Episode 69: February 1991

Welcome to the sixty-ninth 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.

It’s another long one this week folks but that has everything to do with the fact that a really important issue of Action Comics came out this month along with the other Superman books published with a February 1991 cover date. Mike and Jeff are joined for this special episode by their good friend, Scott Gardner. Turns out Scott is a big fan of this era of Superman and helps the boys discuss Superman #52 (the return of Terra-Man), Adventures of Superman #475 (Superman goes to Happyland) and the aforementioned Action Comics #662 (Clark tells Lois something REALLY important).

In the interest of full disclosure the guys talk about the  Action Comics issue for about an hour, but the last page of that comic changed everything; not only for Lois and Clark but for this era of Superman as well so they felt that the discussion was warranted. After that there is some Superboy talk involving both the live action series and Adventures of Superboy #12 in addition to the normal Elsewhere in the DCU and Elsewhere, Elsewhere.

Jeff and Mike would like to thank Scott for coming on to the show and invite him to come back any time.

And now the scans of the week highlighting some of the more interesting images from the comics discussed in this week’s episode!

This is the page that the guys talked about so much during their discussion of Superman #52.  The shadowing here is really cool.

We apologize for the quality of this image but we worked with what we had.  The paper DC used for their comics in the late eighties and early nineties was very thin and doesn’t age well.  The ad is still awesome though.

As stated during the episode we’re fairly sure this is the first appearance of the flamey eyes Superman as drawn by Dan Jurgens.  In a day and age where red-eyed, angry Superman has become common place it is easy to forget how novel this visual was back in 1990/91.

Jimmy puts the Signal Watch back on.  We’re still kind of curious why he needs a safe deposit box.

Mike just really likes this panel.

Here is the big reveal.  A little stiff but epic nonetheless.

And Jeffrey was right; Elroy is really interested in what is going on.

Finally here are two of the more interesting ads from this month.  The ads haven’t been all that good lately but these two are choice.

And that is all for this week!  Remember to check out Scott Gardner’s various podcasts over at the Two True Freaks Network.  Mike co-hosts Tales of the JSA and Back to the Bins with him so give those shows a listen.

Next Week: A really patriotic cover and the start to Time and Time Again!


  1. Great to hear all three of you together at last (although, Michael, “payback” is funnier if you don’t announce that it’s coming ), especially since, yes, I’m guilty as charged — the one who tipped Scott to FCTC’s existence (although I don’t think I said “Since you dislike the new Superman so much…!” I think I recommended the show on its own merits!). Fortunately, I was safely parked behind my desk at work when listening, so, Michael, no road accidents ensued. 😉

    Is “Byrne Victim” really the phrase for Byrne fans? Too funny!

    Yikes, could Lois and Clark *be* any more unconvincing in that BBC adaptation? I liked all the stuff with the reading of Luthor’s will, but the other — yawn. (Surprisingly so, thinking back to the awesome clips you guys played last time!)

    Michael — Your reference to Superman taking some parallel Superman’s place in another universe was just a joke, right? I laughed, but I also wondered (still being relatively new as a serious reader of the character), “Wait, did that actually happen sometime?” Sounds like it could have been a Silver Age plot. Anyway, just wondering.

    Can’t wait for next week — I ordered my copy of “Time and Time Again,” so hopefully it gets here … um … in time. (Tried to think of a clever way to avoid repeating that word, but, alas, got nothing.)

  2. Hi guys,
    From Crisis to Crisis #69 (heh, heh) (Bill and Ted Flashback!)
    Scott Gardener added a lot of great insight into these comics. Also I thought John Wilson contributed a lot last week! Will they be back?

    LOVED the Jeffrey line when Michael references Superman #14 and the Oans getting kinky with the Zamarans and Jeffrey immediately says, “On page 12!” Also Jeffrey’s Ursa line, “Like pets!” AWESOME.

    We need to get Scott a “Jose Delgado is God!” bumper sticker.

    But all kidding aside, an “I hate Jimmy Olsen” bumper sticker would sell millions. Mark Waid said it best about the Jimmy Olsen fan club: How bad does your self-esteem have to be that JIMMY OLSEN is your hero? I have always hated that bow-tied dweeb. No wonder Lucy constantly dumped him pre-crisis.

    God, I hate Lucy Lane and that stupid stewardess hat that she wore everywhere. I mean, who does that?

