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Grax and the Marauder, both introduced in these pages within the last couple of years, return alongside Lex Luthor and Brainiac to form the Crime Lords in Action 417 (Oct. 72).

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The four villains hate Superman so much they spend their spare time destroying robots of him.  We also get it confirmed that Brainiac’s supposed disintegration of him and Luthor at the end of their last appearance was just a teleport device.

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They do actually put a plan into action, not content with trashing robots.  We do not know exactly what they are up to, but it appears to cause wild, random disasters, which keep Superman hopping.

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But the villain abruptly sue for peace.  When Superman goes to see them, Luthor explains that their plan did not really work.  They hit him with a ray, the result of which was that every time he performs a super-feat, Superman emits a ghost-self, which goes around being destructive.  Unless they can find a way to stop this, the whole world will get destroyed.

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So Superman teams up with the Crime Lords to fight his ghostly emissions.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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I don’t care that much for the Metamorpho run in this book.  The stories by Haney and Calnan are not bad, they just feel more like run of the mill adventures that Metamorpho was dropped into, rather than the character’s own bizarre style of tale.  But this one gets included, as it introduces Simon Stagg’s nephew, Randall.

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Metamorpho shows little of his wild body changes in the scene where he entertains the boy.  Shameful the opportunities missed in this scene, although it does introduce the secret experiment Stagg is working on.

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Metamorpho discovers that the boy is spying on the experiment, but not of his own volition.  He has been programmed to do this, against his will.

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Rex breaks the kid’s programming, and they take down the bad guys.  Sapphire and Java are around, but do little.  And though the end of the story implies that Randall will continue as a supporting character, we never see him again.  Simon Stagg does not like spies, programmed or not.

 

 

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