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We’re going to need a bigger cape – Action Comics #456

June 18, 2010

Do you think a Universal Studios exec considered suing over this?  I mean, maybe this cover could have passed muster if it didn’t have a big emblazoned “JAWS” right there for all to see.  As it is, I’m sure some suit had this brought to his attention and muttered “Those dirty bastards.”

Or maybe he just smiled lovingly at this homage.  I doubt it, though.

I thought this would make for a nice post to commemorate this weekend’s 35th anniversary of the first summer blockbuster.  There are two stories in this issue, but we’ll focus on “Jaws of the Killer Shark” since that’s the one that flirts so closely with copyright infringement.  From Cary Bates and Curt Swan (Mike Grell did the cover), the story finds Superman battling — no surprise here — the Shark.  Captain Strong, the parody/ripoff of Popeye, also shows up just to tilt the intellectual-property-theft scales.  Hey, come on in, the water’s fine!

The Shark robs a young boy of his humanity (or something) which reduces the boy to lifeless goo, and he then proceeds to terrorize Metropolis, using his super-strength and fear-inducing mental powers to give Supes a run for his money.  Eventually Kal-El finds a way to defeat him (some nonsense about ozone that I couldn’t wrap my head around) and forces the Shark back into his primitive tiger shark form. 

And nobody seems to care that the kid is still goo.

That’s about all there is to this one.  It seems to be just one of those situations where the editorial staff sat around and said “Hey, Jaws made a lot of money, right?  Let’s do something like that!”

“Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies…”

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