Thursday, August 26, 2010

Episode #141: An Imaginary Summer 2010. Part IV: The Death Of Lois Lane!

The final story of this year's imaginary story series is The Death Of Lois Lane, from Superman #194, February 1967, published on December 15, 1966. The issue contained 32 pages and had the cover price of twelve cents. Mort Weisinger was the editor. The cover was pencilled by Curt Swan and inked by George Klein. It showed Superman and his son Superboy gazing at a bust of the deceased Lois Lane carved into the side of a mountain.

I bought this issue from my local comic store, at the time. My friend Sydney had moved his store to his second location, for cheaper rent. I had never read this story before, and I can't resist an imaginary Superman story.

On the title page, Clark and his son, Perry White, Jimmy Olsen and Lucy Lane were gathered at the gravesite as Lois' casket was being lowered into her grave.

The story began with Superman saving a geologist who had fallen off a cliff. In his hand was an unusual mineral he had found, which contained green, red and gold kryptonite. This unusual combination of kryptonite had an unusual effect on Superman. His costume became radioactive, so that he had to take it off and store it in a lead shielded box. And not only did he lose his super powers, but Superman also lost any memory of being a superhero. So he resumed his life as Clark Kent, as if he had never been Superman. He even wrote a story Superman Missing. Where Is He?

With his super rival gone, Clark was able to win Lois Lane's heart, and they got married. Clark would later go to Tibet on assignment, only to be lost for several years. He returned to Metropolis to find that he was the father of a young, super powered son. Lois guessed that their son gained his powers from drinking a failed super serum that was among her Superman memorabilia. She surmised that it had somehow been activated by a radioactive gem among her collection. (I can only guess that the radioactive gem was not harmful to humans.) But a caption at the bottom of the panel said that of course Lois was wrong about her guess.

Later, Clark watched a documentary about Superman on TV. It replayed a clip which showed the Man of Steel summoning his robot #3. The same robot flew into Clark's living room, activated by the recorded voice of Superman. The robot had been hidden in a now forgotten secret closet filled with other Superman robots. Superrobot #3 took Clark to a closet where the lead shielded box was stored. When Clark opened the box and saw the readioactive Superman uniform inside, his memory returned.

The next morning, Clark had planned to tell his family about his secret during breakfast. He was interrupted by his son, who was dressed for his little league game.

Later that day, Clark and Lois were on a drive together in the countryside. He was about to tell his wife his secret when their car veered toward a cliff wall beside the road. Before the vehicle could crash into the cliff, an opening appeared in the rock face and the car was pulled inside. It was the secret hideout of Lex Luthor, who had used a giant magnet to trap the Kent's automobile. He used truth serum on the Kents to discover Superman's secret identity. Of course Lois didn't know, but Clark confessed to being Superman. He even told Luthor how he lost his super powers. After a moment's disbelief, Luthor was convinced that Clark told the truth, and briefly considered killing Kent himself.

Instead, Luthor planted hypnotic suggestions in both of the Kents' minds, and used his giant magnet to repel their car out of his hideout.

Clark and Lois had no memory of their capture and continued down the road. Clark picked up his conversation where he had left off and told his wife Lois that he had been Superman. Acting on Luthor's hypnotic suggestion, Lois pulled a handgun out of her purse and shot at her husband. Clark opened the car door and jumped out, the bullet barely going over his head. The car was now out of control and went off the edge of a cliff.

In his mountain hideout, Luthor witnessed the scene of Clark climbing down the cliff to hold the now lifeless body of his wife on a monitor. His plan had backfired with Lois dying instead of Clark, but Luthor had another plan.

Luthor attended Lois Kent's funeral, hidden from the mourners. A few days later Clark received a phone call from Perry White, but Clark did not recognize the voice as Perry's. The voice said that he had a bad cold, and had received a tip that Luthor's hideout was near the Metropolis turnpike. Clark left right away to act on the tip.

After Clark left his apartment, Luthor broke in and reprogrammed one of the Superman robots to obey his remote controlled comands. The Superman robot obeyed Luthor's command to put on one of Clark's suits. Robot Clark, as I'll call him, sat in the living room and pretended to talk in his sleep. He awoke Clark's son, who heard Robot Clark mumble about killing Lois out of jealousy. The boy awoke his father and told him what he had said in his sleep. Robot Clark said it was only a bad dream. Luthor watched on a monitor in his hideout.

Robot Clark then went into Lois' old room and pulled out a chest that Luthor had planted under her bed. When Robot Clark opened it, he found keepsakes that Luthor had given Lois, including an autograph picture which was signed, "To Lois, Love Lex." In a jealous rage Robot Clark threw them out the window. Then Clark's son was convinced that his father really did kill Lois. Robot Clark slapped the boy, who was not hurt because of his invulnerability. Then the robot exposed Clark's son to a small piece of kryptonite, to keep him from going to the police. Robot Clark then said he would take care of Luthor. Instead of going to the ground floor of the building and driving to Luthor's lair, Robot Clark went to the roof and flew there. Luthor comanded Robot Clark to hide in closet A-2.

Luthor then went to the Kent apartment and saved the boy from the kryptonite. They flew to Luthor's hideout in a rocket jet that Luthor parked on the building's roof. Luthor told Clark's son to go into closet 2-A. Lex then smeared some soot on his face and lay next to a machine that had blown up the day before. He planned to trick Clark into confessing to Lois' murder. At that time the real Clark Kent walked into Luthor's hideout. Lex pretended to be wounded from the machine explosion, and revealed to Clark that he knew his secret identity as Superman. He then showed Clark some pictures he had faked, showing Lex and Lois in romantic poses together in public. Luthor claimed that they had been secretly sweethearts before she married Clark.

