Q: How’d this all start?
A: Back in November of 2004, a guy named Mike Miksch started a thread at a Transformers message board called The Allspark about insane comic book covers throughout the ages. Initially it was a laugh in at the expense of Lois Lane Comics, but before the responses had even gotten past the first page, Mike had posted a pair of pictures depicting Superman burning a father’s day gift from Jimmy and laughing in Lois’s face as she begged him to prevent her from being forced to marry Titanman, and inadvertently set the tone for the resulting 30+ pages of responses:
Technically he said “Superman is such a dick,” but the “such” was subsequently dropped from the mantra. And from there it spread across a fair number of blogs and other discussion board forums, which Mike didn’t become aware of until his coworker came up to him and told him he’d seen the thread and was surprised that Mike started it. From there it was imitated by I-Mockery when they did a write up about about stupid comic book covers focusing on Jimmy Olsen comics. That made the front page of Fark.com, where someone posted a link to the original thread on The Allspark, so it all came full circle.
At more than a quarter million views, that thread beats out the nearest competitor ten times over. Such is the appeal of Superman is a Dick.
Take in account that these lurid covers were sales pitches to incite curious customers into reading the contents just to gain some comprehension about just why these respectable iconic figures were going to such lengths, and you get some idea for the mad rush for filling in the gaps, even when the answers were somewhat lax in giving perfectly plausible reasons for undergoing such contrived circumstances. In actuality, due to DC's mandate, the covers were designed first, and then the story revolved around finding plausible (or implausible, depending on your suspension of belief) reasons for indulging such practices in the first place. In contrast, Marvel had the comic artwork worked out first, and then ensuing dialogue was implanted later. (Some might say extensively in some instances) The comic weirdness resulted in a wide range of reactions as noted below:
- I think my brain just snapped in half...
- This thread is awesome. People call the good old days wholesome, but damn, people were on some screwed up drugs back then.
- How did comics last? By making a lot of money by selling comics to a wider audience than 20 year old geeks. Lois Lane was also the best selling comic series of the 1960s. Seriously. Not even Marvel at it’s peak could top it.
- I can’t believe I’ve never seen these covers before.
- Who were these comics marketed to anyway? Young girls or young boys? Or were they trying for both?
- And why did they make Superman a dick or Lois a bitch in every issue?
- Wonder if the folks at Something-Awful can do anything with these covers. These pages are begging to be photoshopped.
- Hell, a ton of them already look like they were photoshopped.
- I’m weeping from reading this. Seriously, I can’t stop laughing. I think blood is going to start spraying out of my temples.
- You know what this thread needs? Hostess Fruit Pies. The only sure way to stop villainy.
- Jesus H Christ, this things are incredible. I can’t believe they’re real. I don’t think you could make them funnier or more unbelievable if you were purposely trying.
- Oh man. Those are absolutely hugging hilarious. Pure gold, man... I’m laughing my ass off.
- What frightens me, is how these things sold. Just who actually bought them?
- People threatened by marriage and papooses, I’d gather.
- I just spent the last hour laughing my butt off and putting every single one of these on my computer.
- I’m not gonna be to sleep because of the pain in my sides from all the laughing.
- OMG, what IS all of this absolute CRAP!? I may never be able to read another comic again, I’m so scarred!
- Why do you people keep doing this to me!? It’s like a compulsion, I can’t not look.
- Was the writers intention to make Superman look like a dick? It’s surprisingly easy how quickly he managed to shrug it off and become a respectable superhero in the last twenty years or so.
- I left this thread Friday and when I came back, it exploded into a dozen pages and everyone’s changed their avatar. If any topic in this world deserves such attention, it’s these comic covers.
- I found boxes of these comics on Saturday and wanted to get one or two, but they’re pretty valuable, so none were in my price range. Still, it was cool to see some I didn’t catch here.
- Wow. They just keep coming and coming. Great stuff...
- Oh my God. I just found this and I haven’t stopped for 15 minutes. Tears are streaming from my eyes, and my stomach literally hurts. Please make it stop.
- How can words EVER encompass a description for this thread?!
- I had to register and say thank you to all who contributed. This has been one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
- Hoooooly poop.
- I just noticed that this thread has 129,240 views. That’s gotta be a board record of some kind.
- I couldn’t help but notice... all the really ridiculous shit here is from Silver Age DC!
- ... and seems to be focused around one character in particular!
- That Lois Lane title must’ve been like Archie Comics on acid, man.
- What were they smoking up there?
- And what’s with the “Interspecies Romance” angles on Supergirl?
- My favorite thing about these Silver Age weird-ass covers is stuff like that isn’t even vaguely sensible.
- Wow, how times change. In the Golden Era, Superman was a dick. Then John Byrne wrote Superman, and Supes wasn’t a dick, but then Byrne... well... y’know.
- I wanna see an Elseworld where Superman’s characterization is REALLY based on these covers.
- Why DID DC like to depict Superman this way? There seems to be an awful lot of naive psychosexual weirdness, which you often see in stuff trying the hardest to be “family friendly” in the DC of the 50s and 60s. Odder is that Jimmy could be seen as having been meant as an identification character for young reader (though of course, when we were kids we hated Robin and Jimmy and liked the heroes, not their wussy sidekicks; kids never seem to mind when the sidekicks get killed), which takes on an unconscious air of sadism and contempt for their readers.
Since then, there's been a webpage devoted to SuperDickery, along with other noteworthy covers and panels. However, it hasn't been updated in several years, and it's also been laden with viruses and Malware (to the extent that I'm worried about linking to it). Even if those problems were addressed, it also has the fault of only choosing ONE line of commentary for the accompanying cover, and isn't usually the funniest one. Not to mention that the AllSpark forum that inspired these covers is no longer in circulation. To make up for that oversight, I've compiled a list of Fifty of the most extensive amusing replies to various covers, as well as other covers of potential interest. There were more, but I felt that 50 was approaching the breaking point.
SuperCrack after the break: