Website Highlighting Some of the Most Absurd Moments in Comic Book History
"*GASP!* Superman's snapped my air hose because I won't marry him. He's committing the PERFECT MURDER!" —Lois Lane (on the cover of her own comic, issue 81)
I like to believe that, with age, and the wisdom or maturity it sometimes brings, comes an ability to accept the things (or people) we love exactly as they are, without wishing they were different. It is not quite the same as loving them despite their flaws—many fans of the 1960s Star Trek series might say "I love the show despite the 'space hippies' episode." It is also a little different from simply overlooking the flaws, or finding them kitschily fun.
But the rare ability to love something, warts and all, is a remarkable thing. To pick on the Star Trek fans (Trekkers? Trekkies?) again, it is a treat to see someone who can say "We know that the acting was sometimes a bit silly. We don't care. We realize that the sets were often obviously made of foam, and the dashingly roguish ham would almost always make off with the heart of the green-skinned girl with the bouffant, and that's okay too. We love it, even when it was silly."
Anyone who has ever read comic books knows how ridiculous some of them—especially the older ones—can be. It requires a special love of comics, not to mention a wicked sense of humor, to round up hundreds of examples of silly science, unbelievable (and hopefully unintentional) innuendo, and crazy covers dating back to the very early days of comics.
The Astonishing Origins of Superdickery
"I'll tell you why I'll never marry you, Lana, or you Lois! Who wants a wife so stupid that she doesn't realize I'm Superman when I take off my Clark Kent glasses?"—Superman (on the cover of Lois Lane, issue 63)
, some users on Allspark,
message board, were poking fun at old comic covers. As the users found hilarity in the covers of old issues of Lois Lane
and Jimmy Olsen
, a theme started to emerge: sometimes, the Man of Steel is portrayed as kind of a jerk. They started noticing more and more instances of Krypton's Last Son abandoning his friends
, framing them
, promoting lawlessness
, or even turning into a monster and terrorizing innocent citizens
. The covers were so consistent on the plot point of Supes' misbehavior that a catchy phrase
Superman is a dick.
The popularity of this thread led to the creation of a wonderfully funny site—
The concept has caught on; their astute readers have contributed hundreds of scans of weird covers and awful panels from comic books. The best of the lot get the Superdickery treatment: a funny caption is added (often the best part!) and it is incorporated into the ever-growing site.
Most of the covers and panels from comics are put up with no context or explanation, apart from the caption. This is largely a practical decision—finding a plot summary for all of the hundreds of images would take a mind-boggling amount of time. Also, there is a funny and surreal quality to seeing a picture of Superman forcing Jimmy Olsen to marry a female gorilla without knowing what the heck it the story is actually about.
The Image Gallery of Shame
Nurse: "STOP! If you disconnect his respirator, Batman will die!!"
Superman: "What's one Batman, more or less?"
(from the cover of World's Finest, issue 239)
Since the humble origins, the site has gained more and more galleries. Not only Superman being a putz, but many other comic book characters displaying their dark sides:
- Confounding Comic Covers: Some of the images on these covers (every one of them was actually published) are so bizarre that the viewer is automatically tempted to go do research to find out what the story inside is about. Don't do it! The story can never live up to the cover!
- Frames and Panels: Panels from inside comics with no context...most of them absolutely bizarre! I offer you this tiny preview (from the caption added to a real Batman panel) "Nothing gives you an edge in a fist fight like swinging a severed head around."
- Everything's Better With Monkeys: Monkeys are cool. Comics with monkeys are ultra-cool. Gorillas, monkeys, and other simian appearances on covers of comics: we have superhero gorillas, supervillain monkeys, and even stranger things! There's even a pioneer chimp fighting off a war band of Native American braves. Seriously!
- Seduction of the Innocent: Sexy innuendo, mostly pretty pervy...When these covers were created, I suspect most of them probably seemed completely innocent. Or not, who can say what was going through the minds of the comics creators? Whether it is Archie, who is telling Betty about how he just had to beat off three other guys, or a long dialogue about boners in Batman comics, they were probably not intended the way we see them ... but the picture of Batman, Robin, and Superman each sitting proudly astride a big phallic cannon ... who can say?
- Weird Science: I'm willing to forgive a lot when it comes to comic book science, but some of these make my head swim! Time machines! Brain switching! Ridiculously many types of kryptonite! A time-travelling popemobile go-kart! A killer robot called "Honeybun"! Old-timey 'computers' galore! The fun just never stops.
- Suffering Sappho!: Wonder Woman sure does manage to get herself into some KINKY situations: tied up, tying other girls (or boys) up, strapped to large phallic objects (or threatened by same). or even winking at the audience as she is spanked by what appears to be a giant toddler in a crown as a crowd of babies looks on ... I could not make this stuff up if I tried.
- Propaganda Extravaganza: It's a little unsettling to see some of the images that comics have put on the cover in response to war and foreign threats. It's even more disquieting to see some recent examples.
- Stupor Powers: Oh sure, Batman is cool, with his amazing detective skills. And the Human Torch, who can burst into flames, inspired a lot of imaginary kids to run around shouting "Flame on!!!" at the tops of their lungs (or was that just me?). But who remembers Matter-Eater Lad, who could eat anything, Fatman (the Human Flying Saucer), or perhaps the Bouncer, a toga-clad chap who can ... bounce around. Of course, writers sometimes liked to imbue existing characters with ridiculous new powers, such as Superman's super-hypnosis, super counting ability or super weaving (yes, super WEAVING)...
So, for comics fans; aficionados of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman; or just anybody who needs a good laugh, Superdickery is a great place to spend some time—and believe me, you can spend some time here!
Superman: "Hurry up with your graves, Jimmy and Robin! I'd finish you myself, but...ha ha! ... I have a code against killing..."
Batman: "So, I'll do the job, boys!"
(from the cover of World's Finest, issue 195)