It’s good for a person to have a hobby. Even Superman. I have found that there are at least three references to Clark Kent having collected clocks. I grant that, over a period of eighty years, three references are not a lot. Some might say that they’re very very little. But I like the idea of Clark collecting clocks and I’m saying we should bring it back.
The advantages of bringing back Clark’s hobby:
- Collecting clocks is a decidedly “unhip” hobby. There are constant attempts to make Clark “cool” but I don’t like it. Superman is the straight-lacedest of Superheroes. In spite of the attempts to change this, this is actually a thing that most of his fans like about him. They ought to embrace the idea that Clark is a “square” and this is a way to remind people of it.
- It ties in with Jimmy’s signal watch. For those who don’t know, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen is so danger-prone that Superman gave him a watch that, when activated, emits a sound that Superman can hear, so that the hero will come save him. Why a watch? Well, if Clark is a fan of timepieces, the answer to that question becomes obvious.
- Stories could be based around clocks and stuff. It’s a good way to teach kids how to tell time and stuff.
- Clocks could liven up the Fortress of Solitude. Ever since the Donner films, the Fortress has been depicted as this depressingly barren warehouse full of nothing but snow and crystals. It looks patently un-cozy. I’d love to see some rugs and some paintings to liven up the place, but we just need to throw in a couple fancy clocks (even alien clocks) and we’re headed in the right direction.
The disadvantages of bringing back Clark’s hobby:
- There are none! Get outta here, chumps!
Bring back the clocks! Or at least someone start a band called Clark Kent Collects Clocks.
There’s some news regarding Superman that PDRs will find extremely interesting. This is news important enough that I have knocked today’s scheduled Superman Thoughts post down the line and have to address this now, the day I found out about it. Superman Smashes The Klan is coming.
A story about the Clan of the Fiery Cross radio show! I have wanted this forever.
And apparently it’s news from February, so I am clearly bad at Superman Thinkin’. Here is a news story from the fifth of February announcing this book will come to exist in 2019. Here is a Superman Thoughts posts I scheduled in April in which I lamented that the Clan of the Fiery Cross had not been remade. Clearly, I am not good at keeping up on these things.
I don’t think this is a remake of the Clan story from. From what few scraps I have gathered in the hours since I first learned about this, I think it’s going to be a meta-textual piece about a child who hears the radio serial and how it relates to her life as a Chinese immigrant. That’s great. I’m on board. After all, that means I get this story AND I still get to clamor for a proper remake of the story.
What I am saying is: I am happy this is happening.
Anyway, In another post I have scheduled for next month or so, I talk about how I’d love a standalone book based on the radio show and using the character designs from the Fleischer cartoons. Look at that image up there and tell me it isn’t awesome. Anyway, when that posts finally comes up, keep in mind that I didn’t know about this.
Look, I don’t have a lot to say about this one. This one time, a story was just casually mentioning adventures that Superman had that we didn’t get to read about. One of those adventures, detailed only in this single panel, was the War of the Brain Worlds. That is a better name than 90% of movies released in the last decade. Someone needs to tell this story, please.
Hey everybody, meet Douglas Giddings, Superman’s lawyer.
I’m not going to pretend that Douglas Giddings is an important part of the Superman Mythos and that his not being in the supporting cast is hurting things and he must be brought back, but I think he’s a neat idea and I could probably get a quick Superman Thoughts thing out of him.
Giddings made only one appearance, in the pre-Crisis era when it felt like the books were trying to use up their spare ideas before the 80s reboot of Superman. A backup story in Action Comics #581 gives us a day in the life of Superman’s lawyer. Like Jimmy Olsen, Giddings has been given a special watch by Superman. While Jimmy’s watch allows the kid to get in touch with Superman, Giddings’s watch tells him when Superman is coming to meet about legal matters. They talk about things like television stations using the rights to Superman’s image, to advertisers trying to mooch off his reputation. Then crimes happen and Superman races away to save the day, with Giddings riding his motorcycle there to capture footage of the events. The story implies that Giddings has been working behind the scenes with Superman for a long time, even if we never heard about it and never will again.
I like the idea that, when Clark made the move from vigilante to respectable superhero, he lawyered up to keep everything above board. Maybe there’s some story in which Superman saved Giddings, who then volunteered to help the hero out. We’ll never know, but I think there’s some ground that could be covered there, if someone ever wanted to.
(Fact: Nobody but me wants to.)
Medini is one of Superman’s very first super-powered villains, possibly the first. The Ultra-Humanite came before him, but was mostly human with cool technology at this point. Medini is also one of, if not the, earliest non-white characters to appear in Superman. I put it to you that these historical accomplishments mean that Mednini deserves to make a comeback.
For the record, Medini is a hypnotist who appeared in a single story back in Action Comics #25 way back in 1940. Although he does have actual mental powers, he is also a scam artist, getting people to come use his supposed services and actually hypnotizing them into doing crimes for him that they later don’t remember. It would have been a perfect scheme if not for that meddling Superman.
Worth noting: for a non-white character created in 1940, Medini is somehow manages to not be a racial caricature. His powers and turban do kind of suggest an “oriental mystic” sort, but I get the impression he is playing into that image for his scheme. And, incidentally, I actually kind of love his yellow and green suit/turban/gloves look. We never learn where he’s from, but there’s no accent and he’s not drawn as a subhuman creature. He could easily be a surprisingly decent depiction of a South Asian or Middle Eastern guy for that era.
If I said that Terra-Man was a C-lister I want moved up to the A-list, poor Medini is an F-lister I want moved all the way up to the B-list. Seems unlikely, but I think there’s a way to do it.
I figure that the Superman books need a solid cast of recurring C and B-list villains. They aren’t the type who get big arcs or imperil the world or anything, but they can be there for a fun standalone plot now and then. That’s where Medini should be.
Give me an issue where Medini hypnotizes all of Metropolis so they forget how to use computers until they pay his ransom. Give me an issue where Medini hypnotizes Metallo into beating up other villains while Medini gambles on the winners. Give me an issue where Medini hypnotizes Jimmy so he thinks he’s a fugitive and he flees unnecessarily. Just give me an issue with Medini.