Posts tagged ‘Steve Lombard’

Action 562 – Queen Bee meets King Alexander

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Alexander the Great, aka the Planeteer returns, now calling himself King Alexander, in the Rozakis, Schaffenberger and Hunt story in Action 562 (Dec. 84).

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The story has a subplot about Steve Lombard,who was fired from WGBS by Morgan Edge in the pages of Superman.  He is starring in a production of Damn Yankees, and has sent opening night tickets to Clark, Lana, Jimmy and Perry White.  Perry actually winds up stopping a pair of robbers during the show, and his wife Alice gets a small role.

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Queen Bee gets most of the attention in the story.  She has been causing magnetic anomalies throughout Metropolis.  She has found an immortality serum that needs a constant recharge of magnetic energy to allow her to stay mobile.

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And who should also be back in Metropolis but the magnetically powered Alexander?

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They hit it off, and Alexander thinks its true love and world conquest, unaware that he is being drugged, and his power drained, by Zazzala.

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Mind you, even when Superman explains to him what is going on, he just chooses not to believe it.  He has fallen hard.  Superman uses the couple’s magnetism against them.

This is the final appearance of Alexander the Great aka Planeteer aka King Alexander, and the Queen Bee is next seen in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

And Steve Lombard’s revival of Damn Yankees closes after one night.

Action 528 – Superman and Brainiac vs the Death Star

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Ok, it’s not called the Death Star in the story, but it so totally is.  And that’s what people I knew called the story in Action 528 (Feb.82) at the time it came out, after Empire Strikes Back.

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They even use Star Wars style lettering for the title of this story, by Wolfman, Swan and Chiaramonte.

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There is a totally non-Star Wars related plot in the story, as Morgan Edge intends to sell off the Daily Planet, which is losing money for Galaxy Communications.  Perry White is not the only one upset, and Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Steve Lombard and Jimmy Olsen spend the story awaiting news on this.

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Superman gets far more interesting stuff to do, having been contacted by Brainiac, who warns him of an approaching, all-consuming artificial world.  Brainiac did build the thing, before realizing how all-destroying it would be.  Oops.

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The two heroes work together, Superman penetrating the world, while Brainiac advises him from his ship.  This invasion proves fruitless, and Brainiac tries turning the planet “off,” putting it in a dormant state while Superman attacks.

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But even “asleep,” the planet takes down Superman.

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A really good, suspenseful ending.  An injured Superman collapses in front of the waiting Daily Planet staff, while Brainiac observes the destructive effects of the not-Death Star’s approach to Earth.

The story continues in the next chapter.

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Aquaman gets a solo chapter as part of Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte’s continuing story arc.

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Materializing on the alien world Air Wave had been drawn to, Aquaman finds a race of intelligent sea creatures, who are being exploited and enslaved by land dwellers.  Aquaman decides to help them, just as the land dwellers show up.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 523 – Steve Lombard – alien, and the Atom saves his parents

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Conway, Swan and Chiaramonte weave a story that repelled me enough that I stopped buying this series after this issue.

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It’s not really that bad a story, so I’m not sure why I hated it so much.  It opens with the Daily Planet staff playing baseball.  There are enjoyable bits for Lois and Lana, Perry and Jimmy.  Clark gets picked on by Steve Lombard, but he is also going crazy, playing with people who were not professional athletes.  Then a goofy looking alien shows up, claiming to be his brother.

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We, and Steve, learn that he was adopted, and there is circumstantial evidence to back up the alien’s claim.  The alien is a shape-shifter, who can take Steve’s form.

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But that all turns out to be a lie.  The alien is part of a race of really competitive athletes, who steal the forms and skills of people from a variety of planets.  He stole Steve’s form and skills, but the real prize is Superman.

But Superman was suspicious, and resisting their energy drain, and beats them.

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Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta continue the Atom’s battle with the Calculator, although most of the story is spent in the past Ray Palmer escaped to in the Time Pool.

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He saves a young couple in a storm, who will one day become his parents.

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Returning, he stays small and out of sight, but tells Professor Hyatt what to do in order to defeat the Calculator.

But as with many Calculator stories, it seems finished, but continues next issue.

Action 500 – the life story of Superman

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Action 500 (Oct. 79) is an oversize special, which does a good job of providing a fairly comprehensive story of Superman.

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte choose a big public tour of a new Superman pavilion as the framing device for the tale.  The various rooms give focus to different parts of the story.

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There is also a machine at the exposition which draws out Superman’s memories, so that people can enjoy his grief as he recalls Jor-El and Lara, and his early life on Krypton. But a mystery villain is making use of the device, channeling the memories into a Superman duplicate he is creating.

