Posts tagged ‘Flash’

Action 546 – Superman, the Justice League and the New Teen Titans vs Brainiac

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Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane pull out the stops for Action 546 (Aug. 83), the conclusion of the new Brainiac saga.

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Superman gathers the Justice League and , unusually, the New Teen Titans.  They were the hottest selling property DC had at the time, and Wolfman wrote their comic.  But it’s still not like Superman called on the Teen Titans from time to time.

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Anyway, both teams see a lot of action in this story.  The Atom Firestorm, Flash, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Red Tornado, Wonder Woman and Zatanna work with Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Changeling, Cyborg, Raven, Starfire and Terra against the invading alien armies under Brainiac’s domination.

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Lois Lane gets one scene in the story, back on the farm of her rarely appearing parents, Sam and Ella Lane.  Superman talked her out of staying on assignment in the Middle East, and she is furious to see that Lana Lang is doing the interview she worked so long at.

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While the others deal with the armies, Superman confronts Brainiac himself.  He manages to draw out solar flares, which disrupt Brainiac’s headship, and render him vulnerable.  He retreats, to fight another day.  And once Brainiac leaves, his armies, no longer mind controlled, back down.

Yup, Brainiac is definitely more of a threat than he was before.

 

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Action 539 – Superman looks for time travelling help, and Aquaman heads to Xebel

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Giffen and Giordano execute the cover for Action 539 (Jan. 83), as the split Superman storyline moves towards its climax.

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Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane have Superman look for help in trying to travel back to the middle ages, and re-unite with his lost half.  The Atom accompanies Superman into the Time Pool, but find it mired in a time storm.

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The Flash attempts the journey with Superman on the Cosmic Treadmill, but it shorts out.  Superman is weakening further, and, as Clark Kent, collapses at the office.

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At the same time, hundreds of years earlier (I love writing about about comics), Lord Satanis continues to try to disrupt Syrene’s use of the other Superman, to acquire the power of the runestone.

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Lord Satanis uses his magic to merge with Syrene’s Superman.

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The story ends as Clark is pronounced dead, and the autopsy begins.  Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White are all at the hospital, grieving.

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Rozakis, Saviuk and Dan Adkins make things clear in this Aquaman installment. Mera’s body has been taken over by V’lanna, the new queen of Xebel, who brings Aquaman back to her dimension.

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There she and Mera split into themselves again.  V’lanna intends to kill Mera, and keep Aquaman as her consort.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Action 480 – Amazo attacks

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Bates, Swan and Chairamonte begin a four-part story that pits Superman against Amazo, the one-man Justice League in Action 480 (Feb. 78).

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The story gets bang into the action, with little build-up.  Superman is relaxing on the Justice League satellite, when Amazo suddenly bursts out of his cell and through the floor, getting into a fight with Superman that blasts them out of the satellite and into space.

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The Justice League alert goes off, and the whole team show up.  This is not such a good thing, as Aquaman, Atom, Batman, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Red Tornado all wind up trapped in the satellite by Amazo, giving him free reign against Superman.

A mysterious “Professor Ives” is also brought in to the story.

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With Amazo on the loose, and his own powers waning, Superman needs a way to get Clark out of the way, and leave him free.  Morgan Edge is holding a draw to see who goes on a particular assignment out of town, and Clark hypnotizes everyone to think he was chosen.  As well as Lois, Jimmy and Steve Lombard, Lana Lang is part of the draw, having recently been hired to WGBS in the pages of Superman.

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Professor Ives turns out to be Professor Ivo, who Amazo hates for having created him.  Superman desperately fights to save Ivo as his powers fade before Amazo.

Throughout this storyline there is nothing of Ivo’s usual two qualities, his quest for immortality, and disfigurements caused by the quest.

Action 470 – too many Terra-Men

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Bates, Swan and Blaisdel bring their Terra-Man saga to a rousing conclusion in Action 470 (April 1977).

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With Superman defeated so publicly, it’s no surprise that other heroes have been following this.  The Flash is the first to arrive, appropriately, but appears to fare no better against the western-themed villain.

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Green Lantern shows up as well, and so does a familiar-looking alien craft, which shoots down the Lantern.