Kent didn't believe Luthor, but was hypnotized by a hypnotizing machine. Luthor commanded Clark to go into a jealous rage. Clark began smashing Luthor's equipment and confessed to murdering Lois out of jealousy. His son watched from the closet he was hiding in.

Luthor's plan backfired when Clark grabbed a vaporizing rifle and aimed it at Lex. Clark's son saved Luthor from the blast and threw his father down a deep crevasse. Luthor laughed victoriously and confessed to the entire scheme. To finish it off he exposed Clark's son to the kryptonite from the Kent apartment. But Luthor was stopped by Robot Clark, who removed the kryptonite, and then killed Luthor with the vaporizing rifle. The Kent son brought his father, still alive, out of the crevasse. He had used his super breath to slow his father's fall, so that Clark would be safe while the boy dealt with Luthor. The Robot Clark self destructed because of the evil deeds it had been involved with.

On a mountainside Superman and his son looked at a bust of Lois Kent her son had carved into the mountain. The boy would soon begin his career as the second Superboy. There was no explanation why Superman was now able to wear his costume, which had been rendered radioactove at the beginning of the story. Sometimes, such are silver age comic book stories. This tale had more plot twists than a soap opera.

The back story was a reprint of The Super Luck Of Badge 77, originally published in Superman #133.

Also in the back of the issue was a Direct Current, which was a checklist of some of the titles that were published that month. The only Superman title listed wa Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #72, which also carried a February 1967 cover date, and was scheduled to be published on December 20. The title of the featured story was Lois Lane's Aquaman Tricks.

There was an ad for some mini-Batman posters. I remember having two of them, one of the 1960's comic book Batmobile zooming out of the Batcave, and another of the Penguin, holding an open umbrella as he floated above Gotham City.

There was another ad which featured covers of the latest issues of several titles. One was Action Comics #346, featuring the story The Case Of The Superman Imposter. Another title was The Doomed Legionnaire in Adventure Comics #353.

Next Episode: Revenge Is Life - Death To Superman in Superman #414!

Join the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook, and follow the podcast and blogs on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Superman Fan Podcast is a proud member of the League of Comic Book Podcasters at and the Comics Podcast Network!

Superman Fan Podcast is at . Send e-mail about this podcast to .

My Pull List is my spoiler free comic book review blog of the titles I read every week. It can be found at . Send e-mail about this blog to .

Superman and all related characters are trademark and copyright DC Comics.

Thanks for listening to the Superman Fan Podcast and, as always, thanks to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Episode #140: Showcasing Lois Lane in SHOWCASE #10!

Before Lois Lane received her own title, she first appeared in Showcase issues 9 and 10. For more information about her appearance in Showcase #9, go to episode #109:, and

Showcase #10, September / October 1957, was published around July 18, 1957. Mort Weisinger edited both Lois Lane issues, since he was the editor of the Superman line of titles. The staff of DC editors took turns editing several issues of Showcase before handing it off to the next editor. The cover and interior art was pencilled by Wayne Boring and inked by Stan Kaye. The cover featured the final story of the issue, The Forbidden Box From Krypton. All three stories in the issue were eight pages long.

The first story, The Jilting Of Superman, was written by Otto Binder. It began with Lois Lane as a contestant on a popular TV game show, when she was given the final question: What is Superman's Secret Identity? After a moment's hesitation she realized it was a trick question, and quickly answered, "The Man of Steel." That was the correct answer, and Lois won the grand prize, a new dream cottage in the suburbs. There was one catch. She had ten days to marry the man of her dreams, or she would receive the consolation prize.

Lois left the studio dejected, because she had no hope of marrying the man of her dreams, Superman. Her friend from the Daily Planet office, Millie, suggested making the Man of Steel jealous. Millie explained that it was how she got her husband to marry her. She pretended that she had eloped with another man, and when her husband-to-be found out she was still single, he was more than happy to marry her. (Just what any man wants, a wife who plays tricks on him. Also, another classic Mort Weisinger plot: trick the people closest to you.) Lois told Millie that she couldn't play a trick like that on Superman.

Millie and Lois toured other TV studios, when they met actor Tony Lester, who Lois had interviewed for a Planet article. Tony thanked Lois for the exposure he got from the article. It made him a big TV star. In appreciation, he told Lois to ask him anytime and he would be glad to return the favor.

That's all it took to give Lois an idea. She asked Tony to pretend they were married as a prank in a friend. Lois asked Tony to meet her outside the Daily Planet offices and pretend they eloped. Millie encouraged Lois as she fantasized about wearing a wedding dress as Superman flew her to their honeymoon.

The next day Superman flew to the Daily Planet building, after his morning patrol, to give Lois a scoop. Lois gave him a scoop of her own when she introduced him to her new husband, Tony Lester, with whom she had eloped. A shocked Superman congratulated both of them while his heart was breaking inside.

Later, Superman delivered Lois' furniture to her new cottage, but couldn't watch Tony carry Lois over the threshold. As a wedding gift, Superman built a small waterfall in their backyard. Lois pretended to ignore Superman, as she asked Tony to help her throw out her old junk. She began throwing her Superman memorabilia out the window.

