Superman 243: Returning to Earth from a mission in deep space, Superman is drawn back in time to an alien world where he’s basically forced to help a couple reconnect. The aliens have evolved to Super-intelligent brains, but the female wants a body again. In the back up, we learn the origins of the mysterious green mists that make up the Trails of Trolius.
This issue reprints the infamous “Battle of the Atoms” story from Superman 38 (Jan/Feb 1946).
Superboy 178: Superboy’s career is in jeopardy when he keeps transforming into giant animals and causing destruction during super-rescues. It turns out to be a movie producer using red Kryptonite on Superboy to make a monster movie. More on this below. In the backup, Superbaby meets a young boy named Gary, who just so happens to be a witch. They bond quickly thanks to both having special powers, and inadvertently help the police capture 2 escaped cons.
This issue reprints a Legion story from Adventure Comics 320 (May 1964).
Action Comics 405: In an imaginary story that takes place in the near future, Superman is called when the President of the United States receives a death threat from someone calling himself Maserpun. By trading places with the President, Superman is able thwart the assassination, but is unable to learn who was behind it all. In the backup, a bug is planted on Clark, who eventually has to go into action as Superman to prevent a ship from an anti-matter universe from making contact with anything in our universe. Fortunately, the bug only picks up audio, and the anti-matter aliens spoke to Superman telepathically, so, once Clark learns of the bug, he’s able to pass it off as watching a video of Superman doing super-feats.
This issue reprints Vigilante tale from Action Comics 192 (May 1954), and an Aquaman tale from Adventure Comics 206 (Nov 1954).
Detective Comics 416: While working to destroy everything associated with his Man-Bat formula in his museum lab, a combination of a new sonic-bone scrubber and a full moon, cause Kirk Langstrom to once again transform into Man-Bat. Fortunately, Batman is eventually able to get him to take a stronger version of the antidote, and he reverts back to human form. In the backup, Commissioner Gordon is looking for a cop killer, but a fake Batgirl appears to be leading him to the wrong guy. Meanwhile, the real Batgirl is trying to prevent her father from making a terrible mistake.
This issue reprints a Rex the Wonder Dog tale from Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog 3 (May/Jun 1952), and a Casebook Mystery from Gang Busters 30 (Oct/Nov 1952).
Adventure Comics 411: An alien comes to San Francisco, and we get a story about the social issue of judging someone based on their looks. Oh, and we also get men telling a Super-powered, Kryptonian woman how much better they are than her due to their manliness. Sigh!
This issue reprints a Legion of Superheroes story from Adventure Comics 337 (Oct 1965), and a non-superhero tale from Star Spangled War Stories 18 (Feb 1954).
Green Lantern 86: This is the story I️ thought we’d get last month, but Green Lantern isn’t a monthly title yet, so we skipped last month. Anyway, after Ollie puts on his Green Arrow costume and slaps Roy around a bit, he heads out to stop the dealers and supplier from last issue. Green Lantern eventually helps Ollie, while Roy goes through withdrawals with only Dinah to comfort him. In the end, the heroes win, Roy has kicked his habit and heads off take down more of this drug organization. I️ should also point out that this issue also shows one of Roy’s junkie friends shoot up, overdose, and die in a span of 2 pages.
This issue reprints a Golden Age Green Lantern story from All-American Comics 92 (Dec 1947).
Like I️ said above, this month just did not measure up to last month. The Superman issue was okay, but nothing great. The Superboy story should not have worked because of the established properties of Red Kryptonite (unpredictable, only affects a kryptonian once, etc), but Leo Dorfman has made similar mistakes before (lead blocking super-hearing for one). These Superbaby stories are kind of predictable at this point. Clark uses his powers when he shouldn’t, and inadvertently stops some bad guys without anyone realizing it was him.
Action was pretty good this month though. The main story was imaginary (aren’t they all?), and involved Superman being driven crazy, but the mystery behind it, and the tension it created, had be glued to this story. The backup did not have a great premise, but executed it well.
I’m currently at a point in my life where I️ kinda like Frank Robbins art (I️ used to really dislike it), and his women look especially good, but with this issue, it becomes apparent that it was Neal Adams’ art that made the previous Man-Bat stories enjoyable for me. As for the Batgirl backup, the tension of the story really grabbed me. Something tells me that Gordon will somehow see through the ruse, but Batgirl running into trouble while trying to help her father was fun (if you aren’t Batgirl).
Supergirl’s story started off somewhat interesting, and then plummeted into bad pretty quickly. Just a pointless, depressing story. the GL/GA story was also devoid of happiness, other than Roy being able to kick his drug addiction. Watching the one kid OD was quite an experience, and O’Neil actually made a pretty good argument for why people turn to drugs. It was kinda of nice to see Ollie not have all the answers for once.
Here’s hoping that November of 1971 is more consistently enjoyable.