Posts tagged ‘red kryptonite’

Action 344 – Superman dreams Batman’s dreams

act_344

It’s the height of the Batman tv craze, and that spills over into Action 344 (Dec. 66).

act_344_001

Binder and Boring probably regret having their names associated with this tale.  It begins as Superman and Batman hang out and switch brains.  It’ll be fun!  Oops, look what a klutz Batman is in Superman’s body.  Ha ha.  Groan.

act_344_002

Then Superman starts having dreams, which are really easy to “decode” as referring to Batman’s enemies.  The Joker is the first, with squirting flowers, white faces, and laughing mania.  The Riddler dream sees a sphinx.

act_344_003

The last dream flirts with the idea of the Penguin.  Superman has no idea what is going on, and starts freaking out.

act_344_004

Batman explains it all.  When in Superman’s body, he spilled red kryptonite, which induced dreams based on the flash cards of Batman villains he had been showing Superman.

Yeah, ok. I guess it could have been worse.

 

Action 317 – Superman shows his emotions, and Supergirl steals Lena’s boyfriend

act_317

Superman goes through an emotional roller-coaster in Action 317 (Oct. 64), and all of it shows on his face.

act_317_001

Superman gets exposed to red kryptonite (wow, that NEVER happens), and it has the effect of making his face colour brightly when he experiences emotional reactions, in this story by Otto Binder and Al Plastino.

Though he spends the day largely as Clark Kent, in the company of Lois Lane, he watches from a distance as his Kandorian friend, the scientist Nor-Kan, sickens, dies, and is buried, all in (apparently) quick succession.

act_317_002

At one point, green with envy, he moves a restaurant called the Green Lantern into a new location, to shine green light on Lois’ face as well.  This restaurant will return in the pages of Superman comics in the early 70s.  Am I a geek or what?

act_317_003

The effects wear off by the end of the story, and Nor-Kan is buried, with a memorial.  Despite this, Nor-Kan appears again in a number of Superman stories in the 70s.

act_317_004
Lena Thorul falls in love in this story by Dorfman and Mooney.

act_317_005

Her boyfriend is Jeff Colby, whom she happily introduces to Dick Malverne and Linda Danvers.  Linda had just helped him survive a plane crash, as Supergirl, and when he makes no mention of that, or burying his parachute, she becomes suspicious.

act_317_006

Spying on Jeff, she sees the he is working with organized crime, who operate from a sea base in international waters.

act_317_007

Lex Luthor has also been watching Lena on his own monitor, and is shocked when he sees Jeff Colby.

act_317_008

Supergirl does not want to be honest with Lena, and tell her what she knows of Jeff, so instead she butts in at a dance, and hypnotizes Jeff into falling for her, humiliating Lena in public.  Jeff remembers none of what happened, but Lena calls off their engagement.

act_317_009

The Supergirl discovers that Jeff is actually an FBI operative, and was working undercover, infiltrating the organization.  Oops!  She helps him take them down, and then builds a robot of Jeff and programs it to tell a ridiculous lie, all to cover her own, unfounded actions.

act_317_010

Lena and Jeff marry at the end of the story.  We learn that Jeff had arrested Luthor, which seems to be setting up some later story, but doesn’t.

In fact, this is not only the final appearance of Lena Thorul in Supergirl’s run in Action Comics, it’s the one and only appearance of Jeff Colby.  When next we see Lena, in Supergirl’s run in Adventure Comics in the early 70s, she is a widow and single mother.

 

Action 312 – Clark Kent becomes Metallo

act_312

Bernstein, Swan and Klein conclude Superman’s reign as King of Earth in Action 312 (May 1964).

act_312_001

Clark attempts to infiltrate Superman’s palace, disguising himself as the former hero.  It’s not a bad idea, and the costume’s bulletproof nature saves him from being killed when he is challenged by two suspicious policemen.  He does get critically injured though, and almost dies.

act_312_002

Clark is saved by Lori Lemaris, after a fortunate fall into the water.  She brings him to Atlantis,and informs him that he needs surgery.  Clark thinks about John Corben, and the operation that turned him into Metallo, which gets recapped for a couple of pages.  Immune to kryptonite as Clark, he asks Lori to have the Atlantean doctors turn him into a Metallo.

act_312_003

Clark manages to approach Superman, and reveals the kryptonite in his chest.  As he lays dying, Superman explains that he was not really evil.  He had spotted a belligerent alien race approaching Earth, and took on the king stuff in order to scare them off.

act_312_004

Then, in a particularly lame ending, the effect of the red kryptonite wears off, and the two become one again.  The Metallo body parts fall away.  Superman convinces everyone that he wasn’t really evil, and everyone believes him.

