Tag Archives: Wayne Boring

Superman 190 – Amalak debuts

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Jim Shooter and Wayne Boring introduce a new foe for Superman, an alien pirate named Amalak, in Superman 190 (Oct. 66).

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Amalak considers himself the greatest space pirate of them all, and has decided to choose a world to enslave as his base. He picks Earth because of its remoteness – a strange thing, as so many aliens wind up there.  Superman is the one person he feels may be a threat to him.

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Amalak kidnaps four humans, and turns them into elemental beings, under his mental control.  The machine shorts out and knocks Amalak for a loop, but the creatures are already on their way to Earth to kill Superman.

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Superman has a much more difficult time with the elemental creatures than he expects.  They show great diversity with their forms, and with four of them, the hero can never get a second to take control of the fight.

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Amalak wakes just as the elemental creatures are about to kill Superman.  He wants to deliver the killing stroke himself, so he stops them.  This gives Superman the opportunity he needed, and he goes on the attack at super-speed, taking out the creatures, who revert to human form.

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Amalak is furious with himself for causing his own plan to fail, but even more upset when the fire creature nukes his ship.

Although he appears to die, Amalak returns about a year down the road.

 

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Superman 150 – remembering Krypton, Lois vs Lana to the death, and everyone forgets Superman

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It’s Superman – the attention hog on the cover of issue 150 (Jan. 62).

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Siegel and Plastino open this issue as many characters observe a memorial day, marking the anniversary of Krypton’s destruction.

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Krypto builds himself a Doghouse of Solitude in outer space.  This has nothing at all to do with the main story, but it is the first time we see this location, which will pop up periodically over the next couple of decades.

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After building the doghouse, Krypto joins Superman and Supergirl in the Fortress, where they remember the destruction of Krypton, and their origins.  The Kandorians in the bottle participate as well, recalling how Brainiac shrunk and captured them.  The Phantom Zone prisoners are shown, with Superboy’s enemy Dr. Xadu having a cameo.

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Bizarro and Bizarro Lois are shown on their world, joining in on the festivities to mark the cataclysm.

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Superman, Supergirl and Krypto head into space, and gather up enough material to build a full scale replica of Krypton.  Then they populate it with androids of everyone who had died, including their parents.

This planet, later called Rokyn, did return a few times.

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The feud between Lois Lane and Lana Lang reaches a breaking point in this story by Bernstein and Schaffenberger.

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The sparring between the two women gets physical, and they publicly challenge each other to a fight to the death.  They even recruit Jimmy Olsen as the referee.  Of course, they do not really plan to kill each other.  They intend that Jimmy will use his watch to signal Superman, who will come to end the fight, by announcing which of them he chooses.

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But Superman suspects that the women are up to something, so he uses robots of Lois and Lana, making each of the women think that they actually had killed the other one.

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When Superman brings the two together, they turn on each other, and the fighting begins anew, taking both over a parapet – but these are just robots as well.  The women guessed that Superman guessed that they were up to something.  Oh, my.  The weird and twisted games these people play with each other for our amusement.

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Siegel, Swan and Boring conclude the issue with the cover story, in which no one remembers Superman.  Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White all know who Clark is, but not Superman.

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Superman tries to show off his powers, but finds rocket jets on his belt, and springs on his shoes.  Of course, this is really all that is needed to indicate that Mr. Mxyzptlk is behind it – as he was in the 1940s story this is adapted from.

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Once Mxyzptlk’s role is revealed, the story reverts to the name game.

 

Superman 143 – Bizarro tries to scare people

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Bizarro gets to star in the cover story from Superman 143 (Feb. 61), by Binder, Boring and Kaye.

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It is the forerunner of the Bizarro World series, opening with an explanation of Bizarro World, and the backwards way they do things.  Bizarro and Bizarro Lois now have two children, so apparently Bizarros age at a much faster rate than humans.

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They are shown to watch television shows from Earth, but react in very different ways.  When Bizarro sees an ad for a Frankenstein film, he is enraged that the creature is considered the scariest thing on Earth, and heads there to prove he is the most terrifying.

