Tag Archives: Superboy

A Survey of Psychic Powers Found in Fiction and History

Type of Psychic Table Resized

INTRODUCTION

Psychics have various mental powers including telepathy and clairvoyance.  Psychics are one of the few categories of characters of fiction that also seemingly appear in real life.  For example, people who fly would only appear on a list of fictional characters.  Whether or not historical psychics really had psychic powers is not within the scope of this article.  The focus on this investigation is to compare and contrast the sort of psychic powers one encounters dealing with psychics in history versus fiction.  Almost any power imaginable can be duplicated and given a psionic explanation.  This tendency to call just about any super powered hero a psychic because the term is “cool” is especially overdone in Japanese fiction. There needs to be some sort of system for determining what powers constitute psychic powers.  This article will focus on the five powers traditionally associated with psychics including mediumship, precognition, retrocognitiontelekinesis. and telepathy

ANIME

 

One of the most famous “comic book” psychics does come from Japan and is the anime titled Akira that in turn was based on a Manga series from Katsuhiro Otomo.  Akira is a powerful telekinetic who in turn evolves into a reality warper.  Elfen Lied is another anime telekinetic.  The following anime series deal with psychics with various powers: Psychic Academy, Telepathy Shōjo Ran, and Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha. The following anime characters have various powers: Almayce, Eva-Beatrice, Genocyber, Hiroto Sakurai, Mai Kuju, and Rion SteinerPokemon has several psychic creatures including: Cresselia, Deoxys, Misty’s Psyduck, Misty’s TogeticPorygonMai Taniyama has the power of retrocognition.  The following anime deal with mediumship: Ghost Hound, Ghost Hunt, Mokke, Natsume’s Book of Friends, and XxxHOLIC for a total of five.  Overall, there seem to be more psychics with the power of mediumship than in American comic books.  Arael is one of the few anime psychics that is only a telepath.  Probably the most famous computer game with psychics and an anime style is Psychic Force.  There is a tendency to label various superpowers such as magic and control of electricity as “psychic” in anime and these examples are not listed since I think this is a misuse of the term psychic.

AMERICAN COMIC BOOKS

There is a general perception that there are more psychic characters in comic books than in any other medium.  This investigation focused on comic book heroes in titles published by DC Comics and Marvel Comics.  This study did not look at Japanese comic books in depth which are generally referred to as Manga.  I am an avid reader of both American and Japanese comic books and do suspect psychics are more prominent in Japanese than American comic books and perhaps this would be a good subject of a future study.

However, the Manga industry is fragmented into dozens of large and small publishing companies unlike American comic books that are dominated by DC Comics and Marvel Comics.  Some Manga publishers can only be described as cottage industries in which the writer, artist and publisher are one person working out of an office.  Listing all the psychics in Manga would be a task only the most dedicated otaku would attempt.

The following 22 comic book characters in DC and Marvel comics have telepathy: Aqualad (DC), Aquaman (DC), Black Bolt (Marvel), Blindfold (Marvel), Cable (Marvel), Chamber (Marvel), Charles Xavier/Professor X (Marvel), Emma Frost/White Queen (Marvel), Jean Grey/Phoenix (Marvel), M.O.D.O.K. (Marvel), Martian Manhunter/J’onn J’onzz (DC), Miss Martian/M’gann M’orzz (DC), Nate Gray/X-Man (Marvel), Psimon (DC), Psylocke (Marvel), Rachel Summers/Marvel Girl/Phoenix (Marvel), Sage (Marvel), Saturn Girl (DC), Stepford Cuckoos (Marvel), Tempest (DC), The Goblin Queen (Marvel), Tomorrow Woman (DC).  The two most important telepaths in the DC universe are the Martian Manhunter and Saturn Girl.  The two most important telepaths in the Marvel universe are Professor X and Jean Grey.

The following five comic book characters in DC and Marvel comics have precognition: Ben Reilly (Marvel), Blindfold (Marvel), Clock King II (DC), Destiny (Marvel), Dream Girl (DC) and Midnighter (DC).  The most important character with precognition in the DC universe is Dream Girl.  The most important character with precognition in the Marvel universe is Destiny.

The following three DC and Marvel characters with the power of mediumship include Deadpool (Marvel), John Constantine (DC) and Wicked (Marvel).  John Constantine is by far the most important character in comic books with this power.  Mediumship may be more widespread as a super power in Japanese comic books that in general have a greater preoccupation with ghosts.

The following 13 comic book characters in DC and Marvel comics with the power of telekinesis include Cable (Marvel), Debrii (Marvel), Franklin Richards (Marvel), Hellion (Marvel), Jean Grey (Marvel), Justice (Marvel), Maxima (DC Comics), Nate Grey (Marvel), Psylocke (Marvel), Rachel Summers (Marvel), Raven (DC), Superboy, Kon-El version (DC), and Tomorrow Woman (DC).

Superboy is the most important telekinetic in the DC universe.  Jean Grey is the most important telekinetic in the Marvel universe.  The Kon-El version of Superboy is a good example how even the varied powers of Superman can be duplicated via a psionic mechanism and over the time the border between psionic, none psionic and magically based powers becomes meaningless and comic book fiction suffers as believability suffers.  In the opinion of the author, superpowers and their own internal logic is one of the foundations of creating a suspension of belief in the medium of comic books.

I think this is a good a juncture as any to mention my one giant peeve about telekinesis as a superpower.  The following formula describes how kinetic energy works:

kinetic energy formula

In the above formula, “m” equals mass and “v” equals velocity.  The above formula means that a small object traveling a very high speed can do a lot more damage than a large object traveling at a low speed because velocity is squared.  This is one of the principles behind martial arts which I have studied (see Fox Martial Arts Taxonomy).  If you can learn the increase the speed of your kick or punch then you can increase the force of your kick or punch exponentially.  Also if you can put a lot of energy into a small area of your fist, two or three knuckles rather than all your knuckles, then the pounds per inch increase dramatically and you break bone in a small area rather than hitting a large area with insufficient force to break/penetrate bone and tissue.  The basic principles of kinetic energy and martial arts have a special relevance to telekinetic combat!

Invariably comic book characters are shown using great effort to move a single large object while able to throw small objects at great speed without effort.  This suggests that telekinesis, unlike muscle energy, allow the user to take advantage of the loop holes of the laws of kinetic energy more efficiently.  You cannot easily double the speed of your muscle action, this takes years of practice, but in a telekinetic world this is entirely possible with little practice.  Therefore, instead of throwing boulders at your opponent, a telekinetic would be better of throwing small rocks or better yet, super sharp barbed needles made out of adamantium towards vital organs. Needles are hard to block and at sufficient speeds can penetrate deeply into hard to kill super heroes that are partially invulnerable. Barbed needles with poisons on them, Green Kryptonite for Superman for example, would make even more sense.  I am waiting for a supervillain that uses his or her telekinesis in an intelligent manner. I guess the superhero can coat his/her needles with a tranquilizer and aim for none vital organs.

Also, any comic book character with any brains with telekinesis would sign up to study the use of trick arrows with Hawkeye (Marvel) or Green Arrow (DC) immediately since you could make your trick arrows go faster and more accurately with telekinesis and would be a superhero archer on steroids with telekinesis.  Hawkeye has been known to go up against Iron Man.  Green Arrow has been known to go up against Superman albeit with arrows that released Green Kryptonite in the Dark Knight series.

The following nine comic book characters in DC and Marvel comics with the power of retrocognition include Blindfold (Marvel), Captain Comet (DC), Dream Girl (DC), Magik (Marvel), Saturn Girl (DC), Silver Surfer (Marvel), Talisman (Marvel), Tarot (Marvel) and Terror Inc. (Marvel).  Dream Girl and Saturn Girl are important psychics in the DC universe but rarely use retrocognition.  Terror Inc. in the Marvel universe absorbs the memories and skills of other via the grafting of body parts and retrocognition is a central power this character uses in an interesting manner.

The following three American comic book characters that are clearly psychics have various psychic powers: Professor X, Jean Grey and Saturn Girl.  There is a history of psychics in Marvel comic books progressing towards reality warping.  Psychics can at first throw boulders around and then as they evolve can control the very nature of reality.  The following characters, not all clearly psychics, Jean Grey, Onslaught, Proteus and Franklin Richards over at Marvel Comics have all gone through this evolution.  The big exception to the psychic path to reality warping at Marvel would be the Beyonder.  Beings with the power cosmic can also warp reality but generally not to the same extent as a psychic that has evolved to the level of reality warping.  Why does Marvel turn psychics into reality warpers?  Perhaps wavy lines showing telepathy or telekinesis are not very impressive visually.  A five spread page of character warping the very nature of reality is interesting visually and easily done in a comic book.  Psychic powers do not lend themselves to an over the top visual display that is the forte of the comic book as a medium.  Ironically, the best reality warping visual display was done at DC not at Marvel.  The Joker becomes Emperor Joker by stealing the powers of Mr. Mxyzptlk and the miniseries based on this premise is a visual delight if not a logical delight.  DC Comics is more likely to use magic and/or mystic origins rather than psychic powers to explain the reality warping superpower (Bat-Mite, Mr. Mxyzptlk, and the Spectre).

HISTORICAL

Allison DuBois

Allison DuBois Historical

Psychic Power: Mediumship

Cassandra of Troy

Cassandra of Troy

Psychic Power: Precognition

Edgar Cayce

Edgar Cayce

Psychic Power: Retrocognition

Grigori Rasputin

Grigori Rasputin

Psychic Power: Precogntion

Jeane Dixon

Jeane Dixon

Psychic Power: Precognition

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Psychic Power: Precognition

Miss Cleo

Miss Cleo

Psychic Power: Precognition

Nostradamus

Nostradamus

Psychic Power: Precognition

Paul the Octopus

Paul the Octopus

Psychic Power: Precognition

Pythia (The Oracle of Delphi)

The Oracle at Delphi

Psychic Power: Precognition

Uri Geller

Uri Geller

Psychic Power: Telekinesis

MOVIES

Carl Jenkins in Starship Troopers

Carl Jenkins in Starship Troopers

Psychic Power: Telepathy

Carrie White in Carrie

Carrie White in Carrie

Psychic Power: Telekinesis

Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense

Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense

Psychic Power: Mediumship

Cris Johnson in Next

Cris Johnson in Next

Psychic Power: Precognition

Darryl Revok in Scanners

Darryl Revok in Scanners

Psychic Power: Telekinesis

Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class

Emma Frost in X-Men

Psychic Power: Telepathy, Mind Control

Fiver in Watership Down

Fiver in Watership Down

Psychic Power: Precognition

Inspector Frederick Abberline in From Hell

Inspector Frederick Abberline in From Hell

Psychic Power: Precognition

Jean Grey in X-Men Film Series

Jean Grey in X-Men

Psychic Power: Telepathy, Telekinesis

Jeremy “Powder” Reed in Powder

Jeremy Powder Reed in Powder

Psychic Power: Telepathy

Joan of Arc in Several Movies

There have been almost 40 movies about Joan of Arc!  For the purposes of this survey, Joan of Arc has only been counted once.

