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Maggin, Swan and Blaisdel give Superman a big line up of allies and enemies in Action 443 (Jan. 75).

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The story opens in a very disorienting way, with Superman as a nebbishy newscaster, picked on by Steve Lombard and rejected by Lois Lane.

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While Clark Kent is the one leaping into heroic action against Queen Bee and her drones.

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Queen Bee is leading a host of villains against the Justice League of America.  Most of them are regularly appearing big names – Chronos, Sinestro, Ocean Mchroaster, Grodd and Brainiac.  Matt Hagen makes his first appearance in over a decade as Clayface.  Merlyn and the Harpy are both newcomers. Harpy, the villain assigned to Black Canary, had appeared in Green Lantern, while Merlyn, who would go on to become a regular Green Arrow enemy, had only debuted recently in Justice League of America.

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The assembled villains had already triumphed over the rest of the Justice League, and in flashback we see them taking down Batman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Aquaman, Atom and Red Tornado.  At this point, Wonder Woman and Hawkman were not members of the JLA.

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Superman has used a Kandorian machine to reverse people’s perceptions of Superman and Clark Kent, simply to puzzle the villains.  They bring him aboard their ship, which is what he wants.  As he struggles with Grodd and Clayface, his heat vision pierces the capsule the Flash is being held in, and the Flash exploits this, and frees himself, and the rest of the League.

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A lot of characters.  The story is fun, but I cannot honestly say it makes the most of its cast.

 

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