DC Heroes Transformed! Part I Transformations Organized by Hero


INTRODUCTION

Many comic fans know that Jimmy Olsen suffered any number of transformations during the Silver Age at DC Comics.  This article will explore the transformations of the Silver Age first by hero and then by condition.  A transformation for the purposes of this article is limited to an outwardly physical transformation rather than an internal psychological transformation.

Transformations involving costumes are more problematic.  There are so many one-shot novelty costume changes among Silver Age heroes that this should really be another article.  A decision was made to only include categories of costume change that occurred more than once rather than one-shot costumes including: caveman wear, jungle wear, and kingly wear.

The hero titles analyzed include Aquaman, Batman, Challengers of the Unknown, the Flash, Green Lantern, Justice League of America, Lois Lane, Superboy, Supergirl, Superman, and Wonder Woman.  Jimmy Olsen is excluded as a character but not from the types section since I have dealt with Jimmy Olsen’s transformations in another article.

The transformations were also broken down by type and this will be dealt with in part II, the follow up post.  The types of transformations that occurred more than one time and generally with more than one hero include alien transformation, animal transformation, baby transformation, caveman transformation, devil transformation, doppelganger transformation, fat transformation, freak transformation, genie transformation, giant transformation, giant head transformation, half body transformation, jungle person transformation, king transformation, mirror transformation, negative being transformation, old, phantom/ghost/invisible transformation, radioactive transformation, robot transformation, small person transformation, tree being transformation, underwater being transformation, and werewolf  transformation.

TRANSFORMATIONS ORGANIZED BY HERO

Aquaman Transformations

Aquaman Transformations, Aquaman Collage Key, Aquaman # 2, Giant Aquaboy, Aquaman # 16, Alien Aquaman, Aquaman # 21, Giant Aquaman

Aquaman Collage Key

Aquaman # 2 (Giant Aquaboy), Aquaman # 16 (Alien Aquaman), Aquaman # 21 (Giant Aquaman)

Batman Transformations

Batman Collage Key

Batman Transformations, Batman #72, Jungle Batman, Batman #118, Underwater Batman, Batman #119, Old Batman, Batman #140, Batman and Robin Aliens, Batman #147, Batman Baby, Batman #162, Batman Freak,

Batman #72 (Jungle Batman), Batman #118 (Underwater Batman), Batman #119 (Old Batman), Batman #125 (King Batman), Batman #134 (Two-Dimensional Batman and Robin), Batman #140 (Batman and Robin Aliens), Batman #147 (Batman Baby), Batman #162 (Batman Freak),

Brave & Bold Batman Transformations

Batman in Brave & Bold Collage Key

Brave & Bold #68 (Batman Hulk), Brave and Bold #99 (Batman Hyde Face),

Detective #243, Giant Batman, Detective Comics #251, Alien Batman, Detective Comics #268, Glowing Batman, Detective Comics #275, Zebra Batman, Detective Comics #284, Negative Batman, Detective Comics #294, Calcium Batman, Detective Comics #301, Radioactive Batman, Detective Comics #302, Bronze Batman

Detective Comics 1 Collage Key

Detective Comics #127 (Small Batman and Robin), Detective Comics #148 (Small Batman and Robin), Detective #243 (Giant Batman), Detective Comics #251 (Alien Batman), Detective Comics #268 (Glowing Batman), Detective Comics #275 (Zebra Batman), Detective Comics #284 (Negative Batman), Detective Comics #294 (Calcium Batman), Detective Comics #301 (Radioactive Batman), Detective Comics #302 (Bronze Batman)

Detective Comics #316, Energy Batman, Detective Comics #322, Genie Batman

Detective Comics 2 Collage Key

Detective Comics #316 (Energy Batman), Detective Comics #322 (Genie Batman)

World’s Finest #121, Mirror, World’s Finest # 128, Freak, World’s Finest #138, Batman Caveman, World’s Finest #139, Batman Phantom, World’s Finest #151, Batman Big Brain,

