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Author Topic: The most SHOCKING Superman moments?  (Read 12113 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: March 03, 2007, 12:16:38 PM »

There are a couple moments that come immediately to mind: the first is, obviously, the oft-reprinted few couple of panels from that Denny O'Neil story where Superman EATS Kryptonite.

Some of the less-famous shocking moments have to be during the Cary Bates story where the space-Amazon Quazars attack earth, and in order to grant immunity from the Quazars' mind control, Superman has to KISS Lucy Lane. And not just a chaste peck - a big, fat, horny smackeroo using the tongue. Boy, I'm sure Lucy hated every second of that.  Wink Jimmy Olsen's Superman's Pal, but there are definitely limits.

Another would have to be that Cary Bates story with the woman that claims Superman crippled him. In it, Superman takes a missile directly to the face, and LAUGHS. Big Blue then sticks his thumb out, points it at his chest-symbol and says,

"Do you see THIS? Do you know what this STANDS FOR? It means I can mop up the sea with saltwater scum like you...and you can't do a THING to STOP me!"

Wow, I sure wasn't expecting that.

Another shocking moment would be in that Jerry Siegel/Curt Swan 1960s story where a cabal of villains captures Superman and puts him on trial. Superman literally PLEADS for mercy in the most pathetic way possible, trying to bribe all the villains in exchange for saving his life. He offers Saturn Queen eternal youth, turning Lightning Lord's lightning power to nuclear power, Lex Luthor a group of Kryptonian super-weapons that are buried on earth (which is especially selfish of Superman, considering all the mayhem Lex would consequently release with them on innocent people).
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2007, 11:30:24 PM »

and which he would have to clean up... making him look good in front of the press. but as it is often noted superman is a.... well im not sure if i can finish that sentance  Tongue

the obvous one is superman killing the kryptonian villians of the pocket universe, people are still recovering from that... and another obvous one is superboy prime goes nutty rampage

id have to say one of the most shocking superman comics i read was action comics #4 (superman plays football) were he picks out a football player on the simularity of build, kidnapps him, drugs him and keeps him trapped in his room as he impersonates him on the field! i know this was the early days were superman was meaner, but usually his targets deserved to be victimised to some extent, tommy burke was just some poor sap who happend to be in the wrong place wrong time.

one story i havent read but heard about is the one were lois lane goes back in time and romances Jor-El! thass all kinds of dodgy
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TELLE
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2007, 03:10:11 AM »

Superman 305 (1976) in which the original Golden Age Toy Man kills the 1970s version in his sleep, just for usurping his name.  A Martin Pasko tale that took a classic fun character and made him "dark" long before Alan Moore, et al.

Well, it sort of shocked me when I read it for the first time last year....

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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2007, 04:34:01 PM »

I suppose that citing any instances in which Superman kills between, say 1938-1940 wouldn't really constitute shocking behaviour so much as it would reflect business as usual, but what about Clark Kent?

Remembering the trouble they caused for him when last they met, Lex Luthor has two of his men kidnap Clark and Lois and bring them to him.  "We-we'd better do as they say, Lois".  What follows:

The roadster streaks down the side of a mountain road at breakneck speed. Acting swiftly, Clark presses a certain nerve on Lois' neck so that she will be unconscious during the ensuing events. 

Clark (thinking): Sorry I have to do this Lois, but it's to save you from a certain death".

Goon: Hey!  What in-!

Clark (ripping the steering wheel off with his bare hands) Mind if I borrow this?

Frantically, the driver reaches for the emergency brake, but Superman beats him to it and crushes it to a pulp!

Goon (firing into Clark's face): The bullets - bouncing off!

Clark: My teachers always did tell me that I was thick-skulled!  Let's see how thick your skulls are (he slams the goon and the thug's heads together)

Out of control, the roadster races for the edge of the road.  With but seconds to act, Clark seizes Lois and leaps away as the car plunges off the road to destruction!

Moments later

Lois: What- what happened?

Clark: Those thugs released us with a warning to abandon our investigation.

That is NOT what happened Clark! 


What's really shocking is that Kent's actions set in motion a sequence of feelings in the criminals that the reader also feels.  The first emotion is shock, followed by bewilderment, then stark, gripping terror, and then numbness. This is Superman...in his Clark Kent disguise.  "Time for me to become a timid, mild-mannered...remorseless killing machine"  And there were so many other ways Superman could have resolved this.  He could have knocked out the men, let them take them to Luthor and then make his move, he could have tampered with the car discreetly, etc. 

I've noticed that when Superman kills in these stories, he does so with either one of two motivations.  He'll either address a great injustice, such as giving a murdering devil the punishment he deserves, or he'll seem to be following a "Much as I hate to take a human life, I'm late for work" policy.  And the lie he tells Lois - who was right next to him the whole time -  MAN!  Did he return later to hide the bodies so that his story wouln't be contradicted?    It really feels as if I'm leaving something out - I still can't seem to enunciate how bizarre and shocking this one page scene is, but...wow...do I need to say more?
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Permanus
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2007, 06:07:32 PM »

Well, boeuf bourguignon is a bit shocking when placed in context.

Other than that, shocking moments tend to show the less pleasant aspects of Superman's ego: his self-importance in "The Last Days of Superman" is a bit shocking, or at any rate off-putting. I mean, he goes to the lengths of engraving his words of wisdom ("Do good to others", etc.) along with the secret of his identity on the moon; he erases the Clark Kent bit later, but leaves the first bit, where it will presumably be visible to all of humanity for all time. Werewolves will learn to hate those words.

And what's that story with the little duplicate of him that outdoes him all the time? He actually considers killing it. This is a callow side to Superman's nature that appears elsewhere: Superman is bothered when Mysterio appears in Metropolis, and, much later, when Mr Miracle started showboating about the place in that DCCP issue.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2007, 06:39:29 PM »

For people that have grown up with the "kinder, gentler" and much more polite and humble Christopher Reeves take on Superman, the moments in the 1970s and before where Superman was a hardassed authoritarian/patriarch probably are very shocking.

You hit it right on the nail, there, Permanus. The funny thing is, I don't think these moments are necessarily all that bad an idea, as they give Superman such a concrete personality.

It's a pity in many ways that the characterization Steve Englehart used for Superman in his issue of JLA didn't catch on (ditto for his Superman/Creeper team-up in DC COMICS PRESENTS) because Superman had such a definite personality: he was exceptionally proud of his status as Earth's greatest hero (though he refused to rest on his laurels), he was stubborn, patriarchial, and also something of a conservative. Englehart's Superman marvelled at earth expressions like a foreign exchange student; Superman under Stainless was most explicitly ALIEN, a character that was very much apart from Earth.
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2007, 07:08:45 PM »

cough...

http://seductioncomics.ytmnd.com/

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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2007, 08:03:17 PM »

Love it, Monkey!

I just remembered one of my favourite shocking moments, from the Futuremen story:

http://superman.nu/tales4/futuremen/?page=11

Lord, look how pathetic he is, cornered and powerless in the proverbial abandoned warehouse, sweat beading on his forehead, glancing desperately out of the window. You almost expect him to whip out a Tommy gun. "Ya'll never catch me alive! I'm Superman! Ya hear me? Superman! Top of the world, Ma!"
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