Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Classics - Superman #127

   Everyone has "their" Superman artist.

   I admire the work of many artists, including (though not limited to) Curt Swan, Murphy Anderson, Neal Adams, John Byrne, George Perez, Jerry Orway - you get the idea.

   But "my" Superman artist is Wayne Boring.

   I'm not claiming he's the best (though he was an excellent craftsman), but when I first discovered Superman's adventures in the late '50s, he was almost exclusively the guy drawing the adventures of the Man of Steel.

   His Superman was distinctive - a barrel chest, a big chin, and yes, a bit stiffly posed - but he was also powerful, friendly and heroic in stature - rippling with strength.

   During the decade (and more) that he worked on the title, Boring got to tackle all the classic characters, including the supporting cast and villains like Brainiac, Luthor, Metallo, and, in this issue, Titano the gigantic chimpanzee.

   Toto started life as a trained chimp, but a trip into space leads to exposure to unknown radiation, and as a result he shoots up to gigantic size - and he projects deadly kryptonite rays from his eyes!

   Superman's battle against the ersatz King Kong only succeeds thanks to Lois Lane, and the chimp's affection for her. I won't give away the ending, but the story manages a happier solution than Kong ever found.

   It was yet another outstanding job by Boring, but note that the cover above is by Curt Swan - which might explain why Titano is a gorilla on the cover instead of a giant chimpanzee. (Hey, gorillas on the cover help sell comics!).

   Soon Swan would take over the crown as the top Superman artist - but for me, my first favorite will always be Wayne Boring.

Grade: B+


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