After Superman left, Lois confided in Tony the real purpose in her prank, as a way to get Superman to marry her. Tony told Lois he regretted agreeing to the prank. (I wondered if he would have felt differently if it had been an ordinary person, and not Superman.) Tony left for work at his TV studio.

On the set of a Mad Scientist scene, the robot prop went out of control, threatening Tony's safety. Superman saved Tony in the nick of time. In appeciation, Tony revealed Lois' scheme to the Man of Steel. Superman was stunned, and Tony suggested that they both teach her a lesson.

Later, when Tony returned to Lois' home, Superman paid a visit. He and Tony began to fight over Lois, and she left the house, happy that her plan was working. But it appeared to work too good, as both men demolished her house. Superman and Tony emerged from the wrecked house arm in arm. Superman told Lois that the fight was merely a screen test for a boxing role Tony had auditioned for, and then took Tony to Hollywood.

Superman returned to repair the wrecked house and replace Lois' damaged furniture. Since Lois didn't marry the man of her dreams she received the consolation prize, a bride's hope chest.

The Sightless Lois Lane was written by Jerry Coleman. Lois Lane was covering a demonstration of nuclear power. Her protective goggles were getting in the way of her seeing the experiment clearly, so of course she moved them away from her eyes. At that moment a bright flash from the demonstration blinded Lois. Superman appeared to take Lois to the hospital. After examining her, a doctor had bad news. Lois' optic nerve was permanently damagaed, and she would soon lose her sight completely. Superman stayed with Lois as her physician gave her the bad news. The Man of Steel told Lois that he would take her anywhere in the world, to see anything she wanted while she still had sight. He admired her courage after receiving the shocking news and was determined to make her last days with sight memorable.

Superman took Lois on an around the world tour, where she saw monuments like the Taj Mahal and the Sphinx. When Lois mentioned that she had hoped to see a play that had one of the characters based on her. Superman talked to the play's producer, but he was unable to help the Man of Steel. The play was still in early production, and the actors had not begun to learn their lines.

Later, Lois sat alone in the audience of an auditorium, watching the play she had wanted to see. She didn't like the role of the girl reporter. Lois thought that the actress portrayed her as too vain and self assured. Her dim sight did not catch on that the actors were actually life sized puppets on strings, operated by Superman. He also did all of the voices, using his super ventriloquism, after memorizing the entire script.

As a final favor for Lois, Superman took Lois to walk on a distant planet, after giving her a spacesuit. They returned to Earth just as she lost the last of her vision. At the Daily Planet offices, the Metropolis Reporters Club donated a seeing eye dog to Lois, who she named Deadline. Superman let Lois go on assignment by herself, to build her self confidence, and she appreciated the thought. Lois went to a Metropolis hotel where the Governor was staying, in order to interview him. An aide declined Lois' request at the Governor's orders. Lois didn't let that stop her. After previously slipping a note under Deadline's collar, she let her dog get loose, and he ran into the Governor's jotel suite. Lois knew the Governor was a dog lover, and he answered Lois' questions on the note because he was such an animal lover. Lois then went to the Daily Planet so that Perry could read the note for her and she could type up the story,

A few days later, Clark saw an emergency he needed to take care of as Superman. Since Lois was the only one in that office, he changed into Superman in front of her. But at that moment, her vision returned, and she saw Clark take off his clothes and fly away as Superman. She decided to not betray his secret, after Superman had been so nice to her before she had lost her vision. So she pretended that her sight returned after Clark had returned to the office.

The next day Lois walked through the park on her way to cover another assignment when she saw a statue of a horse and rider move. It was actually built and remote controlled by Superman. He used his super breath to blow it into space at super speed, so that Lois then saw the real statue behind it, of a riderless horse. Lois concluded that she must have been seeing things.

At a previous doctor visit, the eye doctor had told Lois that part of her failing vision was her eyes focusing on separate objects. Superman used this to trick Lois into believing that she had seen Clark take off his coat as Superman flew by the window behind Kent.

How Superman realized that Lois' vision had returned was that, when he returned from his emergency, she had a mirror on her desk. It had not been there before, and he noticed that her hairstyle was different than when he left.

Lois still believed that Clark and Superman were two different men, but was glad to have them among her closest friends.

The final story of the issue, which was featured on the cover, was The Forbidden Box From Krypton, written by Otto Binder. Lois received a box from an archaeologist. He had also written a note, warning Lois to only open the box in Superman's presence. Since she had a habit of leaping before she looked, Lois opened the box alone anyway. The box only contained a cape, goggles and a pair of gloves, so she put them on. The goggles gave Lois telescopic vision, so she could see Superman save flood victims. Then the goggles helped her find a lost ring on the floor of her closet with x-ray vision. Lois found out that the gloves gave her super strength when the front door shattered when she opened it. She followed the pattern and correctly guessed that the cape gave her the ability to fly.

Lois was able to avoid the rush hour morning traffic by flying into her office window in the Daily Planet building. All was not well when she broke a typewriter while writing a news report. Her goggles allowed her to see a gang drive away in their getaway car after robbing a bank. She flew out the window and ripped the engine out of their car. Their car crashed into a light pole. Superman appeared in time to save Lois from being electrocuted by the electrified power pole, caused by loose wires. While Superman rounded up the gang, Lois flew back to her office to turn in the story, and became the headline to her own report.

