FROM CRISIS TO CRISIS EPISODE 73: JUNE 1991

Episode 73: June 1991

Welcome to the seventy-third episode of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast! This podcast has a simple premise; examine just about every Superman comic published between Man of Steel #1 in 1986 to Adventures of Superman #649 in 2006 in an informative and hopefully entertaining format.

Part index. Part commentary. Part history lesson. All podcast.

This week Mike and Jeff take a look at the Superman books with the June 1991 cover date The regular creative teams took a break that month leaving us with a “fill-in” arc called Red Glass and boy is it one acid trip of a story. Over the course of Superman #56, Adventures of Superman#479 and Action Comics #666 Superman finds himself in a world where apparently he killed all of his villains in 1988 and then left Earth. Now he’s back and he can’t seem to help himself from killing everyone from Lois Lane to the Martian Manhunter to the Doom Patrol. What is the secret behind Superman’s breakdown and why do things like Kryptonite and boom boxes keep talking to him? Frankly that description makes the story sound a lot more interesting than it was but the boys cover it anyway.

After that is a brief look at Adventures of Superboy #17, some talk about the episodes of the Adventures of Superboy television series that came out that month plus the usual Elsewhere in the DCU and Elsewhere, Elsewhere features. Finally the boys have a big announcement about a format change coming to From Crisis to Crisis in two weeks.

And now for the scans!

Jeffrey talked about this image during the episode.  It is rare to get the first person perspective of Superman flying.

Mike still insists that Superman should be holding a electric guitar and have a couple of scantily clad women clinging to his legs on this poster.  Superman is so metal!

Poor Mxyzptlk and poor Metallo.  Both of their deaths looked kind of painful.

Look at the last two skulls on the bottom shelf for a fantastic Young Frankenstein reference.

To repeat what Jeffrey said in the episode, “Daaaammmnnn!”

Mike sees this panel and suddenly thinks of this song…

Mike wasn’t too keen on the art in this story but these five pages are fairly spectacular.  It is almost like the camera is focused inside the blackness of Superrman’s mind and then pans out to the massive, Day After like destruction of Metropolis.  Pretty darn awesome.

This was a great morphing shot of J’onn.    Jeff and Mike liked it quite a bit.

Mike really wants Superman to turn around and tell the massive military force descending upon him, “No really…this isn’t what it looks like.”

As if the guys didn’t beat this dead horse enough during the episode….”Nooooooooooooo!”

As Mike said in the episode…ouch.

Here’s the ad Jeffrey mentioned that was at the bottom of this month’s Re:Action letters page.  Sorry that the scan is kind of fuzzy.

Here’s the subscription ad from this month’s batch of issues.  Check out those 1991 prices and try not to cry.

Another Armageddon 2001 ad.  Mike and Jeff will be talking about Superman Annual #3 on next week’s episode.

All four Superman titles for only $40.  Sigh.  Sure it was only eight dollars cheaper than if you bought the books off the rack, but still.

Finally…

And that is it for the week, at least as far as the scans go.

Next week: Part 1 of the show’s look at Armageddon 2001. A new hero is born. Superman vs. Batman. Superman for President? It’s all covered in next week’s episode.

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Seriously, let us know what you think.

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5 Responses to FROM CRISIS TO CRISIS EPISODE 73: JUNE 1991

  1. Mr Maczaps says:

    awesome scans. good to “see” what you’re talking about without having to go dig through the long boxes.

    thanks for doing these.

  2. Great episode guys! The much-repeated “NOOOOOOO” was a fantastic use of “The Conan O’Brien Rule” of comedy. (The idea is that a mildly-funny gag first becomes irritating with repetition, but if you stick with it long enough, it eventually breaks through the threshold where it becomes unbelievably hilarous. You’ll see a lot of this during his era of The Simpsons.)

    I don’t dislike this story as much as you guys, but clearly your dislike of the plot brought out some great snarky comedy. If the hilarity of the podcast is in inverse proportion to the quality of the story, I am now looking forward to “Superman-Blue,” “King of the World,” and everything from 2000-2004 like you wouldn’t believe!

    Pedantic note: the Dinosaurs catchphrase is actually “Not the Mama!”

    And I second the appreciation for the scans.

  3. Michael Bradley says:

    I thought I would be led to come here to defend the merits this arc. I remember enjoying it quite a bit. In hindsight, I wonder if that’s not because this is one of the few post-Crisis stories from the main books published before I became a regular reader that wasn’t, in some sense, spoiled for me.

    Going through it again with the episode, I was left with the same feeling as you two: Pretty much, “meh.” It’s perfectly serviceable as a breather story — which was it’s purpose — and I think it had potential beyond that. But, it could have been a lot better executed by exploring the world more in-depth and the psychological ramifications of that. He dreamt that he killed his fiancee! That type of dream would leave anyone shaken. Expanding the story over more issues probably wouldn’t have helped any, but maybe making the three issues oversized would have. Cutting the eight pages out of the first chapter hurt that installment.

    I don’t remember which of you said it, but it does remind me quite a bit of a Bronze Age-type tale or a red Kryptonite-induced hallucination. I don’t think that type of story is necessarily out of place or unable to work in this post-Crisis continuity… this just isn’t a well-executed example.

    All that said, I do still like the tale, though not as much as I remembered liking it the first time or two I read it.

    In unrelated commentary, do you guys realize you have hit what is pretty much the half-way point of Mike Carlin’s tenure as editor? It is quite an accomplishment! Congratulations!

  4. Dave M says:

    It was an okay story, I think the key point is that like certain others it doesn’t fare as well after the fact as it is built around a mystery plotelelement that worked best on its original transmission so to speak – it’s basically serialsed fiction that is heavily reliant on the cliffhager to pull you back for more next week!
    So in that respect it was definitly a great success for me as I wanted to know what was going on….

  5. Alycia P says:

    OMG, yes! I totally thought Snuffleupagus was real. It was only pretty recently that I found out he was Big Bird’s imaginary friend and it blew my mind. I had no idea. I was born in 1982 by the way.

    Just had to comment on that because it was a fairly momentous revelation for me.

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