Posts tagged ‘Alura’

Action 332 – Ardora learns the truth, and Superwoman trains Superboy

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An Imaginary Story featuring Supergirl(woman) gets the cover of Action 332 (Jan. 66), but not the lead story.

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Dorfman and Plastino begin a multi-part Superman saga in this issue.

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The story opens on Luthor, in exile on an alien prison planet, along with Brainiac, as well as Cosmic King, Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen of the Legion of Super-Villains.  They had been sent there a few months earlier, at the end of a battle with Superman in the pages of Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen.

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Luthor escapes, and Superman expects that he will head to Lexor.  A scientist has devised a teleportation ray, which Superman uses, getting to Lexor ahead of Lex.  He is interrupted by Ardora, and barely gets away before she attacks him with deadly flowers.  But Superman has opened a secret vault, containing Lex’s tapes.  Ardora listens to them, and discovers that her husband really is the criminal Superman made him out to be.

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Lex is furious with Superman for damaging his idyllic life on Lexor, and returns to Earth.  Perversely, he then rescues Superman a number of times.  Superman has no idea why Lex is doing this.

The story continues in the next issue.

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Dorfman and Mooney then begin a 2-part Imaginary Story with Supergirl, switching the origins of her and Superman.  Zor-El and Alura come to Earth on a rocket with their baby girl, while Jor-El remains on Argo City.  Zor-El and Alura lose their powers after exposure to gold kryptonite, but Supergirl is not with them at the time, and so begins her career as a hero.

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She winds up with the plain Jane alternate identity, Carole Zorelles, and is the one to discover her younger cousin, as his rocket lands on Earth after the destruction of Argo City.

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The story parallels the Supergirl series, down to having Dick Wilson (at the orphanage, before he gets adopted and becomes Dick Malverne) suspicious of young Cal Ellis and trying to prove he is Superboy.

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Superboy proves a handful for Superwoman to deal with.  He claims to have lost his powers to gold kryptonite at the end of this issue, but the reader is informed that he is lying.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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Action 316 – Zigi and Zagi make trouble for Superman, and Zor-El makes a decision

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Supergirl’s story gets the cover spot on Action 316 (Sept. 64), but Superman still has the lead spot.  Once again, both stories are by Dorfman and Mooney.

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Learning of the escaped con aboard the spaceship, Superman flies out to Zigi and Zagi’s homeworld.  The crook gets knocked unconscious during the landing, but at least that alerts the boys that he is there.  Thay make him invisible for a while, to taunt Superman, but eventually send him back to Earth.

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The story then becomes about Zigi and Zagi trying to matchmake Superman with their sister, Zyra.

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Superman gets out of this by finding Zyra’s lost fiancee, re-uniting the couple.

Although Zigi and Zagi do not return, I am certain I have read something, likely by Grant Morrison, playing with the concept of these two.

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Supergirl, living with Zor-El and Alura on Earth, is depressed by the absence of her adoptive parents.

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Zor-El uses a time viewer to explore how their lives on Earth will play out.  It displays a future in which the Zygor, an alien monster, comes to Earth seeking vengeance on Zor-El, who had driven it away from Argo City.

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The Zygor has the power to control the minds of Kryptonians, after eating a lot of red kryptonite (?), and forces Supergirl to choose between killing Superman or Zor-El.

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Zor-El insists that they cannot possibly let this future come to pass, that he and Alura must return to Kandor, so the Zygor will never find them.  This allows the Danvers to come back, and Linda is also re-united with Dick Malverne and Lena Thorul.

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At the end, we discover that the Zygor was actually captured by Zor-El many years ago, and died in captivity.  So the whole thing was a lie.  Alura agrees to keep Zor-El’s lie, as they will “all be happier that way.”

Which is likely the best she could make of things, after being so rejected by her own daughter, who prefers the psychotic Earthling Edna Danvers.

I am also fairly certain that the Zygor returns in a later story.

Action 315 -Superman meets Zigi and Zagi, and the revenge of Edna Danvers

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Superman meets Zigi and Zagi, a couple of irrepressible alien kids, in the Dorfman and Mooney story from Action 315 (Aug. 64).

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The boys have taken a spaceship and come to Earth to amuse themselves.  They do not really grasp the ways of humans, but are also not actively trying to hurt anyone or torment people, like Mr. Mxyzptlk.

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Superman’s attention is drawn by the boys actions.  They have an invisibility ray they use to get away from him, as he acts too much like a typical adult.  There is also a convict who escapes, but remains a very minor player in this issue.

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Superman does manage to corral the boys, and takes them to school.  But they prove far too disruptive, and are promptly expelled.

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While they are sleeping, Superman recreates their home planet, so as they wake, they become homesick.  He has also found their spaceship, and sends them back to their home planet.

