Posts tagged ‘Lesla-Lar’

Action 297 – Perry White hunts out Superman’s identity, and Lesla-Lar returns

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Leo Dorfman does double duty, scripting both stories in Action 297 (Feb. 63).

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Perry White goes undercover to seek out a jewel thief hiding out among hoboes, with art by Swan and Klein.  He gets recognized, beaten up, and winds up losing his memory.

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And though Perry has no idea who he is, he falls into the hands of a mob boss who does.  He gives Perry a phony identity, and sets him to discover who Superman is.  Perry is quite good at this, quickly getting it down to four suspects, one of whom is Clark.

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Perry even lures and exposes Clark, but only because Superman is not in any way suspicious of Perry.  Superman very cleverly restores Perry’s memory, making a statue of Julius Caesar float and speak.  Yelling “Great Caesar’s Ghost” brings back White’s mind.

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Mooney does the art on the Supergirl story, as Lena Thorul’s deceptions continue.

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Lena is revealed as being controlled by, and later replaced by, Lesla-Lar.

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Lesla passes herself off as Lena even to Supergirl, and also pretends that she has gained super-powers.  Supergirl is not suspicious, but then, she has never even been aware of Lesla’s existence.

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Lesla gets herself a sexy costume, and opens the Phantom Zone, freeing a number of villains to act as her minions, but prevents Mon-El from leaving.  Jax-Ur and General Zod are joined by a newcomer, Kru-El.  They retrieve a box of forbidden Kryptonian weapons (previously seen in the Superboy series).

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But Lesla wasted her money on that outfit, as the villains vaporize her.  She is so dead that her character does not return until the late 70s.

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Supergirl learns of this, and of Lena being trapped in Kandor, from Lori Lemaris, who had been watching the events from the ocean, along with Jerro.  Supergirl winds up having to turn to Lex Luthor for help against the rampaging villains.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 296 – Super-Ant, and Dick Malverne dates Lena Thorul

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You just know form the cover of Action 296 (Jan. 63), that the Plastino story is going to be goofy, but it turns out to be a much better than than expected.

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Giant red ants come to Metropolis, going on raids.  But as the reached the city, they rescued a couple of climbers, showing that they are not mindless monsters.

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The ants are immune to all attacks, and Superman cannot communicate with them.  So he enters a red kryptonite cloud that had once given Krypto an ant head, knowing it will do the same to him.  Now he is able to talk with the ants.

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They inform him of their world, destroyed in nuclear war. They evolved, the only survivors, and travel the universe.  Their ship crashed on Earth, and they were gathering parts for repairs.

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Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney bring back Lena Thorul in this story.

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Linda attends a costume dance, along with Dick Malverne and Lena.  Linda is dressed a Pocohontas, while Dick and Lena are dressed as Superman and Supergirl.

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Thieves attack the party, and Supergirl uses her powers secretly, to defeat them.  Because Lena is dressed as Supergirl, the police believe she is really is the heroine, and so does Dick.

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Lena, of course, denies that she is Supergirl, but that just goads Dick on to trying to prove that she is.

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Linda gets all weepy and jealous.  As if she didn’t also have Jerro and Brainiac 5 in line.

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Luthor gives Supergirl some diamonds to give to Lena.  She drops one in a coal bucket, and Dick pounces on that as more proof of her powers.

Then, surprisingly, Lena admits that she really is Supergirl.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 282 – adventures of a Superman robot, and Supergirl heads to the future

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Bill Finger and Al Plastino split the cover story for Action 282 (Nov. 61) between Superman and one of his robots.

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Superman is too busy to be Clark Kent, so he has one of robots fill in for him, working alongside Lois.  The robots metallic hands get exposed early on, and he has to resort to a variety of methods to conceal them.

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This completely steals the show.  Superman’s feats are big and showy, but it’s the robot for whom the stakes are high.

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Superman does come to the aid of his creation, fashioning new skin for his hands split seconds before the Clark Kent robot must shake hands.

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Supergirl makes another effort to restore her powers in this Siegel and Mooney tale.

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Since heading into the past did not work, Superman sends his cousin to the distant future.  You have to kind of wonder why he didn’t send her to the time of the Legion of Super-Heroes, so she would have people to hang out with.  Lesla-Lar is displeased, as her monitors cannot broadcast from the future.

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Supergirl winds up in a totalitarian era, with a tyrant who denies people the freedom to read and be educated, and helps overthrow his regime.

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But her trip to the future has no more success than the one to the past.  Back in the present, Linda runs into Dick Wilson, now adopted, and with the last name Malverne.  They go swimming, and Linda reflects that, even is she had her powers, she would let him win, because men “enjoy” feeling superior to women.

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And though Supergirl still has no idea she exists, Lesla-Lar gets arrested for illegal experiments, while Luthor wait and wonders what has happened to Supergirl.

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The story ends as Supergirl’s powers miraculously return, as well as an invulnerability to kryptonite.  This weird change of events is due to Mr. Mxyzptlk’s magic.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 281 – the doctor who went to Krypton, and Krypto shows his intelligence

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The cover story of Action 281 (Oct. 61) is an odd, and unbalanced tale by Bernstein and Plastino.

