Archive for Superman Week

12 of Superman’s Most Absurd Pre-Crisis Super Powers

Posted in 80s, comic books, nostalgia, pop culture, Superman with tags , , , , , , , on July 4, 2011 by Paxton

Superman Week

Everyone knows the many standard powers of Superman; fly, super-strength, super-speed, super-breath, invulnerable, heat-vision, etc.  Not everyone knows, though, that he didn’t always have many of these abilities. Not only that, Superman has several other super powers that are less used, but still kept in his back pocket for just the right moment when he can whip it out and dazzle everyone.

As the years went on, and writers kept getting more…”creative”…Supes powers were quickly growing and getting more out of control. These little known powers had stacked up over the years until finally DC had to say, “Dammit, that’s enough” and launched the massive Crisis on Infinite Earths event to just level the playing field.

Let’s take a look at some of the lesser known, and therefore more humorous, of Superman’s Pre-Crisis abilities .  I’ll include panels of Superman using the ridiculous powers when I can.  If you have trouble reading the text, click the images to make them bigger.

Super Ventriloquism 1 Super Ventriloquism 2
Super-Ventriloquism and other voice “powers” – Not only Super-V, he had a whole bag full of voice powers that writers tended to wield at their hip like gunslingers. Superman could throw his voice over great distances and also possessed super-voice-mimicry, which means he could make his voice sound like anyone else. That power must come in handy at parties when you are stuck talking to the guy who won’t leave you alone and keeps asking you to come check out his “sweet van” out in the parking lot.  The one painted all white with no windows (aka RAPE van).  If you were Supes, you could throw your voice across the room as someone else calling your name and you can get the hell out of there. Nicely done, Superman.  Or, you could just punch a hole in the rapist’s face because you are, you know, SUPERMAN.

Super Mathematics
Super-MathematicsSuper Mathematics? That looks a lot like regular mathematics to me. By the way, Super Douche, isn’t 20 x 16 x 10 = 3,200?

Super Weaving
Super-Weaving – Yes, that actually happened.  Super weaving.  Not weaving at super speed.  Super-weaving.

Super Hypnosis
Super-Hypnosis – Apparently this is why no one recognizes Clark Kent is Superman.  And it apparently works even when he isn’t concentrating on using it (I guess that’s what makes it super hypnosis?).  However, I prefer to ignore this power and assume that everyone in Metropolis is just that dumb to notice they are the same person.  Or they really just don’t care.

Super Telepathic Will Control
Super-Telepathic Will Control – In an early issue of Superman where he’s kidnapped by aliens, he whips out telepathic will control, which allows him to override someone’s mind and make their body do whatever Superman wants.  If he can do this, then why would he ever need Super Hypnosis?

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Review of Superman Returns

Posted in movies, reviews, Superman, Superman Returns with tags , , , , on June 30, 2006 by Paxton

Superman Week

Well, I finally made it. Day 5 of Superman Week. I think I may take a small break next week to recover.

Well, in case you missed a day and want to go back, here are links to the last 4 days of Superman Week:

Day 1 – Review of Look, Up In The Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman
Day 2 – Scary Superman Merchandise
Day 3 – Review of Christopher Reeve Superman Movies
Day 4 – Stupid Superman Powers

That’s enough looking back, let’s move forward with Day 5.

Superman Returns

I’m going to keep this review simple because you really need to go into this knowing as little as possible. But know this, for me, this is the perfect followup to Superman I and Superman II. Brandon Routh IS Superman. Kevin Spacey IS Lex Luthor. The story is phenomenal, the effects are gorgeous, the dialogue is crisp. I loved every minute of it. Bryan Singer has taken great pains to make this movie “fit” into the universe started by Richard Donner back in 1978. The Fortress of Solitude, the opening credits, Superman’s ship crashing on Earth. All of it has the appearance it did back in Donner’s footage of Superman and Superman II. Even Marlon Brando returns as Superman’s Father. It all just fits together so well.

As for performances. Brandon Routh is wonderful as Superman. He plays the separate roles of Superman/Clark Kent superbly. Kevin Spacey is particularly menacing with a tinge of insanity as Lex Luthor. I even enjoyed Lois’ boyfriend and little kid. As far as Kate Bosworth, I’m still not COMPLETELY sold on her, but I thought she did a good job as Lois. This is not necessarily a minus for me, as in the original Superman, I didn’t like Margot Kidder, but I thought she did an okay job. So that’s just one more thing to help it “feel” like the orignal movies.

