Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when reading comics was a real adventure. One month you might read an epic masterpiece, the next, a stinkerooni of staggering stupidity. I've already devoted a section to the great stuff, so in the interests of fair play, here's what was weird, ill-advised or just plain idiotic in the pages of old Superman comics.

Silly or not, you just might find them the most entertaining part of the whole reading experience.

The Saga of the Super-Sons

Even if it wasn't the oddest concept in Superman's history, the "Super-Sons" saga was easily the longest-running. For several years in the pages of World's Finest Comics, writer Bob Haney shoved aside Superman and Batman in favor of their lookalike sons, Superman Jr. and Batman Jr., apparently in an attempt to attract a "hipper" audience.

A literal treasure-trove of hackneyed "generation gap" plotlines, "Mod Squad" reject dialog and cornball drama, this nonsensical epic gleefully flew in the face of continuity, logic or reason. And in a masterstroke of bald-faced bravado, Haney dared readers to prove it wasn't all true!


Superman #330

In "The Master Mesmerizer of Metropolis," writer Marty Pasko deals with one of the great unanswered questions of the Superman mythos; how could anyone be fooled by a disguise that consists of a pair of nonprescription glasses and a slightly altered hairdo?

Pasko's "solution" is carefully constructed but unappealing (literally) for fans of Clark Kent, so after this story it was never mentioned again.

Years ago I discarded many of my least favorite Superman comics, but this one was so lame it achieved a sort of perverse greatness, so it stayed, and now I can share some highlights with you. Pardon the condition of some of these pages, but the years have not been kind to a book that didn't even look that good brand new, thanks to DC's cheap and shoddy printing practices in the the late 1970s.


Not Brand Ecch #7

Talk about an's a Superman story printed in a Marvel comic! In the 1960's the "House of Ideas" launched its own humor mag, featuring parodies of its own comics and those of various competitors. The seventh issue saw this rather pithy swipe at the Man of Steel.

Each era of Superman history is parodied, but special attention is given to the tenure of editor Mort Weisinger, wherein multiple colors of Kryptonite, super-powered animals and long-lost relatives appeared with alarming frequency. Uncle Morty's face is never shown here, nor his name mentioned, but his actions -- and his thinly disguised Yes-Man assistant "Birdwell" (then-junior editor E. Nelson Bridwell) leave few doubts about his identity.

When Superman Was A Mutant!

The Super-Rivals!

The Goofy Superman!