Posts tagged ‘Streaky’

Action 387 – Superman at the end of time, and the Legion vs tax laws

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Bates, Swan and Roussos conclude Superman’s travel through time in Action 387 (April 1970).

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He encounters some astronauts, frozen in suspended animation for centuries, and revives them in the year 801,970.

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Travelling even further into the future, he reaches a time when the entire planet is dead and devoid of life.  If those are different.  Anyway, he cuts the planet open and terraforms it, and brings life forms, including humans, from other worlds to populate it and start the cycle again.

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There is a very unexpected attack from Lex Luthor.  He had never believed Superman dead, and left behind a weapon, powered by his eternal hate, to kill him.  It fails.

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Superman travels even further ahead, but Time Trapper loops him, and sends him back to the start. He blacks out, waking to find himself a baby in his parents arms on Krypton.  A few more blackout time jumps, and Superman is back to where he was at the start of the saga.

Which is a bit of a let-down finish, if you ask me.

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Bridwell, Mortimer and Abel share one of the oddest Legion stories.  Every single member appears.  Even the Super-Pets appear.  And I’m tagging them ALL.

And the board is also worth noting, on the first page. The Legionnaires appear in the order they joined the team.  Supergirl is located between Star Boy and Brainiac 5, while Superboy is later, between Shrinking Violet and Sun Boy.

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An evil tax man shows up, and the Legion discover that they have to get rid of one member, or have to pay taxes.  As they do not actually make money by being the Legion, I’m not sure what they would be taxed on, but it’s enough of a threat that they all start vying to be the one to leave.  Timber Wolf and Chemical King are the first to offer, being the most recent to join.

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The team attempt to hold a random draw, but it gets rigged, and then everyone starts claiming responsibility for rigging it.

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Supergirl insists that she should be the one to leave, as she attends the fewest meeting.  Brainiac 5 is not happy, and the Super-Pets all but revolt, insisting that they will disband if she leaves.

Brainiac 5 is selected by the computer as the hero who performed the fewest feats, but everyone insists his mind is worth more than just feats.

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Finally, it is Superboy who chooses to leave.  His powers are duplicated by Mon-El, and he has no romance or clinging pets, as Supergirl does.  Notice that Krypto would resign if Supergirl left, but not Superboy.

Duo Damsel is the one most upset about his departure. Luornu’s unrequited love for Superboy would be touched on again in the future.

For many of the characters, this was the last appearance they have before the end of the Legion’s run in Action Comics.  Ironically, this is also the last appearance of the full line up of the Super-Pets, as Beppo does not appear again, aside from flashbacks in comprehensive Superman origin tales.

 

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Action 309 – the Superman family, and the secret of Supergirl’s parents

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Edmond Hamilton gave Curt Swan and George Klein an awful lot of work in Action 309 (Feb. 64).

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I’m including the splash page of this story to give you some idea of the amount of guest stars who appear.  But this is not just trivial packing, it’s also part of the suspense of the story.

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JFK, looking awfully shadowy, tricks Superman into going to a location, which is where a “this is your life!” special about him is being broadcast.  It’s not that much of a surprise for Superman, Clark Kent received an invitation.

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But who will Superman get to be Clark?  Lois and Lana have a robot detector, as they are using the special to try to prove Clark is Superman.  Lori Lemaris reads their minds, and alerts Superman to the danger.  Lex Luthor makes a cameo, watching the show from prison, but he is the only villain really featured in the tale.

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The Super-Pets put on an impressive show under Supergirl’s command.

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Superboy’s friend Pete Ross makes his first appearance as an adult, and we see a very aged Police Chief Parker from Smallville as well.  All the usual friends are there, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White, as well as representatives from Kandor.  Among them are the “Lookalike Squad”, the ones who are identical to people in Superman’s life.  This includes the Clark Kent lookalike, Van-Zee, and his Lois Lane lookalike wife, Sylvia. Even the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club show up, one of whom is dumb enough to bring a chunk of gold kryptonite as a gift.

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But then the Legion of Super-Heroes show up, and Element Lad changes the rock and saves the day.  Chameleon Boy is part of the group, eliminating him as the phony Clark Kent.

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Batman unmasks in front of Lois, but is wearing a Bizarro face.  A nice laugh on snoopy Lois, and a way to work the Bizarro image into the story.

So who is left that could possibly have been Clark Kent?

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Why, JFK of course.

Very disturbingly, this issue was released only a couple of weeks after the assassination of JFK.

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Dorfman and Mooney add yet another twist to the never-dull life of Supergirl.

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Linda is being haunted by dreams of her dead parents, Zor-El and Alura, and can’t even enjoy her dates with Dick Malverne.   She wonders if her parents might be trapped in the Phantom Zone, because of their ghostly nature.  She checks with Comet, who can telepathically sense them somewhere.

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Supergirl can find no trace of them, but does find a remorseful Kryptonian, Jer-Em.  He is willing to tell her of them, but Jax-Ur, Zod, Kru-El and Professor Vakox muddle his telepathy.

