Posts tagged ‘Stan Kaye’

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

Action 264 – Superman transforms Bizarro World, and Supergirl gets adopted

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Binder, Boring and Kaye conclude the introduction of Bizarro World in Action 264 (May 1960).

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The execution is put on hold when the bell rings to call an end to the work day, and rescheduled for a week later.  Superman dreams that he gets turned into a Bizarro, and has big problems when he returns to Earth (as per the cover image).  The Bizarros make him battle other prisoners in a gladitorial arena while he waits out the week.

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Before they can carry out the sentence, Superman points out that their world itself is a perfect sphere, and offers to “fix” that.

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So it is Superman himself who turns Bizarro World into a cube.  He is released from his sentence in gratitude.

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Supergirl gets adopted, as the title of the story implies, in this Siegel and Mooney tale.

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Under orders from Superman to not be adopted, Linda tries to make herself look unappealing, but a couple pick her anyway.

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The father is a police officer, and the mother sits around knitting.  Linda finds the knitting boring, and uses her telescopic vision to watch her more dynamic father.  When he gets in trouble, she hypnotizes her new mom, and disguises herself as Superman to save him.

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But when hoods almost kill Linda, we learn that they already had a daughter, who died at the hands of criminals.  They don’t want the same thing to happen to another daughter, so take Linda back to the orphanage.

Really?  They ought to have thought of that before adopting her in the first place.  Jerks.

Action 263 – Superman on the world of Bizarros

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Bizarro returns in Action 263 (April 1960), in a great story by Binder, Boring and Kaye.

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Bizarro and Bizarro Lois found an abandoned world, and decided to live there, refashioning their ruins into new habitation.  Lonely, Bizarro creates a perfect duplicator machine, and they use it on each other, to fill their world with identical duplicates.

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Superman comes to check the planet out, and is puzzled by the insanity he sees all around him.  The Bizarro Code is first introduced, in which perfection is a crime.  Superman made the horrible mistake of fixing up some crumbling housing, for which he is arrested.

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The other prisoners being held have also committed the crime of fixing or repairing things.  Superman tries to escape, but the Bizarro jailers have a gun that drains his powers.  The gun seems to work perfectly, but no one questions that.

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Superman is put on trial, found guilty, and sentenced to be turned into a Bizarro.

The story concludes next issue.

 

 

Action 261 – Superman gives tours of his Fortress, Congorilla ends, and Streaky the Super-Cat debuts

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Great cover for Action 261 (Feb. 61). Sadly, the Superman story, by Siegel, Boring and Kaye, is not nearly as entertaining.

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Superman starts giving guided tours of his Fortress of Solitude.  He inspects the guests for hidden weapons or devices, but misses a bomb hidden in a lead thermos.

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Superman relates stories about his most dangerous foes – none of which are characters we have seen before or since.  Some Kandorians become aware of the bomb plot, but are unable to warn Superman because of a rainbow gem.  They do alert Superman in time, when the bombers cover the gem with the lead thermos lid.

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Congo Bill’s long -running series reaches the end of its run in Action Comics with this story by Robert bernstein and Howard Sherman.

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It’s not a great note to go out on.  Congo Bill accidentally rubs his ring while giving a performance, and the Golden Gorilla uses his body to run rampant.  Janu knows what is going on, and tries to calm the creature, but some hoods dressed as police take the boy down.

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It’s a lot of chaos and confusion.  Some parts are fun, and it’s a change of pace, but the switch back at the end of the story is the result of a bullet grazing the ring, which really should not have any effect at all.

The Congorilla series is not done, it simply moves to the pages of Adventure Comics.  But those stories are not that great, and the series ends within the year.

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Streaky, the Super-Cat gets introduced in this story by Siegel and Mooney.

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Linda rescues a stray cat, and names him Streaky, due to his markings.  Linda had also been experimenting with kryptonite, trying to find a cure. Streaky comes across some residue from her experiment, called x-kryptonite, which endows him with super-powers.

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The first thing he does is take vengeance on the dog that had attacked him earlier.  Supergirl discovers Streaky, and they play together for a while.

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Streaky’s powers vanish as quickly as they came.  Supergirl has no idea what caused them, and of course Streaky cannot explain.  The story leaves it open to the readers, as to whether Streaky’s powers will return.  And the readers clearly responded positively, as the cat will come across more x-kryptonite in the future.

