Posts tagged ‘Susie Tompkins’

Action 484 – Superman marries Lois Lane

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Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Joe Giella craft a true landmark story as Clark Kent and Lois Lane get married in Action 484 (June 1978).

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I bought this issue, and ran home all excited to read it when I was 12 years old. I was quite stunned when I started the tale, and saw that it was set on Earth-2.  Flipping back to the cover, I noticed only then that the Daily Star was featured, cluing in any experienced reader to which earth the story was set on.

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The story has two villains. Colonel Future, who had fought Superman back in the 40s, calls on the Wizard, a Justice Society of America foe, for aid against Superman.  The Colonel provides the Wizard with a rare and powerful wand, strong enough to permanently affect the man of steel.

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The effect of the Wizard’s spell is not to kill Superman, but rather to remove Clark Kent’s memory of ever being such a person.  The side effect of this is that Clark now begins acting more forceful and aggressive, drawing the attention of Lois Lane.

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Close to a year after Superman disappears, Lois and Clark get married.  In attendance are Lois’ sister Lucille, as well as her daughter Susie.  George Taylor is also featured in this story, as editor of the Daily Star.

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Superman has lost his memory, but not his powers, and Lois is shocked when she sees Clark get machine gunned from behind, and is both uninjured, and unaware of the attack.  She tests him as he sleeps, and realizes he is Superman.  Lois seeks out the Wizard, now a powerless bum.  No one believes he really is responsible for Superman disappearing, but Lois takes his story seriously.  She agonizes for a while, knowing that once he recalls being Superman, their relationship will change for good.  But she feels the world needs him more than she does, and arranges for a public press conference.

The Wizard reverses his spell, in front of a big crowd, and Superman returns.  The Wizard is thrilled that people believe him, less thrilled when Superman carts him off to jail.

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With his memory back, Superman takes Lois to his fortress in the hills outside Metropolis.

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There, they undergo a Kryptonian wedding ceremony.

This version of Superman and Lois Lane (now Lois Kent) continue to appear, in the Mr. and Mrs. Superman series, which begins in the pages of Superman in a couple of months.

 

Action 110 – Susie and Mother Goose, Zatara teaches safety, and Vigilante helps a “girl sheriff”, and gets a movie serial

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Susie returns in the Ira Yarborough tale in Action 110 (July 1947), although the story does not have her usual theme of telling lies.

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Lois tricks Clark into accompanying her and Susie to a Mother Goose show for children.  Susie gets bored and wanders off, and you can’t really blame her, the show looks awful.

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Hoods are trying to rob the show, dressed in costume.  Between Superman’s efforts to stop them, and the fact that the audience thinks the robbery is just part of the show, they fail dismally.

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One of the reasons I am including so few Zatara stories is that they have gone from being silly and jokey to preachy.

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This story by Samachson and White is a perfect example.  Zatara is performing for a group of school children, and all his magic is dedicated to traffic safety.

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As a kid I really hated any story that worked so obviously to push its message, and the magic just isn’t dramatic enough to carry it above the spoon-fed authority.

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The Vigilante and Stuff are in the west again, at Benton City’s centennial, in this story by George Roussos.

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The town elected the great-granddaughter of the founder as sheriff for the centennial year, but she is having a difficult time maintaining her status, as the criminals are trying to discredit her.  Although it is clearly unusual to have a female sheriff, she is shown to be fully capable of her duties.  Vigilante helps her out, but this is obviously meant to be a special case.

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Stuff is looking a little less Chinese now, although he is still called the Chinatown Kid.  His odd hat, which was clearly meant to convey some sort of Chinese headgear, is nowhere in sight.  The Vigilante’s cycle has almost reached its classic state, although it’s a horrible green in this story.

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The most awkward moment in the story comes when Stuff has to pull the badge off the sheriff’s ample chest, to use to cut them free.

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The Vigilante serial was advertised in this issue.  Greg Sanders is made an actor, rather than a singer, and Stuff is made into a young, white adult.  The actor idea would not take hold on the comics, but Stuff’s race change would.

