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Dorfman, Swan and Klein send Superman to an intergalactic competition in Action 304 (Sept. 63).

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Clark Kent gets sucked into the sky by a force beyond his control, changing to Superman along the way. Lana Lang sees him while flying in a tv helicopter.  She winds up getting dragged along with him.  The fear the worst, but are relieved to discover that Superman was merely being “recruited” to represent the Earth in an Interplanetary Olympics.  Lana is outright thrilled to be able to cover the event.

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Lana’s pleasure turns to dismay as Superman loses event after event.

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But Superman was winning a different game.  He had figured out that the competition was all a giant ruse to get him to use his powers, which the “trophy” was designed to drain. By losing, he denied the aliens his energy to use.

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Supergirl gets a new enemy in this story by Dorfman and Mooney.

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Dick Malverne gets a small role at the start of this story, on a date with Linda, but she has to take off to become Supergirl when Comet starts going on a rampage.  He is now under the control of Black Flame.

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Black Flame does not try to hide from Supergirl.  Far from it, she is pleased to find her, and share a mind-tape of her origin.  She is from the far future, and a super-powered descendant of Supergirl, who has become a notorious space pirate.

Supergirl does not believe her at first.  Suspecting she might be a Kandorian, she visits the bottle city.  She learns of an identical woman, Zora, who had been Lesla-Lar’s assistant, but Zora is still in Kandor.

To prevent Black Flame from ever inheriting her powers, Supergirl decides to expose herself to gold kryptonite, which permanently removes a Kryptonian’s powers.

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Triumphant, Black Flame shows up to gloat.  She really is Zora, and it was a robot replacement that Supergirl saw in Kandor.  She enlarged herself using the same red krpytonite “wishing” cloud that Superman had used to gain the ant head.

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But nope, the joke is on you, Black Flame.  Supergirl was faking her power loss.  She saw that Black Flame had dental fillings, which she wouldn’t if truly invulnerable.  Supergirl does use gold kryptonite, but on Zora, permanently stealing her powers.

Black Flame would return, but not for many years, having second appearance in Supergirl’s run in Adventure Comics in 1970.

 

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