The Kryptonian Cybernet Issue 13 • Neperos (2024)

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The Kryptonian Cybernet Issue 13 • Neperos (1)

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Kryptonian Cybernet

·5 Jul 2024

______________________________________________________________ 

T H E K R Y P T O N I A N C Y B E R N E T

Issue #13 Ñ May 1995

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ÒCOVERÓ ENHANCEMENT!
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ
As part of the celebration of our first anniversary issue, longtime
contributor and noted graphics wizard Victor Chan has designed a stunning
ÒcoverÓ for this month! Rather than mail the picture to everyone in the
form of a large encoded file, I have placed it in the kc archives, from
which you may download it at your convenience. Just as a reminder, the
archive (ftp) site is

phoenix.creighton.edu

and the directory & filename is

/pub/zines/kc/kc95-05.jpg

The picture is about 165k in size.
For those of you without ftp access, you can obtain the picture by
e-mail by sending the following commands as the *only* text in the body
of a message to ftpmail@sunsite.unc.edu :

connect phoenix.creighton.edu
chdir /pub/zines/kc
get kc95-05.jpg

You will eventually receive the uuencoded file, probably in several
parts which you will have to reassemble. Please do not contact me
for help on how to decode and view the picture Ñ I am very busy
studying for an upcoming crucial exam and do not have the time to
research the tools and techniques necessary to each specific type
of system you may be using. Your best bet is to contact a system
administrator at your specific site or a more knowledgeable friend.

CONTENTS
ÑÑÑÑ
Section 1: Superscripts: Notes from the Editor
News from KC, the comics, and Hollywood
SupermanÕs Chief Executive
An interview with Mike Carlin, by Will Sudderth

Section 2: SupermanÕs Chief Executive (continued)
The Adventures of Superman: Doomsday and Beyond
A review of the BBC audio drama, by Willam J. Nixon
And Who Disguised As...
Kryptonian CybernetÑYear One: Pleasant Memories,
by J.D. Rummel

Section 3: Just the FAQs
ÒWhoÕs Who in Metropolis?Ó by David T. Chappell
With a Little Help From My Friends...
Lana Lang (Part 1), by Denes House
The Fleischer Cartoons
Episode 8: ÒVolcanoÓ, by Neil Ottenstein

Section 4: Reviews
The Triangle Titles
Superman: The Man of Steel #45, by Anatole Wilson
Superman #101, by Ken McKee
Adventures of Superman #524, by Patrick Stout
Action Comics #711, by William J. Nixon

Section 5: Reviews
Other Super-Titles
Superboy #16, by Victor Chan
Steel #16, by Dick Sidbury
Showcase Ô95 #5, by ReneÕ Gobeyn
The New Titans #122, by ReneÕ Gobeyn
Annuals and Other Appearances
The New Titans Annual #11, by ReneÕ Gobeyn
Loose Cannon #1, by Joseph Torres
Deathstroke #48, by ReneÕ Gobeyn
The Ray Annual #1, by ReneÕ Gobeyn

Section 6: The Many Deaths of Clark Kent
Rich Morrissey compares the recent ÒDeath of Clark KentÓ
story with several that came before.
KC Contests!
The results of last monthÕs Supergirl contest and a
new contest which will award an autographed copy of
John ByrneÕs MAN OF STEEL #1!

Section 7: Looking Back
AfterByrne: Post-Crisis Reviews
Superman #12, the tale of Lori Lemaris, by Jeff Sykes
Legacies: Pre-Crisis Reviews
The Silver Age Superman
SupermanÕs Return to Krypton Part 3, by Bill Morse
Superman #100
In honor of the Man of SteelÕs recent anniversary,
Tony Cianfa*glione revisits SupermanÕs FIRST #100.

Section 8: Legacies (continued)
Superman #400
Another Superman anniversary issue, reviewed by Ken McKee
Coming Attractions

Section 9: Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Up, Up, and Coming
News and Notes, by Jeff Sykes and Jennifer L. Traver
The Three Faces of Clark/Superman
and the Four Faces of Lois Lane, by Zoomway
Episode Reviews:
ÒLucky Leon,Ó by Marta Olson
ÒResurrection,Ó by Sriya Sampath

Section 10: More Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman!
Episode Review:
ÒTempus Fugitive,Ó by Diane Levitan
Classifieds
Resources
The Mailbag

EDITORIAL STAFF:
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ-
Jeffery D. Sykes, Editor-in-chief
Arthur E. LaMarche, Reviews
Jennifer L. Traver, Lois & Clark
Victor Chan Donald MacPherson
Pat Gonzales Ken McKee
Curtis Herink Joel W. Tscherne
Lee Keels

LEGAL DISCLAIMERS:
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ-
Superman and all related characters, locations, and events are
copyright and trademark DC Comics. Use of the aforementioned is not
intended to challenge said ownership. We strongly suggest that each
reader look to the media sources mentioned within for further infor-
mation.
Opinions presented within this issue belong to the authors of
the articles which contain them. They should in no way be construed
as those of any other particular member of the editorial or contributing
staff, unless otherwise indicated.
This magazine should be distributed freely via e-mail. Should
you desire to share this publication with other on-line services, please
contact me at sykes@ms.uky.edu for permission. Feel free to advertise
subscription information on other on-line services which have internet
mail availability.
THE KRYPTONIAN CYBERNET is available by e-mail Ñ to subscribe, send
the commands

subscribe kc <address>
end

in the body of an e-mail message to Òlists@phoenix.creighton.eduÓ (without
the quotation marks). The address field need not be used when the address
being subscribed is the same as that from which the request is being sent.
The program ignores the subject line of the message.
Back issues are available via ftp Ñ see the resources section.

______________________________________________________________

SUPERSCRIPTS: Notes from the Editor
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ

KC News:
Plans for the restart of THE SCU FILES fell through, but we will strive
to return this feature to the magazine in the near future!

Fan-favorite Superman scribe Roger Stern has recently ventured out
into the internet, participating in DCÕs online area of AOL and
occasionally stopping by alt.comics.superman. And he has graciously
agreed to give us an interview! We will likely try to work towards
printing this interview around the end of the summer.

Also, beginning with the July issue, we will be realigning our new
issue schedule to match DCÕs recent changes to the cover dating of
the Superman titles. This will essentially result in KC being ready
a week earlier each month. More on this next month.

Comics News:
My guess last month about when Ron Frenz would be taking over as the
penciller of Superman was apparently a month or two off, as it appears
that his issues will not begin until late summer/early fall.

There is a very good article about the upcoming SUPERMAN VS ALIENS
in the recent WIZARD #46. I strongly recommend it!

Hollywood/Other-Media News:
As of today, May 16, Lois and Clark has been officially renewed for
a third season! For more info on TVÕs Man of Steel, see the Lois
and Clark section.

According to CSN, a new line of Superman toys is in the works and
should start showing up late this year or early in 1996.

In a recent HERO article, Paul Dini (one of the forces behind the
wildly popular and successful BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES) reported
that he is currently involved in the development of a similarly-
styled Superman animated series. Similar statements have been made
by current THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN AND ROBIN producer Bruce Timm.

Enjoy the new issue!

Jeff Sykes
sykes@ms.uky.edu

______________________________________________________________

SUPERMANÕS CHIEF EXECUTIVE: AN INTERVIEW WITH MIKE CARLIN
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ-
Compiled by Will Sudderth (WSudderth@aol.com)

As if being on the editorial staff at DC Comics wasnÕt hectic enough, Mike
Carlin spoke to me on April 27 from the middle of chaos. The particular form
of commotion was an evacuation procedure; DC was abandoning its editorial
offices at 1325 Avenue of the Americas. ÒLiterally, everybodyÕs just packing
boxes with comics and artwork and everything,Ó Carlin said. ÒIt looks like a
cyclone hit. ItÕs a lot of disarray and the weird thing is that weÕre going
to have to be closed for a whole week. Most of us will be working out of our
houses.Ó Carlin seemed excited about a fringe benefit to changing offices,
though: ÒWeÕre moving one block away to 1700 Broadway, which is literally
across the street from David LettermanÕs awning. I actually look down on the
street where he does the bowling.Ó Staffers are already speculating about how
they might get on camera, he said.

Fortunately for Superman fans, the executive editor responsible for DCÕs
flagship character doesnÕt have to rely on potential brushes with TV
personalities to maintain his interest in his job. Mike Carlin is living a
dream; one can tell from even a brief conversation that he is very much a
_fan_ of the character whose exploits he edits. ÒI always felt from when I
was a kid that he was the best there was. My mom wasnÕt the kind who threw
your comics away. My mom was a big Superman fan; she used to _read_ them at
night.Ó And now that her son is SupermanÕs editor? ÒSheÕs definitely
enjoying it.Ó

I asked the former Marvel editor if he ever thought, ÒYeah, I was editing THE
DAZZLER, but _this_ is SUPERMAN!Ó ÒI literally say that,Ó he responded.
ÒWhen I was the editor of THE DAZZLER I was ashamed that it sold better than
SUPERMAN. I am very proud that I had something to do with putting him back
on the map again, though obviously I didnÕt do it alone.Ó

Restoring Superman to prominence in an industry dominated by angst-ridden
teens, anti-heroes and large guns was no mean feat for the ÒSuper-team,Ó the
collected writers and artists coordinated by Carlin to produce five tightly-
interconnected titles. ÒWe ourselves were frustrated that there was a real
uphill battle in trying to sell a good guy who was _actually good_ in this
world,Ó Carlin said.

