This is “Don’t Send Me No More Letters No.” In this feature I spotlight responses that amuse me for whatever reason by “Superman” family editor Mort Weisinger to letters fans wrote in to the Superman family of titles back in the 1950s and 1960s.
Today, we look at Mort taking an extremely positive view on the future to win an argument with a fan.
As always, do note that there is a very good chance that A. the letters were mostly fake and B. the responses were often written by Weisinger’s assistant, E. Nelson Bridwell, who was essentially an encyclopedia of information about DC Comics. However, whether fake or whether Bridwell wrote the actual response, the tone is always the important part of a Mort Weisinger letter column and it is the tone that tends to amuse me and it is why I started this feature.
Weisinger, like EC Comics before him and like Stan Lee after him, used the Metropolis Mailbag as a sort of monthly fan club for fans where he could find out what the fans were interested in and give them stories that they wanted to see. However, his aforementioned tone was often hilariously combative. Like with his response to a letter in Superman #127, where Weisinger ends up taking a highly optimistic view of the future, but only so that he could win a silly rhetorical point with said fan.
Before showing the letter, I’ll give some set-up for the fan’s bone of contention.
In Superman #119 (by Edmond Hamilton, Curt Swan and Stan Kaye), Superman discovers a planet that was sort of like a sister planet to Krypton. He goes to visit and he befriends a family that was a lot like his own, if they had been allowed to grow past Kal-El’s time as an infant, that is. They quickly grow close to each other and Superman tells them his life story and they agree for the son (who looks just like Superman, which seems like a crazy coincidence until you realize that every fifth person in the DC Silver Age was an identical double of Superman) to take Superman’s place on Earth for a little while…
Hamilton does a fine job on exploring just how difficult life as Superman really is, even if you have superpowers…
The fill-in quickly gets super stressed out over having to keep up a secret identity while also fighting crime. I like that Superman gets a little bit of appreciation for how much stress he has in his life.
Anyhow, back on the other planet, Superman has to figure out a way to keep it from exploding like Krypton. He ends up finding a solution, but it requires essentially turning the planet into a giant piece of Kryptonite, so he will never be able to visit them again, sadly.