Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Superman vs. a Dam, Lois vs. Clark

Disaster! The Valleyho (home of California's biggest slut?) Dam is ready to burst, its walls already cracking under the pressure of an unprecedented rainfall!

Just a few years from now ("now" being October 1938) you could be certain that an evil alien, robot, or fat guy who likes toys a lot was behind this. However this is a more innocent time for comics, Jerome Siegel has no reason to "spice up" these events as his audience at the time would be sufficiently thrilled by the mere presence of Superman. Even back then they'd no doubt seen a few dam-bursting stories, but those centred around perfectly mortal heroes, nothing compared to Superman. He was unique among heroes at the time, who consisted of jungle men, cowboys, and private dicks and thus a draw all on his own.

Back in the comic: Editor wants Clark on this story right away, rejecting Lois' offer to cover it because it's too damn important for a girl. Rightfully angered by this, Lois finds Clark before their editor can and asks him to cover a story on a woman giving birth to septuplets. Here we get another glimpse into why Lois has no respect for Clark, as he essentially drools all over her in his eagerness to please.

Clark is suprised to find that there is no woman birthing septuplets at the local hospital, and begins to suspect that Lois is up to something. Returning to the office he is informed of the story he has now missed, the last train has already left see, and summarily fired! Superman however knows a faster way to reach Valleyho (what a fun name to say!), and in all honesty needs to eat something because his legs are wasting away. Not that the blue belt with monstrous headlight buckle is doing him any favours.

For about the 8 millionth time Superman proves that yes, he can outrun a train. I think we get it! But we should also know by now that Superman never races a train without a good reason, even if that reason doesn't present itself until the race is complete. Speeding ahead of the train Superman finds that the bridge it is about to cross is moments from collapsing due to the quickly rising water, so you know he be proppin' that shit UP until the train passes.

Lois, who was on the train, arrives at the station to find the city's populace fleeing for their lives. She hails a taxi and asks to be taken to the dam, but the driver instead gives her the car as he is leaving the city via train. Meanwhile despite Superman's attempts to hold it together the dam collapses, washing Lois' car from the road in a torrent of water.

Seeing a woman in distress, Superman leaps to her aid pulling her unconscious form from the submerged automobile. He is then off like a rocket racing the flood water, Lois' limp body in his arms. Eventually he reaches a rocky outcropping which, using muscles of pure steel, he pushes into the water's path stopping the flood before it can cause any harm to the city below.

Lois kisses Superman, and declares her love for him. As Superman drops her back in Valleyho (isn't that the Slumdog Millionaire song?) she begs him to stay with her always, a request he responds to with a solid "perhaps we'll meet again!" Christ, she's as spineless as Clark!

Returning with the story Clark is, of course, rehired at the Daily Star. Back at the office he confronts Lois with a manly "That wasn't a nice stunt you pulled on me! But I still like you!" Okay I was wrong, no one's as spineless as Clark. In response Lois tells him she doesn't care, and then thinks about how Superman is a "real he-man". Which he is.

If there's one lesson to take from this story it's that the editor was right, a woman couldn't handle the story. That's a pretty awful lesson. Kids, don't read this!

I've only barely scanned the story, but I still feel confident in saying...

NEXT TIME: The best Superman tale yet!


  1. Hey, you should tag these as "reviews" as well as summaries. Because they are, and good ones,too.

  2. I'd never even considered calling them reviews, but I see now that I was blinded by the title I had chosen for the blog. Thanks for the eye-opener!