Posts tagged ‘Golden Gorilla’

Action 249 – Luthor becomes Kryptonite Man, Congorilla takes the dynamite, and Tommy Tomorrow gambles

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Binder and Plastino offer the first version of the Kryptonite Man in Action 249 (Feb. 59).

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Luthor has developed a way of ingesting kryptonite, which turns him green and allows him to emit the deadly radiation, with no ill effects himself.

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Luthor seeks out Superman, who flees when he gets exposed to his radiation. Superman attempts a number of ways to overcome Luthor’s power, but with little success.

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Eventually he develops a kryptonite-proof suit, which is cool enough to warrant a cutaway diagram.

Luthor does manage to force him to remove the suit, but with Jimmy Olsen’s help, he tricks Luthor into thinking the radiation has worn off, and Luthor takes the antidote to the serum, making himself normal, and easy to catch.

Later versions of the Kryptonite Man, the first of which being a Kryptonite Kid, who shows up in Superboy, would be permanently endowed with the green skin and radioactivity, unable to change “back.”

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Congorilla returns, once again without Janu, in a story by Bernstein and Sherman.

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A small airplane crashes high in the mountains, and Congo Bill becomes Congorilla in order to climb where no human can, and get dynamite up to a point where he can blast an easy route for rescue.

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Tommy Tomorrow and Brent Wood head to a gambling asteroid in this story by Binder and Mooney. I was half expecting this to be, arguably, Ventura, the gambling planet that would be featured in later Superman and Legion of Super-Heroes stories.  But it is not.  It is clearly an asteroid, and the games are not nearly as cool as those on Ventura.

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Tommy tries his luck on a couple of the unusual games, losing Planeteer money his is supposed to be transporting, to the dismay of Brent.  The story climaxes during a space bingo game, as Tommy proves how the games on the asteroid are rigged, and shuts them down.

Considering that Ventura is shown to be a gambling planet both in the present, and in the future, it seems the gambling asteroid was a shady knock-off from the start.

 

Action 248 – Jimmy and Clark in prison, and Congo Bill becomes Congorilla

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Congorilla gets to share the cover of Action 248 (Jan. 59) with Superman.  This is only the second time Congo Bill has been represented on the cover of this book, despite a run of over 15 years.

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The Superman story, by Finger, Boring and Kaye, has Clark Kent investigating a secret base on an island, which turns out to be run by a former Nazi.  Jimmy Olsen has tagged along, and he is captured and imprisoned, along with Clark.  Jimmy isn’t much use in the story.  He is around largely to make it more difficult for Clark to change to Superman and back.

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The Nazi is building a spy satellite.  Superman saves Jimmy from being executed, but they just stick him in the rocket that will launch the satellite.

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Superman rescues Jimmy.  Before he rounds up the Nazis, he makes them think their satellite would not function, so as to ensure no one else repeats it.

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Robert Bernstein scribed this Howard Sherman tale, as the Golden Gorilla returns.  He is the living god of a tribe, lead by the chief Kawolo.

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As Kawolo dies, he passes a sacred ring on to Congo Bill.  This ring, when rubbed, allows the wearer to switch minds with the ape.

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Congo Bill accepts the ring, but doesn’t really believe the tale.  When he gets trapped in a cave-in, he gives it a chance, and it works.  In the Golden Gorilla’s body, he digs his Congo Bill body out.

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The movie producers are after him, and briefly cage Congorilla – the name given to the merging of the Golden Gorilla’s body with Congo Bill’s brain.  Bill manages to escape, of course.

Janu does not appear at all in this story.

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