What is Superman’s age in any given story?
— Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In the days when Julius Schwartz edited the books, Superman was always 29. Nowadays they pretty much ignore his age.
Will there be any more Star Trek comics coming out in the near future?
— Rob (email@example.com)
At present, no comic book publisher holds the license for Star Trek, so there won’t be any until someone picks it up.
What breed of dog is Krypto?
— Aaron Todoroff (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Who was Spiderman’s first girlfriend?
While they didn’t date, I’d have to say that Liz Allen was the first girl Peter had a crush on in the series. Otherwise, I guess it would be Gwen Stacy.
[WE INTERRUPT THIS COLUMN FOR A SPECIAL BULLETIN: As has been pointed out to me by numerous readers – including Kurt Busiek (who called me “You DC Guy, you!”) and an anonymous reader who began his missive with “Bob, you dope!” – Peter’s first girlfriend was Betty Brant! Let me repeat that so that I’ll remember it in the future: BETTY BRANT!
I’d like to blame this goof on the fact that this column is dated the last date of March and we all recall the famous Superman tale “The Night of March 31st.” However, it was just a memory meltdown! We now return to the regularly scheduled column, already in progress.]
I used to own the original cover art for LUKE CAGE, POWERMAN #23 pencilled by Ron Wilson and inked by….? Do you know? thanks!
Neal Adams is credited with inking that cover.
A quick follow-up to last week’s column: After being born in the latter half of 1986’s “Batman: Year One” (BATMAN #407), James Gordon, Jr. was pretty much ignored after that. 1992’s BATMAN: NIGHT CRIES graphic novel (by Archie Goodwin & Scott Hampton) offered an account in which Barbara and Jim, Sr. got a divorce when James, Jr. was six-year-old but that story doesn’t seem to be part of mainstream continuity. The official version (in 2001’s BATMAN: TURNING POINTS #1, by Greg Rucka & Steve Lieber) had Barbara taking James to Chicago and filing for divorce [all behind the scenes] circa Batman’s second year in operation. James’ chronologically most recent appearance was in 1992’s LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT ANNUAL #2 (by Denny O’Neil, Michael Netzer & Luke McDonnell), wherein the boy was kidnapped by Flass (from “Year One”) on Jim Gordon and Sarah Essen’s wedding day.
— John Wells
Not a question, but a comment. When you were talking about doppelganger counterpart characters one noticeable was left out. During John Byrne’s run on Superman he revealed when Mr.Mxyzptlk was done annoying Superman, he would travel to the Marvel Universe and become the Impossible Man and annoy the Fantastic Four.
Regarding the question about the Captain Comet Code:
I cannot BELIEVE I figured this out off the top of my head, but wasn’t the Secret Society of Super-Villains one of the twelve short-lived DC Clubs of the late ’70s–and isn’t she’s referring to the code message in its four-page, two-color “newsletter” that I actually don’t have in front of me? And shouldn’t I get out of the house more?
— Mark Waid
Gee, thanks, Mark… now I have to go digging to find the stuff for those DC Clubs to see if SSoSV was one of the dozen. And, yeah, you DO need to get out of the house more!
No questions but just want to say I enjoy your column. Those questions this week were a riot.
— Jay Mampel
Re: a SILVER AGE SUPERMAN ARCHIVE — although no definite plans yet, I believe Bob Greenberger has established that if and when it comes, it will commence with ACTION COMICS #241’s “The Super-Key to Fort Superman,” the first appearance of the Fortress of Solitude.
And, here’s the best part – Bob G. quotes none other than one Bob Rozakis as part of his research!
Bob’s complete quote: “Superman’s Silver Age starts with ACTION #241. Between Marvel and DC, I was hired to come in and figure out all the volumes required to complete all the GA Batman and Superman titles. Of course, that meant finally figuring out the dividing line between Superman’s GA and SA. I did the research, had my own thoughts, got opinions from Bob Rozakis and Mark Waid and then settled with Paul Levitz. So there.”
Here’s the link where this comes from, about halfway down the page, on the DC Archive forum:
And for what it’s worth, I think Weisinger era Superman would be a huge seller. Nothing against the Siegel/Shuster aficionados, but there are already 8 (soon to be 9) volumes for their consumption, but nothing yet for the Silver Age crowd, except a morsel of Supergirl.
— Osgood (email@example.com)
I’m enjoying the column as always (though I miss the quizzes that you used to do). Anyway, just a couple of bits of feedback on your latest column.
Commissioner Gordon’s son is a character in the Archie Goodwin graphic novel, Batman: Night Cries.
