Posts tagged ‘Faora’

Action 582 – Superman brings Jor-El and Lara back to life

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Boldman, Saviuk and Schaffenberger share the last in-continuity pre-Crisis Superman story in Action 582 (Aug. 86).

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After having a number of vivid dreams about Jor-El and Lara, Superman discovers that there are two other, distinct, brain-waves in his head.  He believes these two be the minds of his parents, somehow preserved within him.

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He creates clone bodies for them, and is thrilled when the brain-waves transfer from his mind into the bodies, animating them and bringing his parents back to life.  He provides them with human identities, and shows them around Metropolis, and Earth, while helping them adjust to their new powers.

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Superman brings them to his Fortress of Solitude, but when he shows them the Phantom Zone viewer, he is surprised that the villains, General Zod, Jax-Ur, Professor Vakox and Faora, are cursing him, and not his father, the man who invented the Zone and sent many of them there.

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And, indeed, his parents are not his real parents.  How the Phantom Zone villains could tell is not clear, but once Superman suspects them, they drop the act and try to kill him.  They put him in a rocket and fire him into space.

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Superman escapes from the rocket, but spots a familiar ship orbiting Earth.  It belongs to Rokk and Sorban, the compulsive gamblers from Ventura.  Frequent guests in Superman’s own comic, and World’s Finest, back in the 60s, this is their first, and only, appearance in Action.  They used some “free-floating” consciousnesses for Jor-El and Lara, but the bet at the core was whether Superman would be angry enough to kill the phonies, or not.

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The story ends as Superman takes Rokk and Sorban to the “prison planet,” (Takron-Galtos?)  Superman shows little concern about what the phony Jor-El and Lara are up to, loose on Earth, with all their powers. But the gamblers assure Superman that they will return to their non-corporeal state.

 

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Action 549 – Superman joins forces with Zod and Faora

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Superman and the Phantom Zone villain team-up against the deadly Vrangs in Action 549 (Nov. 83).

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Bates, Saviuk, Colletta and Marcos do not start this issue off like a team-up, though.  Faora begins by kidnapping Lois Lane.

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Curiously, that was done not only to attract Superman’s attention, but to convince him that Zod and Faora mean him no harm.  They inform Superman about the Vrangs finding Argo City, and coming for Earth.  In the extremely distant past, as related in a “World of Krypton” tale from the 70s, the Vrangs had been the alien overlords of Krypton, until overthrown by Val-Lor.  The Vrangs have come seeking vengeance.

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The piece of jewel kryptonite, able to focus and empower the thoughts of the Phantom Zone villains, turns out to be the perfect bomb.

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While Superman is still on the Vrang ship, Zod and Faora set off the kryptonite,even though its destruction will force them back into the Zone.  This way, they can get rid of the Vrangs and Superman at once.   Except Superman sees what they are up to, and gets off the ship on time.

So the villains not only save the day, but re-imprrison themselves.

 

Action 548 – jewel kryptonite returns

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The Phantom Zone villain are back in Action 548 (Oct. 83), in a story by Cary Bates, Alex Saviuk, Vince Colletta and Pablo Marcos.

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General Zod, Jax-Ur, Professor Vakox (in this story, rendered Va-Kox), and Faora have been tracking the one piece of jewel kryptonite, and find it.  Concentrating their powers on it, Zod and Faora manage to escape to Earth, along with a couple of no-name villains.  We do not see what happens with Jax-Ur and Va-Kox

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At the same time, an alien race finds the remains of Argo City, and enter it to explore.  They lean of the existence of Superman and Supergirl, and decide to head to Earth.

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While the Phantom Zone villains prepare to attack Superman, he is busy dealing with some street hoods operating with Kryptonian technology.

The story continues int he next issue.

Action 492 – Superman kills his own future family

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In Action 492 (Feb. 79), Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte take Superman on a mystifying journey through his future life.

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Superman encounters an anomaly in space, which sucks him in.  He then believes that he is waking up back on Earth, but we know that this is some psychological game being played on him.

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He experiences a death-trap set by Luthor, with Lois and Lana in separate capsules shot into space.  He saves Lana, but Lois dies.  General Zod, Jax-Ur and Faora are behind this, hovering at the sides of the hallucinations as minor characters.

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They keep taking Superman further into his future, and have him believe that he enlarged Kandor.  Having every event be a bad one might make him realize he is being played.  I like that touch.