Both Clark and Lois saw a ship endangered by an iceberg. Lois got a head start to the emergency because Clark had to duck into a storeroom to change into Superman. He got to the ship in time to see Lois break up the iceberg with her fist. The only problem was that the flying pieces of the iceberg threatened to sink the ship. Superman melted the iceberg with his x-ray vision, as his heat vision was called back then. Lois resented Superman following her like a nursemaid.

Later, Superman saw Lois pull a truck out of the mud. Unfortunately, a box of TNT from the truck's load fell off of the truck. Superman was able to shield Lois from the exploding dynamite. She again ignored his warning about using her powers more carefully.

Superman decided to get to the bottom of the situation, so he flew to Lois' apartment. He found the box and recognized it as coming from Krypton. Superman found a note, written by his father, Jor-El, detailing why he sent the box to Earth. Jor-El sent the three inventions in order to help his son Kal-El survive on Earth. He underestimated how powerful his son would become once he came to Earth.

The Man of Steel surmised that the three Kryptonian artifacts would be neutralized by kryptonite. He flew into space and spotted a meteor shower that had a piece of kryptonite. Superman fused the other meteors into a long, gaint bat, and swatted the kryptonite toward Earth.

Lois saw an unconscious Superman near a kryptonite meteorite. She flew to his rescue, but her gloves had lost their super strength. She was only able to pull Superman away from the kryptonite. The unconscious Superman was only a dummy, as the real Man of Steel watched from behind a rock. After switching places with the dummy (by super speed, I assume) he flew Lois back to Metropolis.

Even though she no longer had super powers, Lois did have one more super headline. Clark was glad she could headline one final Super-Lois story, as a way to get over the sting of losing her super powers. It was nice to read a Superman story where the cast wasn't trying to play tricks on each other.

Next Episode: An Imaginary Summer 2010, Part IV: The Death Of Lois Lane!

Join the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook, and follow the podcast and blogs on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Superman Fan Podcast is a proud member of the League of Comic Book Podcasters at and the Comics Podcast Network!

Superman Fan Podcast is at . Send e-mail about this podcast to .

My Pull List is my spoiler free comic book review blog of the titles I read every week. It can be found at . Send e-mail about this blog to .

Superman and all related characters are trademark and copyright DC Comics.

Thanks for listening to the Superman Fan Podcast and, as always, thanks to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Episode #139: An Imaginary Summer 2010, Part III: Superman, Matinee Idol!

The imaginary stories for this episode came from Superman #19, November / December 1942, published on September 4, 1942. The editor at this time was Whitney Ellsworth. Jack Burnley drew the cover, which showed Superman carrying an automobile missing tires on its wheels, with a family on board, running down the street. That's road service, Superman style. This issue was reprinted in Superman Archives vol. V. The first and last story of the issue were also reprinted in Superman From The Thirties To The Eighties.

The first story for this episode was the 13 page story Case Of The Funny Paper Crimes, written by Jerry Siegel, pencilled by John Sikela and iked by Ed Dobrotka. Two men fought on top of a moving train. Machine Gun Mike threw Detective Craig off the train as it crossed a train bridge. This was actually a comic strip on the comics page of that day's edition of the Daily Planet, that Clark and Lois were reading. Clark's favorite was the Detectvie Dan strip, while Lois was partial to Prince Peril (a Prince Valiant style strip)who fought Torgo the Giant to protect a princess. Other comic strips that the Planet carried were The Solitary Rider, a western, who fought the Black Rider, Streak Dugan (a Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers sci-fi strip) who fought Goola, the Martian villain, and Happy Daze (similar to Mandrake the Magician or Zatara) who fought the Viper.

As Clark and Lois were looking at the comic strip page, Torgo the Giant robbed the National Bank in Metropolis. Clark changed into Superman and attacked Torgo, but flew threw him as if he were a ghost. Torgo then disappeared. A round face appeared in the sky, identifying itself as Funny Face and taunted superman. Then it vanished also.

When Clark turned in his story to the Chief, he told Clark that next he'd say that Machine Gun Mike was running wild. Just then a voice on the police scanner altered that Machine Gun Mike was robbing the Minton Museum. Superman sprang into action again. he foiled the gang who were attempting to steal the museum's valuable paintings. When the Man of Steel lifted the get away car, loaded with the gang, to the police station, a giant hand lifted the car away from Superman. It was none other than Machine Gun Mike, who fired his machine gun at the Man of Steel. He was surprised when bullets bounced off Superman, but no more than the Man of Steel was when he flew through Machine Gun Mike as he tried to hit him. The villain disappeared and Superman turned in the gang to the police, then put on his Clark Kent clothes.

Lois appeared at the scene of the attempted robbery, and, using the Planet's comic strip page as a clue, guessed that the next robbery would be at the Metropolis stockyards. Lois was unable to convince the stockyard aministrator that his business was threatened, when a giant Black Rider appeared over the stockyards. The Black Rider kidnapped Lois as she called Clark at the newspaper office. Superman got to the stockyards just as rustlers had finished loading trucks with livestock. He stopped the rustlers and chased after the Black Rider, who still had Lois. Superman was stopped when floating Funny Face heads appeared around him, then vanished, along with the Black Rider and Lois.

Superman then stopped the Martian comic strip villain Goola robbing a gold train from his spaceship, which floated above the train station. Funny Faces appeared again, then vanished along with Goola and his ship.

Following the pattern of the Daily Planet's comic strip page, Superman went to an old folks home, what we would today call a retirement home, to warn the administrator that Viper, from the Happy Daze strip, would rob the center. A giant Viper appeared above the facility, then his face changed to that of Funny Face. Superman noticed that the words "Carter's Canyon" were written on the side pocket of Viper's jacket. The canyon was located outside Metropolis.

In a farmhouse at Carter's Canyon, Funny Face had imprisoned Lois. At the house, Funny Face had a device which allowed him to convert figures from the printed page into 3-D figures that could walk around the "real" world. When Viper returned to funny Face, the villain noticed the message on Viper's side pocket that Lois had written. fummu Face used his device to materialize all of the comic strip villains to attack Superman.

After Funny Face left the farmhouse to watch the fight, Lois used the device to materialize all of the comic strip heroes. While the heroes battled the villains, Funny Face took his revenge on Lois by transforming her to a flat figure on a page. When he ignored Superman's demand to restore Lois to normal, the comic strip heroes roughed up Funny Face until he agreed to restore Lois. After all of the comic strip characters were returned to the printed page Superman destroyed the device and unmasked Funny Face. His real name was not given, but he was a failed comic strip creator who invented the device to gain illegal profits. The villain was intentionally drawn as Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel.

Ironically, before their success as comic book creators, Siegel and Shuster failed in selling Superman as a comic strip to just about every syndicate in the country.

The second story for this episode is Superman's Amazing Adventures. This particular story was originally untitled, but was so named for inclusion in Superman Archives vol. V. The story was written by Jerry Siegel and drawn by Leo Nowak. Since I do not have a copy of any of the Superman Archives, and it was not reprinted in Superman From The Thirties To The Eighties, I had to rely on the plot synopsis provided by Mike's Amazing World Of DC Comics at

The story began with Clark and Lois being attacked by racketeer Street Monahan's gang after their exposes were published in the Daily Planet. Clark and Lois were buried in rubble. Clark freed them, but not before Lois awoke to see Clark use his superpowers, thus revealing his secret identity. Monahan's ally, Professor Hunt, teleported Clark and Lois to another dimension. As Superman, he protected Lois from a number of attacks by the dimensions creatures. They are teleproted back to Earth, only to have Lois turned to stone and shattered. Before Superman could act, Clark awoke to realize it had all been a dream after he was knocked unconscious after the attack. Clark was able to free himself and Lois without revealing his secret identity, and, as Superman, capture the entire gang.

The main story of this episode is Superman, Matinee Idol, written by Jerry Siegel, pencilled by Joe Shuster and inked by John Sikela. This story was reprinted in both Superman Archives vol. V and Superman From The Thirties To The Eighties. A caption on the title page proclaimed, Our Very First Imaginary Story.

Since they both had the afternoon off, Clark asked Lois if she wanted to go to a theater to see a movie. Lois suggested the Empire Theatre so that she could watch one of the new Superman cartoons, because she had missed the first several cartoons of that series. She rebuffed Clark's suggestion of attending other theaters and accused him of being jealous of Superman. Clark finally agreed to go to the Empire Theatre.

Once inside the theater, Clark was worried about the cartoon giving away his secret identity. As the opening credits to the Superman cartoon began, Clark told Lois the plot of the first Superman cartoon, which was unofficially was called The Mad Scientist. When the credit appeared which stated that Superman appeared in Action Comics and Superman magazines, Lois said that she had never seen those magazines before. Clark wondered how they could know so much about him.

The cartoon began as a sequel to the original Mad Scientist cartoon. He had been incarcerated at Prison Island, but escaped. The screen showed a series of Daily Planet headlines stating that the Mad Scientist had escaped. When the cartoon showed the Daily Planet building, Lois commented that it looked like the real thing. Thinking fast, Clark claimed to have something caught in his throat and asked Lois to help him to a water fountain.

In the lobby, Lois missed seeing the cartoon Clark and Lois talk about the Mad Scientist. The cartoon Clark was worried, while cartoon Lois said he was probably hiding.

The real Lois rushed Clark back to their seats in time to watch the Mad Scientist return to his mountain hideout. There, he activated a giant robot and sent it to terrorize Metropolis. The robot captured a plane. The pilot radioed an alert to the control tower, who then called the Daily Planet. Clark knocked Lois' purse on the floor and told her that it had fallen on the floor. While Lois searched the floor for her missing purse, on the screen the Editor-in Chief asked Clark to cover the story because it was too dangerous for Lois. Lois expressed how she felt by locking Clark in an office and covering the story herself. The cartoon Clark took the opportunity to change into Superman, which the real Lois did not see.

She found her purse in time to watch the robot begin to destroy buildings and terrorize the city. Superman saved the cartoon Lois from being stepped on by the robot. In the audience, the real Lois cheered the onscreen Superman, embarrassing Clark to no end. The robot threw a building at the cartoon Superman and captured Lois, while the Mad Scientist watched on a closed circuit monitor. The robot threw Lois, who was caught by Superman. The Man of Steel fought the robot and eventually destroyed it. Lois and Superman then broke into the Mad Scientist's hideout. The villain fired a gun at Lois. Superman stopped the bullet inches from her face, and threw the bullet at the gun, destroyinng the weapon in the Mad Scientist's hands. He thencaptured the Mad Scientist. The Man of Steel returned him to prison, and Lois to the Daily Planet building.

In the audience, Clark insisted they leave because the excitement had given him a dizzy spell. Lois was disgusted with Clark and vowed to never go to a movie with him again. As they left the theater Lois did not see Clark and the cartoon Superman wink at each other, relieved that their secret identities were safe from both the real and cartoon Lois Lanes.

