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March 30, 2008

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mykalel

Great series of posts Mark. Superman's Fortress is certainly one of greatest elements of the Kryptonian's mythology.

You forgot one Fortress - the one in the Smallville TV series. I guess, though, it's resemblance to the movie version would make the entry redundant.

Any chance of making the double-page spread of the current Fortress enlargeable? I'd love to be able to read those captions.

How about a follow-up series on the Batcave?

Mark Engblom

"Great series of posts Mark. Superman's Fortress is certainly one of greatest elements of the Kryptonian's mythology."

Happy to hear you liked them, Michael!

"You forgot one Fortress - the one in the Smallville TV series. I guess, though, it's resemblance to the movie version would make the entry redundant."

Yeah, I thought about mentioning it, but Smallville has really fallen off my radar. I used to be a pretty avid fan, but the show has that "jumped the shark" vibe that's making it hard to stay interested. I remember being thrilled to see the movie crystal motif when it first appeared, but since then, I feel like they're just spinning their wheels.

"Any chance of making the double-page spread of the current Fortress enlargeable? I'd love to be able to read those captions."

No time tonight, but I should be able to scan one and get it up by Monday afternoon. Check back then!

"How about a follow-up series on the Batcave?"

Well, since I'm such a huge Superman fan, the Fortress survey was information I have at hand, whereas I'm a bit more in the dark when it comes to the Batcave and its lore. It's a subject I'm interested in, but I always try to be as thorough as I can be...and with the Batcave I'm not sure if I could pull off as comprehensive a treatment as I'd like to do.

John Trumbull

I think a mention should be made of Grant Morrison's contribution to Fortress lore in All-Star Superman: a regular-sized, but super-dense key that only Superman could lift. Fiendishly clever.

Patrick Gerard

While we're on the subject of the super-dense key, it was mentioned in Joe Kelly's Supergirl run just a month or two after its mention in All-Star Superman, the first indication of All-Star bleeding over to influence regular continuity.

BTW, on the Berganza era... the changing locations for the tesseract were explained in part because the orb was movable. At one point, he even hid the fortress inside the Daily Planet Globe.

The default location was the Andes although I believe it was said that Superman would move the Fortress wherever he felt like -- and even placed in in orbit sometimes.

Loeb (and later Kelly) pretty much exclusively used the arctic as the default resting point for the Fortress and Joe Casey eventually followed suit by having Superman squarely place the tesseract globe there.

Note that there was also a very short-lived post-Birthright, pre-Amazon fortress which was an arctic hideaway.

Presumably, this would be an extension of the Fortress seen in the TRINITY limited series. This was a physical structure in the arctic, built by hand by Superman before even learning the specifics of his Kryptonian origins.

This was glimpsed in flashbacks during FOR TOMORROW, during THE SUPERGIRL FROM KRYPTON in SUPERMAN/BATMAN and in SUPERMAN/THUNDERCATS.

Kyle

Great series, Mark! There were several views of the Fortress (especially some of the more rectn ones) that I'd never seen before. Thanks for sharing!

Mark Engblom

Kyle-

That's the thing about a character that's as old as Superman: There are bound to be things you've never seen before...even if you're a long-time fan like me! Case in point: That image of Superman's "castle fortress", which I had never seen before last Friday.

Happy to hear you enjoyed my little (okay, NOT so little) Fortress Flyover.

Mark Engblom

From Patrick:

"Note that there was also a very short-lived post-Birthright, pre-Amazon fortress which was an arctic hideaway."

And there you have it: The Berganza Era in a nutshell.

ShadowWing Tronix

I stopped watching Smallville when it became obvious they were pulling random DC characters out of hat and reimagining them. Cyborg made that abundantly clear.

However, what about the Fortress from the Dini DCU? (Superman: The Animated Series and both Justice League shows.) It had enough differences (like the underwater entrance) to get a mention, I would think.

Captain Average

I hadn't realized Supes changed addresses so many times.Mail delivery must be terrible. The UPS guys probably fight to stay off that route.

Mike

I hate the crystal fortress. It is a ridiculous idea. How can crystals hold millions of data? How anybody actually explain that. I like the idea of DCAU fortress. It is an actual structure. As to how it could be created, I think nanotechnology would be a good idea.

Smallville had it good for the first four seasons. No crystal tech what so ever. Fifth season appeared, and crystal tech everywhere. I hate that.

Johnny B

I totally hate the crystal fortress as well. Not just because it looks awful and I can't believe any Kansas farm boy would want to spend one minute in a cold uncomfortable looking place like, but because it's stupid. Not just in that it looks stupid either. I mean it's actually stupid. A fortress with no door? Super advanced alien technology that can only produce a crappy wavy image and echoing voice? And according to the movies at least... Super advanced alien technology that can't even recognize the user? No facial, vocal or biometric recognition, no password? Come on even Windows 97 could ask for a password! Beyond all that the place inside was just a jumble of mishapen crap. He might as well of just been in a cave with a PC and power generator. At least Luthor wouldn't have gotten info out of that as easy and wouldn't have walked off with the ability to make an island of Kryptonite!

Mark Elfering

Wow. I had no idea Superman was so mentally unbalanced. You'd half expect he has a room filled with dismembered body parts from people he'd failed to rescue.
The Lois Lane room probably also has x-ray nude photographs of her and a mystic talisman which allows him to peep into her room at will. lol :P
Sadly, the gift to Martha Kent in the event of his death: a $5 Hickory Farms gift certificate. The cheap schmuck. lol

Mark Elfering

Out of curiosity... did everyone have to give back their gifts when Superman turned out to not be dead after all? It seems unlikely that Clark Kent ever took an auto shop class. Jimmy's car was probably a complete dud. :D

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