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The creation of the Phantom Zone is referenced, as well as Krypto on a test rocket.

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The Kents are shown, finding the boy and raising him, both through his Superbaby phase, and later Superboy.

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The story often uses exact swipes of scenes and images from earlier stories.  The death of Pa Kent duplicates the first telling of the event.

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As does the farewell message from the people of Smallville.

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Clark Kent’s life in Metropolis is shown, getting the job from Perry White at the Daily Planet, and working with Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.  Morgan Edge’s takeover is related, with Steve Lombard making an appearance.

Supergirl gets her own room in the pavilion, and a montage of her career.  Other aspects are really downplayed.  The Legion of Super-Heroes appear, in their current line-up, in the Superboy room, but are not talked about.

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Still, Lori Lemaris does make it into the triptych of his loves, along with Lois and Lana.

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The villain room is the most notable – for its absences.  Aside from Luthor and Brainiac, only the Toyman and Parasite are shown.  Brainiac has his story told in depth, as it relates to Kandor.

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The mystery villain turns out to be Lex Luthor, which is not that much of a surprise.

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And the duplicate gives himself away when he relates Luthor’s origin from Luthor’s own, very slanted, view.

As a story, this leaves something to be desired.  But as a Superman compendium, it works.

Action 498 – Vartox loses his world

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Vartox returns in Action 498 (Aug. 79),in a story by Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte.

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Vartox returns to his homeworld, Valeron, from a mission in apace, only to see it explode before his eyes.  Worldless, he comes to Earth.

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Superman is happy to see him, and consoling. But also a bit worried when they come across a crashed space ship, and Vartox thinks it is full of dying Valerians, blaming him.

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But this doesn not worry Superman that much, it seems. As Clark, he gets Vartox a job as head of security for WGBS, and gives him a human identity, Vernon O’Valeron.  Vartox slips easily into this role, getting the best of Steve Lombard, after he makes Clark look like a fool, and beginning a romance with Lana Lang.

As the issue draws to an end, Vartox discovers that the same thing that destroyed his planet (enlarging and exploding atoms) is about to happen on Earth.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Action 489 – Krypton’s destruction comes to Earth, and the Atom ends

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte begin a three-part story in Action 489 (Nov.78), as the force from Krypton’s explosion arrives at Earth so many years later.

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It’s big news, everyone is aware of it.  Morgan Edge is preparing a WGBS special, and broadcasting the view live, with Lana Lang, Lois Lane and Steve Lombard all part of the show.  Clark Kent is meant to be there, but he is busy with the Justice League.  They have noticed that he has been running himself ragged over the past couple of days, but Superman refuses to tell Batman, Green Lantern, Hawkman and Wonder Woman what is going on, simply advising them that he can take care of things.

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The Kandorians are having a special memorial because of the event, and are upset that Superman is not with him.  But to them, Supergirl explains the reason – Brainiac is back.  He has demanded a one-on-one battle with Superman.  In case he does not survive, Superman has been trying to get as much done as possible, and Brainaic has also blackmailed him, though the use of bombs, into keeping the Justice League out of it.

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Brainiac traps Superman on the roof of his ship, and forces him to watch the explosion of Krypton.

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The Atom’s series, by Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta, comes to an abrupt end with the DC Implosion.

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The story is an entertaining one, with Jean Loring being the executor of a will, and the heirs unhappy with the distribution.  Some seemingly low value bequests get stolen, and the Atom gets onto the case.

act_489_006 It’s a good little mystery, with an interesting conclusion, as mementos prove more important than money to one man. The Atom’s series, like Air Wave’s, returns in a little over a year.

Action 482 – Amazo vs the Supermobile

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte continue the Amazo story, pitting the android against the Supermobile in Action 482 (April 1978).

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Superman continues to fight Amazo in the Supermobile, due to his loss of powers.  The story is recapped as a WGBS special, with Steve Lombard, Lana Lang, and even weatherman Oscar Asherman weighing in.

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Amazo has vowed to kill Superman’s friends, and of course the first one he goes after is Lois Lane.  Superman was expecting that (who wasn’t?) and uses the Supermobile to rescue Lois.

It might have been fun to have Amazo go after others, and have Superman rescue them as well, until the Supermobile got so full he couldn’t move.  Good thing I don’t write these.

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Superman and Amazo’s battle leads into space, and through a small time warp, taking them a few days ahead, to where the red sun rays are nolonger an issue, and Superman’s powers return.  Ivo reveals that he has been in Superman’s cape the entire time, shrunk down by the ray to enter Kandor.

Superman leaves Amazo stuck in the planetoid, and flies Lois and Ivo back to Earth.

The story concludes in the next issue.

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