Posts tagged ‘Jose Delbo’

Action 454 – Superman eats hamburgers, and the Atom ends

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Action 454 (Dec. 75) was the second issue of Action Comics that I bought.  I found the cover very funny. I was 10 years old, give me a break.

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The new Toyman is the active villain in this story, by Bates, Swan and Blaisdel, but not the actual cause of Superman’s big problems.

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But the big problem facing Superman in this story is his lack of energy.  As Clark, he falls asleep during a broadcast, and again at an awards dinner.  Lois Lane is even more irritated with him than usual.

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And it’s not just hamburgers that Superman devours, but a huge amount of food, to replenish the energy he loses by being Superman.

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The Toyman actually helps Superman figure out what is causing his energy drain, although not intentionally.  It is an evil rock at the core of the Earth, which Superman coats in a solar cell suit.  I cannot explain that any better.  But it made some sense at age 10.

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The final couple of panels see Clark and Jimmy Olsen attempt to go to MacTavish’s for burgers but the place is now mobbed, thanks to Superman eating there.

MacTavish’s would continue to appear sporadically in the Superman comics, the stand-in for McDonald’s, until John Byrne’s reboot of Superman.

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The Atom’s run in Action comes to an end with the concluding half of this Pasko and Delbo story.

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A stray thought from a sullen groundskeeper prompts the Actualizer to make the ivy at Ivy University start tearing down the buildings.  As the Atom struggles to destroy the machine, Jean Loring tries to talk the ivy out of its destructive actions.

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In the end, the ivy backs down, but both Ray and Jean claim credit for this.

The Atom returns as a guest star in the next issue, and his series does return to Action Comics a few years down the road.

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Action 453 – Superman loses face, and the Atom’s wishes come true

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Action 453 (Nov.75) has a more accurate cover than one would expect for the story by Bates, Swan and Blaisdel.

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The story is, again, pretty straightforward. Clark Kent is shocked to discover that he has another man’s face.

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The man stole Clark’s face as part of his plan to murder Superman, taking the face of a man he knows to be Superman’s friend.  Superman winds up having to wear a rubber mask of his own face.

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The best sequence is a bit of a throwaway scene.  The man, now in Clark’s apartment, answers the phone.  It’s Batman on the other side, though he only refers to himself as Bruce Wayne. He explains that he cannot impersonate Clark the next day.  It puzzles the man, but does not lead him into making any conclusions.

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Superman attacks the impersonator as he is onstage, accepting an award as Clark.  But then he doffs the mask, and changes to normal clothes, and makes the man think that Clark Kent is so tough he can beat the man up himself.  Once the man is sufficiently terrorized, he gives Clark his face back.

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Marty Pasko and Jose Delbo begin a two-part Atom story that will conclude the characters run in Action.

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The story deals with a machine called the Actualizer.  This device is claimed to make ones wishes come true, although Ray Palmer does not believe this is possible.  He changes his mind when a random thought makes his car go out of control.

 

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