Monday, June 24, 2013

Superman has obviously never seen a scary movie:

Otherwise, he'd know better than to mess around with the Necronomicon. Presumably, Superman didn't see The Evil Dead...

I do miss the days when Superman seemed to have a lot of side projects and experiments running in his spare time, and every once in a while he would do something kind of crazy like try to cure his weakness to Kryptonite, or as in this issue, to magic. Since all his other powers obey scientific, physical laws--stop laughing!--Supes can't figure out why magic wrecks him, and tries to define magic's place on the electromagnetic spectrum.
Meanwhile, Zatanna and her dad Zatara have been doing a little research on her mom's race, homo magus. That race of humans could use magic instinctively, and occasionally bred with normal homo sapien humans, passing on some magical ability; although the magic ability would be diluted. This theory conveniently also explains why Superman, an alien with no homo magus genes, is vulnerable to magic.

While Superman tries to "immunize" himself against magic, and Zatanna tries to contact the magic dimension of her mom, some impish looking fellows--they look like they're from Mr. Mxyzptlk's fifth dimension--were also trying to contact earth, so now everything's gone ka-blooey: the magic dimension has sprung a leak, spewing magic into this world. Don't worry, explains one: the leak will stop when the energy levels have equalized between the two worlds, although that would probably leave earth full of who knows what, and the magic dimension sucked dry. Magic is going nuts on earth, the old villain Caligro now has full-on magic juice, Zatanna's lost her powers, and Superman has magic as well.

It's good see Superman knows Ray Harryhausen, though.

Luckily for everyone involved, the wizard Caligro teleports Zatanna and Superman to him, intent on revenge; but they're actually the only ones who might be able to fix things. (And they didn't meet this issue until 13, 14 pages in!) While Superman is bewildered by magic, Zat is pretty capable of talking Supes through it, and the Man of Steel is able to ape her backwards-magic talk. Wiping the floor with poor Caligro, the heroes reverse the flow of magic, returning both worlds to normal; although Superman charitably is concerned for Cal and anyone else who saw magic for a moment, before it disappeared again...

From 1980's DC Comics Presents #18, "The Night it Rained Magic!" Written by Gerry Conway, art by Dick Dillin and Frank Chiaramonte. Zatanna is wearing her less-often seen superhero leotard and cape, which is nowhere near as iconic as her traditional magician's outfit and fishnet stockings.

No comments: