Babblings about DC Comics 4

Superman continues in the new blog, which will also go through Flash Comics, and start delving into Batman

https://babblingsaboutdccomics4.wordpress.com/

Superman 322 – what Solomon Grundy wants

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Pasko, Swan and Chiaramonte wind up the Parasite saga in Superman 322 (April 1978).

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Superman survives his power-depleted fall simply by taking his boots off and pointing his feet towards the sun, gaining enough invulnerability to live, if not to be unharmed.  Perry White and Lois Lane get brushed off by the military, who are not very happy about Superman finding out about their laser system, even though he did hold off the invaders.

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Superman and Parasite battle, but in a scene that we do not see, he rushes off at super-speed and gets Solomon Grundy on his side.  Grundy simply wanted to be able to fly, and thinks that Superman’s cape will make that happen.  Parasite is unable to draw energy from the unliving Grundy, and Superman crushes his prism, preventing him from manipulating anyone’s energies.

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Superman takes this Solomon Grundy to another planet with low gravity, where he will be able to fly. This particular version of Solomon Grundy is not seen again.

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While Superman tries to re-ignite his relationship with Lois Lane, now that she and Clark have called it quits, we also meet a one-armed general plotting against Superman.

He will return in a later story, but that will be covered in Babblings about DC Comics 4, cause the media library on this one is too close to full.

Superman 321 – the Parasite overloads Superman

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Pasko, Swan and Chiaramonte continue with the Parasite storyline in Superman 321 (March 1978).  I have only taken a couple of clips for this one, as the media library is almost full, and besides, the big scene looks much better on the cover than in the issue itself.  As Superman starts to trash the L.D.S. system, angry about not being informed, the military arrive to stop him.  The Parasite has been boosting his powers so much that he is all but out of control.

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It’s Lois Lane who gets him to calm down, and take control of himself.  Love the panels that show his x-ray vision slowly going off.

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Grundy continues to hang around, stuck between the cable cars as the Parasite brags about his plans to Superman.  He is not longer charging the hero up – instead he has been draining his powers.  The villain intends to take control of the laser satellites and use them for blackmail, and leaves a powerless Superman plunging to his death.

Superman 320 – Solomon Grundy, the Parasite and the secret government lighthouse

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Pasko, Swan and Chiaramonte have a lot of irons in the fire in Superman 320 (Feb. 78).

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The Parasite’s plans are not completely clear, but we do learn that his goal is gaining control of the L.D.S. government weapon in the lighthouse.  He revived Grundy to distract Superman, but there is a bit more to it.  Superman gets Grundy out of the picture by trapping him between two cable cars.

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Superman then heads out to the lighthouse, battling the robotic octopus that is attacking it.  News comes over the wire about this to the Daily Planet, and both Lois Lane and Perry White take the helicopter out to see what is happening.

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So they are on the scene as Superman fends off the attack, but then bursts into the place himself, furious with the government for concealing their space laser program from him.  And this is all part of the Parasite’s plan as well.  He has been using his prism to increase Superman’s powers, expecting that this would have an effect on his mind, making him more aggressive and impulsive.

The story continues in the next issue.

Superman 319 – who created Solomon Grundy?

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It’s not obvious in the image, but the gooey guy lifting up the cab on the cover of Superman 319 (Jan. 78) is Solomon Grundy, the Earth-1 version.

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Pasko, Swan and Chiaramonte begin a multi-part story with a few different plot threads in this issue.  There is a lighthouse, the home to a secret government project, L.D.S., but not much is clear about that in this issue.

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Lois and Lana are catching up while riding in a cab when Solomon Grundy emerges from the sewers in a rampage.  Superman is confused.  He left Grundy on the Moon, and this one seems more powerful than the original.

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Lana Lang gets footage of the battle between Superman and Grundy, who escaped at the end of it.  Morgan Edge is delighted, and Clark even snubs Lois when she tries to set up a lunch date, preferring to sped time with Lana instead.  Can’t really blame him.

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Grundy comes back into action as the issue ends, keeping Superman busy while the mysterious lighthouse gets attacked by a robotic octopus.  And the reader discovers that the Parasite is back, having retrieved his prism, he used it to regenerate Grundy from the swamp waste left in the sewers after his previous encounter with Superman, and is boosting his power levels as well.

The story continues in the next issue.

Superman 317 – Metallo wants Superman’s heart

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A great Neal Adams cover on Superman 317 (Nov. 77), for a story by Pasko, Swan and Adkins.

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The pieces of the puzzle come together as we learn that Metallo was transformed into the creature he is by Skull agents, against his will.  Albert Michaels had been looting STAR Labs to supply their tech, including a matter teleporter, which Metallo stole, and has been using to kill Skull members by replacing their hearts with fake kryptonite.

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A casual comment from Lois Lane, and a mistake by Martin Korda, make Clark realize that his new producer is really Metallo in disguise.

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In a complicated switcheroo, Superman replaces a Skull agent with a dead Kandorian, so that Metallo winds up with a useless heart, and collapses.

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Superman confirms that Metallo is Korda, but is not prepared when one of the Skull agents turns out to be Albert Michaels, who use the teleporter to escape.

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As the issue ends we find out that the real Korda was kidnapped, but will be joining WGBS, and Morgan Edge is more than happy to finally reveal Clark Kent’s new co-anchor: Lana Lang.

Superman 316 – Metallo and Skull

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Metall gets a face mask, vastly improving his appearance, in the Pasko, Swan and Adkins story from Superman 316 (Oct. 77).  The story picks up directly from the last issue, as Superman shows Jenet Klyburn that the kryptonite found inside the dead Skull agents is fake.  But she has more bad news for him.  Metallo’s body has disappeared, as has STAR Labs director Albert Michaels.

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Metallo is the easier one to find, as he goes out of his way to lure and taunt Superman.

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Speaking of taunting, Morgan Edge continues to toy with Clark about the identity of his new co-anchor, but at least introduces him to Martin Korda, his new producer.

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Superman winds up finding Metallo back at that troublesome volcano in the West Indies, and their fight gets pretty vicious.  Gotta love Superman impaling Metallo through his kryptonite heart with a stalactite.  But even that fails to stop the villain, who smacks Superman in the face with a bag of kryptonite pebbles, enough to take the hero down.

As the issue ends, we learn that Metallo has plans for a new heart.  Superman’s.

The story continues in the next issue.

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