Good story.  Bad ending.

Action 311 – Superman – King of the World, and Supergirl and Super-Horse start dating

act_311

From the cover of Action 311 (Action 1964), I was fully expecting the Swan/Klein story to be an “Imaginary Story,” but it isn’t.  Superman really does take over the world.

act_311_001

Red kryptonite splits Superman and Clark Kent into different people.  This had happened before, though creating an evil Clark and Good Superman.  Red kryptonite can never have the same effect twice, so in this variation, Clark is good, and Superman is evil.

act_311_002

Superman heads to the United Nations, and demands that all the countries on Earth turn themselves over to his rule.  There is some debate among nations, but Superman shows what he will do to anyone who defies him,and everyone gives in.

act_311_003

Superman builds himself a big castle.

act_311_004

Dismayed at his behaviour, Clark forms an underground movement to overthrow him, consisting of Perry White, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.

The story concludes in the next issue.

act_311_005

Supergirl has a busy Valentine’s Day, thanks to Dorfman and Mooney.

act_311_006

Dick Malverne gives her candy.  Boooring.  Jerro tops that with a display of glowing fish. Comet watches, getting all jealous.

act_311_007

Comet travels back in time and begs Circe to make him human.  She warns him that she sees him regretting this choice, but begins a spell which will do just that.  It’s time-delayed, allowing him to make it back to his time period, before he changes and his powers fade.  But before he tranforms, Comet is found by a masked thief, and used in his robberies.

act_311_008

The thief changes clothes and takes off with his loot, just as Comet takes on human form again. He puts on the thief’s clothes – so you can see exactly where this is going to go.

act_311_009

For a few pages, Linda is re-united with Bronco Bill Starr, and they spend some loving, quality time together.  Just a girl and her horse, making out in front of a waterfall.

act_311_010

But then Bill gets accused of being the masked thief.  Supergirl is devastated, but chases him, convinced that he has also kidnapped Super-Horse.  Circe takes pity on him, and changes him back into his Super-Horse form.  The actual masked thief is caught, clearing Bill’s name, but too late.  He’s a horse again.

Action 296 – Super-Ant, and Dick Malverne dates Lena Thorul

act_296

You just know form the cover of Action 296 (Jan. 63), that the Plastino story is going to be goofy, but it turns out to be a much better than than expected.

act_296_001

Giant red ants come to Metropolis, going on raids.  But as the reached the city, they rescued a couple of climbers, showing that they are not mindless monsters.

act_296_002

The ants are immune to all attacks, and Superman cannot communicate with them.  So he enters a red kryptonite cloud that had once given Krypto an ant head, knowing it will do the same to him.  Now he is able to talk with the ants.

act_296_003

They inform him of their world, destroyed in nuclear war. They evolved, the only survivors, and travel the universe.  Their ship crashed on Earth, and they were gathering parts for repairs.

act_296_004

Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney bring back Lena Thorul in this story.

act_296_005

Linda attends a costume dance, along with Dick Malverne and Lena.  Linda is dressed a Pocohontas, while Dick and Lena are dressed as Superman and Supergirl.

act_296_006

Thieves attack the party, and Supergirl uses her powers secretly, to defeat them.  Because Lena is dressed as Supergirl, the police believe she is really is the heroine, and so does Dick.

act_296_007

Lena, of course, denies that she is Supergirl, but that just goads Dick on to trying to prove that she is.

act_296_008

Linda gets all weepy and jealous.  As if she didn’t also have Jerro and Brainiac 5 in line.

act_296_009

Luthor gives Supergirl some diamonds to give to Lena.  She drops one in a coal bucket, and Dick pounces on that as more proof of her powers.

Then, surprisingly, Lena admits that she really is Supergirl.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 291 – Superman changes vulnerabilities, and Supergirl heads to the altar with Mr. Mxyzptlk

act_291

Bernstein and Plastino remove Superman’s kryptonite weakness in Action 291 (Aug. 62).

act_291_001

We see a suspiciously coloured red ray hit Clark Kent, just before Lois tosses him a chunk of kryptonite.  To his surprise, it has no effect on him at all.

act_291_002

As the story goes on, he finds himself weakened by diamonds, and later gold.  His vulnerability keeps changing.  Eventually the red ray is revealed as having shot red kryptonite at him, which had the effect of altering his weakness.

