Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This issue: Multiple fabrications! Actual paper files! And Green Lantern not being helpful. At all.

From 1973, Action Comics #429, "The Man Who Wrote Superman's Obituary!" Story by Elliot Maggin, art by Curt Swan and Bob Oksner.

When Clark Kent swings by the Daily Planet morgue (in the sense of keeping files and reference, not corpses!) to check out a file, he sneaks a quick x-ray peek at Clark Kent's file--only to find it's written in Kryptonese! It does reveal his secret identity to boot, but the Kryptonese part seems more troubling somehow. Superman checks with everyone who knows his secret identity, or at least these few, thinking someone may be playing a joke on him. Green Lantern seems not especially interested, but he may be one of the few who could do something like that: his ring would be able to write in Kryptonese, wouldn't it? Supergirl would know the language...maybe Batman or Flash could learn it real quick?

Anyway, after a story involving a telepathic prehistoric plant-man tyrant, that's a total load Superman uses to bait the trap, Supes exposes Ryan as the one behind the obit, his ticker somehow receiving a direct feed from Superman's giant Kryptonese auto-engraving diary. (Which actually seems less far-fetched today, than a morgue full of actual paper files with an actual human manning it!) Ryan had actually learned the language, but wasn't going to expose Supes or anything. If something happened to Clark Kent, the obituary would be pulled, but probably wouldn't be readable without help; and Superman would either be dead or no longer using that identity.

So most of this issue is a lie, and not a lot makes sense, but it does have Green Lantern being a jerk, so...


SallyP said...

Boy, Hal really did spend a lot of time being a complete tool. It's a good thing he has such a fabulous behind. He just shakes his booty and everyone is mesmerized.

Dale Bagwell said...

Is it me, or did superheroes abck then really seem more helpful to each other? You know, like actual friends?
Nope. Now it's presumed cooler to be an asshole.

Expept Hal. Hall doesn't change much...and god bless him.