Next Episode: Showcasing Lois Lane In Showcase #10!

Join the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook, and follow the podcast and blogs on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Superman Fan Podcast is a proud member of the League Of Comic Book Podcasters at and the Comics Podcast Network!

Superman Fan Podcast is at . Send e-mail about this podcast to

My Pull List is my spoiler free comic book review blog of the titles I read every week. It can be found at Send e-mail about this blog to

Superman and all related characters are trademark and copyright DC Comics.

Thanks for listening to the Superman Fan Podcast and, as always, thanks to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Episode #138: The Origin Of Superboy Prime: DC Comics Presents #87!

Superboy Prime first appeared in DC Comics Presents  #87, November 1985, published on August 1, 1985. His next appearances were in the final three issues of the 12 issue mini-series Crisis On Infinite Earths. When I read this series I didn't realize that Superboy Prime had only appeared in one other title.

This story has not been reprinted, as far as I know, but if you would like to read both stories in DC Comics Presents #87, you can click on the following links: and

DC Comics Presents  was Superman's other team-up title. For decades he appeared in World's Finest Comics with Batman. In DC Comics Presents Superman teamed up with other characters in the DC Universe. Batman did appear in issue #83 as head of the group Outsiders. Others who appeared in this title were the Flash in the first issue, Wonder Woman in issues 9, 32 and 76, the Legion of Super-Heroes in 13, 42 and 80, Pete Ross in 13, 14 and 25, Superboy in 14, Supergirl in 28, He-Man in #47, Clark Kent in 50 and 79, Power Girl 56, Bizarro in 71, and the Phantom Zone in the final issue, #97, Spetember 1986. Other notable issues were #26, which contained an insert that previewed the upcoming New Teen Titans, and #41 previewed the "new direction" Wonder Woman. DC Comics Presents Annual #1 featured the golden age Superman, and Annuals 2 and 4 featured Superwoman.

A short feature at the back of the issue, titled Whatever Happened To ... featured the fates of DC's golden age heroes. This feature ran for 17 issues from #25 - #48. Issue #25 featured the golden age Hourman, and #48 featured The Black Pirate, who was a historical adventure fictional character.

Superboy Prime appeared in two stories in DC Comics Presents #87. The first story was Year Of The Comet, written by Ellioit S! maggin, pencilled by Curt Swan, inked by Al Williamson, lettered by Ed King and colored by Gene D'Angelo.

The story began after the death of Supergirl in Crisis On Infinite Earths #7. Superman was on the moon, grieving for his dead cousin, Kara Zor-El, Supergirl. A spaceship crewed by the Superman Revenge Squad zapped the Man of Steel with an energy beam, and he vanished. On the next page Superman reappeared on the moon. He thought he saw an energy beam hit himself, but he decided to shake himself from his grief and return to Earth. After he entered Earth's atmosphere Superman noticed that things weren't normal. New York City covered where Gotham City used to be, Boston suburbs covered Star City, and Metropolis had vanished.

Superman wasn't totally confused, becaue he correctly figured that he had been teleported to Earth Prime. During the silver age Earth Prime was considered "our" reality, where superheros did not exist and DC's characters were fictional creations.

The Man of Steel flew over a city, where he was spotted by a pedestrian. He said, "Look, up in the sky. It's ...gone." Superman flew into the clouds so he would not attract attention. He noticed a red haired girl and a teen boy dressed as Superboy walking on a beach. This Superboy looked up in the sky and saw a comet, then floated into the air while the girl watched in astonishment.

Superboy flew into the sky and was met by Superman. A caption with an editor's note explained that Superboy's origin would be told in the second story. The two introduced themselves, and Superman used his x-ray vision to confirm that Superboy was Kryptonian. Superboy was not convinced that he wasn't imagining things. Superman agreed, stating that grief could create delusions, and explained about the death of Supergirl. Then Superboy said my favorite line of the story. He asked if it was not a hox, dream or imaginary story? Superman didn't understand. They flew over a group of teens at a campfire, which included Superboy's girl friend. Her name happened to be Laurie Lemmon, so even Superboy on Earth Prime had an LL connection with his closest friends. Superboy Prime asked Superman if he could help him figure out what to do next. The Man of Steel reasurred him that he would figure it out, just remember he was here for a reason.

As the beach party decided to leave the beach because the tide was coming in, Laurie noticed that it wasn't the tide, but a tidal wave. Superboy wished that he could fly steady enough to create a waterspout like in the comic books. Suddenly a waterspout appeared, and a voice called for him to help. Superboy and Superman teamed up to zap the water spout with their heat vision, which created a rain cloud. Laurie and her beach party were hit by heavy fog.

Superman and Superboy raced Halley's Comet, which was approaching Earth at that time, and to the Moon. Superman returned to Earth because he could not break the dimensional barrier to return to his Earth.

Jerry Kent returned home to his wife Naomi, after searching for their son Clark. Laurie had gone to their home after leaving the beach. They believed Lauire's story because others had seen the approaching tidal wave vanish.

Superman and Superboy saw an alien ship in Earth orbit. Superboy thought that it was an alien invasion, but Superman assured him that they were space tourists visiting Earth. After the alien ship landed, Superboy visited them because their ship was blocking a road. One of the aliens fired an energy weapon at him, which knocked him down. Since the aliens were obviously not tourists Superboy fought back. Superman joined the fight against the alien invasion, and we learned that the aliens were able to make themselves invisible to humans. Superman and Superboy wrecked the aliens' equipment, and Superboy's costume became increasingly tattered during the battle.

