Posts tagged ‘Daily Planet’

Action 598 – Checkmate debuts

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Byrne joins with Paul Kupperberg and Ty Templeton to introduce a new team in the DC Universe, Checkmate, in Action 598 (March 1988).

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Cat Grant, an entertainment reporter on the Daily Planet, introduced in Adventures of Superman, makes her first appearance in Action Comics, toying with the affections of young Jimmy Olsen, and more seriously pursuing Clark Kent.

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Lois Lane is busy trying to arrange an interview with an unpopular Quraci leader, who is being pursued by terrorists with nukes.

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Checkmate has been assigned to protect the Quraci leader, even though he is a mass murderer himself.  We meet one of the knights assigned to him, as well as Harry Stein and Harvey Bullock, the heads of the organization.

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Superman helps Checkmate round up the kidnappers and dispose of the nukes.  But Superman is not aware that Checkmate also kills the Quraci as soon as his plane leaves US territory.

Checkmate begins in its own book the following month.

 

 

Action 574 – Superman competes for the glory, and Mr. Mxyzptlk has a son

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Action 574 (Dec. 85) has a great cover, although the art on Boldman’s story itself, by Schaffenberger and Hunt, is not as evocative.

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Superman receives a challenge from the champion of Ostok, a planet that used to hold regular athletic competitions with Krypton.

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It’s all really friendly, and Lana Lang broadcasts the meeting of the two planetary champions, and is later allowed to go along and cover the games themselves.  The hero looks identical to the one who was involved in the last, undecided, games, but claims to be someone else entirely.  He is the same.  It’s so obvious.

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Anyway, the games go on, and each one is very close.  Jenet Klyburn, who is with Jimmy Olsen, running tests throughout, determines that the champion from Ostok is giving off an odd radiation, but it doesn’t seem to be a threat or attack.

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Superman loses the games, and the champion returns home, and dies.  He had made himself young again in order to finish the competition from so long ago.  Klyburn realizes the radiation affected the timing monitors, and that Superman really won.

The best panel in this is the last, in which he expresses sorrow that he won, as it was just another victory, not as special a one as it was for the man from Ostok.

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Mr. Mxyzptlk returns in a story by Robert Greenberger and Barbara Kesel, with art by Bender and Hunt.

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Mr. Mxyzptlk has had a baby boy, and comes to Earth to celebrate.

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He throws a party at the Daily Planet, with cigars for everyone.  I love the personalized bibs for Perry, Jimmy and Lois.  Lana and Clark get flowers, perhaps to reflect their relationship.  Mxyzptlk is enjoying the day so much he wants it to last forever, until Clark makes him realize that he will never enjoy his son growing up if he does that.  Mxyzptlk agrees, and goes home without being tricked.

 

Action 535 – Superman meets the Omega Men, and Air Wave ends

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Superman is at half power, having been split into two people in the previous issue, in the Wolfman, Staton and Marcos story in Action 535 (Sept. 82).

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Superman finds himself cast back to Earth abruptly, and runs into the Omega Men, a group of aliens on the run, last seen in their introductory story arc in the pages of Green Lantern the previous year.  Primus, Kalista, Broot, Nimbus and Harpis explain their story to Superman.

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They prove to be some help as a villain called the Mole attacks various buildings in Metropolis from underground, including the Daily Planet.  Superman is not used to his power loss, and overestimates his invulnerability. The Omega Men bring him to a hospital, and Kalista brings Lois Lane, who he has been calling for.

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But the Mole and his men think that even a powered down Superman is a prize to be had, and break into the hospital to steal him.

The story continues in the next issue.

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Air Wave concludes his final solo story, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte, as he spies on his high school science teacher, who seems to bean alien.

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Air Wave doesn’t fare too well against the man himself, he manages to escape capture.  But Hal does prevent the man’s bomb from going off, taking it high into space, which neutralizes the explosion.

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In the end, Air Wave is called to the Justice League satellite, where he is lauded by Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Atom, Green Arrow, Black Canary and Hawkman for his quick thinking.  They even tell the boy that one day he might become a member of the Justice League himself.

Sadly, this is really the high point of Air Wave’s career.  He returns in a couple of months in an issue of DC Comics Presents, and will pop up occasionally over the next couple of decades, but never again carry his own series.

