Posts tagged ‘Lois Lane’

Action 574 – Superman competes for the glory, and Mr. Mxyzptlk has a son

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Action 574 (Dec. 85) has a great cover, although the art on Boldman’s story itself, by Schaffenberger and Hunt, is not as evocative.

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Superman receives a challenge from the champion of Ostok, a planet that used to hold regular athletic competitions with Krypton.

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It’s all really friendly, and Lana Lang broadcasts the meeting of the two planetary champions, and is later allowed to go along and cover the games themselves.  The hero looks identical to the one who was involved in the last, undecided, games, but claims to be someone else entirely.  He is the same.  It’s so obvious.

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Anyway, the games go on, and each one is very close.  Jenet Klyburn, who is with Jimmy Olsen, running tests throughout, determines that the champion from Ostok is giving off an odd radiation, but it doesn’t seem to be a threat or attack.

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Superman loses the games, and the champion returns home, and dies.  He had made himself young again in order to finish the competition from so long ago.  Klyburn realizes the radiation affected the timing monitors, and that Superman really won.

The best panel in this is the last, in which he expresses sorrow that he won, as it was just another victory, not as special a one as it was for the man from Ostok.

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Mr. Mxyzptlk returns in a story by Robert Greenberger and Barbara Kesel, with art by Bender and Hunt.

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Mr. Mxyzptlk has had a baby boy, and comes to Earth to celebrate.

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He throws a party at the Daily Planet, with cigars for everyone.  I love the personalized bibs for Perry, Jimmy and Lois.  Lana and Clark get flowers, perhaps to reflect their relationship.  Mxyzptlk is enjoying the day so much he wants it to last forever, until Clark makes him realize that he will never enjoy his son growing up if he does that.  Mxyzptlk agrees, and goes home without being tricked.

 

Action 567 – Yellow Peri’s housing development

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The Yellow Peri makes her final pre-Crisis appearance in Action 567 (May 1985), in a story by Rozakis, Schaffenberger and Hunt..

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With her husband Alvin, Loretta, the Yellow Peri, has opened a housing development protected from the vagaries of the climate by her magic, and Lois and Clark come out to investigate.

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Peri uses her magic to create rapidly harvestable food, but as they eat it, they discover that it makes people speak the truth.  It begins as Clark reveals that he is Superman.  Revelations spiral, until Loretta hears Alvin admit that he never loved her, and married her on a dare.  When Superman and Lois wind up preparing to wed, Peri gets jealous, and things go crazy.

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The story is clearly written for comedy.  And I do enjoy the bit when Superman tries to get rid of the book, but can’t.  Loretta no longer wants it, but Superman finds it cannot be destroyed.  He seals it in lead, which causes all its effects to vanish, for some reason.

The end of the story teases the return of the book, and therefore, the Yellow Peri, but Crisis wiped all that out.

She does appear again, though not for a very long time, making her next appearance in the miniseries 52.

Action 566 – the last Captain Strong story

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Captain Strong, the version of Popeye introduced in this book in the early 70s, makes one final appearance, in Action 566 (April 1985), by Craig Boldman, Ron Randall and Karl Kesel.

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Lois Lane and Clark Kent join Captain Strong and his love, Olivia as they sail out to find the Fountain of Youth – not that Lois and Clark knew that was the plan.

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There is an evil old woman, cloaked in purple, who is the villain of the story.  I don’t know if she is based on a Popeye character, but his long-lost Pappy certainly is, and a similar character appears in this tale.

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And just to get the cover image in, the old witch conjures up a Superman apparition, which Captain Strong defeats after eating sauncha.

Not a great story, but it’s nice to see the character one last time.

 

Action 549 – Superman joins forces with Zod and Faora

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Superman and the Phantom Zone villain team-up against the deadly Vrangs in Action 549 (Nov. 83).

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Bates, Saviuk, Colletta and Marcos do not start this issue off like a team-up, though.  Faora begins by kidnapping Lois Lane.

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Curiously, that was done not only to attract Superman’s attention, but to convince him that Zod and Faora mean him no harm.  They inform Superman about the Vrangs finding Argo City, and coming for Earth.  In the extremely distant past, as related in a “World of Krypton” tale from the 70s, the Vrangs had been the alien overlords of Krypton, until overthrown by Val-Lor.  The Vrangs have come seeking vengeance.