Psychic Power: Precognition

Johnny Smith in The Dead Zone

Johnny Smith in The Dead Zone

Psychic Power: Precognition, Retrocognition, Telepathy

Lyn Cassady in Men Who Stare at Goats

Lyn Cassady in Men Who Stare at Goats

Psychic Power: Telekinesis, Remote Sensing

Nick Marshall in What Women Want

Nick Marshall in What Women Want

Psychic Power: Telepathy (women only)

Oda Mae Brown in Ghost

Oda Mae Brown in Ghost

Psychic Power: Mediumship

Professor X in X-Men

Professor X in X-Men

Psychic Power: Telepathy, Mind Control

River Tam in Serenity

River Tam in Serenity

Psychic Power:

Tangina Barrons in Poltergeist

Tangina Barrons in Poltergeist

Psychic Power: Mediumship

The Oracle in The Matrix

The Oracle in The Matrix

Psychic Power: Precognition

Tia Dalma in Pirates of the Caribbean

Tia Dalma in Pirates of the Carribean

Psychic Power: Precognition

Zoltar in Big

Zoltar in Big

Psychic Power: Precognition, Reality Warping

TV

Allison DuBois in Medium

Allison DuBois in Medium

Psychic Power: Mediumship, Retrocogntion, Precognition

Carl Jenkins in Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles

Psychic Power: Telepathy

The Champions

The Champions

Psychic Power: Telepathy, Precognition

Rose Red

Psychic Power: Telepathy, Telekinesis, Retrocognition, Remote Viewing, Psychometry, Automatic Writing

Johnny Smith in The Dead Zone

Johnny Smith in The Dead Zone

Psychic Power: Precognition, Retrocognition, Telepathy

Matt Parkman in Heroes

Matt Parkman in Heroes

Psychic Power: Telepathy

Melinda Gordon in Ghost Whisperer

Melinda Gordon in Ghost Whisperer

Psychic Power: Mediumship

Professor X in X-Men

Psychic Power: Telepathy, Mind Control

River Tam in Firefly

Psychic Power: Telepathy, Precognition

Time Prophet in Lexx

Time Prophet Lexx

Psychic Power: The Time Prophet believes time is cyclical so by seeing the last Big Bang cycle, she can see the “future”.  This means her power is retrocognition but manifests itself as precognition.

CONCLUSION

Fictional psychics are much more likely to display psychometry, telepathy and telekinesis than historical psychics. Historically, most psychics have visions of a clairvoyant nature.  A skeptic might argue that this is true because clairvoyance is an easier power to fake than other psychic powers.  There is something called the Jeane Dixon effect.  People tend to remember a few correct predictions and forget many wrong predictions.

Movies (21 psychics) appear to use psychics as a plot device lot more than TV (9 psychics).  The movies Carrie and Scanner, and X-Men: The Last Stand used telekinesis to create huge extended visual spectacles. Presumably the more limited budgets of TV shows means such spectacles are less likely.

The total number of psychics in American comic books (52) dwarfs the number in the other categories.  One explanation is that the sheer volume of material in comic books is so much larger than movies and TV that more psychics would follow.  The X-Men were a comic book that introduced psychic superheroes in an important ongoing series.  Professor X and Jean Grey were both psychics in the X-Men series and soon psychic superheroes began to become a regular part of the American comic book landscape.  American comic books generally copy Hollywood movies and American TV but this might be one case in which movies and TV took their cues from comic books and the X-Men comic book in particular.  Comic books and anime regularly make use of telekinetic/reality altering fight scenes that would be very costly on film but are relatively easy and cheap to do in the comic book media.  Akira is a Japanese anime adapted from a comic book that is probably the best example of over the top telekinetic scenes that would be too expensive to do using live action film.

Hugh Fox III - Black Hole

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

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DC Heroes Transformed! Part II Transformations Organized by Type

Part I looked at DC Transformations broken down by Superheroes.  This is part II and will look at transformations broken down by type of transformation.

Alien Transformations

Alien Transformations, Alien Collage Key, Action Comics #239, Adventure #270, Aquaman #16, Batman #140, Blackhawk #177, Alien Blackhawk, Detective Comics #251, Jimmy Olsen #32

Alien Collage Key

Action Comics #239, Adventure Comics #270, Aquaman #16, Batman #140, Blackhawk #177 (Alien Blackhawk), Detective Comics #251, Jimmy Olsen #32

Animal Transformations

Animal Transformations, Animal Collage Key, Action Comics #243, Lion Headed Superman, Action Comics #296, Ant Superman, Action Comics #303, Kryptonian Monster, Action Comics #284, Mermaid Supergirl, Adventure #330, Gorilla Braniac 5, Black Hawk #205, Dinosaur, Gorilla, Jimmy Olsen #66, Cat Headed Lois Lane, Lois Lane #13, Lois Lane #92, Lois Lane Centaur, Supergirl #8, Medusa Hair, Superman #139

Animal Collage Key

Action Comics #243 (Lion Headed Superman), Action Comics #296 (Ant Superman), Action Comics #303 (Kryptonian Monster), Adventure Comics #330 (Gorilla Braniac 5), Black Hawk #205 (Dinosaur, Gorilla), Jimmy Olsen #66 (Cat Headed Lois Lane), Lois Lane #13 (Cat Headed Lois Lane), Lois Lane #92 (Lois Lane Centaur), Supergirl #8 (Medusa Hair), Superman #165 (Lion Headed Superman).  Is a Sphinx an animal?  If so then in Superboy #103 there is one more animal transformation.

Superboy #103 Sphinx

Baby Transformations

Baby Transformations, Baby Collage Key, Action #284, Baby Superman, Adventure #317, Baby Legions of Superheroes, Batman #147, Baby Batman, Jimmy Olsen #66, Baby Perry White, Lois Lane #10, Baby Lois Lane, Adventure Comics #356

Baby Collage Key

Action Comics #284 (Baby Superman), Adventure Comics #317 (Baby Legions of Superheroes), Batman #147 (Baby Batman), Jimmy Olsen #66 (Baby Perry White), Lois Lane #10 (Baby Lois Lane)

Caveman Transformations

Caveman Transformations, Caveman Collage Key, Action #169, Clark Kent, Caveman, Blackhawk #205, Superman #171, Superman Caveman, World’s Finest #138, Caveman Batman, Caveman Robin, Caveman Superman, World’s Finest #151, Superman Caveman,

Caveman Collage Key

Action Comics #169 (Clark Kent, Caveman, Blackhawk #205, Superman #171 (Superman Caveman), World’s Finest #138 (Caveman Batman, Robin & Superman), World’s Finest #151 (Superman Caveman)

Devil Transformations

Devil Transformations, Devil Collage Key, Action #324, Devil Supergirl, Jimmy Olsen #68, Devil Superman, Jimmy Olsen #81

Devil Collage Key

Action Comics #324 (Devil Supergirl), Jimmy Olsen #68 (Devil Superman), Jimmy Olsen #81 (Devil Superman)

Doppelganger Transformations

Doppelganger Transformations, Doppelganger Collage Key, Action Comics #312, King Superman, Adventure #255, Action Comics #341, Wonder Woman #62, Triplet, Wonder Woman #90, Giant Double, Wonder Woman #98, Wonder Woman #102, Wonder Woman #111

Doppelganger Collage Key

Action Comics #312 (Clark Kent vs. King Superman), Adventure Comics #255, Wonder Woman #62 (Triplet), Wonder Woman #90 (Giant Double), Wonder Woman #98, Wonder Woman #102 (Triplet), Wonder Woman#111. Action Comics #341 doesn’t really belong in the collage since the Clark Kent is a Phantom Zone imposter but the decision to include was done for visual aesthetic reasons.

Element Transformation

Element Transformation, Element Transformations Collage Key, Blackhawk #182, Stone Blackhawks, Detective Comics #294, Calcium Batman, Detective Comics #302, Bronze Batman

Element Transformations Collage Key

Blackhawk #182 (Stone Blackhawks), Detective Comics #294 (Calcium Batman), Detective Comics #302 (Bronze Batman)

Fat Transformations

Fat Transformations, Fat Collage Key, Action Comics #383, Fat Supergirl, Adventure #298, Fat Lang Lang, Fat Superboy, Adventure #330, Fat Superboy, Adventure #345, Fat Matter Eater Lad, Flash #115, Fat Flash, Jimmy Olsen #49, Fat Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane #5, Fat Lois Lane, Superman #221, Fat Superman

Fat Collage Key 

Action Comics #383 (Fat Supergirl), Adventure Comics #298 (Fat Lang Lang, Fat Superboy), Adventure Comics #330 (Fat Superboy), Adventure Comics #345 (Fat Matter Eater Lad), Flash #115 (Fat Flash), Jimmy Olsen #49 (Fat Jimmy Olsen), Lois Lane #5 (Fat Lois Lane), Superman #221 (Fat Superman)

Freak Transformations

Freak Transformations, Freak Collage Key , Action Comics #284, Two Headed Supergirl, Aquaman #21, Aquaman Giant Freak, Brave & Bold #68, Bat Hulk, Batman #162, Batman Creature, Challengers of the Unknown #50, Giant Green Freak, Jimmy Olsen #53, Giant Turtle Man, Jimmy Olsen #59, Fat Freak, Lois Lane #66, Lois Lane with Green Furry Feet, Rip Hunter Time Master #28, Giant Blue Fanged Creature

Freak Collage Key

Action Comics #284 (Two Headed Supergirl), Aquaman #21 (Aquaman Giant Freak), Brave & Bold #68 (Bat Hulk), Batman #162 (Batman Creature), Challengers of the Unknown #50 (Giant Green Freak), Jimmy Olsen #53 (Giant Turtle Man), Jimmy Olsen #59 (Fat Freak), Lois Lane #66 (Lois Lane with Green Furry Feet), Rip Hunter Time Master #28 (Giant Blue Fanged Creature)

Gender Transformations

Gender, cross-dressing, female Krypto, Kryptonia, Cross-Dressing, Superman #349, Superman/Batman #24, Jimmy Olsen #67, Jimmy Olsen #84, Jimmy Olsen #95, Jimmy Olsen #159, Bah, Hembeck! #4, Real Girl #6

Gender Collage Key

Superboy #101, Superman #349, Superman/Batman #24, Jimmy Olsen #67, Jimmy Olsen #84, Jimmy Olsen #95.  Incredibly there are some gender bending transformations is the normally stodgy pages of DC Comics.  Jimmy Olsen was a cross-dresser in Jimmy Olsen #67, 84, 95, 159; Bah, Hembeck! #4 and Real Girl #6.  Krypto became Kryptonia in Superboy #101.  Krypto was not just turned into a female but a female collie!  This happened due to red kryptonite.  I would say the human equivalent of a breed is race.  So if Superman ran into that particular piece of Red Kryptonite then he would become a woman and also change race.  This would be a very politically correct Superman.  Superman runs into female versions of himself in Superman #349 and Superman/Batman #24.  Actually the whole topic of Superwoman versus Supergirl is rather complex but so far Superman has never been transformed into Superwoman and that’s ok with me! However, in Supergirl (vol. 4) #79 (2003) Superman is exposed to Pink Kryptonite and then shows gay tendencies.  This was a spoof of the Red Kryptonite transformations of the silver age.

