Posts Tagged ‘Smallville

14
Jan
13

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 281: The 2012 Year in Review

showcase logo small

It’s finally here, friends… the Showcase crew goes through everything interesting in the world of comics and pop culture for the past 12 months! This mammoth podcast touches on Marvel Now!, the New 52, The Walking Dead, hit movies, not-so-hit movies, LEGO, Aquaman, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, the Avengers, the X-Men, Hello Kitty and virtually everything else. And as always, the crew closes it out with their picks of the year. Go to the bathroom first, because this episode is a giant. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 281: The 2012 Year in Review

15
Jul
12

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 270: San Diego Comic-Commentary

Comic-Con weekend is here, and although Blake and Erin aren’t in San Diego, that’s not going to stop them from pontificating about all the news from the con. The aftermath of Avengers Vs. X-MenNeil Gaiman returns to Sandman! A slew of new Image comics, the titles and release dates for Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Phase 2…” and is it possible the greatest Marvel villain of them all could be… Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz? Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!
Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

30
Nov
11

Classic EBI #141: Giving the Gifts of Geekdom

Christmas is quickly approaching, friends, and that means it’s time for one of my favorite Everything But Imaginary columns of the year. Today, I look at some of the cool stuff that’s available to buy for the geek on your list. It’s the 2011 Geek Gift Guide!

Everything But Imaginary #425: The 2011 Geek Gift Guide

Like many of my columns, though, this one has evolved over time. Let’s look back at an early one, from 2005.

Classic EBI #141: Giving the Gifts of Geekdom

It’s December already, friends! Time to deck those halls, jingle those bells, and get out those credit cards, because you’re rapidly running out of time to get your Christmas shopping done. Now as longtime readers of this column know, I love Christmas. If I’d been born in Whoville, I would have fit in perfectly.

More important, for the purposes of today’s discussion, it’s time once again for the Everything But Imaginary Guide to Shopping For Your Geek. If you’re lucky enough to be a Comic Book Geek who has a Comic Book Geek to shop for, well, this column is most definitely for you. But if you’re a Geek who just hopes to get cool stuff this year – well, clearly you’re going to have to resort to drastic measures, such as “accidentally” mailing the link to this column to everybody you know, printing it out and slipping it into your girlfriend’s magazines, taping it to the steering wheel of your mother’s car and other such time-honored holiday traditions. So take a look at what we’ve got lined up and have this column with you when you visit Santa – you don’t want him to forget either, do you?

Now the first thing to consider for that special Geek, of course, is going to come from the DVD aisle. Geeks of all stripes have always loved movies, but since the advent of DVD and their full-season boxed sets, commentaries, outtakes, behind-the-scenes documentaries and other special features, it’s been a Geek paradise. And it’s been a heck of a year for Geek DVDs. First up, there was the phenomenal motion picture Batman Begins – hands-down the best Batman movie since… well, since the invention of celluloid. You’ll want to be careful getting this movie for your Geek, though, as Warner Brothers released it in both a single-disc barebones edition and a spiffy two-disc set full of keen extras, including a mini-comic reprinting the first Batman story from Detective Comics #27, a Dennis O’Neil classic and the first issue of Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. Then, of course, there is the eternal struggle between widescreen and fullscreen, but if you need me to explain to you why widescreen is infinitely superior then you, my friend, are not a true Geek.

Then there are all the other great Geek DVDs that hit this year. To coincide with the release of Batman Begins, Warner Brothers released two-disc “special editions” of the four previous Batman films, and the first two of those would sit proudly on any Geek’s DVD shelf. (Anyone who has a copy of Batman and Robin on his shelf must immediately explain that his Great-Aunt Sophie, who doesn’t know any better, is the one who gave it to him, and that the only reason he hasn’t burned it is because she’ll want to see it on the shelf when she comes over to visit.) 2005 saw the beginning of the sets featuring the classic Adventures of Superman television show starring George Reeves, two volumes of which are now available. Two more seasons of the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series came out, as did DVDs featuring Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Lois and Clark, plus Smallville is up to season four on DVD. And what Geek collection would be complete without the new releases of The Greatest American Hero?

