Mild Mannered Reviews - Miscellaneous Comics
Superman 3DCover date: 1953 (reprinted in 1997)
"The Man Who Stole the Sun"
Writer: Jerry Siegel
Penciller: Curt Swan
Inker: Al Plastino
"Origin of Superman"
Writer: Bill Finger
Penciller: Wayne Boring
Inker: Stan Kaye
"The Man Who Bossed Superman"
Penciller: Curt Swan
Inker: Stan Kaye
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Taylor
This comic was originally printed in 1953, right around the time that 3D images were becoming popular. Making pictures three dimensional with the help of the familiar red and blue lens glasses is relatively easy to do, yet difficult to do well.
Unfortunately some of the text is supposed to be 3D as well, but instead is often illegible with or without 3D glasses. Wearing the glasses for an extended period of time can give you a headache, but the 3D text will make it worse. Oddly enough, only certain word bubbles have the 3D lettering and there's no rhyme or reason as to which ones will have depth and which ones won't.
If you can get past all that, the book is still enjoyable, especially the second and third stories.
Main Story - "The Man Who Stole the Sun"
Lois and Clark were covering a science convention when a rocket-arrow shattered the window. Springing into action as Superman, he caught the rocket, which delivered a message from Lex Luthor claiming he had stolen the Sun and would return at the price... of liberty.
Superman quickly dug a large hole, creating an underground city for the citizens of Metropolis to live in while he fought Luthor. Just then a beam from the sky destroyed the underground city and another rocket-arrow hit Superman, leaving a message that Luthor would turn Metropolis to dust.
Luthor's heat ray was fired at the ocean, and a tidal wave rushed toward the city. Superman picked up an entire mountain range and dropped it on the shoreline, protecting the city.
Luthor then appeared to Superman saying that he wanted the U.S. turned over to him before he left in a rocket. After takeoff, Luthor turned around and noticed Lois Lane behind his chair. She said she wanted to get a story.
Superman set the rocket-arrow to fly back to Luthor while he followed. He realized that the Sun wasn't actually gone, just covered up by an invisible force-barrier of compressed atoms.
Superman destroyed Luthor's heat ray, but Lex took off in the rocket again saying he wouldn't let Superman take him alive, and he'd take Lois with him. Superman punched a hole in the side of the rocket, which also hit Luthor in the face, knocking him unconscious.
In the last panel, a woman, presumably Lucy Lane, was at the beach with Lois and said, "Isn't the Sun hot?" Lois replied, "It sure is. I wish it'd disappear." And that's where the hilarity ended.
Story - 2: There are a lot of quaint stories in the Golden Age. Some of them work beautifully and others not so much. This one was incredibly fast paced, but still ridiculous. If I, as the reader, can't force myself to buy into the psuedo-science, even on a 1950's sci-fi level, then it's too much to expect of anyone else over the age of seven.
The story suffers mostly from being told too fast with little or no explanation or breadth of action. There was a lot less text than what one might normally expect from a comic before the 1970's. The silliest part was when Superman constructed the underground city and planned to do the same for cities all over the world before he would even search for Luthor.
Art - 3: Less effort went into the art for this story than in the other two both in terms of the base art and the 3D effects. The red and blue depth lines are random, which still makes it look like something is happening on the page. It just isn't clear what it is.
It's obvious from most of the examples that rather than making effective 3D images with red and blue, most of of the drawings just have red and blue randomly sketched onto the pages. Many of the pictures are barely 3D, but occasionally depth differences can be perceived, just not very accurately.
Second story - "Origin of Superman"
Superman's origin story is classic, but it has been told so many different times and in different ways that it can become hard to keep track of which facts go where.
This time, it's a slightly updated version of the Golden Age origin from Action Comics #1, only it's in 3D. The planet Krypton began to experience earthquakes, so Jor-El told his fellow citizens that the planet would soon explode because the core was made of uranium, but they didn't believe him. Just before the big boom, he sent his only son Kal-El to Krypton's sister planet on the other side of the Sun, Earth.
Once he landed on Earth, Kal-El and his rocket were found by the Kent's, an elderly couple who brought the baby to an orphanage saying they would like to adopt him. Once it became clear that the baby was "super" and he had broken a lot of things, the orphanage decided to speed up the process and give the child back to the Kent's as quickly as possible.
