Posts tagged ‘Pa Kent’

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.

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Action 591 – Superman vs Superboy

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Keith Williams joins John Byrne on Action 591 (Aug. 87), the third part of a four-part story that clarifies the relationship between the Superboy from Legion of Super-Heroes, and Superman.

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The story picks up from the previous issue of Superman, as Superboy freezes Blok, Brainiac 5, Invisible Kid and Sun Boy, taking them to the Time Trapper, but leaving Superman free.

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We have the story of Superboy and the Legion explained a different way, by the Time Trapper.  The Trapper took a small slice of the newly-formed universe, and molded it to his own liking.  When the Legion believed they were travelling back in time to meet Superboy, they were really travelling into the Time Trapper’s pocket universe, and meeting the Superboy he had created.

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Superman winds up in the pocket universe, and is discovered by Pete Ross.  He thinks this is Superboy under the influence of red kryptonite, and brings him back to the Kent home, where Superman meets two people who are the Kents, but not his parents.

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Superboy shows up, and a fight breaks out, with Krypto getting into the fray. Superman notes how much more powerful Superboy is, with the plus of an invulnerable cape.

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Krypto sacrifices his powers and intelligence to retrieve some gold kryptonite, in a failed attempt to save his master from the evil Superman.

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Pa Kent tries every kryptonite there is against Superman, but they are powerless on his physiology, being from a different universe.  Superboy admits that he wanted Superman to beat him, hoping that together they could defeat the Time Trapper.

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But in the end, the Legionnaires convince Superman not to come along with them for their final battle with the Time Trapper.

This sets the new relationship between Superman and the Legion, which will exist, with some minor modifications, until Zero Hour.

 

Action 515 – Vandal Savage, Emperor of the World, and the Atom trades powers with the Atom

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Vandal Savage, the immortal and ancient villain, has his first run-in with Superman in the Wolfman, Swan and Chiaramonte story in Action 515 (Jan. 81).

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Superman is only mildly puzzled to find himself on an Earth ruled by Vandal Savage.  After a few seconds,he, like everyone else, believes this has always been reality.  Vandal Savage is Emperor, and Superman is his main weapon of control.

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Other members of the supporting cast appear as well. Lois Lane works for Savage, as does Perry White, publishing the official newspaper.  On the other side, Jimmy Olsen is leading the rebels, working alongside Jenet Klyburn, normally seen with STAR Labs, Klyburn has been a regular supporting character for a few years, but this is her first appearance in Action.

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Lex Luthor is Savage’s main scientist, but is also one of thew few aware that the reality they are in was not always this way.

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Savage has altered the past, using a number of “time bombs,” arranging it so that he was the one to raise Superman, not the Kents.  Lois brings Superman to the rebels, where he discovers that both she and Perry White a playing both sides.  They convince Superman that Savage is a threat, but it’s Savage himself who really convinces Superman, when he kills Lois Lane.  Vandal Savage vanishes into the past, and Superman pursues him.

The story concludes next issue.

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Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta have Ray Palmer gain Al Pratt’s powers in this Atom story.

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The reason for this is a mysterious man, some sort of cosmic overseer, who switches the powers of the Earth-1 and Earth-2 Atoms for his own amusement.

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I certainly wouldn’t say this story is fun enough that he did it for the readers amusement.  The story also serves as a set-up for the Earth-2 Atom story in DC Comics Presents, in which Al Pratt gains Ray Palmer’s powers.

 

Action 508 – The Secret World of Jonathan Kent

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte do not disappoint with the concluding half of the Jonathan Kent story in Action 508 (June 1980).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Action 507- The Miraculous Return of Jonathan Kent

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In Action 507 (May 1980), Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte pull off the first half of a true classic.

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Following their broadcast one night, Lana Lang informs Clark that she has as surprise for him, and takes him out to dinner.  At the table is Jonathan Kent, his long-dead adopted father.  Both Kent and Lana act as if nothing unusual is happening, but Clark is very suspicious.

As the dinner goes on he uses x-ray vision on the man’s body, and fingerprints, but sees nothing to indicate that this is not his father.

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The story cuts away to a street kid, Starshine, whose success at begging has just improved, as he gains the power to make his wishes come true.

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Pa Kent makes an excuse, needing a refill of his pills, to allow Clark to get away.  The exact empty pill bottle that his father would use for that purpose.  Superman confronts Starshine, who sends him off on a slow boat to China, literally.  Superman is helpless to return until the boat reaches the coast.

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Clark heads to Smallville, and finds no trace of his father’s grave, and even finds letters in his own handwriting, as if he had been writing to him for years.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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 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.

 

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