Posts tagged ‘Terra-Man’

Action 557 – Terra-Man gets bored

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Kupperberg, Swan and Hunt give Terra-Man his last major pre-Crisis appearance in Action 557 (July 1984).

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The story begins with a wild west showdown between Terra-Man and Superman, although we learn that this is just a robot in a robot town, which Terra-Man uses to amuse himself.  But he is bored, and comes to Earth to perform a series of pointless robberies, stealing the same paintings over and over, just to bait Superman.

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Terra-Man leaves word as to where the paintings are located, and then, while Lana Lang broadcasts their retrieval by Inspector Henderson, Terra-Man bursts in to steal them again, live on tv.

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The mid-air robbery is fun, and I wouldn’t have minded this sequence extended to be a story unto itself.  At least it serves as the climax to this tale.

Terra-Man has only cameos between now and the reboot of Superman.  And despite a couple of efforts at re-booting this character, the original remains the best.

 

Action 511 – Superman and Luthor vs Terra-Man, and Air Wave returns

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte continue with Lex Luthor’s change of sides in Action 511 (Sept. 80).

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Luthor sets out to prove himself, curing all manner of diseases,and performing a variety of other good deeds.  Morgan Edge is convinced (maybe because he was one a villain himself), and has Lana report on Luthor’s benevolence, but Superman remains suspicious, even after Angela Blake testifies on Luthor’s behalf.

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Superman beings Lex to the Fortress of Solitude to perform some tests, and try to assure himself that the change is real.  Terra-Man believes that Luthor has reformed, and is none too happy about it.  He attacks the Fortress, with an alien helper.

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Luthor helps Superman defeat Terra-Man. Or, well, at least he does not help Terra-Man defeat Superman.  At any rate, after the battle Superman decides he doesn’t need any further tests, and is now pals with his old friend.

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The real DC explosion happens, as the comics all gain an additional eight pages.  Air Wave and the Atom have the series here revived, and are joined by Aquaman in a rotation that will run for the next few years.

Rozakis, Saviuk and Chiaramonte pick up as if the series had never stopped.  Likely because this was written and drawn before the previous run was cancelled.

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Karen Peterson discovers Hal’s young cousins playing with his costume, and they tear it.  She had already figured out his identity, and decides to fix, and improve, his costume.

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Hal and Karen go to a theme park, and when robbers mess up their date, Hal gets into his new costume without even noticing the difference, until he finds handcuffs in a pocket that wasn’t there before.  He has no idea where the new costume came from, and still thinks he has fooled Karen about who he is.

Action 470 – too many Terra-Men

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Bates, Swan and Blaisdel bring their Terra-Man saga to a rousing conclusion in Action 470 (April 1977).

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With Superman defeated so publicly, it’s no surprise that other heroes have been following this.  The Flash is the first to arrive, appropriately, but appears to fare no better against the western-themed villain.

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Green Lantern shows up as well, and so does a familiar-looking alien craft, which shoots down the Lantern.

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The ship belongs to the brother of the alien who raised Terra-Man, and who was killed by him. But by then, we have also discovered that the person who appears to be Terra-Man is really Superman.  This neatly decoys the alien seeking vengeance to attack Superman.

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Things take a surprising twist when Superman does show up, along with the Terra-Man that is really Superman.  Superman and Terra-Man fight the alien, but the real Terra-Man sheds his disguise to join in and figure out what is happening.

The new Superman is really Gregory Reed, with his powers being faked by Green Lantern and the Flash.  Not being the real Superman, he does not have his weaknesses. There is enough deception going on that both Terra-Man and his alien pursuer are defeatable.

Action 469 – Terra-Man rides Superman

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It’s the middle chapter of the Terra-Man story, by Bates, Swan and Blaisdel in Action 469 (March 1977).

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The story picks up immediately after the end of the previous issue, with Superman carting Terra-Man away.  But we see that Superman releases the bad guy, as Terr-Man has planted a number of bombs throughout the city, using that for leverage against the hero.  But Superman’s actions are spotted by others as well.