 

Action 531 – ghosts of the Daily Planet, and the Atom comes to Curacao

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Wolfman, Staton and McLaughlin take Superman into the supernatural in Action 531 (May 1982).

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Morgan Edge leads the prospective buyer of the Daily Planet, Mort Waxman, around the building, showing off the facilities, and introducing him to staff members Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White.  Waxman’s newspapers are sleazy and sensationalist, and the Planet staff are dismayed at his purchase, but not as much as spirits that inhabit the paper, who come to life as they tour.

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It seems like Superman might be behind this, he certainly shares the sentiments of the ghosts, but the story makes clear that this is not the case.

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The ending is a bit off.  It’s not Waxman who gives up on the paper, it’s Morgan Edge who turns on Maxwell, for being exactly the kind of person he knew he was.

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Ray Palmer and Jean Loring head into dock at Curacao in this Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta story.

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They’re just looking for a nice tropical island to hang out on, but the Atom almost immediately stumbles across some people with an armed nuke.

The story concludes in the next issue.

 

Action 528 – Superman and Brainiac vs the Death Star

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Ok, it’s not called the Death Star in the story, but it so totally is.  And that’s what people I knew called the story in Action 528 (Feb.82) at the time it came out, after Empire Strikes Back.

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They even use Star Wars style lettering for the title of this story, by Wolfman, Swan and Chiaramonte.

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There is a totally non-Star Wars related plot in the story, as Morgan Edge intends to sell off the Daily Planet, which is losing money for Galaxy Communications.  Perry White is not the only one upset, and Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Steve Lombard and Jimmy Olsen spend the story awaiting news on this.

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Superman gets far more interesting stuff to do, having been contacted by Brainiac, who warns him of an approaching, all-consuming artificial world.  Brainiac did build the thing, before realizing how all-destroying it would be.  Oops.

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The two heroes work together, Superman penetrating the world, while Brainiac advises him from his ship.  This invasion proves fruitless, and Brainiac tries turning the planet “off,” putting it in a dormant state while Superman attacks.

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But even “asleep,” the planet takes down Superman.

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A really good, suspenseful ending.  An injured Superman collapses in front of the waiting Daily Planet staff, while Brainiac observes the destructive effects of the not-Death Star’s approach to Earth.

The story continues in the next chapter.

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Aquaman gets a solo chapter as part of Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte’s continuing story arc.

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Materializing on the alien world Air Wave had been drawn to, Aquaman finds a race of intelligent sea creatures, who are being exploited and enslaved by land dwellers.  Aquaman decides to help them, just as the land dwellers show up.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 526 – Superman vs Neutron, and Air Wave’s new power

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Wolfman, Staton and Chiaramonte conclude the Neutron storyline in Action 526 (Dec. 81).

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Morgan Ledge gathers the Daily Planet/WGBS staff on the roof for the celebration of the return of the globe.  Lis Lane, Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen, and of course Perry White are there. Meanwhile, Clark is frantically searching the city as Superman.  Neutron has told him that he has placed bombs throughout the city.  The art alone makes it fairly obvious that one of them is in the big glowing globe, surrounded by all his friends.  But it takes Superman until close to the end of the story to figure that out.

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Along the way, Superman runs into the H.I.V.E.  They want to get rid of the bombs as well, and could work with Superman on this goal, but prefer to try to kill him.

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Superman gets rid of the explosive globe, but replaces it with a safe one.  He captures Neutron far more easily than one might expect, encasing him while he is in his energy form.

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Air Wave gets a more series adventure in this issue, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta.

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After being struck by lightning, Hal discovers that he has the ability to pick up on people’s thoughts, justas if they were broadcasts.  This comes in useful at school, when quizzed on work he hadn’t read.  But even more useful when his uncle Jack gets kidnapped.

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Jack Jordan is a District Attorney, and he has been grabbed by mob goons who want vengeance.  Air Wave’s telepathy vanishes before the end of the story, but helps him find, and save, his uncle.

 

Action 525 – Neutron debuts, and Air Wave becomes Green Lantern

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Superman has his first encounter with Neutron, and the villain leaves him lying in a pile of rubble.

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Air Wave gets an enjoyable entry, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte.

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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.

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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?”

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