Batman in World’s Finest Collage Key

World’s Finest #121 (Mirror), World’s Finest # 128 (Freak), World’s Finest #138 (Batman Caveman), World’s Finest #139 (Batman Phantom), World’s Finest #151 (Batman Big Brain)

Challengers of the Unknown Transformations

Challengers of the Unknown Transformations, Challengers of the Unknown Collage Key, Challengers of the Unknown #20, Giant, Challengers of the Unknown #36, Giant, Challengers of the Unknown #39, Big Brain, Challengers of the Unknown #50, Freak,

Challengers of the Unknown Collage Key

Challengers of the Unknown #20 (Giant), Challengers of the Unknown #36 (Giant), Challengers of the Unknown #39 (Big Brain), Challengers of the Unknown #50 (Freak)

Flash Transformations

Flash Transformations, Flash Collage Key, Flash #109, Small Flash, Flash #115, Fat Flash, Flash #126, Mirror Flash, Flash #133, Puppet Flash, Flash #146, Half Body Flash, Flash #157, Old Flash

Flash Collage Key

Flash #109 (Small Flash), Flash #115 (Fat Flash), Flash #126 (Mirror Flash), Flash #133 (Puppet Flash), Flash #146 (Half Body Flash), Flash #157 (Old Flash)

Green Lantern Transformations

Green Lantern Transformations, Green Lantern Collage Key, Green Lantern #20, Phantom Green Lantern, Green Lantern #29, Half Body Green Lantern, Green Lantern #36, Robot Green Lantern

Green Lantern Collage Key

Green Lantern #20 (Phantom Green Lantern), Green Lantern #29 (Half Body Green Lantern), Green Lantern #36 (Robot Green Lantern)

Justice League of America Transformations

Justice League of America Collage Key

Justice League of America #7 (Mirror), Justice League of America #9 (Trees), Justice League of America #10 (Finger Puppets), Justice League of America #18 (Small), Justice League of America #60 (Drones)

Lois Lane Transformations

Lois Lane Transformations, Lois Lane Collage Key, Jimmy Olsen #66, Cat Headed Lois Lane, Lois Lane #5, Fat Lois Lane, Lois Lane #10, Baby Lois Lane, Lois Lane #11, Jungle Lois Lane, Lois Lane #13, Cat Headed Lois Lane, Lois Lane #27, Giant Head, Lois Lane #33, Phantom Lois Lane, Lois Lane #40, Old Lois Lane, Lois Lane #66, Freak, Lois Lane #92, Centaur Lois Lane, Lois Lane #101, Invisible Lois Lane, Lois Lane #106, Black Lois Lane, Lois Lane #107, Snow, Lois Lane #124, Jungle Lois Lane

Lois Lane Collage Key

Jimmy Olsen #66 (Cat Headed Lois Lane), Lois Lane #5 (Fat Lois Lane), Lois Lane #10 (Baby Lois Lane), Lois Lane #11 (Jungle Lois Lane), Lois Lane #13 (Cat Headed Lois Lane), Lois Lane #12 (Mermaid Lois Lane), Lois Lane #27 (Giant Head), Lois Lane #33 (Phantom Lois Lane), Lois Lane #40 (Old Lois Lane), Lois Lane #66 (Freak), Lois Lane #92 (Centaur Lois Lane), Lois Lane #101 (Invisible Lois Lane), Lois Lane #106 (Black Lois Lane), Lois Lane #107 (Snow), Lois Lane #124 (Jungle Lois Lane)

Lois Lane is given a cat head not once but twice!  I guess this means that Lois was considered catty in the Silver Age.  At least the cat heads were different colors and the art wasn’t just recycled even if the concept was recycled.

