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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #87

This is the eighty-seventh in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous eighty-six. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Donald Duck discovered methylene.

STATUS: True, in a manner of speaking

As established in a previous Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, Carl Barks was a real master of coming up with realistic sounding scientific facts, even when he was completely fabricating them. In fact, he paid such close attention that, as detailed in the earlier installment, a process he detailed in an issue of Donald Duck apparently led to an inventor being denied a patent, because his process was so similar to Barks’.

Barks was not just involved in coming up with interesting processes, but he also stumbled on to some interesting discoveries in chemistry, as well, in 1944’s Walt Disney Comics and Stories #44 (note the reference on the cover to rationing – sure takes you back, huh?).


Daniël van Eijmeren’s amazing website, the Guide to the Carl Barks Universe, gives us some details on to exactly what significance there was in the Barks stories in this issue, titled “The Mad Chemist”:

In 1963, the Disney Studio learned just how wide and faithful a readership Barks had. A letter arrived from Joseph B. Lambert of the California Institute of Technology, pointing out a curious reference in “The Spin States of Carbenes,” a technical article soon to be published by P.P. Gaspar and G.S. Hammond (in Carbene Chemistry, edited by Wolfgang Kirmse, New York: Academic Press, 1964). “Despite the recent extensive interest in methylene chemistry,” read the article’s last paragraph, “much additional study is required…. Among experiments which have not, to our knowledge, been carried out as yet is one of a most intriguing nature suggested in the literature of no less than 19 years ago (91).” Footnote 91, in turn, directed readers to issue 44 of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories. It seems Donald’s reference to CH2 in panel 2.1 was years ahead of its time: the existence of this elusive chemical intermediate had not been proven in 1944.

“The inclusion of this footnote in a quite scholarly article,” Lambert explained, “stemmed from the discovery that Dr. Gaspar … and I shared a mutual, and independently long-standing esteem for the adventures of Donald Duck. We both had retained copies of some of the classic adventures. It was Dr. Gaspar who rediscovered this early mention of carbene.”

Other members of the scientific community sought out the reference. A year later, the Studio received a letter from Richard Greenwald, a scientist at Harvard. “Recent developments in chemistry have focused much attention to species of this sort,” Greenwald commented. “Without getting technical let me say that carbenes can be made but not isolated; i.e. they cannot be put into a jar and kept on a shell. They can, however, be made to react with other substances. Donald was using carbene in just such a manner, many years before ‘real chemists’ thought to do so.”

The telltale panel has since been used to illustrate an article by Robert A. Moss (“Carbene Chemistry,” Chemical and Engineering News, 16 June 1969) and a textbook by Robert Morrison and Robert Boyd (Organic Chemistry, 3rd Edition, Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1973).

F. James Holler and John P.Selegue, in their excellent website, The Periodic Table of Comic Books, also examine the issue, and tell about how it was the first published mention of methylene!

Courtesty of Holler and Selegue, here is a page from the issue in question:


Pretty neat, huh?

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Basil Wolverton’s visualization of Lena the Hyena was such a big deal, it even made the cover of Life magazine!


Recently, there was a little bit of a glimpse into how seriously some people take their comic strips, when Rich Johnston linked folks to a discussion board discussing some storyline in For Better of For Worse, but it is interesting to note that there used to be the days when it was simply a natural way of life for comic strips to be a big part of people’s lives, like Al Capp’s Li’l Abner comic strip, which Capp populated with all sorts of absurd characters, but few were as odd as Lena the Hyena, the world’s ugliest woman, who Capp first introduced with her face covered up, with the gag being that it would be unfair to the readers to show such a hideous face.

Story continues below

The character was a huge success with fans, and soon, people were clamoring to see what she looked like, so Capp decided to hold a contest – cartoonists would send in their depictions of what Lena would look like, and an expert panel (made up of, of all people, Salvador Dali, Frank Sinatra and Boris Karloff! Doesn’t that sound like the beginning of a joke? “Salvador Dali, Frank Sinatra and Boris Karloff walk into a bar…”) would decide who won.

