erik lundegaard

Superman posts

Wednesday May 22, 2013

Action Comics No. 1 Found in Wall in Elbow Lake, Minn. Home

How amazing is this story? It almost belongs in Amazing Stories.

A 34-year-old man in northern Minnesota, David Gonzalex, who works in construction and remodeling, buys a dilapidated house in nearby Elbow Lake, Minn., for $10,100, with the idea of remodeling it and selling it at a higher price. While tearing out the walls, he found old newspapers used to insulate the walls. And amid those newspapers? Action Comics No. 1.

Not Action Comics No. 8. Not Detective Comics No. 96. Not Archie No. 51 but Action Comics No. 1. The magazine that introduced Superman, and thus superheroes, to the world. The most high-priced comic book in the world.

Then how awful is this? Amid the excitement about the find, his wife's aunt grabbed the comic out of his hands, and when he grabbed it back, the back cover ripped. That downgraded the comic, according to collectors from a 3 to a 1.5 in quality. (10 is mint condition.)


But how great that he shrugs it off.

Gonzalez said he has no regrets about the argument that damaged his discovery. “I am a humble working guy ... Money won’t buy you happiness.”

To be honest, I think I'm angrier at his wife's aunt than he is.

Here's the full story from Curt Brown at The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Action Comics No. 1 found in wall in Elbow Lake, Minn.

David Gonzalez (right) with the remodeling find of the year (left).

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Posted at 06:30 PM on May 22, 2013 in category Superman
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Friday May 17, 2013


Yesterday a reader commented on my April 16th post, “Theory: In 'Man of Steel,' Krypton Lives” with this link. Which leads to this:

Michael Shannon as Gen. Zod


So from this May 3rd post, “Four Reasons Krypton Doesn't Blow Up in the new Superman Movie 'Man of Steel,'”  it looks like alternate theory 2:2 is the correct one (“Or he's got a spaceship that's roaming the cosmos”). It also means Entertainment Weekly was wrong in its summer movie guide description of “Man of Steel.” Or the above doo-dad is wrong. We'll find out soon enough.

If the above is right? The plot is taking shape. Kal-El searches for himself on Earth, hides his true nature because people here would freak, and doesn't truly emerge until this threat, Kryptonians taking over Earth, arrives. Cue: battle. But I guess we already knew this.

BTW: That's the best Shannon-as-Zod photo they could come up with? It looks like someone just told him his dog ran away.

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Posted at 11:43 AM on May 17, 2013 in category Superman
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Thursday May 16, 2013

Whose Portrait Hangs in Lex Luthor's Office?

Throughout the Kirk Alyn Superman serials, in both 1948 and 1950, a framed portrait of Abraham Lincoln hangs in the office of Daily Planet city editor Perry White (Pierre Watkin):

Abraham Lincoln hanging in Perry White's office in the 1948 SUPERMAN serial

Perry White (Pierre Watkin), Jimmy Olsen (Tommy Bond) and Lois Lane (Noeil Neill) react (and Lincoln doesn't) in 1948's “Superman.”

In the 1950 serial, “Atom Man vs. Superman,” Lex Luthor (Lyle Talbot) pretends to go straight by investing in a television studio. At one point he even hires away Lois Lane from The Daily Planet for man-on-the-street interviews. (One of her questions: “Is city life more exciting than country life?”) Several times we visit him in his office:

Lois Lane (Noel Neill) and Lex Luthor (Lyle Talbot) in 1950s "Atom Man vs. Superman"

So who's the woman on the wall? Perry White has Abe Lincoln, Lex Luthor has ... ? She looks like a starlet. Is she producer Sam Katzman's girlfriend? Is she supposed to be Lex Luthor's wife? Did they just need to fill space?

Anyone know?

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Posted at 07:33 AM on May 16, 2013 in category Superman
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Friday May 03, 2013

Four Reasons Krypton Doesn't Blow Up in the new Superman Movie 'Man of Steel'

In “Superman,” the serial (1948), the first live-action cinematic creation of the Man of Steel, Jor-El (Nelson Leigh) is asked to provide facts for why he believes Krypton is doomed. He responds: “We must be guided by my knowledge, which this august body has always respected.” Dude, a pie chart might’ve helped.

As Erik-El, the blogger who believes Krypton isn't doomed in the upcoming blockbuster “Man of Steel,” I know no august body (no, not even yours) that always respects my knowledge, so here are the facts for why Krypton may live, as well as parenthetical alternate theories that may explain away these facts:

  1. “I’ll be honest with you, there’s no Kryptonite in the movie,” director Zack Snyder told Entertainment Weekly last month. Why no Kryptonite? Because Krypton doesn't blow up. (Alternate theory: Kryptonite is a drag of a plot device and best left alone.)
  2. “My name is General Zod,” Zod (Michael Shannon) says in this “Man of Steel” teaser. “For some time your world has sheltered one of my citizens. I request that you return this individual to my custody.” Return? Return to where? Where does Zod plan on taking Kal-El if not back to Krypton? (Alternate theories: Zod doesn't know Krypton has exploded. Or he's got a spaceship that's roaming the cosmos. Or the Phantom Zone ain't that bad a place to live and thinks Kal-El will enjoy it, too.) 
  3. ”That's what pits [Superman] against General Zod ... a Kryptonian tyrant who wants Clark to join him back on Krypton ...“ From Entertainment Weekly's Summer Movie Guide on. “Man of Steel.” This is the one that seems to give up the ghost but one of the alternate theories above holds (Zod STILL doesn't know Krypton has exploded).