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In Kandor, Supergirl uses a chronoscope to review the events of Argo City, her departure for Earth and the death of her parents.  She learns that Jer-Em altered the direction of Argo City’s flight, to take them away from an empowering yellow sun, believing it was evil.  But the change in course lead to the meteor shower that ruined the city.

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She also discovers that her parents did survive, heading into a place like the Phantom Zone, but without all the yucky criminals, called the Survival Zone.

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Supergirl vows to find and free her parents!

 

 

 

 

 

Action 292- Superman defends Luthor, and Supergirl meets Comet, the Super-Horse

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Superman winds up fighting for Luthor’s life and freedom in Al Plastino’s story in Action 292 (Sept. 62).

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Luthor escapes from prison, and Earth, using the statue atop his Luthor’s Lair as a rocketship.  The Superman Emergency Squad cameo, sending out a Superman robot to try to stop him.  Luthor wrecks the robot, but it’s parts stay on the ship.

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Lex winds up landing on the planet Roxar, a world run by robots, with human-looking android servitors.  Not realizing the inverse dynamic on this world, Luthor kills a robot, and winds up imprisoned.

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Superman spends a lot of the story just trying to prove to the robots that human are worthy of being considered sentient beings.  That was the hardest part, as he uses some of the wrecked Superman robot, and the rocket’s energy source, to rebuild the robot Luthor “killed,” negating the need for a trial completely.

But with the rocket no longer functional, Superman leaves Luthor trapped on Roxar.  Luthor returns a couple months down the road.

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Comet, the Super-Horse gets a formal introduction in this Dorfman and Mooney story.  Comet had appeared in the first Super-Pets story, in Adventure Comics, a few months earlier, and a thousand years in the future.

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Much of this story consists of dreams that Linda has.  They will begin normally, with Dick Malverne, or Streaky, but then a flying, white, super-powered horse, Comet, shows up to help her as things go haywire.

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After the second such dream, Linda really begins to fantasize about her hero horse.

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So she heads off to a ranch vacation, where she spots a horse identical to the one in her dreams.  Riding it, she decides that it does have powers, although we don’t see anything that really backs that up.  Nonetheless, she puts a cape on Comet, and he does begin to fly.

The story continues in the next issue.

 

Action 287 – Superman’s bad dreams, and Supergirl kills

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The second half of the Superman Revenge Squad story, in Action 287 (April 1962) never quite lives up to the joyous insanity of the first half, though Swan and Klein’s art remains superb.

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Superman has one long dream, which sees him become a criminal against his will.  He is hunted by the police, and Perry White.

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Finally the payoff comes, as the Revenge Squad attack Earth right in front of Superman, and hope that he will think it was just a dream.

Really?  That was the plan?

They deserved to lose.

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Now, onto a story that I have so much to say about.  Siegel and Mooney’s deadly Supergirl tale.

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Linda Danvers is invited to join a Superman fan club, and does. Lois Lane has been brought in to give a talk.  She proves more insightful than usual, as she pegs Linda as looking identical to Supergirl.

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Returning home, Linda sees that her model of the Legion Clubhouse is ringing.  That alerts her to look at the Legion figures on her bookshelf, which are flashing, which means they want her to come to help them.  You’d think she could do without being alerted to look at the glowing figures on the bookshelf, but apparently not.

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She gets to the 30th century just as Legion are performing live on 3D television.  It’s being watched in “millions of homes,” but for some reason they chose to show us this family, who cannot say anything interesting.

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A positive energy being, who is a transformed scientist, is wreaking havoc in space, as is a negative energy bird.  That’s why the Legion called on her.  She sets them up to take each other out.  In other words, sets them up to kill each other.  Pretty much the same as just killing them herself.  And the story makes it clear that the positive being still has some degree of the scientist’s sentience in it.

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But whatever. Moving on, we get introduced to Whizzy.  This super-powered cat wears a collar that proclaims him to be the descendant of Streaky, and he claims to have acquired his ancestor’s powers through evolution. Which is extremely unlikely, given that Streaky’s powers are a temporary effect from exposure to x-kryptonite.

Oh, and we see an android store, where a woman wants an android nanny who looks just like her, so her children will not be able to tell them apart.  Yes, because she is clearly as heartless as the android.

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Oh, gosh, there’s more.  The Legionnaires lose their powers as a result of the positive/negative explosion, and Supergirl uses her powers to make it look like they have not.  But they aren’t really the Legionnaires, they are evil impostors, a chameleon race.  Which likely means they are also Durlans, from Chameleon Boy’s homeworld.

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They reveal themselves to Supergirl, and send her and Whizzy into the Phantom Zone.

Darned unfriendly.

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But everything works out in the end, as she gets Whizzy to telepathically order a chameleon android, and…

Can I just stop now?

No, because I must point out that this is the one and only appearance of Whizzy.

 

Action 277 – Luthor’s multi-coloured kryptonite, and Supergirl judges the super-pets

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The Battle of the Super-Pets really does happen in the Supergirl story in Action 277 (June 1961), but first, the Superman tale.

