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Superman Is Not Happy

In Hollywood, on the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Wilcox Avenue (I think) there’s this mural featuring all your favorite characters from the movies:

I noticed that Superman’s even there. Check him out. He looks pissed.

He looks so pissed.  I think he’s angry that he got seated in the same row as Frankenstein, R2-D2, and the Bigfoot looking dude. Look he keeps a seat in between them, trying to disassociate himself from such freakish folly. “I may be fantastical, but at least I look normal. Not like these three eye sores. Why can’t I sit next to Han Solo or Nancy Reagan over there?  This sucks.”

Look at him!  Wow, he’s really upset. We judge you for who you are Superman, and maybe Frankenstein and the Bigfoot Man have something to offer the world.  It’s not like Jerry Seigel and Joe Schuster were better writers than Mary Shelley.

Play-A-Day: Superman at Parent Teacher Conference

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Superman at Parent Teacher Conference
by Jeremiah Murphy

MR. CHARLES, an elementary school teacher sits at his desk grading papers. On the radio is some Miles Davis. A sign reads, “Parent Teacher Conference: Mr. Charles.”

SUPERMAN enters in complete costume. In his hand he deftly manages to hold a coffee and muffin, with his other hand he knocks.

During the scene SUPERMAN eats his muffin and sips his coffee continuously.

SUPERMAN: Mr. Charles?

MR. CHARLES: Yes! And you must be…

SUPERMAN: Superman. Faster than a speeding spitball. Ha ha. I hope you don’t get too many of those.

MR. CHARLES: Thanks so much for coming by. It’s great to meet you.

SUPERMAN: No problem at all. I told Braniac to take the night off.

MR. CHARLES: Who?

SUPERMAN: A cyborg alien who will stop at nothing to conquer Earth. Bad joke. Sorry about that.

MR. CHARLES: Oh, I see. Ha ha. Yes, Braniac.

SUPERMAN: Ha ha. Mr. Charles in Charge! (singing) There’s a new boy in the neighborhood–

MR. CHARLES: Ha ha.

SUPERMAN: (singing)–lives downstairs and it’s understood…

MR. CHARLES: Ha ha. OK, Mr. Superman.

SUPERMAN: I didn’t know you’d have food here. It’s a real treat. Marvelous.

MR. CHARLES: You can thank the PTA.

SUPERMAN: Great folks. Lois and I will have to make time to attend more of the meetings. I remember at the last one I distinctly said, “Please give Mr. Charles a raise, he’s the best!”

MR. CHARLES: The unions manage most of the pay issues.

SUPERMAN: Where would the American Dream be without them?

MR. CHARLES: Pay issues or unions?

SUPERMAN: Ha-ha. Mr. Charles. But seriously, Lois and I should be more involved with this school.

MR. CHARLES: You must be busy.

SUPERMAN: I suppose I could let the police handle most of my work.

MR. CHARLES: I used to say the same thing when I worked at P.S. 11. Rough school.

SUPERMAN: Ha ha. Mr. Charles. I’ve heard. I’ve heard.

MR. CHARLES: Well, let’s discuss little Jonathan.

SUPERMAN: Terrific kid, one might even say he’s… (waits for MR. CHARLES to say “super.”)

MR. CHARLES: Ha-ha. I wanted to talk to you about his performance.

SUPERMAN: Well, I wanted to say I hope the other students aren’t intimidated by his heritage. (Points to giant S on costume.)

MR. CHARLES: Jonathan is a real sweet child…

SUPERMAN: (Smiling) One might even say he’s… (Points to giant S on costume.)

MR. CHARLES: Mr. Superman.

SUPERMAN: Just Superman is fine, Mr. Charles.

MR. CHARLES: With mathematics, particularly at the third grade level, Jonathan is…

SUPERMAN: (Points to giant S on costume.) Super.

MR. CHARLES: Not super.

SUPERMAN: (Points to giant S on costume.) Super.

MR. CHARLES: No, not super.

SUPERMAN: Come on, I want to hear it. He’s my boy. (Points to giant S on costume.) Super.

MR. CHARLES: (Points to chest.) Special.

