Action 156 – Lois Lane becomes Superwoman, Tommy Tomorrow meets the Metal Men, and the Rainbow Man lights up the sky
Lois Lane takes on the identity of Superwoman, but the appearance of Supergirl, in the Al Plastino story in Action 156 (May 1951).
The story begins as Lois displays her usual respect for authority, heading right through a door labelled “no admittance, ” and turning on a machine whose function she has no idea of. But you have to give her credit. When all the electrical charges start blasting her she neither screams nor runs, just wonders what the effect will be.
Of course, it endows Lois with powers much like Superman, so she adopts the identity of Superwoman again. This time, she dons a blond wig, in the hopes of keeping her identity a secret.
Before the actual introduction of Supergirl at the end of the 1950s, there would be quite a few try-out variations of the character, such as this story.
Luthor has been spying on Lois, and discovers that she is Superwoman. He uses his machine to give one of his men powers, and dresses him up as Superman, using him to lure Lois into a trap.
It’s a complicated but entertaining story, with all the fakes and phony identities. Luthor doesn’t get a lot to do, but Lois is clearly the star of the story. Superman reveals how he knew her identity – the scent of her perfume. That’s almost romantic.
Years before the introduction of the Metal Men, the name would be used in this Tommy Tomorrow story, by Swan and Fischetti, for the inhabitants of a planet populated by robots.
When rumour reaches the Planeteers of this robot world, Tommy is sent out to investigate, as they fear an invasion of killer robots. Tommy finds the world, without much difficulty. The robots consider Tommy, and other humans, as weak and inferior creations.
But as the story progresses, Tommy and the robots work together, and gain mutual admiration and respect for each other. In fact, as the story ends, Tommy lies to his superiors, keeping the robot world off the charts, in order to protect them from his own people.
The Rainbow Man is back again, in a story by Bob Brown, which puts the villain back in the urban setting he is more suited to.
The colour wheel seems to short out, sending a kaleidoscope of colours into the sky, neatly warning Vigilante that his old enemy is back. Kind of like a reverse Bat-Signal, announcing a villain’s intent.
The story isn’t bad, but neither Vigilante nor Stuff is given anything great to do – the Vigilante-cycle gets to star.