Tag Archives: Roger Stern

Action 700 – the destruction of Metropolis

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Action 700 is a big, oversized issue, part of the too-long Battle for Metropolis, as it becomes the Fall of Metropolis, but does not actually end that storyline.  Stern, Guise and Rodier are joined by Swan and Anderson.

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The story opens just after Cadmus is blown up, leaving a huge crater in the ground, and a distraught Superboy.  He joins Superman and Supergirl as they try to stop the missiles flying all over the city.

This is all part of Luthor’s farewell to the city, as he expects to die imminently.  Happersen tends to him on his yacht, as Kelly goes to get needed supplies to keep him alive.

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Lois Lane gets interviewed by Cat Grant, revealing evidence of Luthor’s murder of Sasha Green, as well as his hacking of the Daily Planet computer, and altering of her story.  Her source on everything?  Gretchen Kelly, who turned on Luthor, disgusted by his treatment of Supergirl.

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Superman goes to arrest Luthor, and talks him out of his doomsday destruction device, pointing out that many in the city still view him as a hero and philanthropist, and that he shouldn’t throw it all away.  Luthor loses his fight, but Happersen does not, and activates the device, even though Luthor kills him to try to stop him.

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Big Lexcorp missiles then go shooting through the city.  The GBS building gets destroyed, as does the Daily Planet.  Superman does, indeed, wind up in the streets, holding back the globe as it hurtles down, threatening to crush everyone.

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All of this is intercut with Lana Lang and Pete Ross getting married, with Ma and Pa Kent in attendance.  Perry White is also shown, across the river from Metropolis, watching the destruction of the Planet.

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Collin Thornton uses his powers as Lord Satanus to divert the missile intended for the Newstime building, and sends it to destroy Lexcorp instead.

And though the issue ends with Cadmus gone, Happersen dead, Luthor in custody, as well as Gretchen Kelly, this story does continue in the next issue of Superman – The Man of Steel.

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Action 699 – fighting in the streets

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Stern, Guice and Rodier continue with the Battle for Metropolis in Action 699 (May 1994).

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The war between Cadmus and Lexcorp has caused flooding and displacement of “underworlders,” a mix of humans and Cadmus rejects.  Superman goes to confront Luthor, but sees the state that he is in, and winds up protecting him from Supergirl.

This scene corresponds to one from her own miniseries, coming out concurrently.

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With the fighting taking place openly in the streets, and all manner of forces trying to get Luthor, Gretchen Kelly evacuates him by helicopter to his yacht.

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The Guardian is now stuck between Lexcorp forces, Cadmus troops he is trying to restrain, the MSCU, Danry Donovan’s DNAliens and the Underworlders, lead by Clawster.

The story continues in the next issue of Superman – The Man of Steel.

 

Action 698 – Dabney Donovan has fun

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Lexcorp and Cadmus are at war in Action 698 (April 1994), and Superman is having trouble keeping a rein on his powers, which have been stronger than normal ever since his jaunt in space, in this story by Stern, Guice and Rodier.

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Neither side realizes that they are both being played by Dabney Donovan, expelled from Cadmus by Westfield, and the subject of a murder attempt by Luthor, whose cloned body he created.

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Dabney has sent a small army of DNAliens to attack Lexcorp.  Superman winds up having to fight to defend Luthor.  The Guardian knows that these creations, although pure Cadmus, did not actually come from their facility.

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Superman is surprised to find that the clone army all look like Lex Jr, and is not sure what the reason is for this.

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The Guardian joins Superman against the DNAliens, and insists that Cadmus is not behind the attack. He almost winds up cooked for his troubles, as Superman cannot turn off his heat vision.

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Meanwhile, Luthor hacks into the Daily Planet computers, and reads Lois Lane’s article about his murder of Sasha Green.  He decides to make a few changes to the story.

The story continues in the next issue of Superman – The Man of Steel.