Consequently, they killed him. ÒDoomsday,Ó ÒFuneral for a Friend,Ó and
ÒReign of the SupermenÓ drew media attention galore, making Carlin an
occasional fixture on ÒEntertainment TonightÓ and sending sales of SUPERMAN,
THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL and ACTION COMICS
skyrocketing. ÒSuperman and what he stands for is still valid and part of
the exercise of killing him at all was to remind people not to take him for
granted. It seems we were able to pull that off to a degree. His values
may seem a little corny...but people have to admit that thereÕs something
worthwhile to him.Ó

With SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF TOMORROW added to the mix, there are now five
regularly-produced Superman titles on the stands. Attempting to get five
creative teams with different interpretations of Superman and his supporting
cast to produce interlocking story arcs may seem slightly schizophrenic, but
Carlin maintained that Òthere should be something for everyone out there.
Schizophrenia means choice. Part of the balance is that even though there
are [five] titles writing about the same characters, each writer/artist
brings different things to each title. Even though thereÕs a thread running
through all the books we do have something for everybody. We have an
advantage: if you donÕt like an issue thereÕs probably another one coming
right up that youÕll probably like.Ó

The advent of the DC COMICS ONLINE service on America Online means Carlin
(who had to be Òdragged kicking and screaming into the cyberspace realmÓ) now
has to contend with feedback on these issues more immediate than ever before.
ÒIÕm trying,Ó said Carlin, who added that he checks his E-mail routinely.
ÒItÕs always good to have feedback; I donÕt think the feedback is any
different from the mail. ItÕs not going to change the way we operate at
this point.Ó Because story arcs are plotted well in advance of publication,
ÒitÕs hard for us to shift gears instantaneously. ÔDead AgainÕ did not get
a good response at all, but at the same time once itÕs set in motion we work
so far ahead that we canÕt throw away pages. Ultimately we have to trust
our own instincts.Ó

Trusting their instincts, of course, led to the (literal) revitalization of
Superman in an increasingly cutthroat marketplace. Mike Carlin clearly cares
about the stories his writers and artists tell, and about continuing to make
Superman the epitome of what super-heroic characters should be. As ACTION
COMICS approaches its sixtieth anniversary, it seems CarlinÕs stewardship has
insured that the ÒNever-Ending BattleÓ wonÕt be slowing down anytime soon.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Executive Editor Mike Carlin answered a selection of questions submitted from
Kryptonian Cybernet readers while on a plane from New York to Los Angeles.
HereÕs what YOU wanted to know (and weÕre sorry we couldnÕt use _all_ the
questions):

*****PERSONAL BACKGROUND (all questions from Will)*****

Ñ How did you get your start in comics, and how did you assume the editorship
of the worldÕs most famous super-hero character?

CARLIN: I got my start in comics the same as a lot of people Ñ I read Ôem.
I liked Ôem. I wanted to draw Ôem. In fact my earliest memory is waking up,
after having my tonsils removed at the age of two, on a hospital gurney with
SUPERMAN comics on my lap.
Anyways, I studied cartooning at the High School of Art and Design
(where in 1974-75 I was part of an internship program with DC Comics Ñ Happy
Anniversary to me!) and then I went on to continue in cartooning at the School
of Visual Arts (both schools in New York City) under teachers including Harvey
Kurtzman and Will Eisner. (Will, actually, gave me my first _paying_ job in
cartoons, having me write jokes for a series of joke books he packaged for
Scholastic Ñ I got a dollar a joke!)
The summer after I got out of school (1980) I took my comedy-oriented
portfolio up to CRAZY MAGAZINE (published by Marvel Comics). There editor
Larry Hama gave me work writing and drawing right away. ÔBout a year or so
later, Mark Gruenwald was promoted to editor at Marvel, and Larry suggested
me for MarkÕs assistant. Mark interviewed me and we hit it off instantly Ñ
to the point where today weÕve both been in each otherÕs wedding party! I
began my Òstaff careerÓ at Marvel in February 1982 (same week as David
Letterman went on the air, trivia buffs!) and worked on THE AVENGERS, CAPTAIN
AMERICA and IRON MAN as Mark GÕs assistant editor. After two years I was
promoted to editor and worked on titles such as ROM, THE DAZZLER (!), THE
THING and THE FANTASTIC FOUR. It was on the last title I worked with John
Byrne (important for second half of question). After about two more years,
Jim Shooter Ñ then MarvelÕs editor in chief Ñ decided I wasnÕt a good comic
book editor and I was Òterminated.Ó
Now, right around that time, John Byrne had left Marvel to revitalize
a certain Kryptonian at MarvelÕs competitor, DC Comics. His first editor
there was Andy Helfer (on the MAN OF STEEL miniseries and the first three
issues of each Superman title at the time), and [Helfer] was about to launch
the revamped JUSTICE LEAGUE so he would be leaving Superman to a new editor.
As I said before, IÕd worked with John Byrne at Marvel. He knew IÕd
been canned, and he put the word in for me with Dick Giordano, head editor at
DC in 1986, and he took a shot on me. (It turns out other freelance talent
put the word in DickÕs ear on my behalf, as well Ñ and to all of you...and
you know who you are...IÕll be forever grateful.)
Sooooo, _thatÕs_ how I got in comics and ended up as SupermanÕs editor
for the past nine years. (And I promise the rest of the answers will be
shorter!)

Ñ In 25 words or less, what is life as a DC executive editor like?

CARLIN: Life as a DC executive editor is like a box of chocolates Ñ you
never know what yer gonna get...(or whatÕs gonna get you)!

Ñ How has your involvement with the Superman titles changed since your
promotion to executive editor?

CARLIN: My involvement with the Superman titles hasnÕt changed since I
was promoted to executive editor...yet. (Check out SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF
TOMORROW #1 for more on this subject.)

*****CURRENT EVENTS*****

Ñ Dan Silvers (dsilvers@scf.usc.edu) asks:
What is SupermanÕs current power level? Did he retain any of the
extra powers he got after his resurrection, or did the Parasite siphon
it all away?

CARLIN: We try _not_ to actually pin down _exact_ power levels...unlike in
role playing games, info like that could seriously hamstring a good story.
At the same time we donÕt want to play things _too_ fast and loose...so to
answer the second half of your question, the Parasite did, indeed, drain off
the dangerous levels of power Superman had acquired during his return from
the dead.

Ñ Arthur LaMarche (Arthur.E.LaMarche@Dartmouth.edu) asks:
There has been a lot of excitement on the Ônet about the Aliens crossover.
Will this crossover be a part of normal Superman continuity?

CARLIN: The SUPERMAN VS. ALIENS crossover does fit into continuity...Superman
has long hair (so you know itÕs after he returned) and Lex Luthor is not with
LexCorp (so you know itÕs happening now).

Ñ Ronald A. Every (revry@pen.k12.va.us) asks [edited]:
A good number of comics readers feel that the Superman books reached their
creative height during the year _before_ the Doomsday series, with the
leisurely exploration of the Superman ÒfamilyÕsÓ private lives. We were
privy to Perry WhiteÕs personal anguish over his realization of who his
sonÕs real father was, then the death of his son. We had stories exploring
Jimmy OlsenÕs determination to stand on his own despite being homeless and
jobless, and there were some great stories dealing with Clark and Lois
sorting out their feelings with each other. Best of all was the ÒCrisis
at HandÓ two-part story...

The ÒDoomsdayÓ series, as popular as it was, seemed to be running on
momentum from this leisurely build-up, and the prevalence of Òmega-storiesÓ
or short Òhorrible monster of the weekÓ battle stories has been a let-down
for many readers....Are there any plans for more down-to-earth, human-
oriented stories that depend more on character development than the current
directions the books are going in?

CARLIN: The ÒyearÓ you describe right before SupermanÕs death and return is
more like three or four years. ÒMega-storiesÓ and Òshort battlesÓ arenÕt
folksÕ cup of Supes? We _do_ try to mix it up. And after nearly a year (!!)
without Superman in any one of his four titles (the ÒFuneral for a FriendÓ and
ÒReign of the SupermenÓ) we thought it best to focus on Superman himself for a
while. Since these questions were submitted ÒThe Death of Clark KentÓ has
played out Ñ a very ÒcivilianÓ oriented story, lots of Ma and Pa and Lois....
Jimmy Olsen and Cat GrantÕs stories are moving forward and by this time next
year _all_ of MetropolisÕ luck will have changed as the focus is on everyone
_except_ Superman. We do honestly believe that Metropolis is as big and
important a character in our books...we just like to change our pitches
sometimes to keep you guys from growing used to something _and_ to keep _our_
interest up.

Ñ WILL: What led you to introduce the Ònew, SERIOUSLY twisted Toyman?Ó?

CARLIN: We felt Toyman was a one-note villain who posed little serious
threat to Superman or Metropolis...so we chose to up the ante a hair.

Ñ WILL: (a) How did ZERO HOUR and the Legion of Super-Heroes reboot affect
the events in ÒTime and Time AgainÓ (and, of course, ByrneÕs Pocket
Universe)? Will any future references to the stories be altered to fit
the new Legion costumes, code names, etc.? (b) With all the reboots and
retcons in the Superman and Legion families over the years, at which point
did the migraine headaches begin for you?

CARLIN: ÒTime and Time AgainÓ and all Pocket Universe stories happened.
ZERO HOUR illustrated how time was realigned...but until the heroes got
involved those events mentioned did indeed unfold as shown. As for current
Legion stuff youÕll have to check with Legion editor K.C. Carlson. (No
relation to your _K_ryptonian _C_ybernet IÕm told.) As for the headaches
they started the day the Legion books said the pocket universe was destroyed
_retroactively_ (meaning it never existed) Ñ which successfully undid about
two years of Superman continuity. The situation was eventually straightened
out (probably not to everyoneÕs satisfaction) but any and all time travel
gives me headaches!!

(Continued in Section 2)

______________________________________________________________

End of Section 1

______________________________________________________________

SUPERMANÕS CHIEF EXECUTIVE: AN INTERVIEW WITH MIKE CARLIN:
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ
(Continued)

*****BEHIND THE SCENES*****

Ñ David T. Chappell (davidc@leland.stanford.edu) asks:
Of all the current Superman creative team, youÕve been around the longestÑ
since nearly the beginning of the Byrne era. What changes have you seen in
the comics as various writers and artists have come and gone? What
elements have remained consistent?

CARLIN: The constant change of talent on the Superman titles keeps it
interesting for me. The word ÒconstantÓ should not be misconstrued to mean
that things change every month (talent-wise); there have been guys and gals
on these books for four, five, six and seven years (and in this day and age
itÕs hard to get four, five, six and seven _issues_ out of some people). But
with four (soon five) Superman titles Ñ some_one_ of the 17 or 18 writers,
pencillers, inkers or assistant editors has been in flux at any given time.
And _any_ new voice added to the choir can alter the results. The element
that has remained consistent is that Superman himself is first and foremost
on our agenda!

Ñ WILL: Why did DC decide to move to a higher-priced, higher-quality format?

CARLIN: Nobody likes to pay more for anything...and we donÕt like to pay
more either. But we have to...in this case for paper. Paper costs have risen
to levels we simply cannot absorb. So instead of just raising the cover price
(which would have happened anyway), we thought weÕd add the value of better
paper stock and better color separations. Over the past few years, thanks to
the great _looking_ books Image has put out like SPAWN and THE SAVAGE DRAGON,
the standard by which a comic book and comic book art is judged has
shifted...and Superman shouldnÕt be one not to be at the forefront of the
industry. This is a gradual adjustment started in 1993 with slightly better
color separations and full-bleed artwork on ÒReign of the SupermenÓ.

