by Robert Gillis 5/2010

What was so special about the silver age of comic books? Read about it HERE

(Click any image to enlarge)

Here’s a gem from a Superboy story from Superboy #106, dated 1963, called, “The Lair of Brainiac!” Our story so far: Baby Superman (Kal-El to you Marvel readers) has been kidnapped from Krypton before it exploded, and Brainiac and his goons take baby to their home solar system with its yellow sun, and of course, Kal-El gains superpowers and all hell breaks loose.

In panel 1, Brainiac (Thank you, Basil Exposition) explains why Kal-El has super powers and compares their own yellow sun as being IDENTICAL to the planet Earth, so Kal-El says, “Me look for Earth,” and casually looks up, across intergalactic space, and not only looks in the exactly correct direction (out of 360 degress x 360 degrees) and not only finds the right galaxy, the right quadrant, the right solar system, the right planet, but Earth just happens to be facing in the right direction so that the baby sees freaking SMALLVILLE, Kansas, just as Jonathan Kent is bowling! Because, yeah, the universe is a small place and the odds that the kid would look in the right direction are, oh, I don’t know, a gazillion billion million zillion infinity to one, but this was the silver age.

And just in case he’s unsure, one of the THREE members on the team says to the other guy, “Jonathan Kent is one of the best players on our team!” Are they being introduced or something?

To make this even stupider, when Superboy tells Ma and Pa Kent about seeing Pa Kent bowling before he even came to Earth, the Kents don’t say, “Holy spit! That’s preposterous!” They don’t say, “The odds against that would make even the most reckless gambler cringe!” Nor do they say, “That’s pretty hard to believe, considering how big the universe is, and how many unlikely events would have to line up exactly right for that to happen.” Nope, they just shrug it off as something that happens every day, and say, “Let’s see what happened next.”

See, this is what happens in the silver age: The preposterous became so commonplace that people didn’t even notice.

Next up is Superboy #80, 1960: Supergirl has traveled back in time to meet her cousin Superman when he was Superboy and be his playmate (it’s nowhere near as dirty as it sounds) and they play tag, race around the galaxy, and stop a robot invasion of Earth in four panels (really) but later, Supergirl realizes…

…That Future Superman is a dipshit. And his younger self seems to agree. Future Superman wouldn’t be mad that Supergirl is screwing with the space-time continuum, possibly changing history, nope, he’d be furious because a) IF Superman was delirious B) PERHAPS from Kryptonite fever, he MIGHT ACCIDENTALLY reveal a Supergirl is coming to Earth… um, sometime in the future…

Just, wow.

Plus, I’d pay real money if in panel two Superboy said, “Superman will exile you from Earth permanently? Wow, I grow up to be a real tool!”

And from Adventures Comics #384: Superman: “If it happens again, I may have to demand you turn in your uniform and…” {emphasis mine} “… LOCK YOU UP IN THE FORTRESS FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY!”

Once again, Superman = Complete TOOL.

God, I loved the silver age of comics!

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