At the Kent residence, Jerry and Naomi Kent gave a missing person report to the police about their son Clark. Superman and Superboy flew down to the group of people outside the Kent residence, and introductions are made all around. Superman told Superboy's parents that he needed him for an emergency. The two superheroes built a dimensional treansporter out of the aliens' junked equipment and teleported to Superman's dimension, flying to the top of the Daily Planet building, which seemed to be the center of Superman's universe. A vortex opened up which swallowed Superboy. A caption at the end of the issue stated that the story would be continued with the December issue of Superman (issue #414, which will be the subject of an upcoming episode very soon).

The Origin Of Superboy Prime was created by the same creative team as Year Of The Comet at the beginning of the issue. In a familiar scene to Superman fans, Jor-El declared to Krypton's Science Council that Krypton was doomed! Unlike other versions of Superman's origin, the Science Council agreed. They began discussion about forming a committee to study the problem. Jor-El protested the urgency of the problem, but the Council dismissed him since his testimony was finished.

Jor-El returned to his home and wife Lara and infant son Kal-El. Instead of an interstellar rocket, this Jor-El had invented a teleportation device, capable of sending someone to a planet in another part of the universe.

In the next few days Krypton suffered unusual natural disasters related to the planet's crisis. The Science Council convened at Jor-El's laboratory where he demonstrated his device with a small, rabbit-like Kryptonian animal. Jor-El had set the destination to a small blue-green world that orbited a yellow sun. The animal materialized in a wooded area and scampered away, as Jerome and Naomi Kent wlaked by on a hike. Apparently, the planet Jor-El had chosen was Earth.

Suddenly a solar flare flashed very brightly in the sky. Jor-El informed the Council that the flare extened beyond Krypton's orbit and would soon incinerate the planet. He rushed the Council out of his lab and advised them to make preparations. He rushed back to his lab and teleported his infant son, Kal-El, to Earth, and adusted the device to teleport himself and his wife Lara next. But a member of the Science Council had stayed behind and secretly observed Jor-El. C-Durkin, the Council member, rushed into the device and activated it. Too late, Jor-El warned him that the machine was set for the weight of two people, then it exploded.

As Krypton spun out of its orbit into its sun, the Kents found infant Kal-El. Naomi informed her husband Jerome that she would name the boy Clark, after her maiden name. Jerome couldn't talk her out of it, despite the fact that the boy would be named after a fictional comic book character.

Clark grew up in a happy family. Father Jerome operated a successful computer business, while mother Naomi led a successful law practice. Clark was an average teen, no faster than the average teen, getting injured as easily a sanyone else. At a baseball game Clark slid into base, scraping his elbow. His teammates showed the usual sportsmanship, calling him the Superboy Who Bleeds, the Boy of Steel, and other Clark Kent jokes.

That evening Clark's friend Laurie Lemon went to the kent home to pick up Clark for a costume party. She was dressed as a mermaid (like Lori Lemaris of the Superman comic books). Clark came downstairs dressed as none other than Superboy. They joined their friends on a drive to a beach party. On a lark, Clark said, "Up, up and away." and jumped into the air, only to fall on his face.

 A caption noted that it was six months before Halley's Comet was scheduled to appear in Earth's skies. The moon shifted slightly in its oribt, showing part of its dark side, and Earth's magnentic field shifted a little.

That was when Clark floated into the air and met Superman, but then you know the rest of the story.

Next Episode: An Imagingary Story 2010, Part III: Superman, Matinee Idol!

Join the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook, and follow the podcast and blogs on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Superman Fan Podcast is a proud member of the League Of Comic Book Podcasters at and the Comics Podcast Network!

Superman Fan Podcast is at . Send e-mail about this podcast to

My Pull List is my spoiler free comic book review blog of the titles I read every week. It can be found at Send e-mail about this blog to

Superman and all related characters are trademark and copyright DC Comics.

Thanks for listening to the Superman Fan Podcast and, as always, thanks to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Episode #137: An Imaginary Summer 2010, Part II: Waverider & The Adventures Of Superman Annual #3, 1991!

This episode continues the summer feature of imaginary stories, a favorite of mine. The featured story was the last Superman Annual for 1991, all of which tied into the DC Comics event mini-series for that year, Armageddon 2001. Also, the rest of Waverider's history is summarized.

As mentioned in episode #135, Waverider first appeared in the two issue mini-series Armageddon 2001. He traveled back in time to stop a mysterious superhero who killed all of the other heroes and then ruled the world as the dictator Monarch. After Monarch was revealed as Hawk of Hawk and Dove, and defeated, Waverider became a member of the Linear Men since his future would now never happen. That was a group that guarded the timestream. Among the other members was a Matthew Ryder who came from a future where Monarch never ruled.

Monarch would become the villain Extant. During the Zero Hour mini-series Extant killed Waverider and absorbed his energy. The other Matthew Ryder of the Linear Men would later be transformed into a new Waverider. During the weekly series 52, Booster Gold's sidekick Skeets, under the control of Master Mind, tortured Waverider for information about the time traveler Rip Hunter. It was hinted that Skeets' outer shell came from Waverider's corpse, 500 years in the future. I'm not aware of any new appearances of Waverider.

