Posts tagged ‘John Forte’

Action 279 – Imaginary marriages, and the debut of Lesla-Lar

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The Superman story in Action 279 (Aug. 61) is an Imaginary Story.  That means it is not a Superman story that really happened.  Just ponder that level of reality for a while.

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Tired of having Lois Lane and Lana Lang fighting over him, Superman travels through time to get Hercules and Samson, and fobs them off on the women, in this story by John Forte.  And indeed, the women fall head over heels in love with the doting heroes

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The couples try to get married immediately, but discover they need to wait a week.  The story then descends into a horrifying parody of marriage relationships, an endless outdo-the-other-couple cycle.

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The heroes also find it extremely difficult to find fulfilling work, and Samson even loses his powers after Lana cuts some bubblegum out of his hair.

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Superman returns Hercules and Samson to their own eras, as they just long to be rid of the women by now.  With the other men gone, Lois and Lana start attacking each other again.

Geez.

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Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney introduce one of Supergirl’s greatest foes in this issue, the Kandorian scientist, Lesla-Lar.  You just gotta wonder about that name.

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Lesla-Lar looks exactly like Supergirl, which has become unsurprising with Kandorians.  We discover that she was the one who stripped Supergirl of her powers, using a machine of her own invention.  She claim to be jealous of the attention that Supergirl will get, one day, of the people of Earth, who have no idea that Lesla-Lar even exists.  That really makes little sense.  I prefer to think this was mistranslated from the Kryptonian, and she is jealous of the attention that Kandorians give to Supergirl, over her.

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No longer having powers, Linda allows herself to be adopted at last.  Fred and Edna Danvers are not named in this story, but they are the ones to take her home, and prompt her to change her hairstyle to a more teenage look.

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As she sleeps, Lesla-Lar uses another of her machines to trade places with Linda. She acquires the normal range of Kryptonian powers on Earth.

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Taking on the Supergirl identity, she comes to visit Luthor in prison, and even breaks him out, helps him commit and crime, and brings him back to prison to establish his alibi.  At the same time, Linda is living Lesla’s life in Kandor.

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Lesla-Lar switches them back after a day.  For Linda, it was all a strange dream.  For Lesla, the beginning of an evil scheme. The story continues in the next issue.

Action 277 – Luthor’s multi-coloured kryptonite, and Supergirl judges the super-pets

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The Battle of the Super-Pets really does happen in the Supergirl story in Action 277 (June 1961), but first, the Superman tale.

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Bill Finger, Curt Swan and John Forte pull off one of the best Lex Luthor tales from the era in this story.

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Luthor escapes from prison, and heads to his own version of the Fortress of Solitude, Luthor’s Lair, located in an abandoned museum, complete with trophies, a lab, monitoring devices and statues of his heroes.

Luthor’s Lair will return in a number of stories in the next few years.

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Luthor announces his plans to rob Fort Knox, luring Superman there. Luthor has a machine that shoots out a variety of coloured kryptonite balls.  Sadly, despite the colours, none of these have any of the effects of true coloured kryptonite.  The fourth dimensional arm he uses to steal the entire fort is impressive.

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Luthor rejoices over his triumph, especially because the kryptonite balls were fakes.  But all that turns sour when he finds out that he did not defeat Superman, just one of his robots.

Infuriated, Luthor returns Fort Knox and all its gold, and even goes back to prison.  Defeating Superman is the one and only thing that really matters to him.

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Siegel and Mooney have a lot of fun finally fulfilling the long-delayed promise to pit the Superman/Krypto team against the Supergirl/Streaky team.

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Trouble starts when Krypto saves Supergirl from being adopted (oh, no!) and Streaky gets jealous when Supergirl thanks him.

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Powering himself up, Streaky attacks Krypto.  Their masters get involved, and even pit the animals against each other to see which will win.  Because of the potential for peripheral destruction, Supergirl takes the animals to a far-off planet to compete in a series of tests.

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Each competition gets interrupted by bizarre and unusual events.

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Supergirl discovers that the planet was set-up by Mr. Mxyzptlk, and none of the odd things that happened were actually attacks.  Although no winner is proclaimed, one sequence did see Streaky come to the rescue of Supergirl and Krypto, when they believed themselves endangered by kryptonite, which Streaky is immune to.

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The story ends as Beppo, the Super-Monkey, shows up.  Beppo was recently introduced as a pet sidekick for Superbaby, this marks his first appearance in the “present.”

You gotta love Streaky’s reaction “Gaaa!  ANOTHER rival!”

Action 270 – Superman gets old, again, and Supergirl enters the Batcave

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Binder and Swan are joined by John Forte on inks, as they take another journey into Superman’s old age in Action 270 (Nov. 60).

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Clark Kent pays a visit to the Midvale Orphanage, encouraging the children to write.  Linda shows him a creative writing piece she has done, envisioning her life as Supergirl.  Clark then goes to sleep, so what follows is obviously a dream.

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In the dream, Superman’s powers have faded due to repeated kryptonite exposure.  His identity is now known to the world, while Superwoman operates in his place.  Jimmy Olsen is the editor of the Daily Planet, Perry White having died, and is married to Lucy Lane, making her first appearance in Action.

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Linda works at Clark’s old job at the Planet, so her secret identity has even replaced his.  Even Lex Luthor has retired.

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Superman finds Krypto, also powerless and being taken away by the dog catcher.

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After seeing that Lana Lang has married a millionaire, Superman finally seeks out Lois Lane, who has spent her entire life alone.

One heck of a downer dream, there, Clark.  Maybe it’s trying to tell you something.  Like, don’t base your entire persona on your powers, and take love where you can find it.

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Siegel and Mooney put Supergirl through the paces in this guest-star packed story.

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Supergirl spends the day rushing from one crisis to another.  Lori Lemaris beckons her to Atlantis, where she defeats a destructive merman, Malo.  Ronal and Jerri cameo in the scene.

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Batman and Robin also call on her for help, when they are trapped in the Batcave by a cave-in.

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As it turns out, none of the emergencies were real. It was all a weird “gift” for Supergirl’s 16th birthday, which all the guests show up to attend.  A bit nicer is the tribute by the residents of Kandor.

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