Growing up, young Clark Kent discovered he could run at incredible speeds, could see through the solid objects, and was invulnerable. Young Clark's mother died first. Then as his surrogate father lay on his deathbed, he told his son, "You must fight evil ... criminals and outlaws. They must never know you are a super-man." And so Clark Kent became Superman.
Story - 5: Superman's Golden Age origin in 3D.
Art - 5: Huge improvement over the first story. The faces are clear and mostly differentiated from one another. The 3D mostly works this time, although the randomly inserted 3D text still takes some patience.
Third story - "The Man Who Bossed Superman"
"The Daily Planet's Orphan Fund Contest: Superman will do everything the winner orders for one day, providing it isn't illegal."
With a great deal of luck, Mr. "Pudge" Purdy, the racketeer, won the contest and could boss Superman around for 24 hours. First he demanded that Superman bring him the biggest hunk of ice he could find. Superman brought him a glacier, attempting to feign a mistake because Pudge meant a diamond when he said "ice."
So Pudge restated his demand saying he wanted to biggest diamond in the world. So Superman constructed a baseball diamond for him.
Next Pudge requested a ton of gold, so Superman dug a long tunnel to the ocean where he mainlined ocean water to Pudge's home, which he claimed was on part per million gold.
Finally, Pudge asked Superman to get him the world's largest gun so that he could finish the Man of Steel off for good. So Supes drilled a long hole into the ground as the barrel and tricked Pudge into setting it off while they were still in the hole.
From jail, Pudge's final order was for Superman to simply get away from him.
Story - 5: This story was even more quaint than the first one, but it worked much better. Instead of a huge cosmic crisis caused by Lex Luthor, it was far simpler and got its point across in a fun and amusing way.
Art - 4: Superman's several labors allowed some wonderful opportunities to utilize the 3D effects. Many of the panels were beautiful and created a real sense of depth, while just a few failed to make a decent effect.
Cover Art - 5: Simple is better. Considering that this was a 3D Superman comic, the concept sold itself, so there was no need to add splashes with text specifically describing the stories inside.
Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews
- Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
- Action Comics #2 (July 1938)
- Action Comics #3 (August 1938)
- Action Comics #4 (September 1938)
- Action Comics #5 (October 1938)
- Action Comics #6 (November 1938)
- Action Comics #7 (December 1938)
- Superman Archives: Volume 1 (1939)
- Superman #1 (Summer 1939)
- Action Comics #8 (January 1939)
- Action Comics #9 (February 1939)
- Action Comics #10 (March 1939)
- Superman #13 (November/December 1941) - The Archer
- Superman #19 (November/December 1942) - Case of the Funny Paper Crimes
- Action Comics #60 (May 1943) - Lois Lane - Superwoman
- Superman #30 (September/October 1944) - The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk
- Action Comics #80 (January 1945) - Mr. Mxyztplk Returns
- Superman #38 (January/February 1946) - The Battle of the Atoms
- Superman #42 (September/October 1946) - The Death of Clark Kent
- Superman #45 (March/April 1947) - Lois Lane, Superwoman
- Superman #53 (July 1948) - The Origin of Superman
- Action Comics #124 (September 1948) - A Superman of Doom
- Superman #60 (December 1949/January 1950) - The Two Identities of Superman & Superman Fights the Super-Brain
- Superman #76 (May/June 1952) - The Mightiest Team in the World
- Superman #80 (January/February 1953) - Superman's Lost Brother
- Superman 3D (1953) - The Man Who Stole the Sun, Origin of Superman and The Man Who Bossed Superman
- Superman #87 (February 1954) - The Prankster's Greatest Role
- Superman #88 (March 1954) - The Terrible Trio
- Superman #89 (May 1954) - Captain Kent the Terrible, Superman of Skid Row, and One Hour to Doom!
- Superman #91 (August 1954) - The Superman Stamp and Great Caesar's Ghost
- World's Finest #88 (May/June 1957) - Superman and Batman's Greatest Foes
- Superman #115 (August 1957) - The Midget Superman!