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We see that the villains are really still in the Phantom Zone, and Superman is having his life drained by the anomaly.  This line-up of Phantom Zone villains, Zod, Jax-Ur and Faora, is the closest that had appeared in the comics, to the Phantom Zone villains in the movie, about to come out, General Zod, Non and Ursa.

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They make Superman imagine a future in which he and Lana are married, with children.  And Superman kills them all accidentally with a space virus.  This is meant to prompt him to kill himself, but that is what takes him out of their trance.  He would never willingly kill, not even himself.

Free of the anomaly, he leaves the Phantom Zone villains to curse fruitlessly.

Action 473 – Superman vs Faora

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Bates, Swan and Blaisdel conclude the Faora story in Action 473 (July 1977).

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Supergirl gets concerned when there is no word from Superman, despite Faora running wild in Metropolis.  She finds a note in the Fortress, explaining that he has gone into the Phantom Zone, and other information that the reader is not privy to.

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Faora gets into an argument with Steve Lombard, and is about to kill him when her greater scheme kicks in, reversing the Phantom Zone, releasing all its captives, while sending everyone on Earth into the Zone.  Steve actually thinks he has died, until Jimmy Olsen explains the Zone to him.  Batman and Green Lantern are also shown to now be phantoms, while Jax-Ur, General Zod, Kru-El and Professor Vakox enjoy their new freedom and solidity.

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Faora takes dominance over the other Phantom Zone villains through her use of psychic bolts, but one Zone escapee is immune.  It’s Superman, who figured out her bigger plan, and took precautions, including entering the Zone himself.

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Superman is now stuck fighting against a number of similarly powered Kryptonians, and finds himself overpowered.  Faora is about to kill him when the switch happens again.  Bad timing!  Superman rigged the projector to reverse Faora’s actions, sending the prisoners back into the Zone, and releasing the humans.

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With one exception.  The old man who still, after all this, believes Faora is his dead wife Katie.  He gets to join her in the Zone.

From now on, Faora would be a regularly appearing Phantom Zone villain, almost always included when three or more are shown.  But not the old man.  We never find out what happened to him.

Action 472 – Faora escapes from the Phantom Zone, and Steve Lombard meets his double

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Bates, Swan and Blaisdel continue with the introduction of Faora in Action 472 (June 1977).

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Heading to his Fortress of Solitude, Superman scans the records of Phantom Zone prisoners until he finds the file on Faora Hu-Ul.  She has a fanatical hatred of men, and killed hundreds in a personal concentration camp, for which she was sentenced to the Zone.

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And though it is not clear exactly how this works, she gets the old man to focus on her, while holding an alien artifact stolen from Clark Kent’s apartment.  This allows her to burst free from the Zone, and attack Superman.  Even being able to see her in the flesh, the old man still thinks this is his dead wife, Katie.  Faora is a master of a form of Kryptonian martial arts, dealing with reflex points, and manages to best Superman in battle.

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The ending of this chapter is a bit of a shock, as Superman flees form Faora, and heads into the Phantom Zone to hide.

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Bill Kunkle, John Calnan and Tex Blaisdel provide another chapter of the Sporting Life of Steve Lombard, as he comes face to face with an identical double.  To Steve’s consternation, no one else seems to be able to see the guy.

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Steve is driven to distraction by the man’s appearances, and everyone claiming he is not there.  The hoax is ruined when Steve catches the man’s voice on a tape recorder, and he realizes he is the butt of an April Fool’s gag, which Clark, Lois and Jimmy were all in on. The final panel reveals that Steve’s mysterious double was actually Batman.

Action 471 – Faora debuts

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The first Superman movie was in pre-production when Action 471 (May 1977) was released, and I suspect the introduction of a female Phantom Zone villain in this storyline was done to correspond with the introduction of a similar character in the movie.

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If not, then it’s an amazing coincidence that Bates, Swan and Blaisdel introduced her in a three-part story, right at this time.  The tale begins as Clark discovers that an elderly neighbour of his has broken into his apartment, and is rooting through his stuff.  The man lies, claiming the door was unlocked.  Superman is not sure what to make of this.  It’s a shame he didn’t get to see the ghostly figure talking to the old man.

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Clark tries to learn more about the man, and discovers that he is a widower, who believes that he can still communicate with his dead wife.  The ghostly figure has been causing panic, as well as consternation on the part of Morgan Edge, as the ghost keeps appearing around Clark’s building, but Kent gets no coverage of this.

The plot threads come together at the conclusion, as we see that this ghost, a Phantom Zone prisoner named Faora, is pretending to be the old man’s dead wife.

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