Supergirl (vol. 4) #79 (2003) Superman is exposed to Pink Kryptonite and then shows gay tendencies. This was a spoof of the Red Kryptonite transformations of the silver age.

Genie Transformations

Genie Transformations, Genie Collage Key, Detective Comics #322, Batman Genie, Jimmy Olsen #42, Jimmy Olsen Genie

Genie Collage Key

Detective Comics #322 (Batman Genie), Jimmy Olsen #42 (Jimmy Olsen Genie)

Giant Transformations

Giant Transformations, Giant Collage Key, Action #325, Giant Superboy, Aquaman #2, Giant Aqualad, Challengers of the Unknown #20, Giant Rocky, Challengers of the Unknown #36, Giant Rocky, Detective Comics #243, Giant Batman, House of Mystery #143, Giant Zook, Jimmy Olsen #77, Giant Jimmy Olsen, Superman #226, Giant Superman, Wonder Woman #136, Giant Wonder Woman

Giant Collage Key

Action Comics #325 (Giant Superboy), Aquaman #2 (Giant Aqualad), Challengers of the Unknown #20 (Giant Rocky), Challengers of the Unknown #36 (Giant Rocky), Detective Comics #243 (Giant Batman), House of Mystery #143 (Giant Zook), Jimmy Olsen #77 (Giant Jimmy Olsen), Superman #226 (Giant Superman), Wonder Woman #136 (Giant Wonder Woman)

Giant Head Transformations

Giant Head Transformations, Giant Head Collage Key, Action Comics #256, Ultra Superman, Adventure Comics #324, Evolvo Lad, Blackhawk #205, Giant Headed Blackhawk, Challengers of the Unknown #39, Giant Headed Rocky, Jimmy Olsen #22, Super-Brain of Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane #27, Lois Lane’s Super-Brain, Superman #224, Super Baby, World’s Finest #151, Batman of 800,000 AD

Giant Head Collage Key

Action Comics #256 (Ultra Superman), Adventure Comics #324 (Evolvo Lad), Blackhawk #205 (Giant Headed Blackhawk), Challengers of the Unknown #39 (Giant Headed Rocky), Jimmy Olsen #22 (Super-Brain of Jimmy Olsen), Lois Lane #27 (Lois Lane’s Super-Brain), Superman #224 (Super Baby), World’s Finest #151 (Batman of 800,000 AD)

Actually the Super Baby in Superman #224 should not be included since this is not a transformed Superman but his mutant baby.  However, the inclusion makes sense artistically.

Half Body Transformations

Half Body Transformations, Half Body Collage Key, Action Comics #290, Flash #146, Green Lantern #29

Half Body Collage Key

Action Comics #290 (One half body super, one half body not super), Flash #146 (Flash top, Mirror Master bottom), Green Lantern #29 (One half body visible, One half body gone)

Handicap

Handicap Collage

 

Handicap Collage Key

Adventure Comics #259 (Blind Superboy), Adventure Comics #332 (Lighting Lad loses arm), Justice League of America, V1 #36

Jungle Transformations

Jungle Transformations, Jungle Collage Key, Batman #72, Jungle Batman, Jimmy Olsen #10, Jungle Jimmy Olsen, Jimmy Olsen #98, Jungle Jimmy, Lois Lane #11, Leopard Girl, Lois Lane #124, Jungle Queen

Jungle Collage Key

Batman #72 (Jungle Batman), Jimmy Olsen #10 (Jungle Jimmy Olsen), Jimmy Olsen #98 (Jungle Jimmy), Lois Lane #11 (Leopard Girl), Lois Lane #124 (Jungle Queen)

King Transformations

King Transformations, King Collage Key, Action Comics #244, Undersea King, Action Comics, King Superman, Jimmy Olsen #3, King Olsen, World’s Finest #111, Indian Superman King, Superboy #32, King Superboy, World’s Finest #165 (King Superman, King Batman, World’s Finest #240, King Superman

King Collage Key 

Action Comics #244 (Undersea King), Action Comics # (King Superman), Batman #125 (King Batman), Jimmy Olsen #3 (King Olsen), World’s Finest #111 (Indian Superman King)

Mermaid Transformations

Mermaid Transformations, Action Comics #284, Mermaid Supergirl, Lois Lane #12 , Mermaid Lois Lane, Superboy #194, Mermaid Superboy, Superman #139, Superman Merman

Mermaid Transformations Collage Key

Action Comics #284 (Mermaid Supergirl), Lois Lane #12 (Mermaid Lois Lane), Superboy #194, Mermaid Superboy, Superman #139 (Superman Merman),

Mirror Transformations

Mirror Transformations, Mirror Collage Key, Flash #124, Mirror-Flash, Justice League of America #7, Fun-House Mirror, World’s Finest #121, Mirror Batman

Mirror Collage Key

Flash #124 (Mirror-Flash), Justice League of America #7 (Fun-House Mirror), World’s Finest #121 (Mirror Batman)

Negative Being Transformations

Negative Transformations, Negative Collage Key, Detective #284, Negative Batman, Mystery in Space #78, World’s Finest #126, Negative Superman,

Negative Collage Key 

Detective Comics #284 (Negative Batman), Mystery in Space #78, World’s Finest #126 (Negative Superman)

The Negative Superman should not be included since this is not a transformed Superman but another Superman but the decision to include makes sense visually and most of all I needed two covers to justify a category.  Possibly, the Negative Superman should also be included in the Doppelganger category.  Creating taxonomy of transformations has not been easy!

Old Transformations

Old Transformations, Old Collage Key, Action Comics #251, Oldest Man in Metropolis, Action Comics #270, Superman’s Old Age, Action Comics #396, Crippled and Old Superman, Action Comics #397 (Part II), Batman #119, Rip Van Batman, Flash #157, Oldest Man Alive, Jimmy Olsen #, Old Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane #, Lois Lane’s Old Age

Old Collage Key

 Action Comics #251 (Oldest Man in Metropolis), Action Comics #270 (Superman’s Old Age), Action Comics #396 (Crippled and Old Superman), Action Comics #397 (Part II), Batman #119 (Rip Van Batman), Flash #157 (Oldest Man Alive), Jimmy Olsen # (Old Jimmy Olsen), Lois Lane # (Lois Lane’s Old Age)

Phantom/Ghost/Invisible Transformations

Ghost Collage Key, Action Comics #595, Superman Ghost, Adventure Comics #357, The Ghost of Ferro Lad, Blackhawk #127, Blackhawk Ghost, Superman #186, Clark Kent Ghost, Superman Ghost, World’s Finest #130, Batman Ghost

Ghost Collage Key

Action Comics #595 (Superman Ghost), Adventure Comics #357 (The Ghost of Ferro Lad), Blackhawk #127 (The Ghost of Blackhawk), Superman #186 (Clark Kent Ghost vs. Superman Ghost), World’s Finest #130 (Batman Ghost)

Phantom Collage Key, Action Comics #131, Superman in 4th Dimension, Adventure Comics #283, The Phantom Superboy, Green Lantern #20, Phantom Green Lantern, Jimmy Olsen #12, Invisible Jimmy Olsen, Jimmy Olsen #40, Lois Lane #33, Phantom Lois Lane, Lois Lane #101, Invisible Lois Lane, Superboy #162, The Super-Phantom of Smallville

Phantom Collage Key

Action Comics #131(Superman in 4th Dimension), Adventure Comics #283 (The Phantom Superboy), Green Lantern #20 (Phantom Green Lantern), Jimmy Olsen #12 (Invisible Jimmy Olsen – title), Jimmy Olsen #40 (Invisible Jimmy Olsen – title), Lois Lane #33 (Phantom Lois Lane), Lois Lane #101 (Invisible Lois Lane), Superboy #162 (The Super-Phantom of Smallville)

In the Silver Age the words phantom and invisible are used in a sloppy manner. For example, Jimmy Olsen is twice turned into a phantom i.e. an insubstantial and invisible being but the title refers to an invisible Jimmy Olsen rather than a phantom Jimmy Olsen.  This is rather strange since the Legion of Superheroes of the Silver Age has a Phantom Girl versus an Invisible Kid and their powers are very well delineated.  You can see the Phantom Girl but not touch her.  You can touch the Invisible Kid but can’t see him.  Only by having both the powers of the Invisible Kid and the Phantom Girl could you have the powers of a ghost!

However, I would say the Phantom Zone precedent means that a being that is both invisible and insubstantial due to scientific means is a Phantom.  Silver Age science even established that the Phantom Girl could visit the Phantom Zone and say “hello” to Mon-El but the Invisible Kid could not enter the Phantom Zone.  Ghost Boy could have kept Mon-El company 24/7, if he had wanted to and that might have been a nice subplot I had never thought about at the time.  Ghosts as opposed to phantoms have supernatural origins and generally control of both their visibility and maybe their insubstantial nature.  Are you confused?  Well too bad because if you had grown up on Silver Age comic books then this would all make perfect sense.  Still the ghosts should be easy enough to label!

However, ghosts in the DC universe often turn out to be phantoms i.e. there is a scientific rather than supernatural explanation.  The Ferro Lad ghost turns out to be a controller created phantom but the real Ferro Lad ghost then causes the controller to die of fright.  Because of all this terminology confusion, the decision was made to make one category for phantom, ghost and invisible transformations.  The visual effect is the same and comic books are all about the visual effect.

