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Comic Book Questions Answered: Was Superman, the “Big Blue Boy Scout,” Ever an ACTUAL Boy Scout?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.

Reader Enrique M. wrote in to ask a question on behalf of his girlfriend. While Superman is often referred to as “The Big Blue Boy Scout,” was he ever ACTUALLY a Boy Scout?

Read on to find out!

In 1951’s Superboy #13, Superboy joins the Boy Scouts of America!

In the story, written by the great Bill Woolfolk and drawn by the even greater Curt Swan (with inks by John Fischetti), Superboy joins up with the Scouts…

He goes looking for somewhere for the Boy Scouts to use as their camp training grounds…

With Alvin no longer working as his lackey, Walt starts to lose his popularity (which really does not make any sense, but whaddayagonna do?), so he begins to play pranks on Alvin, whose Scouting knowledge foils Walt’s schemes every time.

Eventually, though, one of Walt’s pranks backfires on himself…

Very cool ending.

So there ya go, Enrique, your girlfriend should be pleased at this info! And now we know that the “Big Blue Boy Scot” is an accurate term!

If you have a question that you’d like to see answered, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com.

19 Comments

That was a great story. Much better than I expected based on the cover.

Wait a minute– I see by the last picture that Clark was a scout, too. Didn’t anyone wonder why he and Superboy never showed up to the same meetings?

My brother once had a comic book about Casper joining the Cub Scouts.

Some Scout. He didn’t even make it through Webelos.

I never got to wear one of those cool hats. I feel ripped off.

I remember around the time the 90s Superman Animated Series debuted, one of the catches phrases Bruce Timm & Co. were using in interviews was, “He’s not just a big blue Boy Scout!” I remember reading another interview with Mark Waid where he objected to that quote, because, in his words, “There’s nothing WRONG with being a Boy Scout!” He was damn right. :)

Ah, but as a followup, was Captain Marvel ever a big red cheese?

Not to mention Supes’ admission that he never even earned one merit badge in the DCAU Justice League….

So Superboy is carving the Scouts’ symbol on a rock. A big PINK rock. Which, in turn, make the symbol look like … aw, that’s just wrong, man. Just completely wrong.

Years later, Clark visited Alvin and Walt in Metropolis, where they shared a nice loft, and occasionally broked out the old uniforms for ‘date night’.

Wow! Thank you very much for the information, Brian, your answer was pretty amazing. Thanks a lot man, really, this is awesome.

I’ve decided Walt’s actions make more sense if he and Alvin were in denial about their love for each other…

Yeah, with my modern sensibilities I had a difficult time not reading this as a love affair that dare not speak its name in the 1950s and in the Boy Scouts. Sadly, that still holds true for the Boy Scouts of America. With that lens, it’s possible that maybe Alvin enjoyed being subservient to Walt.

As to Caspar.

Alfred Harvey, the founder/owner of Harvey Comics, publisher of Caspar, Richie Rich, Little Dot, etc, was an Eagle Scout.

So for several years his character promoted scouting. I think this was the 60s and 70s. Caspar as a Cub Scout, Richie Rich as a Boy Scout, and I think Little Dot (or one of the other female characters) as either a Campfire Girl or Girl Scout (not sure which).

You can see old ads in those comics of this.

MB–

Wendy was a Blue Bird (part of the Campfire Girls).

Steve and Matty – Why do pervs need to try and make innocent entertainment into something different?

Find a perv and ask them…

I would’ve thought that knot-tying etc. were things that you learned while being part of the boy scouts, as opposed to things you had to know in order to join them in the first place.

I have the first edition of 3-D man in mint condition Marvel premier #35 and the actual Marvel print they used to print for the covers of that specific edition #35. The print that was used for the cover appears to be signed by Roy Thomas and is pretty cool to look at ..it has all the stick on’s exactly like the cover, cut out to a que what the cover looks like ..paper cut outs and has a few other signatures on it as well. According to my Dad he took it after buying it to have it checked for authenticity to multiple different places and apparently it’s authentic as can be and should be because it looks that way. My dad bought it through an associate of his back in the day who apparently had a tight connection with some of the guys @ Marvel during this period of time. I’m not sure that its worth way too much because 3D Man appears to not be that popular but I thought I might give this question to a online message board like this to see what you guys think ?

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