Posts tagged ‘Jax-Ur’

Action 582 – Superman brings Jor-El and Lara back to life


Boldman, Saviuk and Schaffenberger share the last in-continuity pre-Crisis Superman story in Action 582 (Aug. 86).


After having a number of vivid dreams about Jor-El and Lara, Superman discovers that there are two other, distinct, brain-waves in his head.  He believes these two be the minds of his parents, somehow preserved within him.


He creates clone bodies for them, and is thrilled when the brain-waves transfer from his mind into the bodies, animating them and bringing his parents back to life.  He provides them with human identities, and shows them around Metropolis, and Earth, while helping them adjust to their new powers.


Superman brings them to his Fortress of Solitude, but when he shows them the Phantom Zone viewer, he is surprised that the villains, General Zod, Jax-Ur, Professor Vakox and Faora, are cursing him, and not his father, the man who invented the Zone and sent many of them there.


And, indeed, his parents are not his real parents.  How the Phantom Zone villains could tell is not clear, but once Superman suspects them, they drop the act and try to kill him.  They put him in a rocket and fire him into space.


Superman escapes from the rocket, but spots a familiar ship orbiting Earth.  It belongs to Rokk and Sorban, the compulsive gamblers from Ventura.  Frequent guests in Superman’s own comic, and World’s Finest, back in the 60s, this is their first, and only, appearance in Action.  They used some “free-floating” consciousnesses for Jor-El and Lara, but the bet at the core was whether Superman would be angry enough to kill the phonies, or not.


The story ends as Superman takes Rokk and Sorban to the “prison planet,” (Takron-Galtos?)  Superman shows little concern about what the phony Jor-El and Lara are up to, loose on Earth, with all their powers. But the gamblers assure Superman that they will return to their non-corporeal state.



Action 548 – jewel kryptonite returns


The Phantom Zone villain are back in Action 548 (Oct. 83), in a story by Cary Bates, Alex Saviuk, Vince Colletta and Pablo Marcos.


General Zod, Jax-Ur, Professor Vakox (in this story, rendered Va-Kox), and Faora have been tracking the one piece of jewel kryptonite, and find it.  Concentrating their powers on it, Zod and Faora manage to escape to Earth, along with a couple of no-name villains.  We do not see what happens with Jax-Ur and Va-Kox


At the same time, an alien race finds the remains of Argo City, and enter it to explore.  They lean of the existence of Superman and Supergirl, and decide to head to Earth.


While the Phantom Zone villains prepare to attack Superman, he is busy dealing with some street hoods operating with Kryptonian technology.

The story continues int he next issue.

Action 492 – Superman kills his own future family


In Action 492 (Feb. 79), Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte take Superman on a mystifying journey through his future life.


Superman encounters an anomaly in space, which sucks him in.  He then believes that he is waking up back on Earth, but we know that this is some psychological game being played on him.


He experiences a death-trap set by Luthor, with Lois and Lana in separate capsules shot into space.  He saves Lana, but Lois dies.  General Zod, Jax-Ur and Faora are behind this, hovering at the sides of the hallucinations as minor characters.


They keep taking Superman further into his future, and have him believe that he enlarged Kandor.  Having every event be a bad one might make him realize he is being played.  I like that touch.


We see that the villains are really still in the Phantom Zone, and Superman is having his life drained by the anomaly.  This line-up of Phantom Zone villains, Zod, Jax-Ur and Faora, is the closest that had appeared in the comics, to the Phantom Zone villains in the movie, about to come out, General Zod, Non and Ursa.


They make Superman imagine a future in which he and Lana are married, with children.  And Superman kills them all accidentally with a space virus.  This is meant to prompt him to kill himself, but that is what takes him out of their trance.  He would never willingly kill, not even himself.

Free of the anomaly, he leaves the Phantom Zone villains to curse fruitlessly.


Action 473 – Superman vs Faora


Bates, Swan and Blaisdel conclude the Faora story in Action 473 (July 1977).


Supergirl gets concerned when there is no word from Superman, despite Faora running wild in Metropolis.  She finds a note in the Fortress, explaining that he has gone into the Phantom Zone, and other information that the reader is not privy to.


Faora gets into an argument with Steve Lombard, and is about to kill him when her greater scheme kicks in, reversing the Phantom Zone, releasing all its captives, while sending everyone on Earth into the Zone.  Steve actually thinks he has died, until Jimmy Olsen explains the Zone to him.  Batman and Green Lantern are also shown to now be phantoms, while Jax-Ur, General Zod, Kru-El and Professor Vakox enjoy their new freedom and solidity.


Faora takes dominance over the other Phantom Zone villains through her use of psychic bolts, but one Zone escapee is immune.  It’s Superman, who figured out her bigger plan, and took precautions, including entering the Zone himself.


Superman is now stuck fighting against a number of similarly powered Kryptonians, and finds himself overpowered.  Faora is about to kill him when the switch happens again.  Bad timing!  Superman rigged the projector to reverse Faora’s actions, sending the prisoners back into the Zone, and releasing the humans.


With one exception.  The old man who still, after all this, believes Faora is his dead wife Katie.  He gets to join her in the Zone.

