Posts tagged ‘Morgan Edge’

Action 577 – Caitiff debuts

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Giffen, Fleming and Oskner deliver a great Superman tale, as they introduce Caitiff, a fascinating vampire.

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Morgan Edge is heavily promoting a story about deaths at a centre for disease control, which caitiff is behind.  Clark Kent is the newscaster for the story, which Caitiff wants stopped, so he heads out to find Kent.

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Right from the start you are made to sympathize with this creature, who seems so pained and vulnerable.  And Giffen’s art just excels on the pages dedicated to him.

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Caitiff bursts into the WGBS studio to try to stop the broadcast.  It does, but of course it also sets Superman right on him.

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Superman follows Caitiff back to his lair, and finds the remains of the rest of his family, his race.  The bones of his child, killed by scientists trying to understand their condition.

Superman allows Caitiff to remain undisturbed, and tells no one about him.

Caitiff returns for a second, and final, story in the pages of Justice League International in the late 80s.

Action 563 – Ambush Bug loses his suit, Mr. Mxyzptlk wants his own show, and Jimmy Olsen becomes a blob

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Three stories in Action 563 (Jan.85), all represented in Giffen’s great cover.

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Ambush Bug gets the lead story in the issue, by Giffen, Fleming and Oskner.  Clark Kent is around, in his newscaster guise, and as Superman, but Bethany Snow, from New Teen Titans, and Jack Ryder, better known as the Creeper, also cameo on the first page.  Ted Baxter, from the old Mary Tyler Moore Show, almost appears.

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There is some degree of story in this one, as Ambush Bug works on his suit, and shorts it out.

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A running gag with the character is the origin story, which always involves a person named Irwin Schwab, but otherwise is a pastiche of other heroes origins.  Ambush Bug relates one of these absurd stories to Superman.

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Superman dismisses it as nonsense, until he realizes Ambush Bug just told him his own origin.

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E. Nelson Bridwell, Alex Saviuk and Dennis Jensen give Mr. Mxyzptlk a yen for the boob tube in the second story in this issue.  The 5th dimensional imp demands his own television show on WGBS, but Morgan Edge refuses.

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So Mr. Mxyzptlk wreaks havoc with the networks programming.  Although the story posits this as a bad thing, in reality I’m sure the ratings went through the roof, as everyone tuned in to see what crazy shit was going to happen.  Anyway, Mxyzptlk has made saying, or even writing, his name backwards impossible for anyone.

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Superman gets around this by thinking of his Bizarro World counterpart, Kltpzyxm, when setting up his trap.

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The issue is rounded out by a Jimmy Olsen adventure, by Craig Boldman, Howard Bender and Pablo Marcos.

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Hoping to save a falling girl, Jimmy drinks from an old vial of his Elastic Lad serum, but it turns him into a big blob instead.

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He is unable to speak, and is treated as a monster, even by his date for the evening.  Superman figures out what has happened, the serum was corrupted by a radioactive substance it sat next to.  He cures Jimmy in time to still have his planned date, but the girl’s reaction, freaking out just because he metamorphosized, makes it clear this woman is not up to Jimmy Olsen’s speed.

Action 562 – Queen Bee meets King Alexander

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Alexander the Great, aka the Planeteer returns, now calling himself King Alexander, in the Rozakis, Schaffenberger and Hunt story in Action 562 (Dec. 84).

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The story has a subplot about Steve Lombard,who was fired from WGBS by Morgan Edge in the pages of Superman.  He is starring in a production of Damn Yankees, and has sent opening night tickets to Clark, Lana, Jimmy and Perry White.  Perry actually winds up stopping a pair of robbers during the show, and his wife Alice gets a small role.

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Queen Bee gets most of the attention in the story.  She has been causing magnetic anomalies throughout Metropolis.  She has found an immortality serum that needs a constant recharge of magnetic energy to allow her to stay mobile.

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And who should also be back in Metropolis but the magnetically powered Alexander?

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They hit it off, and Alexander thinks its true love and world conquest, unaware that he is being drugged, and his power drained, by Zazzala.

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Mind you, even when Superman explains to him what is going on, he just chooses not to believe it.  He has fallen hard.  Superman uses the couple’s magnetism against them.

This is the final appearance of Alexander the Great aka Planeteer aka King Alexander, and the Queen Bee is next seen in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

And Steve Lombard’s revival of Damn Yankees closes after one night.

Action 531 – ghosts of the Daily Planet, and the Atom comes to Curacao

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Wolfman, Staton and McLaughlin take Superman into the supernatural in Action 531 (May 1982).

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Morgan Edge leads the prospective buyer of the Daily Planet, Mort Waxman, around the building, showing off the facilities, and introducing him to staff members Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White.  Waxman’s newspapers are sleazy and sensationalist, and the Planet staff are dismayed at his purchase, but not as much as spirits that inhabit the paper, who come to life as they tour.

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It seems like Superman might be behind this, he certainly shares the sentiments of the ghosts, but the story makes clear that this is not the case.

