Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Superman Vs. The Cyclops

If you're anything like me (and I suspect that you aren't), you're intimately familiar with this ad that ran in all DC books in 1964. I've probably got 8 or 10 copies of it in one comic or another. I wondered for years what exactly was being advertised, but I assumed that I'd never see it. Of course, sometime in the intervening years, they invented the internet, and, more specifically, they invented eBay, and a saved search therein eventually brought me the answer to my quest, though it took nearly a year. Because I am a good and generous man, I'm sparing you my arduous search.

This postcard shows us Walter's International Wax Museum (and the back informs us that Marge, Liz, & Mel visited it in August 1964), located in the Lake Amusement Area of the New York World's Fair. I'm not certain if the Walter brothers ever had a stand-alone museum, but they had previously operated the Paris Spectacular Wax Museum at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. The museum had a variety of exhibits of historical figures, religious tableaux, movie and TV stars (including some frightening Beatles with Ed Sullivan, and a Robin and the Seven Hoods window display!).But more importantly, they had this:

Here's a closer view for you:

It's a bit underwhelming, but the Cyclops himself is pretty swell. I can't help but wonder if he'd been prepared for a mythologically-based display, and then conscripted to fight Supey (like the wax museum in Helen, GA we visited that had a display of a 19th century general store, one of whose occupants was unquestionably Gerald Ford in a new change of clothes). I guess they're shooting for a vaguely George Reeves-ish appearance, though Lois doesn't look like Noel Neill nor Phyllis Coates. Superman's hair seems to be an uncharacteristic texture, but it's hard to say for sure from the photo. I thought for a moment that maybe they were supposed to resemble the stars of It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman, but a quick search determined that the musical didn't open until March 1966.
By now I've seen the cardboard submarine,the Giant-Size Moon Monster, I own some of the 100 pc.Toy Soldier Set and a Gigantic Frankenstein poster (scroll down a ways), and I finally got the record that Bob Kane co-wrote by Hank Leids and his "Bat-Group" Courage (stay tuned to this blog for that little gem, eventually), so this was my last major comic ad mystery. It's a good thing that I have a near-infinite number of interests, or I'd be kind of bummed out. Still... tomorrow is another day!