When news spreads the next day that Superman released Terra-Man, many turn against him. Gregory Reed, the actor who plays him, finds out that his show has been cancelled in the backlash.

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The following night, the city finds itself sealed off by an energy barrier, and the people glued to their televisions again when Terra-Man’s show comes on.  Superman and Terra-Man get back into the positions from the end of the previous “show,” and continue their fight.

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The fight is entertaining, you have to give it that, although it’s intercut with Lois, Jimmy, Gregory Reed, Morgan Edge and even Steve Lombard, watching in dismay.

This time Terra-Man wins, shooting Superman, and ever burying him at the end of the issue.

The story concludes in the next issue.

 

Action 468 – Terra-Man on tv, and Morgan Edge’s secret identity

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A great Adams cover on Action 468 (Feb. 77), as Bates, Swan and Blaisdel begin a three-part Terra-Man story.

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Terra-Man is not shy announcing his return, he breaks into a live news broadcast to promote his own television show, beginning the following night, on WGBS.  Morgan Edge is furious, and wants to know how this happened.  Considering Terra-Man’s access to advanced alien tech, it’s not hard to guess.

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Sure enough, the following night, everybody feels compelled to watch WGBS, as Terra-Man’s broadcast begins. Superman is not forced to watch, as he is the other star of the show.

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Superman gets the best of Terra-Man in this encounter, but the villain hardly seems concerned at all about losing.  In fact, he announces another episode of his show.  Same Terra-time, same Terra-channel.  Got to love that.

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Morgan Edge gets a “private life” story in this issue, by Pasko, Swan and McLaughlin.

We discover that his mother works as a cleaning lady – his cleaning lady, in fact, although he apparently hasn’t noticed this.  He is embarrassed about his humble beginnings, but she makes him feel guilty about that.

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At a memorial dinner being given for him, Edge reveals how he earned the stake he used to create Galaxy Communications, through a poker game, and reveals not only his real name, Morris Edelstein, but also his mother.

It’s hard to imagine, after reading this story, that Edge was introduced only a few years earlier as a villain.  There is nothing left of that character.

Action 426 – the evils of moon rocks, Green Arrow does the books, and the Human Target at Niagara Falls

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Action 426 (Aug. 73)also contains three stories, and seems to feature a generic cover, but in fact it does occur during the course of Bates, Swan and Anderson’s story.

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The plane crash is one of a number of disasters taking place, as well as thefts of moon rocks.  This story sees the first appearance of Steve Lombard in this book. He had recently been introduced in Superman, the obnoxious prankster jock sportscaster.

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The moon rocks are being gathered by members of a cult, whose leader blames the disasters, as well as war and poverty and crappy weather, on the contaminating presence of these alien rocks on Earth.

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The leader is actually Terra-Man, also recently introduced in Superman and making his first appearance in this book.  A human raised by an alien, Terra-Man uses advanced weaponry disguised as western gear in his battles with Superman.  The moon rocks are used to charge a gun, which Superman is meant to fire a destructive blast with, but he just throws it into the Earth’s core.

Not one of the better Terra-Man appearances.  It lacks his flying horse!

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Green Arrow’s story, by Maggin, Dillin and Giordano, once again keeps Dinah Lance out of costume, and in girlfriend mode.

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Oliver spots an out of business delivery service making a drop-off. Intrigued, he stumbles upon a plot to steal a young heir’s fortune, which he can totally relate to.

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He catches the bad guys, and helps the young man balance his books and get a grip on his finances, as well as taking some commissions for Dinah.  I do enjoy their conversation in the final scene, as Oliver babbles about his new arrow, and Dinah discovers the orders.

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Wein and Giordano conclude the Human Target’s story from last issue, as he faces down and defeats the angry aerialist he has been hired to impersonate.

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The actual murder attempt happens as he is walking the tightrope over Niagara Falls, and the rope goes slack.  Christopher survives, he was being held up by ropes from the helicopter.  The manager was the only one with access to the tightrope, so that solves that.

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