Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Showcase Presents: Superman, Vol. 4 – reviewed
Oddly enough, the final panel is both the saddest and the one that points the way forward for the character. “If I can’t trust the President of the United States of America,” says Superman to JFK in 1964 after entrusting him with his secret identity, “who can I trust?” Within a decade everyone would be asking the same question for different reasons. In the short term, that would leave Superman looking like a relic from a different age, but eventually writers would realise that no matter how big his muscles, ethical and moral dilemmas hit a Superman as hard as any of us.
On a lighter note, Superman shows off a couple of interesting powers in this volume: super-smoking, in “The Goofy Superman”, and super-kissing, in “The Great Superman Impersonation”. “Lois would pass out if she knew it was Superman, my other identity, who kissed her!” thinks Clark to himself after giving Lois a smacker. You have to wonder how pleasant it would be to kiss him. For example we learn in the Goliath-Hercules story that he cannot tan, because the sun cannot damage his skin that way; presumably his lips would be pretty much rock hard. He would be forced to mimic softness by reacting to the movements of your lips at super-speed, but such a calculated procedure could only ever create the illusion of passion!
Showcase Presents: Superman, Vol. 4, by Edmond Hamilton, Curt Swan et al. DC, tpb, 528pp.