Superman 315 – Superman as Blackrock

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Pasko, Swan and Adkins have a lot to cover in Superman 315 (Sept. 77), which ties up the previous tale, sets up the next one, and tells its own story as well.

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Superman and Supergirl bring Nam-Ek from the ski resort, from the last issue, to the Fortress of Solitude, freeing him from his crystal sheath, but sending him into the Phantom Zone.

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Skull operatives head to the volcano with kryptionite in its lava, seen a couple of issues earlier, in their creepy skull-ship.  Superman gets the jump on them, destroying their ship and rounding them up.

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Back at WGBS, Clark Kent is told by Morgan Edge that he is going to have a female co-anchor, something fairly new in the late 70s.  Clark is none too keen on the idea, especially as Edge refuses to tell him who is will be.  The one person it won’t be is Lola Barnett, who had defected to UBC.

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And when the UBC network is in the story, you can be pretty sure that Blackrock will be as well.  This is the third appearance of the character, and, for that matter, the third Blackrock as well.  Now able to fly on radio waves, he gets into a fight with Superman.

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But a chance collision of the Blackrock power beam and Superman’s x-ray vision winds up merging their minds.

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The new Blackrock is the nephew of Sam Tanner, the original, but as before, he is unaware of his own alternate identity.  As himself, he is a tv comedian, Les Vegas.

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And though the identity confusion actually winds up revealing that Clark is Superman on live tv, the fact that it’s a stand-up comedian who does it makes the viewers, and even those in the studio, think it’s all a gag.  Superman clears things up for Blackrock, even though that puts them back into conflict, until Superman can take the confused comic down.

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The story concludes at STAR Labs, with a teaser for the next issue, as Jenet Klyburn shows Superman the captured Skull members, now dead, with kryptonite hearts.

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