Posts tagged ‘Jerro’

Action 311 – Superman – King of the World, and Supergirl and Super-Horse start dating

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From the cover of Action 311 (Action 1964), I was fully expecting the Swan/Klein story to be an “Imaginary Story,” but it isn’t.  Superman really does take over the world.

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Red kryptonite splits Superman and Clark Kent into different people.  This had happened before, though creating an evil Clark and Good Superman.  Red kryptonite can never have the same effect twice, so in this variation, Clark is good, and Superman is evil.

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Superman heads to the United Nations, and demands that all the countries on Earth turn themselves over to his rule.  There is some debate among nations, but Superman shows what he will do to anyone who defies him,and everyone gives in.

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Superman builds himself a big castle.

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Dismayed at his behaviour, Clark forms an underground movement to overthrow him, consisting of Perry White, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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Supergirl has a busy Valentine’s Day, thanks to Dorfman and Mooney.

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Dick Malverne gives her candy.  Boooring.  Jerro tops that with a display of glowing fish. Comet watches, getting all jealous.

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Comet travels back in time and begs Circe to make him human.  She warns him that she sees him regretting this choice, but begins a spell which will do just that.  It’s time-delayed, allowing him to make it back to his time period, before he changes and his powers fade.  But before he tranforms, Comet is found by a masked thief, and used in his robberies.

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The thief changes clothes and takes off with his loot, just as Comet takes on human form again. He puts on the thief’s clothes – so you can see exactly where this is going to go.

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For a few pages, Linda is re-united with Bronco Bill Starr, and they spend some loving, quality time together.  Just a girl and her horse, making out in front of a waterfall.

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But then Bill gets accused of being the masked thief.  Supergirl is devastated, but chases him, convinced that he has also kidnapped Super-Horse.  Circe takes pity on him, and changes him back into his Super-Horse form.  The actual masked thief is caught, clearing Bill’s name, but too late.  He’s a horse again.

Action 302 – Perry White is Superman, and Super-Horse goes berserk

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Al Plastino draws another off-beat Superman adventure in Action 302 (July 1963).

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Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are hanging out in Perry White’s office one day, when the Daily Planet globe comes crashing through the ceiling.  Perry catches the globe, and admits to really being Superman.  We get the backstory on this right away.  Perry has been targeted by criminals whose activities he exposed.  Superman has taken Perry’s place, expecting an attack. But he carries on the lie that Perry really is Superman.

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Both Lois Lane and Lana Lang are dismayed to discover that Superman is really the long-married Perry White, and angry with him for toying with their emotions.  Jimmy Olsen thinks that this will make life easier for him, but Perry White continues to be a hard ass with him.

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The real Perry White has been being kept safely at the Fortress of Solitude, but upon seeing the news that people think he is Superman, he steals a flight belt and comes back to Metropolis.  He enjoys the attention of people who think he is the big hero, but also proves himself, bluffing a criminal into submission.

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Superman clears everything up at the end, after capturing the hoods trying to kill him.  Perry’s wife Alice, rarely seen at this time, makes a cameo in the final panel.

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Sueprgirl’s bizarre love life remains the focus of her series in this Dorfman and Mooney tale.

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A renegade Atlantean, Vostar, tries to kill Lori Lemaris and Jerro, but they get rescued by Supergirl and Comet.

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I really love the above panel, when taken completely out of context. Even knowing the context doesn’t make it any less disturbing, really.

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Vostar takes mental control of Comet, sending him on a destructive rampage, which is assumed to be jealousy.

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The story gets as overly complicated as only a Comet story can.  He travels back in time, passing through a year that saw Halley’s Comet, which starts to change him to human form.  He makes it back to the present before he changes completely, and loses his powers.  Then he takes over the role of Mysto, a fortune teller, and gives Supergirl the vital information she needs, when she visits him as Linda, on a date with Dick Malverne.

Vostar gets defeated, but Supergirl discovers that the real Mysto is not the one who told her fortune.  But the guy did look just like Bronco Bill Starr.  Hmmm.

 

 

Action 297 – Perry White hunts out Superman’s identity, and Lesla-Lar returns

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Leo Dorfman does double duty, scripting both stories in Action 297 (Feb. 63).

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Perry White goes undercover to seek out a jewel thief hiding out among hoboes, with art by Swan and Klein.  He gets recognized, beaten up, and winds up losing his memory.

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And though Perry has no idea who he is, he falls into the hands of a mob boss who does.  He gives Perry a phony identity, and sets him to discover who Superman is.  Perry is quite good at this, quickly getting it down to four suspects, one of whom is Clark.