So, I’m not going to say anymore. The special effects were awesome, the acting was great and the story was phenomenal. Go see it. You will NOT be disappointed.

A few final tidbits…..


Bryan Singer used all the main Superman themes from John William’s score of the original movie. It was great to hear it. It made me dig out my old CD of Superman – The Movie. The one that was released by Rhino in 2000. It is all released and unreleased musical cues from the original Superman: The Movie. It’s awesome to listen to as I enjoy listening to instrumental movie scores when I work on the computer (Back to the Future, Star Wars, Superman, etc.) I might even get the Superman Returns soundtrack.


I actually bought the Superman Returns movie novelization by Marv Wolfman a month or so ago when it was released. I’ve been sitting on it until I saw the movie. You can bet your sweet bippy I’ll be reading this as soon as I finish the 2 books I’m reading right now.

Superman Which Way
My friend Marlene actually gave me this book. It brought back a lot of elementary school memories. Everyone remember Which Way? books? They were awesome. Just thought this was a neat little gift. Thanks, Mar. In case you were wondering here are the other books in this particular series.

Well, that concludes Superman week. Hope you enjoyed it because I may take a break for a week or so. Hope everyone has a good one and I’ll see you when I update again.

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The many ridiculous powers of Superman

Posted in comic books, humor, pop culture, Superman, Superman Returns with tags , , , , on June 29, 2006 by Paxton

Superman Week

Day 4, my friends. Hope you are enjoying the daily updates as it’s about to kill me. I’m trying to work in these articles in the middle of working on stuff at the office. It’s fun but I don’t think I could go daily for any longer a length of time. Yikes. Anywho, today’s topic discusses the plethora of super-powers that Superman has been imbued with over the years. It is shocking how much power Superman has been given since his first appearance in Action Comics #1. I want to thank SuperDickery.com for the comic panels I’m about to use. They have a great site with lots of funny stuff about Superman. Check them out.

Everyone knows the many standard powers of Superman. He can fly, super-strength, super-speed, super-breath, invulnerable, heat-vision, etc, etc. Not everyone knows that he didn’t always have many of these abilities. Not only that, Superman has several other super powers that are less used, but still kept in his back pocket for just the right moment when he can whip it out and dazzle everyone. Today I’ll discuss the lesser known powers given to Superman by writers that needed a way out of a stupid story. Regardless of the reason, writers kept tacking on new powers for Superman each year. Supes was becoming so powerful that writers were having to come up with crazier situations to make it interesting, then they needed a new power to get out of that situation. It’s a never-ending cycle. Let’s take a look at some of the lesser known, and therefore more humorous, of Superman’s abilities.

One of the more popular (by writers) powers Supes possesed was super-ventriloquism. Not only Super-V, he had a whole bag full of voice powers that writers tended to wield at their hip like gunslingers. Superman could throw his voice over great distances and also possesed super-voice-mimicry, which means he could make his voice sound like anyone else. That power must come in handy at parties when you are stuck talking to the dud who won’t leave you alone. You know the guy, he keeps talking about World of Warcraft and how his level 45 demon owns that level 40 gryphon from Akron, OH. If you were Supes, you could throw your voice across the room as someone else calling your name and you can get the hell out of there. Nicely done, Superman.

Next up on the “wha-huh?!” list of super powers is Super-Mathematics. What is Super-Mathematics? Check this out for a demonstration. That looks like regular mathematics to me, Superman. I guess Super-Mathematics is really just regular mathematics, but faster and more super. And isn’t 20 x 16 x 10 = 3,200?

And if you thought it was Superman’s muscles or good-looks that made Lois fall in love with him…OH NO. Apparently, Superman also possessed Super-Kisses. Yes, you read that correctly, Super-Kisses. I heard someone in the back call shenanigans on that one, but you can see for yourself.

For all of you quilters and knitters out there, you were undoubtably drawn to reading Superman comics when you found out he had Super-Weaving powers. Now, to answer the question “Isn’t that just Superman weaving at super-speed?” before it’s even asked, I say no, only because it was much cooler and more impressive to say that he had a super-weaving power. Or is that just me?