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But Bizarro heads to the film studio, and everyone he encounters assumes, for one reason or another, that he is not what he appears to be, and no one gets frightened.  Superman observes much of this from a distance.

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Because Bizarro is getting increasingly upset at not scaring people, Superman causes an electrical discharge, making peoples hair stand up, which Bizarro takes as a sign of fear and leaves happily.  He brings with him a Superman puppet, which is considered scary by his kids.

A really solid tale for a Bizarro story.

 

Superman 141 – Superman’s Return to Krypton

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Superman returns to Krypton, just like it proclaims on the cover of issue 141 (Nov.60), in this classic story by Siegel, Boring and Kaye.

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Superman tries to get rid of a strange alien creature he comes across in space, but winds up shunted backwards in time, winding up on Krypton before its explosion.  This story is the first time that the colour of sunlight Superman is exposed to is given as the source of Kryptonian powers.  It had already been established in the Action Comics story which introduced Supergirl, but this goes into more detail on the effects of the sunlight, and how their powers vanish under a red sun.

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By good fortune, he is mistaken as a extra on a science fiction movie being filmed, due to his costume.  A silly plot point allows him to continue wearing this suit for the remainder of the tale.  Superman is quite taken with the lead actress in the film, Lyla Lerrol, but also shocked to see that his parents are about to be married.  He attends the ceremony, though he does not introduce himself.

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Eventually, he cannot resist the opportunity, and heads over to their home to meet Jor-El and Lara.  He winds up becoming Jor-El’s lab assistant, though also still working on the movie.  It turns out Jor-El knows Lyla, and arranges and introduction.

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Things get hot between Superman and Lyla pretty fast.  The fact that he knows the planet is going to explode may well have something to do with that.  The panel that is meant to build suspense, showing the deadly forces within the planet’s core, instead comes off as something quasi-sexual, due to its placement between embraces.

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Superman helps Jor-El with the construction of a space ark to evacuate all of Krypton’s inhabitants.  Jor-El has been monitoring Earth, and Superman winds up seeing the Kents before their marriage, and even helping Jonathan Kent save Martha Clark from a thieving scoundrel.

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But the space ark was being built in Kandor, and despite his super-memory, Superman apparently forgot that Kandor was stolen by Brainiac.  Not until the alien shrinks the city does Superman realize what a bad place they chose to build the ark.  In a nice nod to continuity, Brainiac is shown without his head knobs, but with his chimp Koko, a way he had not appeared since his debut story.

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Superman resigns himself to perishing on Krypton, and decides to marry Lyla before this happens.  The final day of the shooting of the movie, the day before the wedding, Superman gets trapped on the movie’s rocket ship, and winds up shot into space.  Lyla is distraught, realizing she will never see Kal-El again. The story spares us seeing her die, along with everyone else on Krypton.  But the explosion shoots Superman ahead, back to his own time.

Lyle Lerrol would return in various flashbacks, dreams and imaginary stories over the next couple of decades, but not until the late 90s would a new version of the character be introduced.

The story did remain canon, and would be referenced many times before being eliminated in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Superman 140 – The Son of Bizarro

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Binder, Boring and Kaye craft one of the best Bizarro tales in Superman 140 (Oct. 60), as Bizarro and Bizarro Lois have a child.

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Both Bizarro and Bizarro Lois are horrified to discover that their son has been born deformed – he looks like a human.

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The other Bizarros are equally repulsed, and demand the child be destroyed.  Instead, Bizarro puts him on a rocket and sends him to Earth.

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The baby is found and brought to the nearest orphanage – which happens to be Midvale Orphanage, where Linda Lee is living.  She winds up taking care of the powerful infant, even though this puts exposing her existence as Supergirl in jeopardy.

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Supergirl brings the child to the Fortress of Solitude, and Krypto is more than eager to play with the boy.  After a machine explodes, Supergirl sees that the boy’s skin has altered to become that of a Bizarro.  But she assumes this is the result of the explosion, an accident she blames herself for.

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The Bizarro boy uses the duplicator ray on Supergirl, creating a Bizarro Supergirl who is far more devious and malevolent than other Bizarros, and who plots to kill Supergirl.

