Posts tagged ‘Hercules’

Action 320 – Superman vs Hercules, Samson and Atlas

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Superman displays an astounding lack of foresight in Action 320 (Jan. 65).

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Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are going to spend three days sealed up in an underground bunker, to do a story on it for the Daily Planet, in this Binder and Plastino story.  Superman has taken no steps to ensure someone will be there to protect the city if anything happens during this period.

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So guess what, an organized gang attack the city.  Superman cannot make stable communication with Kandor, and even his attempts to contact the Legion of Super-Heroes fail.  He does reach through to the past, and pulls Hercules, Samson and Atlas to the present.

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They do half-assed attempts as disguising themselves as Superman, but do get rid of the bad guys.  But then they decide to rule themselves.  They also display a variety of powers that the “real” version never had – lightning blasts, induing the “sleep of Morpheus,” and rising the ocean level.

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The last is somewhat helpful, as the Planet reporters must flee the flooding bunker, and Superman can go into action.  He takes on a different identity though, to confuse the mythological heroes about his powers.  He makes them his slaves, but leaves them a way to get back to their own times, which they eagerly do.

In the end, he finds out from the Kandorians that these were not the ones from our universe and history.  Superman had reached into the past of a parallel dimension of evil beings, and an earlier Superboy story is cited as the same universe.  To me, this is obviously Earth-3. This story negates nothing already established about that world, and just fills in its past more clearly.

 

 

Action 279 – Imaginary marriages, and the debut of Lesla-Lar

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The Superman story in Action 279 (Aug. 61) is an Imaginary Story.  That means it is not a Superman story that really happened.  Just ponder that level of reality for a while.

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Tired of having Lois Lane and Lana Lang fighting over him, Superman travels through time to get Hercules and Samson, and fobs them off on the women, in this story by John Forte.  And indeed, the women fall head over heels in love with the doting heroes

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The couples try to get married immediately, but discover they need to wait a week.  The story then descends into a horrifying parody of marriage relationships, an endless outdo-the-other-couple cycle.

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The heroes also find it extremely difficult to find fulfilling work, and Samson even loses his powers after Lana cuts some bubblegum out of his hair.

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Superman returns Hercules and Samson to their own eras, as they just long to be rid of the women by now.  With the other men gone, Lois and Lana start attacking each other again.

Geez.

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Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney introduce one of Supergirl’s greatest foes in this issue, the Kandorian scientist, Lesla-Lar.  You just gotta wonder about that name.

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Lesla-Lar looks exactly like Supergirl, which has become unsurprising with Kandorians.  We discover that she was the one who stripped Supergirl of her powers, using a machine of her own invention.  She claim to be jealous of the attention that Supergirl will get, one day, of the people of Earth, who have no idea that Lesla-Lar even exists.  That really makes little sense.  I prefer to think this was mistranslated from the Kryptonian, and she is jealous of the attention that Kandorians give to Supergirl, over her.

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No longer having powers, Linda allows herself to be adopted at last.  Fred and Edna Danvers are not named in this story, but they are the ones to take her home, and prompt her to change her hairstyle to a more teenage look.

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As she sleeps, Lesla-Lar uses another of her machines to trade places with Linda. She acquires the normal range of Kryptonian powers on Earth.

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Taking on the Supergirl identity, she comes to visit Luthor in prison, and even breaks him out, helps him commit and crime, and brings him back to prison to establish his alibi.  At the same time, Linda is living Lesla’s life in Kandor.

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Lesla-Lar switches them back after a day.  For Linda, it was all a strange dream.  For Lesla, the beginning of an evil scheme. The story continues in the next issue.

Action 268 – Superman vs Hercules

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Binder, Boring and Kaye conclude Superman’s rivalry with Hercules in Action 269 (Sept. 60).

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Hercules returns to Metropolis, and shows off his newly acquired powers of the gods.  It makes no difference to Lois’ feelings about Superman.

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Hercules goes on a rampage, fighting Superman, and being generally destructive.  Although I suspect Superman was equally destructive when he pulled the Moon out of its orbit, into to make the ocean re-fill a bay of water Hercules magically evaporated.

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Hercules uses Apollo’s lyre to put Superman to sleep for a hundred years, but Venus steps in.  She is not impressed with Hercules’ behaviour, and intends to report him to Zeus.

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This sends Hercules into an even more desperate attempt to kill Superman.  Superman notices that as Hercules goes faster, he gets more confused.  Exploiting this, he makes the demi-god travel through time again, which removes his memory of all the time he spent in the present.

 

Action 267 – Luthor meets Hercules, and Supergirl meets the Legion of Super-Heroes

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Binder, Boring and Kaye bring Hercules into the present in Action 267 (Aug. 60).

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Luthor builds a time ray, and brings Hercules into the present, getting the confused demi-god to break him out of prison.  The story makes it clear that this is the same Hercules who Superboy met years earlier, in the pages of Adventure Comics, though with amnesia from the time trip.

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It doesn’t take long for Hercules to figure out that Luthor is lying to him.  By the time Superman shows up, Hercules has no problems allowing Superman to cart the villain away.  Superman intends to send Hercules back to his own time, but Hercules asks to stick around and explore this world.  Superman arranges an identity for him, and gets him a job at the Daily Planet.

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In his guise as a reporter, he falls for Lois Lane.  When danger threatens, he saves her, but does not try to conceal who he is.  In fact, he reveals that he is Hercules simply by flexing his muscles, which tears all his clothing off.

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Lois rejects him, of course, as she loves only Superman.  So Hercules gets Perry to assign him an article in Greece.  Once there, he travels to magical Olympus, where he gains powers from a variety of the gods – basically making him Captain Marvel.  He vows to get rid of Superman.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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The Legion of Super-Heroes make an early appearance in the Siegel and Mooney Supergirl story in this issue.

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The story begins as a direct parallel to Superboy’s first meeting with the Legion.  Dressed as normal people, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl each approach Supergirl, after demonstrating their powers, and saving her from displaying hers.

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Oddly, they introduce themselves as children of the Legionnaires who recruited Superboy.  That gets completely dropped from continuity, as does the idea that the Legion recruited Superboy before Supergirl.

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They bring her to the 30th century, and show her the big sights, like the ice cream parlour.  At the Legion Clubhouse, she meets Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy and Invisible Kid, all of whom are making their first appearances.  The three do get to display their powers, but we learn nothing else about them.  Nor do we learn how “super-invisibility” differs from “invisibility.”  I really really can’t see him!

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Supergirl seems a shoo-in for membership.  To show her abilities, she digs a tunnel through the Earth, just as she had done a year or so earlier.  But she winds up digging near some red kryptonite, which ages her beyond the team’s 18- year cut off for new members.  And the team, in these days, is notorious for sticking to rules over acting like decent people, so Supergirl is denied membership.

Back to the orphanage with you!

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