Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Adventures

Superman Adventures #61

Superman Adventures #61

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 12, 2001

Cover date: November 2001

Writer: Andy Merrill
Penciller: Aluir Amancio
Inker: Terry Austin

"Nothing Up My Sleeve"

Reviewed by: George O'Connor (

A particularly lucky day in Metropolis begins for two performing magicians calling themselves Hocus and Pocus when they find a penny in front of their magic shop. Located in a park somewhere in the city, the two magicians begin their daily routine, hampered by fears that they will not make enough money to pay for their overdue rent.

Beginning with a flurry of disasters, the two then begin pulling off feat after feat of magical sorcery, leaving the crowd both amazed and eager to purchase some of Hocus and Pocus' novelty magic tricks. The first of many inexplicable tricks is a spoon that is apparently bent by the magician's mind. Other tricks include magically appearing flowers, a sudden rainstorm, and then a flurry of snow dropping down on the amazed bystanders.

Later in the day, Hocus and Pocus learn of a hostage situation at a nearby bank and rush to the scene, convinced their magical powers will help bring the criminals to justice. As the SCU attempts to carry away the two magicians, Hocus breaks free, chants some gobbledygook, and somehow the bank's wall blasts apart.

The explanation for the day's events are then explained by taking the reader back to the beginning, and instead of following the two magicians, recounting the life of Clark Kent/Superman when he learns that the Parasite has been sighted near Hob's Bay.

In the ensuing battle, stray heat beams from Superman cause the spoon to bend, a man selling flowers is taken hostage by the Parasite, and then drops his product upon plummeting from a great height, and a water tower is flung at the Man of Steel, and the Parasite, using Superman's frozen breath, freezes the Man of Steel in a block of ice. When Supes breaks the ice prison, snow drops from the scene into the park below where the performers are amazed by their sudden acts of enchantment.

Superman takes down the Parasite, bringing him to STAR Labs, and returning briefly to the Daily Planet to chat with Lois about what she saw in the park that day. Learning that the Parasite has escaped again, he rushes off to battle his foe once again.

While Lois and Jimmy rush to the hostage scene, the Parasite walks out of a devastated deli with a salami, only to be attacked from beneath by Superman, who uses a manhole cover to shield himself from his foe. Flying into outer space with the Parasite in tow, Superman beats the daylights out of the villain, who goes streaking back towards the Earth and crashes into the Metropolis bank. Underground, Superman is ready to continue the battle, but the Parasite gives up upon learning that his body chemistry has been temporarily altered so that every time he attempts to drain Superman's powers, he will experience pain.

Clark rejoins Lois, the perplexed SCU, and Hocus and Pocus outside the bank moments later. The two reporters attempt to explain to the magicians that it was Superman's interference that caused their magic to work, but in response, Hocus raises his hands to the sky and asks for a salami. The Parasite's lunch, falling back from space, drops neatly into the magician's hands.

3Story - 3: This was a fun story. I enjoyed the whole concept of exploring other characters' perspectives for this issue and straying from the typical Superman vs. villain slugfest. I enjoyed the addition of Hocus and Pocus, whom were, if memory serves, classic Golden Age characters created by Siegel and Shuster. Similar to the characters in this story, neither of them had any magical powers, and they were completely incompetent, but they always managed to cause problems for the Man of Steel. The most famous of these stories was one in which Lois was apparently given super-powers. The interesting thing about this tale was that Clark and Lois are wrong at the end. They don't think that Hocus and Pocus have been given the power of luck for a day, and yet they have been. Just because they haven't been directly responsible for everything they claim to be causing, they still end up predicting exactly what will happen to them or what will fall into their hands. Perhaps that lucky penny they found lived up to its expectations after all.

4Art - 4: Amancio, as always, has created another fantastic issue of art. Most noticeably in this issue, he adds the little details that careful observers will enjoy picking up. The people in the park, most especially the beautiful girls, are well characterized and pencilled. While the emphasis is on Clark, Jimmy, Lois, the two magicians, Superman and the Parasite, the other minor characters in the background are not just blobs of ink. My favorite aspect of the art in this issue has to be Jimmy, who is constantly looking at the gorgeous women that keep passing by. Nice job!

3Cover Art - 3: This is a cover that grabs attention. Superman and Parasite are bigger than life and right in your face, but my major complaint is that Hocus and Pocus are nowhere on the cover and that the major point of the story really has very little to do with Superman fighting the Parasite.

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.

January 2001

February 2001 March 2001 April 2001 May 2001 June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 Annuals

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