Posts tagged ‘Vandal Savage’

Action 556 – Superman vs Vandal Savage

act_556

The Vandal Savage storyline is brought to a conclusion by Wolfman, Swan and Schaffenberger in Action 556 (June 1984).

act_556_001

The story recaps the various attacks Savage has made on Superman, both direct and indirect.  While the hero is still alive and well, Savage’s plan to tarnish his reputation has gone much better.

act_556_002

Savage uses another of his high tech machines to affect Superman’s hearing, sending him out of control.  He then sends out more of his Superman robots to bring him under control, once again making the hero look bad.

act_556_003

Superman is not sure what to do against Savage, whose actions have largely been legal, if evil.  He consults with Batman, and meets Jason Todd, the new Robin.

act_556_004

And as Clark Kent he has a heart-to-heart with Lana Lang, who has become so mature and compassionate that Lois seems like a cold and calculating bitch by comparison.

act_556_005

In the end, it is brains, not brawn, that decide the battle between them.  Superman goes to confront Savage, who is more than happy to brag about his schemes, and how he has succeeded at turning the people of Metropolis against Superman.  But Superman has been broadcasting the entire meeting.  With his true nature exposed, all of Vandal Savage’s actions become worthless in defaming the hero.

It’s a mild let down after such along running story.

Vandal Savage is next seen in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Action 553 – the Forgotten Heroes vs Superman

act_553

Wolfman and Kane conclude the Forgotten Heroes story in Action 553 (March 1984).

act_553_001

Immortal Man relates his origin, finding a glowing meteor back in caveman times, which endowed him with the ability to reborn with the same consciousness each time he dies, as well as gaining new powers with each body.  This is somewhat similar to the origin of Vandal Savage – who gained immortality back in caveman times after being exposed to a glowing meteor.  This story weaves the two origins together, which would remain the case from now on.

act_553_002

Superman struggles to destroy the plants that he gives off, a pointless task.  Immortal Man is not so determined to kill Superman as he sounded at the end of the previous issue.  The plan is to send the Forgotten Heroes back to all the different golden temples and destroy them, which will undo Vandal Savage’s spore scheme.

act_553_003

Savage takes to the air to announce that Superman is behind the situation with the plants, and further blacken his name.

act_553_004

We follow Animal Man, Dane Dorrance, Rick Flag, Dolphin, Cave Carson and Congo Bill and Congorilla as they each fulfill their part of the plan, and demolish one of the temples.  Immortal Man has psychic powers in this body, and monitors it all.

act_553_005

Superman joins Rip Hunter as they attack the temple far back in the past.  They succeed, although Superman gets lost in the destruction.

act_553_006

Vandal Savage loses his great power source with the destruction of the pyramids, but Rip Hunter gets young again.

This was a very popular story, and the Forgotten Heroes return the following year in DC Comics Presents.

 

 

Action 552 – the Forgotten Heroes gather

act_552

Wolfman and Kane begin a two-part story in Action 552 (Feb. 84) which sees the formation of an unusual grouping, the Forgotten Heroes.  Much of this issue simply re-introduces the various characters.  In case readers had, you know, forgotten them.

act_552_001

Vandal Savage has had Superman infected with a disease that causes him to emit spores of deadly prehistoric plant life.  It takes Superman a long time to figure this out.

act_552_002

As he does, we get to meet the members of this new group.  Each one has had an encounter with one of a number of mysterious golden pyramids.  Cave Carson starts off with his story, followed by Animal Man, making his first appearance since showing up in Wonder Woman a couple of years earlier.

act_552_003

Rick Flagg speaks on behalf of the Suicide Squad, who came across a pyramid while hunting the Yeti. Flagg had not appeared since the early 60s. Dane Dorrance returns, talking about the pyramid the Sea Devils found, and also his encounter with the mysterious Dolphin.  This marks Dolphin’s third appearance, following her introduction in Showcase in the late 60s, and a small role in Showcase 100 in the mid 70s.

act_552_004

Congo Bill and Congorilla return to the pages of Action as well, as the ape came across a pyramid in Africa.  Both had last been seen a few years earlier in DC Comics Presents.

act_552_005

Rip Hunter is the last to tell his story, of how he and his crew went in the very distant past, and found a pyramid in the time before even the dinosaurs.

act_552_006

Superman finally twigs in that he is creating the killer plant life.

act_552_007

And Immortal Man, not seen since his last story in Strange Adventures in the mid 60s, announces that the only way the Forgotten Heroes can save the world is to kill Superman.

The story concludes in the next issue.

 

 

Action 543 – Neutron returns

act_543

Neutron is back in the Wolfman, Swan and Hunt story from Action 543 (May 1983).

act_543_001

Though Superman argues against it, Neutron is released on parole, after his lawyers portray him as a victim of misfortune and Lex Luthor.  Superman does not trust him at all, and the two get into a fight the day after he gets out.  Superman carts the guy back to prison.

act_543_002

Lois Lane is now on an extended assignment in the Middle East, but Superman comes to talk with her, and brings her to the North Pole to cool down a bit.  They discuss why Superman contents himself with crime, and leaves the wars and larger issues to deal with themselves.  Lois does not buy Superman’s justifications, but things are pretty cool between them right now, not just because of the icebergs.

act_543_003

Returning to Metropolis, Superman sees Neutron out on the street, and goes after him again. But as he overhears Lana’s broadcast of the events, he realizes something is wrong.  Neutron was not doing anything illegal, even when he ran into Superman before.  He has been hired by the Abraxas Corporation, which has once again made Superman look foolish and irresponsible.

act_543_004

Superman is furious, and goes to accuse Vandal Savage, who admits to his plan, and just laughs in Superman’s enraged face.

