The Fortress of Solitude

Hey guys! For today’s post we read a collection of Superman comics ranging from 1948-1961, as well as “Fandom and Authorship” in The Superhero Reader.

I want to highlight the “Super Key to Fort Superman” issue, from 1958, as it is so different from the earlier superman comics! It is so much more developed, with a lot of weird character quirks. Superman is now considered friends with Lois Lane, despite their previous quarrels. And there is a new reporter friend, Jimmy Olsen. Clark hangs out with them, but then leaves at the end of the day to go to his Fortress of Solitude. Before reading this I never knew what he kept in there, I just thought maybe it was a comfy house away from everyone. I was very surprised to read that he had rooms honoring each of his friends, complete with wax figures of them! He even had a room for Batman, as well as a room for Clark Kent. It seems a little creepy that Superman is so obsessive over the people in his life. In one panel he says that he keeps the souvenirs of his various battles in the fortress in order to do experiments on them, “and keep souvenirs of my best friends”, with a picture of a vault that read ‘Lois Lane Room’.

In this comic it also shows Superman having an “interplanetary zoo” filled with animals from other worlds, a suit he can wear to attempt to block Kryptonite, and a diary that he writes in. I thought the part of the diary seemed a little silly, because when I think of the 1950s and a diary, I automatically think of a teenage girl. That association in my mind made it funny that Superman was so specifically writing in his diary, even writing in Kryptonese so that no one else could read it.

I loved the end of the comic, when Batman finds a way into Superman’s Fortress of Solitude in order to play a prank on him. I really enjoyed reading the Batman and Superman dynamic together. I also learned that they know each other’s secret identities. It makes sense that they should know, but I think that could pose some problems in the future of comics, as maybe one would be captured in the hopes that they would tell the other’s secret identity? I’m not sure, but it just seems risky that they would know.

That’s all for now! Thank you for reading! Feel free to post questions or comments!

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The Fortress of Solitude

2 thoughts on “The Fortress of Solitude

  1. Maddy, I agree completely about the diary and about the Batman, Superman dynamic. It is great to see two friends compete, especially when they are both “supers”. Out of the origin stories which did you prefer? Also did you think it was a marketing ploy by DC and Marvel to portray Superman and Batman the way they did? Knowing each others identity, I think, is foolish and takes away from that friendship. I think it would be much cooler if they only knew each other as “supers” that way if Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent ever passed each other on any random day there would be that suspense of not knowing.

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  2. I like that you pointed out that Superman’s and Batman’s friendship to one another could be problematic as far as future comic book plots go. I also liked your comparison of Superman to a teenaged girl writing in her diary–I suppose that the similarity emphasizes the young age of the the comic’s target audience.

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