Posts tagged ‘Chameleon Boy’

Action 391 – Superman’s useless son, and Element Lad pushed to the limit

act_391

Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito begin a 2-part early adventure of the Super-Sons in Action 391 (Aug. 70).

act_391_001

Batman and his son have only supporting roles in this story, which largely deals with Clark’s frustration about his son’s immaturity.  As usual, the mothers of the boys are not clearly shown.  The Super-Sons stories began as “Imaginary Stories” in the Superman comics, although as yet they were not labelled “Super-Sons.”

act_391_002

Both Superman and Batman act somewhat out of character in this tale. Batman is a casual braggart, scoring points on Superman through the actions of their children.

act_391_003

Batman Jr is a bit nicer, while Superman Jr does his best, despite not having good control of his powers, and being impulsive.

act_391_004

Yeah, that whole lack of control thing can be a good excuse sometimes.

act_391_005

Superman takes his son to the Fortress of Solitude just before his 14th birthday, showing him the statues of their ancestors, as well as Kandor.  He has prepared a Superman Jr robot, to help train him, but the boy thinks the robot is intended as a replacement, and they get into a big, destructive battle in the Fortress.

As the story ends, Superman exposes his son to gold kryptonite.

The story concludes in the next issue.

act_391_006

Bridwell, Mortimer and Abel conclude their Legion Espionage Squad story in this issue.  Saturn Girl is recognized as a telepath from Titan, by another woman from her planet – but not as Legionnaire.  So her infiltration proves successful.

act_391_007

She learns the government plans, which she relays to the Legionnaires who are with the rebels.  While the rebel leader is a Dark Circle pawn, most of the rebels themselves are not, and the Legion decide which of the rebels should be the new leader.

Element Lad pretty much single-handedly overthrows the government forces, though it exhausts him, and later uses his powers to make it look like the rebel leader has lied to his followers about the government’s treasure.

So in the course of this story, the Legion not only overthrow a government, they also frame a rebel leader, and instal a person of their own choosing to rule the planet.

No wonder the Dark Circle oppose them.

 

 

Action 390 – Superman running scared, and the Legion Espionage Squad in action

act_390

Bates, Swan and Roussos make Superman turn chicken in Action 390 (July 1970).

act_390_001

Superman gets chased by a mechanical bomb, which defies all his attempts to evade or destroy it.  He even flies through time, bringing the machine along with him to the explosion of Krakatoa, but it has no effect.

act_390_002

Superman determines that the bomb is of Kryptonian origin.  Contacting the Kandorians, he discovers that it was built by Jor-El, and is attuned to his brainwaves, and capable of following him anywhere.  Eventually, Superman figures out that it is not so much a bomb, as a device designed to scare him to death.

It was designed as a weapon against alien invasion, and powered by the fear of those it pursues.  Superman had encountered it as a baby in his father’s lab, and it scared him then.  His adult reaction is a result of those memories.  All Superman has to do to deactivate the device is to stop being scared, which he does.

act_390_003

The Dark Circle are behind the events in this story by Bridwell, Mortimer and Abel, although they do not appear in person.  They are behind the troubles brewing on Lahum, where rebels seek to overthrow a militaristic dictator.  The mission is handled by the Legion Espionage Squad, which is under the command of Chameleon Boy.  He selects Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5, Element Lad, Karate Kid and Timber Wolf as his team.  Proty II briefly appears, his final appearance until the 80s.

act_390_004

The Legionnaires infiltrate both sides of the dispute.  With the rebels, they pretend to have powerful weapons that can stop the government’s android army in their tracks.  In reality, the weapons do nothing, it’s Element Lad’s powers that do all the work.

act_390_005

Saturn Girl heads to the capital, to get a job at the presidential palace.  But one of the workers there recognizes her…

The story concludes in the next issue.

 

Action 387 – Superman at the end of time, and the Legion vs tax laws

act_387

Bates, Swan and Roussos conclude Superman’s travel through time in Action 387 (April 1970).

act_387_001

He encounters some astronauts, frozen in suspended animation for centuries, and revives them in the year 801,970.

act_387_002

Travelling even further into the future, he reaches a time when the entire planet is dead and devoid of life.  If those are different.  Anyway, he cuts the planet open and terraforms it, and brings life forms, including humans, from other worlds to populate it and start the cycle again.

act_387_003

There is a very unexpected attack from Lex Luthor.  He had never believed Superman dead, and left behind a weapon, powered by his eternal hate, to kill him.  It fails.

act_387_004

Superman travels even further ahead, but Time Trapper loops him, and sends him back to the start. He blacks out, waking to find himself a baby in his parents arms on Krypton.  A few more blackout time jumps, and Superman is back to where he was at the start of the saga.

