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Superman the Asshole
March 23, 2012 5:57 AM   Subscribe

17 Vintage Comic Book Covers Where Superman is a Complete Sociopath.
posted by marxchivist (40 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
You have to admit that last one makes a fair point.
posted by Naberius at 6:03 AM on March 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm going to start prefacing all of my advice and instructions with, "Sorry, (name), but as local witch doctor, I think you should/have to (x)."
posted by Krazor at 6:06 AM on March 23, 2012 [10 favorites]


People who enjoy this may also want to check out Superman Is A Dick.
posted by Grimgrin at 6:09 AM on March 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


Wait! That first one isn't photo-shopped!?
posted by Partario at 6:15 AM on March 23, 2012


You have to admit that last one makes a fair point.

Oh, yeah. I mean, Pat Boone, right?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:16 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait! That first one isn't photo-shopped!?

No, that's basically the embodiment of 70s-era Jimmy Olsen comics. Superman spends 3/4s of the issue doing horrible, anti-social things, usually to Jimmy, and then it turns out it was some sort of roundabout way of getting "Fists" Gambini to reveal his plan to steal three hundred dollars from a bank vault.
posted by griphus at 6:17 AM on March 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


Cute ... but this one is actually about domestic abuse (and no, Superman is not the abuser.)
posted by grabbingsand at 6:17 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wait! That first one isn't photo-shopped!?

They didn't have Photoshop in the 60s. Nowadays, they're probably all Photoshopped (or Illustratored, or whatever).
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:18 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


~Wait! That first one isn't photo-shopped!?
~No, that's basically the embodiment of 70s-era Jimmy Olsen comics.


Completely true. Except that one is from the mid-60's. And a very good example of why I switched my reading to Marvel titles back then. God, DC stories were (mostly) horrible back then.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:21 AM on March 23, 2012


Previously
Previously
Previously
Previously
There are probably more but you get the point, right?
posted by ardgedee at 6:21 AM on March 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Why is it sociopathic to make Jimmy Olsen marry the female King Kong?
That seems perfectly normal to me.
posted by Flood at 6:30 AM on March 23, 2012


I figured there would be a lot of "Previously" links, but I have to admit I never tire of these. Glutton for punishment, I guess...or as you'd call it in the older DC Universe, Jimmy Olsen.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:32 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


hmm

Superman:Jimmy Olsen::Picard:Wesley

^ now THAT is a comic book series i'd collect.
posted by fetamelter at 6:37 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find it oddly exciting to see Jimmy calling Superman "Dad". But then, I like redheads.
posted by Goofyy at 6:38 AM on March 23, 2012


Alexander Berkman is Superman
posted by shakespeherian at 6:41 AM on March 23, 2012


Except that one is from the mid-60's.

Man, I for some reason always think the balls-out weird stuff was in the 70s, but that was actually when Kirby took over Superman's Pal and it became a completely different sort of balls-out weird. But, yeah, the whole Superman Works in Mysterious Ways thing was throughout the 60s. And hoo-boy. That whole decade was just "well, let's see, why not have a mobster send a robotic Ben Franklin back to the stone age to discover electricity back then so that they can re-animate the dinosaurs. Can we write and draw that before the end of the week?"
posted by griphus at 6:46 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dave Foley is Jimmy Olsen

self link!
posted by griphus at 6:49 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


whenever we have posts like these, I always contend that he was put on this road because society just wouldn't let he and Ultra Boy fuck other, so they had to satisfy themselves with x-ray visioning each other to see what was underneath that tight teenage clothing.
posted by PapaLobo at 6:53 AM on March 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


"penetra vision" now there that's subtle.
posted by chavenet at 7:19 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have several of these covers in frames up at my house. There are two sets, a Jimmy set and a Lois set with four covers each.

The first covers of each set are Superman being cruel (the heat visioned bathrobe is in the Jimmy set, not stopping Lois's wedding to Titan Man), the second is Superman inexplicably following local laws to punish Jimmy/Lois ("Arrest him, he's from Jupiter!" "I accuse you of murder, Lois!" - like Superman suddenly needs to concede weird justice to local authorities?), the third is Supes straight up trying to murder Jimmy/Lois (via desert dehydration/cutting off air supply in space), and the fourth is Jimmy/Lois getting their revenge on Superman at some point when they get powers of their own (psychic powers/crushing Supes with a giant kryptonite rock).

I may need to update these at some point!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:22 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is more funny if you read Superman's lines in the voice of George Lowe (Space Ghost).
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:23 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess when you have an icon of virtue like Superman, it never stops being thrilling to tease the reader with the possibility of him turning on you. It's like a superhero version of the Gnostic heresy---what if God is Evil?

