Dr. Light, most recently seen taking on the Teen Titans in the revival of their book, decides to go after Superman in his secret identity in this tale by Bates, Schaffenberger and Blaisdel, in Action 484 (Aug. 77).
Johnny Nevada’s show has a special theme for the evening, featuring men who had been publicly suspected, at one time or another, of being Superman. Aside from Nevada, the line-up includes Clark Kent, Jimmy Olsen and Steve Lombard, as well as Gregory Reed, and science fiction author Rock Stirling, a Rod Serling take-off who had appeared in a story in the pages of Superman in the early 60s. Athlete Mike Talbot is the newbie int he group.
Dr. Light is in the audience, in disguise. He has a device that emits light rays, which are harmless and invisible. But the rays will show him which of the men up there, if any, has a denser molecular structure than a normal human. Not a bad way to identify Superman, although the one it highlights is the athlete, Talbot.
So after the taping, Dr. Light makes his move and attacks Talbot. Of course, Superman shows up, because he isn’t Talbot. He recognized Dr. Light in the audience, and guessed at his plan (that’s pretty amazing), and vibrated his molecules to reflect the beam onto Talbot (like, wow).
Talbot does not seem to mind being used as unwitting bait for Dr. Light. So I guess that makes it ok.
Bates, Swan and Blaisdel bring their Terra-Man saga to a rousing conclusion in Action 470 (April 1977).
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.
Green Lantern shows up as well, and so does a familiar-looking alien craft, which shoots down the Lantern.
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.
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.
It’s the middle chapter of the Terra-Man story, by Bates, Swan and Blaisdel in Action 469 (March 1977).
The story picks up immediately after the end of the previous issue, with Superman carting Terra-Man away. But we see that Superman releases the bad guy, as Terr-Man has planted a number of bombs throughout the city, using that for leverage against the hero. But Superman’s actions are spotted by others as well.
When news spreads the next day that Superman released Terra-Man, many turn against him. Gregory Reed, the actor who plays him, finds out that his show has been cancelled in the backlash.
The following night, the city finds itself sealed off by an energy barrier, and the people glued to their televisions again when Terra-Man’s show comes on. Superman and Terra-Man get back into the positions from the end of the previous “show,” and continue their fight.
The fight is entertaining, you have to give it that, although it’s intercut with Lois, Jimmy, Gregory Reed, Morgan Edge and even Steve Lombard, watching in dismay.
This time Terra-Man wins, shooting Superman, and ever burying him at the end of the issue.
The story concludes in the next issue.
Gregory Reed, the actor who plays Superman, returns in Action 445 (March 1975).
Bates, Swan and Schaffenberger open the story be re-introduing Reed, who has undergone physical and psychological therapy. He now has a face that genuinely mirrors that of Superman, but he is fine with that, and with his new life.
The Superman Revenge Squad are the villains in this story, and more openly incompetent than normal. The Revenge Squad had become much more rare in their appearances, and in fact this story marks the only time they appear between 1969 and 1979.
Their plot involves building a charge up in Superman’s body, which would eventually kill him, over ten consecutive super-feats. But five were really done by Gregory Reed.
Maggin and Grell continue Green Arrow’s hunt for Black Canary. Arrow corners Cherry Noller, and tells her about the criminals she is working for, hoping that she will want to free another woman in danger.
And Cherry does contact Green Arrow, letting him know where Dinah is being held.
But the goons are waiting for Green Arrow. Because Cherry is the fourth horsemen they were hunting out. Of course, he does find Canary. That’s a plus.