The Adventures Of Superman Annual  #3, 1991, was published on April 9, 1991. It contained 64 pages and sold for $2.00. The editor was Mike Carlin. The creepy cover which showed Superman and Maxima kissing on top of Lois Lane's tomb was drawn by Brian Hitch. The story, Beyond The Reach Of Time, was written by Louise Simonson, pencilled by Brian Hitch, inked by Jim Sanders III, Josef Rubinstein, Ray A. McCarthy, Nick J. Napolitano, Jerry Acemo and Dick Giordano, lettered by John Costanza and colored by Glenn Whitmore.

The story began with Superman rescuing a bank robber and his car after he drove into the harbor during his getaway attempt. He was met by police who took the thief into custody and reporters covering the story.Behind Superman, Waverider followed him, invisible to everyone, using one of his abilities.

Back at the Daily Planet offices, Clark and Lois engaged in small talk. Clark wondered to himself if Lois really understood what marriage to a superhero would really be like. Waverider had followed clark there and decided to link with him a third time to see if superman might become Monarch.

Sometime in the future Waverider saw Superman take Lois to his Fortress of Solitude. They discussed the ups and downs of marrying a superhero who was also an alien from another world, including the problem of conceiving children. Lois, being her usual determined self, was unmoved in her desire to marry Clark Kent. And so they were married sometime later. They settled into life as a married couple, and one of their struggles was in conceiving children. but Lois finally had success after trying an experimental fertility drug.

Several months into her pregnancy Superman stopped a group of terrorists who attacked Metropolis. Lois felt the baby kick, but then she began to experience great pain. Superman heard her whisper for help and rushed her to the hospital. Unfortunately doctors could not save Lois. After her funeral a grief stricken Clark Kent told his parents that he would leave Earth, because there was not a place on the planet that did not remind him of her.

Superman left Earth, this time permanently. In deep space he was attacked by an alien spaceship, and severly injured. Another spaceship appeared, which destroyed the first spaceship. It was piloted by Maxima, who brought Superman on board and treated his severe injuries. As they journeyed to Maxima's home planet of Almerac Superman learned about her violent society.

Unknown to Superman, Maxima steered her ship toward where she knew enemy spacehips would detect her and attack. This was to secretly test Superman, since she knew that their weapons could not seriously threaten her. Maxima's plan backfired when they used deadly weapons, but Superman was able to defeat the enemy ship. The crew was taken prisoner and taken to Almerac. Maxima surprised her servant Sazu when she thanked Superman for saving her.

When they arrived on Almerac, Maxima was greeted by her betrothed, De'cine. He was from a race of cyborg, half spider beings. The marriage was arranged as part of a peace treaty between the two planets. Maxima spurned him, and Superman forced him to back off. The prisoners were brought before Maxima for judgement. But as soon as they saw Superman they begged him for mercy. This only infuriated Maxima, who began to beat them with an energy whip. Superman made her stop, which made Maxima take out her wrath on the Man of Steel. During their fight, part of the palace collapsed on top of her. superman quickly dug her out. Maxima was unhurt, and went to her private quarters, knowing that she did not compare favorably with Superman's late wife.

De'cine plotted to get rid of Superman, and Sazu later schemed with De'cine for her own reasons.

Superman's heart began to open toward Maxima, and he began to wonder about the possiblility of a life with her. To help with his decision he decided to return to Earth and discuss things with his parents.

Sazu was shocked when Maxima informed her that superman had returned to his home planet. Sazu's reaction tipped Maxima off that something was not right and forced the truth from her servant.

When Superman returned to Earth he was shocked to see De'cine's ship in Earth orbit. De'cine wasted no time in attacking Superman's ship, but the Man of Steel crashed into De'cine's ship to press the attack. De'cine captured Superman and was going to make him watch the destruction of his home planet. Another Almerac ship appeared, carrying Maxima. She attacked De'cine and freed Superman. De'cine's ship was damaged in the fight, and was falling into the atmosphere. It was going to explode, destroying life on the planet, but Superman and Maxima used their super strength to safely push the damaged ship into space.

Because of Maxima's rejection of De'cine, the two planets were now at war with each other. In order to keep Earth from becoming entangled in an interstellar war, Superman decided to leave Earth and assist Almerac in their war effort. A romantic relationship with Maxima was a distinct possibility.

Waverider broke his link with Clark Kent, finally convinced that Superman would never become Monarch. Lois commented that, for a moment, clark looked a million miles away.

Other bits of comic book news:

For a different comic book reader's perspective on the J. Michael Straczynski Superman:Grounded storyline:

IDW will begin publishing new issues of John Byrne's creator owned series, Next Men, in December 2010.

Dwayne McDuffie will adapt the Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely mini-series All-Star Superman for a DC Comics DVD animated movie, scheduled for a Spring 2011 release date.

Next Episode: The Origin Of Superboy Prime: DC Comics Presents #87!

Join the Superman Fan Podcast and My Pull List groups on facebook, and follow the podcast and blogs on twitter @supermanpodcast.

Superman Fan Podcast is a proud member of the League Of Comic Book Podcasters at and the Comics Podcast Network!

Superman Fan Podcast is at . Send e-mail about this podcast to

My Pull List is my spoiler free comic book review blog of the titles I read every week. It can be found at Send e-mail about this blog to

Superman and all related characters are trademark and copyright DC Comics.

Thanks for listening to the Superman Fan Podcast and, as always, thanks to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Superman WebRing

Superman WebRing The Superman WebRing
This site is a member of the best
Superman websites on the Internet!
Previous SiteList SitesRandom SiteJoin RingNext Site
SiteRing by



Total Pageviews