Thursday, September 18, 2014

Best explanation for Superman being Clark Kent I've heard lately, random 70's Action Comics...



I know Superman spent a good chunk of the seventies as a TV anchor for Galaxy Broadcasting, but I'm fuzzy on the start and end dates there. So when Clark gets fired at the start of Action Comics #452, I thought it might stick! From 1975, "The Loser--and New Champion!" Story by Jim Shooter, art by Curt Swan and Tex Blaisdell.

Lois tries to cheer up Clark after he gets canned, but he has to ditch her so Superman can take care of an armed bomber at an oil refinery. The bomb turns out to be a fake, but Supes only finds that out by accident: he knows he doesn't have his head in the game today. Moreover, the bomber turns out to not only have super-strength, but he blocks metal fragments like Wonder Woman and her bracelets--and wants Superman to beat him! The bad guy almost foregoes his plan when he sees an opportunity to kick Superman's head off, but Supes rallies to win.

The owner of the refinery wants to make a donation in Superman's name, and he suggests the WGBS children's hospital fund. Clark nails what could be one of his final newcasts, but overhears with super-hearing a bit of good news and puts one over on Steve Lombard. But the bomber, Rick Lawrence, has posted bail, and has gone to confront the scientist that experimented on him, Sunder. Said experiments had been incredibly painful, but were supposed to mutate Lawrence's DNA to make him as strong as anyone he fights. And it works, after a delay: Lawrence gains the power of the fighter that last beat him. In a flashback, he explains how he took a shot at Wonder Woman, and gained her power; before deciding to go all out and pick a fight with Superman. You know, years later, I think they used something like that for Doomsday's origin...

Superman finds Lawrence before he kills Sunder, since he sprayed him with a "super-perfume" he could track anywhere on earth. Now in top form, Supes is still able to beat Lawrence, then takes him to the bottle city of Kandor, where he won't have powers. Except, wouldn't he still have Wonder Woman's powers? I think you'd be able to do a lot of damage there with those...oh, yeah, there's a bit of due process/extradition issue here too. Superman kinda disappeared that guy...

In the end, Clark still has his job--the refinery owner liked his work and signed on as a sponsor. He even manages to get another lunch with Lois, so not a bad day.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Ha! Those old silly-ass stories.
That's gotta' be the quickest identity crisis/dilemma I've ever seen. How nice of Supes to have that one all wrapped up in the span of three panels.
Well, he's not called Superman for nothing;)