Ñ Arnie Harchick (Rnie@aol.com) asks:
What is the timeframe for stories to go from conception to newsstand? If
IÕm reading ÒThe Death of Clark KentÓ in May 1995, when were the writers
discussing the idea of this storyline? And how long Ôtil we see the
storylines youÕre discussing now?

CARLIN: ÒThe Death of Clark KentÓ was first ÒchartedÓ in January 1994. We
generally work a year to two ahead at all times. Once or twice a year every
Superman writer, artist, colorist (hi, Glenn) and editor gets together for two
or three days and plans the spine of at least one yearÕs worth of Superman
continuity. The ÒSuper-ChartsÓ have, IÕve been told, become legend in our
industry. (Just seemed like a good way _not_ to screw things up tÕme, like
them handy-dandy Òtriangle numbersÓ!)

Ñ Alex Agostini (Alex_Agostini@smec.se.sony.com) asks:
Given the nature of the Superman titles, where the storyline goes from book
to book, how much freedom is allowed to each of the different writers of
the different tiles? Are they forced to create as a group, or are they
allowed to follow their own secondary plots in the titles they write?

CARLIN: We do create as a group, but everyone on board knew what they were
signing up for. At the same time, in between tightly interlocking story arcs
are always issues ÒchartedÓ as Òwerewolf storyÓ or ÒFlash team-upÓ. That
leaves full plotting of each individual issue up to the writer (and sometimes
writer/penciller team) to flesh out in detail for that particular issue.

Ñ WILL: Now that John ByrneÕs working with DC again, might he produce any
new SUPERMAN material?

CARLIN: He might. Love to have Ôim do some. He likes Supergirl. (We
_try_ never to say ÒneverÓ in the DCU!)

*****FUTURE PLANS*****

Ñ Jeffrey Dawkins (batcomp@teleport.com) asks:
Is there a time line in the works for the wedding of Kal-El and Lois?

CARLIN: There is no time line at present. (See answer to next question.)

Ñ Denes House (dhouse@itsmaill.hamilton.edu) asks:
Is it true that the Lois/Clark wedding cannot take place in the comics
as long as L&C is on the air? If so, do you feel hamstrung by that
restriction?

CARLIN: DonÕt believe everything you hear. In 1991 there _was_ a time line
to have Lois and Clark marry in ADVENTURES #500...but with the possibility of
a TV show _DC decided_ (myself and Jenette Kahn) that it would be best for
everybody to hold off. Left with new charts to create (there actually exists
a chart that maps out the wedding), the gathered writers and artists that
November actually went with an often-suggested storyline (usually thrown out
as a joke when we got ÒstuckÓ)...ÓLetÕs kill Ôim!Ó Thank God we postponed the
wedding!!
WeÕll get there, eventually...with the TV show or not. Lois and Clark
are destined to be together. Have patience; after nearly sixty years,
_theyÕve_ had it!

Ñ Our esteemed editor, Jeff Sykes, wants to know:
(A) What happened to Gangbuster? (B) Mark Waid has said that they will be
doing a crossover between the new Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes;
will Supergirl (Matrix) be involved? (C) And the big one: Will Kara (from
Argo City in the SUPERMAN VS. ALIENS series) be around after that miniseries
is complete? If so, what will this mean as far as Supergirl is concerned?

CARLIN: (A) Gangbuster left Metropolis when writer/artist Jerry Ordway did
(ADVENTURES #500) but both can be found here and there around the DC Universe
every now and then. (B) Supergirl will not be involved. (Sorry.) (C) This
Kara has nothing to do with the current Supergirl. (Sorry, again.)

Ñ Patrick Williams (money@aloha.com) asks:
Any chance of a new Super-book similar to BATMAN: LOTDK? Obviously it
shouldnÕt be as dark, but it would give artists and writers a chance to
tell new, out-of-continuity Superman stories.

CARLIN: ThereÕs _always_ a chance for a book like that. But personally I
feel that the real _big_ stories should _always_ appear as a part of
SupermanÕs never-ending battle in the regular continuity of his life as
ÒchartedÓ by people (writers and artists) who are willing to invest up to
seven years with Superman, rather than some Òhit and run driversÓ. This
doesnÕt mean you canÕt get a great Superman story every now and then (UNDER
A YELLOW SUN and THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF LEX LUTHOR spring to mind)...
but on a _scheduled_ basis Ñ IÕll remain skeptical.

Ñ It was inevitable SOMEONE would. Dan Silvers (dsilvers@scf.usc.edu) asks:
This may not be up to you, but can we please please please have a Lobo vs.
Doomsday story in the near future?

CARLIN: No LOBO/DOOMSDAY scheduled. Near future? No. Far future?
Who knows.

*****OTHER MEDIA*****

Ñ Jeff Solomon (jeffsolo@community.net) and Jeff Sykes ask:
Is there anything planned about an animated Superman cartoon? If so, might
there be a comic book along the lines of BATMAN ADVENTURES?

CARLIN: There has been talk of a Superman cartoon...but we donÕt have
anything official in the works. And not that thereÕs anything planned Ñ
but _why_ do we need to wait to do a SUPERMAN ADVENTURES? You guys want one?

Ñ Michael Klobe (mklobe@objectSpace.com) asks:
I have heard rumors of another Superman feature film in the works. Is there
any truth in this, and if so, any hints as to casting or plot?

CARLIN: At the time IÕm answering these questions I have not been included in
any meetings involving a new Superman feature film. But IÕm answering these
questions on a plane to L.A.! (So, no plot or casting as far as I know.)
[NOTE FROM WILL: Unfortunately, Mike couldnÕt comment on what happened in
L.A. when he returned. So give the guy a break and donÕt ask him!]

Ñ Leigh Raglan (Leigh4CK@aol.com, president of the L&C Metropolis Club)
asks [edited]:
I was wondering what the current relationship is between DC Comics and the
LOIS & CLARK producers? IÕve heard that DC wishes the show were more like
the comics...and wonder what specifically DC is unhappy about with this
take on the character? Could you tell me specifically what you do like
about the show and think theyÕve done well, and also what you donÕt like,
donÕt think theyÕve done well and why? Also, according to some of the
producers DC has threatened to pull the licensing to Superman characters
if the show failed to conform to their, DCÕs, interpretation. Is this
true? And, if so, do you know which characters would be affected?

CARLIN: DC (I and my assistant) reads and comments on every LOIS & CLARK
script. We do _not_ wish the show was more like the comics...the Lois and
Clark stuff (the relationship and the marriage request Ñ the stuff that works
on the show) was done in the comics first...we do, however, wish the Superman
elements actually _required_ the intervention of a Superman! The use of his
super-powers (both in terms of cleverness involved in employing them _and_ in
the actual effects used to pull them off) could be much better. The casting
is perfect, and frustrating because of lost potential in the scripts. Ratings
are up towards the end of season two purely because, in my opinion, they
finally got back to Lois and ClarkÕs blossoming relationship. The first 2/3
of the year things went nowhere.
IÕm curious which producers feel weÕve threatened to pull licensing...
their contact with DC is me and I have no power over licensing..._or_ what
they script, film and broadcast on Sunday nights (I write my notes...they
laugh...and the world keeps spinning). But no threats have been made. L&C
is a Warner Bros. show...they own DC...ultimately they can do what they want.
We like to be included...we feel that over sixty years weÕve already made many
of the mistakes theyÕre likely to make. My contact amongst the producers
(currently) is Tony Blake and I believe we respect each otherÕs frustrations
and actually manage to share laughs every now and then (sometimes at each
otherÕs expense)...and we both know that comics and TV are different. But a
story is a story, no matter what medium itÕs presented in...and we at DC will
always argue to have stories make sense Ñ and not to have characters we know
inside out act _out_ of character, illogically or stupid. Hence some tension
every now and then.

*****THINGS NOT ESPECIALLY LIKELY*****

Ñ Jeff Witty (01jwwittyu@bsuvc.bsu.edu) asks:
Will DC ever PERMANENTLY kill off Superman?

CARLIN: I dunno. I hope not to be around _forever_! (For only at the end of
all time will we know the answer to that one. And, at this point, we all know
how much time travel hurts my head!)

*****FINALLY, A GRATUITOUS PLEA FOR PRAISE*****

Ñ From Arthur E. LaMarche (Arthur.E.LaMarche@Dartmouth.edu):
The Kryptonian Cybernet is approaching its first anniversary. What do you
and other staff members think of our work here at KC? Do you have any
advice for our young E-zine?

CARLIN: Marketing maven Bob Wayne downloads every issue of K.C. for me.
I read it, always happy for feedback Ñ particularly enjoying the ÒsterlingÓ
reviews of our ÒDead AgainÓ storyline (Hey, all 18 of us at that Super-Summit
in January 1994 _thought_ it was a good idea at the time...oh, well, ya canÕt
win Ôem all!) Ñ then I pass it on to Chris Duffy, my assistant, and Frank
Pittarese, the editor of SUPERBOY, STEEL and SHOWCASE Ô95 (the _other_ Super-
books).
We always learn something about what we do from the feedback, so we
really appreciate the help! Keep up the good work!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Will Sudderth is a graduate student in the Department of Communications
at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

______________________________________________________________

THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY AND BEYOND (AUDIO DRAMATIZATION)
With Stuart Milligan as Superman,
William Hootkins as Lex Luthor
and, Lorelei King as Lois Lane
Based on the stories by Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, Jerry Ordway, Louise
Simonson, and Roger Stern
Audio adaptation written and Directed by Dirk Maggs
BBC Radio Collection, 7.99 UK
1993

2H 35 Min

Doomsday and Beyond (DAB) brings to life the excitement and drama of the epic
Doomsday, Funeral for a Friend, and Reign of the Supermen story arcs. Written
and directed by Dirk Maggs for the BBC, DAB has the same key cast as the AOS
audio dramatization as well as a strong supporting cast of many of the key
players in current Superman continuity. Cat Grant, Supergirl, Guardian,
Dubbilex, Emil Hamilton, Maggie Sawyer, (the list goes on) and the four
Supermen from ÔReignÕ all feature, and they all sound ÔrightÕ. ItÕs another
Òrollercoaster ride of mounting excitementÓ (thatÕs what the blurb says - and
it is!) and at the end of the day itÕs great fun.

The first part of DAB is background. It reprises a number of key events in
the Man of SteelÕs recent life and those of his supporting cast. LuthorÕs
death and rebirth as his own Australian son, a surprise party at the Planet
for Lois and ClarkÕs engagement, his revelation to Lois that he is Superman,
the Eradicator and the Fortress of Solitude are all touched upon in the run
up to the Doomsday storyline. Maggs also takes this opportunity to have Emil
Hamilton warn Superman about the fact that his powers are not unlimited and
sustained use of them could have dire consequences. Oh, and thereÕs a
pounding, grunting, noise of destruction come to life from an underground
chamber. Doomsday is coming...

