Lex Luthor is once again involved in the creation of a new Superman villain, as Neutron debuts in Action 525 (Nov. 81),the first half of a two part story by Marv Wolfman, Joe Staton and Frank McLaughlin.
As part of a group called the TNT Trio, Nathaniel Tryon is part of a fuel rod theft at a nuclear power plant. The men are working for Luthor, but that does then little good when the plant begins to melt down. Superman rescues his two partners, but Nathaniel is buried in a collapse, surrounded by lead shielding, and the hero does not see him.
He emerges with some fairly impressive powers, though not on the Firestorm or Captain Atom level. He can absord energy, and fire nuclear blasts. He can even turn himself into pure energy, as well as being extremely strong. Luthor builds a suit to contain his energy.
This story also sees the return of the Daily Planet globe to the roof of the WGBS building. Morgan Edge is finally won over by the pleadings of Lois Lane, and agrees to its re-installation.
Superman has his first encounter with Neutron, and the villain leaves him lying in a pile of rubble.
Air Wave gets an enjoyable entry, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte.
Hal and Karen Peterson are attending a comic convention, where a thief dresses up as comic book hero the Cosmic Corsair before trying to steal some valuable artworks. Air Wave stops him, but suffers temporary memory loss. Karen has to figure out how to remind Hal of who he is, without giving away that she knows his secret identity.
She does, and he captures the fake Corsair.
The final panels are quite cute, as they dress up for a costume ball, Karen as the Corsair, and Hal as his uncle, Green Lantern. “Who’d ever believe Hal Jordan was Green Lantern?”