Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Episode #90: Superman In Exile, Part III!

NOTE: For a complete list of the Superman titles involved in the Superman In Exile storyline, go to the Superman Fan Podcast blog entry: .
Earlier episodes about the Superman In Exile storyline:
Episode #66: Superman In The Pocket Universe!
Episode #69: Superman Goes Gangbusters!
Episode #71: Superman In Exile: Part I!
Episode #72: Superman In Exile: Part II!

The superman titles covered in this episode are cover dated April and May 1989. The Superman titles were edited by Mike Carlin at this time.

Cover dated April 1989:

Superman #30, published on February 21, 1989.
The Adventures Of Superman #453, February 28, 1989.

Cover dated May 1989:

Superman #31, March 21, 1989.
The Adventures Of Superman #454, March 28, 1989.

Action Comics was published weekly at this time, and the Superman story in this title was not related to the Superman In Exile story.

The cover for Superman #30 was pencilled by Kerry Gammil and inked by Dennis Janke. This issue began a four part second story titled Hostile Takeover which starred Lex Luthor. The fourteen page story Alone was written by Roger Stern, pencilled by Kerry Gammil, inked by Dennis Janke, lettered by John Costanza and colored by Glenn Whitmore.
The story began with Superman on a volcanic planet. Since this world was inhospitable to human life he flew into space and engaged the teleporter. He had by this point learned how to use the device correctly, so that he did not teleport too close to a celestial body. He found a planet with a pleasant atmosphere and a huge prarie of grain.
At the Kent farm, Ma and Pa sat in bed voicing their concerns for their son, alone in deep space. Matrix (first mentioned in episode #66: Superman In The Pocket Universe) was flying around the house and overheard their conversation.
On his prarie planet Superman had built an adobe home and used his super powers to plow the fields with his bare hands. One night Superman was awoken by a huge storm, which destroyed his adobe home and flooded this prarie that Superman compared to the size of Australia. He fell asleep during the storm and woke up the next morning to a desert. He used his x-ray vision to examine the groung, to find many alternating layers of growth, flood and desert. This planet was not as friendly as he thought, so he flew into space, directly into a meteor shower. After fighting through the metors Superman flew into deep space, unaware that hes breathing apparatus had sprung a leak.

The four part story Hostile Takeover began with King Of All He Surveys, written by Roger Stern, pencilled by Dan Jurgens, inked by Dennis Janke, lettered by Albert Tobias De Guzman and colored by Glenn Whitmore, with thanks to Jerry Ordway.
Lex Luthor stared at the Metropolis skyline, once again the most powerful man in Metropolis, and empty because it was not he who had overcome the Man of Steel. Later in the day, at a LexCorp business meeting, he decided to take over S.T.A.R. Labs.

Jerry Ordway drew the cover to The Adventures Of Superman #453 and wrote and drew the story Apparitions as well. The issue was lettered by Albert Tobias De Guzman and colored by Glenn Whitmore.
The story began with Superman once again on the dead Earth of the Pocket Universe (once again listen to episode #66). As the cover illustrated, the bodies of the dead Kryptonian villains came out of the ground to get their revenge.
At the Kent farm Matrix used her shapeshifing powers to transform herself to a twin of Clark Kent, much to the shock of Ma and Pa Kent.
On the dead world Luthor and Brainiac join General Zod in his fight against Superman. It is revealed that Superman is actually on an asteroid, halucinating from a lack of air because of the leak.
In Metropolis Prof. Hamilton had finished examining Jose Delgado's Lexcorp armored suit when the helmet began to smoke. Jose ripped it off just in time before it exploded, shielding the professor with his own armored body. Hamilton began examining the suit closer to make sure, as Jose put it, that something else, like the codpiece would not blow up.
On the asteriod, Lex, Zod and Brainiac are replaced by Gangbuster, Superman and Clark Kent, Superman's split identites. He fought through the demons that hounted him and found some inner peace finally. Superman then flew into space only to pass out and be picked up by a passing spaceship.

