superman Fan
Offline Offline

Posts: 10

« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2006, 02:43:02 AM »

Obviously Uncle Morty and others read wildly, and obviously nothing in the book is a direct 1:1 correlation, but the idea that a horrific kind of punishment might be to be invisible, intangible, and unable to interact with the world...might have been inspired by Dickens's novel.

Take for instance, this passage:

Quote from: A Christmas Carol
It beckoned Scrooge to approach, which he did. When they were within two paces of each other, Marley’s Ghost held up its hand, warning him to come no nearer. Scrooge stopped.

Not so much in obedience, as in surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand, he became sensible of confused noises in the air; incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret; wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. The spectre, after listening for a moment, joined in the mournful dirge; and floated out upon the bleak, dark night.

Scrooge followed to the window: desperate in his curiosity. He looked out.

The air was filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste, and moaning as they went. Every one of them wore chains like Marley’s Ghost; some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together; none were free. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. He had been quite familiar with one old ghost, in a white waistcoat, with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle, who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant, whom it saw below, upon a door-step. The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.

Dickens was obviously not a student of Pauline theology.

Many people think that mainstream Christianity teaches historically that salvation is based on helping people and living a humane life, but that actually represents the position of Zoroastrianism (Pauline Christianity teaches that going to Heaven only serves as a function of your belief in the resurrection of Jesus). Islam teaches that salvation is based on the law. However, this crucial aspect of Pauline theology has roundly been ignored in TV or movie adaptations of Heaven and Hell, except for the recent Constantine (John Constantine) film-Constantine is told that faith is needed for salvation, but since he *knows* that cannot save him.

Before we find out if there ever was an epic confrontation between Superboy
(or man) and the Phantom Zoners, let's look into the origins of this tale a
little deeper. Anybody who'd been reading comics for a little while in 1961
might've noticed an eerie resemblance between the "Phantom Superboy" and a
tale published only a couple of years earlier called "The Ghost of Lois
Lane!" (_Superman_ #129, May 1959, by Jerry Coleman, Wayne Boring, and Stan

The splash page shows Superman in his Fortress, confronted by a ghostly
figure of Lois Lane. He moans, "Lois ... why don't you stop haunting me?
You know I didn't mean to kill you... that it was all an accident!"

At the Daily Planet office one day, a glib salesman tries to sell Jimmy an
electric typewriter. "It's so sensitive I can move the keys just by blowing
on them!" says Jimmy.

Lois then goes to return a briefcase to a Professor Grail, hoping, of
course, for an interview. The Professor needs the case for a conference
he's leaving to attend soon, but Lois (who has been associating with Jimmy
too much, apparently) has forgotten to bring it with her. The Professor
forgives her and gives her a tour of his lab, where he's conducting
teleportation experiments. Meanwhile, Perry has asked Superman to deliver
the briefcase. Using his X-ray and telescopic vision, Superman spots Lois
just as she sits in the Professor's teleport chair. But something in
Superman's powers interacts with the machine -- there's an explosion -- and
Lois disappears!

Grief-stricken, Superman searches the wreckage only to be confronted by a
mute spectral image of Lois. Then, she's gone. Thinking it was a
hallucination, Superman returns to Metropolis. But everywhere Superman
goes, no matter what feat he tries to perform, the spectral image of Lois
keeps appearing and disappearing before his eyes. Convinced Lois blames him
for her death, Superman flies off into space hoping to escape from the
earth-bound apparition, but to no avail. Desperately he switches to Clark
Kent and returns to the Daily Planet, hoping Lois still doesn't know his
secret identity. But she appears there also. Clark blurts out to Perry and
Jimmy that Lois is there, but they see nothing. Just as Perry is counseling
Clark to take a vacation, Jimmy's typewriter starts typing by itself. Lois
is using her brainwaves to make the super-sensitive typewriter work. She
tells Clark that she's stuck in the fourth dimension and that Superman can
rescue her by reversing the Professor's machine. (There is no explanation
as to how Lois knew it was the fourth dimension. Obviously it wasn't the
fifth, but why not some other number?) It turns out that when Superman used
his X-ray vision he was able to peer into the fourth dimension and see
Lois's spectre. Fortunately, Lois couldn't see back very clearly, so she
never saw Clark change to Superman.

Readers who had been around even a little longer than that might have
remembered _Jimmy Olsen_ #12 back in April, 1956. I've never read this
issue, but the cover depicts an invisible Jimmy Olsen pleading with
Superman that he's trapped in the fourth dimension and that no one can see
or hear him. How much would you bet he used an electric typewriter to

But wait, there's more! In 1950, the movie serial "Superman vs. the Atom
Man" featured a sequence in which Luthor teleported Superman into another
dimension he called "The Empty Doom". Superman sent a message to Lois Lane
via an electric typewriter which told her how to rescue him. Writers George
Plympton and Royal Cole apparently got the idea from a recent _Action
Comics_ (#131, April 1949) in which Luthor used a ray to transport Superman
into the fourth dimension. The story, "The Scrambled Superman," was written
by Joe Samachson and drawn by Al Plastino. I haven't read it, but Rich
Morrissey has, and he says Superman used the same electric typewriter
gimmick to tell Lois Lane how to rescue him from his disembodied state.
When editor Mort Weisinger found a gimmick he liked he used it over and
over (and over and over).

The concept goes back even further than that, however. In his 1942 story
"Beyond the Farthest Star", Edgar Rice Burroughs used the thought-powered
typewriter to explain how he learned of the adventures of his interstellar
traveling hero. I can't swear this is the first time the idea was used.
It's probably as old as electric typewriters themselves.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 02:53:22 AM by Enda80 » Logged
Last Son of Krypton
Offline Offline

Posts: 267

« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2006, 03:15:19 AM »

Wow Enda... what a post!

I didn't realize that the PZ, or something like it, was used THAT long!

I am rewatching the Atom Man serial.  Enjoying Kirk Alyn a LOT!  The Empty Doom is reminding me of the PZ, but haven't gotten to that part of the serial yet.
Klar Ken T5477
Council of Wisdom
Offline Offline

Posts: 1338

Metropolis Prime, NYC, NY USA

« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2006, 06:40:22 AM »

Chapter Six IIRC
Superman Squad
Offline Offline

Posts: 843


« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2006, 08:47:19 AM »

Fortunately, Lois couldn't see back very clearly, so she
never saw Clark change to Superman.

Really? Then how did she read the letters of the alphabet on those itty-bitty typewriter keys?

Super Monkey
League of Supermen
Offline Offline

Posts: 3435

« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2006, 12:03:34 PM »

Really? Then how did she read the letters of the alphabet on those itty-bitty typewriter keys?

I have seen plenty of people who can type at a professional level, like Lois Lane, never look down at their keyboard, or in this case typewriter.


"I loved Super-Monkey; always wanted to do something with him but it never happened."
- Elliot S! Maggin
Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Up
Jump to:  


Archives: OLD FORUM  -  DCMB  -  KAL-L
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! Dilber MC Theme by HarzeM
Entrance ·  Origin ·  K-Metal ·  The Living Legend ·  About the Comics ·  Novels ·  Encyclopaedia ·  The Screen ·  Costumes ·  Read Comics Online ·  Trophy Room ·  Creators ·  ES!M ·  Fans ·  Multimedia ·  Community ·  Supply Depot ·  Gift Shop ·  Guest Book ·  Contact & Credits ·  Links ·  Coming Attractions ·  Free E-mail ·  Forum

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
The LIVING LEGENDS of SUPERMAN! Adventures of Superman Volume 1!
The Complete Supply Depot for all your Superman needs!