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I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for 1,638,927 hamburgers today – Action Comics #454

January 6, 2012

Was there once an America where hot short-skirted babes would queue up to bring a man hamburgers? If there was, WHY CAN WE NOT RETURN TO THIS MAGICAL LAND OF ENCHANTMENT?

There’s a seemingly endless list of questions posed by Superman’s godly powers, queries spawned from the minutiae of our workaday lives and how that small stuff would apply to a Man of Steel. A great many of them revolve around bodily functions. Wouldn’t he blow a hole in the toilet every time he took a leak? Does he even take leaks? When he’s in the throes of passion, wouldn’t he snap a frail human woman in two? Does he watch what he eats? Does he even eat? Even noted metropolitan newswomen ask such things.

This comic takes a swipe at just what a yellow sun fueled super-metabolism entails, and the caloric ramifications of a Kryptonian super-tummy. You will be all the better for this knowledge imparted from on high. I think.

In this Cary Bates penned, Curt Swan pencilled and Tex Blaisdell tale, the (new) Toyman is bopping around Metropolis pulling off assorted (and annoying) heists. During a news report on said shenanigans, WGBS anchorman Clark Kent (Go f–k yourself, Metropolis…) dozes off at his desk, earning the frothing ire of that modernized Perry White stand-in, Morgan Edge:

This isn’t an isolated incident. Clark seems to be developing a bad case of narcolepsy, one coupled with poor table manners, as we see at the aforementioned swank, pricey S.T.A.R. Labs fundraiser:

He isn’t just sleepy in his Clark Kent guise — even Superman has trouble keeping his eyes open:

Remember the poor etiquette at the fancy dinner? Well, not only is Supes all worn down, he needs gobs and gobs of calories to keep going, like some dude hauling a sled solo across Antarctica:

That’s MacTavish’s, the Earth-1 equivalent of McDonald’s. More on that in a moment. And, mercifully, Superman doesn’t corkscrew out a Randy Marsh sized movement after all this junk food.

In a subsequent tussle with the Toyman, our hero figures out that there’s something weird going on with that yellow sun radiation of which he’s so fond, something coming from down underground. He meets with the S.T.A.R. Labs scientist who headlined the earlier fundraiser, an egghead whose specialty is solar energy. This extremely bald gent crafts a special suit to help preserve Superman’s powers when he burrows into the Earth to put and end to the nonsense. The suit looks like a cross between a Mary Jane Watson dress and something Michael Jackson would have worn in his Captain EO days:

At least he’s kept his dignity in all of this.

He finds the problem, a glowing yellow ball that’s sucking up all the good radiation. He swaddles it in the special suit, which contains the malevolent effects. Everything is once again right with the world, and all that’s left is a denouement and a wink:

Back to MacTavish’s, the restaurant that seems to be benefitting greatly from Superman’s binge (the total number of burgers sold has gone from nine to ten billion during the course of this issue’s events — that’s a busy kitchen, people). If you look closely, you can see the mascot for this fictional chain, “Donald MacTavish,” the Earth-1 Ronald MacDonald. Granted, it’s a small little picture, but he looks a hell of a lot like the Joker. Not sure of the marketing associations that would unleash. Food. Folks. Fun. Deadly poison. Enjoy!

Anyway. To review: We now know what happens when the energy from Superman’s precious yellow sunbeams is taken from him. He gets hungry. Extremely hungry. He doesn’t lose his powers, but to maintain them he has to constantly eat. I’m sure this contradicts other comics. It seems that his powers would wane without the yellow sun energy, no matter how much Grade A beef he crammed into his gizzard. BUT THEN YOU WOULDN’T HAVE THE GREAT COVER WITH SUPERMAN SHOVELING BURGERS INTO HIS MOUTH. And that’s all that matters.

What we’ve really learned is that Julie Schwartz really new how to sell a damn book.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2012 10:43 am

    Always got a kick out of this issue, and yes Julie did get my hard-earned quarter with that cover.

    I remember at one point Wally West’s super-speed powers depended on a budget-busting intake of food, as well. I always thought that running gag (ha!) was inspired by this story.

    And is it just me, or does Donald MacTavish look an awful lot like the Joker? Diners beware!

  2. Thelonious_Nick permalink
    January 10, 2012 1:08 pm

    I’m pretty sure I’ve had a Big Mac attack like that. Not normally a big fan of fast food, but every once in a while you get a hankering…

  3. Terence permalink
    December 14, 2013 4:27 am

    McTavish’s was a real hamburger chain back in the 70s…it did not last long however

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