Ma and Pa Kent Transformations

Ma and Pa Kent Transformations, Adventure Comics #237, Robot Ma & Pa Kent, Adventure Comics #270, Ma and Pa Kent Aliens

Ma and Pa Kent Collage Key

Adventure Comics #237 (Robot Ma & Pa Kent), Adventure Comics #270 (Ma and Pa Kent Aliens)

Superboy Transformations

Superboy, Superboy #32, King Superboy, Superboy #50, Superboy #116, Werewolf Superboy, Superboy #142, Superboy #162, Phantom Superboy, Superboy #178, Superboy #180, Superboy #184, Manbat Superboy, Superboy #194, Mermaid Superboy

Superboy Collage Key

Superboy #32 (King Superboy), Superboy #50 (Giant Superboy), Superboy #116 (Werewolf Superboy), Superboy #142 (Giant Ape Superboy), Superboy #162 (Phantom Superboy), Superboy #178 (Manbat Superboy), Superboy #180 (Werewolf Superboy), Superboy #194(Mermaid Superboy),

Superboy Transformations, Superboy Collage Key, Adventure Comics #255, Doppelganger, Adventure Comics #259, Blind Superboy, Adventure Comics #270, Alien Ma and Pa Kent, Adventure #283, Phantom Superboy, Adventure Comics #298, Fat Superboy, Fat Lana Lang, Adventure Comics # 308, Adventure Comics #315, Giant Superboy, Adventure Comics #330, Fat Superboy

Superboy in Adventure Comics Collage Key

Adventure Comics #255 (Doppelganger), Adventure Comics #259 (Blind Superboy), Adventure Comics #270 (Alien Ma and Pa Kent), Adventure Comics #283 (Phantom Superboy), Adventure Comics #298 (Fat Superboy, Fat Lana Lang), Adventure Comics # 308, Adventure Comics #315 (Giant Superboy), Adventure Comics #330 (Fat Superboy)

Supergirl Transformations

Supergirl Transformations, Supergirl Collage Key, Action Comics #267, Adult Supergirl, Action Comics #283, Fat Supergirl, Werewolf Supergirl, Small Supergirl, Action Comics #284, Two headed Supergirl, Mermaid Supergirl, Action Comics #324, Devil Supergirl, Supergirl #8, Medusa Haired Supergirl, Medusa Hair Supergirl, Medusa Hair

Supergirl Collage Key

Action Comics #267(Adult Supergirl), Action Comics #283 (Fat Supergirl, Werewolf Supergirl, Small Supergirl), Action Comics #284 (Two headed Supergirl, Mermaid Supergirl), Action Comics #324 (Devil Supergirl), Supergirl #8 (Medusa Hair)

Superman Transformations

Superman Transformations, Action Comics, Action Comics Collage Key, Action Comics #131, Phantom Superman, Action Comics #225, Robot Superman, Action Comics #239, Alien Superman, Action Comics #243, Lion Headed Superman, Action Comics #244, Underwater Superman, Action Comics #245, Small, Action Comics #251, Old, Action Comics #256, Giant Brain, Action Comics #270, Old, Action Comics #275, Third Eye

Action Comics 1 Collage Key

Action Comics #131 (Phantom Superman), Action Comics #225 (Robot Superman), Action Comics #239 (Alien Superman), Action Comics #243 (Lion Headed Superman), Action Comics #244 (Underwater Superman), Action Comics #245 (Small), Action Comics #251 (Old), Action Comics #256 (Giant Brain), Action Comics #270 (Old), Action Comics #275 (Third Eye)

Action Comics 2 Collage Key

Action Comics #284, Super Baby, Action Comics #290, Half Body, Action Comics #296, Ant Superman, Action Comics #303, Freak, Action Comics #312, King, Doppelganger, Action Comics #317, Colored Faces, Action Comics #325, Giant Superman, Action Comics #396, Action Comics #397, Action Comics #595, Phantom

Action Comics #284 (Super Baby), Action Comics #290 (Half Body), Action Comics #296 (Ant Superman), Action Comics #303 (Freak), Action Comics #312 (King and Doppelganger), Action Comics #317 (Colored Faces), Action Comics #325 (Giant Superman), Action Comics #396 (Old), Action Comics #397 (Old), Action Comics #595 (Phantom)

Superman Title

Superman Title, Superman Title Collage Key, Superman #139, Merman, Superman #139, Long Hair, Long Nails, Superman #165, Lion Headed Superman, Superman #171, Superman Caveman, Superman #186, Phantom Superman, Superman #221, Fat Superman, Superman #226, Giant Superman, Superman #263, Molten Superman,