SUPERMAN: (He thinks about this for a moment) VERY special, top of the class, able to leap over pop quizzes in a single—

MR. CHARLES: His test scores are exceptionally low. Special in the sense that he has special needs.

SUPERMAN: I see, low for a Superman. B+’s and such. He’s probably trying to fit in. He doesn’t want throw the curve.

MR. CHARLES: He’s failed 3 out of 5 of the tests. His performance is quite poor.

SUPERMAN: He’s more of an artist anyway. I don’t want us to stifle his voice. Look what happened to Hitler.

MR. CHARLES: (Holds up a piece of paper with a red spot on it) This is from Jonathan’s art folder.

SUPERMAN: It’s super! I can’t wait to frame it. My boy!

MR. CHARLES: It’s not super. It’s a jelly donut stain from a jelly donut Jonathan smuggled into art class and ate jelly donuts when he should have been doing his pastels. Jelly donuts are not allowed in art class. I confiscated this as a matter of fact today.

MR. CHARLES slams a box of jelly donuts on the table.

SUPERMAN: No jelly donuts in art class, Mr Charles? Let kids be kids.

SUPERMAN and MR. CHARLES don’t speak.

SUPERMAN: May I? (Helps himself to a donut, lets out a small sound of pleasure.)

MR. CHARLES: Jonathan is failing school, Superman. He’s constantly eating sugar and he seems to know more about NBC’s evening programming than U.S. history. I constantly try to get through to him but he seems unresponsive unless there’s treats to be eaten or cartoons to be watched.

SUPERMAN: Are you sure you’re not talking about that Batman kid. People get me and Batman confused all the time. Superman, Batman. It doesn’t offend me. But I think this may—

MR. CHARLES: Batman doesn’t have a child in my class.

SUPERMAN: Timmy Wayne.

MR. CHARLES: What does Timmy Wayne have to—

SUPERMAN: I probably shouldn’t have said anything but Bruce Wayne, Timmy’s adopted father is actually Batman. Please don’t let that leave this room, Mr. Charles.

MR. CHARLES: Timmy actually has the best scores in the class.

SUPERMAN: I know for a fact Timmy’s father lets him jump off buildings and stay up past 9 o’clock…

MR. CHARLES: Superman, Jonathan needs to stop eating so much and not watch TV.

SUPERMAN: Point taken. Point taken, Mr. Charles. But I’m sure his reading and writing is—

MR. CHARLES: He uses quiet reading time to sleep off his chocolate milks.

SUPERMAN: Gym class! The boy must be exceptional.

MR. CHARLES: Exceptionally lazy, Superman. He has no motivation. The most active I’ve seen him was during dodgeball when he threw himself in front of the ball so he could spend the rest of the class sitting against a post eating a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken somebody left out.

SUPERMAN: Socially?

MR. CHARLES: A disaster. Maybe if he had better hygiene or tried to talk to people. Right now, he doesn’t give the other students much of a reason to interact with him. He needs help… guidance.

SUPERMAN: Lois has been thinking of having the boy start violin lessons. Thoughts, Mr. Charles?

MR. CHARLES glares at SUPERMAN.

BLACKOUT.

Idea

If I opened a comic book store, I’d call it “Superman’s Fortress of Savings.”

Comic Book Commentary: Superman and Lois

Secret Room

What’s the deal, Lois? I believe the sign on the door says “POSITIVELY NO ADMITTANCE.” And my friend Superman, a couple words of advice: 1) If you don’t want someone to enter a room, use a lock and 2) It might be healthier to display your affection using some other method besides idolatry. I think it sets up an unhealthy precedent for the relationship.

Obesity

Superman, come on, dude. Sure, Lois has gained some weight but don’t hide from her as if she’s some beast. You’re Superman. She’s already depressed and has a low self image (thanks to the ad copy on the comic book cover). Now, the toughest man on the planet, who fears nothing, is cowering around the corner because his girlfriend put on a few. How do you think that makes Lois feel? Probably like a monster. And she’s not, she’s the woman you love and she needs your support. Hasn’t she been by your side more than once? Come on.