I've mentioned all of these reasons in various posts over the last two weeks. Now I have a fourth reason. This evidence is actually older—an interview Michael Shannon did with Oliver Gettell of The Los Angeles Times in 2011—but I just came across it and it supports the above:

OG: What can you tell us about the scale of “Man of Steel”?

MS: It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done. It’s massive sets. It’s literally another world. It’s the first time I’ve acted on another planet.

OG: What is it like acting on a set like that?

MS: As much green screen as there is and I’m sure will be, they’re actually building a lot of the sets as well. I had thought it was just going to be green screens everywhere and we would just be pretending everything. There’s quite a bit of detail they’re building and putting into it. It’s very helpful. The less green screen, the better — I don’t think you’d be able to find an actor on Earth who wouldn’t have that sentiment.

Why build all of these expensive, detailed sets of Krypton if it's going to blow up in the first 10 minutes of the film? You build them because you're going to return to them. You build them because they will be part of the sequel and the franchise. You build them because Krypton doesn't blow up. (Alternate theory: the other world he's talking about isn't Krypton. Or Warner Bros. just likes spending money.)

The website i09 is apparently on top of the ”Krypton lives“ theory now. The site's tagline is the sci-fi standard ”We come from the future," but I can't help but think the future they come from is my two weeks ago. Either way, welcome, boys. Nice to see you finally arrived.

June 14.

Henry Cavill as Superman in "Man of Steel" (2013)

Last son of Krypton?

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Posted at 07:01 AM on May 03, 2013 in category Superman
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Wednesday May 01, 2013


I know. I posted about this yesterday but you never let a good topic go.

Here was my prediction about the upcoming Superman movie, “Man of Steel,” two weeks ago:

...the new trailer reinforces the notion: In the new Superman movie, Krypton, Kal-El's homeworld, lives. It doesn't blow up.

I gave evidence from various sources, including the trailers, particularly the “Zod message” trailer, in which Zod (Michael Shannon) requests that the people of Earth “return [Superman] to my custody.” My thought was always: return to ... where? Where is Zod? Where does he expect to go with Kal-El? Where if not ... back to Krypton?

That was my assumption but no one bought into it. It was like I was Jor-El, but reversed. Jor-El warned the Kryptonian Science Council that Krypton was about to explode and they all laughed at him. I was Erik-El, telling the Earth Science-Fiction Council that Krypton was not about to explode, and no one could see the logic. Here's my friend Tim—now Timonian Elder #2:

Timonian Elder #2: ... it does make Superman remaining on Earth a question if/when he finds out there's still a planet back home. I think it'd be a bit much to leave that question at the end, but it's an interesting thought.

Here's Myriam, now Mynd-Ah:

Mynd-Ah: I can't wrap my brain around a concept that Krypton still exists. It's possible there was a battle taking place as the planet was dying from within. Because if Krypton still existed, why would Superman stay on Earth all the time? He'd want to go “home” to his people, right?

Superman fan Oliver Willis assumed a different end to Krypton but an end nonetheless:

Even the Superman Homepage shrugged:

And now? In Entertainment Weekly? The truth is revealed:

In this iteration, Clark Kent's heroic tendencies would rise to the surface only when the threat was great enough. It would have to be a global menace — one that might also trigger an internal conflict about whether he belongs on Earth even as he yearns to be among his own kind. That's what pits him against General Zod (Boardwalk Empire's Michael Shannon), a Kryptonian tyrant who wants Clark to join him back on Krypton, which would mean abandoning his post as defender of the weaklings of Earth.

I should add that there's one more possibility, which Timonian Elder #2 mentioned in the comments field yesterday.

That does change the Superman concept rather significantly. I wonder if it will make sense. I also wonder if my theory, that Zod simply doesn't know Krypton is dust, is still possible.

That would explain Zod's message. But it wouldn't explain why there's no Kryptonite.

There's also this possibility via Mr. Willis' theory above: Krypton was attacked by Brainiac, and most of the people died, and Zod is interested in gathering the remaining Kryptonians to restart the planet, which is now desolate but still exists.

June 14.

Jor-El in 1948

Four versions of Jor-El, the man of science who wasn't listened to: Nelson Leigh in “Superman” (1948)

Jor-El (Robert Rockwell) in 1952's "The Adventures of Superman"

Robert Rockwell in “The Adventures of Superman” (1952)

Jor-El (Marlon Brando) in 1978

Marlon Brando in “Superman: The Movie” (1978)

Jor-El (Russell Crowe) in "Man of Steel" (2013)

Russell Crowe in the upcoming “Man of Steel” (2013)

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Posted at 07:02 AM on May 01, 2013 in category Superman
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