Posts tagged ‘Jean Loring’

Action 531 – ghosts of the Daily Planet, and the Atom comes to Curacao

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Wolfman, Staton and McLaughlin take Superman into the supernatural in Action 531 (May 1982).

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Morgan Edge leads the prospective buyer of the Daily Planet, Mort Waxman, around the building, showing off the facilities, and introducing him to staff members Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White.  Waxman’s newspapers are sleazy and sensationalist, and the Planet staff are dismayed at his purchase, but not as much as spirits that inhabit the paper, who come to life as they tour.

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It seems like Superman might be behind this, he certainly shares the sentiments of the ghosts, but the story makes clear that this is not the case.

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The ending is a bit off.  It’s not Waxman who gives up on the paper, it’s Morgan Edge who turns on Maxwell, for being exactly the kind of person he knew he was.

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Ray Palmer and Jean Loring head into dock at Curacao in this Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta story.

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They’re just looking for a nice tropical island to hang out on, but the Atom almost immediately stumbles across some people with an armed nuke.

The story concludes in the next issue.

 

Action 530 – Brainiac becomes evil again, and the Atom rescues Aquaman

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Wolfman, Swan and Adkins bring the team-up with Brainiac to a conclusion in Action 530 (April 1982).

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Superman once again penetrates the world-ship, finding some massive tunnels in its interior. He finds the core, it’s huge computer brain, but gets sucked into it.

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Brainiac is evil again, now that Superman has re-programmed him.  He is content to let Superman die, and have the artificial world consume everything, and birth a new universe.  Superman picks up the point that this a world-building machine as well.  He super-vibrates, figuring correctly that this will mess up the computer, which fees him.

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Superman strips the armored shell off the world, revealing the idyllic planet underneath.  Brainiac is powerless to stop him, as Superman frees the new world inside, and finds a spare bit of galaxy to put it in.

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Aquaman reveals the traitor as Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte bring this story arc to a close.  The one who attached himself to Air Wave in the first place, he did so as a spy.  Well, that was easy.  And despite Aquaman agonizing over how he can get home, all he has to do is get shocked by an electric creature.

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Ray Palmer and Jean Loring have spent the past three days on a sailboat, waiting for Aquaman to return.  When he does, Ray jumps into the ocean after him.  Umm, why?  Are you afraid he will drown?  All right, I’ll concede maybe you want to see if he is injured.

Anyway, the Atom “rescues” Aquaman, but that’s about all he does in this long story.

 

Action 489 – Krypton’s destruction comes to Earth, and the Atom ends

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte begin a three-part story in Action 489 (Nov.78), as the force from Krypton’s explosion arrives at Earth so many years later.

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It’s big news, everyone is aware of it.  Morgan Edge is preparing a WGBS special, and broadcasting the view live, with Lana Lang, Lois Lane and Steve Lombard all part of the show.  Clark Kent is meant to be there, but he is busy with the Justice League.  They have noticed that he has been running himself ragged over the past couple of days, but Superman refuses to tell Batman, Green Lantern, Hawkman and Wonder Woman what is going on, simply advising them that he can take care of things.

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The Kandorians are having a special memorial because of the event, and are upset that Superman is not with him.  But to them, Supergirl explains the reason – Brainiac is back.  He has demanded a one-on-one battle with Superman.  In case he does not survive, Superman has been trying to get as much done as possible, and Brainaic has also blackmailed him, though the use of bombs, into keeping the Justice League out of it.

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Brainiac traps Superman on the roof of his ship, and forces him to watch the explosion of Krypton.

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The Atom’s series, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta, comes to an abrupt end with the DC Implosion.

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The story is an entertaining one, with Jean Loring being the executor of a will, and the heirs unhappy with the distribution.  Some seemingly low value bequests get stolen, and the Atom gets onto the case.

act_489_006 It’s a good little mystery, with an interesting conclusion, as mementos prove more important than money to one man. The Atom’s series, like Air Wave’s, returns in a little over a year.

Action 487 – Superman vs Microwave Man, and the Atom begins

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A very dynamic cover for Action 487 (Sept. 78), as the DC Explosion begins.

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte begin a 2-prt story that introduces a new, old, villain, Microwave Man.  We first meet Superman’s adversary as a kindly old man, researching years of Metropolis history.

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Later, he attends a NASA symposium on UFOs and alien life, where he talks about being abducted many years earlier, and only recently returning to Earth.  Lana and Jimmy, who had attended the symposium, are laughing about him as they relate the story to Morgan Edge, but Perry White spits out his cigar when he hears that the old man used to be a thief in the 1940s, called Microwave Man.  Perry recalls the thief well.

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The old man tests out his powers, and finds them far stronger than he expected them to be.  His attempts to make the Daily Planet globe glow winds up massively overheating it, and turning it into a danger. He has a brief encounter with Superman, but flees.

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As the story ends, he contacts his alien friends, who rejuvenate him.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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The Atom returns in his own series in Action Comics, now recently married to Jean Loring.

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Bob Rozakis, Alex Saviuk and Chiaramonte are the creative team as Ray and Jean find themselves menaced by the Bat-Knights, tiny warriors who had appeared last in the Atom’s own book in the 60s.  In those days, they were allies of the diminutive hero, but in this story, they are on the attack.