 

 

Action 697 – Bizarro heads to Smallville

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Action 697 (March 1994) has the third chapter of the Bizarro’s World story arc, as an ailing Luthor tries to find a cure for the clone plague by examining a Bizarro, who escapes and runs wild.

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Stern, Guice, and Rodier show us that Luthor is not doing well at all.  Superman bursts in to accuse him of being connected to the Bizarro on the loose, but is easily distracted from this by Gretchen Kelly, who insists he stop threatening a sick man.

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Superman finds Bizarro, and they fight, but Superman cannot beat him.  He tries throwing the creature into orbit.  Bizarro simply heads back to Earth, coming to Smallville, which his twisted memory thinks he is from.

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Bizarro kidnaps Lana Lang, until Superman manages to get her to safety.  Lana had been postponing setting a wedding date with Pete Ross, unsure of her feelings towards Clark.  But this incident convinces her that she wants a life with a normal man, and she calls Pete as soon as Superman leaves.

The story continues in the next issue of Superman – The Man of Steel.

Action 696 – Superman finds the way home

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Superman has been out in space for the last few issues, and by the time Action 696 (Feb. 94) comes along, he is completely lost, no thanks to Stern, Guice and Rodier.

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Superman finds a planet with a massive city on it, but no sign of any people.  Nevertheless,a robotic Champion comes out of dormancy to protect the world from its perceived invader.

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Back on Earth, Lois is pursuing the missing persons case of Sasha Green, who Luthor murdered in the Superman annual the previous year.  She has found evidence that Sasha did not leave after their workout, as Luthor claims.  Luthor is furious with Happersen for not cleaning up everything.

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Superman and Champion fight until the city computers put their guardian back into dormancy, having determined that Superman is not a real threat.  The residents of this world are all in suspended animation, awaiting a time when their depleted world will be habitable again.  The computers control Champion as a protector, until the people get revived.  The computer gives Superman directions home.

Not bad.

Action 693 – total eradication

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Stern, Kesel, Guice and Rodier provide a beginning and an end to the Eradicator in Action 693 (Nov. 93).

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The energy remains of the Eradicator have been collected at STAR Labs.  Kitty Faulkner is overlooking the examination of him, but the one directly overseeing him is David Connor, a scientist with a terminal illness, who wants to derive a cure for himself from the Eradicator’s ability to rebuild himself.

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Superman faces his worshippers again, now united since his return.  He addresses them, insisting that he is no god, and his resurrection no different than the people brought back by doctors.  We do not see his cult again, so presumably this speech worked.  Although I doubt it would have convinced anyone.  Only the true messiah would deny that he is the messiah!

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Vinnie Edge has taken control of GBS broadcasting, now that his son Morgan is in prison.  He likes to “flirt” with Cat Grant, despite the fact that she does not appreciate it, and lets her feelings be known.

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David Connor collapses, and overloads the console controlling the Eradicator’s chamber. The resulting explosion merges Connor’s form with the Eradicator’s energies.

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Superman comes to investigate, and finds the new Eradicator.  Their powers are closely matched, and the Eradicator insists he will fight for good, although in a manner much harsher than Superman does.

The Eradicator soon joins the new incarnation of the Outsiders.

Action 692 – Superman checks out

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Action 692 (Oct. 93) serves as an epilogue to the Reign of the Supermen story arc, by Stern, Kesel, Guice and Rodier.

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The story begins as Superman helps search for survivors still buried in the rubble after the battle with Doomsday, and pulls Clark Kent out of the wreckage.  Lois Lane is there, along with Jimmy Olsen and his camera, and Cat Grant and an entire film crew, all capturing Superman and Clark Kent together.  “Superman” in this sequence is really Supergirl.

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Aside from that, much of this issue is Superman getting examined.  Kitty Faulkner and Emil Hamilton both give him a clean bill of health.  Dr Occult makes his first appearance in Action Comics, although the issue tells us that he and Superman met before, a story to be told in an annual in a few months.  Dr Occult explains the mystical side of Superman’s resurrection, and how it would not likely happen again, and certainly not that way.