This month, Superman is tested, fails, and becomes half as effective. Before I go on, this issue is kind of special to me as, for a long time, this was my oldest Superman issue I owned, and is still the only Superman issue I have ever bought in Metropolis, Illinois (the prices in that store are terrible). Anyway, Superboy gets sent to the Phantom Zone and is replaced by an evil impostor (and somehow Krypto learns how to talk), Superman has to fight a sentient costume, Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams tell their first dark and moody Batman story, and Green Lantern has to take on the combined might of Star Sapphire and Sinestro. Hal also reveals to Carol Ferris that she is Star Sapphire, which she doesn’t believe.
Announcing a new reading project! Over the next…however long it takes… I’ll be reading many of the super-hero titles published by DC Comics, from cover date December 1969 until at least the end of the Bronze Age (so late 1986). I was going to start from Jan 1970, but there was too much continuation from the previous month (Green Lantern, Detective, Action, and JLA all carry over). Interesting to see all the changes initiated at this point (Dick Grayson goes to college, Bruce and Alfred move downtown, Snapper betrays the League forcing them to relocate, etc.). Almost like a rebirth of sorts… Anyway, I’ll be making posts here to chronicle my foray through DC’s Bronze Age.
This month, Superboy decides he’s had enough and wants to just be Clark, which includes giving up his powers. If you’ve ever ready a Superman comic, you know this doesn’t last long. In Green Lantern, Hal returns to Coast City, and Star Sapphire returns to GL’s life, leaving him in space and with amnesia at the end of the story. Meanwhile, in Gotham City, Dick Grayson heads off to Hudson Univerisity, so Bruce decides to move to the Wayne Penthouse downtown and employ a “back to basics” approach. He also starts up a new program to help out the vicitms of violent crimes, which also provides cases for Batman. In Central City, Captain Cold finds a way to restore youth to old people, and tries to use it to save and marry an old, rich actress. It kind of works, but after taking out Flash (catching him in suspended animation which the hero was vibrating), he brags to Heat Wave which ends up being his undoing. Elsewhere, the Joker, in disguise, tricks Snapper Carr into revealing the location of the Justice League’s secret headquarters. Fortunately, Black Canary’s new sonic powers, which she cannot yet control, allow her to save the day. However, this still leaves the JLA in need of a new headquarters. In Action, 2 alien space suits, 1 belonging to a criminal and 1 to a law enforcer, given sentience by the radiation of passing comet, reach Earth, and their struggle causes trouble in Metropolis, drawing the attention of Superman. The story ends with both suits racing to be the first to possess the powerful Man of Steel. In the 30th Century, Chameleon Boy falls for a girl who is scared of his looks, so he disguises himself to appear more human. This doesn’t last long though, as he is forced to uses his powers, revealing who he really is, but the girl decides that there is more to him than his alien appearance. In Detective, Batman has to clear both his name, and a driver hired by the Wayne Foundation for a race, when it appears that the driver was hired to shoot another driver, causing him to lose an eye. Meanwhile, Robin has his first adventure at Hudson University.