The oracular beard with Jared Conti
By Jared Conti in Arts & Entertainment
April 19, 2012
Yes, it did seem particularly silly in last week’s column that Superman would call his own flesh and blood a “flop.” I could understand if Superman Jr. didn’t inherit his father’s powers or had been raised by dad and then turned evil. The poor kid just needed some father/son time.
Here’s even MORE ridiculousness.
The villains, though, are where the goofiness really kicks things up a notch (or three.) In the back-up story “Super-Mxyzptlk…Hero!” (Superman No. 174) said imp from the fifth dimension returns to Earth to harass the heck out of Supes by using his reality-shifting powers to do things like change the sea to glue and turn prison cell window bars into playground slides. Thankfully, the only way for Mr. Mxyzptlk to be sent home is to say his name backwards. Personally, I’ve messed up TYPING his name six or eight times during this writing.
Also of note, is the women power in “The Mutant Menace of Metropolis” and “Crisis in Kandor” (Superman Family No. 168) is plain whack. Now, I’ve got no issue with women superheroes or even women fighting. In fact, the more the merrier. In “Mutant,” Lois goes undercover in a nightclub and kicks some serious ass when push comes to shove. Not a problem, especially when you see Lois decked out in fishnets and stilettos. “Crisis,” however, brings us to the Bottle City of Kandor. A crazy concept in itself, this miniaturized city is home to Krypton’s own superheroes Nightwing and Flamebird. Nightwing’s wife knows Klurkor, Krypton’s own martial arts. Goofiness, arise.
Hostess Snack Cakes commercials
Advertising in comic books works really well, so why not try to shill some seventies-era junk food? The powers that be do this with flying colors, like the spandex of which our favorite heroes wear.
In the one-page “Intergalactic Gold Eaters,” we’re faced with these alligator look-a likes from another planet that break into Fort Knox not to steal gold because it’s worth money, but because they can eat only gold things. Batman saves the day, of course, by introducing these would-be villains to the luscious sponge cake this is the Twinkie.
“Twinkies and Kelp” takes us beneath the waves where a rocket ship heads straight for the city of Atlantis! Aquaman, always at a loss for understanding humans, believes that those inside are hell bent on destroying the city’s kelp farms, when in fact they’re just introducing them to a much more delightful treat, Hostess Twinkies!
And then there’s Hawkman. He’s so standoffish sometimes, it makes you wonder if he should really be a hero or not. A group of kids are hanging out hanging out by some railroad tracks and then there’s a landslide and then…well, you guessed it: Hostess products.