Posts tagged ‘Sinestro’

Action 444 – Superman kills Green Lantern, and someone else kills Black Canary

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Bates, Swan and Blaisdel pull off a much better team-up story for Superman, largely because the cover does not reveal everything.

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There is a mystery villain behind this story, recruiting two very alien beings to attack Superman.

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It’s a curious attack, that could expose his identity, but occurs in private.  Though shot, he is not wounded.  But he does start to emit sparks whenever he speaks.

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Not sure what is going on, he asks Green Lantern to scan him with his ring.  As the Lantern does so, the energy that caused the sparks emerges and kills Green Lantern.

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And that had been Sinestro’s plan all along.  Although his gloating over Green Lantern was none too wise. His cheme had been suspected, and the scan of Superman had been faked.

Aside from not showing him on the cover, Sinestro’s appearance is also unexpected, as he was just in the last issue.  Sinestro returns the following year in the debut issue of Secret Society of Super-Villains.

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Excellent art by Mike Grell on Maggin’s Green Arrow story in this issue.

He gets news that Black Canary has been killed, but the rest of this story is a flashback, leading up to this point, so the opening and closing are really the same.

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Oliver and Dinah had been investigating a crime cartel with a mysterious boss.  Black Canary decided to go undercover to infiltrate it.  But the message announcing her death makes it clear that something has gone wrong.

The story continues in the next issue.

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Action 443 – Superman saves the Justice League

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Maggin, Swan and Blaisdel give Superman a big line up of allies and enemies in Action 443 (Jan. 75).

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The story opens in a very disorienting way, with Superman as a nebbishy newscaster, picked on by Steve Lombard and rejected by Lois Lane.

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While Clark Kent is the one leaping into heroic action against Queen Bee and her drones.

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Queen Bee is leading a host of villains against the Justice League of America.  Most of them are regularly appearing big names – Chronos, Sinestro, Ocean Mchroaster, Grodd and Brainiac.  Matt Hagen makes his first appearance in over a decade as Clayface.  Merlyn and the Harpy are both newcomers. Harpy, the villain assigned to Black Canary, had appeared in Green Lantern, while Merlyn, who would go on to become a regular Green Arrow enemy, had only debuted recently in Justice League of America.

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The assembled villains had already triumphed over the rest of the Justice League, and in flashback we see them taking down Batman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Aquaman, Atom and Red Tornado.  At this point, Wonder Woman and Hawkman were not members of the JLA.

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Superman has used a Kandorian machine to reverse people’s perceptions of Superman and Clark Kent, simply to puzzle the villains.  They bring him aboard their ship, which is what he wants.  As he struggles with Grodd and Clayface, his heat vision pierces the capsule the Flash is being held in, and the Flash exploits this, and frees himself, and the rest of the League.

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A lot of characters.  The story is fun, but I cannot honestly say it makes the most of its cast.

 

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