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Thread: Superman smashes the Klan

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    Superman smashes the Klan

    This week the first part of Superman Smashes the Klan came out. It is a comic set in 1946, with old school Superman who would 'leap tall buildings in a single bound' because he couldn't fly yet. Also doesn't know what kryponite is, just that those green crystals are bad for him. A Chinese family has moved into Metropolis, and when the son makes lead pitcher on a local baseball league the former lead pitcher gets angry... then finds out his uncle is the head of the Klan Of The Burning Cross.

    The story actually comes directly from the old Superman radio show. Turns out Stetson Kennedy, had actually infiltrated the KKK, providing information to investigators, newspapers, and to the producers of the Superman radio show, which let them incorporate the KKK's rituals and code words into the story.

    First issue is pretty good. Also found the actual radio show episodes on YouTube. Its a 3 hour recording for those interested.


    (View video on YouTube)

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    Veteran Member KeepTalking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc View Post
    This week the first part of Superman Smashes the Klan came out. It is a comic set in 1946, with old school Superman who would 'leap tall buildings in a single bound' because he couldn't fly yet. Also doesn't know what kryponite is, just that those green crystals are bad for him. A Chinese family has moved into Metropolis, and when the son makes lead pitcher on a local baseball league the former lead pitcher gets angry... then finds out his uncle is the head of the Klan Of The Burning Cross.

    The story actually comes directly from the old Superman radio show. Turns out Stetson Kennedy, had actually infiltrated the KKK, providing information to investigators, newspapers, and to the producers of the Superman radio show, which let them incorporate the KKK's rituals and code words into the story.

    First issue is pretty good. Also found the actual radio show episodes on YouTube. Its a 3 hour recording for those interested.


    (View video on YouTube)
    I was in the local comic shop getting my weekly haul on Wednesday, and the owner, knowing my interests, pointed it out to me. I was tempted, the artwork is a throwback to the comics of the age when it is set, but also quite well done from the pages I looked at. The reason I did not pick it up is because it is twice the price of modern comics, and I was already a bit over my weekly budget. It is 80 pages long, whereas a typical modern comic is around 25 pages, but it is a much smaller format, about the same dimensions as a Japanese manga book. It is also square-bound, which is typical of higher page counts, but I generally dislike the square-bound format for a couple of reasons I won't go into here. That said, I will likely pick it up at some point, maybe when the trade paperback comes out next year.

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    Aliens who entered the country illegally shouldn't be getting involved with internal political matters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeepTalking View Post
    I was in the local comic shop getting my weekly haul on Wednesday,
    Oh? What do you usually get? I've been regular X-Men collector since waaay back (when they were still good. Hate the current story they are working) Also get Ms Marvel regularly. The rest is whatever looks interesting that week.

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    I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Rob

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    Veteran Member KeepTalking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KeepTalking View Post
    I was in the local comic shop getting my weekly haul on Wednesday,
    Oh? What do you usually get? I've been regular X-Men collector since waaay back (when they were still good. Hate the current story they are working) Also get Ms Marvel regularly. The rest is whatever looks interesting that week.
    I haven't read X-Men in a while. I tried to get back into them a bit when they split into the different color teams a year or two ago, but it just wasn't doing it for me.

    On the Marvel side, I read Avengers, Deadpool, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, and Venom. I have also been reading most of the Absolute Carnage titles since that event started.

    On the DC side, I read Action Comics/ Superman, Batman, Flash, and Green Lantern. Also reading Event Leviathan while it is running, some of the Year of the Villain titles, and I picked up issue 1 of the new Harleen book, but given the format and price point, I am not sure if I am going to continue with it.

    I also read a lot of independent titles like Spawn, Rat Queens, Reaver, and Red Sonja. I am also famous for staring at the wall of new comics and randomly picking out issues that look cool. I don't do pull lists, because I am a rather fickle reader, and will drop a title at a moments notice, even the big ones, if I don't like what they are doing.

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    Seems like a missed opportunity to not have modernized the story with the current manifestations of "The Klan" (i.e., the alt-right, Proud-boys, paleoconservatives, militias, etc..)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Seems like a missed opportunity to not have modernized the story with the current manifestations of "The Klan" (i.e., the alt-right, Proud-boys, paleoconservatives, militias, etc..)
    If they did that, then those groups would whine they are being attacked, the writer and story would be denounced as liberal hit squad, and then the death threats. Keeping it in the time period the smart people will see the parallels, and the assholes can’t complain without admitting they are the same as the bigots back then. Sort of the way sci-fi could be used to make social commentary that some people would reject outright if it was told more directly.

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    It has been so many years for me now, but I used to follow comics. I still have some of them from the upsurge in comics from about 20 years ago, when Punisher first came to be etc. I collected a lot of the X-Men stuff from that era. My favourite at the time was ExCaliber with Nightcrawler, Kitty Pride and Captain Britain. It was goofy fluff, but I was young and enjoyed it. I had a crush on Kitty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Seems like a missed opportunity to not have modernized the story with the current manifestations of "The Klan" (i.e., the alt-right, Proud-boys, paleoconservatives, militias, etc..)
    If they did that, then those groups would whine they are being attacked, the writer and story would be denounced as liberal hit squad, and then the death threats. Keeping it in the time period the smart people will see the parallels, and the assholes can’t complain without admitting they are the same as the bigots back then. Sort of the way sci-fi could be used to make social commentary that some people would reject outright if it was told more directly.

    Yeah but keeping it about the Klan makes it rather ineffectual and ironically very unlike the original story. In the 1940's there was a social need to denounce the KKK and expose them for what they are. They were a growing organization rising in power, and that episode of Superman is credited with hindering the Klan's political activities. Today, saying "Hey, the KKK is bad" is a rather "no shit" message. Exposing the evil and political influence of those modern white supremacist groups would make the comic far more comparable to what those original radio shows were in their own time.

    If you're not making the right angry, your not saying anything meaningful about racism.

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