Posts tagged ‘Jimmy Olsen’

Action 563 – Ambush Bug loses his suit, Mr. Mxyzptlk wants his own show, and Jimmy Olsen becomes a blob

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Three stories in Action 563 (Jan.85), all represented in Giffen’s great cover.

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Ambush Bug gets the lead story in the issue, by Giffen, Fleming and Oskner.  Clark Kent is around, in his newscaster guise, and as Superman, but Bethany Snow, from New Teen Titans, and Jack Ryder, better known as the Creeper, also cameo on the first page.  Ted Baxter, from the old Mary Tyler Moore Show, almost appears.

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There is some degree of story in this one, as Ambush Bug works on his suit, and shorts it out.

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A running gag with the character is the origin story, which always involves a person named Irwin Schwab, but otherwise is a pastiche of other heroes origins.  Ambush Bug relates one of these absurd stories to Superman.

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Superman dismisses it as nonsense, until he realizes Ambush Bug just told him his own origin.

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E. Nelson Bridwell, Alex Saviuk and Dennis Jensen give Mr. Mxyzptlk a yen for the boob tube in the second story in this issue.  The 5th dimensional imp demands his own television show on WGBS, but Morgan Edge refuses.

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So Mr. Mxyzptlk wreaks havoc with the networks programming.  Although the story posits this as a bad thing, in reality I’m sure the ratings went through the roof, as everyone tuned in to see what crazy shit was going to happen.  Anyway, Mxyzptlk has made saying, or even writing, his name backwards impossible for anyone.

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Superman gets around this by thinking of his Bizarro World counterpart, Kltpzyxm, when setting up his trap.

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The issue is rounded out by a Jimmy Olsen adventure, by Craig Boldman, Howard Bender and Pablo Marcos.

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Hoping to save a falling girl, Jimmy drinks from an old vial of his Elastic Lad serum, but it turns him into a big blob instead.

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He is unable to speak, and is treated as a monster, even by his date for the evening.  Superman figures out what has happened, the serum was corrupted by a radioactive substance it sat next to.  He cures Jimmy in time to still have his planned date, but the girl’s reaction, freaking out just because he metamorphosized, makes it clear this woman is not up to Jimmy Olsen’s speed.

Action 562 – Queen Bee meets King Alexander

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Alexander the Great, aka the Planeteer returns, now calling himself King Alexander, in the Rozakis, Schaffenberger and Hunt story in Action 562 (Dec. 84).

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The story has a subplot about Steve Lombard,who was fired from WGBS by Morgan Edge in the pages of Superman.  He is starring in a production of Damn Yankees, and has sent opening night tickets to Clark, Lana, Jimmy and Perry White.  Perry actually winds up stopping a pair of robbers during the show, and his wife Alice gets a small role.

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Queen Bee gets most of the attention in the story.  She has been causing magnetic anomalies throughout Metropolis.  She has found an immortality serum that needs a constant recharge of magnetic energy to allow her to stay mobile.

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And who should also be back in Metropolis but the magnetically powered Alexander?

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They hit it off, and Alexander thinks its true love and world conquest, unaware that he is being drugged, and his power drained, by Zazzala.

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Mind you, even when Superman explains to him what is going on, he just chooses not to believe it.  He has fallen hard.  Superman uses the couple’s magnetism against them.

This is the final appearance of Alexander the Great aka Planeteer aka King Alexander, and the Queen Bee is next seen in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

And Steve Lombard’s revival of Damn Yankees closes after one night.

Action 540 – Rip Hunter aids Superman, and Aquaman ends

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Wolfman and Kane present the penultimate chapter in the split Superman story in Action 540 (Feb. 83).

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Clark recovers, just as knife is going in for the autopsy.  But he can tell his other self is severely weakened, and he will die if the other Superman does.  Perry and Jimmy are happy that Clark is alive, but Lana is hugely affected.  When she thought he had died, she realizes how much Clark had meant to her throughout the years.  Lois, on the other hand, just takes the opportunity to challenge him again about being Superman.

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Back int he past, Syrene and the merged Satanis/Superman continue their battle throughout the issue, the dynamic segments neatly spaced through the tale.

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Lois talks about a series she is doing on Forgotten Heroes.  She references Cave Carson, as well as the Sea Devils and Suicide Squad, Ragman, Bwana Beast and Vigilante.  But the one that grabs Superman’s attention is Rip Hunter, Time Master, and he seeks out Rip and his team, finding them all unusually aged.  This is Rip’s first appearance since appearing in DC Comics Presents a couple of years earlier.

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Perhaps because it is not expected, the magical defenses that have kept Superman and his friends from the past are no barrier to Rip Hunter, and he delivers Superman to his merged double just as Satanis/Superman defeats Syrene.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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Aquaman’s series comes to an end in this story by Bob Rozakis, Alex Saviuk and Joe Giella.

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Ironically, Aquaman himself winds up sidelined, as Mera and V’lanna battle over him.  Mera wins, and V’lanna kills herself, rather than be executed for treason.  Mera is expected to stay in Xebel as queen, but chooses to return to Earth with Aquaman.

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So a nice happy ending for these two, and the final back-up story Aquaman will have.  It takes three more years before he gets his own mini-series, and a few of those before he gains his own book again.

 

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.

 

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