You know the age-old question, how come NO ONE can see Clark Kent is Superman? The answer is Super-Hypnosis. But I prefer the explanation that everyone is just that DUMB. So Superman is now the Amazing Kreskin? “Someone needs saving. Someone whose name starts with B. Is there someone whose name starts with B, here? Anyone? How about a C?” Wait, that was mind-reading, not hypnosis, wasn’t it? Moving on…

Speaking of dumb, welcome to the wonderful world of Super-Landscaping. Once again, you have to wonder if super-landscaping isn’t just a fancy name for “planting stuff at super speed”. But that’s just me. Maybe I should try that, running around my yard as fast as I can throwing plants at the ground. Think it would work?

Okay, this is ridiculous. At this point, the writers are WAY out of control. Superman now has Super-Hunches?! I think they are just taking verbs and sticking the word Super in front of it. “I was Super-Walking across the street and a cop gave me a ticket for Super-Jaywalking. I had to Super-Call my lawyer to Super-Bail me out of jail. How Super-Embarrassing is that?” It’s Super-Stupid. Ditto for Super-Friction. Welding together bars with Super-Friction? With all of his other powers did Superman somehow get Super-Alzheimer’s and not remember that he has HEAT VISION which would also work?

Today’s final power I am going to discuss pretty much assumes you have no one but participants in the Special Olympics reading your comic. Writers labeled it Super-Makeup, but I call it “putting on a disguise”. The hell? If this is a super power then I could be a super hero. I get super-dressed in the morning then I get clean in a super-shower. Where’s my comic book?

Well, I hope you enjoyed this rundown of some of Superman’s crazier abilities that you may not have been aware of. Tonight Steph and I are going to see Superman Returns so I, myself, will return tomorrow for the final day of Superman Week and my review of Superman Returns.

Peace Out!

Check out the other days of Superman Week here:

Day 1 – Review of Look, Up In The Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman
Day 2 – Scary Superman Merchandise
Day 3 – Review of Christopher Reeve Superman Movies
Day 5 – Review of Superman Returns

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Reviews of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies

Posted in Christopher Reeve, movies, reviews, Superman, Superman Returns with tags , , , on June 28, 2006 by Paxton

Superman Week

We are finally here. Day 3 of Superman Week. Superman Returns releases nationally today. Those of us who aren’t famous or aren’t in the “biz” can now, finally, watch the movie. I, however, won’t be able to see it until tomorrow night. So, in lieu of reviewing the movie, I’ll do quick reviews of the first four movies staring Christopher Reeve. Enjoy.

Superman the Movie
Superman: The Movie – A classic. I really don’t have to review this as everyone has undoubtedly already seen it. Christopher Reeve’s dual portrayals of Superman and Clark Kent are nothing short of spectacular. The effects, while sometimes dated, still work very well. Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor is played more for comedy than the comic version, and I really liked it. Hackman is great in whatever he does. I’m still not a fan of Margo Kidder as Lois Lane. I don’t know why, I just don’t like her. I wish they would have gone with Ann Archer or Leslie Ann Warren. But that’s just me. There is a reason this is considered the model for comic book movies. If you haven’t seen it, I ask, why?

Superman II
Superman II – Another classic, both in the movie itself, and the behind the scenes drama between the producers, the Salkinds, and the director, Richard Donner. Easily 70% of this movie was filmed during the production of the first movie. When budgets were tight, they stopped shooting this picture and finished the first one. After the first one was a hit, the producers decided to return to this. Due to failing relationships between the director and the producers, they picked Richard Lester to finish shooting. All of the main scenes were shot including all of Gene Hackman’s stuff. He refused to work with anyone but Richard Donner. Lester finished the picture and it finally released. It turned out to be a very good, if flawed, movie. The three main villains from the Phantom Zone were a great idea and the final showdown at the Fortress of Solitude was exciting, if a little confusing as it featured powers Superman had never shown before….he can disappear?. Also having the plot device of Superman losing his powers was a really nice touch (at least I thought so). But why did Supes have to sleep with Lois? Kinda creepy. All in all, a very good followup. For a breakdown of the different footage shot by each director go to Superman Cinema’s Superman II Section.

Note: The new Superman movie will ignore all the movies after this point. Superman Returns takes place roughly 5 years after Superman II. After watching parts III and IV, you’ll see why.

Superman III
Superman III – Here’s where things get a little dicey. Despite it’s glaring problems, I enjoyed this movie. Richard Lester continues as director and the cast adds Richard Pryor as a bumbling computer programmer. I did not like Pryor’s character, but I loved the subplots of Superman exposed to “dirty” Kryptonite and turning evil and Clark’s journey back to Smallville where he reunites with Annette O’Toole as Lana Lang. Those two subplots made the movie for me. The fight at the end with the supercomputer was silly and Robert Vaughn as the main baddie made me cringe. This is a toss up whether you will like this movie.

Superman IV
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace – The first Superman movie with a subtitle. Where do I begin? I don’t even think the word HORRIBLE begins to describe the absolute atrocity of this movie. Superman decides to rid the Earth of nuclear weapons and throw all of them in the sun. Luthor plants DNA on one of the rockets and uses the sun’s radiation to create Nuclear Man, one of the stupidest, most ridiculously dressed villains of all time. I wish Reeve had stuck with his initial idea of retiring the role of Superman to someone else. Even though Gene Hackman returns for this final sequel, I can’t in good conscious recommend this to anyone. Seriously. You’ve been warned.

BONUS:
1. Check out the original theatrical trailer for Superman: The Movie
2. Here’s a short sketch from a show called Robot Chicken. It’s a parody of Real World where 5 super-heroes are picked to live in an apartment together. It’s called Real World: Metropolis.
3. Here is a trailer for a Superman/Batman team-up movie called World’s Finest. It’s fan-made, but very well done.

Check out the other days of Superman Week here:

Day 1 – Review of Look, Up In The Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman
Day 2 – Scary Superman Merchandise
Day 4 – Stupid Superman Powers
Day 5 – Review of Superman Returns

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A look at some crazy, vintage Superman merchandise

Posted in nostalgia, pop culture, Superman, Superman Returns with tags , , , , on June 27, 2006 by Paxton

Superman Week

Well, it’s Day 2 of Superman Week here at the blog. I’ve got some good stuff today celebrating Superman so let’s take a look.

Superman is one of those pop culture icons that has produced A LOT of merchandise. I mean A LOT. And because so much stuff has been produced, inevitably, someone falls asleep at the wheel and certain products are released of questionable value. I’m going to look at a few of these ridiculous pieces of Superman product. Click the images below to go to the web page where I found these little pieces of insanity.

Superman Water Pistol
Superman Water-Squirting Head – At first glance this seems like a simple kids water pistol in the shape of Superman’s noggin. But if you think about it, the whole thing looks like Superman is spitting at you. Would Superman do something like this? Spit at you? Maybe if you drank White Zinfandel, because that is inexcusable, but not during the normal course of the day would Superman deem it necessary to hurl expectorate at you. He could just melt your head with his heat vision.

Superman Hood Ornament
Superman Hood Ornament – Yes, this is a Superman Hood Ornament. A. Hood. Ornament. For your car. Can you imagine pulling into work with this iron monstrosity on your hood? “Bob, I always thought your 1965 Corvette needed something. And I finally figured out what it is, the Superman Hood Ornament. It would really class up that boring old Vette’s hood.” It also can be attached to your bicycle. WHA?! Putting this on a bicycle would be interesting, because a bicycle HAS NO HOOD. Next best place is on your handlebars. Great idea, put a huge sharp metal object right where your face would go if you crash or have to stop suddenly. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

Kryptonite Rocks(Via Jeff Houck)
Kryptonite Rocks – Well, let it never be said that corporate isn’t a bunch of greedy SOBs. Pro Arts advertised these beauties in comic books in the ’70s. They painted rocks green, threw them in a box, slapped a Superman logo on it, then called it a day. How’s that for laziness? I would love to have been in that pitch meeting. “I’ve got a great idea. We go out into the atrium of this building, we pick some nice rocks, paint them green, then sell them to kids as Kryptonite. We’ll slap a Superman picture on the box, they won’t know the differnce. They’re kids.”

Superman Peanut Butter(Via Jason Liebig)
Superman Peanut Butter – I had to include this item in the list. It’s actually pretty well known, and a lot of people ate it. Including me. The peanut butter was awesome, it’s just, what the hell does Superman have to do with peanut butter? I mean really? Aside from that, this stuff ROCKED.