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But none of them are aware that the escaped convict has snuck on to the ship, and is now on his way to an alien world.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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Dorfman and Mooney do double duty on this issue, also crafting the Supergirl tale, which continues with the parent switch storyline.

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The Danvers have been raising the identical double to Linda, called Dar-Lin (which makes it sound like they have southern accents when they address her.)  They worry that their mementos of Linda are distressing Dar-Lin, and pack them all away.

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Dar-Lin’s parents disappeared during an exploration of the caves below Kandor.  Hard to believe anyone could get lost in the caves between the city and the bottle.  Even the map makes it look like a fairly small area.  Her parents get rescued, and Dar-Lin leaves the Danvers.

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Although Edna Danvers actions get blamed on a spine from a fish, I think she just loses it. After all the couple has given up, being trapped in a bottle could drive anyone insane. She adopts a disguise, and contacts Zor-El and Alura, pretending to have found an antidote for kryptonite.

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She actually leads them to kryptonite itself,and gloats as they slowly die.

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Supergirl shows up, furious.  She saves Zor-El and Alura, and has the Sueprgirl Emergency Squad cart Edna back to Kandor.  This is the final appearance of her Emergency Squad.

The last few panels have Edna use the fish spine excuse, and Supergirl forgives her.  A kind of let down from the intensity of the climax.

 

 

Action 314 – Superman as the Justice League, and Supergirl’s mom gets sick

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Edmond Hamilton and Al Plastino explore some variations on Superman’s life in Action 314 (July 1964).

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Superman is summoned by the Justice League of America, and meets up with Batman, Aquaman, the Atom, Flash and Green Arrow.  Aquaman explains that his octopus sidekick, Topo, discovered a recording by Jor-El on the ocean floor.

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The rest of the story is Jor-El’s recording, as he recounts his simulations of what his son’s life would be like, had he sent the boy to various different worlds – and why he ultimately chose Earth.  One is a world of giants, where Superman would have been very small, and fought crime as if he were the Atom.

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And an underwater world, where he would have been that planet’s Aquaman.

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A low-tech planet, under a red sun, which would have seen him become Green Arrow.

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A world of eternal night, in which he becomes Batman.

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And lastly, a planet on which only his super-speed functioned, making him the Flash.  But Jor-El chose Earth, to give his son the maximum amount of powers.

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Dorfman and Mooney ramp up the emotions in this month’s Supergirl tale.

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Supergirl’s mother, Alura, has fallen deathly ill due to being separated from her daughter.  We get some flashbacks to their life on Argo City, when Kara was a baby.

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The Davners intercept a message from Kandor, letting Linda know how severely her mother wants her back.  They try to make her feel unwanted, so that she will willingly leave them.  But Linda is suspicious of their change in behaviour, and finds out the truth.

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Zor-El and Alura do not want Supergirl to have to give up her crime-fighting career, so they decide it the Danvers who should make all the sacrifices in this situation.  They use the exchange ray to bring one set of parents out of Kandor, and replace them with her other set.  And though there is no clear reason why Supergirl has to leave Midvale as a result of this, she nonetheless bids farewell to Dick Malverne and Lena Thorul.

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Meanwhile, in Kandor, the Danvers meet a young orphan girl, who looks identical to Linda.

The story continues in the next issue.

 

 

Action 310 – Jewel kryptonite, and the search for Supergirl’s parents

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Dorfman, Swan and Klein introduce jewel kryptonite, the rarest form, in Action 310 (March 1964).

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Parole hearings for Phantom Zone prisoners are being held in Kandor, and Superman attends.  Jax-Ur, who is serving a life sentence without parole, asks to be freed, in order to help cure a plague that has struck down Lori Lemaris, and other less important residents of Atlantis.

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Superman agrees, and he and Jax-Ur head to Krypton, to the Jewel Mountains.  Jax-Ur relates a legend of their creation, from the skeletal remains of jewel birds.  He does work on the serum for the plague, but also puts Superman to sleep, and fashions a marge wedge of jewel, having calculated (somehow) that it will travel directly to Earth.

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Jax-Ur is returned to the Phantom Zone, but now he, and the others in the Zone, are able to funnel their telepathic power into the real world, through the jewel kryptonite.  They make Superman think he was “exposed” to it, and that it had the result of causing combustible materials to explode when he passed near.

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Superman does not fall for this, as it did not happen consistently.

Jewel kryptonite is then written off as having “no effect.”  Literally,  that was how it was described in the Superman pages in which i first read about it.  The use it had for Phantom Zone residents was completely ignored until the 80s.

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Dorfman and Mooney bring a quick resolution to the search for Supergirl’s parents in this issue.

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Supergirl spends a few pages fretting, talking to Fred and Edna Danvers about her new parents, as she seeks to free them.  But which set will be her “real” parents now?

Fred Danvers actually is the one to find the right frequency, which releases Zor-El and Alura.

