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Decades of comics, movies, and radio and TV shows have persuaded us that if Lois Lane could ever catch Clark Kent without his glasses the jig would be up, his true identity as Superman would be revealed. The spectacles must be magic or something. However, I’ve been reading an omnibus of Forties Superman stories. In the August 1942 tale “Muscles for Sale” the unthinkable happens. As part of investigating a crime spree, Kent joins a gymnasium and has a boxing lesson with the brawny proprietor. He’s sans suit and glasses, boxing trunks only. Lois is surprised at how buff he is but still doesn’t recognize the hero she has the hots for even when he’s standing two yards away. As Kent easily dodges the instructor’s blows, she sniffs at what a chicken he is and walks away. Wait, it gets better. The crooks, believing they have their latest customer hypnotized, dress Kent in a Superman costume and send him to help rob a fancy dress ball Lois Lane is covering. Lane doesn’t gasp that Superman has turned to crime; she wonders why her co- worker is in costume and with the bad guys. It isn’t until Kent falls (apparently to his death) out a window then returns through the same window as his alter ego (still wearing the substitute costume) that she identifies him as Superman. And she buys the explanation that Clark was made-up to look like Superman and was rescued by the real thing seconds before Superman bounded in to save the day. It isn’t just Lois. None of the other characters in the story, having met Clark Kent, Kent in costume, and Superman scratch their heads and say, “Hey, wait a minute!” Yeah, yeah. Comic book logic. But still, really?
I know fans generally loved Gal Godot and Lynda Carter in the role and sneered at the 1974 and 2011 television pilots that offerred alternative takes on Wonder Woman. But a part of me would like to have seen the blonde secret agent and grumpy toy tycoon versions fully developed. Perhaps in a Doctor Who style crossover event among the various iterations, teaming up to save the day. After all, the comics themselves have given us a de-powered Emma Peel style Diana, an angry stressed out heroine (after a series of crises) willing to injure bad guys, and a blonde substitute Wonder Woman with a militant attitude. Also, i cant help recalling that the TV show M.A.N.T.I.S. turned out to be fun despite having a rough and (to me) rather offensive pilot. Between the concept film and the actual series they worked out the problems. Television Wonder Woman got a second chance in the 1970s but not in the 2010s. Cinema aside, i stumbled upon an omnibus volume of Wonder Woman stories similar to the Superman tome i had discovered earlier. In her 1941 debut, the Amazon princess took over the identity of U.S.Army nurse Diana Prince in order to stay near an injured Steve Trevor. The real Diana Prince, meanwhile, followed her soldier fiance overseas so they could get married. In the pulps, The Shadow had come to a similar arrangement with the real Lamont Cranston Army Intelligence never discovered the switch.
Crossovers have been a thing in comic books (and their related media) since Superman teamed up with Batman on radio and in World’s Finest. What crossovers would you like to game out with BRP/Superworld? Batman (World’s Greatest Detective) vs. Arsine Lupin III (World’s Greatest Thief) Both characters think fast on their feet, are acrobatic athletes, puzzle out mysteries, use nifty gadgets, are masters of disguise, and are supported by a team of colorful sidekicks. They lack super powers but possess outrageous levels of skill in their chosen activities. Batman is trying to stop crimes; Lupin is attempting to commit them (although he often thwarts worse bad guys and becomes a hero in spite of himself). Batman is the superior combatant but Lupin typically avoids confrontations in order to trick and sneak his way to his goals.
Way back half a trillion megaseconds ago, in the 1980s, I used to collect a DC comic with a character in it possibly called Bedlam, or Mayhem. This character was a young lad that had been experimented on to host a green suit of armour that teleported onto him whenever he was in a state of anger. There were villains against this hero in the form of powersuited samurai types. This comic was a limited series and not directly set in the DC universe. Can anyone please tell me what this character was called and where I can find more information on him? I've tried all sorts of search engine inputs to get to the bottom of this mystery, but no luck, and it is now making me seriously consider that I've ended up in a parallel universe where it was never published.