The winning entry was by noted comic artist Basil Wolverton, who was not AS noted back then, but he soon became known after his winning entry was first published in the October 28th issue of Life magazine in 1946.

Here, courtesy of Don Markstein’s excellent Toonopedia, is Wolverton’s visualization of Lena…


Isn’t that stunning?

However, it is interesting to note how, as time passed, the lore of Lena the Hyena grew, sort of like a game of telephone, and as a reader wrote in to mention to me (I’d tell you the reader’s name, but I don’t have it – and posting his/her e-mail address seems tacky, no?) that now the story was that Lena the Hyena by Wolverton appeared on the COVER of Life magazine, which would be a tremendous feat for a cartoonist in the 1940s!

However, this was not the case.

Here is the cover for the issue featuring Lena’s debut…


Just a photograph by Bernard Hoffman.

In fact, Wolverton never had a drawing grace the covers of Life magazine, although that does not really dampen his resume, it just never happened.

Most likely, folks just confused the following Mad cover, from issue #11…


and somehow a PARODY cover has been replayed into people’s minds over time as an ACTUAL cover.

Funny, eh?

Thanks to reader John Thorpe for the suggestion!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Smallville was established in a Superboy comic as being located on the East Coast.


When reader John McDonagh (thanks, John!) passed this one on to me awhile back, it sounded pretty far-fetched to me.


I mean, Smallville, home of Superboy, has just GOT to be a midwest town, right?

Where else could it be?

As it turns out, though, through the years, the books kept it pretty vague as to where Smallville was actually located, until finally, in a letter column in an early 60s issue of Adventure Comics, as discovered by noted comic historian, Bob Hughes, editor Mort Weisinger told the audience, “We have never established definitely which state it is,” but that Smallville is a suburb in an Eastern State of the United States. Definitely not Kansas.

How trippy is THAT?

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Feel free to drop off any urban legends you’d like to see featured!


Have I been punched by Superboy and is my timeline now out of wack or is CBULR #87 really this early?

Maybe this is just common knowledge and I’m being a big dummy, but wasn’t Smallville officially placed in Kansas because the Superman movie did so?

Also, one of the main things that bothers me about the Smallville show is how Smallville is a suburb of Metropolis. I know it’s not the biggest deal in the world, but there is no way the biggest and brightest city in the world resides in Kansas.

Damn my East Coast bias.

Another Donald Duck – CH2 connection: DD has triplet nephews, and methylene, unlike many carbenes, is a ground state triplet (its two unpaired electrons have the same spin).
Fun facts to know and tell!

I believe that Metropolis was originally set on the East Coast. Then when Smallville was created, I think it was assumed that it would be somewhere near Metropolis, so it would also be on the East Coast.

Then, the idea that Smallville needed to be near Metropolis sorta faded, in place of the notion that it was in an area more typical for farming, like Kansas. I think this was established in John Byrne’s “Man of Steel”

Finally, we have the recent “Smallville” show, which wanted to be able to use Metropolis, so they have moved it to Kansas.

Some *very* neat stuff in the column today.

Basil Wolverton is awesome.

Metropolis was the “good” part of NYC, while Gotham was the “bad” part.

Is Gotham even in New York? I always thought it was a Boston analogue.

Wow, 15¢ for Life magazine and 10¢ for Mad. (and that’s when Mad was great!)

Pre-crisis, I always understood that Smallville was relatively near Metropolis. I don’t remember any mention of Kansas until Byrne came along.

Keep the rumors coming!

I had always assumed that Gotham City was supposed to be Philadelphia. I somehow got this notion that Metropolis and Gotham City were separated by a major river. Somewhere along the line I came to the conclusion that the biggest city to NYC was Philadelphia, hence the Metropolis/Gotham City connection. Am I wrong about this?

I always used to associate Gotham with Philly, but then, I was born there.

Metropolis is just supposed to be some new big city in Delaware and Gotham one in Jersey; but the New York by day and night thing is true.