A bit too much red kryptonite this year.

act_291_003

Mr. Mxyzptlk sets his sights on Supergirl in this Siegel and Mooney story.

act_291_004

Supergirl comes to the aid of a crashing airforce jet, only to have the pilots turn into Bizarros.  This is due to Mr. Mxyzptlk, who further amuses himself by turning all of Midvale into Bizarros.

act_291_005

When Mr. Mxyzptlk’s romantic gestures towards Supergirl are rebuffed, he attempts to win her over by bringing her parents back to life. Zor-El and Alura seem to be genuinely there, not just apparitions created by the imp.  To Supergirl’s horror, Zor-El givse his permission for the marriage.

act_291_006

Supergirl is at the altar when her father proposes a pre-wedding toast.  He has spiked the drink with truth serum, and forces Mxyzptlk to say his name backwards.  This causes him to vanish, along with the effects of his magic – specifically, Zor-El and Alura.

But were they really dead?  The story never clearly states that.  Laying the groundwork for what is to come.

Action 290 – Superman loses half his invulnerability, and Supergirl spreads super-kisses

act_290

Action 290 (July 1962) is another all red-kryptonite issue, but not as good as the previous one.

act_290_001

Superman and Krypto fly through a red kryptonite cloud in this Swan and Klein story, and wind up losing the invulnerability in half their bodies.

act_290_002

Superman does manage to pull off his normal super-feats, in more complex ways, to cover this loss of power.  Lois Lane is hot on his trail, though, dragging Jimmy Olsen along with her, as she tries to find a way to exploit the situation and prove Clark is Superman.

act_290_003

Some backwards clothing, and a really uncomfortable position on the couch, are all that are needed to fool her again.

act_290_004

The Supergirl story, by Siegel and Mooney, is more interesting.

act_290_005

Phantom Girl presents Supergirl with a statue of herself for her birthday.  The statue turns out to be made of red kryptonite.  This is supposedly an accident.  Really?  Phantom Girl just happened to find a piece of red kryptonite and carved it into a statue of Supergirl?  I think not.

At any rate, the red kryptonite has the effect of passing super-powers on to anyone Supergirl kisses.  And as it’s her birthday, she planted kisses on her mom, Dick Malverne, and Jerro.

act_290_006

When Edna Danvers manifests super-speed, Linda figures out what is going on. She goes to check on Dick Malverne, who shows off his new abilities by taking her flying.

act_290_007

Jerro has also taken to the air, and the rivals wind up meeting.  But they do not immediately begin fighting, as I was expecting them to do.  Lois and Lana would be at each others throats by now.  But the boys get along, and work together,until their powers wear off, leaving them in danger.

act_290_008

The Supergirl Emergency Squad have their debut, coming out of Kandor to rescue the two boys.  Supergirl is just thrilled to have her own mini-army of devoted followers, and glad that the boys powers have worn off.

So you have to wonder, what was Phantom Girl up to?  Coming from the future, she must have known the properties of this version of red kryptonite. Why give Brainiac 5’s rivals for Supergirl’s attention powers?  Perhaps to show Supergirl that they cannot handle them well, unlike Brainiac 5?

Action 286 – kryptonite ketchup, and Lex Luthor kills himself

act_286

Robert Bernstein, Curt Swan and George Klein tell a story in Action 286 (March 1962) about a group of villains, but not the ones you expect.  Electro makes his second and last cover appearance.

act_286_001

The Superman Revenge Squad make their first adult appearance, following their debut two months earlier as the Superboy Revenge Squad in Superboy.  These are a group of aliens who spend an awful lot of time coming up with ridiculously complex methods of exacting this revenge.

act_286_002

In this story, they capture Krypto, and try out a variety of red kryptonite meteors on him, until they find one that induces nightmares.  In Krypto’s case, being tormented by Streaky and Titano.

act_286_003

So the leader uses an invisibility ray on himself, comes to Earth, and puts the red kryptonite into a bottle of ketchup.  Yes, he does.  Because Clark, Lois and Jimmy all ordered the exact same lunch.  So Superman eats his kryptonite burger, and starts getting nightmares.

