Sunday, September 25, 2005

Famous Firsts: X-Men vs Superboy

Well, since the site Something Awful kicked my ass way back in 2003 I think I'll post a Famous First Expose myself.

I was an incredible X-Fan back in the day, and like almost everyone else was a drooling Marvel zombie when it came to the X-Men, Claremont and Byrne. It's fashionable to hate them now but don't lie, you were one of them too.

When I first read this page from X-Men #108 (Dec. 1977) I thought it was one of the coolest scenes I've ever seen. Wolverine gets punched hard enough by a robot leprechaun to reach escape velocity. He doesn't die, either. To get all geek about it, adamantium skeleton or not, getting hit that hard would likely send the skeletal structure blasting out of the flesh unless there was some kind of concussive energy involved that lifted Wolverine...

Anyways, I really enjoyed this issue.

That is, until I calmed down and remembered that it had precedent.

Yes, months before in Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #224 (Feb. 1977) Superboy gets bitch-slapped into interstellar space by the super-baddie Pulsar Stargrave!

That's right, Cary Bates and Mike (He-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed-As-If-He-Was-Hayley-Mills-Incarnate) Grell did it first!

It's kind of interesting that a hero getting punched into space happened between 2 different comic companies in the same year. I can't recall seeing anything similar before or since. No, I'm not even suggesting that one influenced the other. It was a pretty cool idea though.

Superboy was still a moderately hot property back then and I still recall how excited we were about the Grell art and Stargrave story arc. Then it kind of peaked and while the stories were still pretty good the art wasn't there anymore. But that was okay, because Giant Size X-Men had come out and my friends and I abandoned DC en masse for Marvel.

Pulsar Stargrave gets my vote for having the Bestest Super-Villain Name EVER! Just look at how awesomely dramatic it is when he speaks his name...


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