Tag Archives: Krypto

Superman 287 – Krypto falls in love

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Issue 287 (May 1975) was the second issue of Superman that I bought as a kid.  I found the cover amusing, but the story inside, by Maggin, Swan and Oskner, failed to impress me then, as it does now.

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Krypto is the main character of the tale, as the cover implies. Although not clearly stated, this story follows his appearances in the Green Arrow series in Action Comics a few months earlier, in which Krypto had lost his memory of who he was.  This story opens with that same situation, and the dog falling in love with a pedigreed female.

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An explanation is finally given for his memory loss, with a brief flashback to a battle Krypto had with the Mindbreaker, which resulted in his amnesia.

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Superman has a plotline that deals with some flame throwing thieves.  It’s really just there to allow him to run into Krypto, and restore his memory.

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Once he has super-powers, the female dog is no longer interested, and Krypto flies away.  Superman does not seem concerned in any way, but then, he has Lois hanging off of his arm.

Krypto next appears in a solo story in Action Comics the following year.

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Superman 195 – Amalak returns

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Amalak is back with vengeance on his mind in Superman 195 (April 1967), in a story by Shooter, Swan and Klein.

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The story opens as Superman discovers that someone has trashed the Superman Museum, destroyed his monuments, and burned his name out of all documents and records.

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Heading to the Fortress with Krypto and Supergirl, they find it all smashed up as well, but miss the thief stealing Kandor and all the samples of kryptonite.

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Amalak relates how he teleported to survival after his last encounter, and has acquired a sidekick, a young man who is the sole survivor of his planet, demolished by a chunk of Krypton after its explosion.  Once again, Amalak chooses to have someone else do his fighting for him.  Their goal is to kill all the Kryptonians, and destroy all they had, to remove them from memory completely.

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Rinol captures Supergirl and Krypto, putting them with Kandor.  This is primarily to lure Superman.  But just before Rinol can kill the hero, Amalak steps in to do it himself.  Very unwisely, he admits to having used Rinol, and shoots him, which once again gives Superman an opportunity to get the upper hand in the fight.

Rinol helps Superman take Amalak down, and this time the space pirate gets imprisoned, where he stays until the mid-70s.

Superman 177 – the green kryptonite turns red, and Superman battles It

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Oh, will Superman be able to pull his hand out of the blob of concrete on the cover of issue 177 (May 1965)?

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The formerly green, now red, narrating piece of kryptonite returns in a story by Binder, Swan and Klein.  The series is now “Tales of Kryptonite,” as the piece is no longer green.

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The story is better than the average red kryptonite tale.  Superman gets exposed to the piece, but there are no visible effects from it.  He is feeling pretty lucky, until he finds that he can only speak or write in Kryptonian.  And while this is an annoyance for Superman, it’s far more important when he is in his Clark Kent identity.

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Superman attempts to have one of his robots take Clark’s place, but when giving him instructions in Kryptonian, it causes the robot to explode.  That’s one deadly mother tongue.

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Another piece of red kryptonite provides the solution.  Superman exposes Krypto to a piece that had once given Beppo the ability to talk like a human, and then has Krypto use super-ventriloquism to project his voice in Clark’s mouth.

As the story ends, a ray mysteriously transforms the red kryptonite into gold kryptonite.  This sets up the next installment, a couple issues down the road.

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The cover story, by Dorfman, Swan and Klein, has Superman facing a whirling amorphous blob that is stealing green objects from Earth.

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Superman is unable to make any physical contact with the entity, or communicate with it in any way.  He decides to make himself green, so that it sucks him in as well.

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He finds himself transported to another realm, where the creatures live in whirling green happiness.  Noticing that they all spin clockwise, he enters a creature and goes counter-clockwise, which gets him back to Earth.  After luring the one still sucking up green things, he reverses its spin, sending it back to its own plane.

Superman 176 – the Super-Pets travel through time, Green Kryptonite returns, and Superman speaks the truth

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Were chalkboards often used in courtrooms at the time Superman 176 (April 1965) came out?

