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April 2015

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I've recently been reading the whole run of Superman comics from the relaunch in 1987 through the end of 1999 (more about which in a later post). There's some very wonderful stuff in there amidst a lot of frustrating and very often muddled and boring storytelling, but I will say that THIS find in particular was just stunning; Artist/writer Stuart Immonen - who is great - composed the lead story for a 1998 "Secret Files" comic - which are usually quite boring - focusing on the origin stories of Superman's 90's-era Rogues Gallery.

What makes it more than just a flashback or recap is that Immonen told them by way of Lex Luthor telling fairy tales to his infant daughter Lena, and illustrated the origins in one- or two-page comics fashioned after Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland.


Brainiac ("Your brainwaves bother me some!"):

Doomsday (HE'S ADORABLE):

The Cyborg Superman ("um!"):

Toyman (I love Superman assaulted by fireworks):

And lastly, Lex Luthor:

One of the things I love about this is that, whereas the civilian Metropolitans - like the police, or Lois and Clark - are dressed in Nemo-esque fashions, Superman and his villains are largely wearing their actual outfits from the mainstream comics. Including Metallo, who actually went shirtless and wore a purple vest during his first post-Crisis battle with Superman, a look which only actually seems to fit the character and the environment if it's 1902 in a Winsor McCay cartoon.

Honestly, these are just fantastic. I wish I had copies of the (I think) J.H.Williams' Nemo pastiche from Promethea, or the one from Gaiman's Sandman (which I think was Dringenberg and Jones III, wasn't it? Anyone?)


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What's with the elephant in "Braniac"?
Silly, there is no "elephant" in "Brainiac," just like there's no "fuck" in "chocolate."
The bewildered Superman in the last panel of the Metallo comic affecting the post-falling-out-of-bed "what a peculiar dream" Little Nemo pose is maybe the best thing out of all of this. Though man, Superman v. fireworks is right up there.
What IS that icon from? I keep meaning to ask ...
I love Stuart Immonen. Even his earliest work, on the Legion, was just fantastic.
Yeah, Immonen is pretty brilliant. You've read NextWave: Agents of H.A.T.E., right? Man, it seems like he had a dandy time on that book. I'm enjoying his Ultimate Spider-man run as much as I've ever enjoyed any superhero comic.
His Nextwave stuff was absolutely mindblowing. And I have to say that while I didn't particularly like the story, I LOVED Immonen's art on Superman:Secret Identity.

I honestly don't think this fellow could ever disappoint...
Cool! I never knew about these!

I HATE that Hank Henshaw shit...I thought wiki was poking fun when I read about him originally.
The Cyborg-Superman fulfills a lot of my hate-list for comics, beginning with "Tragic Fantastic Four pastiche." I gave the Eradicator all my hate during the last "Comic Book Characters You Hate" event, but I might have to revisit him for the next round ...

Oh yeah, and I was delighted at coming across these. I really don't think many folks really saw the Secret Files comics, it's only for the die-hardest fans who have to have everything or who want to have the documentation for a character in one place. That something so experimental and fantastic existed within one is delightful ...
Thank you so much for posting this!
My pleasure, I'm going to see if I can find the other ones I mentioned ...
Thank you for bringing this to my atttention. It is delightful.
these are unreal, man. thanks for sharing!
Absolutely my pleasure!
This is wonderful!

Also, I used to have the issue with the World's Creepiest Fantastic Four in it, and I loved the guy made out of junk and he is completely adorable here!
These are really neat!

Did you ever see the clip from the never-finished Miyazaki version of Little Nemo? I saw it on a movie site a week or two ago . . .
I never did! There was one made many years back using designs by Jean Giraud, but I have to admit that it was pretty passionless. I'd love to see Miyazaki's!
Holy cow, this is neat.
I *heart* Stuart.

http://grafunkel.livejournal.com/11595.html (the links in the comments are long broken, but trust me... hu ruled/rules)
Man, he IS a great guy! I used to read his journal, I can't remember why I don't any more ...
Little Nemo was one of the best NES games I remember playing.
I like the idea, but these are really hard to read, especially the first page of the Metallo thing.
That adds to the authenticity! :}
Oh these made me happy :)
Thank you for sharing!
Another thank you for sharing adding to the chorus. These are amazing.

If I remember correctly, there was never actually any Promethea comics styled after McCay's style; just the one character. Unless I'm wrong! Which is very possible.
It was in some America's Best Comics special or another, I can't recall the actual title ...
Now if he produced a Fantastic Four like Herge', my life would be nearly complete.
I love the shuttle nose, the wheeled cart/table in the Metallo origin and the initial panel of the Toyman's origin, although one has to agree with the Supes/fireworks comment.
I recently bought McCay's Little Nemo collection at Borders, of all places, for 66% off the cover price. I couldn't pass it up at $39.
I need a magnifying glass to read all the text though. These old eyes just aren't that sharp anymore.

edited for spelling errors.

Edited at 2008-04-21 09:11 pm (UTC)
That is absolutely delightful. What was the book's name? Just Superman Secret Files?
According to the person who posted at scans_daily, it was in Superman Villains: Secret Files and Origins #1 from 1998.
awesome! gotta love well done little nemo styled comics. i'll have to keep my eye out for that one. what issue number were these from?
oh, and what ever happened with the moving company you were going to get to move your stuff? we need to choose a company pretty soon.
I actually saw these on scans_daily a week or two back-- I know you have little love for the place, but sometimes there's some gems among the dross.

If I'd known you didn't know about them then I'd've pointed them out to you. :( They ARE a treat, aren't they?
These are fantastic! A "Thankyou for sharing" from me also.

Not having grown up with superhero comics, I can honestly say that these are the most I have ever enjoyed Superman. This guy is amazing. Shit, if they were all like this, I'd never stop reading them. Why isn't everything done in McCay style at some point or another?

I particularly loved the Doomsday sequence. So simple and perfect, especially with just that addition of the tree.
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