Thursday, December 01, 2011

80-Page Thursdays: Action Comics #600!

This seems tailor-made for a valentine's card. 'Our love is super!' No, that's terrible, don't use that...
For the next stretch, as long as I can find them, every Thursday we'll check out an 80-page comic! Not 64, not 100, 80-page giants only! If everything is still rolling along, this is the fourteenth 80-Page Thursday (EDIT: Fifteenth!) and there's still more to come. Keep in mind, this is by no stretch of anything a definitive look at 80-Page comics, just a crapshoot of what I have lying around now. And today, one I had as a kid: Action Comics #600, celebrating fifty years of Superman! With John Byrne, George Perez, Curt Swan, Mike Mignola, and more!

If the DC Reboot hasn't reached this point yet, it probably will, where Superman and Wonder Woman try a date seemingly just because everyone thinks its a good matchup. Hopefully, the Nu-date goes better than this post-Crisis one, where Supes plants a really long and really uncomfortable kiss on Wonder Woman straightaway. (To be fair, we did see Hal Jordan show WW his chest within seconds of meeting her once.)

Although they talk their way back to first-date territory, their date is interrupted by Hermes appearing to Diana, since he's gotten the tar kicked out of him by Darkseid, who's taken over Olympus. (Granted, I don't read a ton of Wonder Woman, but it was weird to see Diana kowtowing to the Greek gods here...) Diana flies through a portal, but Supes won't let a little thing like this wreck his date, and follows. The two are separated, so Darkseid has a plan...
Um, if it's the simplest and most obvious of deceptions, why are you surprised when it doesn't work? Kalibak and Amazing Grace pass themselves off as Supes and WW, respectively; fight our heroes for a moment, reveal themselves, then switch places so Superman and Wonder Woman are beating on each other. At least, that's the plan, which might've worked if they were really, really dense. Supes and Diana fake-fight their way to Darkseid, who's steamed about that trick not working; but gets really bent out of shape when Diana explains the Gods let Darkseid take an empty, deserted Olympus.

After ducking out, Darkseid tries to blow up Olympus, which also fails. As does Superman's date, since after all this god business, he feels Diana is out of his league, since he's just a simple farmboy at heart. Diana doesn't necessarily agree, but they part as friends. I know some people can't stand the idea of a Superman-Wonder Woman couple, or Superman with anyone besides Lois, or apparently Wonder Woman with anyone; but the idea doesn't bother me. I would guess that they would be an early superhero couple, date a few times, but it wouldn't work out...at first. Years later, though, I could see something happening. Best guess.

Also this issue: two-fisted reporter Lois Lane...is hit like a ton of bricks by the idea of a Superman/Wonder Woman couple. See? Told you some people can't stand the idea. Then, Superman saves his pal Jimmy Olsen from a toxic waste explosion, and Jimmy gets to return the favor, as Supes is debilitated by the sudden arrival of radiation from Krypton! Man, I think it took writers a long, long time to really work out post-Crisis Jimmy Olsen: they still wanted him to be Superman's best friend, but weren't really sure how to work that, and everyone wanted to see Superman and Batman hang out, anyway. I know there were Jimmy Olsen stories with him and the Newsboy Legion or some damn thing, but they were never my favorites...this issue, he saves Superman, and goes for help, which he doesn't appear to ever return with...

Meanwhile, Lex Luthor has a little chat with Maggie Sawyer of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit. Luthor wants to talk truce, meaning blackmail the hell out of Sawyer. I'm not 100% sure I realized the subtext at the time, but Luthor had discovered she was a lesbian. Sawyer could give a rat's ass, and gets a treat when an angry Luthor bangs his fist on his desk and is rewarded with agonizing pain: the Kryptonite ring he had been wearing may not have been as harmless to humans as he had thought...

Meanwhile, the issue's final story is a last callback to the team-up nature of Action Comics for the last year or so, since the next issue would begin Action Comics Weekly. Man-Bat is enjoying a happy evening of batting about or whatever, when he stumbles across the now very Kryptonite addled Superman, who is somewhat understandably terrified by this bat thing in his face. Nice Mignola art, there, and a cameo from Hawkman, who would help Supes get to where Krypton was...(Don't ask where this fits in Man-Bat, or for that matter Hawkman's continuity.)

Good stuff, and I'm reasonably certain this issue sold a bazillion copies, so I don't think it's terribly difficult to find on the cheap. I may or may not have the one I bought in 1988, but I did have a quarter box copy. Dig one up!

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

I have this one too, and it is all kinds of awesome, as you so describe.

And yeah, I guess Supes and WW are going to try it again in the nuDCU...good for them, as Diana seems a better fit than Lois. Hey Kingdom Com sold me on the concept, as it should've for alot of people.