Wednesday 11 June 2008
In case you were unaware, the year 2008 marks the 70th anniversary of Superman. And this year's birthday celebration will coincide with the 30th annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois, which starts tomorrow and runs through the weekend. (It also happens to be the 30th anniversary of the release of Richard Donner's Superman, the Movie.) In tribute, event organizers hope to qualify for the Guinness Word Record of largest assembly of people dressed as Superman on June 15. Is it just me, or does that seem a little fishy to anyone else?
It's an established fact that once an evil mastermind has discovered that he cannot hope to best his arch nemesis in direct combat, the evil genius eventually plans to pit his foe against an equal but opposite force in order to wear the hero down either physically or mentally. And since no hero has proven more indomitable than Superman, it's an inevitability that the foes of the Last Son of Krypton would turn to duplicates of the Superman himself in order to further their twisted schemes.
Clearly, this tactic has been tried before (Lex Luthor's Bizarro naturally springs to mind), but perhaps event organizer Steven Kirk has something new up his sleeve. Like all great comic book origins, a professional impersonator such as Mr. Kirk would seek to best his foe through his superior acting ability as in the classic Adventures of Superman episode "The Face and the Voice." Notably, Mr. Kirk's resume, in addition to his selected acting credits, lists both "Firearms" and "Wax Figure Sculpting" among his Special Talents. Nefarious, indeed!
Shame on the Guinness World Record people for assisting in this mad plot. I checked their website. Not surprisingly, there doesn't appear to be any previous record for "Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Superman." Has everyone already forgotten the lesson from Superman III? Richard Prior, disguised as an Army General, usurps a Smallville celebration for Superman in order to present the Man of Steel with synthetic Kryptonite which ends up splitting Superman into his own impersonator. If there's anything to learn from that disaster (other than to keep your ticket stub so that you can demand a refund), it's to remember that you have to check the credentials of these people before you can allow them to crash your party, Metropolis!
I, for one, know that I'm not fit (either heroically or physically) to wear the familiar red and blue tights of Superman. So I'll just be sticking stick to my Underoos, thank you.