Friday, March 30, 2007

Superman: Hero of the Beach

My first issue of Superman didn't come until 1973(*), when at age nine I purchased #267. It was, interestingly enough, a story (by Elliot S. Maggin, with art by Cary Swan)of global climate change. In this case, it was brought about by the gargoyle creatures shown on the cover, who are absorbing all the world's heat to survive.

After breaking up an iceberg or two, we catch up with Clark, who's having a day at the beach with Lois and Steve Lombard, blow-hard sportscaster from WGBS TV. We see Clark endure a remake of the old Charles Atlas advertisement which was a staple in comics at the time (see the original below), before Superman learns through Steve's visiting nephew of the existence of the creatures under the North Pole.

Once Supes figures out their plight, he's only too happy to help, creating a device to help them capture sunlight which is being wasted in the vacuum of space...thereby saving the world and the so-called villians. This story gets extra points for being done in one issue...and as a bonus, there's a "Private Life of Clark Kent" back-up feature that's pretty amusing.

* There'd been plenty of Batman by then. Mom confirms he was the favorite back then, that I had my first Batman shirt at age 2, and was pretty young when they took the show off the air and I wrote the network a letter to let them know what a bad idea it was. Heh heh.

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