Now I should caution you, when buying DVDs for the Geek in your life, you’re going to want to be careful not to duplicate anything already in his collection. Be sure to scout out their DVD shelf and take careful inventory of what he already has and what he is missing. If you don’t live with your Geek and don’t have ready access to his collection, you may have to employ agents such as a spouse, sibling or parent to scout out the collection on your behalf. Don’t be ashamed to ask these people for assistance: they have a Geek in their lives as well, remember, so they understand. Geeks – try to make it easier on the people in your life. I know it will be difficult to resist the urge, but stop buying DVDs for yourself between now and Christmas. They’ll still be there when the after-Christmas sales begin. Keep the shelf as it is now. Except, of course, when Serenity is released on Dec. 20 – I don’t expect anyone with taste to be able to resist that.

DVDs, of course, are not the only item on your favorite Geek’s Christmas list. He or she most certainly wants a buttload of toys as well. If you have been paying attention to what your Geek is a fan of, then you should know what to look for. The DC Direct line has had dozens of new releases this year. From Green Lantern Corps and Crisis on Infinite Earths figures to extentions of their Silver Age Superman and Batman lines, there’s something for everybody.

Marvel has also upped the ante on their Marvel Select and Marvel Legends lines, including sets of figures that include parts you can put together to build Galactus or a Sentinel. They’ve also introduced their new action figure game, Super Hero Showdown, which includes some really cool figures of their classic heroes and which any Geek will enjoy. Getting a Geek any sort of game, of course, is another danger zone. If you don’t want to play the game with him yourself (although you should), make sure he has someone to play with, or else you, as the person who gave the gift, will be recruited.

The great thing about toys is that they have a lot of cross-gender appeal – the female Geeks out there dig them too. Things like the Buffy the Vampire Slayer action figures are quite popular, as well as some of the really nice statues and dioramas that are available. My own girlfriend, Erin, has continually expressed her desire for the Harley Quinn maquette that was available all-too briefly at the Warner Brothers stores (and if anyone out there knows where I can acquire one at a price I can afford before I land my million-dollar book contract, I would be forever in your debt). It’s just a matter of knowing your Geek, knowing what they like, and making sure it winds up under that tree before the 25th.

And finally, of course, there are books. Books books books books books. Did I mention books? Novels, graphic novels, movie scripts, behind-the-scenes books. This was a golden year for Star Wars fans, with a billion books that came out to celebrate the final film in that franchise. There’s the novel of Episode III, the graphic novel adaptation, the junior novel, the “Art of” book, the “Visual Dictionary,” the “Making Of” book, the Star Wars Visionaries special and lord only knows what else I may be leaving out.

Your Geek’s tastes may vary, of course. They may be into Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series or David Mack’s Kabuki. They may be looking for the hardcover collections of Superman/Batman or Ultimate Spider-Man. They may be into Stephen King, Clive Barker, Orson Scott Card or Isabel Allende. Basically, you’ve got to employ the same tactics for books as you do for DVDs – scout out their bookshelves and see what they already have. That way you’ll know exactly what not to get and, in the case of a series, exactly what they need. Ah, Christmas. ‘Tis the season for subterfuge.

So that’s all you really need to know to shop for your Geek this year. Head out to the stores, have fun, and help them load up on cool stuff. It’s easier than you think.

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: November 30, 2005

It’s taken a long time, but the revelation of Ruin’s identity in Adventures of Superman #646 was a real mind-blower, easily winning that title my Favorite of the Week last week. It was someone I’d never suspected, but who made sense considering the character’s history, and the way writer Greg Rucka used Mr. Mxyzptlk, casting him in an entirely different light, one that was really unique. A really strong issue, a really surprising story.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast. E-mail him at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com.

 

15
Jun
11

Classic EBI #95: The 2004 Comic Book Industry Progress Report

This week in Everything But Imaginary, I’m digging into the newest force in independent comics, Kickstarter. How does it work? How has it worked? Is it worthwhile?

Everything But Imaginary #403: Kicking Things Into Gear

But going back in time, this week’s classic EBI is the final column from 2004, my “2004 Comic Book Industry Progress Report.” A little time capsule that’s kind of pertinent, considering where comics are right now.

Everything But Imaginary #95: The 2004 Comic Book Industry Progress Report

Hello there, all, and welcome to the final Everything But Imaginary for the year 2004. It was a year of ups and downs, highs and lows, smooth and chunky, and when all was said and done, I think it wasn’t too bad a year at that. That said, there are always things that could be done better, and as such, we here at Everything But Imaginary Global Headquarters have compiled the following progress report for the comic book industry, for the retailers, and for you, the fans. So take a look, see where you fall on this hierarchy, and do what it takes to make 2005 a better year for comics than 2004.

For the Comic Companies:

*Keep up trying to attract younger readers. I have to give credit where credit is due, Marvel and DC Comics have both made great strides this year in their effort to reach out to the pre-teen and younger crowd. The new Marvel Age line, offering a mixture of contemporary retellings of old stories and brand-new stories with Marvel’s teenage characters, is a great idea. The Johnny DC imprint, rounding up all of the DC Comics based on cartoon shows, is also a very effective way to brand which of their titles are appropriate for younger readers — plus they get major bonus points in my book for things like activity pages and a letter column (something woefully missing from other DC Comics these days). I want to see both of these lines grow and prosper this year, so fans, try out some of these comics even if you consider yourself too old for them. And if you know any kids who might like a few comics, this is the place to start.

*Conversely, remember to keep your comic book prices reasonable. I love Gemstone Comics for what they’ve done with the Walt Disney properties, but I’m still in a tiff about charging $6.95 an issue for Uncle Scrooge and Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories. Yeah, clearly they’re gearing this to the collectors. But guys, the collectors will read the books anyway. It’s insane to have the two flagship titles of a Disney line priced too high for a child to buy them! If you must have a title for “collectors,” why not call it Walt Disney Masterpieces or something? Just make the other books affordable.

*Remember: that old adage about the only bad publicity being no publicity is nonsense in the long run. Controversy sells, true, but not for long. Sure, when people rant and rave about how bad a comic book is, other people may pick it up for an issue or two to see what all the fuss is about, then they’ll drop it and join in the ranting and raving. Soon you’ve reached everyone there is buying comics, and the sales will fall. And fast.

*Take advantage of your multi-media properties. Spider-Man 2 was one of the top-grossing films of the year. Smallville is a hit. Kids everywhere are singing that godawful Teen Titans cartoon theme song. There is no reason not to use that to your advantage. Including a mini-comic in the Punisher DVD (a comic by the regular creative team, no less) was a very nice touch. So was handing out the special edition Amazing Spider-Man where Frank made his first appearance at the movie theatres. I saw a lot of people in the theatre reading that comic book before the film started. Push the comics based directly on the films and TV shows and, more so, try to link them. Advertise the Superman: Birthright hardcover book as being the bridge to Smallville that it is. Play up that you’re going to have writers for that show on two of the comics next year (Superman and Superman/Batman). And if the Bryan Singer run on Ultimate X-Men ever finally comes out, God help you if you don’t let the non-comic readers know about it!

For the Retailers:

*Clean up, dammit. This doesn’t go for all retailers, but I’ve seen a lot of comic shops that are an absolute mess. Dusty shelves, 15-year-old posters on the wall, hastily boxed back issues in no order whatsoever and comics dating back to 2000 sitting on the new release shelf. That’s ridiculous. And it’s no way to run a business. Get out the broom, put up some new posters, alphabetize the old comics and you might just get more customers, as opposed to the people who walk by your store, squint in confusion, and then wander off to the pet shop next door, which at least has an excuse to occasionally be filthy.

