So I was given this 1978 Superman puzzle the other day:
This “Superman O-So-Long 3 Foot Jigsaw Puzzle” features a portion of a story by Gerry Conway, Curt Swan and Jack Abel that was originally presented in Superman Family #187 (Jan/Feb 1978). I didn’t have access to this particular issue, either at the shop or in the Vast Mikester Comic Archives, but I did have part one of the story in #186, which featured the Earth-2 Superman. That it seemed to be the Earth-2 version featured in the puzzle surprised me just a little, although, aside from the altered “S” shield you can see in the excerpt below, there are no parallel-Earth shenanigans readily evident:
…And as it turns out, it wasn’t strictly speaking the Earth-2 Superman as such. According to this brief synopsis, this Krogg dude is too much for any one Superman to handle, so using a “transmatter machine” the two Supermen are merged into one “Super-Superman.” At which point, Super-Superman straight-up kills Krogg and calls it a day. Basically, Super-Superman notices some kind of energy build-up in Krogg, and helps it along by adding to the energy with his heat vision, until, well, you saw what happened up there.
Anyway, my only real exposure to this story is via this hip new jigsaw puzzle format in which all the kids are reading their comics nowadays, so I don’t know if there’s a reference to Krogg being some kind of “artificial lifeform” or “android” or something in the full version. Otherwise…yeah, Superman’s plan was to raise Krogg’s critical mass until he went kablooie. No indication he was about to kablooie on his own, like “hmmm, he’s about to explode, so my heat vision will speed the process!” It’s totally “hey, he’s got too much energy inside him, I’ll just add to it ’til he pops!” …Maybe they changed it for the puzzle, but reading that synopsis, it doesn’t seem like it.
I wonder if there’s a database somewhere of all the times Superman just kills people. That seems like something appropriately obsessive for a comics fan to do.
…Why are you all looking at me?
In other news:
- Thanks for your responses to my Comics Code Authority post from the other day…they’ve made for some interesting reading. I don’t know that I have any kind of follow-up or meta-analysis or anything, but I liked hearing from you folks anyway. By the way, check out this article, which claims the CCA has essentially been out of business for a while now.
- Swamp Thing and Man-Thing: best pals! (Thanks to Reader Rob for the link!)
- Calling the New Guardians “Nobody’s Favorites” would seem almost redundant…but I kind of have a soft spot for them anyway. I have a fondness for Englehart’s ’80s DC work, including Green Lantern, Millennium and, yes, New Guardians. So damned silly and earnest, but still evoke that nostalgic twinge.