Posts tagged ‘red kryptonite’

Action 344 – Superman dreams Batman’s dreams

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Superman builds himself a big castle.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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