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Bill Finger, Curt Swan and John Forte pull off one of the best Lex Luthor tales from the era in this story.

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Luthor escapes from prison, and heads to his own version of the Fortress of Solitude, Luthor’s Lair, located in an abandoned museum, complete with trophies, a lab, monitoring devices and statues of his heroes.

Luthor’s Lair will return in a number of stories in the next few years.

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Luthor announces his plans to rob Fort Knox, luring Superman there. Luthor has a machine that shoots out a variety of coloured kryptonite balls.  Sadly, despite the colours, none of these have any of the effects of true coloured kryptonite.  The fourth dimensional arm he uses to steal the entire fort is impressive.

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Luthor rejoices over his triumph, especially because the kryptonite balls were fakes.  But all that turns sour when he finds out that he did not defeat Superman, just one of his robots.

Infuriated, Luthor returns Fort Knox and all its gold, and even goes back to prison.  Defeating Superman is the one and only thing that really matters to him.

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Siegel and Mooney have a lot of fun finally fulfilling the long-delayed promise to pit the Superman/Krypto team against the Supergirl/Streaky team.

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Trouble starts when Krypto saves Supergirl from being adopted (oh, no!) and Streaky gets jealous when Supergirl thanks him.

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Powering himself up, Streaky attacks Krypto.  Their masters get involved, and even pit the animals against each other to see which will win.  Because of the potential for peripheral destruction, Supergirl takes the animals to a far-off planet to compete in a series of tests.

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Each competition gets interrupted by bizarre and unusual events.

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Supergirl discovers that the planet was set-up by Mr. Mxyzptlk, and none of the odd things that happened were actually attacks.  Although no winner is proclaimed, one sequence did see Streaky come to the rescue of Supergirl and Krypto, when they believed themselves endangered by kryptonite, which Streaky is immune to.

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The story ends as Beppo, the Super-Monkey, shows up.  Beppo was recently introduced as a pet sidekick for Superbaby, this marks his first appearance in the “present.”

You gotta love Streaky’s reaction “Gaaa!  ANOTHER rival!”

Action 271 – Superman heads into space, and Supergirl builds her own Fortress

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Binder and Plastino are the creative team on the Superman story in Action 271 (Dec. 60), as Electro (not named in this issue) makes his first of two cover appearances.

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In this story the odd character is simply referred to as one of the “light tube people,” who uses his odd little spaceship to perform some helpful acts, before enlisting Superman’s aid.  His planet is in deadly danger, and he requests Superman’s help.  Superman gets into the tiny sphere.

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It’s really all a hoax, and a trap, designed by Lex Luthor.

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The lead-lined sphere is attached to a bomb which will blow up Metropolis if Superman breaks out.

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Luthor then sends a Superman impersonator to the United Nations, where he makes a pleading case that everyone turn over their nuclear weapons, so that he can use them to save the world of the light tube people.  Oddly, everyone agrees.  This is clearly a much more compassionate world than the Earth in our reality.

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Superman’s escape is pretty clever, as he heats the air within the sphere to make it float like a balloon, and waits for lightning to short out the bomb.

Now you may be wondering, if Electro did not really exist in this story, how does he make a second cover appearance?

Wait and find out!

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Siegel and Mooney have Supergirl adopted yet again in this story.

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It begins as she builds her own, underground, Fortress of Solitude, complete with models of herself and her friends.  For some reason, she feels it necessary to label the Linda Lee statue as her secret identity.  In case she forgets?

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No matter what the reason, it was a very bad idea, as archaeologists break into the Fortress.  The leader of the team hypnotizes everyone else to forget what they have seen.

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He and his wife then adopt Linda, and are very nice to her, but use her to get rich.  It’s not long before she figures out what is going on.  They then reveal that they know her identity.

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Streaky the Super-Cat saves the day, accidentally lobotomizing the corrupt couple with his x-ray vision.  They lose all memory of Supergirl’s identity, and make a lame excuse to return Linda to the orphanage.

 

Action 266 – Streaky, the Super-Cat returns

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Despite the promise on the cover of Action 266 (July 1960), neither the Superman nor Supergirl story in this issue pit the two teams against each other, although Krypto and Streaky do both appear in the Siegel and Mooney Supergirl tale.

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Streaky, the Super-Cat is brought back in this story.

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Paul Dexter, a boy at the orphanage, is central to this tale, but it’s his only appearance.  Superman stops by, entertaining the kids, along with Krypto.  Paul ties a cape on Streaky, and tries to coax him into being super-powered, which, of course, does not work.

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But that piece of x-kryptonite is still around.  Streaky gets it buried in a ball of twine, which stays in the basement of the orphanage, where it can power the cat up whenever the story requires it.

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Paul sees Streaky’s super-deeds, but none of the other kids do.  Linda rushes around covering up for Streaky, in case it reveals her identity, but this does make Paul look like he is either a compulsive liar, or insane.

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In the end Supergirl arranges a preposterous explanation, that Krypto was trying to make Streaky think that he had powers.  Oh, the way those animals pull human-like tricks on each other.

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