Posts tagged ‘Jimmy Olsen’

Action 539 – Superman looks for time travelling help, and Aquaman heads to Xebel

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Giffen and Giordano execute the cover for Action 539 (Jan. 83), as the split Superman storyline moves towards its climax.

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Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane have Superman look for help in trying to travel back to the middle ages, and re-unite with his lost half.  The Atom accompanies Superman into the Time Pool, but find it mired in a time storm.

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The Flash attempts the journey with Superman on the Cosmic Treadmill, but it shorts out.  Superman is weakening further, and, as Clark Kent, collapses at the office.

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At the same time, hundreds of years earlier (I love writing about about comics), Lord Satanis continues to try to disrupt Syrene’s use of the other Superman, to acquire the power of the runestone.

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Lord Satanis uses his magic to merge with Syrene’s Superman.

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The story ends as Clark is pronounced dead, and the autopsy begins.  Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White are all at the hospital, grieving.

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Rozakis, Saviuk and Dan Adkins make things clear in this Aquaman installment. Mera’s body has been taken over by V’lanna, the new queen of Xebel, who brings Aquaman back to her dimension.

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There she and Mera split into themselves again.  V’lanna intends to kill Mera, and keep Aquaman as her consort.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Action 533 – The H.I.V.E. kidnap Jimmy Olsen, and Air Wave and the Atom to the rescue

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Wolfman, Swan and Chiaramonte conclude Superman’s two-part battle with the H.I.V.E. in Action 533 (July 1982).

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While Superman follows the fake information fed to Lois Lane, and protects S.T.A.R. Labs, the H.I.V.E. pull off their real plan, capturing Jimmy Olsen by stealing the entire train car he is in.

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Jimmy’s signal watch, which is not used nearly as much as it had been in the 60s, comes in handy in this story, as it gets Superman there just in time.

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Lois is not completely off the hook.  The H.I.V.E.member she impersonated in the previous issue comes looking for trouble.  Superman cannot get to her in time, he is busy rescuing Jimmy.  But Lois proves capable of taking down her would-be killer herself.

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Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte bring Air Wave in for the conclusion of the Atom’s nuclear Curacao vacation. Now that the Atom has stopped the bombers, who have been killed by their leader by remote control, he tracks the signal to Dallas.

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Coincidentally, Jack Jordan was also on the trail of the mastermind, although his attempt to disguise himself was pretty lame, and didn’t work.

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Air Wave really gets to be the hero of this tale, and even gets to fly the Atom back to Curacao.

 

 

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 529 – Superman ignores problems, and Aquaman on an alien world

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Wolfman, Swan and Dan Adkins continue the struggle of Brainiac and Superman against the not-Death Star in Action 529 (March 1982).

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Brainiac finds his ship under attack from the artificial world that he created.

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He uses his shrinking technology to save a city about to be destroyed, and finds the experience rewarding.  But this is the re-programmed Brainiac, made into a good person by Superman.  Superman, by the way, isn’t doing much of anything, even though a volcano has burst through the streets of Metropolis.  An effect of the blast from the ship is that he cannot see the ship now, or any of its effects.

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Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen make him realize the situation, and he carries Jimmy along with him, to point out the disasters he needs to fight.

Superman realizes they need more information about the ship than they have, and that the only way to learn more would be to re-program Brainiac to his original state, in which he created the Death Star type world.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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Bob Rozakis, Alex Saviuk and Pablo Marcos having some surprising twists in this Aquaman chapter of the ongoing back-up story.  Aquaman fights the land invaders, although they manage to knock him out and take him into a desert.

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Aquaman finds out that they are not land based beings at all, but more underwater creatures, disguising themselves.

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Aquaman returns to the war zone, and though they defeat the invaders, he realizes that his own side has a traitor among them.

The story continues next issue.

 

Action 528 – Superman and Brainiac vs the Death Star

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Ok, it’s not called the Death Star in the story, but it so totally is.  And that’s what people I knew called the story in Action 528 (Feb.82) at the time it came out, after Empire Strikes Back.

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They even use Star Wars style lettering for the title of this story, by Wolfman, Swan and Chiaramonte.

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There is a totally non-Star Wars related plot in the story, as Morgan Edge intends to sell off the Daily Planet, which is losing money for Galaxy Communications.  Perry White is not the only one upset, and Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Steve Lombard and Jimmy Olsen spend the story awaiting news on this.