Also, about the poorness of disguises, especially Superman’s glasses, I thought it’d be worth mentioning the story (I forget the issue) where Ambush Bug is interviewed by Clark Kent. He recognizes him as Superman almost immediately.
— Dan (Dan.Condon-Jones@landmark-information.co.uk)
There was also a joke in one of the later episodes of LOIS & CLARK about her inability to recognize that Clark and Supes were the same person. And more than a few people have commented that with the relationship between Clark and Lex Luthor that’s been established on SMALLVILLE, would Lex’s first reaction to seeing Superman be, “Hey, Clark, what’s with the costume?”
If Stan Lee were the president of Microsoft, would they have Excelsior spreadsheets?
— Dave Potts (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Over on my Message Board here at SBC, we’ve had an ongoing discussion of the poem “Excelsior” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Is THIS where Stan got the idea to use the word? Perhaps!
I got another month’s worth of CrossGen books recently and wanted to commend them on the variety of ways they get their material out there. This month’s bundle included the current issues of EDGE and FORGE, 192-page digest-sized books that include the stories from seven books. And they’re only $7.95 each! With these collections, their TPBs, and their online versions (as well as the current regular-sized issues), there do not seem to be any of their books that I cannot read from issue #1 to the present.
And just for the record, ROUTE 666 and RUSE are my early favorites!
MORE FROM THE EMAILBOX:
Re-asking a question presented earlier. Where’s “Uncle Elvis,” Orville Elvis Orton? I used to work with him and his good friend Bucky (Richard Jewel, and no, it’s not THAT one) at a now-defunct comic chain in Connecticut. He had moved to Kentucky and gotten married. Recently I heard a rumor (from another of our former co-workers) that he got un-married and has since passed away. Anyone know if there’s any truth to this?
— John (email@example.com)
Anyone have any information about the longtime letter column regular? Has Uncle Elvis left the building?
Take me off mailing list.
— Ralph Zuranski
If I had one, I’d be happy to take you off it.
I once saw this old 1958-9 movie. “Monster on the Campus,” about a scientist — Dr, Don Blake –who gets infected by a prehistoric fish’s blood and turns into a cave man monster. Clearly this is an inspiration for Marvel’s Thor former alter ego and Doctor Banner’s Hulk.
There is also an OUTER LIMITS episode about a bee, turned into a deadly bee woman. One wonders if this is the inspiration the Wasp at Marvel. There are two episodes that look strangely similar to the Fantastic Four: One about a crashed rocket with four astronauts and another about a scientist lost in another dimension that clearly inspired the FF story ”This Man-This Monster” about a duplicate Thing saving Reed Richards from another dimension accident.
Plus episodes ”The Galaxy Being” and ”Borello Shield” featured glowing aliens and clearly inspired the Silver Surfer. My question: Did Stan and Jack never miss the OUTER LIMITS or what?
— Joseph Gilbert Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Talk about your quantum leaps in logic, Joseph. First you point out similarities between stories in Marvel comics and OUTER LIMITS. Then you decide that the TV episodes “clearly” inspired the comics. And then you all but accuse Stan and Jack of plagiarism!
Considering that FF #1 came out in 1961 and OUTER LIMITS debuted in the fall of 1963, don’t you think that it might have been more likely that the TV writers were reading Marvel comics? (And I’m not saying that they were!)
How do you cook the perfect fillet mignon?
— Spoof Central (email@example.com)
Yeah, right. I answer this one and suddenly I’ll be part of a Spoof Central cookbook!
Hey Mr. R! What was the funniest thing you heard in the CTY session I attended?
— Ioana (Iggie) (MoonBeam642@aol.com)
Iggie was one of my “Writing & Imagination” students last summer in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth program and there were plenty of amusing moments during her three weeks (and my six weeks) there.
Perhaps the most memorable came when, as part of our Journalism unit, we went on a field trip with the Bay Ecology class to a site known to the students as “Ooeyville” because of all the muck and algae floating on part of the lake.
Some of my students went for the “up-close-and-personal” approach to reporting; they were in the water with the other class and even helping out with some of the field tests. Others of my reporters preferred to remain as observers and stay dry.
Not long after we got there, however, the skies opened up and rain poured down, soaking every one of us to the skin. It rained so hard that we all ended up heading back to the campus early.
Back in the classroom, I had the class write up their news stories and then I gave them the opportunity to write a letter to future classes to give them some pointers (okay, WARN them) about the trip to Ooeyville. One of the letters included the suggestion: “Remind Mr. R to check the weather forecast before you go on this trip!”
Time to move along until next week. Meantime, don’t forget my daily Anything Goes Trivia at www.worldfamouscomics.com/trivia. And I’ll see you back here next week!
Copyright © 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.