Posts tagged ‘John Byrne’

Action 593 – Mr. Miracle watches Superman have sex with his wife

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I am not lying or exaggerating about Action 593 (Oct. 87), by Byrne and Williams.  Mr. Miracle comes home after a show one day, with scowly sidekick Oberon, and finds Darkseid sitting in his living room.  Darkseid has a tape to show them.

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Sleez has been making some money off of Superman and Big Barda.

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We get a recap of Mr. Miracle’s origin.  Son of Highfather, traded to Apokolips at birth as part of a peace pact.  Raised in Granny Goodness’ orphanage, and given a desire for freedom by Himon.  His relationship with Barda when she was a young stormtrooper.  His escape to Earth, and being mentored by Thaddeus Brown, the original Mr. Miracle.

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Meanwhile, the director has a heck of a time getting the hypnotized heroes passionate enough for porno.

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Mr. Miracle arrives to save the day, and his presence breaks the spells on Barda and Superman.  Superman pursues Sleez, who seemingly kills himself.  Barda winds up having to rescue her rescuer.

 

Action 592 – Superman and Big Barda meet Sleez

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Byrne and Williams begin a 2-part story in Action 592 (Sept.) that introduces a new Apokoliptian villain, Sleez.

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Big Barda wanders into the bad part of Metropolis, and her bag gets snatched.  Unfortunately, it contains her mega-rod.

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The thief falls prey to another, as things go.  But this one is bad, a former companion of Darkseid, whose innate ability allows him to dominate and control people, and have them fulfill his worst desires.  Eventually, he proved too depraved even for Darkseid, and Sleez fled to Earth.

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He uses Barda’s own mega-rod to take her down, and once out, she will wake completely under his control.

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Clark Kent has been investigating mysterious cases of good health in the street people living near to Sleez, and follows a radiation trail to the creature, who is unaware of his side-effects.  Superman breaks Barda of Sleez’s control, but when he stops her from killing him, she believes he is just one of Sleez’s games.  Sleez takes advantage of their fight to capture them both.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Action Annual 1- Superman and Batman vs Skeeter

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Action Comics has its first annual in 1987, as Byrne is joined by Arthur Adams and Dick Giordano as he re-unites Superman and Batman.

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The story deals with a young woman who lives in a shack in the bayou in the deep south, along withe the mummified corpses of her parents, which seems to not be completely uncommon in the south.

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Batman comes to the town, on the trail of a murderer who drains the victims of their blood.   Of course, he is mistaken as a killer when he is found near a body.

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Batman contacts Clark Kent, getting him to reach Superman.  The code word is Magpie, a reference to the Man of Steel miniseries, the story in which Batman and Superman meet.

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Batman is lead from the town by Skeeter, who has a degree of psychic powers, as well as being a scary vampire when she wants to be.  She tries to bite Sueprman.

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But Batman impales her and saves the day.

It’s not a bad story, but there is little in the way of characterization, or contrast between the heroes.  Sadly, forgettable.

Action 591 – Superman vs Superboy

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Keith Williams joins John Byrne on Action 591 (Aug. 87), the third part of a four-part story that clarifies the relationship between the Superboy from Legion of Super-Heroes, and Superman.

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The story picks up from the previous issue of Superman, as Superboy freezes Blok, Brainiac 5, Invisible Kid and Sun Boy, taking them to the Time Trapper, but leaving Superman free.

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We have the story of Superboy and the Legion explained a different way, by the Time Trapper.  The Trapper took a small slice of the newly-formed universe, and molded it to his own liking.  When the Legion believed they were travelling back in time to meet Superboy, they were really travelling into the Time Trapper’s pocket universe, and meeting the Superboy he had created.

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Superman winds up in the pocket universe, and is discovered by Pete Ross.  He thinks this is Superboy under the influence of red kryptonite, and brings him back to the Kent home, where Superman meets two people who are the Kents, but not his parents.

