Posts tagged ‘Lola Barnett’

Action 459 – Superman vs Blackrock, and the Private Life of Clark Kent

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Maggin, Swan and Oskner conclude the Blackrock introduction storyline in Action 459 (May 1976).

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Superman has come to terms with Blackrock operating in Metropolis, even though Morgan Edge continues to be furious, particularly at how Blackrock always gives his interviews to Lola Barnett at UBC.  Clark points out some of the reasons for Lola changing networks.

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Superman loses his patience with Blackrock during a robbery by teleporting thieves.  The radio waves Blackrock uses short out the tech, preventing Superman from following them.  Blackrock does not take well to being criticized, and the two start to fight.

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Superman follows Blackrock back to UBC, but loses track of him.  He goes to confront Tanner, certain that the man must know something about the hero, but is stunned to discover that Tanner himself is Blackrock.  And Tanner does not even know it.  Silverstone felt that only Tanner himself could live up to what he wanted Blackrock to be, and turned him into the hero.

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But with Blackrock now out of control, Silverstone works with Superman to turn him off.

Tanner is left with no memory of being Blackrock.  But Blackrock does return in a couple of years, in the pages of Superman.

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The Private Life of Clark Kent begins as a rotating feature in Action. These stories, which deal with the non-Superman side of his life, began as a back-up in Superman.  Here, this story begins a series that deals not only with Clark Kent, but with the personal lives of many of the supporting cast.

In this story, by Bridwell, Swan and Oskner, Morgan Edge demands that Clark find out what has happened to a prominent boxer.  Steve Lombard has washed out on finding any information.

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Clark pretty much stumbles across this one, winding up in a taxi that was meant to be part of a ransom pay-off.  He follows the money, and frees the champ, meant to resemble Muhammed Ali, and winds up with a personal on-camera interview, while a pained Lombard looks on.

Action 458 – Blackrock debuts, and Green Arrow and Black Canary end

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A rival network, and all that entails, are introduced by Maggin, Swan and Blaisdel in Action 458 (April 1976).

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UBC has been causing a lot of problems for Morgan Edge.  We discover that they have lured a number of anchors away from WGBS, including Lola Barnett.  But the one thing WGBS has that UBC doesn’t is a super-hero.  The head of the network, Tanner, orders the company scientist, Peter Silverstone, to create one.  We see Silverstone fashion the gear and the costume, and decide on who the person inside must be.

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But neither the reader nor Superman has any idea who is beneath the mask as this new hero appears, during a robbery by a vacuum truck.  Superman mistakes the man for a criminal, and they wind up in a brief fight.  This new hero can travel through the airwaves, and channel them through a miniature tv aerial he carries.

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The story uses parallel structure well, as in the second robbery by the vacuum truck.  Superman follows the radio control waves to the truck’s operator, while the new hero deals with the truck directly. Both believe they are responsible for the victory.

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The new hero than manifests in Lola Barnett’s office at UBC, and she christens him Blackrock.  About time. Was getting tedious avoiding using his name.

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The issue concludes with some more pleasing parallel structure, as Edge and Tanner both freak out, wanting to know more about Blackrock.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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Black Canary really loses it in the final back-up story that she shares with Green Arrow, by Maggin and Grell.

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Luthor attempts to hypnotize Canary into killing Green Arrow, but it backfires, and she gets hypnotized into killing Luthor, and really tries.  He barely escapes with his life.

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When Green Arrow finally arrives, he is far more concerned with calming Dinah down, and bringing her back to herself.  Luthor gets away, and a note informs us that he can be found next in the Joker’s book, where they work together.  For part of it.

As for Green Arrow and Black Canary, they head back into Green Lantern’s series, as that gets revived.

And the Nutty Kid actually does sort of resemble Jerry Lewis in the final panel.

 

Action 446 – how does Clark Kent summon Superman?, and Canary vs Cherry

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Bates, Swan and Oskner craft a fun tale in Action 446 (April 1975).

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A hostile foreign power is convinced that Clark Kent has a method of contacting Superman.  To find it, they leave him, along with Lois Lane, in a falling helicopter.  Clark saves them, but the incident piques Lois’ curiosity as well.  Just how does Clark summon Superman?

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Lois borrows some heavy duty binoculars from Lola Barret to spy on Clark, unaware that the foreign power has bugged her office, to learn what she learns.

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Superman is on to the whole thing, of course, and rigs the binoculars to back up his secret identity.

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And in an entertaining twist, Lois believes that she actually figures it out, that is has to do with Clark’s hair curl, completely misunderstanding that this is part of his “disguise.”

The ending also sets up a plot line about their being a foreign agent working for Galaxy Communications, but I do not believe this gets followed up on.  If it does, I’ve completely forgotten, and it will be a pleasant surprise.

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Black Canary finally gets into the action in this final part of the Maggin and Grell Green Arrow story.  She uses her canary cry to take down Cherry and her gang, and then gets down and dirty into the fighting.

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Green Arrow helps, and brings the police, but it’s Canary who fights Cherry, sending both into the water.  That doesn’t stop Canary from fighting though.

Action 438 – Lois Lane – monster, and the Atom and the shrinking scientist

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Lois Lane has a really bad day in Action 438 (Aug. 74), thanks to Bates, Swan and Bob Oskner.

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Clark Kent gives Lois Lane a necklace as a birthday present.  She happens to have a cold, and the necklace he gives her is an alien gemstone.  The combination of the two turns Lois into a rampaging beast woman.

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This story also marks the first appearance of Lola Barnett in Action Comics.  Recently introduced in the pages of Superman, Lola is an entertainment reporter for WGBS, and her name derived from an actual tv reporter from the time, Rona Barret.  She suspects that the monster people are hunting is really Lois Lane.  Clark tries to cover for Lois, but Lola roots out the story and broadcasts it.

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Superman pretends that he, too, has become a monster, believing that this will draw Lois out, which is does.  A simple ray beam is all that it takes to re tore her, and Lois is left with no memory of the event.

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The Atom faces a new enemy in this story, by Marty Pasko, Dick Dillin and Tex Blaisdel.

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Professor Myles Adrian has kidnapped Jean Loring to draw out the Atom.  A short scientist, he had been working off of Ray Palmer’s notes on his size ray, in hopes of making himself bigger.  But his experiment went very wrong, and now he finds himself shrinking, with no end in sight.  He wants the Atom to share his growth tech with him, unaware that the Atom is actually Ray Palmer.

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The Atom defeats the man pretty easily, but as the story closes we see that Adrian is not upset by this at all, and is proceeding with the next part of his scheme, which is detailed in the following issue.

 

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