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The story begins on Paul Pratt, a thief who has a device that allows him to travel huge distances instantaneously, which he uses to create unshakable alibis for his thefts.

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He even brags to Superman about what he is doing!  Clearly, this guy will be the centre of the tale.

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Nope. Instead, it swings over to introduce an Earth doctor, who was working on a method of cross-planet communication.  He reached Jor-El, and together they devised a way to teleport him to Krypton.  Jor-El hoped to work with him to evacuate more Kryptonians to Earth. Where they would presumably rule like gods.

While he was there, baby Kal-El fell and injured his ankle, which the doctor treated.

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Then, back in the present, the man explains that he suspects Pratt is using a variation of his teleportation machine.  Superman then rounds up Pratt.  He likely could have done this anyway, without the doctor and his backstory.  The doctor never appears again.

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Lesla-Lar’s evil schemes suffer a set-back in this Siegel and Mooney tale.

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While Superman is still clueless about Lesla-Lar impersonating his cousin, Krypto figures it out the first time he encounters her – by her different scent.  Good dog!  Krypto sees that the real Supergirl is in Kandor, where she has been enlisted to play herself in a movie.

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Krypto even manages to work a ray that switches the two women back to their proper place.  Who’s a good boy?

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Superman then takes Supergirl, who once again has no powers, to the past. Her powers do return in a time period before she lost them.  For science reasons, I expect.  Anyway, Superman leaves her for a while in Salem, where he helpful actions get interpreted as witchcraft.

Superman brings her back to the present, hoping that the recharge would stick. But once again, Supergirl is left powerless.

The story continues in the next issue.

 

 

Action 280 – Brainiac’s revenge, and Lesla-Lar’s master plan

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Brainiac is back, and this time, he knows what he is doing, in a story by Siegel, Swan, and Kaye, in Action 280 (Sept. 61).

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The story opens in the distant past, where Superman left him, in suspended animation, after his red/green kryptonite attack.  Cavemen eventually waken him, and he heads back to the present.

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Perry White has sent Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen to Africa, to write a story on the uprisings taking place.  But they wind up in the jungle, watching some gorillas.

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Brainiac finds them, and shrinks them all down, sealing them in a bottle.  A large gorilla tries to intervene, but winds up bottled as well.

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The gorilla is able to escape from the bottle, which none of the humans can do, and even throws down a line, leading them all to safety.

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Superman has figured out who the gorilla is.  Did you?  It’s Congorilla!  Congo Bill fills in the gaps, how he spotted Brainiac and trailed him.

This is the first appearance of Congo Bill and Congorilla since the series in Adventure Comics ended a few months earlier.  They next appear, a few years down the road, in the pages of Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen.

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Lesla-Lar continues with her evil plans in this Siegel and Mooney tale.

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While Linda lives blissfully in Kandor, Lesla-Lar visits Lex Luthor again, convincing him to build a kryptonite gun with which to kill Superman.

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She successfully cons Superman, both that she is really his cousin, but also that him crushing a rock restores her powers.

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Superman agrees that, with her powers back, he will introduce her to the world.  We discover Lesla’s plan.  After Superman introduces her, Lex Luthor will kill him, and then she will kill Lex while capturing him.  Then all the glory and adulation will be hers.

The story continues in the next issue.

 

 

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 278 – Perry White gains super-powers, and Supergirl loses them

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Perry White gets the starring role in Action 278 (July 1961), in a story by Coleman, Swan and Kaye.

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Perry sees an unusual plant outside his house.  Having less common sense than one might expect, he picks a fruit from the plant and eats it, and promptly gains super-powers.

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He adopts the identity of Masterman, but wonders if kryptonite will have any effect on him.  Jimmy Olsen happens to be photographing the four known forms of kryptonite at this time, for a story Lois Lane is doing for the Daily Planet colour supplement.

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Perry does fight crime as Masterman, but has more fun toying with the Planet staff.  Still, the scene as he and Clark both find reasons to get away and change costumes is fun.

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We then discover that Perry White is actually possessed by some alien plant life.  See what happens when you eat random plants?

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Superman and Perry White battle it out, Superman wearing the kryptonite-proof armor he devised against Luthor.  But it’s Supergirl who saves the day, killing the plant possessing Perry by using white kryptonite, which only kills plant life.

There are very few white kryptonite stories, which makes it easy to label this one the best.

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A good day turns very bad for Supergirl in this story by Siegel and Mooney.

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Superman announces to Supergirl that, once he and Krypto return from an outer space mission, he will reveal her identity to the world.  Superman has even made a tape showing her how this will play out – which is enough to tell you that it absolutely will not.

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A cloud of kryptonite dust encircles the Earth, and Supergirl takes refuse underwater, with Lori Lemaris and Jerro.

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After she saves a ship, people assume that it is Superman hiding under the water, and she performs a series of impressive feats, requested of Superman, all without leaving the ocean.

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But as the story reaches its end, and Superman returns, Supergirl discovers that her powers have suddenly and inexplicably vanished.  Superman has no idea what to do to bring them back, so he just sends her back to the orphanage.

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Linda is left, confused, but still wearing her wig to bed.

 

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