Posts tagged ‘Frank Chiaramonte’

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


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 533 – The H.I.V.E. kidnap Jimmy Olsen, and Air Wave and the Atom to the rescue


Wolfman, Swan and Chiaramonte conclude Superman’s two-part battle with the H.I.V.E. in Action 533 (July 1982).


While Superman follows the fake information fed to Lois Lane, and protects S.T.A.R. Labs, the H.I.V.E. pull off their real plan, capturing Jimmy Olsen by stealing the entire train car he is in.


Jimmy’s signal watch, which is not used nearly as much as it had been in the 60s, comes in handy in this story, as it gets Superman there just in time.


Lois is not completely off the hook.  The H.I.V.E.member she impersonated in the previous issue comes looking for trouble.  Superman cannot get to her in time, he is busy rescuing Jimmy.  But Lois proves capable of taking down her would-be killer herself.


Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte bring Air Wave in for the conclusion of the Atom’s nuclear Curacao vacation. Now that the Atom has stopped the bombers, who have been killed by their leader by remote control, he tracks the signal to Dallas.


Coincidentally, Jack Jordan was also on the trail of the mastermind, although his attempt to disguise himself was pretty lame, and didn’t work.


Air Wave really gets to be the hero of this tale, and even gets to fly the Atom back to Curacao.



Action 532 – Lois Lane infiltrates the H.I.V.E., and the Atom in the parade


Marv Wolfman, Curt Swan and Dave Hunt bring back the H.I.V.E. in Action 532 (June 1982).


The H.I.V.E. are out to get Superman, but are not terribly good at it.  The H.I.V.E. that appears in the Superman books never seems quite as impressive as the group appearing at the same time in New Teen Titans.


Superman heads over to Titans Tower anyway, meeting with Robin, Starfire, Kid Flash, Changeling, Cyborg and Wonder Girl, but gets no real information. Just a cheap cameo to boost sales.  Lois takes more aggressive action, impersonating a captured H.I.V.E. member.


Lois succeeds at infiltrating the organization, and gets information about their planned attack on S.T.A.R. Labs.  Her cover gets blown, but Superman bursts in and saves her.


Neither realize that the plans they found were a decoy, which H.I.V.E. intended Lois to find.

The story continues in the next issue.


There is a lot more action in this second half of the Atom in Curacao story, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte, but its’ not a great story.


The Atom manages to defuse the nuke, and hunts for the terrorists, who hide in the midst of a parade.

This is the last issue with a solo Atom story, although he teams up with Air Wave in the next issue.  In a year, he begins his Sword of the Atom mini-series.

Action 530 – Brainiac becomes evil again, and the Atom rescues Aquaman


Wolfman, Swan and Adkins bring the team-up with Brainiac to a conclusion in Action 530 (April 1982).


Superman once again penetrates the world-ship, finding some massive tunnels in its interior. He finds the core, it’s huge computer brain, but gets sucked into it.


Brainiac is evil again, now that Superman has re-programmed him.  He is content to let Superman die, and have the artificial world consume everything, and birth a new universe.  Superman picks up the point that this a world-building machine as well.  He super-vibrates, figuring correctly that this will mess up the computer, which fees him.


Superman strips the armored shell off the world, revealing the idyllic planet underneath.  Brainiac is powerless to stop him, as Superman frees the new world inside, and finds a spare bit of galaxy to put it in.


Aquaman reveals the traitor as Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte bring this story arc to a close.  The one who attached himself to Air Wave in the first place, he did so as a spy.  Well, that was easy.  And despite Aquaman agonizing over how he can get home, all he has to do is get shocked by an electric creature.


Ray Palmer and Jean Loring have spent the past three days on a sailboat, waiting for Aquaman to return.  When he does, Ray jumps into the ocean after him.  Umm, why?  Are you afraid he will drown?  All right, I’ll concede maybe you want to see if he is injured.

Anyway, the Atom “rescues” Aquaman, but that’s about all he does in this long story.


Action 528 – Superman and Brainiac vs the Death Star


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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 527 – Lord Satanis and Syrene debut, and Air Wave needs Aquaman’s help


Two new supernatural characters are introduced in Action 527 (Jan. 82), Lord Satanis, and Syrene.


Wolfman, Swan and Chiaramonte waste no time with this tale, as Syrene kidnaps Superman on the first page, recruiting him in her battle against Lord Satanis.    She shows Superman their mystical realm, where Satanis reigns supreme, and gets Superman to help her fight against him.


Superman does not fare as well as he might, for all that build up.  But Lord Satanis decides he wants Superman on his team, and captures Lois to force him.


Lord Satanis also appears to kill Syrene, although later we find out he has just “dislocated” her from reality.


This allows Syrene to show up just in time to save Superman, whose powers Lord Satanis was draining, using Stonehenge as a conduit.

The pair, who we find out are actually a married couple, depart, but return within the year.


Bob Rozakis, Alex Saviuk and Dennis Jensen begin a storyline that weaves together all three of the back-up features, opening on Air Wave in this story.


Air Wave is travelling on radio waves, when he is pulled to an underwater lab on a strange world.  He cannot materialize, or he will drown.  But he sees some bad stuff going on.


Hal returns just as abruptly, and calls up his namesake, Green Lantern, for help.  Green Lantern takes him out to the ocean, and introduces him to Aquaman.  The senior heroes agree that the beam Air Wave rode sounds like Adam Strange’s zeta-beam.


Green Lantern uses his ring to find the beams transmission, and Air Wave energizes Aquaman, allowing him to travel on it.

The story continues in the next issue.


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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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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