 

 

Action 98 – Susie gets into the movies

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A slapstick-y cover for Action 98 (July 1946), and an equally light Superman story inside this month.

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Ira Yarborough brings back Lois Lane’s niece, Susie, for another romp of lies that Superman makes comes true. Completely unlike the Hocus and Pocus stories, in which he makes fake magic come true.

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Susie starts off the story by insisting that she is about to become a movie start.  Her mother, Lois’ unnamed sister, gets upset with her for lying, and Susie runs away.  She goes to sleep in what seems to be an abandoned car, but it actually belongs to some thieves.

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While Lois and Clark starts searching for the runaway girl, the hoods use Susie to gain access to a home, in order to rob a ruby of the owner.  Susie realizes she is helping thieves, and runs away from them as well.

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It’s a lot of chaos and silly comedy, which of course ends with Susie actually being in a movie.

It’s somewhat ironic that all of Susie’s “lies” eventually come true, with Superman’s help.  Is Susie really lying, or does she have some sort of psychic power she is too young to understand?

Action 68 – Susie returns

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Susie Tompkins makes her second appearance in Action 68 (Jan. 44), which does everything to indicate that it is her first appearance.  I’m not sure why Don Cameron, Ira Yarborough and Stan Kaye felt it was important to pretend the earlier story did not exist.

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Susie is introduced to Clark Kent at the Daily Planet, and perhaps that is why she doesn’t seem to recognize him.  I mean, Lois can’t tell the difference between Clark and Superman due to their glasses, so perhaps there is a genetic abnormality in her family that prevents recognition in different situations.  Anyway, Susie immediately starts lying, telling Perry White that she caught a whale.

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Superman is enchanted by her, for some reason, and goes out of his way to make her story seem true.  Maybe just because Lois is always coming down on the girl, and as Clark, he feels her pain.  Whatever the reason, it’s the worst thing Superman could have done, as Susie learns that Superman will make her lies come true.  Hearing about Lois’ newspaper scoops, she decides to call ion one herself, about a forthcoming riot.

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Lois is angry and embarrassed when the story comes out under her byline.  Superman starts trying to find out what Susie overheard to spark the story, and discovers that her lie was, in fact, true, if only by fluke.  He stops the riot, and Lois’ reputation is restored.

It’s a couple of years before Susie returns, in the pages of Superman.

Action 59 – Superman meets Susie, and the Vigilante meets the Fiddler

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Superman meets Lois’ niece Susie in this issue, but not inside a Nazi tank, despite the cover for Action 59 (April 1943).

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The story itself, by Siegel, Sikela and Dobrotka, bears no resemblance to the style of Susie’s later stories.  Susie would come to be known as a “teller of tall tales,” to be polite.

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In this story, Lois enlists Clark as an emergency babysitter.  We learn that Susie is the daughter of Lois’ sister, although that woman is not named.  As Susie’s last name is Tompkins, that at least gives us the father’s name.

Clark starts reading Susie the story of Cinderella, but falls asleep while doing so.

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The rest of the story relates the Cinderella story, with Susie aged into the lead role, and Superman standing in for the fairy godmother.

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There are some men trying to kill the prince, which gives Superman an opportunity for some action.  At the end, Clark wakes, and Susie and Lois are both amused that Clark would dream that he is Superman.

Susie returns next year in this book.

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Mort Meskin and Charles Paris introduce a new foe for the Vigilante in this issue, the Fiddler.  Although superficially similar, this is quite a different character from the better known one, the Flash villain introduced a few years down the road.

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This Fiddler passes himself off as a harmless old street musician, while secretly communicating with his criminal gang through his music.

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Even after his gang winds up in a fight with Vigilante and Stuff, they have no idea that the “witness” they question is really the leader of the gang.

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Later, as Vigilante and Stuff stop a shipboard robbery, Greg hears the same music, and recognizes the man’s voice.  Stuff appears to get shot, but misses the bullet by falling overboard, and swims back in time to save Vigilante.

The Fiddler is captured and sent to prison, but returns in a couple of months anyway.

 

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