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Superboy shows up, and a fight breaks out, with Krypto getting into the fray. Superman notes how much more powerful Superboy is, with the plus of an invulnerable cape.

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Krypto sacrifices his powers and intelligence to retrieve some gold kryptonite, in a failed attempt to save his master from the evil Superman.

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Pa Kent tries every kryptonite there is against Superman, but they are powerless on his physiology, being from a different universe.  Superboy admits that he wanted Superman to beat him, hoping that together they could defeat the Time Trapper.

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But in the end, the Legionnaires convince Superman not to come along with them for their final battle with the Time Trapper.

This sets the new relationship between Superman and the Legion, which will exist, with some minor modifications, until Zero Hour.

 

Action 590 – Superman revives Chemo

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Byrne and Giordano bring back the Metal Men’s most deadly enemy, as the team gets their first post-Crisis appearance in Action 590 (July 1987).

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While touring a chemical factory, on a story with Lois Lane, Clark falls into a pit of waste fluids.  Although not toxic, he notices a tingling sensation.  The waste is the remains of Chemo, destroyed by Negative Woman during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, his mass had collected itself, but was unable to re-form.  Until it got a taste of super-cells.

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The Metal Men are re-introduced as Dr. Will Magnus acts all strange about a secret room in his lab.  Platinum is too busy flirting to care.  Gold, Iron, Lead, Mercury and Tin are all playing around with their usual banter, to Doc’s chagrin.

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That all stops when Super-Chemo comes busting in.

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Chemo has a number of Superman’s powers, thanks to the cell tissues that help make up his new form.  The Metal Men also take new, combined forms, which was not so often seen in the past.

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But even merged into a giant entity, they are no match for Super-Chemo.  Superman sees the battle, and advises them to cut off the bring from sunlight, which charges his cells.

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Without light, the super-cells lose their charge, and Superman uses his heat vision to boil Chemo away into steam.  He does return eventually.

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Tin gets destroyed in the fight, but the Metal men expect Doc Magnus to rebuild him, as he always does.  Magnus refuses this time, to their shock.

This plotline continues when the Metal Men return in the book next year.

Action 589 – the Green Lantern Corps rescue Superman

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Byrne and Giordano catch up with Superman in space in Action 589 (June 1987).

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He is found, unconscious and just sort of floating there, by Arisia, who brings him back to the base the Green Lanterns are using at the moment.

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Superman wakes up, still immersed in the plot of the previous issue, and it takes him a while to clue in that he is in a completely different story now.  The Green Lantern Corps who appear in this story are the line-up from the current, ongoing series. Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Katma Tui, Arisia, Kilowog, Salaak and Ch’p are the only Green Lanterns left, with the central power battery in ruins, at this point in their history.

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They are trying to find a new home for a species of intelligent worms, the last survivors of their planet.

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They find a potential mass of unused dirt in space, the same dirt left by Superman a few issues earlier.  It is still sort of “infected,” and causes some problems.

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Superman adds his will power to that of the Lanterns, and together they transform the mass into a new home for the worms.  Yay!

Action 588 – Superman helps Hawkman and Hawkwoman against the Thanagarian fleet

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Byrne and Giordano bring Superman into the climax of the Shadow War storyline that had been the mainstay of Hawkman through specials, a miniseries, and his own book’s first year, in Action 588 (May 1987).

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The story takes place between issues 10 and 11 of Hawkman, and sees Superman and the Hawks on their spaceship, surrounded by the Thanagarian fleet.  Two of their adversaries are captive, Ved and Byth.

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It is very much a middle chapter, but Byrne infuses it with plenty of action to keep it going.

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Byth gets free, and uses his shape-changing powers to impersonate Hawkman, but Hawkwoman knows Katar would never attack her this way.  She defeats and re-imprisons Byth.

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Superman and Hawkman scatter the Thanagarian fleet through hyperspace, but Superman gets lost as well.

While the Hawks continue in their own book, Superman’s plot thread is picked up in the next issue of Action.

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