- Keep your paws off me, you stinking ape!
- -- Superboy
Appearing in "Survival of the Fittest - The Last Boy on Earth Pt 1 of 4"
- Caesar (First appearance)
- Lady Tawna (First appearance)
- Doctor Canus (First appearance)
- Tuftan (First appearance)
- Nosferata (First appearance)
- Batrok (First appearance)
- Killa (First appearance)
- Ratsputin (First appearance)
- Sacker (First appearance)
- Wild Men (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Survival of the Fittest - The Last Boy on Earth Pt 1 of 4"
Superboy, with long hair and only rags of his costume, cowers in some ruins, hearing the voices of those hunting him. He is being pursued by a company of four animal people: a minotaur named Gorr, a wolfman named Howler, a bear-man named Growler, and a tiger-man named Prince Tuftan. They are equipped with crude weapons, except for the prince, who sports the "royal gun." Superboy apparently cannot speak and doesn't use or possess his powers. Nevertheless, he is no slacker, and fights hard against them. Still, outnumbered and not quite himself, the Kid is captured.
The hunters take him back to Roam, a city populated completely with animal people of every sort and ruled by Prince Tuftan's father, a tiger man named Caesar. Tuftan captured SB in the hopes of presenting him as a gift to his beloved, the Lady Tawna. However, an old snake creature named Sacker protests the exchange, claiming that the boy belongs to him, that his mark is around the boy's neck (there is a pendant with a S shaped snake on it). Caesar offers an ancient artifact (a TV) in exchange for SB, and despite the objections of Doctor Canus. Sacker warns that they should give the boy a special venom to hold in check his more aggressive tendencies.
While a celebration explodes in Roam, Doctor Canus withdraws to the cavern of Nosferata, a bat woman, and from him she learns about the boy, the celebration, and that Caesar's guard will be down. Caesar looks over SB while Tuftan goes to fetch the serum Sacker provided. Caesar is attacked by a gorilla man named Killa, but Superboy manages to snap his chains and with a shout of triumph he lays the gorilla out flat. A crowd rushes in as Killa escapes and Caesar explains that the Kid saved him. Over the protest of Ratsputin, the royal warlock, Caesar orders that the boy must undergo the "Test" to see if he is the Mighty One.
- This storyline is an homage to Jack Kirby's Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth. This issue gives special thanks to Kirby.
- Superboy's remark, "Keep your paws off me, you stinking ape!" is an homage to the infamous line spoken by Charlton Heston in the 1968 film Planet of the Apes. Kirby drew heavily upon the popularity of Planet of the Apes when conceptualizing the world of Kamandi.
- Lady Tawna's first line of dialogue in this issue is, "Face it, tiger -- you just hit the jackpot!" This line was originally made famous by the Marvel Comics character Mary Jane Watson when she spoke these words upon first meeting Peter Parker, aka, Spider-Man.
- On several occasions, Prince Tuftan invokes the name of "Grant". In Earth-AD continuity, Michael Grant was the scientist who first developed the Cortexin drug that allowed common animals to mutate into a more evolved species.
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Links and References
- Superboy article at Wikipedia
- Superboy (Volume 4) series index at DCU Guide
- Superboy (Volume 4) series index at Comicbookdb.com
- Superboy (Volume 4) series index at the Grand Comics Database Project
- Superboy #50 entry at the Grand Comics Database
- Superboy #50 entry at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe