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Friday, July 16, 2010 

Stracynski got lost on his way to Philadelphia

Well, I knew JMS would only prove how sloppy and self-indulgent he is once more. For all the research he supposedly put into his Grounded story in Superman, he took a wrong turn on the freeway:
In the pages of DC Comics' latest issue of Superman, which hits stands Wednesday, the Man of Steel embarks on a yearlong journey of more than 1,000 miles with a single step. But for all his strength, insight and intelligence, he still has a thing or two to learn about geography.

The 500 block of South 48th Street is described as the city's "South Side," though no such neighborhood exists in Philadelphia. The area is actually a section of west Philadelphia known as University City, and the flub has generated a little bit of good-natured ribbing from locals.
None of this means anything to Dan DiDio, predictably, who's only interested in sales and media coverage:
"We really love to hear that because it means people are reading it and there's a sense of area pride," DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio said. "If we stand corrected, that's OK."
Uh uh, it most certainly ain't. I hesitate to think of what would happen if Stracynski tried to insert any real life locations from northeast Philly. He'd probably say that Gimbels' department store is still around when it already went out of business in the late 1980s. Or he'd misplace the Franklin Science Institute's location.

There's more incompetence abound in the issue:
Our Krypton-born, Kansas-bred protagonist lacks schooling in the finer points of ordering a cheesesteak , he inelegantly dubs it a "Philly cheese steak sandwich", but the waitress taking his order lets the faux pas slide. She also cheerfully allows the cash-strapped superhero, who was a vegetarian in another DC series several years back, to work off his bill by cleaning a storage room.

This is really supposed to be Philadelphia?

"They didn't do very well, but they tried," Robert Lefevre, manager of Brave New Worlds comic book store downtown, said with a laugh. "Maybe they confused us with Chicago, which has a South Side. And 'Philly cheese steak sandwich,' nobody says that."
That's right, they usually just say "cheese-steak". Inaccuracies aside, there may be something else hidden here: is the Man of Steel going around - literally - with little or no money? Does he even lack a costume? If that's Clark from the rear in the picture I added, this may be another case of a superhero portrayed all but out of costume for the sake of it, without being very convincing in terms of drama either. Plus, as this earlier article tells (via Robot 6):
He also thwarts drug dealers by setting their stashes on fire with his X-ray vision and talks a woman off a ledge. Standard stuff.
I guess he didn't even call the police! Why destroy evidence that could be used against those coke pushers and ensure they'd spend time growing old in the pen before they could manufacture and peddle more? If you don't bust 'em and turn evidence against them, they're likely to keep on manufacturing and pushing those horrendous weeds, destroying many people's minds and health before justice is done. In fact, how do we know the dope dealers don't have more money reserves they can use to finance their black marketeering further? This is how Superman fights crime?

And wouldn't Supes get the suicidal woman safely off the ledge first and lecture her afterwards about why it won't do any good to throw her life away? The description alone tells this isn't going to be very promising. JMS, I figure, is just going to bore everyone away with that increasingly liberal POV of his that's gotten worse since he webbed Spider-Man into a corner.

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Just got back from Disneyland in Detroit, fun place.

I always try to skip out on my restaurant bills in Philly, and they're as nice as they can be about it. Bless their hearts.

me am love JMS so much. me love him superman and wonderwoman stories. me love them.

them make perfect sense on me home planet.

My wife's grew up in Philly; she's get a good laugh out of JMS's goofs.

You will believe a man can grift.

At least he didn't order Swiss cheese on his cheese steak like John Kerry did in '04!

(From a leaked copy of the final issue)

Rednecks pull up next to Superman's Harley.
'Hey man, why don't you git a haircut?'

Superman flips them off, redneck fires shotgun. Blast bounces off Supes' chest.

Music plays. The End.

"They aren't afraid of you, Superman...they're afraid of what you represent."

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