Posts tagged ‘Dick Wilson’

Action 282 – adventures of a Superman robot, and Supergirl heads to the future

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Bill Finger and Al Plastino split the cover story for Action 282 (Nov. 61) between Superman and one of his robots.

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Superman is too busy to be Clark Kent, so he has one of robots fill in for him, working alongside Lois.  The robots metallic hands get exposed early on, and he has to resort to a variety of methods to conceal them.

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This completely steals the show.  Superman’s feats are big and showy, but it’s the robot for whom the stakes are high.

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Superman does come to the aid of his creation, fashioning new skin for his hands split seconds before the Clark Kent robot must shake hands.

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Supergirl makes another effort to restore her powers in this Siegel and Mooney tale.

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Since heading into the past did not work, Superman sends his cousin to the distant future.  You have to kind of wonder why he didn’t send her to the time of the Legion of Super-Heroes, so she would have people to hang out with.  Lesla-Lar is displeased, as her monitors cannot broadcast from the future.

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Supergirl winds up in a totalitarian era, with a tyrant who denies people the freedom to read and be educated, and helps overthrow his regime.

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But her trip to the future has no more success than the one to the past.  Back in the present, Linda runs into Dick Wilson, now adopted, and with the last name Malverne.  They go swimming, and Linda reflects that, even is she had her powers, she would let him win, because men “enjoy” feeling superior to women.

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And though Supergirl still has no idea she exists, Lesla-Lar gets arrested for illegal experiments, while Luthor wait and wonders what has happened to Supergirl.

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The story ends as Supergirl’s powers miraculously return, as well as an invulnerability to kryptonite.  This weird change of events is due to Mr. Mxyzptlk’s magic.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 256 – Superman sees the future, Janu becomes Congorilla, and Dick Wilson debuts

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A true classic cover on Action 256 (Sept. 59), for the Superman story by Binder, Swan and Kaye.

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Superman undergoes a scientific experiment that transforms him into a future man, the Ultra-Superman.  He can foresee the future, and even show his thoughts to others as images.  He announces four disasters that will strike, and tries to prevent them.

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Three attempts end in failure, and Ultra-Superman loses faith in his ability to change what he has foreseen, the assassination of the US president, presumably Eisenhower, although he is not named.

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But no, the whole thing was an elaborate hoax, designed to draw out the would-be assassins.  The Swan art makes this fun, and I love the cutaway on the egg-head, revealing the camera.

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Janu makes his first appearance in a Congorilla story, although Howard Sherman presents the tale as if Janu is already familiar with the animal and situation.  Janu is working as a stunt double for an obnoxious child actor on a film set in the jungle.  Janu does things for the movie like swim next to crocodiles, and Congo Bill allows this.  For some reason.

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Janu swipes Bill’s ring, and becomes Congorilla, using the ape to humiliate the actor.

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Congo Bill knows what is going on, and has no trouble with it. The director finds the apes antics cinematic, and the child star gets replaced by Janu, while Bill takes the ape role as Congorilla.

So really, the story is about them taking over a production, and making themselves the stars.

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Dick Wilson is introduced in this story by Binder and Mooney.  He sees Supergirl flying near the orphanage, and tries to figure out who she might be.

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As Linda is not aware that Dick is onto her, her carelessness leads him to suspect her.  From then on, the story is a gender reversal of the Lois Lane or Lana Lang stories, as Linda has to prove that she is not Supergirl. The odd thing is that no one yet knows Supergirl even exists.

I do love the panel where Linda super-sorts the steel from the dumbbell up her nose.

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Superman has created a Supergirl robot, and gives it to Linda as a gift, to help protect her identity.

Dick Wilson will return.  He eventually gets adopted, and his last name gets changed to Malverne.

 

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