The DC Universe Swapped Gender Simply to Screw with Superman
Superman’s encountered many cosmic-level pranks – however the weirdest occurred when he found the DC Universe had switched genders on him!
Whenever you’re an omnipotent superhero like Superman, you usually want one thing huge to problem you. And whereas the Man of Metal is accustomed to smashing big robots or dealing with off towards Kryptonite-powered weapons, generally the challenges Superman in the end faces are simply… bizarre.
Take for instance the time Superman returned to Earth from a deep area mission solely to seek out that everybody on the planet had mysteriously swapped genders! Whereas this was bizarre sufficient, what occurred subsequent was sufficient to make even the Man of Tomorrow assume he was going loopy.
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This weird Silver Age-style journey occurred in Superman #349 in “The Turnabout Entice!” a narrative written by Martin Pasko and drawn by legendary Superman artist Curt Swan. Happening a number of years earlier than the Disaster on Infinite Earths occasion rebooted the DC Universe, the story occurred at a time when DC Comics tales nonetheless had a whimsical contact and reveled within the weirdness they put their characters by way of.
It started innocently sufficient with Superman rushing again to Earth after taking over an interstellar mission. Switching to his civilian identification, Clark Kent is astonished when no person appears to acknowledge him on the Every day Planet. Issues get stranger when he sees a “Louis Lane” and “Jenny Olsen” report back to their editor “Penny White” who desires to know the place “Clara Kent” is. Beating a hasty retreat, Clark rapidly learns this world is protected by a “Superwoman” and—after utilizing his telescopic imaginative and prescient to spy on the Justice League Satellite tv for pc—discovers it additionally has a “Batwoman,” “Surprise Warrior,” “Black Condor,” and feminine Flash.
Surprisingly, these new discoveries really serve to calm Kent – who causes he should have taken a mistaken flip and wound up in a parallel universe the place the female and male sexes have been reversed. As this stuff did occur pretty often within the pre-Disaster universe, Superman merely decides to fly into area and uncover the dimensional gateway he by accident flew by way of – solely to find there’s a barrier across the Earth stopping him from leaving it. Confused, he returns to the Every day Planet, the place he’s shocked to seek out that “Clara Kent” and “Superwoman” are two completely different folks right here.
All of a sudden questioning if this entire factor is only a cosmic-level prank, Superman approaches Superwoman – who instantly acknowledges him as one of many worst villains on the planet and assaults him. Knocked off steadiness, Superman has to subsequent face a Superboy (principally a feminine model of Supergirl in sizzling pants) who depowers him with a Kryptonite-gas helmet and go away him in an remoted space underneath guard from the Justice League’s male Amazon Surprise Warrior.
Superman will get out of this predicament through the use of super-hypnotism to lull Surprise Warrior right into a deep sleep after which getting some buzzards to shatter the (apparently very weak) glass of his helmet. Taking out a recovered Surprise Warrior, Superman steals his Lariat of Reality after which calls out the particular person actually liable for all of the weirdness – Mr. Mxyzptlk. Because the Fifth-dimensional imp is able to rewriting actuality along with his powers, Superman causes he was in a position to rework the actual Earth (and presumably different components of the DC Universe) right into a gender-swapped model of itself.
Mxyzptlk seems and confirms Superman’s concept, explaining that after his fiancé revealed she was actually an outdated hag, he had his marriage annulled and have become jealous that Superman nonetheless had Lois Lane. Deciding to create a world the place Lois couldn’t exist, Mxyzptlk swapped the genders of everybody on the planet simply to screw with Superman. Nevertheless, the Man of Metal decides he’s had sufficient—and makes use of Surprise Warrior’s lasso to lure Mxyzptlk and get him to say his title backwarda, returning him to the Fifth–dimension and reversing all the things he did.
Gender-swapping was really a preferred trope within the Silver Age of Comics (and continues to pop up now and again in trendy tales and inventive cosplay). To abruptly have the whole DC Universe undergo a reality-wide intercourse change did appear to be a little bit of overkill, though Superman appeared to take the entire thing in stride. Then once more, after residing by way of tales the place he turned an enormous ant or regressed to a super-powered child, having the world abruptly swap genders wasn’t precisely the strangest factor the Man of Metal encountered.
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