Superman Title Collage Key

Superman #139 (Merman), Superman #139 (Long Hair, Long Nails), Superman #165 (Lion Headed Superman), Superman #171 (Superman Caveman), Superman #186 (Phantom Superman), Superman #221 (Fat Superman), Superman #226 (Giant Superman), Superman #263 (Molten Superman)

Various Titles

Various Titles, Various Titles Collage Key, Jimmy Olsen #81, Devil Superman, Jimmy Olsen #130, Robot Superman, Lois Lane #112, Tree Superman, World’s Finest #105, Alien Superman, World’s Finest #126, King Superman, World’s Finest #138, Caveman Superman, World’s Finest #151, Caveman Superman, World’s Finest #165,King Batman, World’s Finest #240, King Superman

Various Titles Collage Key

Jimmy Olsen #81 (Devil Superman), Jimmy Olsen #130 (Robot Superman), Lois Lane #112 (Tree Superman), World’s Finest #105 (Alien Superman), World’s Finest #138 (Caveman Superman), World’s Finest#151 (Caveman Superman), World’s Finest #165 (King Superman), World’s Finest #240 (King Superman)

Wonder Woman Transformations

Wonder Woman Transformations, Wonder Woman Collage Key, Wonder Woman #62, Doppelganger, Triplets, Wonder Woman #90, Giant Doppelganger, Wonder Woman #98, Doppelganger, Wonder Woman #102, Wonder Woman #111, Wonder Woman #136, Giant Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman Collage Key

Wonder Woman #62 (Doppelganger, Triplets), Wonder Woman #90 (Giant Doppelganger), Wonder Woman #98 (Doppelganger), Wonder Woman #102 (Doppelganger, triplets again!), Wonder Woman #111 (Doppelganger), Wonder Woman #136 (Giant Wonder Woman)

The doppelganger theme dominates the transformation of Wonder Woman that is unique among the heroes of the Silver Age.  I did not even include issues in which Wonder Woman is not transformed but fights some sort of robot double.  Wonder Woman is also constantly reduced not via transformation but by fighting giant opponents.  Wonder Woman is then treated as a toy or trinket, or an object by the giant opponent.   Reduction is used to create the objectification of Wonder Woman.  In Wonder Woman #122, Wonder Woman fights a giant robotic double and in this issue the reader sees the juxtaposition of the objectification themes of reduction and duplication.  The giant doppelganger is clearly not a transformation since this double is clearly a robot.  I do include the similar plot of Wonder Woman #90 since the giant double challenges the identity of Wonder Woman and is therefore transformational.

Superboy (Adventure Comics #255) and later Superman (Action #312) face a doppelganger dilemma when red kryptonite splits him into two selves. In both cases, Superman faces a Clark Kent doppelganger.  The Superman doppelganger plots also take a very different direction since there are not two Supermans but rather the two sides of Superman are split physically and must see reunification to create a whole Superman identity.  In the case of Wonder Woman the doppelganger is not a side of Wonder Woman but a duplicate that challenges Wonder Woman’s unique identity.

The objectification of women as sex objects is recurrent feminist theme.  One of the characteristics of an object as opposed to a subject in existential terms is reproducibility.  An object is reproducible. A person is unique and not reproducible.  Even in a future of clones presumably we have a unique soul even if a physical duplicate could be made. The industrial reproduction of feminine beauty and images is a hallmark of 20th century mass media and consumer culture.  Paradoxically women have greater opportunities and education at the precise moment when technological objectification reaches and apex causing a unique post modern historical feminine anxiety.  The constant use of doppelganger themes in the Silver Age Wonder Woman title may be an unconscious response to this feminine anxiety and a naïve form of pop culture driven existential exploration.

Next:

DC Heroes Transformed! Part II Transformations Organized by Type

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

More comic book articles on this blog at:

https://foxhugh.com/?s=comic

 

Hugh Fox III - Grunge (2)

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