Posts tagged ‘Professor Vakox’

Action 582 – Superman brings Jor-El and Lara back to life

act_582

Boldman, Saviuk and Schaffenberger share the last in-continuity pre-Crisis Superman story in Action 582 (Aug. 86).

act_582_001

After having a number of vivid dreams about Jor-El and Lara, Superman discovers that there are two other, distinct, brain-waves in his head.  He believes these two be the minds of his parents, somehow preserved within him.

act_582_002

He creates clone bodies for them, and is thrilled when the brain-waves transfer from his mind into the bodies, animating them and bringing his parents back to life.  He provides them with human identities, and shows them around Metropolis, and Earth, while helping them adjust to their new powers.

act_582_003

Superman brings them to his Fortress of Solitude, but when he shows them the Phantom Zone viewer, he is surprised that the villains, General Zod, Jax-Ur, Professor Vakox and Faora, are cursing him, and not his father, the man who invented the Zone and sent many of them there.

act_582_004

And, indeed, his parents are not his real parents.  How the Phantom Zone villains could tell is not clear, but once Superman suspects them, they drop the act and try to kill him.  They put him in a rocket and fire him into space.

act_582_005

Superman escapes from the rocket, but spots a familiar ship orbiting Earth.  It belongs to Rokk and Sorban, the compulsive gamblers from Ventura.  Frequent guests in Superman’s own comic, and World’s Finest, back in the 60s, this is their first, and only, appearance in Action.  They used some “free-floating” consciousnesses for Jor-El and Lara, but the bet at the core was whether Superman would be angry enough to kill the phonies, or not.

act_582_006

The story ends as Superman takes Rokk and Sorban to the “prison planet,” (Takron-Galtos?)  Superman shows little concern about what the phony Jor-El and Lara are up to, loose on Earth, with all their powers. But the gamblers assure Superman that they will return to their non-corporeal state.

 

Action 548 – jewel kryptonite returns

act_548

The Phantom Zone villain are back in Action 548 (Oct. 83), in a story by Cary Bates, Alex Saviuk, Vince Colletta and Pablo Marcos.

act_548_001

General Zod, Jax-Ur, Professor Vakox (in this story, rendered Va-Kox), and Faora have been tracking the one piece of jewel kryptonite, and find it.  Concentrating their powers on it, Zod and Faora manage to escape to Earth, along with a couple of no-name villains.  We do not see what happens with Jax-Ur and Va-Kox

act_548_002

At the same time, an alien race finds the remains of Argo City, and enter it to explore.  They lean of the existence of Superman and Supergirl, and decide to head to Earth.

act_548_003

While the Phantom Zone villains prepare to attack Superman, he is busy dealing with some street hoods operating with Kryptonian technology.

The story continues int he next issue.

Action 473 – Superman vs Faora

act_473

Bates, Swan and Blaisdel conclude the Faora story in Action 473 (July 1977).

act_473_001

Supergirl gets concerned when there is no word from Superman, despite Faora running wild in Metropolis.  She finds a note in the Fortress, explaining that he has gone into the Phantom Zone, and other information that the reader is not privy to.

act_473_002

Faora gets into an argument with Steve Lombard, and is about to kill him when her greater scheme kicks in, reversing the Phantom Zone, releasing all its captives, while sending everyone on Earth into the Zone.  Steve actually thinks he has died, until Jimmy Olsen explains the Zone to him.  Batman and Green Lantern are also shown to now be phantoms, while Jax-Ur, General Zod, Kru-El and Professor Vakox enjoy their new freedom and solidity.

act_473_003

Faora takes dominance over the other Phantom Zone villains through her use of psychic bolts, but one Zone escapee is immune.  It’s Superman, who figured out her bigger plan, and took precautions, including entering the Zone himself.

act_473_004

Superman is now stuck fighting against a number of similarly powered Kryptonians, and finds himself overpowered.  Faora is about to kill him when the switch happens again.  Bad timing!  Superman rigged the projector to reverse Faora’s actions, sending the prisoners back into the Zone, and releasing the humans.

act_473_005

With one exception.  The old man who still, after all this, believes Faora is his dead wife Katie.  He gets to join her in the Zone.

From now on, Faora would be a regularly appearing Phantom Zone villain, almost always included when three or more are shown.  But not the old man.  We never find out what happened to him.

Action 364 – no cure for Superman

act_364

Another Adams cover on Action 364 (June 1968), as Dorfman, Andru and Esposito continue the Virus X saga.

act_364_001

Superman gets out of the cliffhanger from last episode, simply by doffing his clothes, and appearing to Lois as Superman.

Luthor announces that he is able to cure Superman’s disease.   He was the one who created it, after all.  His men produce the infected cat, which Luthor’s cure works on.  He demands a million dollars.

act_364_002

Luthor gets his money, but it’s all a scam.  It was not the same cat.  Luthor just wanted to hold out the cure, and then laugh in Superman’s face.  Asshole.