Smallville’s location:

1. DC’s mid–70s newsmag, AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS, had a JLA issue before the big SUPERMAN movie came out that established real–world locations for most of the members’ DCU–fiction home cities, and I recall something being said about Smallville being in Kansas. Anybody got a copy?

2. The early, pre–series Legion of Super–Heroes stories indicated that Smallville had been absorbed into Metropolis by the 30th century, according to the ADVENTURE COMICS digest run’s reprints and Paul Levitz’s inside–back–cover historical–context text pieces there. This, of course, places the two reasonably close to each other, and may have been the basis for Weisinger’s statement. Come to think of it, perhaps THAT future status felt wrong to readers even then, and Mort was responding to letters of complaint. After all, Brian, you did say this was in the letter column, in the early 60s, and the first LSH story was in 1958.

3. Metropolis was originally an obvious paraphrase of Siegel & Shuster’s home town of Cleveland, Ohio. Forget just where I read this, but I freely admit that *I* have never been close to that state, and wouldn’t recognize the city itself, let alone a comic art representation of it.

4. As Glenn Simpson correctly posted, TV’s SMALLVILLE show explicitly puts the town in Kansas, and makes it clear that Metropolis is the nearest big city (which in reality would have to be Kansas City, wouldn’t it?). 1990s TV’s LOIS AND CLARK similarly had the city a relatively short hop from the town, but I don’t recall a state being specified for either. Anybody remember if Big M seemed to be coastal there?

Hope this helps, or is at least interesting.

The term Gotham was originally used by Washington Irving as a name for New York.

I think it was Frank Miller who said that Metropolis is New York by day and Gotham is New York by night.

I believe it has been said that Metropolis was based on Ontario, and Gotham is often written like New Jersey, it doesn’t really feel like New York…

If anyone has ever seen the DC Atlas (which granted, is about as accurate as any map of Springfield) they would have seen that Gotham is in NJ (recognize!), sort of near Newark. Bludhaven would be the in the southern part of the state, which would essentially make it Camden, NJ.

Have I been punched by Superboy and is my timeline now out of wack or is CBULR #87 really this early?

I think a more accurate description is that it is not as late as usual. ;)

I always hate those back-dated Friday CBULs.

No matter what the stories inside were like, that Donald Duck cover is funny all by itself!

Gotham City seems like Chicago, to me, while Metropolis is more NYC. I think it was a mistake for DC to bring real-world cities like New York and LA into their world, because it was always more fun to play the game of what’s where.

I wonder whatever became of the slack-jawed yokel on the Life cover…

I always thought that Gotham was more like NYC at it’s worst extreme and Metropolis feels more like L.A. or Chicago. That’s just my personal opinoin, though.

From Ted Watson: “1. DC’s mid–70s newsmag, AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS, had a JLA issue before the big SUPERMAN movie came out that established real–world locations for most of the members’ DCU–fiction home cities, and I recall something being said about Smallville being in Kansas. Anybody got a copy?”

Yes, I do. The Superman entry has Smallville in Maryland and Metropolis in Delaware.

But, as it was written by a fan (granted it was young Mark Gruenwald), I’m not sure how authoritative this would be. Consider that he referred to John Stewart as “Black Lantern”.

Others of note were:
Happy Harbor, Rhode Island
Ivy Town, Connecticut
Gotham City, New Jersey
Star City, Massachussetts
Central City, Ohio
Coast City, California
Midway City, Michigan
Middletown, Illinois (J’Onn J’Onzz)

Out of those, I think Happy Harbor and maybe Midway are still accurate, with some cities, such as Star City moved to the opposite coast.

For what that’s worth-

Greg’s Old Comics Reference Library
–Somebody asked!

my $.02

Gotham – Gangster Era Chicago
Metropolis – Future NYC

while we’re at it – Keystone City felt like Philadelphia and Coast City seemed to be Los Angeles.

Clark Kent originally worked for the Cleveland Star in the first issues of Action Comics- giving credence to Metropolis=Cleveland.