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Superman gets far more interesting stuff to do, having been contacted by Brainiac, who warns him of an approaching, all-consuming artificial world.  Brainiac did build the thing, before realizing how all-destroying it would be.  Oops.

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The two heroes work together, Superman penetrating the world, while Brainiac advises him from his ship.  This invasion proves fruitless, and Brainiac tries turning the planet “off,” putting it in a dormant state while Superman attacks.

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But even “asleep,” the planet takes down Superman.

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A really good, suspenseful ending.  An injured Superman collapses in front of the waiting Daily Planet staff, while Brainiac observes the destructive effects of the not-Death Star’s approach to Earth.

The story continues in the next chapter.

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Aquaman gets a solo chapter as part of Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte’s continuing story arc.

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Materializing on the alien world Air Wave had been drawn to, Aquaman finds a race of intelligent sea creatures, who are being exploited and enslaved by land dwellers.  Aquaman decides to help them, just as the land dwellers show up.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 526 – Superman vs Neutron, and Air Wave’s new power

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Wolfman, Staton and Chiaramonte conclude the Neutron storyline in Action 526 (Dec. 81).

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Morgan Ledge gathers the Daily Planet/WGBS staff on the roof for the celebration of the return of the globe.  Lis Lane, Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen, and of course Perry White are there. Meanwhile, Clark is frantically searching the city as Superman.  Neutron has told him that he has placed bombs throughout the city.  The art alone makes it fairly obvious that one of them is in the big glowing globe, surrounded by all his friends.  But it takes Superman until close to the end of the story to figure that out.

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Along the way, Superman runs into the H.I.V.E.  They want to get rid of the bombs as well, and could work with Superman on this goal, but prefer to try to kill him.

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Superman gets rid of the explosive globe, but replaces it with a safe one.  He captures Neutron far more easily than one might expect, encasing him while he is in his energy form.

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Air Wave gets a more series adventure in this issue, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta.

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After being struck by lightning, Hal discovers that he has the ability to pick up on people’s thoughts, justas if they were broadcasts.  This comes in useful at school, when quizzed on work he hadn’t read.  But even more useful when his uncle Jack gets kidnapped.

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Jack Jordan is a District Attorney, and he has been grabbed by mob goons who want vengeance.  Air Wave’s telepathy vanishes before the end of the story, but helps him find, and save, his uncle.

 

Action 523 – Steve Lombard – alien, and the Atom saves his parents

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Conway, Swan and Chiaramonte weave a story that repelled me enough that I stopped buying this series after this issue.

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It’s not really that bad a story, so I’m not sure why I hated it so much.  It opens with the Daily Planet staff playing baseball.  There are enjoyable bits for Lois and Lana, Perry and Jimmy.  Clark gets picked on by Steve Lombard, but he is also going crazy, playing with people who were not professional athletes.  Then a goofy looking alien shows up, claiming to be his brother.

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We, and Steve, learn that he was adopted, and there is circumstantial evidence to back up the alien’s claim.  The alien is a shape-shifter, who can take Steve’s form.

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But that all turns out to be a lie.  The alien is part of a race of really competitive athletes, who steal the forms and skills of people from a variety of planets.  He stole Steve’s form and skills, but the real prize is Superman.

But Superman was suspicious, and resisting their energy drain, and beats them.

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Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta continue the Atom’s battle with the Calculator, although most of the story is spent in the past Ray Palmer escaped to in the Time Pool.

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He saves a young couple in a storm, who will one day become his parents.

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Returning, he stays small and out of sight, but tells Professor Hyatt what to do in order to defeat the Calculator.

But as with many Calculator stories, it seems finished, but continues next issue.

Action 516 – Superman vs Vandal Savage, and Chronos breaks his pattern

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Wolfman, Swan and Chiaramonte conclude the Vandal Savage story, as Superman chases the villain backwards through time, in Action 516 (Feb. 81).

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Vandal Savage stops off in different eras as he heads backwards, with Superman in hot pursuit.  Each time Superman acts, it serves to set off one of Savage’s time bombs.  Luthor realizes that if Superman completes his chase of Savage, all he will have achieved is ensuring this reality comes to pass.