The tape covers a lot of ground in two and a half hours and there are lots of
high points, but I think the fight with Doomsday is worth the admission price
alone. ItÕs totally gripping. I know how it finishes but Metropolis is
vividly brought to life as Superman and Doomsday rain blows down on each other
as Lois reports from a Daily Planet helicopter.

Outside the Daily Planet building, Superman tells Doomsday this is where he
Ôdraws the lineÕ. His voice is filled with rage and determination. He needs
to bring him down. Maggie and the SCU open fire on Doomsday, and the air is
filled with gunfire but thereÕs no effect and they retreat. When the Planet
Ôcopter crashes into a GBS helicopter, Superman flies Lois and Jimmy to safety.
Before returning to the fight, Clark tells Lois that whatever happens, he loves
her. Supergirl joins him briefly before becoming Ôsilly puttyÕ. Lois turns
away as Jimmy continues to take photos, his camera whirrs, and he asks that
Lois forgive him but itÕs going to end in seconds. The fight intensifies until
there is only the shockwave of the final blows.

Lois narrates her final piece on the fight. She tells that this was the day
that for those Òwho loved him it is too lateÓ. ItÕs a measured, dispassionate
reading which starkly contrasts with the Lois who cradles him in her arms.
Clark asks about Doomsday and she tells him that he saved everyone, he coughs
his last breath. We are left only with LoisÕ scream of pain, then silence.

The final fight is really well put together. The sound effects, Clark and
LoisÕ final words, and the music all seamlessly combine to bring a dramatic
new dimension to the fight. The true strength of these tapes is the way they
bring the stories to life, to some extent perhaps the comics and the tapes are
flipsides of a movie, the visuals and the soundtrack which easily combine to
form a greater more exciting whole?! (Yes, well)

The tape is rich in powerful emotional moments. After Doomsday, Jonathan and
Martha want to bury the scrapbook and ClarkÕs toys now that he is gone.
Martha says that he was their little gift from heaven and her voice chokes
as she says Ònow heaven has taken him backÓ. The Kents are well cast, and
Garrick Hagon as Jonathan meets Clark in the haunting, eerie world depicted
in AOS 500, a world of whispered voices and Kryptonian chants as he pleads
with Clark to not think as an earthling and to come back.

William Hootkins as Luthor is again brilliant, only this time he plays the
role with an Australian accent (for reasons explained on the tape :-) He is
gleeful standing over SupermanÕs tomb when the body is returned. ÒGotchaÓ he
says; heÕs back on top and Superman is just an empty, lifeless, husk. Stuart
Milligan has a real feel for Superman, but also plays the Kryptonian, whose
voice is unlike Clark or SupermanÕs. It is cold and clinical, ready to mete
out justice to the transgressors he encounters, though it is funny when he
describes Guy Gardner as Òsomeone so obviously denseÓ admiring his methods.
The range and abilities of the entire cast to play their roles so well, or
multiple roles in MilliganÕs case, is very impressive.

The sound effects and score in DAB are as rich as those in AOS. Toastmasters
sound like the lethal weapons they are, leaving only the crackle of flames (in
stereo!) in their wake. Fortresses and tombs echo, sirens wail and missiles
swoop all in Dolby Surround for that Òright in the midst of the actionÓ
effect. Doomsday is a creature of fury and angry grunts destroying everything
in his path. The Doomsday/Superman videogame is featured and there is even a
reference in a WGBS studio to a certain ÒGreat CarliniÓ.

The final fight in Engine City is slightly different from the original and
Hal Jordan doesnÕt play a role, but Steel, Supergirl and the Eradicator are
there with Supes for the finale.

Doomsday and Beyond is a pure distillation of super-powered storytelling
which stands on its own as a great adventure story. ItÕs also a unique
retelling of the some of the best Superman stories of recent years.

DAB is available in the United States as ÒSuperman lives!Ó from Time-Warner
Audiobooks. Up, up and IÕm outta here.

5+ Shields

William J Nixon
(W.J.Nixon@lib.gla.ac.uk)

______________________________________________________________

AND WHO DISGUISED AS...
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ
By J. D. Rummel (rummel@phoenix.creighton.edu)

Kryptonian CybernetÑYear One: Pleasant Memories

Well, Jeff, we made it. One whole year of virtual text focusing on The
Man of Steel. When you wrote that letter asking who would be interested in
working on such a project last year, I never thought about it lasting. If
I had, I wouldnÕt have taken on the other media area. How long could I go
before I was reduced to reviewing Superman Peanut Butter? (ÒItÕs creamy,
but its real strength is its super tasteÓ)

Actually itÕs more accurate to say that _you_ made it, Jeff. You really
did it, son. YouÕve done good work. Over this first year we have grown,
changed, like any living thing must. We have certainly gotten larger. IÕm
amazed when those sections pop into my e-mail box. Jeff, IÕm sure you of
all of us could talk about where we have been, and what you have seen in
terms of growth. This last year you have ridden herd on a sprawling bunch
of talented folk, most of whom I presume have never met. Certainly,
Zoomway, or Art LaMarche could walk in, and I wouldnÕt know em. Lessee
now, you have created a large zine that offers reviews, commentary,
retrospectives, interviews, want ads, profiles, games, and you bring it
out every month. All of this you do for free, because you, like the rest
of us, love the Last Son of Krypton. Actually thatÕs what binds us all on
this mag, that Guy in Blue and whatever we each get from him. Me? I see
lots of things, an ideal, a character to shoot for, something from my
childhood. I want to be the Guy Who When He Arrives Makes a Difference (I
usually donÕt, but I canÕt fly either). Some are here because they enjoy
the romantic chemistry of _Lois and Clark_. Each personÕs reasons are
probably a little different. ItÕs a nice mix. The Cybernet is one example
of the virtual community at its best. People, faceless fingers on
keyboards across the world, coming together toward a single, fairly
innocuous purpose. The discussion of a common affection: Superman.

So hereÕs to us, the staff of the Kryptonian Cybernet, we have had a
successful first year, and we will continue to grow and fight our piece of
the never ending battle, so long as we keep our eyes on the cape, and what
it stands for.

This first year my column has sort of hopped around, reviewing cartoons,
the movies, waxing nostalgic, bitching that things arenÕt being done my
way (the right way) discussing how Kal-El has impacted my life. For me,
itÕs been a good year. I have had to consider where I am headed. In Ô95-Õ96
I plan on reviewing Superman in print, the new cartoon series, the
Superboy series, lots of opinion kinda things. But, I also plan on winning
the lottery, building a Fortress of Solitude, and making the world a
better place than IÕd found it. Wish me luck.

One thing IÕd like to address right now are pleasant memories.
Periodically I touch on this, the idea that a personÕs childhood really
does bury some things deep into them. The same Òinner childÓ thing that
people use to explain why they killed everyone in the house can also be a
comfortable place to spend a rainy Sunday. I frequently grouse about how
lame _Lois and Clark_ is, but the fact of the matter is, the original
_Adventures of Superman_, starring the marvelous George Reeves is just as
ÒlameÓ in its own way. I sometimes watch it late in the evening on Nick at
Night. While it is silly, a reflection of a different period, it takes me
away to pleasant memories. IÕm sure people still had grief, I donÕt
subscribe to the simpler times theory, but my attention span was different
then, and a guy could become someone else just by taking off his glasses
and jumping out the window.

My point is this: Superman is pleasant memories for all us here at the KC,
and if youÕre reading the mag, then he probably is for you, or will be. So,
just kick back and enjoy ÔemÑit really doesnÕt get much better than that.

Away.

______________________________________________________________

End of Section 2

______________________________________________________________

JUST THE FAQs
More Details about Frequently-Asked Questions about the Man of Steel
by David T. Chappell (davidc@leland.stanford.edu)

ÒWHOÕS WHO IN METROPOLIS?Ó

INTRODUCTION

For this special anniversary issue, IÕve chosen to have a different format
for my column. Rather than have a normal article answering a question about
Superman, I am providing a special list of books that help fans find
information on their own. If youÕve ever wanted to find the name of ClarkÕs
adoptive aunt, wondered how tall Cat Grant is, or searched for a summary of
the Silver BansheeÕs appearances, then this list can aid your quest.
This list of ÒWhoÕs Who in MetropolisÓ will eventually become its own
computer file, and I shall post it to the comic-book ftp site at ftp.hiof.no.
This ÒWhoÕs WhoÓ complements the Superman Comic List to help Superman fans
find information and interesting books for their collections. See this
issueÕs ÒRESOURCESÓ article for information on how to access these and other
Superman files via ftp.
Since I do not own all of the second-edition WHOÕS WHO (cover price is
too high), the list may be incomplete. You readers can help fill in the gaps
by sending additions via Internet e-mail to davidc@leland.stanford.edu. In
addition, if you have suggestions for questions to answer in future
installments of this column, please send them to me as well.

THE RESOURCE BOOKS

Most of the comic books in this list come from DCÕs various WHOÕS WHO series.
These series provide excellent biographical sketches and personal data.
Additional entries come from other sources that include WhoÕs Who or origin
information.
The first WHOÕS WHO series consisted of normal-sized comic books with
one or two-page entries on various characters in the DC Universe. The series
shipped in 1986-87, which meant that it barely caught the Byrne revision of
Superman. Most of the earlier Superman entries were for pre-Crisis versions
of characters, and I have only included appropriate post-Crisis entries in
the list below. Two editions of the WHOÕS WHO UPDATE shipped in 1987 and
1988 in the same format. In addition, the 1989 ACTION COMICS Annual included
a couple WhoÕs Who entries in this style.
The second WHOÕS WHO series was an entirely different format, and it
considered only the modern continuity of Superman. It contained magazine-
sized entries on characters, places, and events. The front side of each
entry had a large picture and the back side had a text entry and additional
pictures. The entries were hole-punched and could be broken apart for
collectors to sort in whatever order they preferred. The 1993 update
followed the same format and allowed for ready mixing.
Furthermore, IÕve included a few origin stories from the post-Crisis
SECRET ORIGINS series. These stories provide further background on various
characters from the extended Superman family. I have intentionally not
included the basic Superman origin stories that appear in the Superman Comics
List (e.g., THE MAN OF STEEL mini-series) to avoid duplication.