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The Super-Pets, who were frequent guest-stars in the Legion of Super-Heroes series in Adventure Comics at this time, join Superman for a time travelling romp in a story by Dorfman, Swan and Klein.

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After a will leaves a huge bequest for an animal shelter, to be overlooked by the Super-Pets in a managerial capacity (the guy clearly has great faith in these animals), because of the nasty actions of an ancestor, Superman recruits the Pets to join him on a trip to the past, to learn more about the man.  Krypto, Streaky, Beppo and Comet all take part, while Proty II is said to be busy on a mission in the future.

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They find that the ancestor is a junk dealer who frequently abuses animals.  The story also tells a (highly fictionalized) version of the creation of the American Society for the Protection of Animals, as the passage of a law protecting them from being abused gets passed during their time in the past.  The story is not bad – largely consisting of the man trying to injure the Super-Pets, but having no success, due to their powers.

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The talking green kryptonite returns for a follow-up story by Binder, Swan and Klein, covering its “activities” now that Superboy has grown to Superman.

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It’s not as much fun as the first tale.  The kryptonite is on hand as Superman constructs his Fortress of Solitude, and is once again used in an experiment to nullify its effects.  The experiment works, although it makes the kryptonite deadly to humans.

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When the process wears off, it becomes deadly to Superman again, and he disposes of it in space.  But the rock passes through the cloud that changes green kryptonite into red.

The ending announces that there will be a follow-up story, which comes in the next issue.

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Dorfman, Swan and Klein fill in some Kryptonian history in this otherwise silly tale, which has Superman and Supergirl telling nothing but the truth for a single day, no matter what the consequences.

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Lois Lane and Lana Lang try to take advantage of the situation, asking Superman which of them he prefers, but he gets out of the situation by yelling his answer too loudly to be understood.  The story has a couple more instances of this kind of “out.”

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The most interesting part of the tale is the flashback explaining the situation.  We learn that, at one time, Krypton was under the domination of aliens called the Vrangs.  Though most Kryptonains went along with their enslavement, Val-Lor stood up to Vrangs and spoke the truth, even at the cost of his own life.  The Vrangian execution of Val-Lor prompted a rebellion, and sent the Vrangs packing.  In commemoration of this, all Kryptonians spend one day each year speaking nothing but the truth.

This story gets referenced a few times in later tales.

Superman 173 – a kryptonite’s tale, and Jimmy Olsen a captive

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After the great Luthor/Brainiac story a few months earlier, I’m sure many were excited about the cover of Superman 173 (Nov. 64).  I wonder how many were as thrilled after they had read it.

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Beppo, the Super-Monkey gets to appear in this book, as a new, but short-lived, series launches, “Tales of Green Kryptonite.”  Binder and Plastino follow a single chunk of the toxic rock from its creation through its first years on Earth, with the kryptonite itself narrating the story.

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After an opening sequence on Krypton, with Jor-El and Lara, we follow the rock as it lands in the African jungle.  Beppo is the first to come across it, but gets away from the substance before it kills him.  The rock gets found by Lana Lang’s archaeologist father, and brought back to Smallville.

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The kryptonite gets stolen from the museum, and Superboy has his first encounter with this specific piece, but is rescued by Krypto.

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Young Lex Luthor uses it as he works on a cure for kryptonite, as this story is set before he loses his hair and turns evil.  Though both Lex and Superboy are not aware of it, Luthor had indeed found a way to suppress the effects of the radiation.  Superboy, not realizing the situation, thinks the kryptonite must be an imitation, and throws it out the window.

An interesting idea for a series, there is another installment a couple of months down the road.

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Siegel and Forte provide the cover story for the issue, which opens as Jimmy Olsen decides to get into an alien ship that lands on the roof of the Daily Planet, requesting help from Superman.

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The ship turns out to be a trap, and Jimmy is brought before Luthor and Brainiac at their new base.  They proudly show Jimmy their statues of Superman’s and Batman’s greatest enemies, as well as demeaning statues of the Legion of Super-Heroes, shown as elderly and out of shape.  How villains amuse themselves in their spare time, I guess.

