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Superman. Batman. The Fantastic Four. Second-stringers, the lot of them, when measured against the awesomeness that is Herbie Popnecker. Perhaps the most unlikely and bizarre superhero in the history of comics, Herbie is "a little fat nothing," as described by his staggeringly disappointed father, but what his dad doesn't know is that young Herbie wields vast superpowers and saves the world on a daily basis. When not fending off extraterrestrial invasions or traveling through time and space as easily as you or I might cross the street, Herbie contends with talking animals, Frankenstein, Dracula, dinosaurs, and even Satan himself, while associating with JFK, LBJ, Queen Elizabeth II and Marie Antoinette. If all of this sounds absurd, it certainly is, and this mere description cannot do justice to the utter madness that flows from the minds of writer O'Shea and illustrator Whitney, whose "straight" drawing style only enhances the bullmoose strangeness. The classic stories found here, originally published mostly in the early to mid-'60s, are eagerly awaited by fans in the know, and for those previously unaware of Herbie, this collection will come as a hilarious look at what was going on elsewhere in comics during the storied "Marvel Age." (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.