REGULAR SERIES

Entries are listed in alphabetical order according to the name by which each
character is best known. More recent entries often replace older ones, but
some older articles have extra information.

Entry Series Issue Date
=========================================================
Agent Liberty WhoÕs Who Ô93 Update #1 Dec 92
Atomic Skull WhoÕs Who Ô93 Update #2 Jan 93
Bibbo WhoÕs Who (second) #12 Sep 91
Bizarro WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.1 Aug 87
Blaze WhoÕs Who (second) #4 Nov 90
Brainiac WhoÕs Who Update Ô88 Vol.1 Aug 88
Cerberus WhoÕs Who Ô93 Update #1 Dec 92
Cosmic Odyssey WhoÕs Who (second) #16 Feb 92
Doomsday WhoÕs Who Ô93 Update #2 Jan 93
Eradicator WhoÕs Who (second) #13 Oct 91
Fortress of Solitude WhoÕs Who (second) #6 Jan 91
Gangbuster WhoÕs Who Update Ô88 Vol.1 Aug 88
Gangbuster WhoÕs Who (second) #6 Jan 91
ÒCatÓ Grant ACTION COMICS Annual 2 1989
Host WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.3 Oct 87
Intergang WhoÕs Who (second) #12 Sep 91
Invasion! WhoÕs Who (second) #14 Nov 91
Justice League WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.3 Oct 87
Ma & Pa Kent WhoÕs Who (second) #1 Aug 90
Krypton and Kryptonite WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.3 Oct 87
Krypton WhoÕs Who (second) #16 Feb 92
Lana Lang & Pete Ross WhoÕs Who (second) #14 Nov 91
LexCorp WhoÕs Who (second) #11 July91
Lois Lane WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.4 Nov 87
Lois Lane WhoÕs Who (second) #12 Sep 91
Lori Lemaris WhoÕs Who Update Ô88 Vol.2 Sept88
Lord Satanus WhoÕs Who Ô93 Update #1 Dec 92
The Linear Men WhoÕs Who Ô93 Update #2 Jan 93
Lex Luthor WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.3 Oct 87
Lex Luthor WhoÕs Who Update Ô88 Vol.2 Sept88
Lex Luthor WhoÕs Who (second) #13 Oct 91
Lex Luthor II WhoÕs Who Ô93 Update #2 Jan 93
Magpie WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.4 Nov 87
Matrix ACTION COMICS Annual 2 1989
Matrix/Supergirl WhoÕs Who (second) #16 Feb 92
Metallo WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.4 Nov 87
Metallo WhoÕs Who (second) #13 Oct 91
Millennium WhoÕs Who (second) #14 Nov 91
Mr. Mxyzptlk WhoÕs Who Update Ô88 Vol.2 Sept88
Mister Mxyzptlk WhoÕs Who (second) #13 Oct 91
Mister Z WhoÕs Who Ô93 Update #1 Dec 92
Newsboy Legion WhoÕs Who Update Ô88 Vol.2 Sept88
Parasite WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.4 Nov 87
Parasite WhoÕs Who (second) #7 Feb 91
Prankster WhoÕs Who (second) #11 July91
Project Cadmus WhoÕs Who (second) #12 Sep 91
Psi-Phon & Dreadnaught WhoÕs Who Update Ô88 Vol.3 Oct 88
Psi-Phon & Dreadnaught WhoÕs Who (second) #13 Oct 91
Qurac WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.4 Nov 87
Rampage WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.4 Nov 87
Rampage WhoÕs Who (second) #16 Feb 92
Pete Ross (Lana Lang) WhoÕs Who (second) #14 Nov 91
Silver Banshee WhoÕs Who Update Ô88 Vol.3 Oct 88
Silver Banshee WhoÕs Who (second) #12 Sep 91
Skyhook WhoÕs Who Update Ô88 Vol.3 Oct 88
Sleez WhoÕs Who Update Ô88 Vol.3 Oct 88
S.T.A.R. Labs WhoÕs Who (second) #4 Nov 90
Superboy WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.5 Dec 87
Supergirl (Matrix) WhoÕs Who (second) #16 Feb 92
Superman II WhoÕs Who (first) Volume XXII Dec 86
Superman WhoÕs Who (second) #1 Aug 90
Terra-Man WhoÕs Who (second) #11 July91
Titano WhoÕs Who Update Ô87 Vol.5 Dec 87
Toyman WhoÕs Who Update Ô88 Vol.3 Oct 88
Perry White WhoÕs Who (second) #7 Feb 91

ORIGIN STORIES

The Guardian SECRET ORIGINS 19 Oct 87
Justice League America SECRET ORIGINS 32 Sept88
The Newsboy Legion SECRET ORIGINS 49 Jun 90

______________________________________________________________

ÒWITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS...Ó
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ-
a column about the supporting cast in the Superman family of books
by Denes House (dhouse@itsmail1.hamilton.edu)

Of the entire Superman supporting cast, only Ma and Pa have known Clark
longer than this monthÕs supporting cast member.

==================
LANA LANG (PART 1)

As a single male, I often look at many sources for inspiration and advice
on how to conduct a healthy relationship. I look at my parentsÕ marriage
and the unions of many of my friends. Television provides more models in
the way of negative examples. Clark KentÕs relationship with Lana Lang
provides a study in contrasts.

Part 1 of this article will focus on LanaÕs life before she became engaged
to Pete Ross, Part 2 (next month) will examine the Pete/Lana relationship.

From the time Clark Kent was enrolled in grade school, Lana Lang and Pete
Ross were his closest friends. Dubbed ÒThe Three MusketeersÓ in high
school, the trio spent a great deal of time together, perhaps in part
because of a strong farm kids/town kids social split. Clark and LanaÕs
friendship blossomed to the point that he saw her as the sister he never
had. Unfortunately for Lana, she perceived their relationship differently -
she fell in love with Clark.

Unbeknownst to Lana, she and all other Smallville residents ClarkÕs age and
younger had been implanted with controlling devices and hypnotized almost
from birth by the rogue intergalactic police force known as the Manhunters.
(Interesting question Ñ this presumably included Kenny Braverman, right?)
The Manhunters knew of ClarkÕs origins, and knew that when the time came
for their plan to defeat the Guardians of Oa to come to fruition, he would
be one of the most powerful forces to stand in their way. To that end, they
had Lana and the other Smallville children keep a covert eye on ClarkÕs
movements and developments, reporting in occasionally, but totally unaware
of how they were being used. [1]

Meanwhile, in high school Clark Kent was the school hero, constantly
upstaging his friends Pete Ross and Kenny Braverman in football and track
events, becoming class president, and winning LanaÕs affections. Presumably,
were Pete less stable than he obviously is, he might well have ended up
trying to destroy ClarkÕs life much like Kenny Braverman eventually tried
to do. One football practice, Clark allowed himself to finally be tackled
by one defenseman, Scott Brubaker. In gratitude, Brubaker invited Clark,
Lana, and Pete to a big party that night. As farm kids, the trio had not
been invited to many parties, especially parties where bulk alcohol was
present. Wanting to fit in, the three drank considerably, as did Brubaker.
Driving the three home that night, Brubaker lost control of his vehicle,
swerving to avoid a truck and smashing into a large tree. Brubaker was
left in a coma from that experience, and none of the three, Lana included,
have ever forgotten the experience. [2]

Lana Lang, throughout her life, has suffered so much for her relationship
with Clark Kent. That she is still friends with him is tribute to her
extraordinary strength of character.

After the last football game of their senior year in high school, Clark
revealed his developing powers to Lana. It was at that point that she
realized that ClarkÕs feelings toward her were fraternal, and that because
of his powers, he could never belong to any one woman, but belonged to the
world. [3] It was with this that she resolved herself as Clark flew out
of her life.

However, compelled by the ManhuntersÕ programming, she moved away from
Smallville, and wandered around the U.S., trying to report on ClarkÕs
clandestine activities. When Clark assumed his Superman identity years
later, Lana moved to Metropolis to monitor him. After a while, the
Manhunters decided that they could keep watch on the public figure,
Superman, so they allowed their Smallville agents to return home. The
damage, however, had already been done.

Lex Luthor, SupermanÕs greatest foe, mounted a project to discover the
link between Superman and Clark Kent. Along the way, his people discovered
Lana Lang in news footage of SupermanÕs activities. Meanwhile, Lana stumbled
across a team of LuthorÕs agents who were ransacking the Kent homestead.
They knocked her unconscious and brought her to Metropolis. Under the hands
of LuthorÕs agents, she was beaten severely and finally released as bait to
lure the Man of Steel into LuthorÕs clutches. [4]

Throughout her life, Lana has been beaten up, tied up, and generally
mistreated because of her relationship with Clark/Superman. At the hands of
the new Supergirl, she was tied up and locked in a basem*nt [5]. When that
same Supergirl, actually the shape-shifter Matrix, became confused as to her
identity and assumed the identity of Clark Kent/Superman, Lana suffered
cracked ribs and a fractured leg [6]. Shortly thereafter, Clark, under the
influence of the Eradicator, forgot LanaÕs birthday and treated her rudely
[7]. Finally, Lana decided not to be a dumping-ground for Clark any more.
ÒSince Clark doesnÕt have room for me in his life when things are good Ñ
I canÕt allow myself to be used when things are bad.Ó [8]

Around this time, Pete Ross returned from Law School and took a job as
the aide in charge of Agricultural issues for Kansas Senator Caldwell. Pete
had loved Lana since grade school, but she had only had eyes for Clark.
His new job necessitated that he move to Washington D.C., and when he left,
Lana decided to sell her Aunt HelenÕs old farm and move to D.C. to be near
Pete. [9]

By this time, Clark had become engaged to Lois Lane. LanaÕs justification
that Clark could never belong to any one woman was shattered, and she
realized that he simply could never belong to *her*. When Pete asked
Clark if the way was clear for him to court Lana, Clark gave his blessing
to the two [10]. Soon, Lana realized she had to make a firm decision
between Pete and Clark, and she chose Pete [11]. The two were engaged
shortly thereafter [12].

Throughout her relationship with Clark Kent, Lana Lang was used, over
and over again, by Clark, the Manhunters, Lex Luthor, and others. Finally,
it seemed that in deciding to commit to Pete, LanaÕs life was on the
right track.

CONCLUDED IN NEXT MONTHÕS ISSUE

FOOTNOTES
=========
[1] Action Comics #596 - The whole Manhunter plot is spelled out here
[2] Adventures of Superman #474
[3] Man of Steel #6.
[4] Superman #2.
[5] Superman #20, 21.
[6] Action Comics #644.
[7] Superman #41.
[8] Adventures of Superman

#465. 
[9] Adventures of Superman #470.
[10] Superman #49.
[11] Superman: The Man of Steel #7.
[12] Action Comics #673.

