Superboy #167, July 1970

This is one seriously daft comic.

With Superboy feeling a bit down cos he’s found an alien probe about to destroy the Earth, Ma and Pa Kent try cheer him up with a story of his exploits as Superbaby. On his birthday the Kents gave the toddler an inflatable globe, but, feeling it too small, Superbaby filled it with super-breath and it exploded (“Superbaby Blew up the World!” – geddit?).

Saddened that his gift was in tatters, Superbaby flew off to paint the Moon to resemble the Earth. Unfortunately his watercolour set soon ran out of paint, so he set his sights on Earth once more. However, he looked at it through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars, making it appear too small. To remedy this, and remembering his antics with the inflatable globe, he blew into the nearest volcano in an attempt to make the world grow bigger.

Worldwide earthquakes and volcanic disasters ensued. Oblivious to this, Superbaby reasoned that the world wasn’t expanding because his superbreath was escaping through all the other volcanoes — so he pluged them with boulders, and headed off for home once he smelled Ma’s pancakes.

On hearing this, Superboy whips up an iron globe, paints it to look like the Earth, and uses it to fool the alien probe. Bizarrely, given that this iron ball is no more than 30 ft across, the probe does indeed mistake it for Planet Earth. Hooray — we’re all safe!

I’m assuming that this didn’t loom large on writer Frank Robbins’s CV…

Still, the cover – by Neal Adams – is rather lovely.

©2010 DC Comics