*Be friendly. The best comic stores — the ones that I go to on a regular basis — are the ones that treat everyone with respect, be they a first-time customer or someone who’s had a pull list for years. Talk to your customers. Help them find what they want. Don’t be patronizing or snooty — not only does it cost you a customer, but it helps perpetuate a stereotype that holds back the whole art form. As I’ve said before, if it’s something the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons would say… don’t say it.

*Take some business classes. Too many retailers are just fans who decided to open their own shops. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when the proprietor has no idea how to run a business, all the love of comics in the world won’t keep it going. First figure out how to maintain a profitable retail business. Then apply that to running a comic book store. The husks of abandoned comic shops across the country prove how vital that lesson is.

For the Fans:

*Stop buying bad comics, particularly when there are so many great ones you aren’t reading. You would think this was a given, but a lot of people simply don’t grasp the concept. Now I’m not suggesting that you should go out there right now and drop every other title from your list, I’m saying you should be more discriminating. If you’re getting 194,246.7 X-Men related comic books a month, are you doing that because you still actually like all those titles, or because you haven’t missed an issue since 1977 and don’t want a hole to appear in your collection? If it’s the latter, that means it’s time to rethink things.

*If a comic is getting critical acclaim, try to find out why. There are certain comic books that you hear us funky reviewers praising month in and month out. She-Hulk. The Monolith. Fade From Grace. But these books don’t have the gargantuan sales numbers of other books of (arguably) much lower quality. We know you’ve heard the buzz by now. Why not see what all the fuss is about? And nobody is saying you have to like any given comic book. I’m just saying that if everyone keeps talking about how great a comic is, it may be worth your time to try an issue or two and see what all the deal is.

*Be heard. In this day and age, the only thing that can build comics readership (until the companies do something to engender a major societal shift) is your word of mouth. If you have a comic you love that no one is reading, tell them about it. If you’ve got one that you think your non-comic reading cousin would like, lend them a copy. If you’re at a bookstore and see an old lady trying to pick out a comic book as a gift for her grandson, make a suggestion. And be heard by the publishers too. Chat it up on the message boards. Write them letters — even if they don’t publish letters anymore, there’s bound to be someone reading them. It’s true that the best way to vote is with your wallet — buy what you like, don’t spend money on what you don’t like — but it can’t hurt to tell the folks in charge why you like or don’t like the comics you’ve chosen to purchase or chosen to ignore.

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: December 22, 2004

It was a good week, but not a great week in comics, and the best comes from a rather unlikely source. Space Ghost #2 continues the dark, shadowy origin of a character best known today for hosting a goofy talk show on Cartoon Network. This is the origin of the classic Space Ghost, though, and this is a great issue. Stranded on a distant world, betrayed by the peacekeeping force that he fought for, Thaddeus Bach was left for dead. But now he’s not only alive, he’s mad. It’s hard to believe that the same Joe Kelly who writes the incredibly dull Justice League Elite also writes this comic, and it’s fantastic to see the beautiful artwork of Ariel Olivetti. I’m really starting to anticipate this comic each month.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page, and check out his new experiment in serial fiction at Tales of the Curtain.

 

15
May
11

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 221: Nola Comic-Con 2011

It’s the first of a series of special podcasts from this year’s Nola Comic-Con! Blake, Mike and Kenny spend a few days on the convention floor, talking geek stuff like the finale of Smallville, the Neil Gaiman-penned Doctor Who, convention sketches, cosplayers, and why parking garages HATE Kenny “The Fan-Guy Fanguy.” In the picks, Kenny went with Birds of Prey #11 and Blake chooses FF #3. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 221: Nola Comic-Con 2011

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

28
Apr
11

An Office without Michael Scott

Tonight is going to see a pretty big change for one of my favorite TV shows, NBC’s The Office. After seven seasons, Steve Carell is leaving the show and taking his character with him. Michael Scott, of course, has been the star of The Office since its inception: the American analogue to Rickey Gervais’s David Brent, the boss of the Dunder-Mifflin paper company’s Scranton, PA office.

