But in this morning's half-hour episode, poor Pat got hit on the head. A lot. I counted at least three times that he was hit so hard he went unconscious. The bad guys on the episode miraculously missed being shot (of course none of the good guys were), even though everyone had unlimited ammunition. Well, except at one point Bad Guy #1 ran out of bullets, Roy jumped him, they had a fist-fight, and the next thing you know, Roy's grabbing BG#1's hand, in which BG is holding that empty gun, and the gun fires into the air.
As Bats-Man (from Mad Magazine) once so wisely noted, "TV writers have no logic!"
But the bad guys also got hit on the head, several times, to the point they were rendered unconscious. I figure that because poor Pat got hit so hard on the head so often was the reason why he was so slow of wit. Keep that in mind…
A couple months ago one of the Legion of Super-Heroes groups on Facebook was talking about Superboy #197, Sept. 1973, the one where the cover has Saturn Girl's gawd-awful bikini miscolored, and where cover artist Nick Cardy used an old reference, which is why cutey Element Lad is wearing a Legion flight belt from the Legion's earliest days.
This was still early, around the seventh or so issue, of the beautiful Dave Cockrum run of the Legion. Each story unveiled new costumes for the Legionnaires. Dave had previewed four of the costumes in The Legion Outpost, the Legion Fan Club's fanzine that I dutifully subscribed to, and I was excited to open up each new issue (if it had a Legion story) to see what other costumes would be showing up. I was mad about costumes! Still am.
(By the time this issue came out I had been notified that Dave was using my suggestion of a new look for Light Lass. He'd already designed one but had forgotten that she and Lightning Lad [for whom Dave had designed one of the all-time spiffiest comic book costumes EVER!!!] were twins. Mine matched the new LLad costume, which was no coincidence as I had dashed off a new design as soon as I'd received the Outpost with the new-look Lighting Lad on the cover, and sent it off to DC. Ayla's new threads premiered in Superboy #202.)
ANYWAYZ, that's not what we're here to talk about. Scripts for both stories in this ish were by Cary Bates. The first story was "Timber Wolf: Dead Hero, Live Executioner!" But we aren't concerned here with ol' Brin Londo, he of the Wolverine 'do.
We are merely concerned with page two. (You should be able to click on these for a larger view.)
Well, first it's April. Those are ripe apples overhead. I believe the earliest apples in the continental US ripen in July.
Secondly, Lana (an intelligent and fashionable young woman) is wearing white. And she's sitting on grass. Grass leaves stains; everyone knows that, especially those of the female persuasion because they're usually the ones who have to launder the family clothing. Lana has not spread out a blanket to protect her lovely white outfit from the grass. This story would be taking place in the late Fifties, extremely early Sixties, since Superboy by this time was lagging 15-20 years behind his stories as Superman. Stain-fighting technology now is not the best, but back then…
Lana expresses normal teenaged curiosity, wanting to learn the first practical steps of romance. She'd like to try a kiss with her friend. For some reason Clark is not so inclined. In fact he's sweating bullets about the thought of kissing gorgeous Lana, the only long-lasting opposite-sex-type interest in his boyhood.
Have the Kents been so puritanical in bringing up Clark? Has Red Kryptonite affected his natural desires and/or curiosity? Has he been questioning his sexuality? Man, it's just a kiss. Perhaps he's afraid that one kiss will unleash years of hot teen lust and he'll have Lana on her back in seconds! Well, he does do that, but not in the way you might imagine.
(Though I doubt Clark would do anything counter to the Comics Code he lives by. He's not like the hero in my Three Worlds series, who at intimate moments is too powerful for his own good, and is completely frustrated by his limitations when it comes to human contact. You can get the first book in that series free if you sign up for my newsletter [on top of the right-hand column here].)
In the midst of all this, Clark's alerted by a signal that means that the Legion of Super-Heroes needs his presence immediately.
Immediately, as in: 1000 years from then.
At this point in DC continuity, the Legion existed in the 30th Century. Clark could wait a couple weeks before heading off to the future. There was never any direct connection exhibited, any kind of time warping that showed that the Legion's future was EXACTLY 1000 years to the moment in the future. After all, Supergirl also visited the Legion, and she was from the present day Superman era as opposed to the Superboy era of the past.
So really, Clark has no reason to react quickly. But he does.
He uses his heat vision to prune off two large, ripe apples…
…that KNOCK LANA UNCONSCIOUS!
I'm sorry, but two apples falling on the top of your head are not going to make you black out. Clark had to use his super-breath or something to increase the apples' velocity so as to increase the force when they hit.
And they knocked out Lana. Superboy refers to this as a "nice nap."
I was going to explain this myself, but the website "Explain like I'm five" does it so much better than I could ever do. BiPolah (haw!) says to a questioner who has watched violence in movies, "There's a pretty fine line between knocking [movie characters] out and causing permanent damage, and it's not like they're out for hours so you can stuff them in a cupboard while you go off robbing the place. People that are knocked out from head trauma are usually out for a few seconds, perhaps minutes. Even there could be serious damage or a concussion. If they're out for much longer, you're probably looking at permanent brain damage or death."
mjcapples agrees: "Any time when you experience unconsciousness, it is a life-threatening injury that risks permanent brain damage. The exact ease of causing injury depends on several factors, including the location of the strike, the amount of linear and rotational force, and the duration of the impact. For example, impacts to the side of the head are well documented to cause injury much easier than impacts to the front or back. Also, a linear hit causes different damage than a hit with a rotational aspect, which is linked to breaking the blood vessels that feed your brain.
"As far as a general rule for head injury though, one of the basic formulas for head injury (the Head Injury Criterion), states that a score of 1000 is about a 50% risk of death and a score of 250 being a good indicator for a concussion."
I repeat: It's a "nice nap."
Let me get this straight. In order to respond to an emergency that is not an actual emergency either in terms of time travel or in what Clark finds when he arrives in the 30th Century (read the story), Clark injures his supposed close friend to the point where she likely has sustained a concussion (not a minor injury) and might indeed be lying near death while he departs.
While Lana never went stoopid after this story (she was never as dumb as Lois Lane was often depicted), one has to wonder how she managed to survive, and survive still with brains intact, unlike Roy Rogers' Pat.
We don't see Lana after the main plot has ended. Did she die? Did Superboy replace her with a robot, clone, or parallel-world double? Sure, she showed up in the second story in the book, but she looked decidedly different. (And don't tell me that's just because Bob Brown and Murphy Anderson did the art for that story!)
Threatening Mr. Clark Kent's ideas about his own sexuality does not seem to be a safe thing even for Clark's friends to do. Hm.
What do you think?
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