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Supergirl shows them around some of the sights of Earth, and prepares to move out, and into a new home with Zor-El and Alura.  The Danvers act as if all is well, but are quietly saddened to lose Linda.

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But Zor-El and Alura find the perfect solution.  Not feeling comfortable on Earth, they take up residence in Kandor.  Supergirl stays with the Danvers, but can visit her parents whenever she wants.

 

 

Action 309 – the Superman family, and the secret of Supergirl’s parents

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Edmond Hamilton gave Curt Swan and George Klein an awful lot of work in Action 309 (Feb. 64).

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I’m including the splash page of this story to give you some idea of the amount of guest stars who appear.  But this is not just trivial packing, it’s also part of the suspense of the story.

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JFK, looking awfully shadowy, tricks Superman into going to a location, which is where a “this is your life!” special about him is being broadcast.  It’s not that much of a surprise for Superman, Clark Kent received an invitation.

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But who will Superman get to be Clark?  Lois and Lana have a robot detector, as they are using the special to try to prove Clark is Superman.  Lori Lemaris reads their minds, and alerts Superman to the danger.  Lex Luthor makes a cameo, watching the show from prison, but he is the only villain really featured in the tale.

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The Super-Pets put on an impressive show under Supergirl’s command.

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Superboy’s friend Pete Ross makes his first appearance as an adult, and we see a very aged Police Chief Parker from Smallville as well.  All the usual friends are there, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White, as well as representatives from Kandor.  Among them are the “Lookalike Squad”, the ones who are identical to people in Superman’s life.  This includes the Clark Kent lookalike, Van-Zee, and his Lois Lane lookalike wife, Sylvia. Even the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club show up, one of whom is dumb enough to bring a chunk of gold kryptonite as a gift.

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But then the Legion of Super-Heroes show up, and Element Lad changes the rock and saves the day.  Chameleon Boy is part of the group, eliminating him as the phony Clark Kent.

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Batman unmasks in front of Lois, but is wearing a Bizarro face.  A nice laugh on snoopy Lois, and a way to work the Bizarro image into the story.

So who is left that could possibly have been Clark Kent?

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Why, JFK of course.

Very disturbingly, this issue was released only a couple of weeks after the assassination of JFK.

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Dorfman and Mooney add yet another twist to the never-dull life of Supergirl.

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Linda is being haunted by dreams of her dead parents, Zor-El and Alura, and can’t even enjoy her dates with Dick Malverne.   She wonders if her parents might be trapped in the Phantom Zone, because of their ghostly nature.  She checks with Comet, who can telepathically sense them somewhere.

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Supergirl can find no trace of them, but does find a remorseful Kryptonian, Jer-Em.  He is willing to tell her of them, but Jax-Ur, Zod, Kru-El and Professor Vakox muddle his telepathy.

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In Kandor, Supergirl uses a chronoscope to review the events of Argo City, her departure for Earth and the death of her parents.  She learns that Jer-Em altered the direction of Argo City’s flight, to take them away from an empowering yellow sun, believing it was evil.  But the change in course lead to the meteor shower that ruined the city.

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She also discovers that her parents did survive, heading into a place like the Phantom Zone, but without all the yucky criminals, called the Survival Zone.

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Supergirl vows to find and free her parents!

 

 

 

 

 

Action 291 – Superman changes vulnerabilities, and Supergirl heads to the altar with Mr. Mxyzptlk

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Bernstein and Plastino remove Superman’s kryptonite weakness in Action 291 (Aug. 62).

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We see a suspiciously coloured red ray hit Clark Kent, just before Lois tosses him a chunk of kryptonite.  To his surprise, it has no effect on him at all.

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As the story goes on, he finds himself weakened by diamonds, and later gold.  His vulnerability keeps changing.  Eventually the red ray is revealed as having shot red kryptonite at him, which had the effect of altering his weakness.

A bit too much red kryptonite this year.

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Mr. Mxyzptlk sets his sights on Supergirl in this Siegel and Mooney story.

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Supergirl comes to the aid of a crashing airforce jet, only to have the pilots turn into Bizarros.  This is due to Mr. Mxyzptlk, who further amuses himself by turning all of Midvale into Bizarros.

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When Mr. Mxyzptlk’s romantic gestures towards Supergirl are rebuffed, he attempts to win her over by bringing her parents back to life. Zor-El and Alura seem to be genuinely there, not just apparitions created by the imp.  To Supergirl’s horror, Zor-El givse his permission for the marriage.

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Supergirl is at the altar when her father proposes a pre-wedding toast.  He has spiked the drink with truth serum, and forces Mxyzptlk to say his name backwards.  This causes him to vanish, along with the effects of his magic – specifically, Zor-El and Alura.

But were they really dead?  The story never clearly states that.  Laying the groundwork for what is to come.

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