Carell wasn’t a big name seven years ago when the show launched. Since then, he’s gone on to make a slew of movies that include some real hits (The 40 Year-Old Virgin), some major flops (Evan Almighty) and some quirky indy flicks that got him acclaim for his acting chops (Little Miss Sunshine). So now the time has come, he decides, to set out and pursue films full-time. We all, of course, remember how brilliantly Shelly Long’s career took off when she left Cheers, and the rising star of a post-NYPD Blue David Caruso. (To be fair, though, I guess I should point out that George Clooney walked away from ER and has since done pretty well for himself.)

Once it was confirmed that Carell was leaving the show, the question immediately arose: Should NBC end The Office with Michael’s swan song? Frankly, this was never going to happen. While The Office has never been a ratings juggernaut, it’s still one of the most reliable sources of ratings for the struggling network, so as long as it’s outperforming such gems as The Paul Reiser Show, expect them to cling to it like grim death. And it’s not like the departure of a star is an automatic death-knell for a series. The aforementioned Cheers, NYPD Blue and ER all lasted many years after the loss of one of their signature stars. And to use another favorite of mine as an example, The CW’s Smallville lost both Kristen Kreuk (Lana Lang) and Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor) — the primary love interest and the main villain — at the same time. And just between you and me, I think the show has been way, way better since they left.

So the question is not if The Office should continue, but rather how the show will have to evolve. Even when the storylines were not Michael-centric (such as the long-running Jim/Pam romance in the first few seasons) he was still the center of the storm, the axis around which everything else would turn. With him gone, I think the most important thing is to find the new center of the show, and quickly. And I don’t think that new center necessarily has to be the new boss. NBC is still tight-lipped about who, exactly, will be in charge after the departure of Carell and four-episode guest star Will Ferrel. We don’t even know if it’ll be a new character or if someone on the show will be promoted to Boss status. But that doesn’t mean the center of the show has to be the boss. None of the boss candidates from the current cast really has the right qualifies to center the show around, and any new character that they tried to put in that role would feel too much like Michael Scott Redux.

I submit to you that the right candidate to be the show’s core is still there, and in fact has been there since the first episode: Jenna Fisher’s character, Pam Beasley. Pam has undeniably showed the most growth, depth, and change out of any character in the series over the past seven years. When we first met her, she was a rather put-upon receptionist, ignored by her co-workers (when she wasn’t being actively taken advantage of) and trapped in an engagement with a creep who appreciated her even less than the co-workers who harangued her to get their copies made. Over the next few years she was jolted out of her comfort zone by the realization that her best friend Jim Halpert (played smartly by John Kraczynski) was in love with her. This started her on a journey that led her to break away from her unhappy relationship, pursue her own interest as an artist, and gain much-needed self-confidence. The change has been fairly realistic though — even now, with a fairly settled life, we see her have episodes where her confidence is shaken and she needs some sort of affirmation, either from Jim or someone else. But she perseveres. Pam has grown.

What’s more, she’s in a position to interact with everyone in the office that nobody else short of the boss himself could have. (Except maybe the new receptionist, Ellie Kemper’s character Erin, but she’s not the sort of character you can hang a series on.) Pam, in the last year, has managed to finagle a promotion to “office manager,” which includes the terribly boring tasks of seeing to maintenance, supplies, and what have you, but also puts her in a position where she can be involved with anybody in the cast easily and without having to resort to any convoluted or ridiculous circumstances. Plus, outside of Michael himself, she’s got the most heart and soul of anyone on the show.

