|Well we better change him, then.|
The rush to capitalize on Superman’s success encouraged a few other Super-imitators. Naturally, there were all the simply superlative men – Wonder Man, Amazing Man, Impossible Man, Strong Man, and so on – but occasionally an unwary independent publisher would risk the ire of the heavily litigious National Periodical juggernaut. This was the case when short-lived Cisco Kid Comics debuted and bowed with Super Baby in 1944, although whether they had to face soon-to-be-DC’s ire, I couldn’t say.
The five page origin and inaugural adventure of Super Baby is performed entirely in severely forced doggerel, depicting the comical happenstance when a beleaguered cosmetics chemist also has to contend with single parenthood. Lord knows what happened to his wife but, judging from pop’s easy frustration and repeated failure at chemical endeavors, she might have been an unfortunate test subject.
While Super Baby’s dad struggles with devising a cure for baldness, he fails to notice when hungry baby knocks an unknown chemical into his formula bottle. God, I hope it’s formula. I’d hate to think the one thing Doc managed to invent was a means to make men reliably lactate.
Following a startling transformation sequence, Baby develops powers of invulnerability, super-strength and flight, although all of it takes a backseat to the ghastly rhymes which constitute both speech and narrative. Some examples:
- Superwomen, Wondermen, Captains, Colonels, then again / Privates, Looies, Corporals too … Cheer out loud … and so will you / Because Super Baby has SUPER DO! (I bet he does)
- Listen to that baby chirp / When suddenly out comes a … BURP!
- No more at laws this thug will scoff / When this burglar bell goes off
- Daddy’s happy / All is quiet / He’s put an end to baby’s riot
- Oogle Oogle / Google Schmoogle
- Uggle uggle / Guggle muggle
- AWWW SUFFRAGETTE!
Super Baby’s career lasts all of one five page story, which is fine since it was already testing the limits of endurance with its forced rhyme schemes. Plus, it’s a career with a timer on it … after all, that kid’s gonna hit toddler-hood pretty soon, and that’ll call for a whole new rhyming dictionary.