Monday, October 22, 2007

World's Finest #71: Teaming Up To Confuse Lois

Showcase Presents: World's Finest finally came out last week. If you buy only one book in your life, make it this one.

I haven't done a page-by-page analysis of a comic for awhile. Re-reading this one in the Showcase book reminded me that it is AWESOME.

Behold the greatness that is World's Finest #71!

Well that was bad luck, Superman. But maybe you should be more careful about where you get changed. Well-lit hallways aren't the best hiding spots. And you should probably actually step back into that "convenient doorway," not just stand in front of it. can change at Super speed! Come on, man! How bad do you want this?

Superman saves Batman and Robin, of course. And Batman, being the full-time sweetheart that he is, only cares about Superman's problems. Mostly because, apparently, Superman was whining to him about Lois seeing him getting changed.

As always, Batman has a plan. A crazy plan!

I know you are probably thinking that, while Superman could plausibly pass as Batman, what with the mask and all, Bruce might have a tough job posing as the Man of Steel. For one thing, his entire head is exposed. For powers. Because Batman is awesome, he lets none of these small details stop him.

Even though anyone would say that Superman has the easier job here, he fails miserably at being Batman. Behold the first couple of panels of Superman being Batman:

And there he stays for the remainder of the comic. (I love that second panel so much).

Bruce starts Operation: Confuse Lois by blatantly changing in front of her:

Lois can't be played like that. She's too smart. She sees Superman's crazy scheme and she raises one:

A date with Lois Lane is a SCARY date!

Let's see what happens on the Lion Picnic date:

A date with Bruce Wayne means a date where no less than three lions get punched in the mouth.

Bruce actually offers this explanation later:

That actually sounds pretty complicated, Bruce.

Lois has an even more insane plan up her sleeve. She goes on another date with Bruce, this time to the art gallery. Check out this slick move:

First of all, I love Bruce's art interpretation. Secondly, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, LOIS?! There is a line between sane and crazy that you crossed a loooong time ago.

And wait until you hear Bruce's explanation of this one:

Wow. When exactly did he do all that?

That's an excellent point that Robin is making. The same thing occurred to me.

Ok, this comic gets more excellent right now:

Yeah, I can't think of a single reason why Superman might not be able to help Lois move. Just make up anything! "Sorry, Lois, but I had to stop an Earthquake/visit another planet/stop a super villain/save people/I'm Superman and I don't really have to help you move."

But all Bruce can come up with is this:

By the way, Bruce does actually end up looking exactly like Superman when in costume. This is thanks to what has to be POUNDS of theatre make-up. He must look insane.

I love Bruce explaining that Superman patronizes local businessmen unnecessarily. I like the idea that Superman maintains a tight network of business contacts.

You think that Bruce can't lift that moving van, but look!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: HOW MUCH FREE TIME DOES BATMAN HAVE?!

I'll tell you: enough to construct a cardboard truck, a complicated balloon system to keep it afloat, and some sort of steering mechanism. AND paper mache replicas of ALL of Lois's possessions. That must have been a late night for the Dynamic Duo.

Let's take a moment to remember that, during all of this, Superman is slumped, unconscious, in a corner somewhere wearing a Batman costume.

Lois is more determined than ever to prove that Superman is out to trick her. In the process she almost gets run off the road by her own thought balloon:

She finally discovers poor Superman's nearly-dead body:

That is a very confusing set of panels. "It's Batman! It's Superman! It's Clark!" I mean, there's your answer right there. If you can look at Superman and say with certainty that it is Clark Kent, then clearly Superman = Clark.

These next panels are adorable:

I wonder if this is the point where it occurs to Bruce that his brilliant plan is actually pretty stupid. Just look what happened: Superman is almost dead, Bruce has to carry a very heavy man to safety, and EVERYONE is confused.

Oh, and now Lois thinks Bruce Wayne is Superman. Which isn't good for anyone.

But don't worry. They have a plan for that too:

Oh man I love it when Superman winks at me. I totally blush and start giggling every time. I can't even imagine how exciting it would have been for the kids this comic was written for.

I also love that Lois isn't buying any of this. She's just "Whatever, Superman. You and Bruce can play your stupid games all you want. I'm not dumb."

This is just a taste of the total and complete awesomeness that lives inside Showcase Presents: World's Finest. I mean, we haven't even started talking about the Caveman From Krypton yet.


Bill D. said...

I know that Silver Age Superman is a dick and all, but honestly, with friends like these, who wouldn't be? His would-be girlfriend and so-called pal spend all their free time trying to reveal his secret identity to the world for no discernible reason! That's the real dick move if you ask me. It's like they want to be killed by revenge-seeking enemies.

Scott said...

The second issue of Morrison's All-Star Superman had a great continuation of this gag, where Clark finally did reveal himself to Lois but after all the times Superman had played practical jokes like this on her she didn't believe him.

Which is weird. Superman could sit down with Lois and explain the purpose of his dual identity, talk about how his secret must remain safe, and ask for her help(There was an unpublished Seigel story from the 40s where they were trapped in a cave and he told her he was Superman and busted them out; she agreed to keep his secret and help out with excuses for Clark).

Instead, Superman decides on an elaborate ruse that can never work, and hinges on the fact that Lois will soon be too pissed off to care what actually happened. I blame Batman for this scheme, and I kinda wonder what Superman would have done if Batman hadn't been there wanting to swap outfits. Do you think Superman would have made Jimmy pose as Superman?

Derek said...

"By the way, Bruce does actually end up looking exactly like Superman when in costume. This is thanks to what has to be POUNDS of theatre make-up. He must look insane."

So kinda like this guy in a Superman costume.

SallyP said...

Why this was lovely. Insane, but lovely. I laughed long, and I laughed hard.

Johnathan said...

Messing with people for no good reason was the whole point of fully a third of the Silver Age, I swear. The super-villains were just there to provide dramatic tension by getting in the way while the 'mess with someone's head'plan.

suedenim said...

I do like the fact that Lois comes off better than she usually does in this type of story. Sure, she's confused - but, let's face it, if the combined powers and abilities of Superman and Batman were completely devoted to confusing you, *anyone* would no doubt wind up suitably confused.

But at least she knows *something's* up!

Nic said...

This is exactly the kind of ridiculous stories we need more of.

Like this

Anonymous said...

Wait, Superman spent two days lying unconscious next to a lump of Kryptonite? Shouldn't he have cancer now, or something?

Chance said...

That. Was. Hilarious. Stupid. From beginning to end. Thanks for sharing.

Bha'ral said...

Rachel, I *love* these comic reviews of yours!

Adam (Dollar Bin) said...

My god that was funny! I really want to pick that Showcase up now, but I fear it will seriously lose its entertainment value without your witty breakdowns.

Viagra said...

"If we fit the roles as we fit the costumes..." More and more I understand that the 70's where a very different time period, say those words anywhere today and everybody will be looking down.