Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte do not disappoint with the concluding half of the Jonathan Kent story in Action 508 (June 1980).
Starshine has “asked” for everyone over 30 to leave Metropolis, and people felt compelled to obey – except for Jonathan Kent. April and May Marigold, who live in the same apartment building as Clark Kent, make a rare cameo, amazed that someone as old as Kent is still in the city.
At this point, we learn what is going on. This visit by Jonathan Kent is a gift given to him by two powerful alien beings who he had aided in the pages of New Adventures of Superboy, a story that came out last month, the same as the first half of this story.
Superman tries to stop Starshine, but has no luck. But his father has learned of his connection to Starshine, a result of the alien gift. He does not explain it, but does reveal Superman’s identity to Lois Lane. Superman is stunned, but Kent is remarkably unconcerned.
The following day, Clark returns to the studio, but as Lana begins her broadcast, he notices she is saying the same thing as the day before. His father left him a note, which thanks him for the visit, but the note disappears in his hands. The entire visit will be remembered by no except Jonathan Kent’s spirit.
It makes for a really touching ending. Starshine appears, powerless and poor, begging outside the studio, but Clark doesn’t notice. He just knows he wants to spend some time at his father’s grave.
Bates, Swan and Anderson conclude Bus Ride to Nowhere in Action 431 (Jan. 74).
The alien plant life begins attacking the residents of 344 Clinton St. Superman figures that it is a ruse by the future chameleon to draw him out, as was the entire trip to this planet. So Clark quite openly reveals his identity as Superman.
The black martial artist then changes into the chameleon, and they begin to fight. But the chameleon shows no interest in attacking, and Superman remembers that he was told that the creature also had the ability to change others.
Realizing who the chameleon really is, Superman chases him, and they fight on the bus as it races through time. The chameleon falls out in the distant past.
I find the ending a bit weak, though. Superman hypnotizes everyone into forgetting the events, and has Batman impersonate the person the chameleon pretended to be, so that no one notices him gone.
Wow, I made a mistake. I wrote about this story, in which Green Arrow gets his rent money stolen, when I was writing up Detective Comics.
This story, by Maggin, Dillin and Giordano, was reprinted in Detective 555, and I didn’t notice that it was a reprint.
So I’m not going to summarize it again.
Bates, Swan and Anderson begin a much-loved two-part story in Action 430 (Dec. 73), “Bus-Ride to Nowhere.”
Superman encounters a mysterious creature while on patrol one night. He is surprised when it disappears in 344 Clinton St, his own apartment building.
That night Clark gets contacted from the far future, and learns that the creature is a highly evolved chameleon, able to change shape, who has fled justice into the distant past – Superman’s present.
Superman runs into the creature once again, and follows it back, on a day when there are only four other people in the building. All four are presented as suspects, although one of them, May Marigold, had already been introduced in the pages of Superman, and had an identical twin sister, effectively eliminating her.
The next day, Clark and the other four get on a public bus, which disappears, winding up on an alien world.
Clark discovers that other residents had spotted Superman entering the building, and think that he might be one of the people on the bus, a situation Clark had not considered.
The story concludes in the next issue.