______________________________________________________________

THE FLEISCHER CARTOONS:
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ
by Neil A. Ottenstein <otten@gluon.umd.edu>

Episode 8: ÒVolcanoÓ
Released: 7-10-42
Running Time: 7:56 minutes

Faster than a speeding bullet
More powerful than a locomotive
Able to soar higher than any plane

We see Mt. Monokoa, from which 300 years ago came the mightiest eruption
that ever shook the Earth. Since, then it has remained dormant and a
city has been rebuilt below it. Now, though, slight tremors have been
felt. Scientists work to determine how serious the threat is. We see
their detectors at work and then a series of headlines from various
newspapers telling of the renewed activity. The headlines end with that
of the Daily Planet: ÒU.S. Engineers Leave to Study Monokoa.Ó There is
another headline telling that Lois and Clark will accompany the
expedition.

The photos of Lois and Clark in the Daily Planet change into they
themselves standing before Perry in his office. He tells them to send
him some Òreal stories.Ó He asks them to Òsee if you two can work
together for a change.Ó

They travel by steamship and soon arrive. To ClarkÕs dismay he does not
have his press pass and must go back to the expedition headquarters to
gain a new one. Lois goes in saying to herself, Òtoo bad he ÔlostÕ his
pass.Ó Lois had it all the time.

Lois takes the lift up the mountain. She is told it might go any time
now and they have plans to blast the higher rim in order to divert the
lava flow away from the city below. Clark is inquiring after getting a
new pass when the volcanic activity starts again in earnest.

A falling rock cuts the power line before the engineers can blast the
volcano rim. Lois is separated from others by the lava flow. Clark
sees the danger and decides that Òthis looks like a job for Superman.Ó
He changes and then leaps up.

A large flaming boulder is crashing down towards the city, but Superman
manages to divert it over the city into the ocean. He is stunned for a
moment from his effort. People are running in the city as the lava
flows towards it. Lois is trying to escape, holding onto the lift wire.

Superman hears a scream from Lois and saves her moments before the wire
and the lift fall. He catches the lift car and throws it. The car had
explosives inside and the explosion temporarily dams the lava flow from
descending further toward the city. He goes to carry out the blasting
plans and connects the wires in order to blast the volcano rim.

The island and mountain look peaceful again. Lois and Clark are on the
steamship out. Lois is typing her story and tells Clark, Òtoo bad you
werenÕt in on it.Ó He replies, Òmaybe I would have been if I hadnÕt
lost my pass,Ó which he pulls out of LoisÕ purse.

This was another exciting cartoon. Yet again, the opening title had a
slight special effect as the word ÒvolcanoÓ was produced by lava flowing
down. For the first time the opening phrases changed from the tall
buildings to planes. This sight of planes was to herald more overt
mentions of the war in later cartoons. The sequence of newspaper
headlines let the stream of information about the volcano flow to the
reader quite rapidly. This was capped by the photo segue of Lois and
Clark. Once again, ClarkÕs change into Superman was done in shadows.
The competition between Lois and Clark is quite apparent here with LoisÕ
sabotaging ClarkÕs reporting efforts. Her actions, though, put her in
danger needing to be saved by Superman.

The two Fleischer Superman cartoon volumes are available directly from
Bosko Video or from anyone who carries high quality animation.

A catalog is available from Bosko Video
3802 East Cudahy Ave.
Cudahy WI 53110-1234

______________________________________________________________

End of Section 3

______________________________________________________________

REVIEWS
ÑÑÑ-

Ratings Panelists:

Ñ: Art LaMarche JS: Jeff Sykes PS: Patrick Stout
AW: Anatole Wilson Ñ: Jeff Witty RG: ReneÕ Gobeyn
Ñ: Dick Sidbury KM: Ken McKee VC: Victor Chan
Ñ: Jose R Galan WN: William J Nixon

As always, the first panelist rating is that of the reviewer.

THE ÒTRIANGLEÓ TITLES:
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ-

21. SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL #45, ÒSuperman No More!Ó
Writer: Louise Simonson
Layouts: Jon Bogdanove
Finished Art: Dennis Janke (and his Jankers)
$1.95 US/$2.75 CAN/#1.25 UK

RATINGS:

AW: 3 Shields - Good writing hampered by marketing-inspired plotline. The
new format has really improved the look and feel of the art.
JS: 3.5 Shields - Nice art by Bog and lighter inks this month! A solid story
with a stunning ending.
KM: 4 Shields - Good action-packed story. The glossy pages really enhance
the artwork.
PS: 5 Shields - The pace of this story is breathtakingÑnot since the
rebirth have things moved so quickly and emotionallyÑand
the final shot of a determined Lois climbing out of the
wrecked building is poster material.
WN: 3 Shields - Action issue with Conduit robots (!) but the two pages of
Clark burning his uniform were pretty intense. Good to see
Lois and her resolve to take Kenny down.

I have to admit it. At the time this review is due, I still havenÕt decided
whether ÒSuperman No More!Ó is merely a placeholder in the ÒDeath of Clark
KentÓ story line or whether it is, indeed, worthy of being considered a full-
fledged chapter in the story.

The plot of this issue is, essentially, that ConduitÕs robots and Pipeline
agents are virtually everywhere, threatening SupermanÕs friends and relatives.
While Superman battles robot after robot in Metropolis, Conduit keeps him
painfully aware that by staying in Metropolis, he has forsaken the chance to
save his parents. By the end of this issue, Superman believes that Lois and
his parents are dead (although we know differently) and vows to give up being
Superman forever.

The strong point of the story is that ConduitÕs taunting is effective, and
SupermanÕs frustration painfully real. Conduit asks, ÒYour parents or the
city? Which will you save?Ó Superman characteristically thinks, ÒCanÕt make
that choice! Some way...somehow...IÕve got to save them both!Ó To which
Conduit replies, Ò...no decision *is* a decision! Just remember, you stayed
here! So you can kiss your parents goodbye!Ó As IÕve said before, Louise
Simonson is at her best when she writes about characters and their
relationships.

Unfortunately, LouiseÕs writing is hamstrung by a forced plotline inhabited
by one of SupermanÕs most implausible foes. ConduitÕs clicheÕd origin gives
no clue as to how he gathered the resources to form Òthe worldÕs premier
clandestine organization.Ó Heck, thereÕs never been even an attempt to
explain what Pipeline does between Superman hunting seasons.

The other weakness is the ÒDeath of Clark KentÓ story arc itself. I canÕt
help feeling that this was conceived as a marketing decision, not a creative
one. And being the old, outdated collector that I am, I canÕt help thinking
that in the 1960Õs, the story in this issue could have been effectively
capsulized in 4-5 pages, and the whole ÒDeath of Clark KentÓ story told in
two issues. Now that weÕre paying nearly $2.00 an issue, I expect future
storylines to be more concise and interesting, as Milestone has promised for
their entire line.

I have to admit that the new glossy format appears to have dramatically
improved the artwork. Where JankeÕs inks were scratchy before, the lines are
thicker and stronger. The art and colors are much bolder, more dramatic, as
befits the Super-titles. IÕm very pleased with the results.

The creative teams at DC need to remember now that, with the prices of comics
so high, the standards to which we comics readers apply to their work is going
to be even more stringent. Story arcs need to be shorter, the writing needs
to be more concise, action-packed yet thoughtful, and the art must be bold and
daring if weÕre going to part with our hard-earned shekels.

IÕve got my fingers crossed for the team at MAN OF STEEL. They have a good
chanceÑafter all, I wasnÕt even tempted to ask where Keith was this issue.

Anatole (awilson@vnet.ibm.com)

========================================================

22. SUPERMAN #101, ÒGriefÓ
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Layout Art: Gil Kane
Ink Art: Josef Rubinstein
Cover by Dan Jurgens & Josef Rubinstein
$1.95 US/$2.75 CAN/#1.25 UK

RATINGS:

KM: 4.5 Shields
AW: 3 Shields - No real story here, just good Gil Kane artwork.
JS: 2.5 Shields - Clark pities himself, his parents perk him up. Ho hum.
Mostly nice art by Gil Kane, though I hated his Ma and
Pa Kent.
PS: 4 Shields - The superior work continues, with standout elements in this
issue being a reflective Superman and a strong situational
illustration of the motivating role the Kents have in his
life.
WN: 2.5 Shields - Mixed feelings, I can understand the grief and pain at
ClarkÕs loss of his parents and Lois but was surprised that
Clark also went into hiding. Surely the best way to ensure
that Conduit was no longer a threat would have been to deal
with him? Nice cover though.

Superman #101 opens with Conduit, aka Kenny Braverman, with the ultimate bad
chip on his shoulder, relishing in the thought that he has finally defeated
Superman. ÒIÕve burned your parents alive...and buried your woman under tons
of concrete and steel! YOU ARE A BEATEN MAN!Ó

Clark, now sitting atop a Colorado mountain peak, grieves over all that he
has lost, realizing that as a broken man, he can no longer continue as
Superman. The anguish is more than he can bear and he begins contemplating
his own demise. He says to himself, ÒItÕs all my fault theyÕre gone. I
shouldÕve protected them! I failed them all...Ó

Meanwhile, back at the Daily Planet, Perry reassures Ron Troupe that he is
not too concerned about the fate of Lois and Clark. ÒIf thereÕs anything
IÕve learned over the years...itÕs to let these situations play themselves
out before losing your head! Deep down...I canÕt help but think that those
two will come out on top yet!Ó Wise words from a man who knows them better
than anyone else.

Lois, on the other hand, is trying to maintain a low profile from ConduitÕs
henchmen. The fact that she is ÒdeadÓ is to her advantage, but she canÕt be
too careful. One minor slip and her deception could become a reality. She
has managed to retrieve the babbling head of one of ConduitÕs robots from an
earlier battle which she hopes will lead her to Clark.

Martha and Jonathan Kent, buried in their own problems, are hiding out in the
cliffs of Colorado. Suddenly, Martha hears a piercing scream; Jonathan turns
and sees a blinding light coming from the top of a mountain. ÒThatÕs our BOY
up there, Martha,Ó he exclaims. ÒLetÕs go!Ó They both know the safest place
to be is next to their son.

At the same time, deep down in a secret lair, SmallvilleÕs own bad boy is
told about a tremendous energy burst in Colorado. Conduit knows it must be
Superman and has all his fighter jets scrambled to the designated location.
This is the final showdown with ConduitÕs adversary, and it doesnÕt look like
Superman is going to put up too much of a struggle. Why do I keep seeing
Superman whining to himself, ÒWoe is me. Nobody knows the trouble IÕve seen.Ó
Come on, Clark; kill the pity party and snap out of it!