On the other hand, Superman clearly failed to prevent Pat Boone from becoming a star. So fuck that guy.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:57 AM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


PapaLobo, that is awesome. I like that Superman's conclusion to finding someone's brightly colored underwear is, "Huh, must be a superhero." I also like that he's apparently constantly scanning the populace's underwear. And bombarding them with radiation.
posted by yerfatma at 8:01 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was going to post an AskMe after seeing this link in a friend's Gmail status (and being otherwise familiar with Superdickery). Were these story-lines what-if scenarios, or were they meant to be things that 'actually' happened in whatever arc is currently running in superworld?
posted by codacorolla at 8:01 AM on March 23, 2012


Well, "story arcs" were much less of a thing in 60s and 70s DC. Hell, for a while a standard story didn't even last a complete issue, much less multiple.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:07 AM on March 23, 2012


Re: George Lowe, that's also true of many political speeches. (Not to mention... HI MY NAME IS BIDEN!)
posted by JHarris at 8:08 AM on March 23, 2012


Oftentimes the cover would be slightly misleading about the contents inside, but almost always there was some perfectly sensible (in the Silver Age universe at least) explanation-- aliens have zapped Jimmy's brain into being a woman and also they're on Neptune where women rule and there's an ancient law that the most powerful warrior has to marry the queen so then the cover shows Superman and Jimmy saying wedding vows, or some such. It was all totally ridiculous but did actually keep the characters consistent.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:12 AM on March 23, 2012


I thought I'd seen some of these on the Superdickery site. Superdickery, though, is a well that never runs dry.
posted by immlass at 8:15 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, the good old days when a young photographer from Metropolis could find love in the jungle with a gorilla.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:51 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


"penetra vision" now there that's subtle.
You'll also note that neither boy has any interest in Lana Lang, despite the fact that her skirt ends above the knees!!! Smallville was SCANDALIZED I'm sure.

Lana had her own secret identity too, you know. Insect Queen! Given the fact that neither Clark nor Jo are interested in scanning what's underneath HER clothes, I submit that her super-heroine name should have just been "Bearded Lady".
posted by PapaLobo at 9:06 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I work with a man, an actual adult with kids, who has Superman stuff on his car, on his desk, and on his body (earring, necklace, tattoo).

He's a nice guy, though a bit conceited. His Superman affectation pushes him over the edge into being insufferable. Nobody has the heart to tell him it makes him look like an idiot.

It does not surprise me to learn that the "real" Superman has some dickish tendencies. I'll enjoy sending this guy the links to prove it.
posted by kinnakeet at 9:38 AM on March 23, 2012


I think in some cases the editors actually designed the cover first and then handed it to a writer and said, "OK, write that story."
posted by straight at 10:13 AM on March 23, 2012


This makes me rethink the whole meaning behind "Waiting for Superman."
posted by drezdn at 10:20 AM on March 23, 2012


I'm impressed that Lois Lane can throw a rolling pin so hard that it breaks in half when it hits supes in the head.
posted by moonbiter at 11:27 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you want to see super dickery taken to its logical (and fairly scary) conclusion, you may be interested in Irredeemable. I think it's finishing in a couple of months.
posted by lucidium at 2:23 PM on March 23, 2012


According to an article by Michael Jung (not a scholar), Superman began as a vagrant who aspires to take over the world after ingesting a serum that gives him telepathic and premonitory powers. Jung notes some (unnamed) critics
find this Superman resembles the Nazi √úbermensch. Originally an idea of German philosopher Frederich Nietzsche, the √úbermensch is a human with a mind so advanced he can shape his own destiny without the need for God.
This interpretation squares with the Superman Is A Dick theme grimgrin points to.
posted by mistersquid at 2:54 PM on March 23, 2012


Action Camus!
posted by Iridic at 4:12 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nazi Superman? You mean Overman of Earth-10?

Grant Morrison created Overman during his run on Animal Man back in the day. Morrison is one seriously fucked up dude. Even accounting for his being from Scotland
posted by PapaLobo at 4:19 PM on March 23, 2012


Even adjusted for inflation, Superman should have charged way more than $5,000 to save that oil well. That oil man looks shocked on the cover but smiling with savings glee on the inside.
posted by ignignokt at 1:02 PM on March 24, 2012


"Sorry, Jimmy! The ground rules allow only ONE survivor! YOU or AQUAMAN!"

Well -- that's the Hunger Games for you.
posted by webmutant at 2:02 PM on March 25, 2012


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