Some modern comic put Gotham City in New Jersey as well

Gotham City is based on NYC (as evidenced by “Gotham” being a name for NYC)

Metropolis is actually based on Toronto, not any American city.

I read somewhere (can’t remember exactly where) that Metropolis was originally a composite of different things: Cleveland, Joe Shuster’s memories of Toronto, and both Jerry and Joe’s ideas of what an ideal big city would look like. It wasn’t a New York analogue until later, when different people took over the character and used the city outside their window for inspiration.

Central City, OHIO? That’s just weird…

When I was younger (about 10 or so) I thought that Gotham was New York, Metropolis was Chicago, and Central City was St. Louis. I decided Central City was St. Louis because I lived there. And, I had also decided that St. Louis was “sort of” in the center of the country, or at least close to it, which accounted for the name. It’s fun to think a superhero is from your city.

Oh, and that Donald Duck cover is freaking awesome!

That cover is brilliant. Carl Banks is a genius. Makes me wish Fantagraphics or somebody would start reprinting their stories in the same manner as Peanuts is being republished these days.

New York is certainly sometimes called gotham.

From Wikipedia:
Gotham (gŏth´əm) is a village in Nottinghamshire, England. It is also a sobriquet for New York City first used by Washington Irving in the Salmagundi Papers (1807), as a satirical reference to the tales of the “Wise fools of Gotham” told about the English village. The nickname was later appropriated by Bob Kane for Gotham City in his Batman series of comic books.

Comic Reader Man

January 26, 2007 at 6:51 am

Personally I always believed the following, glimmed from bits & pieces in various stories, or at the very least because it JUST FELT RIGHT TO ME:

Happy Harbor = Providence,Rhode Island
Ivy Town = Somewhere in CONNECTICUT, but not a BIG city
Gotham City = Newark NJ
Star City = Seattle Wa.
Central City = Columbus, Ohio
Coast City = San Francisco, California
Midway City = Detroit, Michigan
Middletown = Chicago
Smallville = somewhere in Kansas
Metropolis = New York
Keystone City = Philadelphia, Pa

I also never thought Smallville was a suburb of Metroplois. I always felt Superman went far away from his home to the big city. Going home was only minutes away at super-speed anyway.

That Carl Banks post is some wierd and wacky stuff.

Just for the record, that cover of WALT DISNEY’S COMICS & STORIES was not drawn by Carl Barks. It’s by Walt Kelly.

I vaguely remember a comment by some DC writer or editor a few years ago who thought that in his mind, Metropolis was based (currently) on New York in the daytime and Gotham was New York at night. I always thought that captured the feel of the two cities. The animated series Gotham does feel like gangster era Chicago to me, though.

Coastal City seems a little more like San Diego, which isn’t featured in DC near as much as SF or LA.

Star City might be thought of by some people as Seattle, but I think that’s probably because of the Green Arrow-Seattle connection. Originally, it was probably more of a Midwestern city like Minneapolis or Cleveland.

I too get the feeling that Central City is St. Louis, I don’t know what that would make Keystone City. Of course, they could always be Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Does anyone have any idea where Opal City might be? I’ve heard it was recently placed in Maryland in the new JLA.

Gotham is based on New York City. In the real world one of New York’s nicknames is actually Gotham. Smallville, I believe, is based upon Los Angeles, or somewhere on the west coast. As far as the TV series “Smallville”, Metropolis is made as a part of Kansas because of a technical error in an early episode. It has been stated that Metropolis is 6hrs away from Smallville which would indicate that it is most probably in another state but in an early episode Clark and Lana were sitting atop a windmill looking out towards Metropolis and the windmill was supposed to look taller than it actually was. During editing, I guess this scene slipped by the crew and the windmill is its actual size which made Metropolis look so much closer, therefore, in later episodes they made Metropolis be located in Kansas. You can see it in an episode where (I believe) Lex is holding an episode and the return address is “Metropolis, KS.”

I always thought, Post-Crisis, that Central City and Keystone City were Minneapolis & St. Paul. That probably isn’t true, but there’s just something very Midwest about them.


