Sunday, January 24, 2010

Superman vs. Gambling

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Superman Issue 5!

To start this exciting Superman adventure intrepid reporters Lois and Clark bear witness to a crooked convenience store owner tricking kids into losing their lunch money on his slot machines.  The guy is clearly a total jerk (what does he want with a few nickels anyway?), but even still the panic with which Lois/Clark interrupt the children's slot-use is a bit over the top.  The guy kicks them out of his store, and Lois can't help but call Clark a coward for not kicking the crap out of him.  Was beating people up for doing stuff you don't like really common in the 40s, or is Lois just crazy?

One of the boys realizes he will be late for school due to his newfound gambling addiction, and rushes into the street without looking both ways first!!  Heck, they were probably going to teach that lesson in class today, another failure of the public school sysem.  Clark sees the boy about to be hit by a truck, and leaps to his rescue.  This act of heroism is met with high praise from the truck driver, and even Lois!  Fearing they are on to his secret identity, Clark takes this opportunity to faint.

"Good, you should be."

Entering a store in search of a glass of water to calm Clark's jangled nerves, L&C discover yet another slot machine!  Looking at the shopkeep's moustache Clark deems him to be an upstanding citizen, and asks why he'd have a child-corrupting devil machine in his store.  The moustachioed proprietor explains that "Slug" Kelly and his toughs (enough with the toughs!) forced him to make use of it.

Lois heads to Slug's hideout, Clark timidly following along.  Unfortunately asking Slug to stop stealing lunch money from grade-schoolers only leads to him locking our heroes up.  Letting the two sweat for a while in captivity, Slug eventually brings Lois a paper to sign admitting that her editor (George Taylor, for you trivia buffs!) is in league with Slug in the slot-machine biz, and that Lois herself is their go-between!  Lois refuses to sign, until Slug threatens the life of Clark Kent.  Unwilling to let an innocent suffer when she can do something about it, Lois signs the fraudulent paper.

But little do they all know, Clark Kent is actually Superman!  Still locked in a seperate room, Clark changes into his blue tights and blasts the door from its hinges sending "screws and bolts flying" through the air!  The next panel brilliantly shows him catching it before it can hit the ground, as Superman states he doesn't want to make too much noise lest anyone hear him.  There are probably quieter ways of opening doors than punching them off their hinges, but I can't think of any and neither can Superman!

Look at this asshole, he even shouts "Make way!" as he punches it! 

Obviously Superman isn't afraid of getting hurt by these ordinary dudes, so he's likely being "quiet" to spare Lois potential harm.  Of course the next thing he does is shout "I'm on my way!" as he runs down the hall, and straight into a thug.  Being run into by a charging Superman isn't something a person is likely to recover from quickly, so I assume a good amount of time takes place between the panel where Superman bumps the guy and the next where the poor fool pulls a gun.  Superman, naturally, slaps the bullet back into the gun thus disarming the thug.  We know he loves to show off, but what about being quiet??  For Lois' sake, man!

The very next thing he does is go into a room full of slot machines and punch the shit out of them, before throwing them through the wall and into the building's back lot.  Is that quiet??

Evidently not!

The thugs find him destroying more machines, and fire their tommy guns at him to no effect.  Next they try gas, and Superman...

Oh my God!  This is too much.  Lois is in danger, and this guy decides to pretend to pass out for fun?  Is it too late to call someone competant?  The Bizarro of this world must be one heroic dude.

The thugs try to kill him with blunt objects while he's down, with an obvious conclusion.  Let's just, not get into it. 
Superman "awakens" and the thugs next try to kill him with torches they pulled from God knows where, perhaps mistaking him for Frankenstein's monster.  Tossing the torches aside, and setting the building ablaze in the process, Superman takes the time to recover some documents from a vault.  Slug and his men flee the building, leaving Lois and "the strong man" to burn.

Oh yeah, Lois!  Well hey, she's passed out from smoke inhalation because someone was too busy dicking around to save her.  This is what she deserves for selflessly sacrificing on your behalf not two minutes ago, Superman you ass.  No worries though, Superman carries her outside before going back for "Clark" (actually the secret documents!).

Things begin to wrap up: as Lois' admission that her editor was in cahoots with Slug is printed in a rival paper Clark uses the stolen documents to prove the claim false.  Superman then goes around town smashing up all the slot machines, while Lois gets kidnapped by Slug and his cronies as they drive out of town!

The kindly moustachioed shopkeep decides to get rid of his own slot machine before Superman arrives, an act which the passing Slug plans to put a stop to.  However, before Slug can harm the old man Superman intervenes and saves both the moustache and Lois.

Carrying Slug to the local public school, Superman makes him tell the children that his machines were fixed and they never could have won.  Which, really, isn't going to dissuade them from gambling.  "Oh, the fixed machines are gone?  Great, now we can gamble safely!"  Another good job, Superman.

The story finally (finally) comes to an end as a police sergeant is unable to arrest Slug due to lack of witnesses to his confession...until hundreds of children pour into the station!  How the hell did they know?  Creepy psychic kids.

Just to drive home how angry slots make Superman, we end with him looking directly at us with more disgust than I think I've ever witnessed in a human being.  I'm so sorry Superman, I will never gamble!

1 comment:

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