Irredeemable #10: Boy, Mark Waid must’ve hated ‘Action Comics’ #442
Warning: We’re discussing Irredeemable #10, out in stores this week, and we’re probably going to spoil a minor plot point. You might want to read it first before you go any further.
Based on part of Irredeemable #10, I can tell that Mark Waid read Action Comics #442 at a very impressionable age– specifically “The Midnight Murder Show” written by Cary Bates, with art by Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger.
And he was struck by the sheer implausibilty of it all. And re-reading it, I can’t blame him.
Let me recap the plot a bit: Late night talk show host Johnny Nevada, host of GBS’s “The Midnight Show” has been kidnapped by the psychotic and trigger-happy “Touch” McCoy and his henchman, Louie, because all criminal henchmen in Superman stories are named Louie.
Nevada is being held for ransom of ten million dollars. (In 1974, that was enough to stun a TV network– in 2004, ABC spent more than that on the pilot of Lost, and today, there are pilots rumored to cost fifty million dollars. My, how times change.)
To catch the kidnapper, Superman hatches a plan to goad the kidnapper into shooting, which he will be able to hear with his super-hearing. So Superman goes on The Midnight Show and goads Touch into shooting his .45
at Carso– er, Nevada, which Superman will hear fire from across the
city, and can get there before the bullet travels the distance to hit
All well and good, except that Superman has forgotten that a .45 caliber bullet travels at 800 feet per second. In a 20 foot room, it will take 1/40th of a second.
that time, the sound of the gunshot will only travel 28 feet. It’s not
going to matter if he’s faster than a speeding bullet if he can’t hear
it before it hits the target.
We won’t even get
into the argument of how Superman knew how far away the shot was or the
exact direction to fly off in– suffice it to say that it’s a
completely implausible story.
I mean, really– TV networks caring about the hosts of their late-night talk shows?