Which is a bit of a let-down finish, if you ask me.

act_387_005

Bridwell, Mortimer and Abel share one of the oddest Legion stories.  Every single member appears.  Even the Super-Pets appear.  And I’m tagging them ALL.

And the board is also worth noting, on the first page. The Legionnaires appear in the order they joined the team.  Supergirl is located between Star Boy and Brainiac 5, while Superboy is later, between Shrinking Violet and Sun Boy.

act_387_006

An evil tax man shows up, and the Legion discover that they have to get rid of one member, or have to pay taxes.  As they do not actually make money by being the Legion, I’m not sure what they would be taxed on, but it’s enough of a threat that they all start vying to be the one to leave.  Timber Wolf and Chemical King are the first to offer, being the most recent to join.

act_387_007

The team attempt to hold a random draw, but it gets rigged, and then everyone starts claiming responsibility for rigging it.

act_387_008

Supergirl insists that she should be the one to leave, as she attends the fewest meeting.  Brainiac 5 is not happy, and the Super-Pets all but revolt, insisting that they will disband if she leaves.

Brainiac 5 is selected by the computer as the hero who performed the fewest feats, but everyone insists his mind is worth more than just feats.

act_387_009

Finally, it is Superboy who chooses to leave.  His powers are duplicated by Mon-El, and he has no romance or clinging pets, as Supergirl does.  Notice that Krypto would resign if Supergirl left, but not Superboy.

Duo Damsel is the one most upset about his departure. Luornu’s unrequited love for Superboy would be touched on again in the future.

For many of the characters, this was the last appearance they have before the end of the Legion’s run in Action Comics.  Ironically, this is also the last appearance of the full line up of the Super-Pets, as Beppo does not appear again, aside from flashbacks in comprehensive Superman origin tales.

 

Action 383 – the killer costume, and Chameleon Boy’s lost love

act_383

Oh, which is the evil costume?  The one with the X, or the other one?  Well, to be fair, the story doesn’t even try to pretend there is a choice, in Action 383 (Dec. 69).

act_383_001

An alien cop is pursuing an alien criminal, but both get disintegrated, and their life forces merge with their costumes, as they get irradiated by a comet while bearing Earth, in this story by Bates, Swan and Roussos.  The costumes come to Earth, and we follow the story of the evil one.  It takes over a person at random, but they are not evil enough, and get disintegrated.

act_383_002

The costume finds a more fitting home on the body of a mob boss.  With it on, he is a match for Superman, but unable to defeat him.

act_383_003

While the mob boss sleeps, the costume leaves him, and goes in search of a stronger person to wear it.  The last panel sees it, and the good costume, racing to the Fortress of Solitude.

The story concludes in the next issue.

act_383_004

Chameleon Boy gets to star in this month’s story, by Bridwell, Mortimer and Abel.  Although it does not bring back Princess Elwinda, who he almost married in a late story in Adventure Comics, he does meet an identical woman in this tale, Janice Warren.

act_383_005

Karate Kid is briefly seen as leader, but the only other Legionnaire to have a significant role is Princess Projectra.  She is friends with Janice, and brings Chameleon Boy along to a party at her house.  At his request, she finds out what Janice thinks of him, but she dismisses him as a yucky alien.

act_383_006

So Chameleon Boy adopts a human appearance, patterning himself on her description of an ideal man.  Things go well, until he gets framed for theft.

act_383_007

He is forced to reveal his true identity to bring down the thief, another shape changer.  And though Janice seems to now be attracted to Chameleon Boy, she is never seen again.  But then, he only cared about her because she looked identical to someone else, so which one is the more shallow?

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

act_309

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

act_309_001

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.

act_309_002

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.

act_309_003

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.

act_309_004

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

act_309_005

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.

act_309_006

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.

act_309_007

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?

act_309_008

Why, JFK of course.

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

act_309_009

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

act_309_010

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.

act_309_011

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.

act_309_012

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.

act_309_013

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.

act_309_014

Supergirl vows to find and free her parents!