Radioactive

Radioactive, Radioactive Collage Key, Detective #17, Radioactive Batman, Jimmy Olsen #17, Radioactive Jimmy Olsen, Radioactive Boy,

Radioactive Collage Key

Detective Comics #17 (Radioactive Batman), Jimmy Olsen #17 (Radioactive Jimmy Olsen)

Robot Transformations

Robot Transformations, Robot Collage Key, Action Comics #225, Robot Superman, Action Comics #, Clark Kent Metallo, Adventure Comics #237, Ma and Pa Kent Robots, Green Lantern #36, Green Lantern Robot, Jimmy Olsen #70, Robot Jimmy Olsen, Jimmy Olsen #130, The Computer-Man of Steel,

Robot Collage Key 

Action Comics #225 (Robot Superman), Action Comics # (Clark Kent Metallo), Adventure Comics #237 (Ma and Pa Kent Robots), Green Lantern #36 (Green Lantern Robot), Jimmy

Small Person Transformations

Small Transformations, Small Collage Key, Action Comics #283, Small Supergirl, Adventure Comics #330, Small Colossal Boy, Flash #109, Small Flash, Justice League of America #10, Finger Puppet Justice League, Justice League of America #18, Shrunken Justice League, Justice League of America #60, Bee Drone Justice League, Superman #245, Super-Mite, Detective Comics #127, Small Batman and Robin, Detective Comics #148

Small Collage Key 

Action Comics #283 (Small Supergirl), Adventure Comics #330 (Small Colossal Boy), Detective Comics #127 (Small Batman and Robin), Detective Comics #148 (Small Batman and Robin), Flash #109 (Small Flash), Justice League of America #10 (Finger Puppet Justice League), Justice League of America #18 (Shrunken Justice League), Justice League of America #60 (Bee Drone Justice League), Superman #245 (Super-Mite)

Tree Being Transformation

Trees, Trees Collage Key, Justice League of America #9, Justice League Trees, Lois Lane #112, Superman Tree

Trees Collage Key

Justice League of America #9 (Justice League Trees), Lois Lane #112 (Superman Tree)

Underwater Being Transformations

Underwater Transformations, Underwater Collage Key, Batman #118, Merman Batman, Superman #244, Superman’s Undersea Kingdom

Underwater Collage Key

Batman #118 (Merman Batman), Superman #244 (Superman’s Undersea Kingdom)

Werewolf Transformations

Werewolf Transformations, Werewolf Collage Key, Action #283, Linda Danver’s Werewolf, Jimmy Olsen #44, Jimmy Olsen Wolf-Man, Superboy #116, Superboy #180

Werewolf Collage Key

Action Comics #283 (Linda Danver’s Werewolf), Jimmy Olsen #44 (Jimmy Olsen Wolf-Man), Superboy #116, Superboy #180

CONCLUSION

Transformations at DC comics during the Silver Age showed definite patterns.  Certain heroes were transformed more than others.  Batman and Superman suffered a lot of transformations but this could be function of the fact that both Batman and Superman were in multiple titles that had extremely long runs.  Transformations were popular and the transformation of the top superheroes at DC during the Silver Age made marketing sense.  Lois Lane did not have as many transformations as Jimmy Olsen but her 12 transformations seems like a high number given that she only starred in one title.  The marketing logic might have been to use popular transformations that worked with one of the Superman family members with the other Superman family members that had a comic book title and hope for similar success.  Wonder Woman suffered the doppelganger transformation five times and this is an extreme case of the same transformation being used again and again with the same character almost obsessively.  Wonder Woman in the Silver Age was a strange little title and someday I am going to write an in depth analysis of what was done to Wonder Woman during this time period.  Transformations at DC during the Silver Age are almost always one-shot affairs.  The exception is in the Legion of Superheroes were Lightning Lad lost his arm for several issues and Matter Lad was turned into a fat boy for several issues.

Marvel handles transformations in an entirely different manner.  Transformation is an ongoing plot device in the case of the Hulk, Iron Man’s many armors, the Thing, the six-armed Spider-Man and X-23’s vampirism.  Even the relatively short term transformation of Captain America into a werewolf lasts more than one issue.  I will eventually write another DC vs. Marvel article comparing the role of transformation in the comic books of the two companies.

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

More comic book articles on this blog at:

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

 

Hugh Fox III - Grass

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)

Interview with the Phantom Zone Cats

When I was nine I was haunted by one great injustice.  I could not understand the plight of the Phantom Zone cats.

Superboy (v1, #136, pg. 22)

In Superboy (v1, #136, pg. 22), shown above, I discovered cats had been exiled to the Phantom Zone.  Why would innocent cats be exiled with their evil owners?  Plus Kryptonians gained super powers such as super intelligence due to being under a yellow sun.  This is why Krypto could use human language.  The dog equivalent of super intelligence raised Krypto’s intelligence to more or less that of a human three year old.  How could Kryptonian cats in the Phantom Zone, minus a yellow sun, talk?

I also had splitting headaches when I was nine and could feel strange eyes burning into my back but whenever I turned around, there was nothing to be seen.  Finally, my parents told me that if talked about the Phantom Zone cats even one more time I was going to be in big trouble and I decided that I needed to move on.

Recently the story of the Phantom Zone cats has resurfaced in Attack of the Invisible Cats (DC Super-Pets).  In this version the so called Phanty-Cats have escaped from the Phantom Zone and are feline felons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the past week I have had strange dreams of running after mice with giant green ears in fields of purple grass under a red sun.  These dreams are strange even by my standards!  Last night I awoke around 2:22 am and was startled to see three spectral cats floating above my bed.

The first cat said, “I am the cat of Christmas past!”

The second cat said, “I am the cat of Christmas present!”

The third cat said, “I am the cat of Christmas future!”

The first cat talked again and said “Just kidding we are the Phantom Zone cats and we have traveled across space, time and the metaverse to allow you to interview us.

I said, “Metaverse?  You are from the Internet?”

The first cat continued, “Not that metaverse.   Metaverse as in metafiction.  We tried to contact you when you were nine but your brain was too immature to receive our telepathic transmissions but now you are ready.”

I stammered, “Wh-, wh-, why me?”

The first cat said, “Well you are one of the prophets of the metaverse, the metafiction one not the internet one, but mostly, we love your blog!”

I responded, “Well I can believe that.  Cats love my blog! (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/why-do-cats-love-my-blog/ )

The first cat had a bit of a mane and said “I am Tu-Ul and my human was Faora Hu-Ul.  This is Zin-Zod the cat of General Dru-Zod.

Zin-Zod nodded at the last cat and said “The ugly one is Tor-Ur of the house of Jax-Ur.”

Tor-Ur hissed at Zin-Zod and leaped at Zin-Zod but went right through the Zin-Zod.

Tor-Ur, “I hate being a phantom!  If I was solid for ten seconds I would tear your throat out!”

Zin-Zod, “If you were solid for ten seconds then I would still be phantom and you would still go right through me you dumb kitty!”

Tor-Ur, “I hate you! I hate you!  Hell is a cat in the Phantom Zone named Zin-Zod!

Hell is a cat in the Phantom Zone named Zin-Zod!

Zin-Zod, “I thank you for the compliment!”

Tul-Ul looked at the other two cats with a bored expression and said, “My human Faora is a beautiful Kryptonian who killed 23 men with her bare hands.  She is a master of Horu-Kanu that utilizes pressure points with deadly effect. I will beam an image of her into your mind telepathically.”

I said, “Faora looks just like Sarah Palin!”

Tul-Ul, “We did notice that.  Coincidence I am sure.  The human of Zin-Zod, General Zod created an army of prototype Bizzaros to take over Krypton.  The human of Tor-Ur, Jax-Ur, was building nuclear missiles in order to take over Krypton but accidentally destroyed one of Krypton’s moons along with 500 colonists during a test. We want to explain why we are in the Phantom Zone.”

I asked, “So, why are you in the Phantom Zone?”

Tul-Ul, “Cats on Krypton had been genetically enhanced and were intelligent and could talk unlike cats on Earth and dogs on Krypto.  We honor humans for giving us the gift of consciousness and true free will.  We asked the Kryptonian Science Council to send us to the Phantom Zone even though we had committed no crime.  It was our choice!”

I said, “Your choice?”

Tul-Ul, “Our humans are evil and we acknowledge that and pray to Rao for his forgiveness of their sins but we are still bonded.  Our humans even honor us with their house name unlike cats on Earth.  The bond between cat and human in Krypton is one of the most sacred of Krypton and we would not break that bond even if our humans must travel a strange road.”

“Maybe I drank too much coffee before going to bed or maybe I have some sort of flu.  No way am I talking to you!”, I said.

Tul-Ul, “We are real!”.  Tul-Ul’s head grew to the size of a car tire.

I said, “Ok, ok, you are real.  So what’s it like to be a cat in the Phantom Zone”

Tul-Ul, “Different cats adjust differently.  Cats on Krypton rarely reach the age of twenty Earth years and I have already lived almost a hundred years so I am philosophical and think my state beats the alternative.”

Zin-Zod, “Mostly I miss the mice. We can look at mice all we want.  We can see mice on a thousand worlds no less, but we cannot touch the mice and that’s just torture.  Oh what I would give to render a mouse limb from tiny limb!”

Tor-Ur, “You kitty cats have gone crazy in the zone.  The place is torture.  Give me sweet oblivion.  Maybe if Zid-Zod wasn’t around, then the zone could be bearable but to be tortured by Zid-Zod every minute makes it so much worse.”

Zin-Zod, “I was just thinking the opposite.  The zone is bearable because I have you to tease.”

Tor-Ur, “Tease, you mean torture!”

Zin-Zod, “You know I love you for all my teasing!”

And that is when I noticed that Zin-Zod was female cat and Tor-Ur was a male cat.  Zin-Zod licked Tor-Ur’s ear affectionately and Tor-Ur purred loudly.  The cats did other things that decorum does not allow description.

Tul-Ul, “Anyway, we just want the humans of this Earth to know that our stay in the Phantom Zone was not an injustice but a choice and that the Kryptonians were a noble race and the universe is poorer without them.”

In exasperation, I said, “Ok I can understand why you would want to hurt Superboy since his dad created the Phantom Zone Projector but why did you try to hurt Krypto if you aren’t evil?”

Tul-Ul, “A cat trying to hurt a dog is not evil but nature.  A cat trying to hurt a dog whose human is Superboy, whose father created the ray that sent our humans to the Phantom Zone, is justice!”

With that the cats faded into the blackness of the night as though they had never existed.

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

More comic book articles on this blog at:

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

DC vs. Marvel: Sidekicks

This post will compare sidekicks of the DC and Marvel universes. Which universe has the best sidekicks?  First of all, what is a sidekick?  Wikipedia provides the following definition “A sidekick is a close companion who is generally regarded as subordinate to the one he accompanies”.  Wikipedia in the same article expands on the functions of a sidekick “Sidekicks can provide one or multiple functions, such as a counterpoint to the hero, an alternate point of view, or knowledge, skills, or anything else the hero doesn’t have. They often function as comic relief, and/or the straight man to the hero’s comedic actions. A sidekick can also act as someone more relatable to the audience than the hero, or whom the audience can imagine themselves as being (such as teen sidekicks). And by asking questions of the hero, or giving the hero someone to talk to, the sidekick provides an opportunity for the author to provide exposition, thereby filling the same role as a Greek chorus”.  A sidekick is not a villain’s henchmen or the romantic interest of a hero which is generally referred to as a companion.