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The ending is a bit off.  It’s not Waxman who gives up on the paper, it’s Morgan Edge who turns on Maxwell, for being exactly the kind of person he knew he was.

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Ray Palmer and Jean Loring head into dock at Curacao in this Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta story.

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They’re just looking for a nice tropical island to hang out on, but the Atom almost immediately stumbles across some people with an armed nuke.

The story concludes in the next issue.

 

Action 528 – Superman and Brainiac vs the Death Star

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Ok, it’s not called the Death Star in the story, but it so totally is.  And that’s what people I knew called the story in Action 528 (Feb.82) at the time it came out, after Empire Strikes Back.

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They even use Star Wars style lettering for the title of this story, by Wolfman, Swan and Chiaramonte.

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There is a totally non-Star Wars related plot in the story, as Morgan Edge intends to sell off the Daily Planet, which is losing money for Galaxy Communications.  Perry White is not the only one upset, and Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Steve Lombard and Jimmy Olsen spend the story awaiting news on this.

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Superman gets far more interesting stuff to do, having been contacted by Brainiac, who warns him of an approaching, all-consuming artificial world.  Brainiac did build the thing, before realizing how all-destroying it would be.  Oops.

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The two heroes work together, Superman penetrating the world, while Brainiac advises him from his ship.  This invasion proves fruitless, and Brainiac tries turning the planet “off,” putting it in a dormant state while Superman attacks.

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But even “asleep,” the planet takes down Superman.

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A really good, suspenseful ending.  An injured Superman collapses in front of the waiting Daily Planet staff, while Brainiac observes the destructive effects of the not-Death Star’s approach to Earth.

The story continues in the next chapter.

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Aquaman gets a solo chapter as part of Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte’s continuing story arc.

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Materializing on the alien world Air Wave had been drawn to, Aquaman finds a race of intelligent sea creatures, who are being exploited and enslaved by land dwellers.  Aquaman decides to help them, just as the land dwellers show up.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 526 – Superman vs Neutron, and Air Wave’s new power

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Wolfman, Staton and Chiaramonte conclude the Neutron storyline in Action 526 (Dec. 81).

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Morgan Ledge gathers the Daily Planet/WGBS staff on the roof for the celebration of the return of the globe.  Lis Lane, Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen, and of course Perry White are there. Meanwhile, Clark is frantically searching the city as Superman.  Neutron has told him that he has placed bombs throughout the city.  The art alone makes it fairly obvious that one of them is in the big glowing globe, surrounded by all his friends.  But it takes Superman until close to the end of the story to figure that out.

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Along the way, Superman runs into the H.I.V.E.  They want to get rid of the bombs as well, and could work with Superman on this goal, but prefer to try to kill him.

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Superman gets rid of the explosive globe, but replaces it with a safe one.  He captures Neutron far more easily than one might expect, encasing him while he is in his energy form.

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Air Wave gets a more series adventure in this issue, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta.

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After being struck by lightning, Hal discovers that he has the ability to pick up on people’s thoughts, justas if they were broadcasts.  This comes in useful at school, when quizzed on work he hadn’t read.  But even more useful when his uncle Jack gets kidnapped.

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Jack Jordan is a District Attorney, and he has been grabbed by mob goons who want vengeance.  Air Wave’s telepathy vanishes before the end of the story, but helps him find, and save, his uncle.

 

Action 525 – Neutron debuts, and Air Wave becomes Green Lantern

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Lex Luthor is once again involved in the creation of a new Superman villain, as Neutron debuts in Action 525 (Nov. 81),the first half of a two part story by Marv Wolfman, Joe Staton and Frank McLaughlin.

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As part of a group called the TNT Trio, Nathaniel Tryon is part of a fuel rod theft at a nuclear power plant.  The men are working for Luthor, but that does then little good when the plant begins to melt down.  Superman rescues his two partners, but Nathaniel is buried in a collapse, surrounded by lead shielding, and the hero does not see him.

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He emerges with some fairly impressive powers, though not on the Firestorm or Captain Atom level.  He can absord energy, and fire nuclear blasts.  He can even turn himself into pure energy, as well as being extremely strong.  Luthor builds a suit to contain his energy.

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This story also sees the return of the Daily Planet globe to the roof of the WGBS building.  Morgan Edge is finally won over by the pleadings of Lois Lane, and agrees to its re-installation.

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Superman has his first encounter with Neutron, and the villain leaves him lying in a pile of rubble.

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Air Wave gets an enjoyable entry, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte.

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Hal and Karen Peterson are attending a comic convention, where a thief dresses up as comic book hero the Cosmic Corsair before trying to steal some valuable artworks.  Air Wave stops him, but suffers temporary memory loss.  Karen has to figure out how to remind Hal of who he is, without giving away that she knows his secret identity.

She does, and he captures the fake Corsair.

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The final panels are quite cute, as they dress up for a costume ball, Karen as the Corsair, and Hal as his uncle, Green Lantern.  “Who’d ever believe Hal Jordan was Green Lantern?”

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