23 Comments

  1. I can’t help the feeling that the second one has appeared here before, but it doesn’t show up for any of the relevant tags, so it if it did, then it must have been before the meltdown.
    P.S. I’m pretty sure that the essay Mitch4 linked to was mentioned back then, too.

  2. I think that essay has appeared here multiple times.

    The first one bothers me because Superman is not just super-strong, but super-precise. Otherwise, he’d regularly crush people’s hands when shaking hands, rip doors off their handles, kill villains by punching straight through their chests, etc . . . Of course, you can say that I’m just overthinking the joke, but. . . Well, yeah, fine.

  3. Since the only beings who could possibly use Kryptonian blood would be Superman and his cousin Supergirl, by not donating blood he’s really kinda screwing himself over if he ever needs blood in the future.

    Plus, couldn’t he just *ask* for a cookie? Who would say no? Or be able to stop him if he tried to take one anyway?

  4. It probably drives Larry Niven crazy knowing that despite all the awards he’s won, when he dies his obituary will highlight an essay he probably thought would be forgotten a month after it was published.

  5. When I was a kid in the late 50’s there was a Superboy comic book in which young Clark Kent started acting up in school, playing nasty practical jokes and generally getting into trouble, until finally he was expelled from school.

    Meanwhile Superboy was helping to prepare for the polio shots that would be given to every student.

    Things got more and more implausible from there, but in the end everything was set right. Clark couldn’t risk breaking needles and giving away his secret identity, so in typical Superboy fashion he came up with the most complicated way possible of avoiding the situation.

  6. Later on, in the 178th retcon, they established that Superboy had had the help of a blind doctor who agreed to sign Clark’s immunization and other medical forms without ever seeing the name on the forms.

    Not really a terrible solution, I thought.

  7. User McUser: Couldn’t the miniaturized Kryptonians in the bottle city of Kandor use such blood? Or the Kryptonian villains in the Phantom Zone? etc.

  8. First one is a CIDU for me — excessive force Heimlich makes sense, but what is the skeleton doing there? Is it just something to indicate that the choking victim is going to die of abdominal trauma?

  9. @ CaroZ – It’s just an exaggerated version of comic book physics. A more realistic drawing would have ejected the victim’s entire GI tract (plus contents), but that would have been both hard to draw, and excessively gross and disgusting. Clearly, there’s no way that he could have extruded such a neat and clean skeleton (the victim’s head is still intact), but it shows the principle, while still maintaining a bit of decorum.

  10. This issue has been addressed in the Justice League cartoon. The “World of Cardboard” speech has become legendary among Superman fans:

  11. I didn’t read many comic books, but one I saw had Supes get zapped by something that removed his super strength. So he decided to become another superhero (with mask) and is trained by Batman. He needed training because he was used to pulling his punches and just in general didn’t know how to fight as a “normie”.

  12. In ‘Coeur de canard’, by Sfar & Trondheim, the necromancer turns his boss inside out to clean his GI tract (we’re just shown the horrified face of the assistant, though).

  13. I’m glad Superman got to “cut loose”: but how many people do you suppose he killed in this scene (in addition to tens of millions of dollars in property damage)?

  14. Yeah, when I watched the scene, my thought was “Wow, Superman acts like he’s in complete control of the situation, so he just chose to throw Darkseid through multiple buildings? He couldn’t have taken a nanosecond to aim better?”

  15. BTW, I’ve always wondered how Superman fights a new, unknown assailant. He’s often surprised by the powers of new enemies, so he doesn’t have the ability to instantly assess their strength. Since he doesn’t kill, it seems like each time he meets a new superstrong supervillain, there should be a lengthy process where he hits then with “force 1,” observes no effect, then ramps up to “force 2,” “force 3,” “force 4,” etc. . . until he eventually finds that punches of “force 46” are sufficient for fighting, but not for killing. I guess those panels are deleted as “too boring.”

    Alternatively, he has a bunch of censored encounters where he mistakenly assumes an alien is as strong as Darkseid, and punches straight through its chest at the start of the fight.

  16. Also in the 50’s and early 60’s, Superman had whatever super-power might possibly be useful. He needed to make a dress for someone and he used “super-weaving” to turn thread into cloth in a few seconds. So it seems to me he wouldn’t need a blind doctor to sign the forms. He could just do super-forgery and sign them himself.

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