Posts tagged ‘Millenium’

Action 597 – Lois Lane meets Lana Lang

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The two main women in Superman’s life meet for the first time in this post-Crisis universe in the Byrne, Willaims and Leonard Starr story in Action 597 (Feb. 88).

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Lois Lane is on the trail of the mysterious woman who showed up at the Daily Planet, accosted Clark Kent, and then flew out the window.  Knowing that Lana was also from Smallville, Lois heads there, and immediately hears about the Manhunters and the near-deaths of everyone.

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Snooping further, she comes to Lana’s house.  Oops.

Seriously, I love the “Oh” panel.  The reactions are real, the situation memorably awkward.

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I’m less fond of the inevitable sizing each other up scene, but it does play out far better as the story goes on.

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Clark and Lana do their best to answer Lois’ questions, but she is getting very suspicious, and accuses Clark of being Superman.  It’s Ma and Pa Kent who save the day, explaining the truth, but adding in a baby Clark to the mix, making Clark Kent and Kal-El pseudo-brothers.

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It’s a really good save, identity-wise, but infuriates Lois, when it comes to her relationship(s) with the men(man), neither of whom she trusts.

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Lana does her best to make Lois understand that Clark is a good person, and that he is in love with Lois, while admitting her unrequited love for him.

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Superman catches up with Lois as she catches up with Jose Delgado, severely wounded fighting against one of Luthor’s pawns during Millenium.

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Things are just as icy there.

An excellent story. One of my favourites of John Byrne’s run.  No big action, but some real human drama with big consequences.

Action 596 – Superman and Spectre and the ghosts of Smallville

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Action 596 (Jan. 88) is a Millenium crossover (Week 4), by Byrne and Williams, but also a chapter in the Superman story arc running within the larger crossover.  Superman had discovered that the people he grew up with in Smallville were all implanted and controlled by the Manhunters.  The previous issue of Adventures of Superman ended with him defeating the Manhunter robot in charge, which left all the residents dead.

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The Spectre is drawn to the scene.  Something is not right about it, but he cannot see what is wrong.

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He transports Superman to the astral plane, where they “see” the imagined Smallville of the people, newly dead but in denial.  According to Spectre, not a rare thing, but never so large, or lasting so long.

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In fact, the whole astral plane is a fake, all conjured by the supposedly dead Manhunter in some way that has never made sense to me, so I don’t think about it too much.  It’s more fun to look at the page of him, under the Spectre’s control, ripping himself open.

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There is also a great page of the Spectre scaring kids planning to pull a prank on Lana’s house.

Detective 582 – Batman assaults the Manhunter temple

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Detective 582 (Jan. 88) is not merely a Millenium crossover, it was also part of a four issue telling of the heroes’ invasion of the Manhunter temple in the Louisiana bayou.  The same week this issue came out, The Spectre, Suicide Squad and Captain Atom also had stories of the attack.  Only this issue really crosses over with the others, which remain largely separate tales.

Mary Jo Duffy managed to pull off a good issue, despite all the needed tie-ins, with Norm Breyfogle back on the pencils, and Pablo Marcos on the inks.

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The first part of the story picks up from the previous issue of Batman, in which Commissioner Gordon had been replaced by a Manhunter robot.  Batman tracks the actual Gordon, and explains to him the impersonation, which allows the entire plot of Millenium to be explained.  It turns out Gordon was intentionally lured away, and was being set up to be killed, though Batman prevents that.

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Batman runs into Jim Corrigan and Kim Liang, in a passage mirrored in the Spectre.  Corrigan accompanies Batman to the temple, and though we do not see the Spectre, the heroes see the results of his work, all the decommissioned Manhunter robots.

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Batman and Corrigan find the place where the Manhunters are keeping the human prisoners, and as Corrigan frees them, Batman penetrates to the heart of the temple.  He comes across Karin Grace, learning of her plans to blow up the temple, but more importantly, learning of the existence of the Suicide Squad.

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And though Captain Atom does not appear, the lack of radiation, and snowfall, at the end of the story reference events in his book.

It’s all a bit frantic, but really, far better than it might have been.

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