Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and forty-sixth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
As we’ve been doing it for some time now, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.
Superman has Super-Weaving powers
False Enough for a False (although probably still true)
If that status confuses the heck out of you, keep reading, it will hopefully make sense very soon! My buddy Keith M. wrote in to suggest a funny case of how looks might be deceiving. Or rather, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it doesn’t always mean that it IS a duck…it could be a duplicate of the duck from a bottled city. ????
As you are well aware, people totally dig reading about the craziest powers that Superman has exhibited over the years. A common theme for lists on various websites are “15 Craziest Powers Superman Has.”
And therefore, a very common one that shows up ALL the time (I just did a search when I did this piece and wow, it shows up SO many times) is the fact that Superman apparently has Super-Weaving powers, as shown in this comic book page…
Seems like a pretty cut and dry case where, yeah, he has super-weaving powers, right? Well, here’s the rub. As Keith knew I knew, the issue that comes from is Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #15, which is a very notable issue because it introduced…Van-Zee!
You see, the whole issue was a classic case of writer Otto Binder messing with readers’ minds by having a duplicate of Superman (his cousin, Van-Zee) and a duplicate of Lois Lane (some rich lady – in the DC Universe in the Silver Age, every person in the universe has at least, like, 12 exact doubles of them out there) get married, have kids and the wife gets super powers. That way, the following cover could be absolutely true while not being really true…
Now, you might be saying, “Brian, you stupid jerk, if Van-Zee has those powers, then so does Superman!” To which I would reply, “Whoa, calm down, we’re just talking Super-Weaving here.” But then also that yeah, it is likely that Superman has the same power since he’s a Kryptonian like Van-Zee, but unless we actually see Superman doing something, I think it’s fair enough to not yet give him credit for it as a power. For all we know, Van-Zee has some weird Super-Weaving abilities that are unique to him.
But really, this is all just a funny case of how the silliness of old Silver Age comics can lead to some mistaken identities decades later, when people just grab an image and don’t inquire any further. While it really doesn’t matter that much here, you get other cases like the infamous “Reed slapping Sue” panel from Byrne’s Fantastic Four that completely loses its meaning when you just grab it out of context.
Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:
Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week’s legends!
And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!