Saturday, July 9, 2011

Supervillain - Elton Craig

I remembered this character from my youth so I was anxious to do a custom figure of him when I rediscovered the comic later in life. Originally presented in World's Finest #87, April 1957, I found it reprinted in World's Finest #223, May-June 1974. The story goes that Clark Kent hears that a super-powered villain is on the rampage in Metropolis so he switches to Superman and tracks the guy down. However, when he enters the villain's lair he is stricken with Kryptonite and collapses on the floor. The villain, who introduces himself as Elton Craig, shows Superman a box encrusted with Kryptonite that's actually from Jor-El (Superman's father if you didn't already know). The box contained vials of a formula that would give super-powers to Kryptonians if they should lose their naturally occurring powers for some reason. The box was intended to make the flight when the Kryptonians migrated to earth, but the planet blew up prematurely. Anyway, Elton Craig had taken one of the vials and now had super powers. He leaves Superman writhing on the floor and goes off to commit more crimes. Superman manages, with the last vestiges of his X-Ray vision to burst a pipe, washing the kryptonite crust off the box. He decides to take one of capsules from the box to immediately restore his powers, but then finds that they are permeated with Kryptonite and actually causes him to lose his powers for some period of time. So he calls in Batman and Robin and gives each of them a capsule so they can handle Craig while Supes is powerless. Most of the story consists of Batman and Robin learning to use their new-found super-powers, while Superman is stumbling around bemoaning his non-super existence. One particularly cold-blooded incident was when Craig throws the no longer super Superman toward cliffs near the city where he would have been squashed if not for the timely intervention of Batman and Robin. Eventually they capture Craig, Superman regains his powers while Batman and Robin lose theirs and everything goes back to normal. Despite the fact that I would have liked Craig to adopt a super-villain moniker (maybe like Super-Badman or something), I did like the character and it gave be an opportunity to use an animated Batman figure for the conversion. I removed the detail from his gauntlets and bat ears and gave him a round belt buckle, then beefed up the tops of his boots with putty, before painting him appropriately. I gave him a little cape made from T-shirt cloth.

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