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02/22/2005 Archived Entry: "Superman is a Dick."
Posted by CKL @ 11:48 AM PST

They get a little old by page 26, but National Lampoon's Superman is a Dick-- a collection of actual Superman comic book covers-- is good for a few laughs. It's also a revealing look back at how ridiculous comics used to be. For example:

On a tangent, one of the covers mentions that Superman has an ex-girlfriend named Lyla. I didn't remember this one, but figured her last name had to start with an "L" (Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris-- Siegel or Shuster loved hockey sticks), so I did a Google search.

As it turns out, it was Lyla Lerrol, whom Superman met in the past on Krypton, before it went kablooey. This story comes from Superman #141, published in 1960, and my favorite part is how he accidentally travels back in time:

Yes, this tale was spun in simpler times, when writers didn't have to resort to pseudo-scientific technobabble (hello, meteor rocks) to explain ludicrous superpowers. Remember when the Flash could vibrate himself into any number of parallel universes? I'm sure there's a doctoral thesis here somewhere, about how and why some comic-book superheroes have had their powers scaled back over the years, while others have been augmented-- for example, Wonder Woman, who can now fly under her own power, and Green Lantern, whose ring is no longer useless against yellow objects. Call me when Stanford offers a graduate program in sequential art history.

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