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August 13, 2009


Pat Curley

Maybe not comic booky enough (more comic strippy) but I always liked Dick Tracy's flying trashcans.


What no Avengers Quinjet? No X-Men Blackbird?

Mark Engblom

Those two must not have made as much of an impression on me as the ten I chose. The Quinjet seemed pretty standard-issue, and the Blackbird seemed to be little more than an Air Force jet.


Didn't the "flying bathtub" also detach into 4 separate sections?

Of the changes made to the mythology in the
first Chris Reeve Superman movie (Krypton as a ice planet, Jor-El wearing the S, Clark spending 12 years in the FOS getting "educated", "thousands of years" passing since K's destruction, etc.), I liked the art deco chandelier rocketship the least. I always loved Kal's little red and blue ride with the window and the blankets (later his costume) inside, all in keeping with the color scheme. He seemed like an infant when they shot him off, but a toddler by the time he reached Earth. Of course, many en route adventures, like EVAs and alien encounters, were added in the silver age.

Mark Engblom

"Didn't the "flying bathtub" also detach into 4 separate sections?"

Maybe it did. Still....preferred the T-shaped (or vaguely 4-shaped) version that came after it.

As for the movie spaceship, I've never been fond of it, either. However, the aspect I *do* like about it is how it conveys a more advanced and alien aspect of Kryptonian civilization. The fact that it looks absolutely nothing like what we (on Earth) would imagine as a space vehicle made Krypton seem all the more distant and inscrutable. A recognizable rocketship conveys a commonality between Earth and Krypton that Donner may have been hoping to downplay or eliminate.

That said, I think they still could have made a more "alien" looking craft without going the "Christmas ornament" route.

Yeah, the blankets were a great touch. Did you catch them in young Clark Kent's backpack when he was at the North Pole? It's one of my favorite randomly cool moments from the Superman movie.


I am an art deco collector, including comic covers. I love that early Fortress of Solitude door. One of the books on art deco shows a chandelier exactly like the "ornament" ship.

I am a silver ager in comic life heading for his golden age in real life. I love your column/blog, one of the highlights of my day.

Keep up the great work!


Oh yeah, for those interested, EVA stands for Extra Vehicular Activitiy.

Little Kal, apparently passing by a yellow star, took a couple of space flights (and fought off some evil aliens) on his way to Jonathan and Martha in the silver age.

In the 90's, a DC writer/artist felt the need to show Superman with an oxygen mask in space, for the sake of "reality" I guess. Dumb idea. C'mon, this is SUPERMAN! I mean, he's SUPPOSED to have powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.

I did like some of the alienity of movie Krypton, which in the comics was kind of a (cool) futuristic Earth; missed the floating ghost-looking Phantom Zone prisoners, though.

OK, that's all for today.

Mark Engblom


Glad you like the blog! Thanks for making a daily stop (even though I'm pretty much on an every-other-day schedule).

Regarding Kal-El's "extracurricular activities" on his way to Earth: I recall that there was ONE story that claimed Kal-El was detoured into another dimension, grew to adulthood, got married, had kids, then somehow was de-aged and returned to his rocketship to resume his journey to Earth. Freaky-weird stuff...and glad it was mercifully dropped from the canon. (what are some of these writers ON, anyway?) Anyone remember that same story...or would know which specific issue I'm talking about?


That one's easy: Action Comics #370, December 1968, "100 Years... Lost, Strayed or Stolen": http://www.dcindexes.com/database/story-details.php?storyid=22998 . Very weird story.

Pat Curley

Yes, Mark, that's Action #370. It contradicts or is contradicted by so many stories before and since that you have to think Weisinger was starting to lose it already. The only worse Superman story of that era was the Black Zero one from Superman #205, where we learned that Jor-El was wrong, that Krypton would not have exploded.

Bear Carson

Personaly the vehicles that always made the biggest impressions on lil Bear were the spaceships that soared thru the stars in the Marvel universe. I remember being blown away by the very cool design of the Starjamers vessel and the massive Shiar cruisers that were always chasing them in Chris Clairmont's run. A vehicle from a more recent time is when the Inhumans turned their home on the Moon into an interglatic war ship powered soley by Blackbolts voice. Talk about over the top, but hey isn't that why we read comic books.


One thing I love about the original Flying Bathtub version of the Fantasticar is that it sticks around, still in the Baxter Building garage, ready for use in its "backup" role.

For instance, it wasn't uncommon to see Ben Grimm use it in Marvel Two-In-One when the other three were off on some other adventure with the "new" car.

Driving Offences

HAS to be the Goblin Glider- smoothest mode of transportation ever seen!

Billy Leasing

I agree the older batmobiles are the best!


Thanks for sharing your top 10! The Goblin Glider is great.

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