Clark Kent gets “Super Disco Fever”

Clark Kent disco dancing
Art by Kurt Schaffenberger.

Back in the 70s, DC put out an extra-sized anthology title called “Superman Family.” “Superman Family” was created out of the merging of two long-running Silver Age titles, “Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane” and “Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen.” Lois and Jimmy both got backup features in “Superman Family,” along with (over its run) Superboy, Nightwing and Flamebird (the non-powered heroes of Kandor), Supergirl, Krypto, the Earth-Two Superman and Lois Lane (“Mr. and Mrs. Superman”), and “The Private Life of Clark Kent.” The last one featured stories about Clark where he didn’t change to Superman, but still found a means of covertly solving problems, or just dealing with mundane daily life.

In the story that merited this post, “Superman Family” #196 from July/August 1979 features a tale written at the height of the disco craze (just before the anti-disco backlash set in), “Super Disco Fever.” In this story, written by Cary Buckett and drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger, Clark Kent is dragged against his will by the “Clark Kent Fan Club” to a disco club, where he sees someone’s booby-trapped the dance floor with bombs. Not able to openly use his powers (or risk setting the bombs off with invisible use of heat vision), Clark decides to take to the dance floor, and uses his dance moves to generate vibrations that would disable the bombs. (Per DC Comics’ physics and about 8 million Flash stories, vibrations = “all sorts of crazy stuff happening,” ranging from being able to travel to parallel Earths to generating counter-frequencies to, in this story, bomb disposal). See his dance moves below:

Super Disco Fever page
Panel from “Superman Family” #196 (July/August 1979). Art by Kurt Schaffenberger.

The day is saved, and Clark impresses all present with his “groovy” moves, including a shocked Jimmy Olsen.

Yes, Clark Kent once had his own fan club, thanks to being a local news anchor—from the early 70s through the mid-80s, the “Daily Planet” was owned by Galaxy Communications, a media conglomerate in Superman’s world, with the Galaxy Broadcasting System’s flagship station WGBS-TV moving its studios into the “Daily Planet” building. Galaxy’s owner, Morgan Edge, promoted Clark to being the WGBS evening news’ anchorman, with Lana Lang eventually joining him as his co-anchor. These days, WGBS/Galaxy Broadcasting usually get used whenever they need a Metropolis TV station or Metropolis-based TV network for a Superman story. As of the New 52 reboot, they’re once again the owners of the “Daily Planet” (with New 52 Morgan Edge now African-American).

As far as I know, there’re no modern stories showing Clark performing today’s dance moves. But thanks to comic book sliding timelines, at this point, Clark’s teen years should be during the late 1990s/early 2000s. I’ll let you know if they ever write a story about a Discman- or first-generation-iPod-wielding teenaged Clark engaged in “Super Mosh Pit Fever”…

(Updated 4/2/18)

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