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Things That Turned Out Bad – That Time Superboy’s Robot Teacher Got Him Laid

by  in Comic News Comment

In this column, I will spotlight plotlines by writers that probably weren’t a good idea at the time and have only become more problematic in retrospect. I’ll try to stick with stuff that’s more ill-conceived than flat-out offensive (like racist stereotypes of characters during the 1940s).

Today, based on a suggestion from reader Tony (although my pal Michael also mentioned it to me awhile back), we look at one of the most disturbing Superboy stories of all-time. You can’t truly prepare yourself for the messed-up stuff that happened in 1977’s DC Super Stars #12 by writer Cary Bates and artists Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson, but you should at least attempt to ready yourself for what you’re about to see.

The issue opens with Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen flying home from an assignment…


This leads to a flashback to Clark Kent’s last few months as “Superboy” before becoming SuperMAN. Some strange stuff is going down in Smallville and Superboy figures out that someone is testing him. He eventually discovers that it is his robot tutor from Krypton…


The robot teacher also tormented…er…I mean TAUGHT Supergirl, as well, in a story I covered in the Goofiest Comic Book Moments of All-Time.

Okay, so while at the Senior dance, Clark meets a new girl who strikes his fancy when suddenly…


Clark eventually figures out that this is all a telepathic attack by his robot teacher…


Now we move to how Clark Kent lost his virginity…



I love the bit where she essentially says, “Everyone in Smallville is too stupid to figure it out.” Also, Clark always complains about Lana trying to prove that he’s Superboy but clearly as shown here, it turns him on.

Just to make sure it is clear that they had sex, we’re given these next few panels…


Oh, is “all night patrol” what they’re calling it these days?

The story takes a bizarre turn, though, when the Robot Teacher unleashes a trio of Big Foots in Smallville, to test to see if Superboy knows enough to keep them from being exploited by the human race. Superboy takes the Big Foots to a remote part of Smallville (I love that Smallville’s forests are dense enough to safely hide three Big Foot monsters). And then things get really real…




Yes, you read that right. Superboy’s Robot Teacher brainwashed some random girl into having sex with Superboy to teach him not to kill, even when his dream girl has seemingly been murdered. And as creepy as that is, it is perhaps even creepier that Superboy, while pissed off, is also basically, “Oh well, Robot Teacher, I guess you had your reasons for brainwashing this girl into having sex with me. You rascal, you!” It’s pretty much rape, right? She willingly had sex with Clark, but only because the robot PROGRAMMED her to do so, so it still counts as rape, I think.

Thanks for the suggestion, Tony! If YOU have a story that you’d like to see featured in I Love Ya But You’re Strange, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com.