act_286_004

The Revenge Squad are monitoring all of this.  Their monitors are truly amazing.  Not only can they see anywhere on Earth, they can even broadcast Superman’s dreams.  Jimmy is staying overnight at the Fortress of Solitude.  For some reason, he is sleeping directly in front of the door to his room.  Perhaps he really wanted to sleep under the big statue of himself.  But couldn’t Superman have provided something better than fold-up cots?  Anyway, I’ll just leave the mention of Superman quivering.

act_286_005

So Superman has his first nightmare, meeting descendants of Lana Lang and Pete Ross, who have gotten married, and lead an attack on him.

act_286_006

Superman’s second dream is even better, with the villains from the cover – Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Electro, Cosmic King, Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen pitting him against Supergirl.

act_286_007

Supergirl gets sent to the Phantom Zone, and earth gets destroyed, Superman wakes up freaking out and upset.

While it’s true that the cover image is “just a dream,” at least the story never pretends otherwise, and the dreams are actually part of the plot against him.

The story concludes in the next chapter.

act_286_008

Supergirl begins a new phase of her career, operating in public, in this Siegel and Mooney story.

act_286_009

After some pleasant homey stuff, as Linda and Dick Malverne watch tv together while the Danvers look on approvingly, the story shifts over to Lex Luthor, who escapes from prison.  While the story does not directly address the Lesla-Lar Supergirl that Lex had met, his certainty that Supergirl is really a robot seems to be the conclusion he has drawn from this.

act_286_010

He intentionally draws out Supergirl, but she proves to not be a robot, and Luthor winds up fleeing.  He has a death-ray, which he winds up shooting at himself when the car swerves.

act_286_011

After a somewhat obligatory stop in Atlantis, with Lori Lemaris and Jerro floating around, Supergirl picks up some rare elements, and brings Luthor back to life.  He is not grateful.

Action 267 – Luthor meets Hercules, and Supergirl meets the Legion of Super-Heroes

act_267

Binder, Boring and Kaye bring Hercules into the present in Action 267 (Aug. 60).

act_267_001

Luthor builds a time ray, and brings Hercules into the present, getting the confused demi-god to break him out of prison.  The story makes it clear that this is the same Hercules who Superboy met years earlier, in the pages of Adventure Comics, though with amnesia from the time trip.

act_267_002

It doesn’t take long for Hercules to figure out that Luthor is lying to him.  By the time Superman shows up, Hercules has no problems allowing Superman to cart the villain away.  Superman intends to send Hercules back to his own time, but Hercules asks to stick around and explore this world.  Superman arranges an identity for him, and gets him a job at the Daily Planet.

act_267_003

In his guise as a reporter, he falls for Lois Lane.  When danger threatens, he saves her, but does not try to conceal who he is.  In fact, he reveals that he is Hercules simply by flexing his muscles, which tears all his clothing off.

act_267_004

Lois rejects him, of course, as she loves only Superman.  So Hercules gets Perry to assign him an article in Greece.  Once there, he travels to magical Olympus, where he gains powers from a variety of the gods – basically making him Captain Marvel.  He vows to get rid of Superman.

The story concludes in the next issue.

act_267_005

The Legion of Super-Heroes make an early appearance in the Siegel and Mooney Supergirl story in this issue.

act_267_006

The story begins as a direct parallel to Superboy’s first meeting with the Legion.  Dressed as normal people, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl each approach Supergirl, after demonstrating their powers, and saving her from displaying hers.

act_267_007

Oddly, they introduce themselves as children of the Legionnaires who recruited Superboy.  That gets completely dropped from continuity, as does the idea that the Legion recruited Superboy before Supergirl.

act_267_008

They bring her to the 30th century, and show her the big sights, like the ice cream parlour.  At the Legion Clubhouse, she meets Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy and Invisible Kid, all of whom are making their first appearances.  The three do get to display their powers, but we learn nothing else about them.  Nor do we learn how “super-invisibility” differs from “invisibility.”  I really really can’t see him!

act_267_009

Supergirl seems a shoo-in for membership.  To show her abilities, she digs a tunnel through the Earth, just as she had done a year or so earlier.  But she winds up digging near some red kryptonite, which ages her beyond the team’s 18- year cut off for new members.  And the team, in these days, is notorious for sticking to rules over acting like decent people, so Supergirl is denied membership.

Back to the orphanage with you!

Tag Cloud