Posts tagged ‘E Nelson Bridwell’

Action 563 – Ambush Bug loses his suit, Mr. Mxyzptlk wants his own show, and Jimmy Olsen becomes a blob

act_563

Three stories in Action 563 (Jan.85), all represented in Giffen’s great cover.

act_563_001

Ambush Bug gets the lead story in the issue, by Giffen, Fleming and Oskner.  Clark Kent is around, in his newscaster guise, and as Superman, but Bethany Snow, from New Teen Titans, and Jack Ryder, better known as the Creeper, also cameo on the first page.  Ted Baxter, from the old Mary Tyler Moore Show, almost appears.

act_563_002

There is some degree of story in this one, as Ambush Bug works on his suit, and shorts it out.

act_563_003

A running gag with the character is the origin story, which always involves a person named Irwin Schwab, but otherwise is a pastiche of other heroes origins.  Ambush Bug relates one of these absurd stories to Superman.

act_563_004

Superman dismisses it as nonsense, until he realizes Ambush Bug just told him his own origin.

act_563_005

E. Nelson Bridwell, Alex Saviuk and Dennis Jensen give Mr. Mxyzptlk a yen for the boob tube in the second story in this issue.  The 5th dimensional imp demands his own television show on WGBS, but Morgan Edge refuses.

act_563_006

So Mr. Mxyzptlk wreaks havoc with the networks programming.  Although the story posits this as a bad thing, in reality I’m sure the ratings went through the roof, as everyone tuned in to see what crazy shit was going to happen.  Anyway, Mxyzptlk has made saying, or even writing, his name backwards impossible for anyone.

act_563_007

Superman gets around this by thinking of his Bizarro World counterpart, Kltpzyxm, when setting up his trap.

act_563_008

The issue is rounded out by a Jimmy Olsen adventure, by Craig Boldman, Howard Bender and Pablo Marcos.

act_563_009

Hoping to save a falling girl, Jimmy drinks from an old vial of his Elastic Lad serum, but it turns him into a big blob instead.

act_563_010

He is unable to speak, and is treated as a monster, even by his date for the evening.  Superman figures out what has happened, the serum was corrupted by a radioactive substance it sat next to.  He cures Jimmy in time to still have his planned date, but the girl’s reaction, freaking out just because he metamorphosized, makes it clear this woman is not up to Jimmy Olsen’s speed.

Advertisements

Action 462 – Superman beats on a dying man, and Krypto eats the can

act_462

It’s part three of the Karb-Brak story in Action 462 (Aug. 76), by Bates, Swan and Blaisdel.

act_462_001

Superman is not sure what to do about the very allergic alien, but he isn’t going to leave Earth because of him.  The disease moves into its second phase, and begins causing warping of people and matter around him.

act_462_002

The next phase reduces Karb-brak to a clump of flying blobs, as he approaches death.  He does manage to get Superman spinning around, and adds to his momentum, which removes Superman from this time period.

act_462_003

Karb-Brak doesn’t much care where Superman is, as long as he is fine.  But we see Clark on the streets of revolutionary Philadelphia.

The story concludes in the next issue.

act_462_004

Bridwell, Swan and Al Milgrom give Krypto his first solo story in about five years in this issue.

act_462_005

Krypto comes to Earth, searching for Superman, who has called for him.  He finds a phony, working as muscle in a protection racket, but gets rid of him.

act_462_006

Krypto has been asked to be in a dog food ad, with the proceeds going to charity, so Superman called for him.  Pimping our your dog, ok.  Krypto prefers the can to the food, in a moment I liked.

 

Action 459 – Superman vs Blackrock, and the Private Life of Clark Kent

act_459

Maggin, Swan and Oskner conclude the Blackrock introduction storyline in Action 459 (May 1976).

act_459_001

Superman has come to terms with Blackrock operating in Metropolis, even though Morgan Edge continues to be furious, particularly at how Blackrock always gives his interviews to Lola Barnett at UBC.  Clark points out some of the reasons for Lola changing networks.

act_459_002

Superman loses his patience with Blackrock during a robbery by teleporting thieves.  The radio waves Blackrock uses short out the tech, preventing Superman from following them.  Blackrock does not take well to being criticized, and the two start to fight.

act_459_003

Superman follows Blackrock back to UBC, but loses track of him.  He goes to confront Tanner, certain that the man must know something about the hero, but is stunned to discover that Tanner himself is Blackrock.  And Tanner does not even know it.  Silverstone felt that only Tanner himself could live up to what he wanted Blackrock to be, and turned him into the hero.

act_459_004

But with Blackrock now out of control, Silverstone works with Superman to turn him off.

Tanner is left with no memory of being Blackrock.  But Blackrock does return in a couple of years, in the pages of Superman.

act_459_005

The Private Life of Clark Kent begins as a rotating feature in Action. These stories, which deal with the non-Superman side of his life, began as a back-up in Superman.  Here, this story begins a series that deals not only with Clark Kent, but with the personal lives of many of the supporting cast.

In this story, by Bridwell, Swan and Oskner, Morgan Edge demands that Clark find out what has happened to a prominent boxer.  Steve Lombard has washed out on finding any information.

act_459_006

Clark pretty much stumbles across this one, winding up in a taxi that was meant to be part of a ransom pay-off.  He follows the money, and frees the champ, meant to resemble Muhammed Ali, and winds up with a personal on-camera interview, while a pained Lombard looks on.

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 386 – Superman put out to pasture, and the impostor returns

act_386

Superman continues travelling forward in time in the second part of the story, by Bates, Swan and Roussos, in Action 386 (March 1970).

act_386_001

Superman time jumps forward, and winds up in an era where all super-powers have been outlawed, following a huge war of super-powered people.

act_386_002

Superman winds up exiled to a planet where all the other super-people have been sent.  King of the retirement home.

act_386_003

He does get everyone to work together, and show the world that old super-heroes have something to offer.  But then he just time jumps again, as the Time Trapper watches, enjoying it all.

act_386_004

Uli Algor, the woman who impersonated Shadow Lass, returns in this story by Bridwell, Mortimer and Abel.  It begins on Takron-Galtos, the prison planet, which I believe is the first time that entire name and description are used.

act_386_005

Despite the scary name, they are using feel good gem therapy, it seems, to rehabilitate criminals.  It does work on some, but Uli had conditioned herself to resist it.

act_386_006

Returning to Earth,she sets out to avenge her defeat against the Legion.  She runs into two couples in the park, challenges, and defeats Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy and Night Girl, with a device that enables her to turn the heroes powers against them.

act_386_007

That might have been enough for some, but not for Uli.  She presses her luck, and challenges another group of Legionnaires.  Karate Kid, Brainiac 5, Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl accept her challenge, and head out to Talus, an asteroid of junked space ships.  This is the only appearance of Talus until it becomes the headquarters of the Legion, in the early 90s.

act_386_008

Uli uses her weapon successfully against three of the team, but she waits as Ultra Boy approaches her, to see which of his repertoire of one-at-a-time powers he will use.  And Ultra Boy just runs up and decks her, using nothing but his own strength.

Uli heads back to Takron-Galtos.  We never hear from her again.

Tag Cloud