02 03 Nerd Lunch: Cover Potential: Hobo Supes 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Cover Potential: Hobo Supes

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First off, let's get something clear about this post...the main point here is to get another post on the board for hobos. It's been 14 months since the first and only post about hobos. That changes now.

I'm no scientist, but I remember learning about kinetic and potential energy in science class. The various nerd genres are full of potential energy. Hellboy II had the potential to be good...didn't happen. Firefly had the potential to go on for seven years...didn't happen. Somewhere in all of this are the crazy Superman covers from the 1960s. It seems like the questions posed on the covers were answered in ways that weren't all that exciting. By the end of the book, everything was back to status quo. I present this cover for your perusal:


Without having read the inside of the comic pictured above, I thought it might be cool to come up with the story inside. Why is Superman fighting crime as both a millionaire and a hobo? What would be the point? Okay, so here goes...

The natural inclination is to read into the "From Riches to Rags" part which would insinuate that Superman was a millionaire but then lost his money and has gone to the other extreme and is now a hobo. But, the first line of the cover copy says "Why does Superman fight crime as a millionaire AND as a hobo?" That leads me to believe that he's doing both at the same time. So my guess is that Superman saved an old lady a few years back who happened to be very wealthy. She passed away from natural causes and left all of her money to Superman to aid in his mission to fight crime. But her will states that a large portion would go to her son if he can ever be found. Millionaire Superman tracks down the lady's son and discovers he's a hobo and tries to reach out to him, but the son wants nothing to do with Millionaire Superman. "Try living how us hobos live and see if maybe you can understand." In an effort to reach out to the son, Superman poses as a hobo. This impresses the son and he decides to take all the money to set up a center to help traveling hobos.

Okay...let me read the actual story and see how close I got.

Ugh. I wasn't close at all. Superman has been getting these strange compulsions to act a certain way while he's out fighting crime. He happens upon a crime and begins acting like a rich guy for about a page and a half. Then he feels compelled to pose as Hobo Superman to help convince the city officials to clean up the slums of Metropolis. Then he poses as a lawyer, an Indian chief, a doctor and then feels compelled to steal something. Turns out that Halley's Comet was from Krypton and came by Earth when Superman was a child. Young Clark saw the comet at the same time Ma Kent was playing some game with shirt buttons where you would predict the shirt wearer's future by counting buttons (Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief). Now as an adult, Halley's comet is back again and is post-hypnotically compelling Superman to become all of those things.

See? That's what I was talking about. Potential energy. I like mine better.

Apparently there have been other hobo-themed comics. Although the one I just read has made me not want to read comics again for awhile.

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