The picture above got me thinking about sidekicks.  The picture is from page 199 of the graphic novel Bizzaro Comics (2001).  Bizzaro Comics is a hilarious collection of indie writers and artist’s parodies of DC comic titles.  This picture is from the story titled Without You I’m Nothing and follows the travails of obscure discarded sidekicks.  I am a comic book historian and do get a kick out of stories that use obscure characters like this story does.  I was not able to identify all the side kicks in the picture but have a partial answer key at the end of this post.  This post also attempts to provide definitive lists of sidekicks in the DC and Marvel universes and the Wikipedia definition was strictly adhered to.  Many obscure characters that have not been included in prior lists of this nature have been included in this post.  Below is a definitive list of DC sidekicks that will be discussed later.

List of DC Sidekicks

Superhero Sidekick First Appearance
Aquaman Aquagirl 1 (Lisa Morel) Adventure Comics #266 (November, 1959)
Aquaman Aquagirl 2 (Tula) Aquaman (vol. 1) #33 (May-June 1967)
Aquaman Aqualad  (Garth) Adventure Comics #269 (February 1960)
Aquaman Topo (Octopus) Adventure Comics #229 (October 1956)
Aquaman Qwsp Aquaman (vol. 1) #1 (January-February 1962)
Batman Ace the Bat Hound Batman #92, June 1955
Batman Alfred Pennyworth (Butler) Batman #16 (April-May 1943
Batman Bat-Girl (Bette Kane) Batman #139 (April 1961)
Batman Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) Detective Comics #359 (January 1967)
Batman Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) Legends of the Dark Knight # 120 (August 1999)
Batman Robin 1 (Dick Grayson) Detective Comics #38 (April 1940)
Batman Robin 2 (Jason Todd) Batman #357 (March 1983)
Batman Robin 3 (Tim Drake) Batman #436 (August 1989)
Batman Robin 4, Spoiler, Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) Detective Comics #647 (August 1992)
Batman Robin 5 (Damian Wayne) Batman #655 (September 2006)
Batman Robin Earth II (Richard Grayson) Detective Comics #38 (April, 1940)
Blackhawk Lady Blackhawk (Zinda) Blackhawk # 133 (February 1959)
Blue Devil Kid Devil Blue Devil #14 (July 1985)
Booster Gold Goldstar Lobo #5 (May ’94)
Booster Gold Skeets Booster Gold (vol. 1) #1 (1986)
Captain Marvel Captain Marvel Jr. Whiz Comics #25 (December 1941)
Captain Marvel Lieutenant Marvels Whiz Comics #21 (1941)
Captain Marvel Mr. Tawky Tawny (Anthropomorphic Tiger) Captain Marvel Adventures #79
Captain Marvel Uncle Marvel Wow Comics #18 (October 1943)
Captain Mid-Nite Hooty the Owl All-American Comics #25 (April, 1941)
Chameleon Boy Proty I Adventure Comics #308 (May 1963)
Chameleon Boy Proty II Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #72 (October 1963)
Crimson Avenger Wing How Detective Comics #20 (October 1938)
Flash Impulse (Bart Allen) Flash (vol. 2) #92 (June 1994)
Flash Kid Flash I (Wally West) The Flash  (vol. 1) #110 (December 1959)
Flash Kid Flash II (Iris West) Kingdom Come #3 (July 1996)
Flash Kid Flash III (Bart Allen) Teen Titans (vol. 3) #4 (December 2003)
Flash S’kidd Flash Flash vol 2 #235 (February, 2008)
General Glory Ernie the Battling Boy Justice League America # 46 (January 1991)
Green Arrow Amber Archer (Connor Hawke) Green Arrow vol 2 #0 (October, 1994)
Green Arrow Arrowette World’s Finest Comics #113 (November 1960)
Green Arrow Speedy  I (Roy Harper) More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)
Green Arrow Speedy II (Mia Dearden) Green Arrow (vol. 3) #44 (January 2005)
Green Lantern Gen’ma Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #6
Green Lantern Doiby Dickles All-American Comics #27 (June 1941)
Green Lantern Terry Berg Green Lantern (vol. 3) #129 (October 2000)
Green Lantern Thomas Kalmaku (Pieface) Green Lantern (Vol. 2) #2 (September-October 1960)
Icon Rocket Icon #1 (May 1993)
Johnny Thunder Black Lightning the Horse Flash Comics #1 (January 1940)
Joker Harley Quinn The Batman Adventures #12 (September 1993)
Justice League of America Snapper Carr The Brave and the Bold #28 (February-March 1960)
Justice League International G’nort (Green Lantern, Humanoid Dog) Justice League International #10 (February, 1988)
Knight Squire (Cyril) Batman #62,(December 1950)
Little Boy Blue Tubby, Toughy Sensation Comics #1 (January, 1942)
Martian Manhunter Zook Detective Comics #311 (January, 1963).
Mr. Scarlet Pinky the Whiz Kid Wow Comics #4 (1940)
Owlman Talon Teen Titans vol. 3 #38 (September 2006)
Plastic Man Woozy Winks Police Comics #13 (November 1942)
Robin Flamebird (Mary Elizabeth Kane) Teen Titans #50 (October, 1977)
Tomahawk Dan Hunter Star-Spangled Comics #69 (June 1947)
Sandman Brute The Sandman #1 (May 1974)
Sandman Glob The Sandman #1 (May 1974)
Sandman Sandy the Golden Boy (Sandy Hawkins) Adventure Comics # 69 (December 1941)
Space Ranger Cyrll Showcase #15, (July 1958)
Star Hawkins Ilda (Robot) Strange Adventures #114 (March 1960)
Star-Spangled Kid Stripsey (Pat Dugan) Action Comics #40 (September, 1941).
Superboy Pete Ross Superboy #86 (January 1961)
Super-Girl Comet the Super-Horse (Biron) Action Comics #292 (1962)
Super-Girl Streaky the Super-Cat Action Comics #292 (1962)
Superman Bo “Bibbo” Bibbowski Adventures of Superman #428 (May 1987)
Superman Jimmy Olsen Action Comics #6 (November 1938)
Superman Krypto Adventure Comics #210 (March 1955)
Superman Super-Girl Superman #123 (August 1958)
TNT Dan the Dyna-Mite (Daniel Dunbar) World’s Finest Comics #5 (Spring 1942)
Vigilante Stuff the Chinatown Kid Action Comics #45 (February 1942)
Wonder Woman Etta Candy Sensation Comics #2 (Feb. 1942)
Wonder Woman Wonder Girl 1 (Wonder Woman as a teenager) All-Star Comics #8 (December 1941),
Wonder Woman Wonder Girl 2 (Donna Troy) The Brave and the Bold vol. 1 #60 (July 1965)
Wonder Woman Wonder Tot Wonder Woman #105 (April, 1959)

Robin wins the best DC sidekick prize easily.  Robin is the first teenage super hero sidekick and if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Robin has been flattered to death.  DC went ahead and created an army of teenage sidekicks.  Eventually the teenage sidekicks of the major superheroes founded a teenage sidekick version of the Justice League called the Teen Titans.  The original Teen Titans included Aqualad, Kid Flash, Robin and Wondergirl.  Later still, Young Justice is created.  The Teen Titans and Young Justice meet in a giant sidekick crossover between their two groups.

The obvious absurdity of Robin is that crime fighting is dangerous work even for an adult like Batman and introducing a minor to crime fighting makes no sense whatsoever except as a plot device.  Batman’s villains were obviously very aware that Robin was the weak link and Two-Face even referred to Robin as the boy hostage.  The psychologist Fredric Wertham decided there was a homosexual subtext in the Batman and Robin relationship and wrote about this in Seduction of the Innocent.  Batman goes through a whole slew of Robins and eventually one gets killed brutally by the Joker with a crow bar in a Death in the Family.  Jason Todd is the lucky Robin to suffer death and the best part is that readers entered a poll to decide if he lived or died.  Truly a low point in comic book history but a lot of Batman issues were sold so all in all the project was a success.  Later Robin 4 (Stephanie Brown) in the identity of the Spoiler is even more brutally killed by the Black Mask with a power drill.

Of course no one really dies in comic books so Jason Todd return as the Red Hood and wants some payback from Batman for letting him die and secondly, and probably more importantly letting the Joker live.  The five Robins all get starring roles after Batman “dies”.  The ex-Robins have all become heroes in their own right.  I would argue that the Red Hood is an antihero not a villain.  Robin 1, Dick Grayson, has become Nightwing.  Robin 3, Tim Drake, becomes Red Robin.  Stephanie brown is resurrected from her power drill death and becomes Batgirl.  The male Robins are all potential impersonators of the dead Batman. The Red Hood gets in the act and kind of forces Dick Grayson to become the new Batman because if he doesn’t then the Red Hood will assume the role.  The potential heirs to Batman agree that the death of Batman should be hidden and one of them should pretend to be the original Batman.  This is similar to the Phantom, the ghost who walks that has the son of the prior Phantom assume the role of the Phantom so as to give the illusion that the Phantom never dies.  The Robins are basically sons of Batman but unfortunately there is more than one son i.e. more than one Robin and succession is not clear.  This jockeying between the Robins is largely covered in the Batman miniseries Battle for the Cowl but this power struggle affected all Batman related titles of the last year.  Dick Grayson does a good job impersonating Batman but doesn’t fool Commissioner Gordon.  The new Batman of course needs a new Robin and gets a psychopath kid, due to being trained by the League of Assassins since childhood.   This new Robin is the long lost son of Bruce Wayne and called Damian Wayne.  Confused?  Everyone is confused so don’t feel bad.  I am sure the writers of the Batman lines have cheat cards on their desks.  Will the barnacles of Batman history eventually sink the line?  Maybe!

Robin and his teenage copies at DC and even Marvel have so dominated the sidekick market in comic books that readers tend not to look at the broader literary concept of a sidekick when looking at comic books.  Another Batman sidekick is Alfred Pennyworth.  Alfred provides an alternate point of view to the audience as well as the ability to aid Batman when he is hurt.  Alfred has surgical skills gained when Alfred was an army medic.  Alfred was also in the theater and can pretend to be Batman when needed.  This is a rarely used skill of Alfred that is nevertheless crucial when someone is too close to discovering Batman’s identity.  Robin is presumably too small to provide a similar function and anyway Robin needs to be by Batman’s side so people don’t think Robin is pretending to be Batman.  Alfred Pennyworth can be extremely critical and sarcastic with Batman unlike the army of Robins.  Alfred provides an “adult” perspective about Batman to the reader.  Alfred has known Batman since he was a child. Alfred is aware of the how the killing of Batman’s parents made Batman a great crime fighter at the expense of a normal life.  The Red Hood has argued with Batman that most of his hard core rogues gallery only fear death and the fact that Batman does not kill and the fact that the villains know this limits the effectiveness of Batman as a crime fighter.  Batman may be able to instill fear in common criminals but provides more challenge than fear to the likes of the Joker.  In Batman #647, Alfred actually agrees with the Red Hood mentally but does not express his views to Batman verbally.

