Sunday, February 23, 2014

Why Your Robot Can't Add, or Why I'm Not Allowed To Write Comics Chapter LXXVII

Hyper-Man, the super-hero of the world of Oceania, has invited Superman to his world. Objective: for Superman to help protect his secret identity!

Oh, Silver Age Superman--you always go straight for the robots.

Well, there's a very good reason why Hyper-man doesn't use robots:

OK...

Ah, DC Science...You know, a good programmer would never blame the zillium...

Anyway, Superman "helps" Hyper-Man by deliberately blowing his identity AND wiping out his super powers! Why? Because Kal has learned the HM is dying, and he wants Chester King to be able to spend the last year of his life in wedded bliss with his love Lydia Long. Hmmm...is that super-dickery, or super-sweetness--or both?!?!

Anyway, for reasons only the elves inside my head can explain, got me thinking about Superman's use of robots, and I've come up with the ultimate Silver Age story:

After getting some ribbing from Batman and Robin about always using robots to get out of jams while not sharing that tech with them, Superman decides to make robots for all his Justice League colleagues.

It all goes swimmingly, until a passing comet (or Superman tunneling through the earth opens a hidden pocket of zillium gas, or...) causes the robots to malfunction (and become invulnerable), and they take over the world as the Robot Justice League. Except one of them is not a robot, it's the real hero who destroyed their robot and is infiltrating the RJL to save the day from within...

And that is why I'm not allowed to write comic books.

[SPOILER ALERT: Eventually the robots are defeated, but "cured" of what caused them to malfunction. So rather than destroy them, Superman transports them to a machine world that has no heroes of its own. And thus begins the the long running Robot Justice League strip in the back of Strange Adventures...along with the annual JLA/Robot JL team-up...]

From Action Comics #265 (1960), as reprinted in Superman #207 (1968)

5 comments:

Rockett Davey said...

Ah, DC Science...You know, a good programmer would never blame the zillium...

Too Funny. Love reading your blog everyday.
All The Best,
-Sam

Smurfswacker said...

I never knew a real super-character in a real comic ever called his uniform/costume a "super-suit." But there it is!

Jason Glor said...

The robot can walk and talk, manipulate objects with his hands, and respond to voice commands, but it can't add 2 and 2. Makes sense.

SmileAndNod said...

"Strange Adventures" backup, you say? Yeah, right. Mort lets Julie use one of his ideas. As if.

SmileAndNod said...

"Strange Adventures" backup, you say? Yeah, right. Mort lets Julie use one of his ideas. As if.