Friday Funny: Superman's War on the Car

Dillon Fenner looks at early Superman comics and finds him to be not only less-than heroic, but a planner's nightmare: wiping out slums because he assumes the government will rebuild them, and declaring war on the car [language warning].

Fenner's review of early Superman comics for shows that the hero we're familiar with was originally wildly unpredictable and liable to go off on half-baked crusades with little regard for the damage he causes to others. Two storylines in particular from 1939 show the Kryptonian going on an urban renewal rampage before destroying every car he can get his hands on.

"When we see Superman flying across the universe and effortlessly pushing planets back into orbit, it's easy to forget that he was created by two Depression-era kids from Cleveland who lived most of their lives in poverty. It's not so easy, however, when you read the early Superman stories that those two kids actually wrote and drew, in which the Man of Steel was less of a big blue Boy Scout and more of a raging anti-establishment maniac in red underpants who spent more time destroying property than catching criminals.

[A 1939 storline has Superman destroying a slum], under the logic that the government will then have to build new ones and that this will somehow end all crime. At no point does Superman consult the people who actually live there, or attempt to hide the fact that he's having way too much fun wrecking their homes.

[In another] unbelievably insane adventure...Clark Kent learns that a guy he knew died in a car accident. Pissed off, he changes into Superman, breaks into a radio station and formally declares war on all cars. Superman starts his bizarre one-man crusade by going to an impound lot and flinging cars around like discuses -- But Superman knows that he's only been addressing the symptoms, not the cause, so he goes to the source of all this evil: a car factory."


Full Story: 5 Classic Superman Comics That Prove He Used to Be a Dick


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