Friday, April 11, 2014

Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex by Niven and Swan

"Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" is a 1971 essay in which science fiction author Larry Niven details the problems that Superman would face in sexual intercourse and reproducing with "a human woman designated LL for convenience," using arguments based on humorous reconciliation between physics, biology, and the abilities of Kryptonians as presented in Superman comic books.

A comic book-style adaptation—illustrated by classic Superman artist Curt Swan, and with all identifying logos and names removed—was published in a 1995 edition of Penthouse Comix.

Fun Fact: In 1986, the essay was reposted onto Usenet; this led to what is thought to be the very first online report of copyright violation.

Fun Fact: Many of the points given in this essay are reused and paraphrased in Kevin Smith's 1995 movie Mallrats.

Fun Fact: Tom Smith's "Superman Sex-Life Boogie" recounts the problem from Superman's perspective.

Fun Fact: The 2012 graphic novel Superman: Earth One, Volume Two has Jonathan Kent trying to warn an awkward teenage Clark about sex, saying "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex. That's all I'm saying."


Rob said...

Reminds me also of this funny scene from Garth Ennis' twisted comic, The Pro...
NSFW link

alxjhnsn said...

Curt was not the first Superman artist to do smut to make ends meet. Check out this book:

Rhob60 said...

When she blows the Saint, and his load shoots down an airliner. That is beyond funny, Someone needs to make a movie based on that. But no one would have the gonads.

Rob said...

@Rhob60 - I haven’t read the book THE BOYS, but I’ve enjoyed the series on Amazon. I’m surprised at how much of the Garth Ennis inappropriate humor translates. Am curious to know how different it is.