Pawns of the Master
Superman Daily Newspaper Strip - October 7, 1940 to November 30, 1940
Luthor debuts in the daily newspaper strips but with more than a few cosmetic changes.
Divested of his usual classy suit (or cultish robes), about half of his stocky body mass, his upright posture and – most notably – his scarlet tresses, this appearance marks Luthor’s debut as the iconic bald villain he’ll be known as for more than seventy years.
The story usually bandied about is that the artist on this arc – specifically, Wayne Boring – mistook one of Luthor’s henchmen in a previous issue of Superman’s self-titled comic for Luthor himself.
The only problem with that story is that the henchman in question – bald head aside – doesn’t much resemble this interpretation of Luthor. For one thing, the henchman was burly, powerful, possibly overweight, stocky and standing straight upright. Pawns of the Master’s Luthor, by contrast, is a shriveled, hunched-over and gaunt figure, with a witch-like maw for a mouth and wizened, clutching hands. If Boring has mistaken one of Luthor’s hirelings for the man himself, then he did a poor job re-rendering him.
What other reasons could there be for the change? Well, there’s every chance that Boring mistook the early appearances of Superman’s original mad scientist foe The Ultra-Humanite as early Luthor appearances. In the same vein, it’s not impossible that Siegel asked for the change directly – Ultra had been his original stroke of villainous genius, he might’ve been interested in fusing the finer qualities of Luthor and Ultra now that the former was getting name recognition with the audience.
Just as likely is that it wasn’t Luthor’s henchman who inspired Boring’s redesign, but another Superman foe. At the same time that the newspaper strips were being put together, artwork showing other gaunt, bald super-menaces were making the rounds at the studio; one, an ad for the radio show portraying the returning villain The Yellow Mask and, in the pages of Action, a similarly built figure calling himself Zolar (pictures coming soon). It’s easy enough to imagine that Boring mistook one of these fellas for Luthor…
Up Came Oil - Exxon promotional song. (c. 1960s)
Note that Exxon admits in the song that oil is always in short supply.
A brief history of the oil industry - in song!
Superman by Joe Shuster
Captain Commando arcade information. With knee rockets!
Beast Hunters Bumblebee Upgrade Missile
I was disappointed that Beast Hunters Bumblebee’s Eagleshot bow was 80% to being a full-fledged action master partner. So I did something about it, via Shapeways.
And I rebuilt most of it to make it upload to Shapeways without Shapeways screaming bloody murder, and did the renders here.
That he did. Sorry, forgot to credit Awa the first time through, it was, in my defense, far in the AM.
The black one seems like the best fit to me, as BH Bumblebee’s missiles are all black. I suppose a light greyish-silver might also work, since that’s BB’s secondary color…
Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! This episode, someone DIES!
And by someone, we mean our patience.
It’s our 1-year anniversary, so let’s celebrate crossover style! Starchibald and Sunny Jim are joined by special guest victi- er, riffer LINKARA to take on the “lost short”, the one that got away from MST3K, the mylar propaganda piece “What’s It To You?”!
All this and a bunch of surprises in this special anniversary episode!
Bob Holiday as Superman in an ad for UniRoyal.
Imagine Don Draper pitching this. “When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him. He has a million reasons for being anywhere, just ask him. If you listen, he’ll tell you how he got there. How he forgot where he was going, and that he woke up. If you listen, he’ll tell you about the time he thought he was an angel or dreamt of being perfect. And then he’ll smile with wisdom, content that he realized the world isn’t perfect. We’re flawed, because we want so much more. We’re ruined, because we get these things, and wish for what we had…”
“Anyway, someone get that Superman guy on the phone.”
Saw the upper-right corner, and my mind went here:
Size of the entire universe, man…
Geeks of all stripes are lining up. disbelief is being suspended and Hedorah has filed an anti-defamation suit with the ACLU…
Pacific Rim is coming and we’ve got the monster and lizard-like-thing perspective on the trailer!
“Foolish Autobots! With my human partner’s deployment of the ‘kicky beret,’ there is no way your inferior racing talents can hope to beat
my plot for world dominationmy plot to dominate a Japanese grand touring race circuit!”
Promotional Transformers GT images, taken from an online TakaraTomy video. Granted, I’m not sure if Noa (Megatron’s pack-in “race queen”) is actually wearing a beret; not even the one photo showing her from behind gives us a good look at the back of her head, but I do think it is some kind of hat? Meanwhile, I am amused that, at roughly 3 3/4” high, is she going to be by far the tallest Decepticon-aligned human action figure to come from a Transformers toyline, easily dwarfing her compatriots Sgt. Chaos, Master Disaster, and Evil Patrick Dempsey. (Dr. Archeville may or may not also count, since you can’t really do anything with him, but he does exist. I guess Noa can easily pal around with the Cobra Commander and Destro that came in those two SDCC G.I. Joe/TF sets, though.)
Also also: maaaan, Megatron as the only villain in a series seemingly based all around racing? This is like the ultimate opportunity to turn Transformers into Wacky Races.
You forgot about Ga’Mede?
Maybe Ga’Mede and Noa can challenge each other over who gets to lead the Decepticon’s human(oid) allies, as the two tallest of them all.