Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Mod Mindbending Eyewear of Treachery!


glasses
Originally uploaded by Scipio1.
In response to H's swift solution to our most recent Stupid Hero Quote, Absorbascon regular Jer pleads, "Wait - you can't leave us hanging like that. We need DETAILS, man! What sort of story would lead to a quote like that from Superman? *choke*"

Your wish is my command, Jer! The answer is, your typical Supergirl story in 1972 *sigh*, the kind that only E. Nelson Bridwell could have concocted.

Supergirl is clothes shopping (she did that a lot; was she Superman's cousin or Katy Keene's?). A pushy saleslady shoves a pair of sunglasses on her, which, as one would expect in 1972, were mind-control specs devised by a world-conquering alien who says things like, "Silence! A situation has arisen that will permit us to witness this creature's amazing speed and power!" I just love it when villains say, "Silence!"

Supergirl is forced to trick Clark Kent into wearing a pair of mod mindbending eyewear and he in turn tries to foist them upon the JLA. The plot might seem familiar, because one of the Star Trek the Next Generation writers remembered the issue and lifted the plot entirely for a Wesley-saves-the-day episode (Hi, Wil!).

There's also a soul-renching subplot of familial conflict between the alien conqueror, his brother, and a fuzzy magenta subhuman. I know I wept.

Like many circa-1972 stories, you could devote one entire weblog to exploring its wackiness and nothing else for an entire year...

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Um, what exactly are Aquaman & Flash doing to supes in that second panel?

Scipio said...

"Dude, I was so wasted last night on mind-control glasses; I don't remember anything we did...!"

Mike Loughlin said...

The way Superman's going about the alien's fiendish plan, those mind-control specs need some adjusting.

If you're trying to get your teammates to do something odd, is it really persuasive to tell them they "MUST be MADE TO" do it while crushing one of them?

Scipio said...

Well, I guess diplomacy isn't the strong point of world-conquering alien despots.

To his credit, Superman DID preface his little hissy fit with, "These glasses will enable each of you to realize the same supervisionary powers that I possess ... I strongly recommend that everyone here begin wearing them immediately."

Supervisionary?!

Shon Richards said...

If Kal-El is wearing glasses, how could they have reconized him as Superman? Wouldn't they think it was Clark Kent in a superman costume?

Watching Superman manhandle the Atom to put on a tiny pair of glasses if hilarious. They need scenes like this in the current JLA.

Scipio said...

Shon, in the story, the only people who get to see Superman in the glasses are the other Leaguers; I guess at that point they all know one another's identities.

naladahc said...

I love Supes trying to cram the glasses on The Atom.

But why does Supes look like Al Franken in these glasses and Clark Kent in the regular ones?!?!

Anonymous said...

Well, Kal El only looks like Clark Kent when he wears glasses with lenses made from the windshield of the rocket that took him to earth. The Kryptonian glass allows him to focus his super-hypnosis ability, making him look much more frailer. Without those particular glasses he's just Superman wearing glasses. Of course that particular issue that explained this power didn't show up until 1978, and was never, to my knowledge, referred to since.

naladahc said...

Oh that's soooooo Earth-1! =)

Anonymous said...

What my fellow anonymous poster neglected to mention is that, at the end of that same irritating 78 story, a sketch artist shows us, the readers, what Clark Kent -- or at least image of Clark that Superman projects via super-hypnotism -- looks like.

Thus we learn that, to everyone in the DCU, Clark Kent is a skinny, drawn, pale figure, with a receding hairline. In fact, he looks uncannily like Groundhog Day's Ned Ryerson.

What that says about Kal-El's attitude towards humanity, I dare not guess.

Scipio said...

Super-hypnotism.

Now THERE'S a scary power. Pity it never occurred to him to use it on any BAD GUYS.

Accursed Interloper said...

>>Pity it never occurred to him to use it on any BAD GUYS.<<

... that we know about, anyway ...