January 26, 2007 at 2:05 pm

My understanding is that Gotham City was based on Chicago originally, but there have been plenty of stories (especially in the 1950s) where it was clearly based on New York City as well.

Greg Geren:

So my memory of that AWODCC issue was off. Thanks.


Coast City is DEFINITELY too sub–tropical to be San Francisco. It seemed to go back and forth between being San Diego (or maybe Los Angeles) and Miami. At least, it has definitely been East Coast in some stories and West Coast in others.

Opal City (James Robinson version, anyway) was definitely admitted to being based firmly on East St. Louis in the STARMAN letter column, wasn’t it? And Denny O’Neil said at the time that Hub City in his QUESTION was based on a real city, which seemed to me to be the same as Robinson’s Opal once that comic came out.

When GREEN ARROW was in the “Dollar Format” era of WORLD’S FINEST COMICS, the man who stole Oliver Queen’s fortune found the (by then empty) Arrow Cave beneath Ollie’s ex–mansion, and assumed Queen was Batman! GA didn’t seem to think that was especially out of line, so this puts Star City reasonably close to Gotham. Speaking of there, Julie Schwartz objected to that AWODCC issue putting Gotham in New Jersey, as Barbara Gordon was congressperson from Gotham, not N.J. That just meant to me that on Earth–1, a member of Congress, who represents a population–based district rather than a state as senators do, has his/her district given a name that is more meaningful than the state it is within. Should do that here, really.

As for the animated BATMAN’s Gotham seeming like Chicago, the Statue of Liberty is there!

Mark Waid’s run on FLASH also called Keystone and Central the “Twin Cities,” which no doubt contributed to the Mpls/St. Paul vibe that they had back then.

There was a small map I remember in some DC comic of the 50s or 60s that showed Metropolis at the mouth of a river. Smallville was some distance northwest of Metropolis on the same river — presumably far enough to be rural, rather than a suburb, so call it at least 100 miles — and midway (ahem) between the two (on the river) was Midvale, where Supergirl’s orphanage was.

I expect this was in a Supergirl story, likely a Legion appearance since I’ve read far more of those than other book of the era.

Gotham is certainly a dark approximation of New York, but I always placed Metropolis as a more West Coast kinda place, for no reason whatsoever.

It has always seemed obvious to me that Gotham was NYC. Metropolis has seemed an East Coast cousin, more like Philadelphia or maybe Boston.

Smallville has always seemed to me to be in Kansas. I thought that was obvious, and that Metropolis was the “big city” far away, like the east coast.

Star City was San Francisco and Central City / Keystone City ~ Minneapolis / St. Paul.

Let’s not forget that in JSA/AVENGERS it was mentioned that the DCU Earth is larger in surface area, presumably to accomodate all the extra cities!

Also, I remember in (I think) one of those WORLD’S FINEST prestige miniseries back in the 90s, Metropolis and Gotham being placed far apart but with a rail line connecting them. (Luther and the Joker were meeting at the line’s midpoint.)

Then again, I also remember reading some story, can’t remember where, which placed Metropolis and Gotham on opposite shores of a large bay (Hobb’s Bay?) emptying into the Atlantic. Would that make them an NYC/Jersey City analogue?

It’s pretty amazing that, in the DC universe, nothing exists below the Mason-Dixon line.

don’t forget manchester alabama (from Impulse and 52)

Geoff John’s issues of the Flash place Keystone in in Kansas, and Central City in Missouri, much like Kansas City straddles the two states.

I Have a Pre-Crisis Superboy Comic “New Adventures of Superboy #22, I think), that puts Smallville as a suburb of Metropolis, which is across a river (I want to say Gotham River) from Gotham city (there was a special map section of that, and the town of Smallville). Also, an earlier issue had the Kents go to Metropolis in order to fly out to the west coast.

“I know it’s not the biggest deal in the world, but there is no way the biggest and brightest city in the world resides in Kansas.”

Really? But Manhattan IS in Kansas!

According to The Atlas Of The DC Universe, a gaming guide/sourcebook. Gotham is in New Jersey and Metropolis is in Delaware.