Part two of Hostile Takeover was titled Inside Rumors, written by Roger Stern, pencilled by Dan Jurgens, inked by Dennis Janke, lettered by Albert De Guzman and colored by Glenn Whitmore, with insider: Jerry Ordway.
Rumors were rampant at the Metropolis Stock Exchange about Lex Corp buying S.T.A.R. Labs, whose stocks begin to skyrocket. Luthor was content with the progress of events, but the staff of S.T.A.R. Labs is not. Many promise to quit if Luthor buys the company. When the C.E.O. asks why, one employee replied that the C.E.O. had not worked for Luthor before. Luthor appeared at the Tokyo groundbreaking of S.T.A.R. Lab's Japan facility. He purposefully upstaged the ceremony by neighter confirming or denying the rumors about a takeover bid. Prof. Hamilton, Perry White and Morgan Edge wondered what Luthor was up to.The next day, at the Metropolis Stock Exchange, Luthor announced that he would buy S.T.A.R. Labs stock at #50.00 a share.

Superman #31 was the first new Superman issue I bought at Todd's comic store in Leesburg, Florida, when I began reading comic books consistently as an adult. The cover was drawn by Kerry Gammil and inked by Dennis Janke. Ir portrayed a giant Superman stomping through Metropolis, trampling buildings under his feet. Mr. Mxyzptlk folded down the top right corner of the page and said, "This scene probably doesn't appear in this issue ... but with me around it could!"
As Good As His Word was written by Roger Stern, plotted by Tom Robert Peyer, pencils: Parris Cullins, inks: Dennis Janke, letters: John Costanza, colored Glenn Whitmore.
A giant Mr Mxyzptlk picked up a bus, lit an dsmoked it like a cigar. He then used a remote control to pull a subway train from underground to run on the street. Luthor sent Team Luthor, his hi-tech security force to handle the threat. A member of Team Luthor rescued a pedestrian from being run over by the train, while the rest of the team dove from a plane above Mxyzptlk. He transformed the hi-tech Team Luhor armored suits into s/f planes, very painfully to the men inside. He put out the bus like a cigar on the street and walked to the LexCorp building. Luthor ordered employee Vekko to find out everything he could about Mr. Mxyzptlk. Lex Luthor was shocked to see Superman burst through the wall and melt his prosthetic hand. After kissing Juthor on top of his bald head, Superman changed into a super monkey (named Beppo?) and then into Mr. Mxyzptlk in a buckskin suit and a cowboy hat. Sitting on Luthor's back, Cowboy Mxy spurred Luthor in his side. Bored, Mxyzptlk left Luthor to have more fun. Vekko informed Luthor that everything turned back to normal after Superman bested Mxyzptlk's challenges. Finding the information useless Luthor fired Vekko. After watching a t-rex on a billboard come alive he asked, "How do you stop an honest ..." and unfire Vekko to go to work on a plan.
Mr Mxyzptlk tied two skyscrapers into a knot (which resembled the twin towers of the World Trade Center). Luthor flashed a message on a blip for Mxyzptlk to meet him at a barber shop on the corner of 4th and Sikela (the name of one of the artists of the Siegel and Shuster Cleveland studio, see episode #17). The two of them sign a contract stating that Luthor would agree to not attack Mxyzptlk during the life of the contract. Afer Mxy signed it. Luhor's chair sunk into the floor, which closed over him. The lawyers in the barber shop were actually robots, whose briefcases launched napalm bombs at Mxyzptlk. A charred Mxy popped into Luthor's office demanded to know why Luthor broke the contract. He answered simply, "I lied." After turning Vekko and Luthor into worms an infuriated Mr. Mxyzptlk returned to the 5th Dimension, and they returned to normal. A still shaken Vekko asked a smug Luthor what would happen if Mxyzptlk learned to lie from the incident?

