Posts tagged ‘Lori Lemaris’

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.

Action 475 – Vartox returns, and Lori Lemaris gets caught

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Bates, Schaffenberger and Chiaramonte bring back Vartox, the hero of a far-off world, in Action 475 (Sept. 77).  Vartox had debuted in the pages of Superman a couple of years earlier, this marks his second appearance.

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Vartox is operating as the hero of his world, but he finds his powers weakening.  He considers asking advice from Superman, and scans Earth, but finds something even more interesting.

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Vartox learns of Karb-Brak and his ailment, and speculates that his allergic reaction could recharge Vartox’s failing powers. He heads to Earth, but keeps out of sight.  Karb-Brak mistakenly assumes that it is Superman who caused his flare up.

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Karb-Brak even attacks a second time, while Clark is giving a live broadcast.  Vartox is hovering just outside the building, and caused this allergic reaction on purpose.  Not very nice for a hero.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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Lori Lemaris gets, I believe, the only solo story she ever got, by Elizabeth Smith, Win Mortimer and Frank Chiaramonte, in this issue.  It comes quite out of the blue.  The last time Lori Lemaris appeared was in the Virus X storyline, almost ten years earlier.

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Lori gets caught by a Russian trawler, illegally fishing.  She uses her telepathic powers to turn the crew against each other.  We find out that only Aquaman’s city of Poseidonis is recognized by the United Nations.  The mermaid city of Tritonis has no legal standing.

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Lori also summons a number of sea creatures to help her escape by capsizing the boat, including Aquaman’s “pet” octopus, Topo.

It’s a good outing for a character that has never had a solo story before.  And Lori did not have to wait nearly so long for a return, appearing the following month in the Superman Super-Spectacular.

Action 365 – along the flight to cremation

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Action 365 (July 1968) contains the penultimate chapter of Dorfman, Andru and Esposito’s Virus X saga.

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Sadly, there is little that actually happens in this issue.  It begins by recapping the story so far, and then turns into a reviewof Superman’s life, as it all passes through his mind as he travels through space.  We get Jor-El and Lara sending him off from Krypton, and teh Kents finding and raising him.  Lana Lang is introduced, and the origin of LexLuthor retold.

As Superman’s body passes Lexor, the people rise in revolt against Lex for killing Superman.  Ardora tries to get the mob to calm down, but I expect she had some rough days ahead of her.  In fact, we do not see Ardora again until the 80s, although Lexor appears in World’s Finest tale in the mid-70s.

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Superman recalls his time with the Legion of Super-Heroes, and later Batman and Robin, and the Justice League.  Lori Lemaris, and then his time at the Daily Planet, with Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, and Lois Lane.

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Brainiac, Kandor and Supergirl get a page devoted to their tale.

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He passes Bizarro World, and they shower him with all the forms of kryptonite.  Just before he plunges into the heart of a star, Supergirl flies out Lois, Lana and Lori, to watch and mourn.

 

Action 319 – Superman finds that innocence is irrelevant, and Supergirl gets expelled

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Hamilton, Swan and Klein conclude the Death of Luthor storyline in Action 319 (Dec. 64).

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Much of this issue is a Kafkaesque trial for Superman, as nothing he says or does has any effect on the Lexorians, who are simply going through the motions before executing him.  Their preferred method turns a person into stone.

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During the trial, Superman learns that no autopsy was performed on Luthor, at his own request.  This makes Superman suspicious enough to bust out of his cell to investigate further.

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The pills make Luthor’s plan clear.  He will be in his death-like coma for the duration of the trial, and wake up after Superman has been executed for killing him.

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Superman gets Lex out of his trance, and even reveals the pills he used, but to no avial.  Oh, the charges against him are dropped, but everyone still believes in Lex.  Superman is forced to return to Earth, while Luthor stays on Lexor with Ardora.

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Donna Storm, the villain from the previous issue, returns to plague Linda Danvers, and Supergirl, in this Dorfman and Mooney story.

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Donna feels she needs to be the best at everything, but has no prblem cheating to achieve this. She gets scientists at her father’s lab to do her chemistry work, and has a mini tape recorder in her earrings, feeding her for presentations.

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Supergirl decides to outdo her, because that is the maturest way to handle the situation.  When Donna spends a lot of money on pictures for a presentation in biology, Supergirl takes the rest of the class to Atlantis for a lesson by Lori Lemaris.

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Donna is even more upset with Linda, and her friendship with Supergirl, after this.  She steals some jewels, and plants them in Linda’s room.  They are found, and Linda gets expelled.

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But Donna Storm makes her big mistake, when Linda comes to confront her.  She admits everything, bragging to Linda about it, but her words get broadcast to the entire campus.

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Supergirl had called on the Legion of Super-Heroes for help, and Shrinking Violet had re-wired her tape recorder earrings to become a broadcast device.

Linda’s expulsion is rescinded, and Donna Storm gets the boot instead.  She never appears again.

Considering the self-esteem issues that Donna clearly has, after the public humiliation of her activities being exposed, and the, likely, forthcoming criminal charges, I expect she just killed herself.