Supergirl plans to send Superman into the Phantom Zone.  Jax-Ur and Professor Vakox protest, not knowing if the plague would spread to them and others in the Zone.  Superman agrees, and tricks Supergirl into entering Kandor, and then seals her in.

act_364_003

Feeling death approaching, Superman makes a farewell speech, wearing a mask to look the way he wants to be remembered.  Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane are at the funeral, but neither had major roles in this tale.  Superman is fired into space to die.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 336 – a Phantom Zone ex-con, and Supergirl with melty face

act_336

There is a really great story in Action 336 (April 1966), but it’s not the one on the cover.

act_336_001

Superman is the titular star of this story by Hamilton, Swan, and Klein, but the real star is Ak-Var.

act_336_002

As a youth, back on Krypton, Ak-Var had stolen the sun-stone as a prank.  But he was captured, and sentenced to thirty years in the Phantom Zone.  In the intervening time, Krypton exploded.  Superman comes to Kandor as Ak-Var is released, having completed his sentence.  Phantom Zone regulars Jax-Ur, General Zod, Kru-El and Professor Vakox all cameo.

act_336_003

Ak-Var wants to stay on Earth, and use his powers, just like Superman.  But the rules are that anyone released from the Zone must take up residence in Kandor – although the Kandorians are none too pleased to have him around.  In fact, the story almost seems to imply that Ak-Var is one of the only people ever released.  He does run into his old gang, and his former girlfriend, all of whom have aged, while he stayed ageless in the Zone.

act_336_004

This story gives a lot of detail about life in Kandor.  Van-Zee, the double of Superman, takes a liking to Ak-Var, and introduces him to his niece, Thara.

act_336_005

Ak-Var former gang friends launch a crime spree, and frame Ak-Var.  Being only recently released from the Zone, no one believes him innocent, except Superman, Van-Zee and Thara.

act_336_006

Together, they expose the gang members as the real criminals.  Ak-Var becomes Van-Zee’s lab assistant.

Van-Zee is not seen again for a decade, returning for a story in World’s Finest Comics.  Ak-Var and Thara have to wait even longer, coming back in the Nightwing and Flamebird series in Superman Family in the late 70s.

act_336_007

Supergirl comes back to Earth with her transformed face in the concluding half of this Binder and Mooney story.  Superman tries to help restore her features, but with no success.  Comet doesn’t care about her looks (he’s a horse after all), but notices her way of thinking has changed, and doesn’t like that.

act_336_008

She feels like a freak, and takes off for Bizarro World, thinking to fit in there.  Wanting to fit in on Bizarro World is a pretty dumb idea.

act_336_009

Linda is stuck wearing a mask over her real face, but discovers that , somehow, her original appearance returned.  She learns that the man who caused it was so grief stricken by his actions, that he changed her back.  And so she ends, happily dancing with Dick Malverne.

An easy out.

 

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

act_309

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

act_309_001

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.

act_309_002

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.

act_309_003

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.

act_309_004

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

act_309_005

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.

act_309_006

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.

act_309_007

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?

act_309_008

Why, JFK of course.

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

act_309_009

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

act_309_010

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.

act_309_011

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.

act_309_012

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.

act_309_013

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.

act_309_014

Supergirl vows to find and free her parents!

 

 

 

 

 

Action 288 – tracking Superboy’s secrets, and collecting Supergirl’s tears

act_288

Superman heads back to Smallville in the Swan/Klein story in Action 288 (May 1962).

act_288_001

An ex-con begins a new career as a tv host, and puts together a show about Superman, using that as a cover to hunt out as much information as he can about the hero.  The show is filmed in Smallville, where he interviews those who knew him as Superboy.

act_288_002

Lana Lang is one of the guests, and shares her youthful suspicions that Superboy was Clark Kent.

act_288_003

After finding some tunnels under the Kent house, the bad guy confronts Clark, determined to prove on tv that he is Superman, using a bomb.  With the help of a robot, and allowing Clark to show some backbone, he defeats then man. Krypto is used to explain the tunnels. Average.

act_288_004

Supergirl’s adoptive father turns cruel in this story by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney.

act_288_005

It begins as Fred Danvers suddenly begins manifesting psychic powers, able to read the mind of a thief and killer who comes to their house pretending to be in need of help.

act_288_006

The “powers” then begin giving him commands, that he is to collect Supergirl’s tears.  He uses a variety of methods to make Linda cry.

act_288_007

It’s a very odd story, but the resolution does make some sense of it.  Fred Danvers’ “powers” were really telepathic messages he was receiving from Jax-Ur and Professor Vakox in the Phantom Zone.  They have been using Danvers to create an escape from the Phantom Zone. Mon-El tries to stop them, but they toss him out into our toxic environment.  Mon-El manages to find some kryptonite before the lead gets to him, and forces the escapees back into the Zone.

Tag Cloud