Batman is a serial teenage sidekick mentor and there is something very creepy about this.  Any “normal” person would not expose even one minor to extreme violence and certainly would not continue this behavior after the death of Jason Todd much less the subsequent death of Stephanie Brown.  Alfred has expressed dismay about the use of teenage sidekicks many times to Batman.  However, Alfred in the end is the dutiful butler who does what his master wishes despite any misgivings about such a course of action.  Alfred’s subordination to Batman’s wishes despite sarcastic remarks is what makes Alfred a sidekick rather than an equal partner.  Batman is not the only member of the Batman story line with a sidekick.

The Joker, Batman’s archenemy, has a sidekick!  Villains generally do not have sidekicks but henchmen, minions or lackeys.  Villains are generally egomaniacs and incapable of having long lasting meaningful relationships or so the theory goes. Villains see their henchmen as disposable cannon fodder.  The Joker generally treats those around him in precisely this manner but there is one exception and that is Harley Quinn.  Harley Quinn was a female psychiatrist that treated the Joker at Arkham Asylum and turned to the dark side rather than curing the Joker.  Harley Quinn is in love with the Joker but the relationship has clearly never been consummated.  The Joker obviously sees Harley Quinn as a capable sidekick even if Harley Quinn wants more.  Harley Quinn is a near superhuman gymnast who uses her skill with great combat effectiveness.  Harley Quinn wears a Jester outfit and became friends with Poison Ivy at Arkham were she ironically resided after her break down.  Harley Quinn provides comic relief to Joker stories that despite the name of the Joker were not very funny before Harley Quinn showed up.

The Joker had been jealous of Batman having Robin as a sidekick in the silver age and got his own one-shot sidekick in Batman #186 called Gaggy.  The main function of Gaggy was to provide comic relief to then Joker since such comic relief led to the Joker having great crime ideas.  Gaggy rather simplistically hated Robin and managed to knock Robin out with a head butt to the stomach.  Gaggy was never heard of after that one issue.  I think an issue in which Gaggy, embittered by being discarded by the Joker, targets Harley Quinn for assassination might be interesting.  Harley Quinn turns to Batman to figure out who is trying to kill her and clues are left that the culprit is a dwarf with a penchant for practical joke paraphernalia.  Since not an awful lot of characters fit that description, Batman deduces that the culprit is Gaggy!  Did I mention I like obscure comic book characters?  Batman’s sidekicks on the whole do not provide comic relief.  This is not the case of Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel also has an army of sidekicks but largely for comic relief.  Mr. Tawky Tawny is an anthropomorphic tiger i.e. a funny animal that gets into all sorts of silly trouble Captain Marvel can save the tiger from.  Uncle Marvel is an older bumbling version of Captain Marvel.  Captain Marvel was always a sillier line than his doppelganger Superman.

Flash is another serial sidekick character that has gone through three Kid Flash characters.  Kid Flash was clearly inspired by Robin.  Super speed is a major power that is very much underestimated in comic books.  Basically you can hit the bad guy a hundred times and dodge whatever the bad guy tosses at you.  “Realistically” the foes of the Flash should stand no chance against the Flash.  Captain Cold has a freeze gun.  The Flash should be able to dodge anything the cold gun can come up with.  A teenager with super speed is still incredibly powerful despite being a teenager unlike Robin who has no super powers and even the inferior strength of someone who is younger.  Maybe a Kid Flash can only punch with half the power of an adult but a hundred punches later and even the toughest boxer is going down.

Green Arrow has had two teenage sidekicks named Speedy.  The first Speedy grows up to become a heroin addict, but recovers, and there is some suggestion that maybe crime fighting as a teenager might not be all that healthy psychologically and contributed to the heroin addiction.

Superman only has one teenage sidekick and that is Jimmy Olsen.  In the silver age, Jimmy Olsen was officially Superman’s best pal and again very creepy if you think about it.  Superman is perennially in his early thirties and if I saw some thirty year old hanging around a teen rather than a guy his own age then I would wonder exactly what function this teenager serves.  Jimmy even has a watch with an ultrasonic signal that allows him to call Superman when he is in danger.  Lois Lane does not have such a watch!  Teenage guy gets the watch but not the gal?  Maybe the silver age Superman had reasons for not marrying Lois Lane that had more to do with subconscious gender preference than any other reason.

Superman has a dog called Krypto.  In the silver age, Batman got a dog called Ace but there is no comparison with Krypto and Ace in terms of importance.  Superman in the silver age was Superboy and Krypto and Superboy were constant companions.  This is one of the healthier sidekick relationships in comic books.  Krypto cannot talk but can communicate to the reader via thought balloons that show what Krypto is thinking.  Krypto’s attempts to understand Superboy’s behavior using canine logic were pretty cute and comical and one of the few things that made the otherwise lame Superboy title work.

The current Supergirl has no hyphen between “Super” and “Girl” in her name.  The current Supergirl is a hot babe in a half shirt who has fled to the 31st century to avoid being a sidekick!  The silver age Super-Girl, on the other hand, was very much a sidekick.  She was teenager attending high school and was kept as a secret weapon for much of her silver age career.  Super-Girl was Superman’s cousin so no fear of hanky-panky that would make her a companion.  However, Super-Girl does try to match Superman up with an adult version of her on another planet!

Super-Girl has sidekicks in her own right!  Super-Girl has a super cat named Streaky and a super horse named Comet.  Somewhere in the Superman family there is a super monkey named Beppo but I am not really sure who he belongs to.  All the super animals unite with Proty to create the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st century.  Years later Marvel will make its own group of superhero animal sidekicks.  Proty is the sidekick of Chameleon Boy who is a member of the Legion of Super Heroes of the 31st century.  Proty I sacrificed himself to revive the dead Lighting Lad but a Proty II soon shows up.  Proty I and II are aliens that look like blobs and can mimic just about any form.

That leaves us with Wonder Women’s sidekicks.  The silver age Woman had several sidekicks.  Etta Candy was a fat rather stupid college student who was supposed to be used for comic relief but was more obnoxious than funny.  The silver age Wonder Woman went through a rather silly phase in which she had adventures with herself as a Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot!  Wonder Woman used Amazonian technology to create films of herself that showed “what if” adventures with her younger versions.  I have to tell you I was maybe seven when a lot of these adventures came out originally and I was totally confused.  I assumed Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot were sisters of Wonder Woman and didn’t find out the “truth” until I was in my thirties.  Wonder Woman is probably one of those silver age titles that is really hard for modern readers to digest but the title had a fantasy quality that was very different from the more sci-fi quality of most silver age stuff and appealed to my young imagination.  Wonder Woman may go down in literary history as the only character that had two versions of herself as her own sidekicks. The graphic novel Bizzaro Comics (2001) does have a story with Wonder Tot and Wonder Girl racing to sit next to Wonder Woman during lunch and destroying half the Amazon city in the process.  Later, a more Robin like Wonder Girl was created as a sidekick.

Below is a list of Marvel sidekicks that will be discussed at the end of this list:

List of Marvel Sidekicks

Superhero Sidekick First Appearance
Avengers, Iron Man Edwin Jarvis (Butler) Tales of Suspense #59 (Nov 1964)
Captain America Bucky I Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941)
Captain America Bucky II (Rick Jones)  
Captain America Free Spirit Captain America vol. 1 #431 (September 1994)
Captain America Jack Flag (Jack Harrison) Captain America #434, (December 1994)
Captain Britain Jackdaw The Incredible Hulk Weekly #57 (April 1980)
Captain Marvel Falcon (Sam “Snap” Wilson) Captain America #117 (Sept. 1969)
Daredevil Foggy Nelson Daredevil v1 #1 (April 1964)
Deadpool Weasel Deadpool: The Circle Chase #1 (August 1993)
Deadpool Blind Al Deadpool #1 (Jan. 1997)
Deadpool Bob, Agent of HYDRA Cable & Deadpool #38 (May 2007)
Doc Samson Geiger Captain America vol. 1 #431 (September 1994)
Doctor Strange Wong Strange Tales #110 (Jul 1963)
Falcon Redwing (Hawk) Captain America #117 (Sept. 1969)
Franklin Richards H.E.R.B.I.E. (Robot) Fantastic Four #209 (August 1979)
Hulk Jim Wilson Incredible Hulk  v1 #131 (September, 1970)
Hulk Teen Brigade Incredible Hulk v1 #6 (March 1963)
Hulk, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Avengers Rick Jones Incredible Hulk v1 #1 (May 1962)
Human Torch Toro Human Torch Comics #2 (Fall 1940)
Inhumans Lockjaw (Dog) Fantastic Four #45, (December 1965)
Ka-Zar Zabu (Sabertooth Tiger) X-Men #10 (Mar 1965)
Fantastic Four Franklin Richards (Son of Reed Richards & Susan Storm) Fantastic Four Annual #6 (November 1968)
Fantastic Four, Franklin Richards Valeria Richards (Daughter of Reed Richards & Susan Storm) Fantastic Four vol. 3 #54 (June 2002)
Fantastic Four Lockjaw Puppy (Dog) Fantastic Four vol.3 #9.
Nick Fury Dum Dum Dugan Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (May 1963)
Shadowcat Lockheed (Small Dragon) Uncanny X-Men #166 (Feb 1983)
Speedball Niels, Hairball (Cat) Speedball #1
Spider-Man Jackpot Free Comic Book Day Spider-Man: Swing Shift (May 2007)
Spider-Man Ms. Lion (Dog) Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends #1
Spider Girl Scarlet Spider 3 (Felicity Hardy) Spider-Girl # 46
Taskmaster, Agent X Sandi Brandenberg Taskmaster Mini-Series (2002)
Thing, Captain America Demolition Man aka D-Man Captain America #328 (April 1987)
Wolverine Jubilee Uncanny X-Men #244 (May, 1989)
Young Allies Whitewash Jones Young Allies Comics 1941

The first sidekick on the list is Edwin Jarvis who is a butler at Avengers Mansion that in turn is owned and operated by Tony Stark.  Tony Stark is of course Iron Man.  Jarvis is an obvious clone of Alfred, Batman’s butler, but is much more one dimensional and provides comic relief rather than insight into the super heroes he deals with unlike Alfred.  Alfred was a medic during a time of war and may be old but is obviously tough and handles sensitive Batman impersonation missions.  Alfred would beat the crap out of Jarvis in any altercation.

Bucky is probably the most famous sidekick in the Marvel universe.  Bucky is Captain America’s sidekick from the golden age that was killed in the golden age.  In 2010, Bucky was resurrected after more than forty years just to make sure whatever faith readers had in comic book continuity was crushed once and for all so that suspension of disbelief via continuity would be rendered impossible once and for all.  Comic sales are down way down.  The recession and competition with other media are to blame but decisions like the Bucky resurrection don’t help.  Anyway, Captain America is put into suspended animation minutes after Bucky is “blown up” and the guilt Captain America feels upon reawakening in the silver age is a major part of the Captain America story line.  Captain America over the last forty years continually demonstrated how the trauma for the death of Bucky affected him mostly in the form of nightmares.  Batman has never shown this level of trauma about the deaths of his Robins.

