Thursday, September 01, 2011

Disproving Croce's Theorem (Dumbass Things You Shouldn't Do in the DC Universe)

A wise man once said "You don't tug on Superman's cape." And he oughta know: he had a box just for wishes and dreams that had never come true. (You can get 'em at The Container Store.) Among other things he advised against: spitting into the wind and messing with Jim. I'm a bit uncertain on that last one. Not only do many people mess with Jimmy Olsen, but they usually succeed in getting away with messing with Jim:

Panels from Jimmy Olsen #67 (March 1963), scripts by Edmond Hamilton, Leo Dorfman and Jerry Siegel; pencils by John Forte and Curt Swan; inks by John Forte and George Klein

Well. I think we've proved quite convincingly you can mess around with Jim. There's only one don't mess around with Jim when he's dressed as a girl.

Page from Jimmy Olsen #159 (August 1973), script by Leo Dorfman, pencils and inks by Kurt Schaffenberger

Whoa! You've come a long way, baby!

Disproving one of the science world's famous "Croce equations" casts doubt on the others. As I've mentioned above, "don't tug on Superman's cape," advises the renowned mathballadeer, but can we disprove this theorem? Why, yes, I think we can. Here's exhibit A.

Cover of Superman v.2 #176 (January 2002), art by Ed McGuinness and Cam Smith

Lemme ask you this: if you tug on Superman's cape...what's he gonna do? He's freakin' Superman, you know! Superman won't do much about that. e'll probably say "Stop it, please." (He's very polite.) If you're a cute small child (or stuffed bull) tugging on Superman's cape generally results in a smile, a pat on the head, and a souvenir diamond made out of that lump of Kingsford you've got in your pocket. He is, I repeat, Superman. He's not violent towards cape-tuggers. Even if Darkseid does it, Kal will probably just say "Hey, quit it. Quit it. Darkseid...quit it, okay?"

Panel from Superman/Batman #50 (September 2008), by a whole lotta people; you figure it out

What about tugging on the cape of a more renowned badass of the DC Universe: Elongated Man Batman? Surely that's a bad idea, right? Mmmmmmaybe not, as can be seen in these verified examples. Here's some specific documented proof of Tim Drake tugging on Batman's cape.

Panels from Batman #600 (April 2002), script by Ed Brubaker, pencils by Scott McDaniel, inks by Andy Owens, colors by Gregory Wright, letters by John Costanza

Well, he didn't say please, but hey, Tim survived the actual experience. Truth is, it's actually pretty easy to not only tug but to take Batman's cape. Why not just help yourself to it when he hangs it up in the Batcave? It's just on the middle hook right between the hooks where Robin's costume and Ace the Bat-Hound's hood usually dangle.

Panel from Batman #156 (June 1963), script by Bill Finger, pencils by Sheldon Moldoff, inks by Charles Paris, letters by Stan Starkman

How easy is it to steal Batman's cape? So easy that Perry White did it.

Panel from Jimmy Olsen #117 (January 1969), script by Otto Binder, pencils and inks by Pete Costanza

So easy that Lady Gaga did it!

Huh! So apparently you can tug on Superman's cape, steal Batman's, unravel Wonder Woman's golden lasso, untie Flash's sneakers, and use Plastic Man to copy comic strips from the newspaper. So what is it that you really should never, ever, do? What is the most totally dumbass thing to do in the DC Universe?

Oh should never, ever, try to sucker-punch Superman.

Why? Because this happens:

Panels from Batman #429 (January 1989), script by Jim Starlin, pencils by Jim Aparo, inks by Mike DeCarlo, colors by Adrienne Roy, letters by John Costanza

Later on they had a good laugh at it and Supes flew Bats up to his Arctic Fortress of Solitude so Batman could sit outside for a while and ice his hand and cry where nobody could see him. So yeah...don't do that. Dumbass Batman.

So! Have we learned a lesson at all today? Why yes...yes we have!

Panel from Jimmy Olsen #67 (March 1963), script by Leo Dorfman, pencils by Curt Swan, inks by George Klein


Anonymous said...

But Leroy Brown is still the baddest man in the whole damn town, right?


-- MrJM

SallyP said...

Guy Gardner actually DID tug on Superman's cape...and lived to tell the tale.

But man, Jimmy sure does have nice legs.

Baxter Pancake said...

I believe Leroy Brown was downgraded to 'guy who looks like a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone' after looking at the wife of a jealous man.

Great article Bully! This is one of my new favorite blogs after stumbling upon it a few days ago.