Tag Archives: Perry White

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 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 292 – Luthor’s origin retold

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The origin of Lex Luthor, recently reprinted in an oversize Secret Origins of Super-Villains special, also gets a run-through in the Maggin, Swan and Oskner story from Superman 292 (Oct. 75).

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Perry White and Roy Raymond cameo at the top of the story, and Luthor does have an evil scheme going in the present day, but this gets dealt with quickly and easily, as the bulk of the tale is a flashback, re-telling the events from his origin story. Lex and Clark becoming friends, and then Superboy and Lex.  The failed protoplasm experiment that costs Lex his hair.

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While a number of scenes reprise the earlier story directly, there is also the addition of Lex’s family kicking him out – the basis for the story of Lena Thorul, the sister who is unaware of who her brother is.

Nothing special, but not bad.

Superman 285 – Whatever happened to Roy Raymond?

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Maggin, Swan and Tex Blaisdel bring back Roy Raymond, TV detective in Superman 285 (March 1975).

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Roy Raymond’s last appearance had been in Detective Comics in 1961, but this story adds a different final appearance, a challenge he made to expose a magician, before disappearing for years.  Superman has been hunting him, and even adopts another identity in his quest.  He can tell he must be getting close, as mysterious forces begin attacking him.

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In an interesting subplot, Lola Barnett is challenged by Perry White to keep a secret for an entire week.  Lois, Clark and Steve Lombard all write down secrets, and Lola randomly grabs Clark’s.

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As the story goes on, we see the evil magician – who is really more of a scientist, in control of Roy Raymond, and using him as a weapon against Superman.

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While at the same time Clark Kent is standing up for himself against Steve Lombard.  How can this be?

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The bad guy has “weaponized” Raymond’s analytical brain, but Superman overrides him with his super-brain, and frees Roy Raymond.

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While Bruce Wayne is revealed, by Lola, to have been impersonating Clark Kent for the past week.  This part isn’t well explained, and doesn’t add much to the story.

Roy Raymond becomes a member of the WGBS staff, but his appearances are infrequent. He pops up next a few months down the road in Action Comics.

Superman 282 – Lex Luthor gets a costume, and the story of Nam-Ek

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After over thirty years without any sort of costume, Lex Luthor finally adopts an outfit, which allows him to fly, in Superman 282 (Dec. 74).

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Maggin, Swan and Schaffenberger open the story in a curious way, as Clark Kent bursts into Perry White’s office, demanding a job on the Daily Planet.  Perry notices that Clark looks much younger than normal, and assumes that being on television has somehow warped his mind (and made him look younger?)

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When he goes into action as Superman, his behaviour is rash and even dangerous, all to Luthor’s delight.  He has caused Superman to become younger, operating on the idea that an adult Luthor will be able to defeat a young and inexperienced Superman.

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Luthor also adopts a costume in this issue, the earliest incarnation of his “super-suit.”  This one is realtively basic compared to later versions.  He has jets on his boots, allowing him to fly, an a variety of canisters containing whatever evil inventions he wants to put in them, essentially his version of Batman’s utility belt.

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The plan works perfectly – until it doesn’t.  Lex increases Superman’s mass, sending him straight down into the centre of the Earth, but Superman drags Luthor along with him.  In order to save himself, Luthor has to undo his “youthening” of Superman.  An adult Superman can figure his way out of the trap, but also is more than capable of taking Luthor down.

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The Fabulous World of Krypton story in this issue has Superman telling Supergirl a Kryptonian legend about a scientist named Nam-Ek, and the legendary rondor, in a tale by Marty Pasko and Ernie Chan.

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The rondor was a repulsive and smelly creature on Krypton, but its horn was capable of curing all illness.  The creatures were protected by law, but Nam-Ek kills one anyway, and extracts an immortality serum from its horn.  Unfortunately, the serum turns him into a sort of human rondor.

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Because of the immortality, Nam-Ek winds up surviving the destruction of Krypton, only to be stuck floating eternally in space.  Or so the story would have it.

Although likely not intended at the time the story was written, Nam-Ek will return in a couple of years to face Superman.

 

Superman 278 – Terra-Man kills Superman’s friends in the old west

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Terra-Man is back in the Bates, Swan and Oskner story from Superman 278 (Aug. 74).

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The story opens with a WGBS staff meeting, called by Morgan Edge.  Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White are there, as well as the newer staff, Steve Lombard and Lola Barnett, when all get teleported to an old west town by Terra-Man.

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He has hypnotized them all to believe in their new reality, and they adopt period lives suited to their characters.  Terra-Man is unaware that Clark is Superman, and left a message in the skies of Metropolis to lure him to the town, but of course Superman is already there.

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The premise allows for a variation on the usual Steve Lombard scene.  He is the town bully, with Lola as a dance hall girl, as Steve tries to humiliate nerdy Clark, but gets it himself.

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Terra-Man challenges Superman to seven fights, with a bullet for each one of his friends if Superman loses.  The first fight has Superman triumphant, and Lois’ life gets saved.

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But then Superman starts losing the fights, and Terra-Man starts shooting his friends.  It genuinely appears that Jimmy Olsen has died, even from Superman’s reaction.

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But in fact Superman used his heat vision to alter the chemically charged bullets, leaving his shot friends injured, but alive.  Superman is simply dragging things out until Terra-Man “kills” Clark Kent, at which point he makes his move.  Terra-Man picks up Clark’s body, not realizing he is with Superman, and Superman simply flies him right into the ground.

Not the best Terra-Man story, but still fun.

 

Superman 265 – Perry White on the story

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Perry White, largely sidelined since the introduction of Morgan Edge, gets to take centre stage in the Maggin, Swan and Anderson story from Superman 265 (July 1973).

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Edge shows himself at his worst, demanding that Perry prove himself, his Pulitzer Prize being twenty years old. What have you done for me lately?

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Perry is upset, and talks with Clark about the situation.  But he also decides to show Edge what he can do.  He spots two young people wearing gloves on a hot summer day, and thinks there must be a story in that.  He is more right than he imagines, but when he approaches the kids, they repel him with a force blast.

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Clark changes to Superman, but to is surprise, the force blasts are able to repel him as well.

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Steve Lombard has a small role in this story, a scene that will set the pattern for many of his appearances in this decade.  He attempts to humiliate Clark in front of the WGBS staff, but Clark turns the tables on Steve, and he gets made a fool of instead.

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Anyway, back to the story.  Perry White keeps digging, with Superman’s help, and they uncover a secret military base, mutant children, and a madman named Callixto who has been manipulating the kids, forming them into an army through which he intends to conquer the world.  Superman destroys Callixto’s plan, and machines, and frees the children.

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Perry White gets to broadcast the story, although a more in depth report will be printed in the Daily Planet.  And just as Clark turned the tables on Steve Lombard, the tale ends with Perry White blwoing smoke into Morgan Edge’s face.

The mutant kids return in a couple of years, in the pages of Action Comics, giving Perry White his super-cigars.