thomas-moyers

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In just a few months, Pope Francis has proven to be one of the most outspoken pontiffs in recent history, especially when it comes to poverty and income inequality. In a message to be sent to world leaders marking the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace on January 1, he criticized the “widening gap between those who have more and those who must be content with the crumbs.”

Francis is the first Jesuit to ascend to the papacy, so this week Bill turns to Jesuit-educated author and historian Thomas Cahill to get his perspective on Pope Francis and the relevance of the Church in the 21st century. “[Pope Francis] is talking about the poor, as Jesus did. He’s talking about the absolute necessity for us to take care of the poor, to do something for them.”

Superman #24 (December 1988)

IN THIS ISSUE: Rampage goes into politics! Rampage, as seen in Superman #7, is a scientist named Kitty Faulkner whose lab exploded in her face, turning her into a giant, mohawk-wearing orange amazon. Superman managed to return her to normal, but it turns out that being transformed into a monster and then back into a petite human lady leaves you with some lingering health problems, so Kitty’s been in the hospital since then.

In this issue, Kitty receives an offer from her asshole co-worker, Dr. Thomas Moyers, to try an experimental treatment that could cure her. Kitty agrees, but then Moyers reveals that the treatment actually consists on turning her into Rampage again and then using her to sabotage the presidential campaign of a guy he hates, Senator Forrest. This is accomplished mainly by leaving compromising messages about Forrest on destroyed vehicles.

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“Also, how did they get that car through a wall? That’s pretty crazy, too.”

One of Rampage’s attacks happens during a campaign event attended by Clark Kent and a boozy Cat Grant, so Clark slips away to fight her (Rampage, not boozy Cat). Eventually he gets Kitty to regain control of herself (while still in full Rampage mode) and she leads Superman back to Moyers, who is finally arrested… but not before spilling everything he knows about Senator Forrest and losing him the election.

Character-Watch:

Kitty ends up with a fancy collar that will help her regulate her Rampage powers, and a fancy job at S.T.A.R. Labs, the DC Universe’s go-to hi-tech installations. From now on she’ll act as Superman’s unofficial liaison with S.T.A.R. who occasionally turns orange and punches supervillains.

As for Dr. Moyers, the last time we saw him he had turned a monkey into a giant (that’s sort of his medical specialty) and set it loose on Metropolis. I guess he got away with that because he was working for the government at the time. Apparently that’s where he met Senator Forrest and grew to hate the guy. I’m pretty sure we won’t see Moyers again, but Forrest will eventually be back.

Creator-Watch:

This is the first issue that actually feels like a Roger Stern comic, as opposed to someone doing clean-up on Byrne’s old plotlines (he’s still got a few of those left, though). Also, Kerry Gammill debuts as regular artist – a solid guy who unfortunately didn’t stick around the monthly Superman comics for too long* because he was too slow, so he got relegated to the occasional special.

*I mean “too long” for ‘80s-'90s standards; today if the same artist does five straight issues that’s a miracle.