Monday, April 19, 2010

The Pulse-Pounding Return of "Ask Doctor K"!

It's also the triumphant return of the blog, after an unannounced, month-long hiatus while I finished up some other writing that I had to do. Since I received no complaints and my stats actually increased during that time, maybe not writing this blog is the best thing I could do for it.

But during my absence from the blog, I received an urgent question from a concerned parent, which I proceeded to wait a couple of weeks to answer. But, now that my schedule is cleared up, I can bring back one of my favorite features: "Ask Doctor K"!

Dear Dr. K,

Tonight, my son, clad in his Superman pajamas (complete with velcro-attached cape), asked for a reiteration of Superman's special powers. Naturally, I topped the list with "actual flying"--he can fly at will without special gear or tall buildings to leap and glide between, merely simulating flying. A bit later, my son asked, "Does Superman get tired of flying?" to which my husband and I replied in unison, "That's a great question for Dr. K!"

So, Dr. K, does Superman get tired of flying?

Sincerely yours,
A concerned parent

Dear Concerned Parent,

First, tell your son that this is a very good question. It may be the most important question he has ever asked in his young life, as it's very important for his understanding of how Superman interacts with normal humans. First and foremost, Superman never gets tired of flying. It is his favorite thing to do. In fact, he'd rather fly everywhere because (and you may have to cover your ears for this) Superman thinks walking is bullshit.

Seriously, imagine if you could fly, but then, in order to fit in with normal, boring humans, you had to walk everywhere. You could fly anywhere in the city in under ten seconds, but instead, you have to take 20-30 minutes to walk there. So, you can understand why Superman, in his daily disguise as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, is constantly telling Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen to pick up the pace when they walk from place to place.

Also, you know how, when you clean up your room and organize your toys, you put your favorite toys in the places that you can get to the easiest? Like, the stuff at the top of the toy box is the stuff you play with the most often, while at the bottom are the broken toys you don't even want anymore? Well, for Superman, he puts his favorite stuff on a shelf near the ceiling so he has to always fly up to get it. That's how much Superman likes to fly.

Also, notice how Superman (again, as Clark Kent) is sitting in this chair:

Right? He's not even sitting in it! He just hovers above the chair pretending to sit in it because he prefers flying to sitting! He must really love flying.

And finally, in case you were going to ask this as a follow-up questions, Superman also hates dancing:

Also, Lois Lane is really mean to Superman.

So, son of A Concerned Parent, I hope this all helps improve your understanding of how Superman deals with flying on a daily basis. Please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer for you.


Doctor K

And that goes to any readers I might still have: if you or your children have questions that I can answer, feel free to pass them on to me!

Images taken from Action Comics 419, story by Cary Bates, art by Curt Swan and Murphy Andreson.


Anonymous said...

Thoroughly supported answer, there Dr. K. Thank you. Just a follow up: does Superman fly backwards? If he passes his destination, can he throw it in reverse (and must he do something physically different or just will reverse flying?) or does he have to turn around? Also, what are the Easter Bunny's parents names and where do they live?

Thank you for your big brain, Dr. K. You're the greatest!

Dr. K said...

Dear Anonymous,

Superman can indeed "throw it in reverse" in midair, and sometimes he does this to confuse passengers in airplanes flying next to him. More often, though, he just turns around so he can see where he's going.

Also, if he misses his destination, he often just keeps going forward around the world until he gets to his destination again, because he can do that.

The Easter Bunny question is outside of my areas of expertise, but I'm pretty sure the answer is God, The Blessed Virgin Mary, and Heaven.

Michael "Llakor" Ryan said...

There is a great Astro City strip about the typical day in the Astro City equivalent of Superman where he spends the entire day counting the precious seconds where he is allowed to simply fly.

(It also includes a great bit where in his civilian identity (magazine fact-checker) he leaves in a few grammatical errors in his copy so that he doesn't appear super-human.)

Sleestak said...

One of the old stories from that era addresses the idea that Superman is ALWAYS in flight because of his 'super-density' and strength and has to will himself to appear to walk normally on the ground because otherwise he would just smash through everything.

This era is the well where all those nostalgia writers get all their hero as god ideas from. Imagine having to live in secret on earth and move among humans when the densest, strongest material that exists in their civilization is to you the equivalent of a vacuum?

Unknown said...

I have this comic framed over my computer and I had it signed by C. Infantino back in the early 70's when he and Will Eisner went to Winter's College at York University in Toronto. By the way Infantino used my pen to sign the book, and then he walked away with my pen.