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Meanwhile, Bizarro has seen that his son now looks like him, and thinks that Superman is keeping his child away from him intentionally.  While the logic on this part is a bit off, it is Bizarro logic, after all, and good enough to cause the Bizarros to launch an invasion to regain the child.

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To prevent an all-out Bizarro attack on Earth, Superman uses the duplicator ray on a pile of kryptonite, altering to blue kryptonite, the only thing capable of killing Bizarros.  This is the first story to have blue kryptonite.

It proves successful in keeping away the Bizarros.  While all this was going on, other Bizarro children have been born, and the fact that they start off looking human, and then change to Bizarros, gets understood.

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So Bizarro returns home with his son.  Bizarro Supergirl lays a trap for the real Supergirl, but winds up getting killed herself, from exposure to blue kryptonite.

No other Bizarro Supergirl is created until after the millenium.

Superman 139 – Super-merman, the first Superman annual, and red kryptonite

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Lori Lemaris is back again, and Superman wants her in issue 138 (Aug. 60).

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The story, by Siegel, Boring and Kaye, begins as a wealthy and successful man falls for Lois Lane and proposes marriage, only to be rejected, because she longs for Superman.  Lori Lemaris promptly shows up, looking for Superman.

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Ronal is close to death, and Superman proves incapable of saving him.  Ronal’s dying wish is for Superman to marry Lori, to Lois Lane’s dismay.  Superman picks up his romance with Lori, and somehow winds up with a merman body.

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But it all turns out to be a giant hoax they are playing on Lois, trying to convince her to move on with her life and find someone else.  It fails dismally at this, as Lois just sees the effort as a sign of how much Superman cares about her.

With the cruel games that Lois and Superman play with each other, they really are suited to be a couple.

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This issue also contains an ad for the first Superman annual.  I was going to give it its own entry, but this works just as well.  It’s all reprints anyway, covering pretty much every member of the Superman supporting cast.  The biggest significance of this book is that it was the very first DC annual, and enough of a success to spawn a huge amount of follow-ups.

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Red kryptonite makes its first appearance in this book, in a story by Binder, Swan and Forte.  Red kryptonite had been introduced in the Superboy series in Adventure Comics, and a couple of those stories are briefly flashed back to in this tale.

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Red kryptonite has unpredictable effects on Superman, and would rapidly become a mainstay of his stories in the 1960s.

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In this story, it winds up giving him extremely long hair and fingernails.  This threatens to expose his identity, as he is not able to cut them himself.  But with the aid of Supergirl and Krypto, Superman gets properly groomed, so Clark Kent shows none of the red kryptonite effects.

 

Superman 138 – Titano returns, and Lori Lemaris plays matchmaker

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Titano returns in Superman 138 (July 1960), in a story by Binder, Boring and Kaye.

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It’s not a great story, to be frank.  Superman uses an alien time viewer to check on Titano, but the time viewer is also a teleporter, and he brings Titano back to the present.  From that point, the story basically just replays his first outing, with his rampage, grabbing Lois King Kong-style, and using his kryptonite vision on Superman.

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Superman gets Titano to calm down by bringing him the giant coconuts he was about to eat before being teleported.  Then he takes him back to prehistoric times.  But Titano returns the following year.

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Lori Lemaris tries to get Superman to propose to Lois Lane in this story by Siegel, Boring and Kaye.

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Figuring that Superman ought to settle down, now that she is married, she uses her telepathic powers in an attempt to prompt him to do so with Lois, but it fails.

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So she resorts to increasingly bizarre plans, including making Superman see Lois Lane’s face on a whale.  How exactly that will make him marry her is beyond me, but perhaps it makes sense to an Atlantean.  She sets Lois up with another man, but that fails to make Superman jealous.  Finally, she tries exposing his secret identity, figuring that once Lois knows he is Clark Kent, he will have to marry her.

Aquaman steps in to mess up that plan.  This is the first time Aquaman and Lori Lemaris appear in a story together, but as yet there is no explanation for their very different Atlantises.