    I digress. Scott nailed the main problem with Smallville: half the screen time (or more) features OTHER CHARACTERS and not Clark/Superman. I mean, the wonder twins? Really?

    I agree completely that Superman as a character is a little naïve – I think it’s because as you say he tries to see the best in people. It also shows why he clashes with batman so often. Christopher Reeve protrayed that so very well. Even the goofy lines like in Superman 4, “Our subway system is still very safe.” he means it. And in the same movie, when Clark says to Lacy, “a reporter’s first allegiance is to the truth. The people in this city depend on us. And we can’t let them down!” He’s not pretending there — he means it.

    Re: Rachel saying to Michael, “I blame all this on you,” my wife does the same thing. We were watching “Big Bang Theory” and Leonard was explaining the bottle city of Kandor to Penny, and I was explaining to Sue that Leonard was correct but should note it was a pre-crisis kandor, and Sue just said, “Geek.”

    Loving the podcast, guys!


    Robert Gillis

  3. Scott had a point about Art Thibert’s inks and was more or less dead on because I believe that within a year of this issue (or thereabouts), Thibert would take over pencils for not McFarlane but Jim Lee on the adjectiveless X-Men title. For two issues, anyway. But I always loved his inking Jurgens because it was a great marriage of the two styles.

    Btw, great to hear Scott on a podcast and I can’t wait to hear the next “Bins” and “JSA” episodes.

  4. I don’t think this was mentioned during the episode, but this was Thibert’s last issue as an inker for Jurgens. Next month brought the first issue-long pairing of Jurgens and Breeding since Superman #29 and I couldn’t be happier. Breeding’s inks are smoother and give Dan’s work more of a polish than Art’s.

    During the episode, you guys were remarking on The Flash series and one of you (Michael, I think) said, “That series wasn’t canceled because of popularity?” What did you mean by that? I remember that the show was fairly consistently placing third in the ratings on Thursday, owing to the fact it was up against Cosby and The Simpsons, and I was pretty sure low ratings led to its demise. Were you implying a different reason or am I reading too much into your remark?

    I found most of the stories this month so-so and forgettable save for “the big reveal,” but your joke about Sleez making Jimmy and Lucy make a porn was funny. If memory serves, in Sleez’s last appeance in Countdown, Jimmy makes some remark implying that Sleez made him and Lois do something unsavory under his control. Had they said it was Lucy, they might have been able to claim something happened “off-screen” in this story, or at least gotten points for trying to be clever with continuity.

    Though now that I think about it, since this is Sleez’s last appearance until his death in Countdown 16 years later, why bother bringing that guy back at all? Couldn’t we all just pretend he never existed?

  5. Bitter, I was implying that the show was cancelled due to the cost of the episodes more than anything else. They waited until the last minute to drop the ax on the show and they tried moving it several times to get it away from the Thursday spot. So that’s what I was trying to say; more money than ratings on that one I think.

  6. I never took to the post-Crisis Terra Man like I did the pre-Crisis version. He’s well-crafted enough, but always seemed a bit of a one-note (one-note, not one-hit) villain. That said, I will admit the pre-Crisis version was a bit much to fit into the more-grounded post-Crisis context. But comparing each in their native arenas, unlike other villains that I think were improved upon in the post-Crisis re-imaginings, I don’t think Terra Man was such a character.

  7. One further comment:

    I thought it was a nice move, artistically, to have the magazine with Lex Luthor on it on the coffee table. Given the historical nature of the scene, it was interesting that Luthor has a “presence” in it.

  8. @Michael – Ah, that makes sense. And you’re right about them moving it. I definately remember it landing on Wednesday at some point, and then possibly Friday before it got shipped off to Saturday.

    Got a question about the Wyoming running gag that has turned up in several episodes. Is that a reference to anything specific? I only ask because I remember the “Garfield & Friends” cartoon that ran on CBS Saturday mornings in the late 80s and early 90s had a short segment built around the joke that Wyoming doesn’t actually exist. (Garfield claims the name is Indian for “No State Here.”) When you guys first made the Wyoming joke many moons ago, that two decade-old segment was the first thing to came to mind.

    In the event you guys HAVE already reference this, my apologies for missing that episode. Here’s a clip from the Garfield segment:–Garfield-on-WyomingGarfield-and-Friends-Garfield-

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