Posts tagged ‘Alice White’

Action 583 – “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” concludes

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Action 583 (Sept. 86) brings to a close the era of the Pre-Crisis Superman, with the concluding half of an Imaginary Story by Alan Moore, Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger.

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The entire story is one of dark foreboding, and is related by Lois Lane, now married and with a son, to a reporter, writing a story about the last days of Superman.  Many of Superman’s friends and enemies appeared in the first half of the story, and most of the villains have died.  Superman has brought Lois, Lana, Jimmy, Perry White and his wife to the Fortress of Solitude.  Cosmic King, Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen have come from the future, knowing that this was the end of Superman, to join in the fun.  They find the Kryptonite Man, as well as a disturbing union of Luthor and Brainiac.

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Many of Superman’s friends are shown throughout the issue, trying to get through the force-field surrounding the Fortress.  Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Captain Marvel and the Martian Manhunter are shown, along with Vartox, and pre-Crisis Superwoman.

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The story is filled with heart-wrenching sequences.  Jimmy takes his Elastic Lad serum, and Lana bathes in the pool that gives her super-powers, so they can join the fight against the assembling villains.  Her super-hearing allows Lana to hear Superman explain to Perry White that it is Lois that he truly loves, but he cared too much for Lana to ever let her know.

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Lana and Jimmy both fall to the Legion of Super-Villains, while Krypto sacrifices himself to take out the Kryptonite Man.

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This is all turning far too bloody and dangerous for the villains from the future, and they flee in their time bubble.  Luthor and Brainiac are the last, but perish in the snow.

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Who was the villain that brought this all about?  Mr. Mxyzptlk, the most powerful adversary Superman has, who chose to be a pest, but has now chosen to be a destroyer.

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Superman winds up using the Phantom Zone projector to rip the 5th dimensional being in half, but he has knowingly, and willingly killed.

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Though Lois gives him all manner of justifications, Superman has violated his own code.  He enters a chamber of gold kryptonite, which permanently removes his powers, and is never seen again.

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The reporter leaves.  I was teary eyed and emotionally drained by this point when I read this the first time, but so thrilled at the end, as the baby turns a lump of coal into a diamond.  And then I really looked at the face of Lois’ husband.

I believe Alan Moore has now dismissed this story as garbage, as he is wont to do.

I don’t care what he thinks.  This is the crowning gem of the first 50 years of the character.

 

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Action 562 – Queen Bee meets King Alexander

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Alexander the Great, aka the Planeteer returns, now calling himself King Alexander, in the Rozakis, Schaffenberger and Hunt story in Action 562 (Dec. 84).

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The story has a subplot about Steve Lombard,who was fired from WGBS by Morgan Edge in the pages of Superman.  He is starring in a production of Damn Yankees, and has sent opening night tickets to Clark, Lana, Jimmy and Perry White.  Perry actually winds up stopping a pair of robbers during the show, and his wife Alice gets a small role.

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Queen Bee gets most of the attention in the story.  She has been causing magnetic anomalies throughout Metropolis.  She has found an immortality serum that needs a constant recharge of magnetic energy to allow her to stay mobile.

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And who should also be back in Metropolis but the magnetically powered Alexander?

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They hit it off, and Alexander thinks its true love and world conquest, unaware that he is being drugged, and his power drained, by Zazzala.

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Mind you, even when Superman explains to him what is going on, he just chooses not to believe it.  He has fallen hard.  Superman uses the couple’s magnetism against them.

This is the final appearance of Alexander the Great aka Planeteer aka King Alexander, and the Queen Bee is next seen in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

And Steve Lombard’s revival of Damn Yankees closes after one night.

Action 461 – Everybody loves Clark Kent, and Perry White’s newsboy days

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Bates, Swan and Blaisdel continue the Karb-Brak storyline in Action 461 (July 1976).

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Karb-Brak is on the verge of attacking Steve Lombard comes flying in to intercept the alien.  This does prove that Steve is not Superman, and Brak takes advantage of an explosive touch he has to escape.

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Back home, Karb-Brak concludes that Superman must be his other suspect, Clark kent.  He then uses a machine to alter the minds of  Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Steve Lombard and Morgan Edge, to make them idolize Clark.  From them, he moves on to affect the larger population.

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The result is kind of humourously absurd.  Brak beats up on Clark in front of a crowd who continue to root for him.  Clark holds back, both to maintain his identity and for the safety of the onlookers.

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Superman does get the best of the ailing alien.  Supreman destroys the machine affecting people’s minds, but the issue ends with a great speech by Karb-Brak.  We knew he was ill, but Superman didn’t.  Now he learns that just by being around, he is killing Karb-Brak.

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Perry White gets a solo back-up, a “private life” tale, told to his grandchildren after a family dinner, in this story by Bob Rozakis, Curt Swan and Tex Blaisdel.

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Perry tells a story about him a teenager, a streetcorner newsboy.  He comes across information about criminal activity, and a writer working on the idea of an atomic bomb.  He captures the bad guys, and tells the story to the editor of the paper, but the idea of an atomic bomb is dismissed as too unreal.  It’s not a bad story at all.

Alie White has a cameo on the first page.

Action 302 – Perry White is Superman, and Super-Horse goes berserk

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Al Plastino draws another off-beat Superman adventure in Action 302 (July 1963).

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Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are hanging out in Perry White’s office one day, when the Daily Planet globe comes crashing through the ceiling.  Perry catches the globe, and admits to really being Superman.  We get the backstory on this right away.  Perry has been targeted by criminals whose activities he exposed.  Superman has taken Perry’s place, expecting an attack. But he carries on the lie that Perry really is Superman.

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Both Lois Lane and Lana Lang are dismayed to discover that Superman is really the long-married Perry White, and angry with him for toying with their emotions.  Jimmy Olsen thinks that this will make life easier for him, but Perry White continues to be a hard ass with him.

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The real Perry White has been being kept safely at the Fortress of Solitude, but upon seeing the news that people think he is Superman, he steals a flight belt and comes back to Metropolis.  He enjoys the attention of people who think he is the big hero, but also proves himself, bluffing a criminal into submission.

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Superman clears everything up at the end, after capturing the hoods trying to kill him.  Perry’s wife Alice, rarely seen at this time, makes a cameo in the final panel.

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Sueprgirl’s bizarre love life remains the focus of her series in this Dorfman and Mooney tale.

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A renegade Atlantean, Vostar, tries to kill Lori Lemaris and Jerro, but they get rescued by Supergirl and Comet.

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I really love the above panel, when taken completely out of context. Even knowing the context doesn’t make it any less disturbing, really.

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Vostar takes mental control of Comet, sending him on a destructive rampage, which is assumed to be jealousy.

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The story gets as overly complicated as only a Comet story can.  He travels back in time, passing through a year that saw Halley’s Comet, which starts to change him to human form.  He makes it back to the present before he changes completely, and loses his powers.  Then he takes over the role of Mysto, a fortune teller, and gives Supergirl the vital information she needs, when she visits him as Linda, on a date with Dick Malverne.

Vostar gets defeated, but Supergirl discovers that the real Mysto is not the one who told her fortune.  But the guy did look just like Bronco Bill Starr.  Hmmm.

 

 

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