Superman Chronicles / Vol 2 : 3 of 5

Even though I was really into reading these DC Chronicles series recently, lately I've been craving more up-to-date stories. But since I had already bought this followup volume to the first Superman Chronicles book, I took it with me on my flight home for Christmas, and I ended up reading most of it at the hotel bar while I was stuck in Dallas! I think my captive situation made me really enjoy this collection of Superman stories from 1939, back when Clark Kent worked for the Daily Star and Lois hardly showed up in the plot (except to tell Clark how much she hates him). Since Superman couldn't fly at this point, it was really interesting to see something as simple as being pushed out a window presented as a tense scene - he even hitches a ride on an airplane during one story! It's also hilarious to see Superman use Batman-style fear tactics, saying things like "You saw me crush steel - shall I now give you a demonstration of what I can do to your arm?" Besides wrecking shady casinos, crooked orphanages, and helping out a has-been boxer, the only real recurring villain is the Ultra Humanite, a mad scientist who looks pretty Luthor-ish to me (although his baldness keeps changing with the inconsistent artwork). The Humanite has a way of coming back from "certain death" in each story, even to the point of having his brain implanted in a woman's body! I'm sure I'll have the urge to continue reading the Superman Chronicles in the future, but for now I've got lots of great Christmas gifts to read, so it's going to be a long hiatus.

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