The jets swarm over Clark like angry bees; he defiantly dares them to take
their best shot. A direct hit doesnÕt even knock the breath out of him as he
cries out, ÒNot enough, Conduit! You better try again! COME AND GET ME!Ó
The taunting seems to work.

Conduit is determined to finish Clark once and for all. The next hit
will be nuclear. Suddenly, Jonathan and Martha make their presence known,
resurrecting new hope into their son. As the missile nears its mark, Clark
swoops up to intercept it. He knows that Conduit can probably destruct it
manually, so he uses his heat vision to fuse the mechanism.

With that disaster averted, he now turns his attention to his folks.
He tells them that Lois is dead and that he is unsure of what to do next.
Jonathan gives his self-defeated son a well-deserved tongue-lashing in order
to convince him that Conduit is nothing more than a Òcheap punk.Ó Clark
agrees with his father but also admits that ÒSuperman is gone forever.Ó
They fly off to another secluded hideaway to seek new identities.

Jonathan gets a job as a hardware clerk in a small country town; Clark is
hired on as a construction worker. He has to be careful not to overdo it
though, in order to protect his super identity from his annoyed coworkers.

Meanwhile Lois does her own snooping around the burned out Kent home. A
patrolling trooper tells her that the two bodies found were those of state
troopers and not the residents. Lois is relieved to know that the Kents are
still alive. Suddenly she looks down and finds a charred piece of ClarkÕs
shirt on the ground. ÒThey were here!Ó she admits with great relief. ÒI
couldnÕt ask for a better clue.Ó

The last two panels show Lois thinking about her lost love. She vows, ÒClark
is my life; IÕll do whatever it takes to find him.Ó

I really liked this story. The new glossy format enhances the artwork, and
the colors seem to jump off the pages. Yes, there were lots of battle scenes
(which I particularly like in all the comics); but this issue also has a
deeper level to it. The cover shows Clark, not Superman, interceding for his
parents in ConduitÕs death grip. Clark understands he cannot destroy Conduit
with the brute strength of his alter ego. He must use cunning and deception
to bring him down if, and when, that time comes. He also understands that he
must do everything in his power to protect his parents. That is where the
true conflict lies. Throughout his life he has known that being Superman
could put others in danger, that his secret identity could be discovered.
When that happens, and he becomes a threat instead of a shield to others, he
must choose NOT to continue as Superman. The real battle is not just between
Superman and Conduit, but between Superman and Clark. He has to work out this
anguish within himself before he can tackle Conduit. I see a real similarity
between this internal battle and a similar one. Jonathan managed to save
Kal-El from a permanent death once before by making him see who he really was.
(See ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #500). Perhaps he can do it again.

This issue is a bridge between the former comics and the ones coming up.
There are a lot of loose ends that may not be completely tied up in the next
few weeks. My only concern is that the writers will try and wrap this story
up with an ending that is just too unbelievable. We shall just have to wait
and see.

Ken McKee (stdkrm01@shsu.edu)

========================================================

23. ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #524, ÒWhere is Superman?Ó
Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Jose Marzan
$1.95 US/$2.75 CAN/#1.25 UK

RATINGS:

PS: 5 Shields
AW: 1 Shield - Had they focused on just Supes going into hiding, this might
have worked. There were too many subplots, making this too
shallow to be believable (or worth reading.)
JS: 3 Shields - Nice work with the GBS report (gorgeous splash page!) on
JimmyÕs story. Good writing. In general, though, Stuart
ImmonenÕs art seemed just a bit rushed this month.
KM: 3.5 Shields - Not a great issue, but not a bad one either. Nice artwork
and the scene where Clark battles the forest fire was good.
Why didnÕt he just freeze a lake and drop it on the fire?
WN: 4 Shields - The return of Supes (yay) but a chilling scene as Conduit
murdered Mac. I liked the Mxyzptlk ending in ÒBravervilleÓ.
The spotlight on the Lanes, Jimmy and ShadowdragonÕs virus
all pushed the story on, good art too.

In the midst of an excellent and intense four-issue run this month, where I
truly believe every story stands head and shoulders above anything weÕve seen
since the concluding chapters of SupermanÕs rebirth, this is the story that
takes just enough time to show us a life that could have been for Clark and
his parents. It is a story where weÕre given the chance to watch the heroÕs
self-realization crystallize because of unfolding events. Kesel delivers as
fine a short story in these 22 pages as youÕll find in non-illustrated
literature. Keeping my comparisons within the Superman genre, this book is
as satisfying as one of Roger SternÕs chapters in the Superman hardcover.

One of the Kesel writing techniques that I especially enjoy is his use of
mass media, especially television, to provide the backstory or set the stage.
Here, as in the recent Thorn story, he opens with a television broadcastÑthis
time a Cat Grant special on the disappearance of Superman. Included is a
brief interview clip with Dan Turpin telling how the building exploded with
(he assumes) Lois Lane inside.

A super-nice transition (and another sensational trademark portrayal of a
light source by Immonen) takes us out of the TV broadcast and into the living
room of a family watching the program. It is the Lane family and we can tell,
from Sam LaneÕs remarks and demeanor, that they donÕt believe that Lois is
dead. Back to the broadcast, Cat intros a recorded video transmissionÑJimmy
Olsen is alive and broadcasting from ConduitÕs headquarters! Another
transition from program to viewer of program, and weÕre reintroduced to
Shadowdragon, who is horrified and repentant of his role in providing Conduit
with information on Clark.

The next portion of the story is my favorite, the life that might have been.
Clark, now known as Wayne Jordan, is working as a lumberjack in Northern
California. His beard has grown out and he now resembles a different American
legend, Paul Bunyan, and uses his super-powers whenever he can to move the
felled trees closer to the road for pickup. Judith ÒMacÓ McGivney, his crew
chief, later compliments him on how his trees always seem to fall Òright to
the roadÓ.

Breaking from work early because of the weather, the crew sees that high
winds have caused a controlled burn to go haywire, trapping two forest rangers
in the fire. Using his super-speed, Clark is out of the truck and into the
midst of the forest fire where he picks up the men and flies them to safety.
He admits to Mac that heÕs Superman, calls his dad to update him on the
situation and the fact that it will all be on television soon, and then
returns to fight the forest fire until the skies open with rain to help him
end the battle.

Returning to MacÕs cabin for a shower, shave, and change of clothes, Clark
explains to her how he uses a combination of heat vision and Kryptonian metal
to shave his whiskers. ÒWell, now I know two of your secrets,Ó Mac says.
ÒGuess that means yÕgotta make me your partner or somethingÑainÕt that how
it works...?Ó

This friendly, even flirty, conversation is cut short when Mac stiffens and
falls down dead. She is the latest victim of Conduit, hovering in the air
behind where her body stood. ÒI said IÕd kill your friends, Kent...,Ó he
sneers, ÒALL your friends.Ó Clark attempts to fly at him and is blasted by
kryptonite gas.

Time passes, and Lois arrives at the cabin to discover MacÕs body. She hears
a sound from the forest and encounters Shadowdragon, who has come to atone
for his role in ConduitÕs reign of terror. Elsewhere, Superman wakes up to
the taunts of a teenage Lana Lang and Pete Ross on the streets of Smallville.

As I indicated at the start, I have been simply blown away this month by the
quality of writing in all four issues. I picked up Triangle 21 (MOS) and got
so engrossed in the story that I finished it in six minutes! I immediately
grabbed the next two issues (Superman and AOS) and finished them in record
time as well. Though I believe this story arc got off to a less than
remarkable start last month, the concluding chapters this month have more
than made up for it.

Like a good movie, this issue of AOS had scenes (pages) that will stand out
in my memory for awhile: ImmonenÕs great panel of the Lane family bathed in
the TVÕs glow as the news special recounts LoisÕ ÒdeathÓ, ClarkÕs first
appearance in his ÒPaul BunyanÓ outfit, the three page sequence of Clark
fighting the forest fire and his self-realization as he completes the rescue
(ÒIÕll always be Superman.Ó), and the four panels of sweet and happy
conversation between Clark and MacÑcut short with the final panel where
Conduit takes her life. Concerning the latter two sequencesÑyou know in
your heart at the end of the forest fire sequence why Superman is your hero,
and you know at the end of MacÕs sweet scene the utter evil that has consumed
Kenny Braverman. This is wonderfully creative work

Patrick Stout (mfpms@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu)

========================================================

24. ACTION COMICS #711, ÒHome and the Hollow HeartÓ
Writer: David Michelinie
Artists: Jackson Guice and Denis Rodier
Cover by Jackson Guice
$1.95 US/$2.75 CAN/#1.25 UK

RATINGS:

WN: 4.5 Shields - Smallville meets Stepford in a satisfying finale.
AW: 2 Shields - IÕll forgive the clicheÕd ending if ConduitÕs gone for
good. Decent art.
JS: 2 Shields - GuiceÕs art looks better on the slick paper, but IÕm still
glad heÕs gone next issue. This issue would probably be
about 1 shield had Conduit not been done away with. Sure,
we knew it would *have* to happen, but did they have to put
the ending on the cover!?
KM: 2.5 Shields - Very disappointing ending for this story. The cover was
very deceiving because this was not the way Conduit died.
Oh well; on to the next story.
PS: 4 Shields - A satisfying conclusion to ConduitÕs reign of torment as
Supes gets to take him out Òmano a manoÓÑwith the aid of a
massive electrical jolt and resultant system overload; a
true comic fan has to ask, ÒIs he really dead?Ó Well,
(shrug), they certainly donÕt fry up any crispier.

Clark has woken up in a Braverman-built ÒSmallvilleÓ. The city is covered
with posters in support of Kenny and against Clark/Superman. Jonathan and
Martha Kent are there, only they look twenty years younger. They greet Clark
with machine gun fire. They are robots like everyone else in town (Smallville
meets Stepford bigtime!) who are programmed to believe that Kenny/Conduit is a
hero and that Clark is a bully who doesnÕt belong. Clark knocks the ÒKentsÓ
over with his superbreath and flies over the city. He knows that he canÕt
leave until he takes Conduit down and swoops back down to ÒSmallvilleÓ saying
ÒThis ends nowÓ.

At the California/Oregon border Lois has stopped for gas. A pick-up truck
has also stopped carrying Martha and Jonathan. While they share a couple of
panels together, neither of them sees the other and the Kents still think
Lois is dead.

