Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The cover and the title both oversell this one:

I'm scheduling this out a bit, but I picked up this issue at the Spokane Comicon: from 1978, Superman #322, "Laser War Over Metropolis!" Written by Martin Pasko, art by Curt Swan and Frank Chiaramonte.
In recent years, the Parasite has usually been portrayed as little more than a monster, almost mindless in his efforts to drain the powers of Superman or other heroes. Well, there was that time he took the place of Lois Lane, for an extended period of time, for some reason...but at the start of this issue, the Parasite seems to be holding all the cards: a powerless Superman is falling to his death, and the Parasite's billion-dollar blackmail plan to use an orbital defense system to laser Metropolis to the ground is running full steam. Superman manages to survive the fall, then regain some of his powers; while the Parasite kills a number of Military Police with stolen heat vision. His plan works perfectly, except for not taking into account that Superman could just move the planet out of the way of the laser blast.
Superman catches up to the Parasite, and takes away the villain's "power-prism." Parasite had experimented with it on Solomon Grundy in a previous issue, and figured out how to drain a specific reflex from Superman: his trained inhibition from using his full power in a fight. The two finally end up in the "laser-vision" "duel to the death" advertised on the cover...which only runs about three panels. As the Parasite's stolen powers fade, he has to listen to Superman lecture him on the stupidity of his plan: the ransom couldn't cure the Parasite, and a bald, purple guy would probably have some trouble spending it anywhere. Parasite tries to steal Superman's powers one more time, but Supes switches in the aforementioned Solomon Grundy with a decoy cape--apparently, Grundy thought the cape would give him the ability to fly and make him Superman's equal. For helping out against the Parasite, Superman sets him up with a cape and takes Grundy to a low-gravity planet where he can "fly" around all he likes.
As the Parasite is returned to jail, the money recovered, and an army general plots against Superman for later; Supes catches up with Lois for dinner. This was a perfectly fine issue, but ah, nowhere near the promise of that cover.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Ha ha, "Kryptonian Mood ring" What'll they think of next;)