Friday, April 14, 2006

Feeding the Ostrich

Absorbacommando Sharif donates a little piece that reminds us: Grant Morrison's homage to the Silver Age Superman fares poorly in comparison to the insanity of the real thing.

In the recent All-Star Superman #3, the legendary Samson and Atlas vie against Superman for Lois's attentions, and Superman, eventually and patiently, puts them in their places, at Lois's insistence. Cute.

In the original story, however...Superman doesn't have to lift a finger, fully confident that Lois and Lana will destroy and humiliate Hercules (whom Morrison relaced with Atlas, for some reason) and Samson completely and casually.

Which, naturally, they do...


My new life goal is to have a reason to say,
"See, dearest? To prove how much I love you,
I'm feeding the ostrich all my old pictures of Superman!"



Gee, whaddaya know; Lana blows. Poorly.


Three guesses how Lana helps the less-than-chivalrous Samson
get the gum out of his hair.



Silver-plated stories are cute. But they ain't Silver.

17 comments:

k26dp said...

And people think I'M weird ? I wish I was weird like this! I feel a little ashamed for not even daring to think of a magnificent tiny Superman who makes the real Superman feel inadequate every time he springs from his hand. Those kinds of stories were like weird fever dreams and they sold millions and millions of copies every month.
-Grant Morrison

I think GM would agree with you. Of course, I'm still enjoying the heck out of All-Star Superman.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Atlas did join the "super-cock-blockers" in other stories. I always thought it was a nice angle, the Heroes of Antiquity being jealous of Superman's fame.

Now do something on Jimmy Olsen #49: The infamous Jimmy/Congorilla team-up!

Anonymous said...

I've never been able to figure out if those writers were aware of how insane their stories were, or if they just slipped into some sort of zone in which this stuff all made a sort of sense. There always seemed to be a feeling of sincerity to them.

Jake said...

Could Atlas have replaced Hercules because Marvel has a Hercules character? I'm guessing DC legal might have played a role in the decision.

Anonymous said...

How were they on deadlines back in the day? Like the other Anonymous said, these have a sincerity to them. I wonder how much of that feel springs from the "first instinct in the best instinct" principle. You need to write a story in one hour start to finish and you just don't have time to go back and fix something that seemed like a bad idea later. If you write yourself into a corner, you just have to crazy your way out. That's one of the reasons why it took me so long to appreciate the Silver Age stuff's inspired lunacy. As a critical-minded youth, I rebelled against what I thought of as the sheer laziness of having the security leak in the LSH be a little man with a radio living in Sun Boy's ankle. Or the fact that anyone could guess that Superman was in a robot costume chasing Jimmy Olsen because its ALWAYS Superman in a costume teaching Jimmy a lesson, or Lois, or Perry... Now that I'm a bit more relaxed about comics I can sort of admire the free association quality of a writer thinking "Lana is married to Samson. Because, he's Samson, somehow she has to cut off his hair. Crap! This has to be on Mort's desk in 5 minutes or else I'll be fired and I won't be able to afford any dirt soup to wash down that fibreboard sandwich I've got waiting for me at the flophouse. Um, she blows bubble gum in his hair. Done! Wait, now that Lois has an ostrich, what the hell do I do with it??"

Iron Lungfish said...

Morrison could never make Lois as batty as her Silver Age counterpart. Between her and Lana, Clark should've really just shacked up with the mermaid.

Jer said...

Thank god that Morrison couldn't make Lois as batty as her Silver Age self - I couldn't read that in a modern comic. Whacked-out Lois is fun to read as a historical artifact of the 50s and 60s, but man she'd get awfully tiring awfully quickly in a modern comic book.

Chris Griswold said...

DC has a Hercules character, too; anyone can. I highly doubt that DC legal got involved with this.

Anonymous said...

I blame Archie comics. Superman in those decades really reads like Archie with superpowers.

Anonymous said...

I think Bulfinch actually has the copyright on Hercules.

methane said...

I would think Morrison would avoid putting Heracles (use the Greek version!) in an All-Star book to leave his appearance and characterization open to future writers & artists of All-Star Wonder Woman, where he might play a bigger role than Atlas and Samson play here.

Sharif said...

Poor Atlas. He has to serve himself grapes since his true love is busy defacing Superman pictures.

Sharif said...

oops, I meant Hercules. All these musclemen start to look the same to me after a while.

Dave said...

My favorite part of those panels is that not only would an ostrich need to be kept warm overnight, but that anyone would think that a hammock would be the best place to do that. Not to mention the idea of getting an ostrich to stay in a hammock, let alone sleep in one while snoring away. (Love those "zzzzz's.")

Unca Mort may have been an SOB, but damn, those stories stay in the mind.

Beta Ray Steve said...

I think there was LSD in the DC water cooler.
And "feeding the ostrich" sounds like a euphemism for ...something.

Chris said...

By using Atlas instead of Hercules, Morrison guaranteed at least one more "whoa...awesome!" moment, as readers realized that the clasp on Atlas' cape depicted the Earth from a bird's eye view of Antarctica.

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