- Superboy #65 (May/June 1958) - The Amazing Adventures of Krypto Mouse
- Action Comics #242 (July 1958) - The Super-Duel in Space
- Superman #123 (August 1958) - The Girl of Steel
- Superman #127 (February 1959) - Titano the Super Ape
- Action Comics #252 (May 1959) - The Menace of Metallo and The Supergirl From Krypton
- Superman #129 (May 1959) - The Girl in Superman's Past
- Superman #130 (July 1959) - The Curse of Kryptonite!, The Super-Servant of Crime!, and The Town that Hated Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #40 (October 1959) - Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl's Pal
- Superman #134 (January 1960) - The Super-Menace of Metropolis
- Jimmy Olsen #42 (January 1960) - The Big Superman Movie!, Perry White, Cub Reporter!, and Jimmy the Genie!
- Jimmy Olsen #44 (April 1960) - The Wolf-Man of Metropolis
- Adventure Comics #271 (April 1960) - How Luthor Met Superboy
- Jimmy Olsen #46 (July 1960) - Jimmy Olsen, Orphan
- Superman #141 (November 1960) - Superman's Return To Krypton
- Superboy #85 (December 1960) - The Impossible Mission
- Jimmy Olsen #51 (March 1961) - The Girl with Green Hair
- Jimmy Olsen #52 (April 1961) - Jimmy Olsen, Wolf-Man
- Superboy #89 (June 1961) - Superboy's Big Brother!
- Action Comics #279 (August 1961) - The Super-Rivals
- Superman #147 (August 1961) - The Legion of Super Villains
- Superman #149 (November 1961) - The Death of Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #57 (December 1961) - Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl
- Superman #155 (August 1962) - Superman Under the Green Sun and The Downfall of Superman
- Justice League of America #13 (August 1962) - Riddle of the Robot Justice League
- World's Finest #129 (November 1962) - Joker-Luthor, Incorporated
- Superman #158 (January 1963) - Superman in Kandor
- Superman #160 (April 1963) - The Mortal Superman
- Superman #161 (May 1963) - The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent
- Superman #162 (July 1963) - The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue
- Superman #163 (August 1963) - Wonder-Man, the New Hero of Metropolis and The Goofy Superman
- Justice League of America #21 & #22 (August/September 1963) - Crisis on Earth-One! and Crisis on Earth-Two!
- Superman #164 (October 1963) - The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman
- Superman #165 (November 1963) - The Sweetheart Superman Forgot
- Superman #166 (January 1964) - The Fantastic Story of Superman's Sons
- Superman #167 (February 1964) - The Team of Luthor and Brainiac
- Superman #168 (April 1964) - Luthor - Super Hero and Lex Luthor, Daily Planet Editor
- Superman #169 (May 1964) - The Man Who Stole Superman's Secret Life
- Action Comics #314 (July 1964) - The Day Superman Became The Flash
- Justice League of America #29 & #30 (August/September 1964) - Crisis on Earth-Three! and The Most Dangerous Earth of All!
- Superman #173 (November 1964) - The Triumph of Luthor and Brainiac
- Action Comics #318 (November 1964) - The Death of Luthor
- Action Comics #319 (December 1964) - The Condemned Superman
- Superman #175 (February 1965) - Clark Kent's Brother
- Superman #181 (November 1965) - The Superman of 2965
- The Legion of Super-Heroes - Archives Volume 4 (1965)
- Superman #184 (February 1966) - The Demon Under the Red Sun
- Action Comics #338 (June 1966) - Muto - Monarch of Menace
- Action Comics #339 (July 1966) - Muto versus The Man of Tomorrow
- Superman #189 (August 1966) - Krypton Lives Again
- Action Comics #346 (February 1967) - The Man Who Sold Insurance to Superman and The Case of the Superman Imposter
- Superman #194 (February 1967) - The Death of Lois Lane
- Superman #196 (May 1967) - The Star of Steel
- Superman #199 (January 1967) - Superman's Race With The Flash
- Superman #200 (October 1967) - Super-Brother Against Super-Brother
- The Flash #175 (December 1967) - Race to the End of the Universe
- Justice League of America #63 (June 1968) - Time Signs a Death Warrant for the Justice League
- Superman #211 (November 1968) - The Name of the Game is Superman!
- Superman #215 (April 1969) - Lois LaneŠ DeadŠ Yet Alive
- Superman #224 (February 1970) - Beware the Super-Genius Baby
- Action Comics #393 (October 1970) - Superman Meets Super-Houdini! and The Day Superboy Became Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #133 (October 1970) - The Newsboy Legion
- Action Comics #394 (November 1970) - Midas of Metropolis and Requiem for a Hot Rod!
- World's Finest #198 (November 1970) - Race to Save the Universe!
