My favorite superhero wears his underwear on the outside.

I know this site is called the Bobby Orr collector, but as most of you know I collect other things as well. Today I’m going to talk about one of those other things, namely a comic.

I thought about showcasing one of my Golden Age books, but I’ll save those for later and instead focus on my favorite comic of all time about my favorite hero: Action Comics 775 featuring Superman.

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This issue came out in March 2001 and features the story “What’s so funny about Truth, Justice and the American Way?” 

The plot is about a new super-powered team called The Elite. They’re antiheroes, killing their foes instead of capturing them and bringing them to justice. The public seems to be behind them as they are tired of super criminals who are constantly escaping to create more havoc. Superman is dismayed by this and confronts the team and their leader Manchester Black.  He is told to stay out of their way or suffer the consequences. Inevitably, Superman interferes and a showdown takes place on one of Jupiter’s moons with the battle being shown live to the people of Earth. After Superman is apparently killed in a giant explosion, and while The Elite are celebrating, you hear Superman’s voice saying that he now realizes that he has to treat The Elite like animals and not people. He proceeds to open up a can of whup-ass and using his super-speed seems to take out the entire team except for Manchester Black, making it appear that he has killed them. Black tells Superman that he’s going to rip him in little pieces, but can’t. Superman used his x-ray vision to disable an unusual growth on Black’s brain that was the source of his power.

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Black goes on a rant about how Superman was now no better than him because he had killed and the whole world saw it. Superman than reveals that in reality, he never killed anybody and the rest of The Elite were just unconscious. He also just gave Manchester Black a “concussion” that temporarily shut down his powers. The Elite are taken away with Black declaring that he would come after Superman again and again as long as he was still alive. Superman replies that he wouldn’t want it any other way and that he hoped the ugliness of the fight frightened those people who thought killing was the way to go.

For me, this is the ultimate Superman story and neatly sums up what the character is all about. He sticks to his moral code not to kill when it would be easier to do just that. That would inevitably lead him down a darker path where he would become an anti-hero. I don’t want to see that happen, especially with Superman or Batman etc..

As always thanks for reading and be sure to come back this weekend for another blog featuring more of my Bobby Orr collection.

7 Responses to “My favorite superhero wears his underwear on the outside.”

  1. You didn’t say who wrote or drew it!

  2. Gary says:

    My bad. It was written by Joe Kelly and drawn by Doug Mahnke and Lee Bermejo.

  3. The Goog says:

    Nice write up! I’ll have to look for that story.

  4. Garth says:

    Even though he didn’t kill Manchester Black, I have a problem with him using his heat (not x-ray) vision to perform brain surgery. This was explored in the Justice League animated nicely with him performing a heat vision lobotomy on Doomsday. Sure, he’s not killing them but it’s still very extreme and wrong.

  5. Gary says:

    Actually Garth he didn’t perform brain surgery. He simply gave Manchester Black what amounted to a “concussion” that temporarily rendered him powerless. Once the “concussion” wore off he got his powers back, but by that time he was in custody and given neural dampeners to keep him powerless.

  6. Comicazi Mike says:

    Nice job on describing the story. I’ve never read it but may just pick up a copy based solely on the strength of your write up. Kudos, sir!

  7. Garth says:

    My bad. I didn’t read the comic and just thought that’s what he did based on the page 35 image you posted. Then after your correction, I looked up the plot online and saw that Manchester Black thought the same thing as me.
    “Superman then disabled the Englishman by using his x-ray vision to locate an unusual growth on Black’s brain. He identified the growth as the source of Black’s powers, and then carefully fired a thin burst of heat vision through Black’s retinas and told Black that he had cut out the growth. Faced with the apparent loss of his powers, Black actually wept… Superman then revealed to the powerless Black that the rest of the Elite were only unconscious, he had not removed anything from Black’s brain-instead merely causing a micro-concussion that temporarily shut down Black’s powers-, and that murdering opponents makes a hero no better than his enemies.”

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