Posts tagged ‘Fred Danvers’

Action 316 – Zigi and Zagi make trouble for Superman, and Zor-El makes a decision

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Supergirl’s story gets the cover spot on Action 316 (Sept. 64), but Superman still has the lead spot.  Once again, both stories are by Dorfman and Mooney.

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Learning of the escaped con aboard the spaceship, Superman flies out to Zigi and Zagi’s homeworld.  The crook gets knocked unconscious during the landing, but at least that alerts the boys that he is there.  Thay make him invisible for a while, to taunt Superman, but eventually send him back to Earth.

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The story then becomes about Zigi and Zagi trying to matchmake Superman with their sister, Zyra.

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Superman gets out of this by finding Zyra’s lost fiancee, re-uniting the couple.

Although Zigi and Zagi do not return, I am certain I have read something, likely by Grant Morrison, playing with the concept of these two.

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Supergirl, living with Zor-El and Alura on Earth, is depressed by the absence of her adoptive parents.

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Zor-El uses a time viewer to explore how their lives on Earth will play out.  It displays a future in which the Zygor, an alien monster, comes to Earth seeking vengeance on Zor-El, who had driven it away from Argo City.

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The Zygor has the power to control the minds of Kryptonians, after eating a lot of red kryptonite (?), and forces Supergirl to choose between killing Superman or Zor-El.

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Zor-El insists that they cannot possibly let this future come to pass, that he and Alura must return to Kandor, so the Zygor will never find them.  This allows the Danvers to come back, and Linda is also re-united with Dick Malverne and Lena Thorul.

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At the end, we discover that the Zygor was actually captured by Zor-El many years ago, and died in captivity.  So the whole thing was a lie.  Alura agrees to keep Zor-El’s lie, as they will “all be happier that way.”

Which is likely the best she could make of things, after being so rejected by her own daughter, who prefers the psychotic Earthling Edna Danvers.

I am also fairly certain that the Zygor returns in a later story.

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Action 315 -Superman meets Zigi and Zagi, and the revenge of Edna Danvers

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Superman meets Zigi and Zagi, a couple of irrepressible alien kids, in the Dorfman and Mooney story from Action 315 (Aug. 64).

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The boys have taken a spaceship and come to Earth to amuse themselves.  They do not really grasp the ways of humans, but are also not actively trying to hurt anyone or torment people, like Mr. Mxyzptlk.

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Superman’s attention is drawn by the boys actions.  They have an invisibility ray they use to get away from him, as he acts too much like a typical adult.  There is also a convict who escapes, but remains a very minor player in this issue.

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Superman does manage to corral the boys, and takes them to school.  But they prove far too disruptive, and are promptly expelled.

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While they are sleeping, Superman recreates their home planet, so as they wake, they become homesick.  He has also found their spaceship, and sends them back to their home planet.

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But none of them are aware that the escaped convict has snuck on to the ship, and is now on his way to an alien world.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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Dorfman and Mooney do double duty on this issue, also crafting the Supergirl tale, which continues with the parent switch storyline.

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The Danvers have been raising the identical double to Linda, called Dar-Lin (which makes it sound like they have southern accents when they address her.)  They worry that their mementos of Linda are distressing Dar-Lin, and pack them all away.

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Dar-Lin’s parents disappeared during an exploration of the caves below Kandor.  Hard to believe anyone could get lost in the caves between the city and the bottle.  Even the map makes it look like a fairly small area.  Her parents get rescued, and Dar-Lin leaves the Danvers.

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Although Edna Danvers actions get blamed on a spine from a fish, I think she just loses it. After all the couple has given up, being trapped in a bottle could drive anyone insane. She adopts a disguise, and contacts Zor-El and Alura, pretending to have found an antidote for kryptonite.

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She actually leads them to kryptonite itself,and gloats as they slowly die.

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Supergirl shows up, furious.  She saves Zor-El and Alura, and has the Sueprgirl Emergency Squad cart Edna back to Kandor.  This is the final appearance of her Emergency Squad.

The last few panels have Edna use the fish spine excuse, and Supergirl forgives her.  A kind of let down from the intensity of the climax.

 

 

Action 314 – Superman as the Justice League, and Supergirl’s mom gets sick

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Edmond Hamilton and Al Plastino explore some variations on Superman’s life in Action 314 (July 1964).

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Superman is summoned by the Justice League of America, and meets up with Batman, Aquaman, the Atom, Flash and Green Arrow.  Aquaman explains that his octopus sidekick, Topo, discovered a recording by Jor-El on the ocean floor.

