Remember when Superman turned into Satan?

Illustration for article titled Remember when Superman turned into Satan?

During the Silver Age of Comics, Kryptonite had many bizarre mutational properties. In 1963's Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #68, Jimmy — driven insane with rage by The Hate Helmet — exposes Superman to Red Kryptonite, morphing the hero into Old Scratch.

This is but one twist in a fine comic with the narrative grace of a monster truck crash.

Illustration for article titled Remember when Superman turned into Satan?
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The comic begins with Superman organizing his collection of Jimmy's bizarre transformations. As we've noted before, Superman's HQ lacks toilets but contains many disturbingly real facsimiles of his loved ones. This is where Superman pretends to be human, collecting experiences and relationships like so many POGs.

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Illustration for article titled Remember when Superman turned into Satan?

Superman must hurry away from his perverse diorama to break an anchor for his man-child compatriot, Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy and Superman's friendship is a vaguely delineated fraternal-paternal bond. It is not unlike that of Tommy Wiseau and Denny from The Room.

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Illustration for article titled Remember when Superman turned into Satan?

Jimmy dons a fake of the famed Hate Helmet — which egad! — turns out to be the real thing. Jimmy is filled with loathing for humanity, but most of his animus is saved for himself. Why else would he wear that suit?

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Illustration for article titled Remember when Superman turned into Satan?

Jimmy — still rage-drunk off of the Hate Helmet — uses Red Kryptonite to Satanify Superman. This scene will someday inspire a longwinded Nietzschean digression by a massively hungover graduate student.

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Illustration for article titled Remember when Superman turned into Satan?

I like this scene because everyone's purposely ignoring Jimmy as he screams at no one in particular.

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Illustration for article titled Remember when Superman turned into Satan?

Best Superman panel ever? Nah. It's at least somewhere in the Top 100, and half of those are from the time Lois Lane was hit by the obesity laser. Do Kryptonians even believe in a God-Satan binary? Given how advanced their culture is, I imagine the Kryptonian prime creator is bedeviled by a pitchfork-wielding cloud of neutrinos or something.

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Illustration for article titled Remember when Superman turned into Satan?

But wait! What is this? Little men are flying out of Superman's horns! Will this comic careen to a logical conclusion? Goodness, no. You can read the rest of this sense-defying saga over at Grantbridge Street (link NSFW).

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DISCUSSION

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This scene will someday inspire a longwinded Nietzschean digression by a massively hungover graduate student.

Was this grad student's name Cyriaque?

And I'll take this opportunity to day: Cyriaque, I regret not high-fivin' you at SD Comic Con, when our line was filing past and you were standing at the entrance watching us pile in the auditorium.

You do excellent work, sir! Thanks for keeping us in stitches.