I seem to remember seeing in one of those archive editions of early Detective Comics that Batman did, indeed, work out of New York. That was changed to Gotham later. On Lois & Clark, Metropolis was a city in the fictitious state of New Troy (saw this on a mailing address in one episode). Of course, on the old Adventures of Superman and the Adam West Batman TV series, LA served as both Metropolis and Gotham.

Wasn’t there once a Duck story where the characters raised a sunken boat by filling it with ping pong balls? And then years later someone ‘coincidentally’ had the same idea. I seem to vaguely recall a reconstruction on Mythbusters or something like that. And it worked! Took something crazy like 200,000 of the suckers to do it.

Wasn’t there once a Duck story where the characters raised a sunken boat by filling it with ping pong balls?

That was the previous Urban Legend that I linked to at the beginning of the Duck piece. :)

Hawkman’s deduction that Batman was the Calculator’s next target was evidently to have hinged on the order in which the villain had committed his robberies. Bob Rozakis explained in DETECTIVE COMICS #470’s letter column that “based on a map showing the locations of Ivy Town, Star City, Midway City and Gotham that I had seen, I decided it would be logical for the Calculator to start at Ivy (up in the Boston area) and work his way down the Atlantic Coast. That was until (editor) Julie (Schwartz) pointed out that the map was wrong and that Midway was located on Lake Michigan — when it was too late to change the order.” [A few months later, Mark Gruenwald’s Justice League issue of AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS #14 complicated things further by placing Star City in Massachusetts and moving Ivy Town to Connecticut]


In DC Comics Presents #87 (Maggin written, Schwartz edited), Superman is transported to Earth-Prime, which, pre-Crisis, was supposedly our Earth. His thoughts are:

“The Earth’s there all right…but everything’s out of place! New York is sprawled out all over where Gotham is supposed to be…Boston suburbs cover Star City…and Metropolis is…Metropolis is nowhere to be seen!”

*getting to this a week late because I didn’t look for it early enough last week*

Re: Opal City

I seem to remember a usenet post explaining why Opal City couldn’t really be anywhere except SE Texas, with its closest analogue being Galveston. (As a Houstonian who always wondered why a state with 2 of the 10 largest cities in the US didn’t get a DCU city, this made me happy)

The Central City, OH thing is interesting to me–by the time Waid’s “Chain Lightning” and Walter West stories were published, we had gotten official in-story confirmation that Keystone was in Kansas and Central was “across the bridge,” making it MO by most fans’ reckoning. Then the second Flash Secret Files came out, with the profile of Walt, and he was listed as operating out of “Central City, OH.” Fans were dumbfounded. :)

And a couple others just because; we know from WWIII (the JLA Mageddon story, not the one that isn’t out yet) that Vanity is in Oregon, which is really weird to me. Personally, I had it pegged as Dayton or Akron in Ohio. But then, my opinions on those areas are somewhat skewed…

And I’ve heard that Black Lightning’s Brick City was Cleveland.

“Black Lightning’s Brick City was Cleveland.”

Since when was he not in Metropolis?

Hell, I donno. I know jackall about BL. I just remember the name “Brick City” coming up in conversation regarding these cities long-long ago, and being stated as BL’s home. Being as the person doing the speaking knew far more about DC than I did at the time (and probably still does) I took him at his word.






I have a memory of the original Pre-Crisis Smallville being in the state of Maryland.

Zach Adams: “I seem to remember a usenet post explaining why Opal City couldn’t really be anywhere except SE Texas, with its closest analogue being Galveston.”

As I indicated earlier, I’m thinking that Opal was the locale of James Robinson’s STARMAN, and nobody said I was wrong, confused, or anything. THAT town is well inland, on a river, and there’s no chance of it being Galveston (I’m an east Texan myself, and have no idea why I failed to catch the above quote earlier). So I see three possibilities:

1: There’s more than one Opal City depicted in DC Comics.
2: You’ve grossly misremembered that post.
3: That post is a crock.