 

 

Action 542- Savage Superman robots

act_542

Vandal Savage returns, as do Curt Swan and Dave Hunt for Marv Wolfman’s story in Action 542 (April 1983).

act_542_001

Lois is growing jealous of Lana Lang and Clark Kent’s new relationship, and demands a commitment from Superman, one that he is not willing to give.  He uses his usual reasons, which does not impress Lois in the slightest. She calls for a time out between them, which he agrees to, but is not happy about.

act_542_002

Vandal Savage has come back to Metropolis, and is running the Abraxas Corporation.  He has created a small army of Superman robots, which function much as the real thing does.

act_542_003

This is a great page of art, and deserves to be included.  Superman responds to this disaster, as do the robots. He can tell they are not his own, and is not sure what to make of them, but they act in a helpful manner, so he leaves them be.

act_542_004

Vandal Savage had planned for people to assume the robots belonged to Superman, so they would accept them.  Then he announces that in fact they are from the Abraxas Corporation, instantly building his own good will.

act_542_005

Superman interrupts a press conference that Savage holds, destroying the robots, and making all manner of accusations against him. But Vandal Savage is only known on Earth-2, and there is no proof of anything wrong.  He had a permit for the conference, and Inspector Henderson informs Superman that, if Savage wanted to, he could sue Superman for destroying the robots.

Superman is left looking like a hot-headed fool in front of the crowd.

Action 516 – Superman vs Vandal Savage, and Chronos breaks his pattern

act_516

Wolfman, Swan and Chiaramonte conclude the Vandal Savage story, as Superman chases the villain backwards through time, in Action 516 (Feb. 81).

act_516_001

Vandal Savage stops off in different eras as he heads backwards, with Superman in hot pursuit.  Each time Superman acts, it serves to set off one of Savage’s time bombs.  Luthor realizes that if Superman completes his chase of Savage, all he will have achieved is ensuring this reality comes to pass.

act_516_002

Luthor sends Jimmy Olsen back to warn Superman, but we see that, although Luthor was speaking the truth, he also has his own schemes of taking control.

act_516_003

But Superman outwits both Savage and Luthor.  He does not intercept the comet which would have set off the last time bomb, instead leaving it to hit Savage.  When he brings Jimmy back to the present, all has returned to normal.

act_516_004

Chronos returns, but tries to break his normal pattern in this Atom story by Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta.

act_516_005

It’s actually his extreme avoidance of anything time related that draws the Atom’s suspicions, after his first few thefts.  But by far the best moment is when Chronos sticks the Atom into a blender full of syrup.  The death trap doesn’t work, but it’s certainly inventive, in a practical way.

act_516_006

But overall, avoiding his time crimes (but keeping the costume) is no help to Chronos.

 

Action 515 – Vandal Savage, Emperor of the World, and the Atom trades powers with the Atom

act_515

Vandal Savage, the immortal and ancient villain, has his first run-in with Superman in the Wolfman, Swan and Chiaramonte story in Action 515 (Jan. 81).

act_515_001

Superman is only mildly puzzled to find himself on an Earth ruled by Vandal Savage.  After a few seconds,he, like everyone else, believes this has always been reality.  Vandal Savage is Emperor, and Superman is his main weapon of control.

act_515_002

Other members of the supporting cast appear as well. Lois Lane works for Savage, as does Perry White, publishing the official newspaper.  On the other side, Jimmy Olsen is leading the rebels, working alongside Jenet Klyburn, normally seen with STAR Labs, Klyburn has been a regular supporting character for a few years, but this is her first appearance in Action.

act_515_003

Lex Luthor is Savage’s main scientist, but is also one of thew few aware that the reality they are in was not always this way.

act_515_004

Savage has altered the past, using a number of “time bombs,” arranging it so that he was the one to raise Superman, not the Kents.  Lois brings Superman to the rebels, where he discovers that both she and Perry White a playing both sides.  They convince Superman that Savage is a threat, but it’s Savage himself who really convinces Superman, when he kills Lois Lane.  Vandal Savage vanishes into the past, and Superman pursues him.

The story concludes next issue.

act_515_005

Rozakis, Saviuk and Colletta have Ray Palmer gain Al Pratt’s powers in this Atom story.

act_515_006

The reason for this is a mysterious man, some sort of cosmic overseer, who switches the powers of the Earth-1 and Earth-2 Atoms for his own amusement.

act_515_007

I certainly wouldn’t say this story is fun enough that he did it for the readers amusement.  The story also serves as a set-up for the Earth-2 Atom story in DC Comics Presents, in which Al Pratt gains Ray Palmer’s powers.

 

Tag Cloud