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Perry even lures and exposes Clark, but only because Superman is not in any way suspicious of Perry.  Superman very cleverly restores Perry’s memory, making a statue of Julius Caesar float and speak.  Yelling “Great Caesar’s Ghost” brings back White’s mind.

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Mooney does the art on the Supergirl story, as Lena Thorul’s deceptions continue.

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Lena is revealed as being controlled by, and later replaced by, Lesla-Lar.

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Lesla passes herself off as Lena even to Supergirl, and also pretends that she has gained super-powers.  Supergirl is not suspicious, but then, she has never even been aware of Lesla’s existence.

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Lesla gets herself a sexy costume, and opens the Phantom Zone, freeing a number of villains to act as her minions, but prevents Mon-El from leaving.  Jax-Ur and General Zod are joined by a newcomer, Kru-El.  They retrieve a box of forbidden Kryptonian weapons (previously seen in the Superboy series).

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But Lesla wasted her money on that outfit, as the villains vaporize her.  She is so dead that her character does not return until the late 70s.

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Supergirl learns of this, and of Lena being trapped in Kandor, from Lori Lemaris, who had been watching the events from the ocean, along with Jerro.  Supergirl winds up having to turn to Lex Luthor for help against the rampaging villains.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 290 – Superman loses half his invulnerability, and Supergirl spreads super-kisses

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Action 290 (July 1962) is another all red-kryptonite issue, but not as good as the previous one.

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Superman and Krypto fly through a red kryptonite cloud in this Swan and Klein story, and wind up losing the invulnerability in half their bodies.

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Superman does manage to pull off his normal super-feats, in more complex ways, to cover this loss of power.  Lois Lane is hot on his trail, though, dragging Jimmy Olsen along with her, as she tries to find a way to exploit the situation and prove Clark is Superman.

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Some backwards clothing, and a really uncomfortable position on the couch, are all that are needed to fool her again.

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The Supergirl story, by Siegel and Mooney, is more interesting.

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Phantom Girl presents Supergirl with a statue of herself for her birthday.  The statue turns out to be made of red kryptonite.  This is supposedly an accident.  Really?  Phantom Girl just happened to find a piece of red kryptonite and carved it into a statue of Supergirl?  I think not.

At any rate, the red kryptonite has the effect of passing super-powers on to anyone Supergirl kisses.  And as it’s her birthday, she planted kisses on her mom, Dick Malverne, and Jerro.

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When Edna Danvers manifests super-speed, Linda figures out what is going on. She goes to check on Dick Malverne, who shows off his new abilities by taking her flying.

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Jerro has also taken to the air, and the rivals wind up meeting.  But they do not immediately begin fighting, as I was expecting them to do.  Lois and Lana would be at each others throats by now.  But the boys get along, and work together,until their powers wear off, leaving them in danger.

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The Supergirl Emergency Squad have their debut, coming out of Kandor to rescue the two boys.  Supergirl is just thrilled to have her own mini-army of devoted followers, and glad that the boys powers have worn off.

So you have to wonder, what was Phantom Girl up to?  Coming from the future, she must have known the properties of this version of red kryptonite. Why give Brainiac 5’s rivals for Supergirl’s attention powers?  Perhaps to show Supergirl that they cannot handle them well, unlike Brainiac 5?

Action 286 – kryptonite ketchup, and Lex Luthor kills himself

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Robert Bernstein, Curt Swan and George Klein tell a story in Action 286 (March 1962) about a group of villains, but not the ones you expect.  Electro makes his second and last cover appearance.

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The Superman Revenge Squad make their first adult appearance, following their debut two months earlier as the Superboy Revenge Squad in Superboy.  These are a group of aliens who spend an awful lot of time coming up with ridiculously complex methods of exacting this revenge.

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In this story, they capture Krypto, and try out a variety of red kryptonite meteors on him, until they find one that induces nightmares.  In Krypto’s case, being tormented by Streaky and Titano.

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So the leader uses an invisibility ray on himself, comes to Earth, and puts the red kryptonite into a bottle of ketchup.  Yes, he does.  Because Clark, Lois and Jimmy all ordered the exact same lunch.  So Superman eats his kryptonite burger, and starts getting nightmares.

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The Revenge Squad are monitoring all of this.  Their monitors are truly amazing.  Not only can they see anywhere on Earth, they can even broadcast Superman’s dreams.  Jimmy is staying overnight at the Fortress of Solitude.  For some reason, he is sleeping directly in front of the door to his room.  Perhaps he really wanted to sleep under the big statue of himself.  But couldn’t Superman have provided something better than fold-up cots?  Anyway, I’ll just leave the mention of Superman quivering.

