Episode #31 (Superman & Robin)
Russell’s Comic Brag
Action Comics #355 (1967)
Biochemist Karl Keller has been imprisoned in a forced labor camp after criticizing his country’s leadership. Keller escapes after discovering some Kryptonian chemicals that when ingested give him an explosive punch. The scientist then comes to America where he becomes a boxer called the One Punch Kid. During one match, Superman disguises himself as Keller’s opponent and is surprised when a punch knocks him down. Later, Keller creates a costumed identity for himself called the Annihilator. He holds a grudge against Superman, since the Man of Steel did not free him from the labor camp. The Annihilator then becomes a super-villain and his punch is able to best Superman. The Man of Steel is forced to retreat in order to develop a strategy against his newest foe.
This time out, we’ll be getting into DC Comics Presents #31. We’ll start this episode with an email and some more talk about the Facebook page. I will be presenting the Spotlight for Superman’s Guest, Robin The Teen Wonder. Our “Whatever Happened To..?” segment will delve into the Golden Age Robotman where I will have a Spotlight Extra as well as the story itself. And finally, we will take a trip to the Comic Spinner Rack.
I very much enjoyed Episode #31, covering the team-up of Superman and Robin. I’ve always thought these two had much in common, from the earliest days of their adventures together in World’s Finest Comics. Both are colorfully costumed and share a generally optimistic outlook. I seem to recall that when Dick Grayson first assumed the identity of Nightwing, he mentioned that it was in homage to the two men who’d had the most influence on him, with the dark-colored costume reflecting Batman’s influence, and the name Nightwing coming from Superman’s identity as Nightwing in the Bottle City of Kandor. I’m glad Dick got to enjoy the circus, and catch up, eventually, with his friend, Waldo the Clown, but I wish there had been more personal interaction between the Teen Wonder and the Man of Steel. They were longtime friends by this point, and I like to think Superman would enjoy just chatting with someone he’d shared many adventures with, who was now virtually an adult. I realize that’s not really the story dynamic they were going for here, but it’s just a little something I’d like to have seen.