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The rest of the story is Jor-El’s recording, as he recounts his simulations of what his son’s life would be like, had he sent the boy to various different worlds – and why he ultimately chose Earth.  One is a world of giants, where Superman would have been very small, and fought crime as if he were the Atom.

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And an underwater world, where he would have been that planet’s Aquaman.

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A low-tech planet, under a red sun, which would have seen him become Green Arrow.

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A world of eternal night, in which he becomes Batman.

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And lastly, a planet on which only his super-speed functioned, making him the Flash.  But Jor-El chose Earth, to give his son the maximum amount of powers.

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Dorfman and Mooney ramp up the emotions in this month’s Supergirl tale.

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Supergirl’s mother, Alura, has fallen deathly ill due to being separated from her daughter.  We get some flashbacks to their life on Argo City, when Kara was a baby.

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The Davners intercept a message from Kandor, letting Linda know how severely her mother wants her back.  They try to make her feel unwanted, so that she will willingly leave them.  But Linda is suspicious of their change in behaviour, and finds out the truth.

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Zor-El and Alura do not want Supergirl to have to give up her crime-fighting career, so they decide it the Danvers who should make all the sacrifices in this situation.  They use the exchange ray to bring one set of parents out of Kandor, and replace them with her other set.  And though there is no clear reason why Supergirl has to leave Midvale as a result of this, she nonetheless bids farewell to Dick Malverne and Lena Thorul.

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Meanwhile, in Kandor, the Danvers meet a young orphan girl, who looks identical to Linda.

The story continues in the next issue.

 

 

Action 310 – Jewel kryptonite, and the search for Supergirl’s parents

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Dorfman, Swan and Klein introduce jewel kryptonite, the rarest form, in Action 310 (March 1964).

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Parole hearings for Phantom Zone prisoners are being held in Kandor, and Superman attends.  Jax-Ur, who is serving a life sentence without parole, asks to be freed, in order to help cure a plague that has struck down Lori Lemaris, and other less important residents of Atlantis.

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Superman agrees, and he and Jax-Ur head to Krypton, to the Jewel Mountains.  Jax-Ur relates a legend of their creation, from the skeletal remains of jewel birds.  He does work on the serum for the plague, but also puts Superman to sleep, and fashions a marge wedge of jewel, having calculated (somehow) that it will travel directly to Earth.

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Jax-Ur is returned to the Phantom Zone, but now he, and the others in the Zone, are able to funnel their telepathic power into the real world, through the jewel kryptonite.  They make Superman think he was “exposed” to it, and that it had the result of causing combustible materials to explode when he passed near.

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Superman does not fall for this, as it did not happen consistently.

Jewel kryptonite is then written off as having “no effect.”  Literally,  that was how it was described in the Superman pages in which i first read about it.  The use it had for Phantom Zone residents was completely ignored until the 80s.

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Dorfman and Mooney bring a quick resolution to the search for Supergirl’s parents in this issue.

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Supergirl spends a few pages fretting, talking to Fred and Edna Danvers about her new parents, as she seeks to free them.  But which set will be her “real” parents now?

Fred Danvers actually is the one to find the right frequency, which releases Zor-El and Alura.

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Supergirl shows them around some of the sights of Earth, and prepares to move out, and into a new home with Zor-El and Alura.  The Danvers act as if all is well, but are quietly saddened to lose Linda.

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But Zor-El and Alura find the perfect solution.  Not feeling comfortable on Earth, they take up residence in Kandor.  Supergirl stays with the Danvers, but can visit her parents whenever she wants.

 

 

Action 295 – Superman goes berserk, and Lena Thorul debuts

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The Superman Revenge Squad are back in Action 295 (Dec.62), in a story by Bernstein, Swan and Klein.

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As with most plots of the Revenge Squad, it’s kind of dumb, and uses amazing technology.

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They have the ability to take over Superman, and make him do anything they want.  Although having him eat kryptonite is discussed, they opt instead to have him become hated by all those around him.  He goes on a rampage at the Daily Planet, attacking Perry White, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.

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But Superman knew what they were up to, and cued Perry in during his rampage.  They put “Plan P” into action.  “Plan L”, for Lois, had recently been shown in her book, and Jimmy Olsen’s”Plan P” is set up by this tale.  The Superman Emergency Squad wind up taking out the Revenge Squad, while Superman just hangs out, apologizing to everyone.

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Lena Thorul makes her first appearance, in this story by Dorfman and Mooney.

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Lena has recently moved to Midvale, and makes quite an impression on the Danvers when she accurately foresees a bridge collapse.  Linda learns that Lena had long wanted to join the FBI, but was rejected.

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Invetigating why, Supergirl learns a secret that not even Lena, or the FBI, know.  She is really Lex Luthor’s little sister.  Her psychic powers were acquired as a result of one of Lex’s experiments.  After he turned evil, the family left Smallville. Lena’s parents were killed in a car accident, after anagramming their last name.  Lex knows who Lena is, though.  He discovers that she has joined a group of bank robbers, as the FBI don’t want her, and enlists Supergirl’s help to turn away from a life of crime.

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It turns out Lex has nothing to worry about.  Lena had joined the robbers only to infiltrate them, and capture them, in the hopes of proving herself to the FBI.

Supergirl decides to keep Lena’s identity a secret, even from her.

Action 288 – tracking Superboy’s secrets, and collecting Supergirl’s tears

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Superman heads back to Smallville in the Swan/Klein story in Action 288 (May 1962).

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An ex-con begins a new career as a tv host, and puts together a show about Superman, using that as a cover to hunt out as much information as he can about the hero.  The show is filmed in Smallville, where he interviews those who knew him as Superboy.

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Lana Lang is one of the guests, and shares her youthful suspicions that Superboy was Clark Kent.

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After finding some tunnels under the Kent house, the bad guy confronts Clark, determined to prove on tv that he is Superman, using a bomb.  With the help of a robot, and allowing Clark to show some backbone, he defeats then man. Krypto is used to explain the tunnels. Average.

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Supergirl’s adoptive father turns cruel in this story by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney.

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It begins as Fred Danvers suddenly begins manifesting psychic powers, able to read the mind of a thief and killer who comes to their house pretending to be in need of help.

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The “powers” then begin giving him commands, that he is to collect Supergirl’s tears.  He uses a variety of methods to make Linda cry.

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It’s a very odd story, but the resolution does make some sense of it.  Fred Danvers’ “powers” were really telepathic messages he was receiving from Jax-Ur and Professor Vakox in the Phantom Zone.  They have been using Danvers to create an escape from the Phantom Zone. Mon-El tries to stop them, but they toss him out into our toxic environment.  Mon-El manages to find some kryptonite before the lead gets to him, and forces the escapees back into the Zone.

Action 287 – Superman’s bad dreams, and Supergirl kills

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The second half of the Superman Revenge Squad story, in Action 287 (April 1962) never quite lives up to the joyous insanity of the first half, though Swan and Klein’s art remains superb.

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Superman has one long dream, which sees him become a criminal against his will.  He is hunted by the police, and Perry White.

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Finally the payoff comes, as the Revenge Squad attack Earth right in front of Superman, and hope that he will think it was just a dream.

Really?  That was the plan?

They deserved to lose.

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Now, onto a story that I have so much to say about.  Siegel and Mooney’s deadly Supergirl tale.

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Linda Danvers is invited to join a Superman fan club, and does. Lois Lane has been brought in to give a talk.  She proves more insightful than usual, as she pegs Linda as looking identical to Supergirl.

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Returning home, Linda sees that her model of the Legion Clubhouse is ringing.  That alerts her to look at the Legion figures on her bookshelf, which are flashing, which means they want her to come to help them.  You’d think she could do without being alerted to look at the glowing figures on the bookshelf, but apparently not.

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She gets to the 30th century just as Legion are performing live on 3D television.  It’s being watched in “millions of homes,” but for some reason they chose to show us this family, who cannot say anything interesting.

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A positive energy being, who is a transformed scientist, is wreaking havoc in space, as is a negative energy bird.  That’s why the Legion called on her.  She sets them up to take each other out.  In other words, sets them up to kill each other.  Pretty much the same as just killing them herself.  And the story makes it clear that the positive being still has some degree of the scientist’s sentience in it.

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But whatever. Moving on, we get introduced to Whizzy.  This super-powered cat wears a collar that proclaims him to be the descendant of Streaky, and he claims to have acquired his ancestor’s powers through evolution. Which is extremely unlikely, given that Streaky’s powers are a temporary effect from exposure to x-kryptonite.

Oh, and we see an android store, where a woman wants an android nanny who looks just like her, so her children will not be able to tell them apart.  Yes, because she is clearly as heartless as the android.

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Oh, gosh, there’s more.  The Legionnaires lose their powers as a result of the positive/negative explosion, and Supergirl uses her powers to make it look like they have not.  But they aren’t really the Legionnaires, they are evil impostors, a chameleon race.  Which likely means they are also Durlans, from Chameleon Boy’s homeworld.

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They reveal themselves to Supergirl, and send her and Whizzy into the Phantom Zone.

Darned unfriendly.

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But everything works out in the end, as she gets Whizzy to telepathically order a chameleon android, and…

Can I just stop now?

No, because I must point out that this is the one and only appearance of Whizzy.

 

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