It’d be a change, and very different from what has happened with those other shows when a star left, but the writers of The Office have proven themselves able to avoid the obvious. Again, I point to the Jim/Pam relationship. In most shows, when the characters with the sexual tension get together, the writers suddenly don’t know what to do with them anymore. This often leads to a contrived breakup, followed by a tedious “will they or won’t” they back-and-forth until the series ends. Even great shows (Friends and Newsradio immediately spring to mind) have suffered from this, and far more mediocre shows have done the same thing. Once Pam and Jim got together, though, they writers have kept them together, unquestionably, and allowed their relationship to grow and mature in a real way. It was gutsy, and for the most part, it has worked. They can apply that same courage to the new center of the show.

So consider this my open letter to the writers of The Office, Season Eight. Next year, no matter who is sitting in the boss’s office, make Pam the center of things. It’s your best bet.

As for the other show losing a star this season, sorry, writers of Two and a Half Men. You guys are screwed.

25
Feb
11

Comic Cover Roulette: Superboy #162

For the long version of what Comic Cover Roulette is, read the first post. (Actually, read it anyway. It’s cool.) But here’s the short version: back in the Silver Age, comic book writers would often be given cover art and assigned the job of writing a story to fit. Now, I’m picking out some classic covers and doing the same thing. This time I’m tackling Superboy (Volume One) #162, with a cover by the classic team of  Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson. I’ve never read this issue.

“The Super-Phantom of Smallville!”

(Special Note: In the Silver Age, Superboy’s dog Krypto not only had all of Superboy’s powers, but also a human-level intelligence. Although he could not talk, he frequently communicated his feelings to the reader via thought balloons. Contemporary Krypto does not have this ability – he’s a good, loyal dog with Superman’s powers, but not higher-level intelligence. For my little story, I will be using the more contemporary incarnation, because apparently while I have no problem accepting a dog that can fly, survive in the vacuum of space, and shoot laser beams from his eyes, when you add in the fact that he can think, Snoopy-style, that is where it gets too silly for me.)

Having Krypto to pal around with has certainly gone a long way towards helping Superboy feel like less of an outcast on his adopted world. While the dog isn’t quite the same as having human interaction with another Kryptonian, being able to roughhouse with someone that he doesn’t have to worry about hurting is very therapeutic. On the other hand, it can also be pretty destructive, so when Superboy feels like spending some quality time with his pet, they head out to the woods north of Smallville where they won’t accidentally injure anybody or damage property.

Superboy and Krypto are participating in an old-fashioned game of fetch, although it’s a little different than most kids play with their pets. You may throw your tennis a few dozen yards away for the dog to fetch. Superboy throws his into orbit. Krypto makes a run into space, retrieving his ball, and Superboy throws it back for him again and again. Superboy also has to bring a rather large bucket of tennis balls with him as well – Krypto doesn’t quite know his own strength, and about every third ball winds up ripped apart in his jaws because he isn’t always careful when he gets excited.

After one such game, Krypto returns not with his ball, but with a small device. As Superboy throws a real ball back into space for Krypto to fetch, he examines the device. It’s the same size as the tennis ball, painted the same color green, and even covered in a spongy material that feels like the surface of a tennis ball. It’s heavier, though, denser, and there’s a metallic sheen to the stitching. Superboy uses his X-Ray vision to investigate the inside of the ball, but his power triggers a charge inside the device. It explodes, and Superboy finds himself spinning head over heels. When he regains his senses, he cannot see his own limbs, and when he tries to touch anything – the trees, the ground – he simply passes right through it.

As he watches, helpless, a strange being that looks exactly like Superboy arrives and picks up the remains of the device. He flies off and Superboy pursues him. Moments later, Krypto returns with his ball, only to find his master gone. Surprised, he flies for home.