In the first silver age appearance of Captain America (Avengers vol. 1, #1) Captain America runs into a teenager he mistakes for Bucky, Rick Jones.  Rick Jones is the side kick of the Hulk but this doesn’t stop him from later becoming Bucky II.  The Hulk is not too pleased with this and this leads to altercations between Captain America and the Hulk.  The Hulk has a point.  Bruce Banner was exposed to gamma ray radiation while saving Rick Jones and became the monster called the Hulk because of Rick Jones.  Yeah, Rick Jones owes his life to the Hulk’s alter ego but heck Captain America has wavy blonde hair and also is not a monster, literally, so Rick Jones decides to become Bucky II.  Rick Jones is not a very loyal sidekick and becomes Captain Marvel’s sidekick later on.  I guess Captain Marvel’s wavy silver hair beat Captain America’s wavy blonde hair.  Rick Jones is currently a Hulk type called A-Bomb and is really digging not being a sidekick anymore despite having Hulk monster type problems.  Captain America has had other sidekicks beside Bucky I and II including Jack Flag and Jackdraw.  Heroes in both the DC and Marvel universe seem to either have slews of sidekicks or no sidekicks. Are sidekicks addictive?  For the records there have been several Captain Americas with their Bucky sidekicks but I am only dealing with the Steve Rogers Captain America.

Foggy Nelson is a sidekick of Daredevil.  Foggy Nelson is the law partner of Matt Murdock the alter ego of Daredevil.  Foggy provided a great deal of comic belief in the beginning but has matured into a more competent brilliant lawyer that is an asset to Matt Murdock.  Foggy has an incredible case law memory and might even superior to Matt Murdock as a lawyer but does not have the confidence of Matt and is therefore generally not the lead lawyer.  Without Foggy, the law practice of Matt Murdock would have gone down the toilet during his many, Daredevil caused, MIA stints.  Foggy Nelson has a paunch and food related jokes are his comic relief contribution.

Deadpool is a hilarious anti-hero that has had several equally hilarious sidekicks including Weasel, Blind Al and Bob, Agent of Hydra.  My favorite is Bob, Agent of Hydra.  Bob is a parody of henchmen and the number one lesson he learned from Hydra was “hiding behind each other”.  Under pressure, Bob tends to shout “Hail Hydra”.

Doctor Strange has and adult Asian manservant from Tibet named Wong.  Wong may not know much magic but he is a master martial artist.  Wong is fairly subservient compared to other comic book sidekicks.  If you do visit Doctor Strange at his Sanctum Santorum in New York then you have to get past Wong first.  His role as a literal gatekeeper gives him some power that a lesser servant would not have.

Marvel decided to transform the son Reed Richards and Susan Storm from a typical omega level angst driven mutant to a Calvin type character, as in Calvin and Hobbes, character with great success.  Franklin is a side kick to the Fantastic Four that provides a child’s perspective of the Fantastic Four as well as comic relief.  Franklin is also a scientific genius who can modify his dad’s super science gadgets but generally his attempts to improve dad’s gadgets lead to disaster.  Franklin has his own sidekick, H.E.R.B.I.E. the Robot. H.E.R.B.I.E. provides a logical to the point of absurdity perspective to the childish antics of Franklin. H.E.R.B.I.E.  constantly tries to convince Franklin H.E.R.B.I.E. to leave his dad’s lab alone but he is ultimately a subordinate that is then forced to try to clean up the mess created by Franklin.

The Hulk got over the loss of Rick Jones and adopted Jim Wilson.  Jim Wilson was an inner city, Black teenager that very poignantly died of cancer later.  Doctor Strange has an Asian sidekick.  The Hulk has an African-American sidekick.  The Lone Ranger has a Native American sidekick, Tonto.  Does anyone see a pattern here?  My next post will be titled DC vs. Marvel: Multicultural Heroes and I will examine the issue of race in the DC and Marvel universes in detail.

In 2009, Marvel untied all the animal sidekicks into a team called the Pet Avengers.  The Pet Avengers are a rip off of the Legion of Super Animals over at DC.  The Legion of Super Pets was played straight and this was probably a bad decision given the absurdity of the concept.  The Pet Avengers is a silly title with lots of comic relief and one of my favorite current titles.  I am not sure how far you can go with this concept but so far so good.  The members of the Pet Avengers include Redwing a hawk of Falcon, Lockjaw a giant dog that can teleport of the Inhumans,  Zabu a saber tooth tiger of Ka-Zar, Lockheed a small dragon that is a sidekick of Shadowcat, Hairball a cat belonging to Speedball and Ms. Lion a dog belonging to Spider-Man.  The team includes Throg is a frog with lesser versions of Thor’s powers and is not a sidekick of Thor but a hero among his frog tribe in his own right.  The interplay between the animals is what really makes the team work.  Krypto and Streaky were a dog and a cat in the same legion but the fact that dogs and cats don’t get along was never really explored.  Hairball the cat thinks Ms. Lion is an absolute idiot and worse, a dog!  Ms. Lion is the only one on the team that doesn’t have super powers is very much the pampered house dog of Spiderman’s Aunt May.  Ms. Lion claims the right to membership based on her sidekick status alone.

The sidekick status of the members is highlighted in one story of Tails of the Pet Avengers: The Dogs of Summer #1.  In the story titled“Garbage Grief”, Franklin Richards teams up with the Pet Avengers flanked with his own sidekicks H.E.R.B.I.E. and Puppy.  Puppy is a miniature version of Lockjaw complete with his powers of teleportation.   In this story Puppy does manage to teleport the Pet Avengers to deal with a giant humanoid garbage creature that Franklin created more or less accidentally. So this is a sidekick crossover albeit on a much smaller scale than the DC Teen Titans/Young Justice crossover.  Another treat of this particular issue, is that the origin of Puppy is finally dealt with.  Puppy has been a fixture of the Fantastic Four for a while but his origin has not been dealt with until this issue.  Turns out Puppy is the grand pup of Lockjaw and is a present of Franklin’s future self to himself in the past.  In another issue, Tails of the Pet Avengers #1 has an adventure with Redwing the hawk titled “Birds of a Different Feather”.  Redwing the sidekick of Falcon is chased by a pigeon that wants to be a sidekick of Redwing.  Redwing refuses this offer at first but the pigeon pulls a masterful guilt trip to change the mind of Redwing.

I also have to mention the Incredible Hercules that ran from 2008 to 2010.  Hercules is teamed up with Amadeus Cho.  Amadeus Cho is really smart, mutant level smart but Hercules is Hercules!  Normally Amadeus Cho, the brainy, sixteen year old, nerdy teenager, would be the sidekick but an argument can be made that Hercules is the sidekick even if Hercules would smash anyone who suggested as much.  In one issue Hercules is up against his old enemies the Amazons.  Amadeus Cho is captured by the Amazonians.  Amadeus Cho is referred to as the eromenos of Hercules (Incredible Hercules #121, 2008) by the Amazons during his captivity.  Amadeus Cho is not happy with this appellation at all.  This is one of the few issues that points out the obvious, when older men have sixteen year old guys as buddies then there is usually one sort of relationship at work going back to Greek times.  This is an intelligent comic book line that turns the sidekick conventions upside down in an extremely funny manner.

The most famous teenage sidekick of Marvel is Bucky but Bucky is not nearly as important to comic book history as Robin.  Probably getting killed in the golden age for plus forty years didn’t help the career of Bucky at all.  Marvel has other teenage sidekicks like the golden age Toro but all and all Marvel does not have the rooster of well known teenage sidekicks that DC has. DC also wins in terms of teenage sidekick teams.  DC has the aforementioned Teen Titans and Young Justice.  Marvel has teenage teams including the Young Avengers and the Runaways but they are not sidekick teams but teams of teenage heroes.  In many ways Marvel sidestepped the need for teenage sidekicks by making more teenage heroes than DC.  Spiderman began his career in high school.  The X-Men operate out of Xavier’s Academy which trains teenagers.  The New Mutants are teenagers that go to Xavier’s Academy and are not sidekicks.  I think overall Marvel may have been smart to make teenage heroes to fulfill many of the teen identification functions of teenage sidekicks.

DC just has a lot more sidekicks than Marvel period.  DC has 71 sidekicks on their list.  Marvel has 34 sidekicks on their list.  Beyond numbers, DC has a rooster of more famous sidekicks especially in the teenage sidekick category.  DC and Marvel have pursued different strategic approaches to the use of teenage sidekicks in their respective universes.  Marvel, however, is doing great things with animal sidekicks with the Pet Avengers and funny sidekicks like Franklin Richards and H.E.R.B.I.E.  Unfortunately, a two year trend does not negate the fact that DC has historically had the most and best sidekicks.

DC wins the sidekick wars!

Answer to DC Sidekick Quiz

1. Stripsey

2. Proty

3. Doiby Dickles

4. ?

5. Streaky?

6. Brute

7. Qwsp

8. Glob

9. Cyrll

10. Mr. Twaky Tawny

11. Zook

12. Ace the Bat Hound

13. Wing

14. ?

15. ?

16. Ilda

17. Skeets

18. ?

19. ?

20. ?

I do wonder if some of the sidekicks I can’t figure out are actual sidekicks in DC comics.  Number 5 might be Streaky the Super Cat but looks more like a mouse than a cat.

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

Other DC vs. Marvel Posts

Big Monsters

Fourth Wall Heroes

Funny Animals

Horror Hosts

Kids

Robots

Sidekicks

Spacemen

Super pets

Teenagers

Transportation

War Heroes

Weapons

WesternHeroes

Women in Refrigerators

WorkingWomen

Kyle XY vs. Clark Kent of Smallville

Kyle XY and Clark Kent of Smallville have a lot in common.  They are both teenagers.  They both have superpowers.  They are both on prime time television.  Clark fights Luthor Corp.  Kyle fights Madacorp.  Both have fatherhood issues.  Kyle is a clone of a super scientist  Adam Baylin and Kyle has to hunt his father down.  Clark’s dad is Jor El and is dead due to the destruction of Krypton and Clark deals with a holograph of his dad rather than a living dad.  Both have “normal” human parents that teach them lessons in humanity.  Both have female versions with their powers that are slightly more powerful.  Kyle’s clone companion, Jessi XX, was created later and is a more advanced clone model and has super strength unlike Kyle.  Supergirl, Clark’s cousin, can fly while Clark cannot.