And the final item of today is…..

Kryptonite Kool-Aid – Kill Superman with just 2 quarts!!! Now, this product is not real, obviously, I made it. It’s a part of my crazy Kool-Aid flavors, but it fit in this list so I wanted to add it.

Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s entry for Superman Week. Since tomorrow is the national opening day for Superman Returns, I plan on reviewing the original 4 Christopher Reeve Superman movies for Day 3. That’s a big undertaking, so we’ll see how it goes.

Check out the other days of Superman Week here:

Day 1 – Review of Look, Up In The Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman
Day 3 – Review of Christopher Reeve Superman Movies
Day 4 – Stupid Superman Powers
Day 5 – Review of Superman Returns

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Review of Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman

Posted in comic books, movies, pop culture, reviews, Superman, Superman Returns with tags , , , , on June 26, 2006 by Paxton

Superman Week

It’s Superman Week here on the blog. I’m celebrating the release of Superman Returns on Wednesday, June 28. I won’t get to see it until Thursday night, so my review will cap off Superman Week on Friday, but every day this week I’ll try to have a Superman-related article up for your enjoyment.

Day 1 – Review of Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman

This documentary is exactly what the title implies, it’s a history of Superman as he has appeared in almost every type of media. It begins with his comic origins and covers the myriad of TV shows and movies that “the big blue boy scout” has appeared in. The documentary appeared on A&E, albeit shortened by 30min, and the DVD was released last Tuesday. As soon as I heard about it I put it in my Netflix queue. I got lucky, and the disc was shipped the Monday before it was released and I got it on the Tuesday it was released in stores. My wife and I finally watched it on Sunday morning.

Overall, the documentary was very good. It literally covered every aspect of Superman’s appearance in pop culture. The doc started with Superman’s creators, Jerry Siegel & Joe Schuster. It discussed how the idea of Superman evolved, and how every comic book company turned the idea down saying that no one wanted to read about a guy in tights jumping around on buildings (Superman couldn’t fly in his initial incarnation).

Siegel & Schuster finally got National Publications (DC Comics) to bite on the idea and Superman premiered in Action Comics #1 in 1938. The documentary didn’t just look at Superman’s impact on comics. The movie soon started covering the early serials in the ’50s and the George Reeves TV show. The doc even discussed tv shows like the once broadcast Superman Musical (based on the broadway show) in the ’70s staring Leslie Ann Warren as Lois Lane and David Wilson as Superman and the not broadcast pilot of a show called SuperPup staring midgets in dog costumes. Yes, you read that right (see pic).

The documentary is a fascinating look at the emergence of Superman in popular culture. It continues to delve into the people that played Superman, putting particular emphasis on George and Christopher Reeves and the fates that have befallen both men. That was a particularly poignant section for me. Very sweet men who didn’t deserve what fate handed them.

The doc, of course, had a nice section on the new movie with some scenes I hadn’t seen before. It definately made me ready to see the movie. I was pumped after watching it. I will be honest though, it felt a little long to me. The doc was 2 hours long and, to me, it felt it. I know they didn’t touch on a lot of stuff they could have, or delve even deeper into other Superman aspects, but even this protracted history felt long. I started losing enthusiasm towards the end, but the doc picks up for the last 20 minutes or so and I was left with an overall good feeling. I would be interested in seeing the A&E version as, like I said earlier, it’s 30 minutes shorter.

Also, a lot of the interviewees were nicely picked. Artists, writers, actors, a good mix. They even had Stan “The Man” Lee talking about Superman’s impact. That is cool. Then, Gene mutha-f’n Simmons pops up. Why is Gene Simmons on here? What does he bring to the table? It just said Comic Book Fan in his title card, but if that’s it, they could have asked Shaq or Seinfeld to participate as they are known Superman fans also. That was just a little jarring and wierd for me. Just a little sidenote.

Other than those two gripes, I really enjoyed the documentary and recommend it to any Superman fans, and non-fans, out there. It’s a great way to ramp up for the release of Superman Returns on Wednesday.

I’ll be back with another Superman related article tomorrow.

Check out the other days in Superman Week here:

Day 2 – Scary Superman Merchandise
Day 3 – Review of Christopher Reeve Superman Movies
Day 4 – Stupid Superman Powers
Day 5 – Review of Superman Returns

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