Tag Archives: Supergirl

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.

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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 312 – Superman and Supergirl vs Nam-Ek and Amalak

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The picture gets clearer in the second chapter of the plague storyline, by Pasko, Swan and Springer, in Superman 312 (June 1977).

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A recap of the events of the first issue is handled by Morgan Edge, chatting with Sam Tanner, the rival television executive who hired Lola Barnett away from WGBS.

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Superman builds a wall around the resort, quarantining those within, and only then discovers that Linda Danvers is at the resort as well.  She switches to Sueprgirl, and joins him as he heads to the Justice League satellite to check on the Flash, being tended to by Green Lantern.  Hal informs them that a teleportation beam hit the resort just when Nam-Ek vanished, and they follow the trail to the West Indies.

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They find Nam-Ek, as well as Amalak, who had come across the immortal Kryptonian floating around in space and joined forces with him.  Amalak has let his hair grow out, and sprouted some facial hair as well, which makes him look much creepier than in his earlier appearances.

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Superman encases Nam-Ek in crystal, leaving the horn exposed, intending to cure the people infected with the plague.  But Amalak has managed to get the drop on Supergirl, temporarily blinding her, and holding her at gunpoint (with a star-cannon that will actually kill her).

Superman leaves, bringing Nam-Ek to the resort as Amalak prepares to kill Supergirl.

The story continues in the next issue.

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 213 – Superman’s vault

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An ominous cover for the story by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Jack Abel in Superman 213 (Jan. 69).

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It’s been quite a while since Lex Luthor appeared in these pages, but he returns in this story, obsessed with a mysterious vault that Superman has created, which can only be opened after his death.  Luthor drills from underground to reach the vault, and uses a shrink ray he stole from Brainiac to remove it completely and bring it back to his headquarters.

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But even as all this is going on, the story lets the reader in to the fact that it is some sort of hoax on Superman’s part, though the nature of it is unclear.

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Luthor then captures and kills Superman, exposing him to kryptonite.  But Jimmy Olsen and Supergirl are on hand to quickly revive the hero.

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Even with Superman dead, Luthor has great trouble opening the vault.  He finally succeeds, only to find Superman inside!

Superman had been trapped in the vault the whole time, sealed there magically by Mordru, an enemy of the Legion of Super-Heroes.  The kryptonite poisoned Superman was really Brainiac 5, and the entire scheme a plan to have Luthor save Superman, without any idea what he was really doing.

Pretty clever.

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.