From now on, Faora would be a regularly appearing Phantom Zone villain, almost always included when three or more are shown.  But not the old man.  We never find out what happened to him.


Action 368 – Superman is bored, and Supergirl needs help


Superman finds himself out of work in Action 368 (Oct. 68), in a story by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Jack Abel.


Superman has been off in space, on a replica world of Krypton, bemoaning how Earth makes so many demands on him.  But when he comes back to Earth, he finds it a different situation entirely. There is no crime, no emergencies.  Superman flies around trying to help, but there is nothing for him to do.


When Mr. Mxyzptlk shows up, Clark is convinced the imp is at the root of all this peace and goodwill.  But Mxyzptlk has been changed as well, and now wants only to spread fun and happiness.


Even Jax-Ur, no longer in the Phantom Zone, has reformed, and spends his time in space protecting the planet from meteors.


Superman is approached by a glowing giant molecule thing, which calls itself a Sentinel.  They have brought peace and stability to the planet, but Superman threatens to undo their good works, with his propensity towards violence.  The Sentinel convinces Superman to leave Earth and head to a planet that orbits a red sun.

The story concludes in the next issue.


Supergirl finishes her battle with Alpha and Beta in this Bates and Schaffenberger story.


Those googly eye things in the first part of the story really were the best thing about this tale, which comes to a really simple conclusion.  The boy Supergirl is protecting takes a look at the bomb keeping everyone out of Stanhope, and realizes its a fake.  Sueprgirl had managed to flag away Superman before he broke the dome, but now realizes that was not necessary.


Some future cops come to round up Alpha and Beta.  Supergirl discovers that she still has her powers, as the future cops also shielded her from the gold kryptonite exposure.

Probably shouldn’t have fallen for the eyes and just skipped this three-parter.


Action 364 – no cure for Superman


Another Adams cover on Action 364 (June 1968), as Dorfman, Andru and Esposito continue the Virus X saga.


Superman gets out of the cliffhanger from last episode, simply by doffing his clothes, and appearing to Lois as Superman.

Luthor announces that he is able to cure Superman’s disease.   He was the one who created it, after all.  His men produce the infected cat, which Luthor’s cure works on.  He demands a million dollars.


Luthor gets his money, but it’s all a scam.  It was not the same cat.  Luthor just wanted to hold out the cure, and then laugh in Superman’s face.  Asshole.

Supergirl plans to send Superman into the Phantom Zone.  Jax-Ur and Professor Vakox protest, not knowing if the plague would spread to them and others in the Zone.  Superman agrees, and tricks Supergirl into entering Kandor, and then seals her in.


Feeling death approaching, Superman makes a farewell speech, wearing a mask to look the way he wants to be remembered.  Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane are at the funeral, but neither had major roles in this tale.  Superman is fired into space to die.

The story continues in the next issue.


Action 336 – a Phantom Zone ex-con, and Supergirl with melty face


There is a really great story in Action 336 (April 1966), but it’s not the one on the cover.


Superman is the titular star of this story by Hamilton, Swan, and Klein, but the real star is Ak-Var.


As a youth, back on Krypton, Ak-Var had stolen the sun-stone as a prank.  But he was captured, and sentenced to thirty years in the Phantom Zone.  In the intervening time, Krypton exploded.  Superman comes to Kandor as Ak-Var is released, having completed his sentence.  Phantom Zone regulars Jax-Ur, General Zod, Kru-El and Professor Vakox all cameo.


Ak-Var wants to stay on Earth, and use his powers, just like Superman.  But the rules are that anyone released from the Zone must take up residence in Kandor – although the Kandorians are none too pleased to have him around.  In fact, the story almost seems to imply that Ak-Var is one of the only people ever released.  He does run into his old gang, and his former girlfriend, all of whom have aged, while he stayed ageless in the Zone.


This story gives a lot of detail about life in Kandor.  Van-Zee, the double of Superman, takes a liking to Ak-Var, and introduces him to his niece, Thara.


Ak-Var former gang friends launch a crime spree, and frame Ak-Var.  Being only recently released from the Zone, no one believes him innocent, except Superman, Van-Zee and Thara.


Together, they expose the gang members as the real criminals.  Ak-Var becomes Van-Zee’s lab assistant.

Van-Zee is not seen again for a decade, returning for a story in World’s Finest Comics.  Ak-Var and Thara have to wait even longer, coming back in the Nightwing and Flamebird series in Superman Family in the late 70s.


Supergirl comes back to Earth with her transformed face in the concluding half of this Binder and Mooney story.  Superman tries to help restore her features, but with no success.  Comet doesn’t care about her looks (he’s a horse after all), but notices her way of thinking has changed, and doesn’t like that.


She feels like a freak, and takes off for Bizarro World, thinking to fit in there.  Wanting to fit in on Bizarro World is a pretty dumb idea.


Linda is stuck wearing a mask over her real face, but discovers that , somehow, her original appearance returned.  She learns that the man who caused it was so grief stricken by his actions, that he changed her back.  And so she ends, happily dancing with Dick Malverne.

An easy out.



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