Superman and DC Comics have found themselves on the receiving end of some bad PR this month due to their release of the Wal-Mart exclusive Superman 100 Page Giant issue #7.
The controversy about the comic book involves several panels that depict Lois Lane being repeatedly tortured to death.
Insert your own “shopping in Wal-Mart is already torturous enough…” joke here.
These horrible events are not happening for real however. Superman’s imagination is running wild while he is in a waiting room and he is visualizing several worst case scenarios for Lois. The imagery is pretty graphic and includes her being shot in the head and burning alive.
These images have a number of parents up in arms as the entire line of Wal-Mart exclusive comic books are intended to be entry-level, kid-friendly comic books. They are marketed on shelves with Pokemon cards and coloring books.
With all the negative attention and rumors of DC possibly recalling the book (which I extremely doubt would happen), the speculation buyers have been gobbling these issues up as if it were 1992 all over again!
But it also got me thinking about what other Superman comic book controversies there have been. Since the toddler went to bed a little early tonight, I got bored and decided to make a list!
Here are Geeky Daddy’s Top 5 Controversial & Disturbing Superman Comic Books:
5. Action Comics 58
In The Last Son of Krypton‘s defense, this was printed during World War II after the Japanese Imperial Navy surprise attacked the United States Naval base in Pearl Harbor killing over 2,400 people.
Outrage against the Japanese was all over the country and national patriotism had never been (and probably never has been since) higher. Superman was trying to do his part by selling war bonds and seeing drawings of Japanese soldiers with the glasses and buck teeth were not exclusive to DC comic books.
Still, the idea that Superman could give out permission to slap any member of a nationality may not have been controversial then, but it is now.
4. Adventure Comics 399
Poor Johnny Dee. Supergirl is labeling him a “COP-OUT” right on the cover for all to see. And the editor is calling him a “BUM”! That’s gotta hurt his draft status!
All because he faked an upset stomach to avoid entering the school’s big game. In his defense, the mob kidnapped his main squeeze and threatened to kill her if he didn’t throw the game. They even had multiple snipers around the stadium to shoot him if he entered the game!
The mafioso of Metropolis takes their point spreads pretty friggin’ seriously!
3. Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane 105
You know how ever once in a while you hear a story about some moron falling in love with an inmate on death row?
Well, replace “some moron” in that previous sentence with “Lois Lane” and you pretty much have the plot for Superman’s Girlfriend issue 105!
Convicted murdered Johnny Adonis (there are a lot of ‘Johnny’s in Metropolis) has one last wish before being given ‘the chair’: To marry Lois Lane. SHE ACCEPTED AND THEY GOT MARRIED! RIGHT IN FRONT OF SUPERMAN! Johnny had some cajones!
That’s right! Superman’s girlfriend Lois Lane married a convicted murderer the day of his scheduled execution! No alternate universe or erased memories or clones here, this is canon, real-world (comic book wise) straight-up bad decision making!
Of course a jailbreak happens just before the scheduled execution, other shenanigans take place and Johnny is offed by some other convicts.
Meaning that loony Lois Lane is back on the market gentlemen!
2. Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane 106
Just when you thought Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane 105 was the pinnacle of bad writing and poor editorial decision making, Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane issue 106 comes along and says “Here, hold my beer.”
Oh lordy…I am horrible at “choosing my words carefully” but I am going to try…
WHAT THE HECK WAS THIS CREATIVE TEAM THINKING!?!
Granted, at the time this issue was published, the world was in a different place (racially), but come on!
Who sits in a pitch meeting hearing “Let’s put Lois Lane in a scientific tanning booth that will turn her black for only 24 hours!” and responds with “You know, I think you have something there!”
Lois Lane decides to live for a day in the black ghetto of Metropolis (uncreatively called Little Africa) so she finds a tanning machine that can turn her African American for a single day (does Amazon carry machines that do this?).
While in Little Africa, she befriends a neighborhood activist who gets shot by drug dealers. She saves his life by giving him a blood transfusion. He wakes up and sees that she is actually white and thanks her.
Pretty much a normal Thursday for Loony Lois Lane.
1. Action Comics 457
The plot is innocent enough.
Poor little Jon Ross (I told you, a lot of “Jon’s” in this town) is sick and has lost his will to live (ala Queen Amidala).
He really wants to know Superman’s secret identity and Superman believes sharing his identity with the boy will somehow magically cure him.
I don’t get the logic either.
Superman reveals to Jon that he is mild mannered reporter Clark Kent but the boy refuses to believe him.
The cover illustration of Superman undressing in front of a crying child is weird at best. It gets Uber creepy when the speech bubbles are edited out…
Honorable Mention: The Rifleman
This has absolutely nothing to do with Superman, but while putting this article together I came across, what can only be described, as the worst choice for a comic book cover in the history of…well…IN HISTORY!
Bonus points for whoever comes up with the best caption for The Rifleman from Dell Comics.
What did you think of my list? What Superman stories would you have liked to have seen added? Comment below and let me know!