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The ship belongs to the brother of the alien who raised Terra-Man, and who was killed by him. But by then, we have also discovered that the person who appears to be Terra-Man is really Superman.  This neatly decoys the alien seeking vengeance to attack Superman.

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Things take a surprising twist when Superman does show up, along with the Terra-Man that is really Superman.  Superman and Terra-Man fight the alien, but the real Terra-Man sheds his disguise to join in and figure out what is happening.

The new Superman is really Gregory Reed, with his powers being faked by Green Lantern and the Flash.  Not being the real Superman, he does not have his weaknesses. There is enough deception going on that both Terra-Man and his alien pursuer are defeatable.

Action 466 – Superboy, Batboy and Flashboy vs Luthor

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Great cover, and a great title, for Action 466 (Dec. 76), “You Can Take the Man Out of the Super, But You Can’t Take the Super Out of the Boy,” by Bates, Swan and Blaisdel.

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Adult Luthor defeats Superman, now Superboy, humiliating him in front of a crowd.  He lets the young hero live, to savour his embarrassment.

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Superboy rounds up the young versions of Batman and the Flash, and they try a three-way attack on Luthor.  But the villain kills the Flash, and later, Batman.

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But Batman’s lack of reaction at Flash’s death makes Superman suspicious.  He realizes, somehow, that Luthor has made the androids look and answer the way Superman had expected them to.  That he isn’t younger, it’s all a hallucination.  But one that has physical effect, as other can see it, and it does, actually, make him smaller.

Ok, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. even when Superman explains it to the real Flash and Batman.  Great cover, though.

 

Action 465 – Luthor turns Superman into Superboy

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Bates, Swan and Blaisdel reveal the villain of their three part story in the cover of Action 465 (Nov. 76).

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Lex Luthor brags of what he has done to Batman and the Flash, and shoot Superman with a beam, although it doesn’t seem to do anything. Luthor takes off, and Superman tries to determine if the two kids in front of him really are who they claim to be.  Among the tests, he asks them very specific questions, relating to stories from the last couple of years.  Nice to see that degree of continuity.  They pass all the tests, and Superman worries about what is to come.

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It’s at a WGBS function that he starts to get younger, right after being splashed with punch by Steve Lombard.  Thinking fast, he gets punch on everyone, and releases a “fountain of youth” gas with a temporary effect, that turns Lois, Jimmy, Morgan Edge and the rest young as well.

At least it’s a way out of the situation, if not a good one.

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Now Luthor returns to attack, an adult Luthor taking on Superboy.

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Steve Lombard gets a “private life” style story, by Pasko, Swan and McLaughlin.

It has to do with him being asked to write the forward to a coach’s memoirs.  The coach was a hardass, and not much loved.  Steve had saved his life once.

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As Steve recalls it, the incident was less than heroic, and more of an impulse.

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The story then takes a strange twist, as Steve is shot by gamblers whose sports betting racket he exposed.

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The manuscript of the coach’s book stopped the bullet, which makes Steve decide to turn over a new leaf.  Umm, ok.  Fortunately, this doesn’t really last, and he stays the enjoyable jerk that he is.

Action 464 – Superman vs the Purple Pile-Driver

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Superman does, indeed, battle a villain called the Purple Pile-Driver in Action 464 (Oct. 76), but thankfully that is not the main thrust of this first part of a three part tale, by Bates, Swan and Blaisdel.

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Melba Manton appears, broadcasting the deaths of a couple, which occurred right in front of their young son.  Melba was introduced a few years earlier in the pages of Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane, but her appearances were always sporadic.  In fact, this is her only appearance in 1976.

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Clark Kent heads to the orphanage to do a follow up piece on the boy, but he has escaped.  Apparently using a bat-rope.

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Superman has a second, conclusive round with Purple Pile-Driver, and defeats him just outside a STAR labs facility, where an explosion occurs.  Investigating, Superman finds a site that resembles the Flash origin, and hears that a teenage assistant was doused in chemicals and ran off.

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Superman follows the trail, and finds younger versions of Batman and the Flash, who insist they are the real thing, forced to re-live their lives.  By who?  He’s just off-panel!

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