 

Action 313 – Superman betrayed by his allies, and Lena Thorul learns the truth

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Al Plastino does the art on Action 313 (June 1964), as Superman’s nightmares come true.

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The story begins as Supergirl casually reveals Superman’s identity to Perry White, as per the cover image.  Superman is upset and mystified, even moreso when Batman then reveals that he is Clark Kent in front of Lois Lane.

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Later, Lori Lemaris exposes Clark in front of Jimmy Olsen.  It’s a really bad day!

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Superman gathers his friends, and talks them into voluntarily undergoing a mind-wipe of his secrets.  They participate, but it has no effect on them.  In fact, it seems to make things worse, as they begin blackmailing him.

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But this is all a huge scam by the Superman Revenge Squad, using a battery of androids.  Lois, Jimmy, Perry, Batman, Supergirl and Lori had all been captured before the events in the story began, replaced by androids. Superman became suspicious when tear gas did not affect them.  He finds his real friends, captive in a cave, and releases them, messing up another overly elaborate and somewhat aimless plot by the Revenge Squad.

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Dorfman and Mooney put Lena Thorul through a lot in this tale.  It opens as the FBI order her to write a criminology paper, as part of her application.  Lex Luthor is one of those she must question.

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Luthor has taken up raising flowers, and does his best to make a good impression on Lena, but her psychic powers reveal to her that they are siblings.

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Lena is so shocked she flies to Africa and loses her memory, living as a jungle princess for a while.

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She returns to the US, and takes on a job as a circus performer, but remains miserable.  Supergirl works with Luthor, as he gives her a bouquet of flowers, whose scent induces amnesia.  Lena loses her memory of being  Luthor’s sister, and writes a nasty report on him, insisting his flower hobby be stopped.  Oh, the irony.

 

 

 

Action 312 – Clark Kent becomes Metallo

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Bernstein, Swan and Klein conclude Superman’s reign as King of Earth in Action 312 (May 1964).

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Clark attempts to infiltrate Superman’s palace, disguising himself as the former hero.  It’s not a bad idea, and the costume’s bulletproof nature saves him from being killed when he is challenged by two suspicious policemen.  He does get critically injured though, and almost dies.

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Clark is saved by Lori Lemaris, after a fortunate fall into the water.  She brings him to Atlantis,and informs him that he needs surgery.  Clark thinks about John Corben, and the operation that turned him into Metallo, which gets recapped for a couple of pages.  Immune to kryptonite as Clark, he asks Lori to have the Atlantean doctors turn him into a Metallo.

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Clark manages to approach Superman, and reveals the kryptonite in his chest.  As he lays dying, Superman explains that he was not really evil.  He had spotted a belligerent alien race approaching Earth, and took on the king stuff in order to scare them off.

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Then, in a particularly lame ending, the effect of the red kryptonite wears off, and the two become one again.  The Metallo body parts fall away.  Superman convinces everyone that he wasn’t really evil, and everyone believes him.

Good story.  Bad ending.

Action 310 – Jewel kryptonite, and the search for Supergirl’s parents

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Dorfman, Swan and Klein introduce jewel kryptonite, the rarest form, in Action 310 (March 1964).

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Parole hearings for Phantom Zone prisoners are being held in Kandor, and Superman attends.  Jax-Ur, who is serving a life sentence without parole, asks to be freed, in order to help cure a plague that has struck down Lori Lemaris, and other less important residents of Atlantis.

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Superman agrees, and he and Jax-Ur head to Krypton, to the Jewel Mountains.  Jax-Ur relates a legend of their creation, from the skeletal remains of jewel birds.  He does work on the serum for the plague, but also puts Superman to sleep, and fashions a marge wedge of jewel, having calculated (somehow) that it will travel directly to Earth.

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Jax-Ur is returned to the Phantom Zone, but now he, and the others in the Zone, are able to funnel their telepathic power into the real world, through the jewel kryptonite.  They make Superman think he was “exposed” to it, and that it had the result of causing combustible materials to explode when he passed near.

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Superman does not fall for this, as it did not happen consistently.

Jewel kryptonite is then written off as having “no effect.”  Literally,  that was how it was described in the Superman pages in which i first read about it.  The use it had for Phantom Zone residents was completely ignored until the 80s.

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Dorfman and Mooney bring a quick resolution to the search for Supergirl’s parents in this issue.

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Supergirl spends a few pages fretting, talking to Fred and Edna Danvers about her new parents, as she seeks to free them.  But which set will be her “real” parents now?

Fred Danvers actually is the one to find the right frequency, which releases Zor-El and Alura.

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Supergirl shows them around some of the sights of Earth, and prepares to move out, and into a new home with Zor-El and Alura.  The Danvers act as if all is well, but are quietly saddened to lose Linda.

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But Zor-El and Alura find the perfect solution.  Not feeling comfortable on Earth, they take up residence in Kandor.  Supergirl stays with the Danvers, but can visit her parents whenever she wants.

