Posts tagged ‘Kandor’

Action 500 – the life story of Superman

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Action 500 (Oct. 79) is an oversize special, which does a good job of providing a fairly comprehensive story of Superman.

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte choose a big public tour of a new Superman pavilion as the framing device for the tale.  The various rooms give focus to different parts of the story.

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There is also a machine at the exposition which draws out Superman’s memories, so that people can enjoy his grief as he recalls Jor-El and Lara, and his early life on Krypton. But a mystery villain is making use of the device, channeling the memories into a Superman duplicate he is creating.

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The creation of the Phantom Zone is referenced, as well as Krypto on a test rocket.

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The Kents are shown, finding the boy and raising him, both through his Superbaby phase, and later Superboy.

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The story often uses exact swipes of scenes and images from earlier stories.  The death of Pa Kent duplicates the first telling of the event.

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As does the farewell message from the people of Smallville.

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Clark Kent’s life in Metropolis is shown, getting the job from Perry White at the Daily Planet, and working with Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.  Morgan Edge’s takeover is related, with Steve Lombard making an appearance.

Supergirl gets her own room in the pavilion, and a montage of her career.  Other aspects are really downplayed.  The Legion of Super-Heroes appear, in their current line-up, in the Superboy room, but are not talked about.

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Still, Lori Lemaris does make it into the triptych of his loves, along with Lois and Lana.

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The villain room is the most notable – for its absences.  Aside from Luthor and Brainiac, only the Toyman and Parasite are shown.  Brainiac has his story told in depth, as it relates to Kandor.

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The mystery villain turns out to be Lex Luthor, which is not that much of a surprise.

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And the duplicate gives himself away when he relates Luthor’s origin from Luthor’s own, very slanted, view.

As a story, this leaves something to be desired.  But as a Superman compendium, it works.

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Action 496 – a plague from Kandor

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte fulfill exactly what the cover of Action 496 (June 1979) proclaims. Superman brings a plague from Kandor to Earth, endangering everyone on the planet.

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For the first time we see that he does take precautions, sterilizing his body when he emerges from Kandor.  But it just wasn’t enough this time.

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Superman tries to seek out help to find a cure, or a solution. But when he approaches the JLA satellite is vanishes, and the same thing happens to Supergirl when he seeks her out.

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The Kandorians are actually behind these illusions.  When they informed Superman about the infection, they also shot an antidote into him.  He emits it, without being aware, and the more stress he is under, the more he gives off, curing himself, and everyone else. Kind of manipulative of them.

Action 492 – Superman kills his own future family

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In Action 492 (Feb. 79), Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte take Superman on a mystifying journey through his future life.

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Superman encounters an anomaly in space, which sucks him in.  He then believes that he is waking up back on Earth, but we know that this is some psychological game being played on him.

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He experiences a death-trap set by Luthor, with Lois and Lana in separate capsules shot into space.  He saves Lana, but Lois dies.  General Zod, Jax-Ur and Faora are behind this, hovering at the sides of the hallucinations as minor characters.

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They keep taking Superman further into his future, and have him believe that he enlarged Kandor.  Having every event be a bad one might make him realize he is being played.  I like that touch.

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We see that the villains are really still in the Phantom Zone, and Superman is having his life drained by the anomaly.  This line-up of Phantom Zone villains, Zod, Jax-Ur and Faora, is the closest that had appeared in the comics, to the Phantom Zone villains in the movie, about to come out, General Zod, Non and Ursa.

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They make Superman imagine a future in which he and Lana are married, with children.  And Superman kills them all accidentally with a space virus.  This is meant to prompt him to kill himself, but that is what takes him out of their trance.  He would never willingly kill, not even himself.

Free of the anomaly, he leaves the Phantom Zone villains to curse fruitlessly.

Action 489 – Krypton’s destruction comes to Earth, and the Atom ends

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte begin a three-part story in Action 489 (Nov.78), as the force from Krypton’s explosion arrives at Earth so many years later.

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It’s big news, everyone is aware of it.  Morgan Edge is preparing a WGBS special, and broadcasting the view live, with Lana Lang, Lois Lane and Steve Lombard all part of the show.  Clark Kent is meant to be there, but he is busy with the Justice League.  They have noticed that he has been running himself ragged over the past couple of days, but Superman refuses to tell Batman, Green Lantern, Hawkman and Wonder Woman what is going on, simply advising them that he can take care of things.