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The Atom discovers that this is a younger generation than the ones he had dealt with, who want to shrink humans to their size, and then rule them. They are after the secret of Atom’s size changing belt.  But they make the mistake of claiming that they have Jean captive.  But they are in the cave where the Atom first used his powers, which he made an escape from, which Jean is perfectly aware of.  Knowing they are lying, he has no reason to hold back and beats the Bat-Knights.

This is the final appearance of the tiny warriors.

 

Action 454 – Superman eats hamburgers, and the Atom ends

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Action 454 (Dec. 75) was the second issue of Action Comics that I bought.  I found the cover very funny. I was 10 years old, give me a break.

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The new Toyman is the active villain in this story, by Bates, Swan and Blaisdel, but not the actual cause of Superman’s big problems.

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But the big problem facing Superman in this story is his lack of energy.  As Clark, he falls asleep during a broadcast, and again at an awards dinner.  Lois Lane is even more irritated with him than usual.

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And it’s not just hamburgers that Superman devours, but a huge amount of food, to replenish the energy he loses by being Superman.

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The Toyman actually helps Superman figure out what is causing his energy drain, although not intentionally.  It is an evil rock at the core of the Earth, which Superman coats in a solar cell suit.  I cannot explain that any better.  But it made some sense at age 10.

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The final couple of panels see Clark and Jimmy Olsen attempt to go to MacTavish’s for burgers but the place is now mobbed, thanks to Superman eating there.

MacTavish’s would continue to appear sporadically in the Superman comics, the stand-in for McDonald’s, until John Byrne’s reboot of Superman.

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The Atom’s run in Action comes to an end with the concluding half of this Pasko and Delbo story.

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A stray thought from a sullen groundskeeper prompts the Actualizer to make the ivy at Ivy University start tearing down the buildings.  As the Atom struggles to destroy the machine, Jean Loring tries to talk the ivy out of its destructive actions.

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In the end, the ivy backs down, but both Ray and Jean claim credit for this.

The Atom returns as a guest star in the next issue, and his series does return to Action Comics a few years down the road.

Action 442 – faster than a speeding bullet, and the Martian Atom?

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Action 442 (Dec. 74) has a perfect cover, and the story is exactly suited to it.

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The Johnny Nevada Show is the location of this story by Bates, Swan and Schaffenberger.  But Johnny is nowhere in sight, and Steve Lombard is struggling through as the guest host.  Clark Kent is one of the guests for the evening, although he spends a lot of time super-speeding around.

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Johnny Nevada had been kidnapped earlier in the day, and the ransom demand included the airing of a certain commercial during Nevada’s show, to tell the kidnappers that the ten million dollar ransom was ready.  Inspector Bill Henderson is introduced in this story.  Henderson was the policeman on the old Adventures of Superman tv series, but not used in the comics until now.

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The story has an excellent climax. Unable to find the kidnappers, Superman goes on the Nevada show, to Lombard’s delight, but unmasks to reveal that he is Johnny Nevada, having traded places with Superman the previous day.  The kidnappers don’t know what to think, but decide to kill the guy they have.

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Which is exactly what Superman counted on.  He listens for the click of the gun, and then flies, literally, faster than a speeding bullet, getting there in time to stop it hitting Nevada. Rounding up the bad guys is almost an afterthought.

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The Atom story is also pretty good this month, using Professor Hyatt’s Time Pool.  Pasko and Grell tell this story, in which a huge endowment to Ivy University relies on finding a missing page from the donor’s diary.

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The Atom travels back to the late 30s, and finds that people think he is a Martian invader.

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This was right after Orson Welles “War of the Worlds” hysteria.  The scientist is embarrassed that he got caught up in it, and tears out the diary page in which he wrote about it, which is retrieved by his cleaning lady.  Returning to the present, Ray pushes Jean in the right direction, and they get the page, and the endowment.

The one really dorky thing about this is that it was the man himself who tore out his diary page, and then made the endowment dependent on finding it.

 

Action 438 – Lois Lane – monster, and the Atom and the shrinking scientist

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Lois Lane has a really bad day in Action 438 (Aug. 74), thanks to Bates, Swan and Bob Oskner.

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Clark Kent gives Lois Lane a necklace as a birthday present.  She happens to have a cold, and the necklace he gives her is an alien gemstone.  The combination of the two turns Lois into a rampaging beast woman.

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This story also marks the first appearance of Lola Barnett in Action Comics.  Recently introduced in the pages of Superman, Lola is an entertainment reporter for WGBS, and her name derived from an actual tv reporter from the time, Rona Barret.  She suspects that the monster people are hunting is really Lois Lane.  Clark tries to cover for Lois, but Lola roots out the story and broadcasts it.

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Superman pretends that he, too, has become a monster, believing that this will draw Lois out, which is does.  A simple ray beam is all that it takes to re tore her, and Lois is left with no memory of the event.

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The Atom faces a new enemy in this story, by Marty Pasko, Dick Dillin and Tex Blaisdel.

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Professor Myles Adrian has kidnapped Jean Loring to draw out the Atom.  A short scientist, he had been working off of Ray Palmer’s notes on his size ray, in hopes of making himself bigger.  But his experiment went very wrong, and now he finds himself shrinking, with no end in sight.  He wants the Atom to share his growth tech with him, unaware that the Atom is actually Ray Palmer.

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The Atom defeats the man pretty easily, but as the story closes we see that Adrian is not upset by this at all, and is proceeding with the next part of his scheme, which is detailed in the following issue.

 

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