Part III of the Hostile Takeover story was titled Poison Pill written by Jerry Ordway (pharmacist), pencils: Dan Jurgens, inks: Dennis Janke, letters: Albert De Guzman, colorist Glenn Whitmore. Luthor visited Team Luthor in the hospital, whose injuries apparently didn't vanish when Mr. Mxyzptlk returned to the 5th Dimension. A WLEX reporter at the hospital credited Luthor with defeating Mxy, and stated that Lex declined comment about any planned takeover of S.T.A.R. Labs. Luthor later checked on a still intionally comatose Milton Fine Brainiac. Morgan Edge bought as many shares of S.T.A.R. Labs stock as he could, planning on making millions on Luthor. The board of S.T.A.R. Labs learned that Luthor was interested in their Rock Mountain psionics facility, and issue thousands of shares of stock to shareholders in a poison pill maneuver to stop Luthor's takeover bid.

The final issue of this episode is The Adventures Of Superman #454. The cover was drawn by Jerry Ordway. A group of aliens grabbed at Superman's uniform. His eyes began to gow red with heat vision. One of the aliens had orange rock-like skin.
Wayfarer was written and drawn by Jerry Ordway, letters: Albert De Guzman, colorinst: Glenn Whitmore. Superman was unconscious on the floor of a cell crowded by aliens from all over the galaxy. He is awoken when one alien stole his red boots. Superman discouraged the rest with his heat vision. A werewolf-like alien fought Superman until guards shackled both and hauled them out of the cell. The spaceship's destination was revealed as Warworld.
In Metropolis Amanda McCoy called Maggie Sawyer of the Metropolis SCU to inform her of the identity of the man killed in Clark Kent's apartment. Morgan Edge drove Cat Grant and her son to his mansion outside the city.
At the Kent farm, Ma discovered that Matrix was missing and she took some of Clark's things with her. Matrix, now transformed into a double of Clark, has arrived at Metropolis only to be attacked by Muggers. Bibbo, wearing a Superman's Pal t-shirt rescues Clark, who left the scene as police arrived.
The spaceship landed on a moon, where a shackled Superman was presented to Warworld's ruler, Mongul.
At the end of the issue was the caption, To Be Continued In Action Comics Annual #2, which was published at the end of the run of Action Comics Weekly, which will be the subject of episode #92 in two weeks.

The fourth and final chapter of Hostile Takeover was titled Looking For A White Knight. The opening panel looked like the front page of the Daily Planet's Busienss Section, with the creator credits cleverly put in the section' story index: writer: Roger Stern SternWriter Gets Heavy 1st-Quarter Use. Pencils: Dan Jurgens, inks: Dennis Janke Jurgens/Janke Bond Case Goes Before Jury. Letters: Albert De Guzman De Guzman Calligraphics Floats Trial Balloon. Colors: Glenn Whitmore Whitmore Color Patents Chromalock System. Ordster Work-O-Matic Debuts, Strong Sales Predicted.
The S.T.A.R. Labs board of directors had pulled an all-night meeting, contacting corporations around the country, looking for a white knight to buy the company out from under Luthor's grasp, to no avail. Not even Wayne Enterprises was interested. Not even selling the Rock Mountain facility to Simtech seemed to distract LexCorp. Some S.T.A.R. Labs executives met with Morgan Edge with the hope that Galaxy Broadcasting would buy them. Edge turned them down, not mentioning he expected to earn millions of dollars from Luthor after LexCorp bought the company. At an unnamed brokerage firm a broker took a call from a Mr. Eagleton, who wanted to sell his shares of S.T.A.R. Labs stock, with the proceeds deposited in his Swiss bank account. It turns out that Mr. Eagleton was a LexCorp employee, who rewarded him with a well deserved vacation to Tahiti. Later in the day a LexCorp spokesperson announced that LexCorp was not interested in buying S.T.A.R. Labs. Shares plummeted in value and Edge lost millions, but it was hard to feel sorry for him. At the end of the story it was revealed that SimTech was a dummy corporation owned by LexCorp. Lex once again peers over the Metropolis skyline, considering the affair an "invigorating exercise." He asked himself, "I wonder if I shall ever face any real challenge again?"
The Rocky Mountain Psionics facility will play a major part in a future Brainiac story.

Next week: Happy Birthday, Mike Grell!

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Thanks for listening to this episode of the Superman Fan Podcast and, as laways, thanks to erry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

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