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The Kandorians are having a special memorial because of the event, and are upset that Superman is not with him.  But to them, Supergirl explains the reason – Brainiac is back.  He has demanded a one-on-one battle with Superman.  In case he does not survive, Superman has been trying to get as much done as possible, and Brainaic has also blackmailed him, though the use of bombs, into keeping the Justice League out of it.

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Brainiac traps Superman on the roof of his ship, and forces him to watch the explosion of Krypton.

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The Atom’s series, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta, comes to an abrupt end with the DC Implosion.

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The story is an entertaining one, with Jean Loring being the executor of a will, and the heirs unhappy with the distribution.  Some seemingly low value bequests get stolen, and the Atom gets onto the case.

act_489_006 It’s a good little mystery, with an interesting conclusion, as mementos prove more important than money to one man. The Atom’s series, like Air Wave’s, returns in a little over a year.

Action 481 – the Supermobile!

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte introduce the Supermobile in Action 481 (March 1978).

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Superman uses a teleportation ray to get him and Professor Ivo away from Amazo, and to the Fortress of Solitude.  Superman mentions Kandor to Ivo, and he disappears from the story for a while.  Superman unleashes a creature from his Interplanetary Zoo to fight Amazo,and provide some interesting visuals.

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Superman takes advantage of the diversion to get to the Supermobile, a weaponized vehicle designed to duplicate his powers.

Oh, also, Ivo and Superman have figured out that a wave a red sun energy passed the satellite, stealing Superman’s powers, but waking Amazo.  Neither of them were aware of it when it happened.

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The Justice League, watching this from their satellite, also recap this information, and Batman explains that the vehicle is made of Supermanium, a substance almost as strong as the hero.

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The fight in the Supermobile is fun.  Yes, this is clearly a toy tie-in, but it works well in the story.

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The Supermobile proves enough of a problem for Amazo that he threatens to kill Superman’s friend, who all just happen to be neatly lined up, watching the fight.

Action 455 – Superman, Green Arrow and the Atom battle junk

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Action 455 (Jan. 76) has never been an issue I cared for.  Maggin, Swan and Blaisdel seem to be begging for laughs, with a central character based loosely on Mel Brooks.

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Morty Rivers is a film producer, and one of Oliver Queen’s client’s.  While watching a game show (meant to be Let’s Make a Deal, by the reference to costumes) he gets the idea to build the main character for his next film,and contacts Oliver to promote it.

Superman leaves the Atom in Kandor, where he is helping them work a new viewer.  Oliver contacts him, and gets him to interview Rivers as Clark Kent.  A chain reaction of accidents result in Kryptonian energy passing through the viewer, trashing Rivers’ creation, but also bringing it to life.

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The Junkman rebuilds himself, and heads towards any Kryptonian source of energy – like Superman, or, later Kandor.

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Green Arrow helps Superman as they follow the robot to the Fortress of Solitude.

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The Atom gets very little to do in the story, spending all but the very end in Kandor.  It’s doubly unfortunate, as his back-up series has also ended.

 

Action 437 – Superman and Green Arrow face the return of Effron the Sorceror

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Action 437 (July 1974) is a 100 page giant, consisting mostly of reprints.  The cover image is interesting, you can tell what they were going for, but it doesn’t quite work.

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Superman and Green Arrow team-up, to a degree, in the lead story, by Maggin, Swan and Schaffenberger, which re-unites the duo against Effron the Sorceror, who they faced together a couple of years earlier in World’s Finest Comics.

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Oliver Queen receives a message from Valhalla, a lost land of vikings, recently introduced in the pages of Superman, asking for help.  He heads to see Clark Kent, to pass the message on.  Being Oliver Queen, he takes the time out to flirt with Lois Lane first.

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Superman and Green Arrow head to the site of Valhalla, but only find Effron, who brags how he has stolen the city, and will destroy it and its inhabitants, unless Superman agrees to become his slave.

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Superman agrees, though he will not kill, and “imprisons” Green Arrow in the Fortress of Solitude, after leaving him a secret message.  At Effron’s command, Superman seeks out and defeats both the Flash and Green Lantern.

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Green Arrow shows up with Valhalla, to Effron’s amazement.  It’s not really Valhalla, just Kandor, rebuilt to look like it, but Effron takes the bait and reveals the city’s true location.  Superman then takes down Effron, and retrieves the viking city.

 

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