Back at the farm of Jonathan and Martha Kent, the doppelganger is accepted without question. Superboy watches, helpless in his phantom state, as the duplicate sits down for dinner with his parents. Clark tries to talk to them, to tell them the truth, but whatever trap his duplicate used on him prevents anybody from seeing or hearing him at all. As he pleads to deaf ears, Krypto bursts into the room, shocked. He sees his master, but his super-sensitive nose betrays the truth… the boy at the table may look like Superboy, but he doesn’t smell like Superboy, and the nose never lies. He begins to growl at the fake, barking madly. Jonathan puts the dog out, and Krypto obeys (because, even though he’s powerful enough to tear Jonathan to shreds a thousand times over, he’s still a Good Dog). As he sits on the porch, brooding. The Phantom Superboy drifts outside and “sits” in midair next to his dog. He talks to the dog, not expecting it to do any good but hoping it will at least make him feel better. To his surprise, Krypto’s ears perk up. The dog’s super-sensitive hearing can detect his voice. It seems faint, like he’s not sure where it’s coming from, but it’s definitely working.

Shouting as loudly as he can, Superboy leads Krypto to his bedroom window, where the duplicate has retired for the night. Before their eyes, he transforms, melting out of Superboy’s shape and into the form of a hooded creature with tentacles protruding from his cloak. He takes out a device that looks like a large calculator with a bigger screen. When he touches the face of the device, it turns on and a hidden camera begins to record him. He isn’t speaking English, but on his journey to Earth from Krypton, the onboard computer of Superboy’s rocket subliminally tutored him in many galactic cultures. He recognizes the language as Interlac, and can easily understand what the alien is saying.

“Mission status report. Phase one is complete. Superboy found the device we constructed based on the remnants of Krypton’s Phantom Zone technology and fell into the trap. He will be invisible and undetectable for as long as the device remains functional. I have successfully masqueraded as Superboy, fooling the human family we observed him residing with on our earlier scouting mission. Tomorrow, I will begin the task of seeking out the rest of this world’s metahumans and eliminating their threat.”

Superboy’s heart nearly stops – an alien invader is planning to hunt “metahumans” (whatever those are) and murder them in his name! He can’t let that happen. He finds the Phantom Zone device stashed underneath his bed and stares at it, trying to figure out how to deactivate something he can’t touch.

Then it hits him.

Flying back outside, where Krypto is waiting outside the open bedroom window, Superboy leans over directly into Krypto’s ear and shouts a command as loudly as his super-lungs can scream: “FETCH!”

Hearing the signal, Krypto leaps through the window and begins searching the room with his own X-Ray vision. The alien tries to stop him, but Krypto is much faster – the fake has duplicated Superboy’s form, but not all of his powers. Krypto finds the Phantom Zone device under the bed and champs his jaws shut on it. The timing is perfect – Krypto bites too hard and the device is destroyed. Instantly, Superboy pops back into view and becomes solid again. The shapeshifter transforms into a giant monster, leaping at Superboy through the window, but despite his size he is unable to change his mass. The result is a monster that weighs far less than it should, and something Superboy and his faithful dog easily defeat.

The alien retreats to his ship, planning to leave Earth, but not without issuing an ominous warning: “You aren’t the only super-powered being on this planet, Kryptonian! We will be watching! And if the day comes when Earth becomes a galactic threat, you shall face a power beyond imagining!”

The alien blasts off, and Superboy shrugs. “Maybe you will come back some day,” he says. “But if you do, Krypto and I will be ready.”

If you’d like to suggest a cover, go right ahead. Find it online (I suggest using the marvelous database at www.comics.org) and post the link — any cover that has Superman on it is fair game. These characters are, of course, ™ and © DC Comics. I don’t own ‘em, I don’t claim to own ‘em, and I have no intention to use any of these stories for any monetary gain. This is just for funsies. Please don’t sue me.




Blake’s Twitter Feed

May 2020
S M T W T F S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Blog Stats

  • 312,248 hits

Blake's Flickr Photos

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.