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But Jimmy is not as dumb as he seems, and clues in that this is all a giant hoax on him.  He spots that the supposed Brainiac has blue eyes, instead of green, and guesses (correctly) that the Luthor and Brainiac he is facing are really Superman and Batman.  They were trying to convince Jimmy that he takes too many risks.

 

Superman 162 – Superman Red/Superman Blue

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The cover of Superman 162 (July 1963) insists that Superman Red/Superman Blue is the greatest Imaginary Story of them all.  And you know, it just might be right.

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Dorfman, Swan and Klein open this tale with Kandorians acting like total dicks.  They summon Superman, and list off his failures, including not enlarging their city.  Among his other “failures” is not wiping out all crime on Earth.  You gotta feel sorry for the children of these people.

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But Superman takes it all to heart, and with the aid of Supergirl, uses a variety of coloured kryptonites in an experiment to boost his powers.  It has the result of splitting Superman into two identical beings, Superman Red and Superman Blue, named for their costumes.

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With twice the super-brain power, they have no trouble coming up with a cure for kryptonite, and enlarging Kandor on a new planet, terraformed to be just like Krypton.

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With the aid of Supergirl and Krypto, the two Supermans help Lori Lemaris and the Atlanteans move their entire city to a new planet, without ever having to leave a giant waterspout.

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Then they create satellites to beam goodness and peace into everyone’s minds, stopping all wars.  The Superman Revenge Squad and Brainiac are both affected, and decide to leave Earth alone, while Luthor reforms, cures blindness, broken bones and baldness, and gets re-united with his sister Lena.

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Even Mr. Mxyzptlk is affected, and decides to never return to this dimension.  With the list completed, and nothing much else to do, the two Supermen turn their minds to romance.  With the kind of ease and harmony that characterizes this entire story, one is in love with Lois, and the other with Lana.

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So they have a double wedding, which turns into a triple one, when Lucy Lane proposes to Jimmy Olsen.

Superman Red and Lois head to the new Krypton to live out their days, while Superman Blue stays on Earth with Lana.

The story does tease a sequel, asking which couple is happier, but I think it’s a good thing none ever came.  This is the ultimate happy ending story, the “goal” that all the Superman stories from this era are striving for.

But the concept would live on, and was re-worked with the electric Superman in the late 90s.

Superman 156 – The Last Days of Superman

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Hamilton, Swan and Klein execute another classic story in Superman 156 (Oct. 62).

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A Kryptonian artifact lands on Earth, and Superman and Jimmy Olsen come to investigate.  It contains samples of Virus X, an incurable plague from Krypton.  Although Superman shatters the container, he falls ill quickly, and realizes he must have caught the disease.

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For fear of infecting any other Kryptonians, Superman has himself and Jimmy Olsen sealed up as he gets sicker and sicker.  Superman enlists Supergirl and Krypto to complete a number of projects for the benefit of mankind before he dies, and Supergirl in turn enlists the Superman Emergency Squad and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

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Brainiac 5 tries to find a cure for Virus X, hoping to balance out his evil ancestor’s actions, but fails.

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As death nears, Superman reflects on his romantic interests.  Lana Lang, Lois Lane and Lori Lemaris all appear, as does Lyla Lerrol – although she does not much look like how she appeared.  Superman bids farewell to Batman and Robin, and burns a message into the Moon, revealing his secret identity.

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At the last minute Mon-El, still in the Phantom Zone, contacts Saturn Girl telepathically.  Superman was never infected with Virus X. A tiny piece of kryptonite got jammed in Jimmy Olsen’s camera, and had been slowly killing Superman.

With the help of Supergirl and Krypto, Superman removes the writing on the Moon that would have revealed his identity.

A really well done tale, giving lots for the huge supporting cast to do.  Virus X would appear and infect Superman, a number of years down the road, in a multi-issue story in Action Comics.