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Superboy's Pal, Pete Ross Superboy's Gal, Lana Lang
The Strips

Martian Manhunter & J. Hex New!

Superman and The Flash New!

Justice League of America

Jonah Hex

Green Lantern


Green Arrow and The Flash


The Flash


Gotham City Police Dept.

Johnny Thunder and Shazam!

Batman, Green Lantern,
and The Flash


Metal Men

Pete Ross and Lana Lang

Superman & J'onn J'onzz

Charles M. Jones

Batman and Robin

The Flash and Zatanna

Jor-El and Lara

DC Prez Jenette Kahn


Clark Kent and Lois Lane

The Haunted Tank

Superman and Lois Lane

The Unknown Soldier

The Vigilante

The Private Life of Clark Kent

Green Arrow and Black Canary

Sgt. Rock and Easy Company

Witching Hour

Green Arrow, The Human Target,
and Superman

Super Friends

Lois & Clark

Green Arrow & Black Canary

Superman & Jimmy Olsen


Batman & Shazam!

Justice Society of America

Phantom Stranger and
Phantom Girl

Batman and Robin

Black Lightning

Private Life of Clark Kent

Green Arrow and The Warlord

Eclipso / Mr. Mxyzptlk

The Flash & Adam Strange


Lightning Lad & Chameleon Boy

Justice League of America

Wonder Woman

Zatanna and Professor Zoom

Firestorm, the Nuclear Man

Swamp Thing

Gotham City Police Dept.

Bizarro World

The Atom

The Flash and The Mirror Master


The Batman and the Joker

Lex Luthor and Brainiac

The Flash

Enemy Ace

Green Arrow & Black Canary

Hawkman & the Flash

The Phantom Stranger

Legion of Super-Heroes

Green Lantern


Batman and Red Tornado

Green Lantern and the Flash

The Creeper

Robin, the Boy Wonder

Justice League of America

Legion of Super-Heroes

Elongated Man and Plastic Man

Superman Family

The Flash and the Spectre

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen


Hawkman & Hawkgirl


Wildcat & Dr. Fate

Batman & Robin


Plastic Man

Bob 'Answer Man' Rozakis

Batman & the Flash

Green Arrow & Green Lantern

The Atom

Batman & Robin

Coming soon

Jimmy Olsen & Lois Lane

Steve Trevor


Steve Savage

The Flash

Johnny Thunder

Sgt. Rock & Easy Company


Johnny Cloud

Green Lantern

Lois, Clark & Jimmy

Plastic Man

Perry White & Jimmy Olsen

Martian Manhunter

Madame Xanadu

Bruce Wayne


Swamp Thing

Fred Hembeck

Superboy's Town, Smallville
Uploaded April 1, 2002

DC appears to be basking in the reflected glory of the success of the current 'Smallville' television series. More power to them, but still I'm having a hard time reconciling Bo Duke as Pa Kent. Maybe I just keep expecting to see Lex drive up in the General Lee or Boss Hogg try to foreclose on the Kent family farm. Weird stuff, I tell you.

Lana Lang and Pete Ross are the two stalwart supporting cast members from Clark Kent's Smallville days, playing the girlfriend and the best friend respectively. In the post-Crisis chronology, they've ended up married to each other, which does break the usual rule about not dating your friend's ex's. Pete, Pete, Pete. We're very disappointed in you. That just ain't kosher.

Repetition being the hallmark of so many comic book stories, it's hardly surprising that Lana and Pete rarely deviated from their particular shticks in all of those Superboy stories. Lana was the girl constantly trying to prove that Clark was Superboy, and Superboy kept tripping up her clumsy attempts, often in a publicly humiliating manner, just to drive the point home. Pete, on the other hand, knew about the secret identity, but kept his knowledge hidden from young Clark, while deliberately creating opportunities for Clark to steal away to deal with assorted crises as Superboy.

This eventually earned Pete an honorary membership in the Legion of Super-Heroes, which should have raised at least some alarm bells with Superboy. "So, why exactly did you give my alter ego's best friend an honourary membership?" "Well, um, it's because...uh..." At least Lana had a valid reason behind her honorary membership. She had a ring that bestowed various insect-like powers upon her, notwithstanding the Legion rule against device-based powers.

I haven't seen too many of the Smallville episodes yet, but so far it seems like a cross between Dawson's Creek and Eerie, Indiana. I gather that the writers are having green kryptonite affect ordinary humans the way that red kryptonite used to affect Superman, causing unpredictable side effects and mutations. It's a nice gimmick, but easily overused to become a freak-of-the-week routine.

Still, with the decline of newsstand sales, it's great to see the DC Universe get a chunk of prime time mindshare outside of the comic book stores. The Justice League cartoon is doing well, and it looks like the 'Birds of Prey' series is moving ahead nicely too, featuring Oracle, the Huntress, Harley Quinn, and Black Canary. Now, if all of those other optioned properties can get pried out of Development Hell, then we'd really be talking. Personally, I'm holding out for a live-action/animation 'Stanley and His Monster' weekly series.

- NP

The copyrights, trademarks and publication rights to Fred's cartoons belong to DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Fred Hembeck where appropriate. Proud Robot Productions graphics, site design, cartoon re-coloring and commentary copyrights belong to Neil Polowin and Proud Robot Productions.

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