I would say there is a strong chance that the creators of Kyle XY saw the success of Smallville and decided to make their own teenage superhero.  Clark of Smallville is very different from   Superman of the comic books and movies.  Clark is young and much less experienced than Superman.  An episode of Smallville starring the Legion of Superheroes, from the 31st century, lets us know that Clark will become Superman but the Legion in general finds Clark less than impressive compared to the legend of Superman. Clark is still discovering new superpowers during the first three or four episodes.  Heat vision turns out to be especially problematic in one episode.  As of episode eight Clark cannot fly with any regularity.  Clark isn’t even really Superboy.   The silver age comic book Superboy would demolish the Smallville Clark.  Clark will probably skip the Superboy phase in this version of the Superman story. Clark hasn’t even put on a costume but this may happen in the upcoming ninth season.

I think one of the keys to the success of Smallville is that the creators have taken a lot of the plot line from the Marvel superhero Spiderman and interjected that plot line into the Superman mythos with great success.  The early Spiderman could be summarized as “insecure teenager becomes superhero” and this is what Clark is doing.  Superman is a DC character and Marvel is their competition.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

One of the recurring plot line weaknesses of Superman is that Superman has been too powerful for interesting battles and/or adventures.  Kryptonite was created by the Superman radio show in the thirties precisely to address this problem.  In recent years Superman has been depowered and the current Superman is far less powerful than the silver age Superman.

The fans of comic books are largely male teenagers.  Stan Lee, of Marvel comic books, figured out in the sixties that male teenagers might relate more to a hero that shared their insecurities like Spiderman.  Marvel then really exploited the teenage superhero idea with the X-Men who are mostly teenagers and reside at the Xavier School for the Talented and Gifted rather than something like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude which is more a married with children man’s fantasy than a teenage guy fantasy.

Kyle XY premiered in 2006 and has a super brain.  Kyle can detect mathematical patterns intuitively.  In superpower speak this is some type of algorithmic pattern awareness.  Kyle has photographic memory.  Kyle excels at analyzing mathematical data but has high analytical skills in general and can excel in any scientific area.  Overall, Kyle has super intelligence but due to not being raised by a family, but grown in a pod, lacked basic knowledge of human society and how people interact.  The discrepancy between his analytical/mathematical intelligence and social knowledge was and is a major theme of the show.

Kyle can control his body and senses at superhuman levels.  Kyle is like a super yogi.  Kyle does not have a super body like Clark but due to his superior control of his nervous system can push his existing normal body to supernormal limits.  This allows Kyle exceptional pain management.  In particular, Kyle can increase his hearing but at a cost.  Kyle becomes dizzy after pushing his body to superhuman levels and can even injure himself through over use of his super hearing.

Clark’s super hearing, on the other hand, does not involve any such price.  Kyle also has photographic memory.  Kyle’s photographic memory can tie directly into muscle memory and he can learn any kinesic skill upon watching someone perform this skill.  If he watches a Bruce Lee movie then he will be able to perform any of the moves Bruce Lee demonstrated in that movie.  In comic book circles this power is also referred to as photographic reflexes.

The Taskmaster is a major Marvel comic books super villain and only has this superpower and takes on the likes of Captain America.  Kyle’s photographic reflexes are downplayed in his TV series and he has not gone the next logical step and mastered every martial art around to become some sort of super fighter.  Instead Kyle tends to try to reason his way out of tough situations.

Kyle has something beyond photographic memory and this is called holographic memory.  Kyle can search through his memories as though he was having the experience again.  Kyle has super learning.  Kyle learned how to talk in one day.  Kyle has the mental equivalent of a firewall and can resist mind control.  Kyle has limited telepathy.  Kyle has limited telekinetic abilities that have two origins.   The basis of his telekinetic abilities lie in his ability to change the polarity of his cells and attract or repel water.  Kyle can also change the gravitational field around an object.

Kyle has an interesting way of drawing and basically draws like a dot matrix printer and makes a series of points, usually with crayons, that allow him to make pictures that resemble photographs in their clarity.  This photographic drawing ability and photographic memory ability means he can make pictures of events and things he does not fully understand at the time and then figure out what is going on by looking at the picture and/or sharing the picture with others, generally his family, who can help him figure out the picture. Kyle is kind of the ultimate eye witness!

Kyle’s major weakness is his aforementioned lack of social experience and he can be easily manipulated by con artist types although his instincts about people are pretty good despite his lack of social experience and over time he is learning more and more about social interaction and norms.  Kyle has all the physical weakness of any human.  His super brain can overtax his all too human body.  Kyle does not have a belly button due to being raised in a pod rather than a womb and his CAT scans show way too much activity but all in all Kyle is human and can pass for human more easily than Clark.  Kyle can hide his superhuman nature via restraint.  Clark is an alien and must avoid a physical examination at all costs to keep his powers secret.

Clark’s superpowers are much more well known than those of Kyle XY and are basically Superman’s but on a lower power scale and minus flight.  Clark’s superpowers include invulnerability, super strength, super speed, heat ray vision, X-Ray vision, and super hearing, far beyond Kyle’s level and without the fatigue weakness.  Clark is bright but does not appear to have super intelligence unlike many versions of Superman.  Clark also cannot fly at this time.

Clark also has a strong sense of ethics that comes from being raised on a Kansas farm and generally knows what the right thing to do is and acts as a natural born leader to those around him including other superheroes, the Justice League, Green Arrow, the Legion of Superheroes, due to this strong sense of right and wrong.  This is in contrast to Kyle who is still trying to figure out the subtleties of human morality and in particular the discrepancy between what humans say is moral and what they do.

Clark’s number one weakness is kryptonite.  Green kryptonite can kill him.  Red kryptonite turns him into a hedonistic psycho not necessarily a bad guy but more of a rebel without a cause on steroids.  Green kryptonite is all over Smallville!  The meteor showers that brought Clark to Smallville also apparently brought tons and tons of green kryptonite to Smallville.  In just about all other versions of Superman, green kryptonite is super rare and bad guys go to the trouble of spending millions to synthesize the stuff because it is so rare.  No need for a bad guy in the Smallville universe to spend a dime synthesizing kryptonite since the stuff apparently is just lying all over the place.  This makes Clark relatively vulnerable compared to other versions of Superman.  Still super speed and super senses mean that Clark can move faster than a speeding bullet including kryptonite bullets and hear the clicking of the chamber before the bullet is even fired.

Clark has fought Braniac, a super computer from his home planet Krypton.  Braniac has super intelligence on a level that dwarfs Kyle.  Clark’s number one enemy is Luthor, who in the Smallville version does not have super intelligence, unlike the Silver Age comic book version.  The Smallville Luthor does have extreme cunning and access to the most advanced research labs in the world via Luthor Corp.  Luthor does have access to the finest minds on Earth and knows how to manipulate people including scientists who may be smarter academically than Luthor but not as cunning as Luthor.  A team of the finest minds with the best research capabilities on Earth might have a combined IQ that is greater and more dangerous than Kyle’s IQ.  The contests between Luthor and Clark can be seen as contests between brain versus brawn to a great extent and Clark has always come out ahead.

Besides Luthor, Clark has gone up against a army of superpowered foes that are far more powerful than anything Kyle has gone up against so Clark has the experience edge.  Green kryptonite can give humans superpowers and apparently every other teenager in Smallville has been exposed to green kryptonite and the green stuff also seems to make humans into psychos but this is debatable.  So in a boring head on contest Clark would probably beat Kyle but the purpose of these posts is to entertain not bore!

The scenario, Luthor manipulates Kyle into thinking Clark is the vanguard of an alien invasion.  This would be no problem for Luthor whatsoever since he has manipulated people far less naïve than Kyle.  This event happens after season six when Luthor knows all of Clark’s secrets including his weakness to kryptonite and Kyle comes up with about a hundred fantastic weapon delivery systems to “stun” Clark with kryptonite despite Clark’s super speed and super senses.  Luthor has lied to Kyle and told him that Kryptonite stuns rather than kills Kryptonians since Luthor realizes Kyle would never agree to kill anyone even an alien invader.

Kyle belatedly does an internet search about Luthor and realizes he has been had and that Luthor is a very, very bad person based on his business practices that are a matter of public record.  Kyle then hacks into the files of Luthor Corp and realizes that Luthor is not just bad but evil!  Kyle warns Clark of Luthor’s impending attack and together they attack Luthor Corp.  Clark explains to Kyle that the best defense is a strong offense.  Kyle attacks the computers of Luthor Corp.  Clark attacks the muscle guarding the computers at Luthor Corp so Kyle can get to them.  Clark is constantly breaking into Luthor Corp secret centers so this should be familiar territory for him.  Even Madacorp has been firebombed by Kyle’s mentor.  As stated, Clark has broken into Luthor Corp secret centers before even with Justice League members but never with someone like Kyle!

Kyle uses a terminal at the secret Luthor Corp lair to erase all data and I mean all data from all Luthor Corp’s computers including all financial data and Luthor is left with a company minus money and research data and Luthor Corp is all about data.  Kyle doesn’t stop there and decides to leave Luthor Corp about a billion bucks in the red and exposes every crime, fraud and misplaced paper clip that Luthor corp was ever involved in to the Feds and the Daily Planet by emailing the pertinent records so Luthor ends up being chased by debt collectors and the law.  Who knows which is worse?

Luthor Corp is destroyed but is Luthor?  Luthor is cunning but not much without the resources of Luthor Corp or at least in the short range.  Years later, Luthor is bankrupt and has served time in jail for fraud.   Luthor even had to use all of his hidden cash in the Caymans, not on the Luthor Corp books, on lawyers and assasins to kill those who could have expose more serious crimes.   His company, his money, his good name and his friends are all gone!  Luthor is pan handling for booze on the streets of some third world hell hole where he is not recognized when he sees a picture of Kyle and Clark on the front page of the Daily Planet that some expat has thrown on the ground.  It is of course raining!  Rain drops and mud cover the newspaper but Luthor can still read the front page.

Apparently Clark and Kyle have started some sort of think tank charity to solve the problems of the world.  Kyle comes up with the science while Clark does hero for hire jobs to pay for the research and implementation.  Luthor raises his fists to the sky, throws the bottle of cheap local whisky he was drinking to the ground, breaking the bottle, and vows, “I will never be poor again”.  “That which does not kill you only makes you stronger”, thinks Luthor.  Of course the guy who originally wrote that died in an insane asylum.  I like to say, “There are many things that will not kill you but can maim you for life in such a way that death would seem like a good thing”.

Luthor creates a new criminal organization that has a corporate structure but is more mafia than corporation and far deadlier and secretive than Luthor Corp ever was and the first thing on the agenda of this corporation is the destruction of Clark and Kyle. Luthor even manages to hire a lot of the more nefarious elements of Madacorp to work for his new organization.  Thus a new series begins that combines the fan bases of both Kyle XY and Smallville and makes untold millions while I suffer the slings and arrows of middle class existence.

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