 

 

 

 

 

Action 289 – Supergirl tries to hook up Superman

act_289

A few significant developments, and some quasi-incest, are the hallmarks of this classic tale by Siegel and Mooney, in Action 289 (June 1962).

act_289_001

After Linda watches a romantic movie with her parents,she decides that Superman needs a wife, and that neither Lois Lane nor Lana Lang is the right one for her cousin.  Her parents warn her not to meddle, but she pays them no mind.

act_289_002

Her first attempt has her try to match up Superman with Helen of Troy.  After that fails, she leads Superman into the 30th century, to see the Legion of Super-Heroes when they are grown up.  This is the first “Adult Legion” sequence.  Cosmic Boy, Sun Boy, Phantom Girl, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy and Triplicate Girl are all shown as adults, but the important one, for Supergirl, is Saturn Girl.  Sparks do fly between her and Superman when they kiss under the mistletoe.

act_289_003

But Lightning Lad steps in and calls a halt to that.  For the first time, we learn that Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad will get married at some point.

Oh, and in a continuity-defying act, Superman and Supergirl invent flight rings for the Legion, to replace the ugly flight belts.  The flight rings immediately start being used in stories about the teenaged versions of these characters.

act_289_004

Supergirl confesses her plans to find Superman a girlfriend.  Superman explains that he would want someone exactly like her.  But they can’t be a couple, because they are cousins.  Of course, some cultures allow cousins to marry.  But not Kryptonians.  Superman has clearly thought a lot about this.

act_289_005

So together they search the universe, and manage to find a super-powered double of Supergirl, Luma Lynai, on the planet Staryl.  Superman and this twin of Supergirl hit it off, but she cannot maintain her powers under Earth’s sun, and he will lose his under Staryl’s, so they split.

So Superman and Supergirl decide to move to Kentucky where they marry and settle down.

No, they don’t do that.

But you know they want to.

Action 267 – Luthor meets Hercules, and Supergirl meets the Legion of Super-Heroes

act_267

Binder, Boring and Kaye bring Hercules into the present in Action 267 (Aug. 60).

act_267_001

Luthor builds a time ray, and brings Hercules into the present, getting the confused demi-god to break him out of prison.  The story makes it clear that this is the same Hercules who Superboy met years earlier, in the pages of Adventure Comics, though with amnesia from the time trip.

act_267_002

It doesn’t take long for Hercules to figure out that Luthor is lying to him.  By the time Superman shows up, Hercules has no problems allowing Superman to cart the villain away.  Superman intends to send Hercules back to his own time, but Hercules asks to stick around and explore this world.  Superman arranges an identity for him, and gets him a job at the Daily Planet.

act_267_003

In his guise as a reporter, he falls for Lois Lane.  When danger threatens, he saves her, but does not try to conceal who he is.  In fact, he reveals that he is Hercules simply by flexing his muscles, which tears all his clothing off.

act_267_004

Lois rejects him, of course, as she loves only Superman.  So Hercules gets Perry to assign him an article in Greece.  Once there, he travels to magical Olympus, where he gains powers from a variety of the gods – basically making him Captain Marvel.  He vows to get rid of Superman.

The story concludes in the next issue.

act_267_005

The Legion of Super-Heroes make an early appearance in the Siegel and Mooney Supergirl story in this issue.

act_267_006

The story begins as a direct parallel to Superboy’s first meeting with the Legion.  Dressed as normal people, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl each approach Supergirl, after demonstrating their powers, and saving her from displaying hers.

act_267_007

Oddly, they introduce themselves as children of the Legionnaires who recruited Superboy.  That gets completely dropped from continuity, as does the idea that the Legion recruited Superboy before Supergirl.

act_267_008

They bring her to the 30th century, and show her the big sights, like the ice cream parlour.  At the Legion Clubhouse, she meets Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy and Invisible Kid, all of whom are making their first appearances.  The three do get to display their powers, but we learn nothing else about them.  Nor do we learn how “super-invisibility” differs from “invisibility.”  I really really can’t see him!

act_267_009

Supergirl seems a shoo-in for membership.  To show her abilities, she digs a tunnel through the Earth, just as she had done a year or so earlier.  But she winds up digging near some red kryptonite, which ages her beyond the team’s 18- year cut off for new members.  And the team, in these days, is notorious for sticking to rules over acting like decent people, so Supergirl is denied membership.

Back to the orphanage with you!

Tag Cloud