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So Superman has his first nightmare, meeting descendants of Lana Lang and Pete Ross, who have gotten married, and lead an attack on him.

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Superman’s second dream is even better, with the villains from the cover – Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Electro, Cosmic King, Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen pitting him against Supergirl.

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Supergirl gets sent to the Phantom Zone, and earth gets destroyed, Superman wakes up freaking out and upset.

While it’s true that the cover image is “just a dream,” at least the story never pretends otherwise, and the dreams are actually part of the plot against him.

The story concludes in the next chapter.

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Supergirl begins a new phase of her career, operating in public, in this Siegel and Mooney story.

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After some pleasant homey stuff, as Linda and Dick Malverne watch tv together while the Danvers look on approvingly, the story shifts over to Lex Luthor, who escapes from prison.  While the story does not directly address the Lesla-Lar Supergirl that Lex had met, his certainty that Supergirl is really a robot seems to be the conclusion he has drawn from this.

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He intentionally draws out Supergirl, but she proves to not be a robot, and Luthor winds up fleeing.  He has a death-ray, which he winds up shooting at himself when the car swerves.

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After a somewhat obligatory stop in Atlantis, with Lori Lemaris and Jerro floating around, Supergirl picks up some rare elements, and brings Luthor back to life.  He is not grateful.

Action 285 – Superman introduces the world to Supergirl

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Action 285 (Feb. 62) marks the first time an issue has been devoted to one story, as Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney have Superman finally reveal Supergirl’s existence to the world.

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Linda’s adoptive parents, Fred and Edna Danvers, go over the edge of a bridge, and she reveals her powers while saving them.  She is worried, as Superman told her to wait until his announcement, but Superman is forgiving.  Good thing.  Was she supposed to let them die?

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Finally, the big moment arrives.  Superman does a world-wide broadcast, introducing his cousin, and explaining her origin. Lori Lemaris and Jerro watch from Atlantis.  Luthor is shown listening to this all on the radio, but does not comment about the mysterious Supergirl her had encountered in earlier issues.

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Superman then heads out for a space mission, leaving the Earth in Supergirl’s hands.  A mysterious menace, appearing as huge legs, starts tromping around, and JFK himself requests Supergirl’s help.  She is at another fair with Dick Malverne, in her guise as Linda Danvers, and leaves him trapped in a maze to answer the president’s call as Supergirl.

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The weird invading legs prove more than she can handle by herself, but she knows where to go for help.  Or rather, when.

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Heading to the 30th century, she heads to see the Legion.  Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl are pleased to see her, but it’s Brainiac 5 who proves helpful, giving her a weapon to use against the creature.

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In gratitude, Supergirl is invited to the White House, where she meets not only JFK, but also the vice-president, LBJ, and Kennedy’s wife, JKO.  Ok, so she wasn’t “O” yet.  It fits the pattern.

 

Action 284 – Superman becomes a baby, and Supergirl becomes a mermaid

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Bernstein, Swan and Kaye have Superman intentionally regress to being a baby in Action 284 (Jan. 62).

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The story opens as Clark Kent reports on a phony medium.  But he is surprised when a hand leaves a ghostly message for him.

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Because of this message, which the reader does not see, Superman uses some red kryptonite to revert to being a baby.  He retains his adult intelligence and speech, though.  A few pages are spent as he continues to act as Superman, having to prove that he really is who he claims to be.

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Eventually we discover that Mon-El sent the message, warning Superman about a gap opening in the Phantom Zone, which gets a long explanation/introduction in this story.  Jax-Ur and Professor Vakox appear.  Jax-Ur had been introduced in the pages of Adventure Comics a few months earlier, while this is the first appearance of Vakox, as well as the first time the Phantom Zone has been shown in Superman’s time period, as opposed to Superboy’s.

Superman had to reduce to infant size in order to penetrate the Zone through the gap.  With the help of Supergirl and Krypto, they seal it.

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Supergirl’s red kryptonite transformations continue, in this Siegel and Mooney tale.

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Linda winds up with two heads, but spends her time at a carnival, where she passes as one of the freaks.

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After a brief red kryptonite induced hallucination, in which she gains death-vision, Supergirl undergoes her third and final transformation, into a mermaid.  That has its advantages, as she heads down to Atlantis to spend time with Jerro.  This story also introduces Lenora, Lori Lemaris’s sister, who is in love with Jerro, although he has no interest in her.

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When the mermaid effect passes, Supergirl is surprised to discover that her immunity to kryptonite has also vanished.  Superman explains that it was all part of one of Mr. Mxyzptlk’s spells, which faded when he went back to his home dimension.

But more importantly, Superman informs her that he is finally ready to reveal her existence to the world.

The story concludes next issue.

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