Posts tagged ‘STAR Labs’

Action 464 – Superman vs the Purple Pile-Driver

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Superman does, indeed, battle a villain called the Purple Pile-Driver in Action 464 (Oct. 76), but thankfully that is not the main thrust of this first part of a three part tale, by Bates, Swan and Blaisdel.

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Melba Manton appears, broadcasting the deaths of a couple, which occurred right in front of their young son.  Melba was introduced a few years earlier in the pages of Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane, but her appearances were always sporadic.  In fact, this is her only appearance in 1976.

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Clark Kent heads to the orphanage to do a follow up piece on the boy, but he has escaped.  Apparently using a bat-rope.

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Superman has a second, conclusive round with Purple Pile-Driver, and defeats him just outside a STAR labs facility, where an explosion occurs.  Investigating, Superman finds a site that resembles the Flash origin, and hears that a teenage assistant was doused in chemicals and ran off.

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Superman follows the trail, and finds younger versions of Batman and the Flash, who insist they are the real thing, forced to re-live their lives.  By who?  He’s just off-panel!

Detective 595 – Batman battles invading aliens, and Mr. Freeze invades S.T.A.R. Labs

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Alan Grant and John Wagner are joined by Irv Novick and Steve Mitchell for Batman’s Invasion! crossover, in Detective 595 (Holiday 1988).

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Maxwell Lord contacts Batman after the alien invasion begins, but Batman begs off, insisting he must deal with the crime in Gotham.  But then Batman discovers Durlan shape-shifters running guns into the city.  They make the mistake of using cuban cigar crating for their guns, unaware of the US embargo.

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Batman defeats the Durlans and then heads down to Havana, where he takes on Thanagarian flyers.

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And big, nasty Khund warriors.

Considering that Batman was, largely, out of his league in the Invasion! storyline, this crossover gave him a chance to show his stuff against three of the major alien races involved.

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This issue also contains a Bonus Book, by Jeff O’Hare, Roderick Delgado and Jerry Acerno.

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It’s a really straightforward Mr. Freeze story.  He escapes from Arkham and heads to S.T.A.R. Labs, to steal a big diamond they have, to power his freeze gun.

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He captures and tries to kill Batman, who escapes and captures him.  Same old same old.

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