Plug ugly
That’s the deal, my man. You got scared up above when Lois gained a little weight and now she’s dropped a couple sizes. Of course, she’s going to find a new boyfriend. And it sounds like maybe this fellow’s “plug ugliness” is supplemented with a supportive personality with an eye for true beauty. You had it, Superman, but now you are a victim of your own SUPERficial tastes. It’s a real shame.

Kisses

What the hell is going on here? Superman starts a fresh air fund and then Lois is kissing everyone to raise a little cash? And dear Justice League, I believe the sale of sexual acts is illegal in 49 states. Lois, you don’t have to do this for Superman. What about that nice wrestler? And back to the Justic League, what kind of friends are you? Couldn’t you have just given to the Fresh Air fund. You guys are loaded! Batman is millionaire, Green Arrow is a millionaire, and Aquaman is king of the damn sea! The warmth of charity isn’t good enough for your money, you need a couple cheap grabs with your pal’s girlfriend? Shame on all of you.

Comic Book Cover Commentary: Laugh It Up, Superman


OK, Superman. We all know that Jimmy Olsen can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound. But it looks like he’s in a spot of trouble. Obviously, he’s too modest to ask for help, so he’s attempting to be resourceful. We all know the suitcase full of Halloween Adventure beards and moustaches will fail miserably but cut the kid some slack, Superman. Don’t stand there with that “Get a load of this crap” expression scrunched on your face. Of course, you could do a better job. And after Jimmy treated you a couple Comic Book Cover Commentaries ago, it’s understandable that you’d look for any excuse to get a couple chuckles at his expense. But come on, he’s just a kid.

Comic Book Cover Commentary: Finally Superman Sticks Up for Himself


Superman, it’s a little harsh, but at least you’re sticking up for yourself and overcoming your fears about your secret identity.

Comic Book Cover Commentary: Superman Needs New Friends

This comic book cover really explodes the concept that Jimmy Olsen is Superman’s best friend. If they are friends, I fear Superman might have a codependency problem. Look at how Superman’s best friend is treating him. Right off the bat is Jimmy’s exposing Superman’s Identity with a big clunky camera. And check it out, he makes sure the flash is around 6 inches from poor Superman’s face. But that’s not enough for Superman’s pal, he’s got a full day of activities planned for his best friend. Next he turns Superman into a devil with the “helmet of hate.” Jimmy, why are you wearing the Helmet of Hate to begin with? Moving right along Jimmy puts the Helmet aside and launches an attack on Superman with some Giant Ants. Now, I enjoy practical jokes on my friends that give them a good scare. But come on, Jim. You’re using giant ants from the dude’s planet that blew up when he was baby. That’s a little much. And there’s more. After the all the fun with the ants, little Jimmy Olsen thinks it’d be fun to KO his best pal in a boxing match. And what does he do when he sees his pall laying on the floor unconscious, he lifts up his arm as if he has won something. Then I see how Jimmy Olsen has Superman helpless with the “Super-Brain of Jimmy Olsen.” I can only imagine what passive aggressive barbs young Mr. Olsen is capable of with his Super-Brain. I certainly hope Superman finds a new pal.

It looks like even Supergirl sees fit to stink up their friendship:

COME ON, Superman. Did your parents tell you that saying “I’ll never forgive you!” would get you out of a fight and hurt the feelings of bullies? I don’t think people who use their friends for personal gain with newspaper editors care about forgiveness.

Superman, let’s start taking care of ourselves and making friends with people we can trust to be good friends.

Comic Book Cover Commentary: Action Comics #345


The above image of Action Comics #345 always makes me laugh. Clark Kent is clearly interrupted as he’s changing into Superman. The CBS Camera is rolling as Allen Funt opens the door. So Superman is in a lot of trouble. What does Superman say to smooth things over and protect the most important secret in the world? “Great Krypton! Allen Funt’s caught me switching into my Superman uniform!” Superman! What are you doing? Don’t say it aloud! Now the world has photographic proof AND a taped confession. You have fallen right into Funt’s clutches, Superman.

You could have just closed the door super fast, Superman, instead of blurting everything out.

Superman, if you were robbing a bank  and the cops came on the scene would you stop and loudly say, “Oh my goodness the police have caught me, Superman, robbing a bank?”

And that tie. Come on, pal.