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Luthor sends Jimmy Olsen back to warn Superman, but we see that, although Luthor was speaking the truth, he also has his own schemes of taking control.

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But Superman outwits both Savage and Luthor.  He does not intercept the comet which would have set off the last time bomb, instead leaving it to hit Savage.  When he brings Jimmy back to the present, all has returned to normal.

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Chronos returns, but tries to break his normal pattern in this Atom story by Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta.

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It’s actually his extreme avoidance of anything time related that draws the Atom’s suspicions, after his first few thefts.  But by far the best moment is when Chronos sticks the Atom into a blender full of syrup.  The death trap doesn’t work, but it’s certainly inventive, in a practical way.

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But overall, avoiding his time crimes (but keeping the costume) is no help to Chronos.

 

Action 515 – Vandal Savage, Emperor of the World, and the Atom trades powers with the Atom

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Vandal Savage, the immortal and ancient villain, has his first run-in with Superman in the Wolfman, Swan and Chiaramonte story in Action 515 (Jan. 81).

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Superman is only mildly puzzled to find himself on an Earth ruled by Vandal Savage.  After a few seconds,he, like everyone else, believes this has always been reality.  Vandal Savage is Emperor, and Superman is his main weapon of control.

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Other members of the supporting cast appear as well. Lois Lane works for Savage, as does Perry White, publishing the official newspaper.  On the other side, Jimmy Olsen is leading the rebels, working alongside Jenet Klyburn, normally seen with STAR Labs, Klyburn has been a regular supporting character for a few years, but this is her first appearance in Action.

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Lex Luthor is Savage’s main scientist, but is also one of thew few aware that the reality they are in was not always this way.

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Savage has altered the past, using a number of “time bombs,” arranging it so that he was the one to raise Superman, not the Kents.  Lois brings Superman to the rebels, where he discovers that both she and Perry White a playing both sides.  They convince Superman that Savage is a threat, but it’s Savage himself who really convinces Superman, when he kills Lois Lane.  Vandal Savage vanishes into the past, and Superman pursues him.

The story concludes next issue.

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Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta have Ray Palmer gain Al Pratt’s powers in this Atom story.

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The reason for this is a mysterious man, some sort of cosmic overseer, who switches the powers of the Earth-1 and Earth-2 Atoms for his own amusement.

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I certainly wouldn’t say this story is fun enough that he did it for the readers amusement.  The story also serves as a set-up for the Earth-2 Atom story in DC Comics Presents, in which Al Pratt gains Ray Palmer’s powers.

 

Action 500 – the life story of Superman

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Action 500 (Oct. 79) is an oversize special, which does a good job of providing a fairly comprehensive story of Superman.

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte choose a big public tour of a new Superman pavilion as the framing device for the tale.  The various rooms give focus to different parts of the story.

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There is also a machine at the exposition which draws out Superman’s memories, so that people can enjoy his grief as he recalls Jor-El and Lara, and his early life on Krypton. But a mystery villain is making use of the device, channeling the memories into a Superman duplicate he is creating.

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The creation of the Phantom Zone is referenced, as well as Krypto on a test rocket.

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The Kents are shown, finding the boy and raising him, both through his Superbaby phase, and later Superboy.

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The story often uses exact swipes of scenes and images from earlier stories.  The death of Pa Kent duplicates the first telling of the event.

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As does the farewell message from the people of Smallville.

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Clark Kent’s life in Metropolis is shown, getting the job from Perry White at the Daily Planet, and working with Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.  Morgan Edge’s takeover is related, with Steve Lombard making an appearance.

Supergirl gets her own room in the pavilion, and a montage of her career.  Other aspects are really downplayed.  The Legion of Super-Heroes appear, in their current line-up, in the Superboy room, but are not talked about.

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Still, Lori Lemaris does make it into the triptych of his loves, along with Lois and Lana.

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The villain room is the most notable – for its absences.  Aside from Luthor and Brainiac, only the Toyman and Parasite are shown.  Brainiac has his story told in depth, as it relates to Kandor.

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The mystery villain turns out to be Lex Luthor, which is not that much of a surprise.

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And the duplicate gives himself away when he relates Luthor’s origin from Luthor’s own, very slanted, view.

As a story, this leaves something to be desired.  But as a Superman compendium, it works.

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