Superman Adventures #17
DC Comics (March, 1998)
“Superman’s Pal’s Pal”
WRITER: Chris Duffy
PENCILER: Neil Vokes
INKER: Terry Austin
COLORIST: Rick Talyor
LETTERER: Lois Bhualis
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Maureen McTigue
EDITOR: Mike McAvennie
Jimmy takes the new intern around after Perry uses him to chew Olsen out for being behind in his work. Secretly he’s hoping to get the kid into trouble so he looks better by comparison, but then a gun nut starts using a giant sphere to steal guns believing he’ll be doing other gun fans a favor. Superman has to stop him but Jimmy and the kid keep getting into trouble. Eventually Superman does stop him, but it turns out the kid wasn’t the intern, who ends up doing really well, but Lois’ cousin Tim. But the kid did get a picture that may save Jimmy from Perry’s wrath.
What they got right: It’s a fun little story about Jimmy and Tim getting into trouble while tracking the gun thief. Nothing really bad. Well accept…
What they got wrong: It’s one thing to have a villain who is overly into guns and trying to create something he thinks other gun fanatics would cheer him for, but they only get mad because he takes their guns, not that he’s a thief who broke into the building or a jerk giving decent gun owners (I am not one but there are a few in my family) a bad name by being a jerk. I get the impression Duffy snuck in his own view of gun owners and defenders of the right to bear arms rather than create a decent gun nut villain that isn’t typical of normal collectors of firearms. In case you thought political opinions weren’t already sneaking into comics, and a kids-targeted comic at that, before Marvel’s recent trend of political activism.
Recommendation: A fun little story overall, if not insulting to firearms enthusiasts. Still worth a read.