Superman 257 (Oct. 72) features a decent cover story, but it’s the Fabulous World of Krypton story that made me include it.
Superman deals with an alien solider, who has come to Earth to steal nitrogen for his people, in this Bates, Swan and Anderson story. Being a soldier, he is simply following orders, and thus cannot be argued out of his task.
There is some lovely art on this, and the story is good. But nothing really stands out.
What does stand out is the World of Krypton tale, by Maggin, Dillin and Giordano. The Guardians of the Universe bring Tomar-Re before them. Tomar-Re was the first, and most frequent, member of the Green Lantern Corps that Hal Jordan met. He had last been seen a couple of years earlier in Justice League of America.
The Guardians are reviewing Tomar’s career, and attention is paid to his greatest failure. Krypton was in his space sector, and he was ordered to save the planet. We follow the travails of this mission, doomed to failure, with Jor-El and Lara’s last day intercut.
But because of Tomar-Re’s failure, Earth gained its greatest hero, or so the Guardians tell him. Quite a different view on Superman than they expressed in the last appearance in these pages.
Tomar-Re next appears, five years down the road, in the Five Star Super-Hero Spectacular. The Guardians say that Tomar-Re has retired as of the end of this story, but later he will be shown to be part of the Honour Guard.