Posts tagged ‘Ray Palmer’

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.

 

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Action 530 – Brainiac becomes evil again, and the Atom rescues Aquaman

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Wolfman, Swan and Adkins bring the team-up with Brainiac to a conclusion in Action 530 (April 1982).

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Superman once again penetrates the world-ship, finding some massive tunnels in its interior. He finds the core, it’s huge computer brain, but gets sucked into it.

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Brainiac is evil again, now that Superman has re-programmed him.  He is content to let Superman die, and have the artificial world consume everything, and birth a new universe.  Superman picks up the point that this a world-building machine as well.  He super-vibrates, figuring correctly that this will mess up the computer, which fees him.

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Superman strips the armored shell off the world, revealing the idyllic planet underneath.  Brainiac is powerless to stop him, as Superman frees the new world inside, and finds a spare bit of galaxy to put it in.

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Aquaman reveals the traitor as Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte bring this story arc to a close.  The one who attached himself to Air Wave in the first place, he did so as a spy.  Well, that was easy.  And despite Aquaman agonizing over how he can get home, all he has to do is get shocked by an electric creature.

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Ray Palmer and Jean Loring have spent the past three days on a sailboat, waiting for Aquaman to return.  When he does, Ray jumps into the ocean after him.  Umm, why?  Are you afraid he will drown?  All right, I’ll concede maybe you want to see if he is injured.

Anyway, the Atom “rescues” Aquaman, but that’s about all he does in this long story.

 

Action 523 – Steve Lombard – alien, and the Atom saves his parents

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Conway, Swan and Chiaramonte weave a story that repelled me enough that I stopped buying this series after this issue.

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It’s not really that bad a story, so I’m not sure why I hated it so much.  It opens with the Daily Planet staff playing baseball.  There are enjoyable bits for Lois and Lana, Perry and Jimmy.  Clark gets picked on by Steve Lombard, but he is also going crazy, playing with people who were not professional athletes.  Then a goofy looking alien shows up, claiming to be his brother.

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We, and Steve, learn that he was adopted, and there is circumstantial evidence to back up the alien’s claim.  The alien is a shape-shifter, who can take Steve’s form.

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But that all turns out to be a lie.  The alien is part of a race of really competitive athletes, who steal the forms and skills of people from a variety of planets.  He stole Steve’s form and skills, but the real prize is Superman.

But Superman was suspicious, and resisting their energy drain, and beats them.

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Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta continue the Atom’s battle with the Calculator, although most of the story is spent in the past Ray Palmer escaped to in the Time Pool.

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He saves a young couple in a storm, who will one day become his parents.

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Returning, he stays small and out of sight, but tells Professor Hyatt what to do in order to defeat the Calculator.

But as with many Calculator stories, it seems finished, but continues next issue.

Action 522 – Superman vs the Clockwork Man, and Atom vs the Calculator

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Conway, Swan and Chiaramonte go retro with Action 522 (Aug. 81).

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A scientist creates an old-fashioned Clockwork Man, inspired by the tales of Burroughs and Baum.

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The mechanical man wants to help his chronically late creator, and so speeds everyone up.  It takes Clark a surprisingly long time to notice that everyone around him is moving at super-speed.

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The Clockwork Man is simply too determined to “help,” and really capable of reason, so Superman has to trash it.

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The Calculator returns to fight the Atom, the first foe he faced, in this story by Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta.  It’s the first time the villain had appeared since his introductory arc in Detective Comics in 1978, and those stories are recapped at the start of this tale.

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Calculator’s immunity to any hero who had previously beat him holds true in this story, and I was glad that the Atom did not try turning into Ray Palmer, which he had tried and failed in Detective.  This time around, he tries increasingly indirect attacks, but with no success.

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But the Calculator attacked while he was at Professor Hyatt’s, and the Atom makes his escape by diving into the Time Pool.

The story continues next issue.

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 487 – Superman vs Microwave Man, and the Atom begins

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A very dynamic cover for Action 487 (Sept. 78), as the DC Explosion begins.

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte begin a 2-prt story that introduces a new, old, villain, Microwave Man.  We first meet Superman’s adversary as a kindly old man, researching years of Metropolis history.

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Later, he attends a NASA symposium on UFOs and alien life, where he talks about being abducted many years earlier, and only recently returning to Earth.  Lana and Jimmy, who had attended the symposium, are laughing about him as they relate the story to Morgan Edge, but Perry White spits out his cigar when he hears that the old man used to be a thief in the 1940s, called Microwave Man.  Perry recalls the thief well.

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The old man tests out his powers, and finds them far stronger than he expected them to be.  His attempts to make the Daily Planet globe glow winds up massively overheating it, and turning it into a danger. He has a brief encounter with Superman, but flees.

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As the story ends, he contacts his alien friends, who rejuvenate him.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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The Atom returns in his own series in Action Comics, now recently married to Jean Loring.

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Bob Rozakis, Alex Saviuk and Chiaramonte are the creative team as Ray and Jean find themselves menaced by the Bat-Knights, tiny warriors who had appeared last in the Atom’s own book in the 60s.  In those days, they were allies of the diminutive hero, but in this story, they are on the attack.

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The Atom discovers that this is a younger generation than the ones he had dealt with, who want to shrink humans to their size, and then rule them. They are after the secret of Atom’s size changing belt.  But they make the mistake of claiming that they have Jean captive.  But they are in the cave where the Atom first used his powers, which he made an escape from, which Jean is perfectly aware of.  Knowing they are lying, he has no reason to hold back and beats the Bat-Knights.

This is the final appearance of the tiny warriors.

 

Action 454 – Superman eats hamburgers, and the Atom ends

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Action 454 (Dec. 75) was the second issue of Action Comics that I bought.  I found the cover very funny. I was 10 years old, give me a break.

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The new Toyman is the active villain in this story, by Bates, Swan and Blaisdel, but not the actual cause of Superman’s big problems.

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But the big problem facing Superman in this story is his lack of energy.  As Clark, he falls asleep during a broadcast, and again at an awards dinner.  Lois Lane is even more irritated with him than usual.

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And it’s not just hamburgers that Superman devours, but a huge amount of food, to replenish the energy he loses by being Superman.

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The Toyman actually helps Superman figure out what is causing his energy drain, although not intentionally.  It is an evil rock at the core of the Earth, which Superman coats in a solar cell suit.  I cannot explain that any better.  But it made some sense at age 10.

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The final couple of panels see Clark and Jimmy Olsen attempt to go to MacTavish’s for burgers but the place is now mobbed, thanks to Superman eating there.

MacTavish’s would continue to appear sporadically in the Superman comics, the stand-in for McDonald’s, until John Byrne’s reboot of Superman.

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The Atom’s run in Action comes to an end with the concluding half of this Pasko and Delbo story.

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A stray thought from a sullen groundskeeper prompts the Actualizer to make the ivy at Ivy University start tearing down the buildings.  As the Atom struggles to destroy the machine, Jean Loring tries to talk the ivy out of its destructive actions.

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In the end, the ivy backs down, but both Ray and Jean claim credit for this.

The Atom returns as a guest star in the next issue, and his series does return to Action Comics a few years down the road.

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