Remember when Superman was fun? DC wants you to forget fun altogether unless killing heroes, dismemberment, and boobs all in your face is your idea of fun. They’re all for you then. But I want to look at a Superman story from my youth. Namely, this one.
This is from the Peter Pan Book & Record series. They made a lot of licensed book & record comics, including other DC characters, horror stories like Frankenstein and Dracula (possibly the Marvel Dracula and it was all kid-friendly stuff), and TV shows like Star Trek. I have one of the Star Trek stories and we’ll get to that someday.
There are two things in this review you don’t usually get in a “Scanning My Collection” article. One is what you’re not getting: credits. I can’t seem to find concrete proof of who worked on this comic or the accompanying audio so I can’t really comment on them. The other is audio actually showing you the story in a rather decent presentation combining the audio (minus the page change noises) and the comic panels. So watch for yourself…”City Under Siege”! Bing.
Trask’s voice actor needs to get a bit closer to the microphone. Also, I hope you liked Force One here. We’ll never see them again, despite the claim that they’re versing Superman on the cover. Oh, and please tell me they are actually doing something to find the bomb and not just trying to contact Superman.
One thing that always bugged me about the panels from the call with the guy in Michigan (and this was well before cell phones or better land lines) are the word balloons. Look at that one set of panels again.
Lois appears to be talking for the man in the first panel. The third panel is technically the audio’s fault. As a comic it works because now we’re watching the…manager I guess talking to Lois and the balloons reflect that. And yet in the audio he’s still static-y and she’s still clear. It’s the audio drama versus the comic book, and something I like about these is that you have both. Just that the audio has a lot of beeping and dinging. That still makes it better than other book & records, where it’s usually just a normal book with a narrator and the occasional voice popping up. So let’s get to part two already. And if the poster had to break it up, doing it where you had to flip the record over works for me.
I wonder how many kids actually called that number hoping to talk to Superman? By the way, where did Superman hear about Force One to taunt them (when they can hear him) while tossing the truck into the Sun. And yes, just tossing the bomb far enough into space should have been enough, but which is cooler for a kids story?
Also, I need to praise whomever was in charge of the audio team. The sounds, the random conversations when Superman enters the mayor’s office–that’s above and beyond what you usually get from this kind of production. The flying woosh noise could use some editing work but I can overlook it for the time and budget. What I really like here is the actor playing Superman, who does a fair job giving “Clark” and “Superman” enough difference in how “they” speak to help trick people into thinking they’re different men. As I’d said, Clark’s disguise is more than just a pair of eyeglasses.
I still very much enjoy this production, despite the lack of supervillains or Superman ever meeting Force One (which turned out to be a trio of average schmucks who somehow are able to build a 100 Kiloton atomic bomb!). The record is in my record collection and the comic is in my comic collection. They’re both good enough to stand individually but they also work well together. I wish they still made these for kids. It’s a good way to entertain them and help teach them how to read. I’ve seen books and cassettes but never saw a book & CD or book & mp3. Today’s kids are missing out!