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The piece of jewel kryptonite, able to focus and empower the thoughts of the Phantom Zone villains, turns out to be the perfect bomb.

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While Superman is still on the Vrang ship, Zod and Faora set off the kryptonite,even though its destruction will force them back into the Zone.  This way, they can get rid of the Vrangs and Superman at once.   Except Superman sees what they are up to, and gets off the ship on time.

So the villains not only save the day, but re-imprrison themselves.

 

Action 546 – Superman, the Justice League and the New Teen Titans vs Brainiac

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Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane pull out the stops for Action 546 (Aug. 83), the conclusion of the new Brainiac saga.

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Superman gathers the Justice League and , unusually, the New Teen Titans.  They were the hottest selling property DC had at the time, and Wolfman wrote their comic.  But it’s still not like Superman called on the Teen Titans from time to time.

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Anyway, both teams see a lot of action in this story.  The Atom Firestorm, Flash, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Red Tornado, Wonder Woman and Zatanna work with Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Changeling, Cyborg, Raven, Starfire and Terra against the invading alien armies under Brainiac’s domination.

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Lois Lane gets one scene in the story, back on the farm of her rarely appearing parents, Sam and Ella Lane.  Superman talked her out of staying on assignment in the Middle East, and she is furious to see that Lana Lang is doing the interview she worked so long at.

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While the others deal with the armies, Superman confronts Brainiac himself.  He manages to draw out solar flares, which disrupt Brainiac’s headship, and render him vulnerable.  He retreats, to fight another day.  And once Brainiac leaves, his armies, no longer mind controlled, back down.

Yup, Brainiac is definitely more of a threat than he was before.

 

Action 543 – Neutron returns

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Neutron is back in the Wolfman, Swan and Hunt story from Action 543 (May 1983).

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Though Superman argues against it, Neutron is released on parole, after his lawyers portray him as a victim of misfortune and Lex Luthor.  Superman does not trust him at all, and the two get into a fight the day after he gets out.  Superman carts the guy back to prison.

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Lois Lane is now on an extended assignment in the Middle East, but Superman comes to talk with her, and brings her to the North Pole to cool down a bit.  They discuss why Superman contents himself with crime, and leaves the wars and larger issues to deal with themselves.  Lois does not buy Superman’s justifications, but things are pretty cool between them right now, not just because of the icebergs.

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Returning to Metropolis, Superman sees Neutron out on the street, and goes after him again. But as he overhears Lana’s broadcast of the events, he realizes something is wrong.  Neutron was not doing anything illegal, even when he ran into Superman before.  He has been hired by the Abraxas Corporation, which has once again made Superman look foolish and irresponsible.

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Superman is furious, and goes to accuse Vandal Savage, who admits to his plan, and just laughs in Superman’s enraged face.

 

 

Action 542- Savage Superman robots

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Vandal Savage returns, as do Curt Swan and Dave Hunt for Marv Wolfman’s story in Action 542 (April 1983).

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Lois is growing jealous of Lana Lang and Clark Kent’s new relationship, and demands a commitment from Superman, one that he is not willing to give.  He uses his usual reasons, which does not impress Lois in the slightest. She calls for a time out between them, which he agrees to, but is not happy about.

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Vandal Savage has come back to Metropolis, and is running the Abraxas Corporation.  He has created a small army of Superman robots, which function much as the real thing does.

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This is a great page of art, and deserves to be included.  Superman responds to this disaster, as do the robots. He can tell they are not his own, and is not sure what to make of them, but they act in a helpful manner, so he leaves them be.

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Vandal Savage had planned for people to assume the robots belonged to Superman, so they would accept them.  Then he announces that in fact they are from the Abraxas Corporation, instantly building his own good will.

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Superman interrupts a press conference that Savage holds, destroying the robots, and making all manner of accusations against him. But Vandal Savage is only known on Earth-2, and there is no proof of anything wrong.  He had a permit for the conference, and Inspector Henderson informs Superman that, if Savage wanted to, he could sue Superman for destroying the robots.

Superman is left looking like a hot-headed fool in front of the crowd.

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