Barr, Novick and Calnan continue the saga of the half-Superman in Action 538 (Dec.82).
With Superman too afraid to face him, and the police helpless against his armor, Jackhammer makes the most of being the most dangerous man in Metropolis.
When Superman does finally confront him again, he is once again overpowered by Jackhammer. But the crowd is none too pleased, and they step in, hurling anything they can find at the villain. When he turns to attack the crowd, Superman takes his opening, and knocks out Jackhammer. Still, this should have been a nothing fight for the hero.
Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta clarify things in this chapter of the Aquaman story. The woman has a lot of trouble getting control of her hard water powers, but Aquaman still believes this is really Mera.
And though it does turn out that he is correct, it’s not such a good thing. It’s Mera’s body all right, but she is under the control of someone else. Some who Aquaman has just instructed in how to use Mera’s powers.
The story continues in the next issue.
Mike W. Barr, Irv Novick and John Calnan are the creative team on Action 537 (Nov. 82), as a new villain takes advantage of the weakened Superman.
Superman attempts to travel into the past, and rejoin with his other half, still trapped in the middle ages. But Lord Satanis stops this journey, even though the other Superman is in the hands of his enemy Syrene.
Of all the various stories that see Superman turn into two people, I think this one spends the most time with only one version of the split character. We briefly see the captive other half, with Syrene. But the story really deals only with the one in the present.
Superman’s weakened condition has made the news, and a new villain, Jackhammer, is excited about that, and eager to face the hero.
And despite being a not very impressive villain, with armored extendy punches, he does beat Superman at the end of the story.
Rozakis, Saviuk and Giella continue Aquaman’s hunt for Mera, as he questions the woman who looks just like her. Though she claims to be human, Aquaman is so certain that this is his wife that he convinces her to go swimming with him.
She agrees, and to her surprise, discovers that she is able to breathe underwater, and even manifest the same hard water powers that Mera has, but still has no memory of being that person.
Bates, Swan and Blaisdel continue with the introduction of Faora in Action 472 (June 1977).
Heading to his Fortress of Solitude, Superman scans the records of Phantom Zone prisoners until he finds the file on Faora Hu-Ul. She has a fanatical hatred of men, and killed hundreds in a personal concentration camp, for which she was sentenced to the Zone.
And though it is not clear exactly how this works, she gets the old man to focus on her, while holding an alien artifact stolen from Clark Kent’s apartment. This allows her to burst free from the Zone, and attack Superman. Even being able to see her in the flesh, the old man still thinks this is his dead wife, Katie. Faora is a master of a form of Kryptonian martial arts, dealing with reflex points, and manages to best Superman in battle.
The ending of this chapter is a bit of a shock, as Superman flees form Faora, and heads into the Phantom Zone to hide.
Bill Kunkle, John Calnan and Tex Blaisdel provide another chapter of the Sporting Life of Steve Lombard, as he comes face to face with an identical double. To Steve’s consternation, no one else seems to be able to see the guy.
Steve is driven to distraction by the man’s appearances, and everyone claiming he is not there. The hoax is ruined when Steve catches the man’s voice on a tape recorder, and he realizes he is the butt of an April Fool’s gag, which Clark, Lois and Jimmy were all in on. The final panel reveals that Steve’s mysterious double was actually Batman.