Tag Archives: Clark Kent

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 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 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.

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.

Superman 314 – the death of Amalak

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The four part plague storyline concludes in Superman 314 (Aug 77), in a story by Pasko, Swan and Adkins.

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Superman gets the alien creature away from Jamie Lombard, as Amalak brings it out of its dormancy state, and it begins a monstrous rampage, tearing up a McTavish’s fast food restaurant.

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Superman does manage to chain up the beast, and pursues Amalak, tracing him to the Justice League satellite, where the space pirate has already taken down the Flash and Green Lantern.  Amalak uses the Key’s weapons, and even Amazo’s inert form against Superman, but really he could have picked a wiser spot for the battle.  Superman defeats him by using Kanjar Ro’s paralysis inducing Gamma Gong.

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Amalak tries to make Superman believe that he has caused Amalak to die by using the gong, but Superman does not fall for this.  Amalak winds up dying at his own hands, having achieved nothing.

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Between Nam-Ek’s healing horn and the removal of the alien creature causing the plague, the journalists get better.  Having come so close to losing each other, both Lois and Clark seem primed to make a commitment to each other, and indeed, Clark proposes to her.

Lois accepts, on one condition.  That Clark admit that he is Superman.

And Clark refuses.  This infuriated me, even as a kid.  Was he really planning to marry her but keep lying to her about his identity?  It makes for a heart-breaking scene, but it’s impossible to believe that there is any future between Superman and Lois after this sequence.

Superman 313 – the source of the plague

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Pasko, Swan and Dan Adkins share the third chapter of the plague story, in Superman 313 (July 1977).

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It’s not a huge surprise when Amalak fails to kill Supergirl at the top of the issue.  Superman had used his heat vision to short out Amalak’s gun.

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Perhaps Superman could have found another way, because the short-circuiting star-cannon explodes while Supergirl and Amalak are in battle, destroying his asteroid home.  Superman has brought Nam-Ek to the resort, where his horn proves effective at curing people of the plague.  But to Superman’s dismay, the outbreaks continue.

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Steve Lombard’s nephew Jamie seems to have some resistance to it, but Clark has other issues to deal with.  He ought to have paid more attention, as he winds up in a battle with a mysterious alien, who just happens to also be Jamie’s dog.

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Only then does Superman put the pieces together, realizing that the dog was at the scene of every plague outbreak.

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But the creature is not exactly a shape changer.  Rather, it has the ability to appear to people in any form it wishes, hypnotically.  So while we and Superman see only an alien, all Jamie can see is his dog, which Superman is ready to kill.

The story concludes in the next issue.

 

Superman 311 – the worst convention ever

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Pasko, Swan and Frank Springer begin a four part story in Superman 311 (May 1977) that will build to forcing Superman to make decisions that he would rather not deal with.

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Usually I try to post the pics in the same order they appear in the book itself, but in this case I’m changing it up a little to make it easier to summarize this story, which is a bit more complex than usual.  So I’ll start by showing the mysterious alien and his pet, Jevik, whose roles in the tale only become clear in later issues.

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A big journalism convention is being held in Central City – the same location Lois Lane is considering moving to, with her relationships with Superman and Clark Kent both being pretty rocky right now.  Steve Lombard is along as well, having brought his nephew, Jamie, who he has been looking after.  The convention is taking place at a ski resort, which is sort of odd, as Central City is invariably shown as being in the prairies.  Jamie finds a stray dog, and quickly adopts him.

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Iris Allen, the reporter wife of the Flash, shows an uncharacteristic streak of jealousy, and is a real bitch to Lois, who she seems to consider a threat to her marriage.  Barry Allen is none too pleased with Iris’ outburst, but then, the two of them are soon to start having marital troubles in the Flash’s own book.

A mysterious plague breaks out at the ski resort, inspired by the Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak that had occurred the previous year in Philadelphia.  And to the great surprise of Superman, he discovers that Nam-Ek is also there.

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The story briefly recaps the World of Krypton tale that had introduced Nam-Ek, a Kryptonian scientist who had killed a protected animal, the rondor, to get it’s illness-curing horn.  He devised an immortality serum from it, which transformed his body, and also made him survive the destruction of Krypton.  Nam-Ek attacks Superman, and when the Flash tries to help out, sends the speedster shooting into space.

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In his fight with Nam-Ek, Superman dumps a volcano on the guy, only to find that there were traces of kryptonite in the lava.  With no sign of Nam-Ek, Superman believes that he has killed him.  But we do see that at least the Flash is safe, having been rescued by Green Lantern.

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Superman had assumed that Nam-Ek was somehow the source of the plague, but when Lois Lane collapses, he realizes that he was wrong.

The story continues in the next issue.