Action 257 – Luthor gives Clark Kent super-powers, and Supergirl pretends to be a fairy

act_257 Binder, Boring and Kaye are the creative team for the Superman story in Action 257 (Oct. 59). act_257_001 Luthor escapes from prison, and builds a machine that will give normal people super-powers. Uncertain of the side effects, he intends to test it on one of his own men, but they are nowhere to be found.  Probably because they are tired of being tested on. Clark Kent and Lois Lane happen to be passing by, so Luthor uses the machine on Clark.  He cannot tell if the machine really had an effect on him, but notices that it seems to have given powers to a fly. act_257_002 Although this story is not played for comedy, it verges on it.  Clark now gets to use his powers in everyday life, with no one being suspicious. act_257_003 Lois and Perry are both puzzled when Clark starts using his powers to acquire wealth, though Luthor is pleased with the news. act_257_004 But when Clark gives his riches away to charity, and acts as if this behaviour is a side effect of the powers, Luthor decides his machine is flowed and destroys it. act_257_005 Binder and Mooney let Supergirl show her stuff in this month’s story.  Linda is reading fairy tales to some of the young orphans.  One of the boys insists that fairies do not exist, so Linda decides to mess with him.  I loved this story as a kid, when I read it as a reprint in an issue of Superman Family, but now it all seems pretty cruel, especially since the boy is right. act_257_006 Supergirl disguises herself as a fairy, and uses her powers to perform feats of magic. act_257_007 Eventually she traumatizes the boy into submission. Good for you, Supergirl, you taught that rotten kid a lesson for insisting that fairy tales are not reality.

Action 256 – Superman sees the future, Janu becomes Congorilla, and Dick Wilson debuts

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A true classic cover on Action 256 (Sept. 59), for the Superman story by Binder, Swan and Kaye.

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Superman undergoes a scientific experiment that transforms him into a future man, the Ultra-Superman.  He can foresee the future, and even show his thoughts to others as images.  He announces four disasters that will strike, and tries to prevent them.

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Three attempts end in failure, and Ultra-Superman loses faith in his ability to change what he has foreseen, the assassination of the US president, presumably Eisenhower, although he is not named.

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But no, the whole thing was an elaborate hoax, designed to draw out the would-be assassins.  The Swan art makes this fun, and I love the cutaway on the egg-head, revealing the camera.

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Janu makes his first appearance in a Congorilla story, although Howard Sherman presents the tale as if Janu is already familiar with the animal and situation.  Janu is working as a stunt double for an obnoxious child actor on a film set in the jungle.  Janu does things for the movie like swim next to crocodiles, and Congo Bill allows this.  For some reason.

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Janu swipes Bill’s ring, and becomes Congorilla, using the ape to humiliate the actor.

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Congo Bill knows what is going on, and has no trouble with it. The director finds the apes antics cinematic, and the child star gets replaced by Janu, while Bill takes the ape role as Congorilla.

So really, the story is about them taking over a production, and making themselves the stars.

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Dick Wilson is introduced in this story by Binder and Mooney.  He sees Supergirl flying near the orphanage, and tries to figure out who she might be.

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As Linda is not aware that Dick is onto her, her carelessness leads him to suspect her.  From then on, the story is a gender reversal of the Lois Lane or Lana Lang stories, as Linda has to prove that she is not Supergirl. The odd thing is that no one yet knows Supergirl even exists.

I do love the panel where Linda super-sorts the steel from the dumbbell up her nose.

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Superman has created a Supergirl robot, and gives it to Linda as a gift, to help protect her identity.

Dick Wilson will return.  He eventually gets adopted, and his last name gets changed to Malverne.

 

Action 248 – Jimmy and Clark in prison, and Congo Bill becomes Congorilla

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Congorilla gets to share the cover of Action 248 (Jan. 59) with Superman.  This is only the second time Congo Bill has been represented on the cover of this book, despite a run of over 15 years.

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The Superman story, by Finger, Boring and Kaye, has Clark Kent investigating a secret base on an island, which turns out to be run by a former Nazi.  Jimmy Olsen has tagged along, and he is captured and imprisoned, along with Clark.  Jimmy isn’t much use in the story.  He is around largely to make it more difficult for Clark to change to Superman and back.

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The Nazi is building a spy satellite.  Superman saves Jimmy from being executed, but they just stick him in the rocket that will launch the satellite.

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Superman rescues Jimmy.  Before he rounds up the Nazis, he makes them think their satellite would not function, so as to ensure no one else repeats it.

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Robert Bernstein scribed this Howard Sherman tale, as the Golden Gorilla returns.  He is the living god of a tribe, lead by the chief Kawolo.

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As Kawolo dies, he passes a sacred ring on to Congo Bill.  This ring, when rubbed, allows the wearer to switch minds with the ape.

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Congo Bill accepts the ring, but doesn’t really believe the tale.  When he gets trapped in a cave-in, he gives it a chance, and it works.  In the Golden Gorilla’s body, he digs his Congo Bill body out.

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The movie producers are after him, and briefly cage Congorilla – the name given to the merging of the Golden Gorilla’s body with Congo Bill’s brain.  Bill manages to escape, of course.

Janu does not appear at all in this story.

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