- Action Comics #395 (December 1970) - The Secrets of Superman's Fortress and The Credit Card of Catastrophe
- Jimmy Olsen #134 (December 1970) - The Mountain of Judgement!
- World's Finest #199 (December 1970) - A Race to Save Time!
- Superman #233 (January 1971) - Superman Breaks Loose!
- Jimmy Olsen #135 (January 1971) - The Evil Factory!
- Superman #234 (February 1971) - How to Tame a Wild Volcano
- Jimmy Olsen #136 (February 1971) - The Saga of the D.N.Aliens
- Superman #235 (March 1971) - The Sinister Scream of the Devil's Harp
- Superman #236 (April 1971) - Planet of the Angels and The Doomsayer
- Jimmy Olsen #137 (April 1971) - The Four-Armed Terror!
- Superman #237 (May 1971) - The Enemy of Earth
- Superman #238 (June 1971) - Menace at 1000 Degrees
- Jimmy Olsen #138 (June 1971) - The Big Boom!!
- Superman #240 (July 1971) - To Save a Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #139 (July 1971) - The Guardian Fights Again!!!
- Superman #241 (August 1971) - The Shape of Fear
- Superman #242 (September 1971) - The Ultimate Battle
- Jimmy Olsen #141 (September 1971) - Will the Real Don Rickles Panic?!?
- Jimmy Olsen #142 (October 1971) - The Man from Transilvane!
- Jimmy Olsen #143 (November 1971) - Genocide Spray
- Jimmy Olsen #144 (December 1971) - A Big Thing in a Deep Scottish Lake!
- Superman #247 (January 1972) - Must There Be A Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #145 (January 1972) - Brigadoom!
- Jimmy Olsen #146 (February 1972) - Homo-Disastrous!
- Jimmy Olsen #147 (March 1972) - A Superman in Super-Town!
- Jimmy Olsen #148 (April 1972) - Monarch of All He Subdues!
- Superman #292 (October 1975) - The Luthor Nobody Knows!
- Action Comics #458 (April 1976) - Make Me a Super-Hero! and Masquerade of the Nutty Kid!
- Superman vs. Muhammad Ali (Spring 1978)
- Action Comics #484 (June 1978) - Superman Takes a Wife!
- Superman #328 (October 1978) - Attack of the Kryptonoid
- Action Comics #489 (November 1978) - Krypton Dies Again and Where There's a Will... There's a Fray
- Superman #329 (November 1978) - I Have Met The Enemy... And He Is Me! and The Secret of the Talking Car
- Superman #330 (December 1978) - The Master Mesmerizer of Metropolis!
- Action Comics #490 (December 1978) - No Tomorrow For Superman
- Action Comics #491 (January 1979) - A Matter of Light and Death
- Superman #331 (January 1979) - Lockup at 20,000 Feet
- Action Comics #492 (February 1979) - Superman's Secret Afterlife
- Superman #332 (February 1979) - The Eternity Cage
- Action Comics #493 (March 1979) - The Metropolis UFO Connection
- Action Comics #494 (April 1979) - The Secret of the Super S
- Action Comics #495 (May 1979) - Attack of the Ultimate Warrior
- DC Comics Presents #14 (October 1979) - Judge, Jury... and No Justice!
- The Superman Story (1979) - The Life Story of Superman
- DC Comics Presents #57 (May 1983) - Days of Future Past
- DC Comics Presents #67 (March 1984) - 'Twas the Fright Before Christmas
- DC Comics Presents Annual #3 (1984) - With One Magic Word
- Superman: The Secret Years #1 (February 1985) - Dreams and Schemes and Feeling Proud!
- Superman: The Secret Years #2 (March 1985) - Reach Out and Touch
- Superman: The Secret Years #3 (April 1985) - Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #80 (April 1985) - A World Full of Supermen!
- Superman: The Secret Years #4 (May 1985) - Beyond Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #85 (September 1985) - The Jungle Line
- Superman Annual #11 (1985) - For The Man Who Has Everything
- World's Finest #323 (January 1986) - Afraid of the Dark
- DC Comics Presents #97 (September 1986) - Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter
- Superman #423 & Action Comics #583 (September 1986) - Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow?
- Showcase Presents: Superman Family - Volume 1 (October 2005)
- Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons (December 2007)
- Not Brand ECHH #7 (April 1967) - The Origin of Stuporman
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