Any idea which?

Stumbled across my copy of “Amazing World of DC Comics” #16, with the Julie Schwartz objection to its JLA issue placing Gotham in a real-world state that I mentioned in post #36, and here’s the whole passage, from the letter column, by its compiler, Contributing Editor Bob Rozakis:

The placement of the various super–hero home towns in states is something that is still hotly debated here at DC, most notably by Senior Editor Julie Schwartz and Associate Editor Nelson Bridwell. It was ENB who assigned “statehood” to the various cities, despite Julie’s objections that Metropolis was not in Delaware and that Gotham is right across the river from Manhattan in “Gotham State”. (As readers of BATMAN FAMILY know, Barbara (Batgirl) Gordon is a congressperson from Gotham, not New Jersey!) Julie contends that Gotham, Metropolis and New York are all in the same general area, existing on Earth–One where we have no major cities on Earth–Prime, on land which is not part of any particular state…except that of imagination. [The DCU’s New York is is not where it is in reality?–T.W.]
[New Paragraph] And, by the way, Ivy Town has been described as being near Boston, while Star City was placed near Hartford, putting the former in Massachusetts and the latter in Connecticut—the opposite of the way it was listed in AWODCC #14!—BR

Of most of this you can make what you will, but note that the original work under discussion is credited here to pro E. Nelson Bridwell, not then–fan Mark Gruenwald, as was said above in post #19, and Rozakis was right there at the time, and said THIS shortly afterward!

I believe that Smallville was in Illinois in the movie. And Opal City has to be a port with the Black Pirate story. Which I always thought was weird.

Gurkan: “I believe that Smallville was in Illinois in the movie. And Opal City has to be a port with the Black Pirate story. Which I always thought was weird.”

Which movie? The recent one, with Spacey as Luthor? The Chris Reeve flick definitely put it in Kansas? As for Opal City, wasn’t it Captain Fear who ran in ADVENTURE COMICS from just before the Spectre’s debut there until a couple of issues in, and then years later a few more stories in the back of some other title (UNKNOWN SOLDIER?)? Opal was definitely an inland river port in James Robinson’s STARMAN. Or, I ask again, has DC published something else with a completely different depiction of Opal City in it?

Just noticed I’ve got a question mark at the end of my STATEMENT about the Reeve/Supes flick. And I also meant to say that I haven’t seen the latest film version, at least not yet, so don’t know if it says Illinois or what.

NUTS! I also meant to add that I didn’t stay with Robinson’s STARMAN to the end, so may well have missed a Black Pirate appearance after the outer space epic was over there. REALLY should have said that back in #60. Sorry.

In one of the stories reprinted in Showcase Batman vol.1, a story involves someone running for the position of governor of Gotham state. That would seem to suggest a state called Gotham.

Since Byrne reboot and in present continuity,Smallville is in KANSAS.

As a “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” fan, I had to comment that Jonathan and Martha Kent always fly in, either via Clark or on an airplane, implying the two cities are far enough apart to make car travel prohibitive. As I recall, they used scenes of Chicago in filming for the bustling city, when necessary. I also believe I recall there being references to “docks” more than once, implying the city has water-based shipping.

All in all, if you’re looking to map Metropolis to a real US city, I think Chicago is a pretty safe bet. Kansas seems to be the general consensus for Smallville’s location.

Nobody cares where anything is in post Crisis continuity. Those stories aren’t REAL. The first overhead shot of the city of Metropolis, somewhere around Worlds Finest #5 is clearly based on a photograph of Manhattan. The earliest stories of Smallville are based on Superman writer Alvin Schwartz’s memories of growing up in Ohio. John Byrne (but it doesn’t count) once wrote a story which clearly established that Metropolis was supposed to be Chicago, putting it somewhere vaguely near Kansas I guess. I always assumed Metropolis on the Smallville TV show was Kansas City, Missouri.

Most comic book cities eventually end up on a coast because the writers like to have an ocean around. Although I suppose the Great Lakes would do in a pinch.
Coast City is San Diego

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