 

 

Action 309 – the Superman family, and the secret of Supergirl’s parents

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Edmond Hamilton gave Curt Swan and George Klein an awful lot of work in Action 309 (Feb. 64).

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I’m including the splash page of this story to give you some idea of the amount of guest stars who appear.  But this is not just trivial packing, it’s also part of the suspense of the story.

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JFK, looking awfully shadowy, tricks Superman into going to a location, which is where a “this is your life!” special about him is being broadcast.  It’s not that much of a surprise for Superman, Clark Kent received an invitation.

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But who will Superman get to be Clark?  Lois and Lana have a robot detector, as they are using the special to try to prove Clark is Superman.  Lori Lemaris reads their minds, and alerts Superman to the danger.  Lex Luthor makes a cameo, watching the show from prison, but he is the only villain really featured in the tale.

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The Super-Pets put on an impressive show under Supergirl’s command.

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Superboy’s friend Pete Ross makes his first appearance as an adult, and we see a very aged Police Chief Parker from Smallville as well.  All the usual friends are there, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White, as well as representatives from Kandor.  Among them are the “Lookalike Squad”, the ones who are identical to people in Superman’s life.  This includes the Clark Kent lookalike, Van-Zee, and his Lois Lane lookalike wife, Sylvia. Even the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club show up, one of whom is dumb enough to bring a chunk of gold kryptonite as a gift.

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But then the Legion of Super-Heroes show up, and Element Lad changes the rock and saves the day.  Chameleon Boy is part of the group, eliminating him as the phony Clark Kent.

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Batman unmasks in front of Lois, but is wearing a Bizarro face.  A nice laugh on snoopy Lois, and a way to work the Bizarro image into the story.

So who is left that could possibly have been Clark Kent?

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Why, JFK of course.

Very disturbingly, this issue was released only a couple of weeks after the assassination of JFK.

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Dorfman and Mooney add yet another twist to the never-dull life of Supergirl.

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Linda is being haunted by dreams of her dead parents, Zor-El and Alura, and can’t even enjoy her dates with Dick Malverne.   She wonders if her parents might be trapped in the Phantom Zone, because of their ghostly nature.  She checks with Comet, who can telepathically sense them somewhere.

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Supergirl can find no trace of them, but does find a remorseful Kryptonian, Jer-Em.  He is willing to tell her of them, but Jax-Ur, Zod, Kru-El and Professor Vakox muddle his telepathy.

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In Kandor, Supergirl uses a chronoscope to review the events of Argo City, her departure for Earth and the death of her parents.  She learns that Jer-Em altered the direction of Argo City’s flight, to take them away from an empowering yellow sun, believing it was evil.  But the change in course lead to the meteor shower that ruined the city.

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She also discovers that her parents did survive, heading into a place like the Phantom Zone, but without all the yucky criminals, called the Survival Zone.

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Supergirl vows to find and free her parents!

 

 

 

 

 

Action 302 – Perry White is Superman, and Super-Horse goes berserk

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Al Plastino draws another off-beat Superman adventure in Action 302 (July 1963).

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Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are hanging out in Perry White’s office one day, when the Daily Planet globe comes crashing through the ceiling.  Perry catches the globe, and admits to really being Superman.  We get the backstory on this right away.  Perry has been targeted by criminals whose activities he exposed.  Superman has taken Perry’s place, expecting an attack. But he carries on the lie that Perry really is Superman.

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Both Lois Lane and Lana Lang are dismayed to discover that Superman is really the long-married Perry White, and angry with him for toying with their emotions.  Jimmy Olsen thinks that this will make life easier for him, but Perry White continues to be a hard ass with him.

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The real Perry White has been being kept safely at the Fortress of Solitude, but upon seeing the news that people think he is Superman, he steals a flight belt and comes back to Metropolis.  He enjoys the attention of people who think he is the big hero, but also proves himself, bluffing a criminal into submission.

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Superman clears everything up at the end, after capturing the hoods trying to kill him.  Perry’s wife Alice, rarely seen at this time, makes a cameo in the final panel.

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Sueprgirl’s bizarre love life remains the focus of her series in this Dorfman and Mooney tale.

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A renegade Atlantean, Vostar, tries to kill Lori Lemaris and Jerro, but they get rescued by Supergirl and Comet.

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I really love the above panel, when taken completely out of context. Even knowing the context doesn’t make it any less disturbing, really.

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Vostar takes mental control of Comet, sending him on a destructive rampage, which is assumed to be jealousy.

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The story gets as overly complicated as only a Comet story can.  He travels back in time, passing through a year that saw Halley’s Comet, which starts to change him to human form.  He makes it back to the present before he changes completely, and loses his powers.  Then he takes over the role of Mysto, a fortune teller, and gives Supergirl the vital information she needs, when she visits him as Linda, on a date with Dick Malverne.

Vostar gets defeated, but Supergirl discovers that the real Mysto is not the one who told her fortune.  But the guy did look just like Bronco Bill Starr.  Hmmm.

 

 

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.

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