Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mad #4

Cover dated April/May 1953
Cover by Harvey Kurtzman

"Superduperman!" - Art by Wally Wood/Story by Harvey Kurtzman
"Flob Was A Slob!" - Art by Jack Davis/Story by Harvey Kurtzman
"Robin Hood!" - Art by John Severin/Story by Harvey Kurtzman
"Shadow!" - Art by Bill Elder/Story by Harvey Kurtzman

An average issue of Mad quality-wise, but it was the issue during which Mad started to become really popular, and started to hit its stride by doing parodies of other things from popular culture.

"Superduperman!" - A parody of Superman, the story stars Clark Bent, a miserable, emaciated man who is assistant to the copy boy. In love with reporter Lois Pain, Clark spends his life savings on a neckalce for her only for her to knock him aside, calling him a creep. Clark changes into his Superduperman persona, then has to battle Captain Marbles, a similar hulking presense who is trying to rob a safe. Superduperman manages to defeat Captain Marbles by getting him to punch himself in the face. Superduperman thinks Lois will be impressed with him now and reveals his hidden identiy to her, but she still thinks he is a creep and knocks him over.

"Flob Was A Slob!" - A young woman named Ramona Snarfle is engaged to her childhood sweethear, Sheldon, a rather baffoonish character who spends his time trying to catch a butterfly. The handsome Rackstraw Him appears and takes Ramona away with him. He shows her quite a good time at a variety of places, but she soon discovers that he is a crook, and when he tries to get her to sell racing forms she leaves him and returns to Sheldon. The story ends with Ramona in the present, where she has left Sheldon to sell racing forms.

"Robin Hood!" - A parody of Robin Hood, the story begins with two locals watching as the Sheriff of Nottingham passes by with a number of merchants. Robin Hood shows up and introduces his variety of merry men. They then pursue the merchants while our protagonists pursue Maid Marion. As Robin and his merry men are about to leave, our protagonists ask if they can provide them with some money since all they have is two cents. Robin Hood's merry men instead rob the men of the two cents and their clothing.

"Shadow!" - A woman named Marlo Pain shows up at a bar full of seedy looking characters, saying that she is the only one who knows the voice of the mysterious, invisible Shadowskeedeeboomboom. Shadow shows up, but due to him being invisible survives while all the men there end up killing one another. Margo and Shadow leave and Margo finds her life to be threatened. They eventually come upon a cabin connected to dynamite. Shadow convinces her to sit inside and he then pushes the trigger, killing her since she's the only one who recognizes his voice.

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