Superman: How the Man of Steel lost his mighty ’90s mule
Today we take a look at how Superman got rid of his gorgeous 1990s hairstyle after he returned after his death at the hands of Doomsday.
It’s “Never Gonna Be the Same Again,” a feature where I watch how bold, seemingly “permanent” changes were finally reversed. This is not a criticism, mind you, because obviously things will always return to “normal” eventually. This is how superhero comics work. It’s just fun to see how some of these pretty big changes are reversed. This is different from “Abandoned Love”, which is when a new writer comes along and abandons the plot of the previous writer. Here we are talking about the writer who came up with the idea being the same who solved the change. This is also differentiated from “Death is not the end” which tells how the “dead” characters came back to life, as it is about things other than death.
Today is Albert Ching’s birthday. The former CBR editor and new DC marketing director (congratulations, Albert!) Has an affinity for 1990s comics, so I still like to make a 1990s-themed feature film for him. every year on his birthday. This time, I figured I’d combine the 1990s and DC to take a look at the Super-Mullet.
IS IT EVEN A MULET?
Let’s eliminate it from the start. The Super-Mullet isn’t technically a mule, at least not originally intended. A mullet haircut is where the person has relatively short hair in the front and long hair in the back. The joke about mules is “business in the front, party in the back.” So if you only have long hair, you don’t have a mullet. Likewise, if you wear your hair in a ponytail, you don’t have a mullet. A mule and a ponytail are different things. Having said that, there are people with mules who then also had ponytails. Superman was NOT meant to have a mullet, just long hair, but as you can see from the Brian Bolland Wonder Woman cover that I used as a hallmark image for the play, some artists certainly drew it. with a mule (I can only imagine Bolland getting ready to do that blanket and see that he had to give Superman long hair. “… Ugh … okay.” But it’s more fun to say “Super-Mullet” as “Super-Longhair, so I’ll stick with that for the rest of the piece, even though you all know the truth.
THE BIRTH OF THE SUPER-MULET
During “The Death of Superman,” Superman, well, you know, died. However, even after Superman’s soul left his body, his Kryptonian power kept his body barely viable (this helped Cadmus shock Superman with a great blast of energy in an attempt to make his heart beat again) . The Kryptonian entity known as the Eradicator then stole Superman’s body and brought him to the Fortress of Solitude and put him in a regeneration matrix to heal. At the same time, the Eradicator borrowed some of Superman’s energy to power himself up by becoming a Superman replacement for the Man of Steel as he healed. All of this would have been for naught had it not been for the fact that Superman’s adoptive father Jonathan Kent also temporarily separated his soul from his body due to a heart attack. His soul met Superman’s and the two fought together to come back to life and their souls returned to their respective bodies. It still took a while for Superman to fully heal and during that time his hair continued to grow and so when he came out of the Regeneration Matrix towards the end of the “Reign of the Supermen” event, her hair was long now …
When he regained his Eradicator powers, he decided to keep his hair long. The creators of Superman felt this meant a difference to the character’s return. However, they differed on HOW LONG “long” meant. See drawing by Dan Jurgens Clark Kent. He thought it was short enough that Clark could just put it back in place and it wouldn’t be too noticeable …
While other artists have drawn it long enough to have to be held in a ponytail. Jon Bogdanove was the biggest supporter of long hair (he also decided to give Clark a … gold medallion for some reason?) …
THE DEATH OF THE SUPER-MULET
After nearly three years (which is EONS when you star in four comics a month), the mullet has finally seen its end. First, during the “Final Night” crusader event, Earth’s sun was drained, so Superman slowly lost his solar abilities. Through Superman # 118 (by Dan Jurgens, Ron Frenz and Joe Rubinstein), it was totally empty …
However, at the same time, Lois Lane (who had left Metropolis after feeling too pressured to be engaged to, well, Superman), decided to return to Metropolis. She met Clark and not only did they decide to remarry, they got married, right away!
In Superman: The Wedding Album (written by all the major Superman writers of the day and drawn by DOZENS of artists), the now helpless Clark no longer had invulnerable hair that he would have to use a piece of his spaceship and heat vision to cut,, he had his hair cut in time for his wedding, as seen for the first time on this page by comic book icon Nick Cardy …
Soon after, Superman regained his powers via a surge of energy, but it turned out that the energy was TOO MUCH and this transformed Superman into an energy being. It was the so-called “Blue Superman” era. But that’s a whole different story …
If anyone else has a suggestion for Never Gonna Be The Same Again, please convo me at [email protected]!
Happy birthday, Albert!
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