In ÒSmallvilleÓ Clark sees Lois, who unlike the town automatons, looks like
herself today. She asks Clark for a kiss and wonders if heÕs better than
Kenny. This Lois is a robot who attacks Clark. In a chilling panel there is
a close-up of the robo-Lois whose eyes are yellow as he fights her. The crowd
refers to Lois as KennyÕs girlfriend and turns on Clark. He stops them with
his heat vision and screams ÒWhere are you, you spineless maniac?Ó

In Metropolis, Ron Troupe is in court covering the Serial Killer story for
Lois. The killer feels the pain in his head and needs to be restrained by
court officers. An insanity plea, it seems, is in the bag.

The showdown between Clark and Kenny takes place in the ÒSmallvilleÓ sports
stadium. A stadium filled with robo-replicas of KennyÕs dad. They face up
to each other and Kenny says that he has taken his revenge on Clark for all
of the humiliations which were visited upon him. Kenny does admit (what for
me is the root of his problems) ÒYou took dadÕs love away from me! He wished
you had been his son.Ó Clark tells him there is nothing he can say and takes
off his uniform top so that they can fight as Clark and Kenny Ñ mano-a-mano.

The fight begins on the football field. Kenny eventually resorts to using
bursts of Kryptonite radiation to repel Clark. Clark reasons that there must
be a power supply under the grounds for the robots and tears up the electrical
cables. He pulls them loose and plugs them into the advancing Kenny. Kenny
absorbs the power and expands his mass, unwilling (or unable) to stop until he
becomes a grisly, withered husk bathed in radiation. Clark remarks that in a
sad way Kenny defeated his true enemy, himself.

I liked this issue a lot. There was a lot going on and it was far from a
typical slugfest. Michelinie drew on the emotional baggage which Kenny has
been hauling around since his youth in the Zero issues and used it to
tremendous effect. His anxieties and inadequacies were all tied up in a neat
little box marked CK where he could exile his fatherÕs hard-line indifference
to his achievements. But all of the killing, all of the pain Kenny has
inflicted on Clark hasnÕt made him feel any better or brought his DadÕs love
or acceptance to him. ItÕs just made him more bitter, more out of touch and
yet he still believes that killing Clark will somehow assuage his pain and
ease the hurt he feels. I found myself almost sympathizing with him! This
discontented maniacal figure is pitiable (or would be if he wasnÕt knocking
off old folks, school friends and innocent victims caught in his crossfire).
MichelinieÕs characterization brought weight to ClarkÕs final words that
KennyÕs worst enemy was himself.

The stadium filled with robo-Dads and the whole feel of a Smallville which
never was as a fighting venue for the last battle just felt right. The fight
itself with its references to old wrestling holds from school gave depth to
the relationship they shared. Here it was just Clark and Kenny, no Pipeline,
Conduit or Superman. There is a still a great deal of fallout to be resolved
in coming weeks, but this issue has been one of my personal favorites in this
story arc. It was much more satisfying than the conclusion to ÒDead AgainÓ.
The Guice/Rodier art was good and I liked the layout of the story. Kenny
emerging from the tunnel saying ÒitÕs timeÓ and the way the last panels
pulled you back further and further from the stadium were all very effective.
The Serial Killer story is also back. Perry has put Ron Troupe on it in LoisÕ
absence, and from IÕve read of late, itÕs one story that isnÕt going away.

I did think the words on the cover ÒConduit is dead. Long live SupermanÓ were
a bit unsubtle. I knew Conduit was going to get his comeuppance this issue
but those words just didnÕt do justice to MichelinieÕs script or the cover
art. Still a good issue though.

William J Nixon (W.J.Nixon@lib.gla.ac.uk)

______________________________________________________________

End of Section 4

______________________________________________________________

OTHER SUPER-TITLES:
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ-

SUPERBOY #16, ÒSchool and Hard KnocksÓ
Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Tom Grummett
Inkers: Doug Hazlewood, Dave Bednar, & Stan Woch
Cover by Grummett & Kesel
$1.95 US/$2.75 CAN/#1.25 UK

RATINGS:

VC: 3 Shields
AW: 4 Shields - Enjoyable story and art. SuperboyÕs back in stride.
JS: 2.5 Shields - I really could have done without a Loose Cannon story.
Aside from SB going to school, this was largely forgettable.
Unlike in the four Superman titles, the slick paper doesnÕt
enhance Grummett & HazlewoodÕs art very much.

SuperboyÕs first day at school is well-publicized with the truant officer and
Tana Moon on hand to comment on-air. Laid-back as always, the Metropolis Kid
makes new friends and quickly establishes his popularity at the high school.

Meanwhile, Agent Sam Makoa reunites with an old friend, Eddie Walker, who is
handicapped. Sullen at his over-achievement with the Silicon Dragons case,
Sam is persuaded by Eddie to think about pursuing, Loophole, a convict who
broke parole. Since the criminal had high-tech powers, Eddie figured that it
was just the case for Makoa.

When Makoa and Eddie meet Superboy at a crime scene, Eddie takes a small
dislike to him, hoping to ensure MakoaÕs jurisdiction over the case.

In the background are two suspicious characters whose appearance are not
unlike that of Reed and Susan Richards (just with a different colour scheme).
Loophole and Courtney are their names and they are carrying out a plot to
steal a fortune in diamonds. Their technological harnesses allow them to
pass through barriers unobstructed as long as they are in contact with each
other.

As the two phase through a building wall, they are seen and Superboy
pursues them. Literally, out of the sky, a blond pony-tailed, blue-skinned
gargantuan plows into Superboy. A fight ensues and Superboy realizes that
Loose Cannon is more than a match.

Eventually, when Loose Cannon and Superboy are rammed into the ground during
their fight, LoopholeÕs equipment is damaged, leaving Courtney and him
powerless. Upon arrest, Courtney confesses to where the diamonds are located
and Loophole likewise explains the purpose of stealing the diamonds.

When Superboy returns to the compound, heÕs not overjoyed at seeing Krypto,
although Dubbilex shows a fondness for the dog. Rex receives an upsetting
call to meet his debtor, Mr. Gamboli, and subsequently bribes Krypto into
keeping his conversation from Dubbilex. Lastly, Eddie Walker, AKA Loose
Cannon, departs Hawaii, his good friend Makoa still unaware of the metahuman
side of him.

I found this issue kind of sad. And thatÕs meant in a cheap, low-calibre
way. This story seemed to be an excuse to introduce a new character and his
mini-series into the DC Universe. Loose Cannon is too reminiscent of the
classic Hulk whose metamorphosis occurs during a full moon and personally, I
find him to be too stereotypical a character. Meek person who turns into an
ultra-powerful metahuman. However, the character isnÕt KeselÕs, so Loose
Cannon is another story altogether.

IÕm glad to see a little bit regarding Superboy going to school and I liked
the scene at the compound with Dubbilex and Rex, but the rest of the story
seemed stagnant. Nothing exciting. Loose Cannon and Superboy catch diamond
thieves - big deal. Kesel tried to make the story more interesting by
alternating it between a present and a past tense. Read: part of the plot
was told in flashbacks. Unfortunately, thatÕs as versatile and complex as
the story goes. I know Kesel can pull off some flair with his plots and I
hope to see them very soon. IÕm glad Tom Grummett is back as my fave
Superboy artist. I look forward to The Man of Tomorrow with his work in it.

This issue also featured the feature to higher-quality paper. Personally,
I didnÕt mind the newsprint. They should have used MilestoneÕs better
colouring system rather than switching the paper gloss/weight and increasing
the price about 30%. ItÕs kind of unfair to the fans and the nicer paper
does not necessarily mean a better comic.

Victor Chan (vichan@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca)

========================================================

STEEL #16, ÒRabbit RunÓ
Writer: Louise Simonson
Pencillers: Chris Batista (Pgs 1-11)
Phil Gosier (Pgs 12-22)
Inker: Rich Faber
$1.95 US/$2.75 CAN/#1.25 UK

RATING:

DS: 2 Shields

I started reading this character when he first appeared in the Superman books.
He was my favorite pretender to the throne during the ÒReign of the SupermenÓ
series because he was more heroic and noble than any of the other supermen
(with the possible exception of Matrix, aka Supergirl,who was under the
influence of Lex Luthor). ItÕs getting harder and harder to justify buying
this book, especially now that my DC habit has increased in price by about
30%. IÕll probably continue to buy it for a few more issues anyway to see
if it gets better.

Previously, Steel and Double had broken in to Senator Sarah WeaverÕs office
to investigate her possible brain washing by White Rabbit. They were
confronted by her agents who apparently have ÒsuperpowersÓ equivalent to
software! One of the baddies is called Worm and he has the power to make
duplicates of himself to overwhelm our heros by sheer numbers. Of course
this doesnÕt work and Steel and Double make short work of him after figuring
out that the real Worm is the one who talks and being a villain, heÕs too
stupid to just shut up and fight.

The brainwashing program on Senator WeaverÕs office PC is indeed very
sophisticated. It has the ability to modify itself and become more powerful
everytime the Senator looks at her monitor. If you think it takes suspension
of disbelief to accept that a man can fly, you should try to comprehend a
program that can run on a PC and can detect when a particular individual is
looking at the monitor and then modify its code to make itself more effective.
If I had programmers like that working for me, not only would I be more
powerful than Steel or Superman, IÕd be more powerful than Bill Gates!

Just as Steel is mopping up and has grabbed the real Worm to take him off to
justice, his body armor disappears, a particularly inconvenient thing to
happen, since he had just jumped out of an upper story window of the Senate
office building. Fortunately, Worm yells ÒGet us to WhitehallÑÓ as they are
falling and when they land, they are in BunnyÕs stronghold with John Henry
Irons standing around in his underwear.

Meanwhile, Double is on the ledge back at the senate office building and has
noticed that SteelÕs armour disappeared as did Steel and Worm on the way down.
He then sets off to find Whitehall in order to bail Steel out and save the day
for truth, justice and the American/British way.

Meanwhile, the security forces for the senate office building arrive at
Senator WeaverÕs office and discover that Steel has broken in to her office.
Thus the authorities now have reason to suspect that Steel has gone bad.
There should be ramifications of this thread in future issues. TheyÕll try
to discover his secret identity and get rid of him ... no, DCÕs already using
that idea in a lame plotline in the main Superman books at this time.

Tyke, who was crippled by a would-be assassinÕs bullet, dreams about being
able to walk, but falls out of bed when he wakes up and believes his dream.

Back in Whitehall, Bunny is offering Steel a choice: join her or die! He
chooses death, especially since in the past, when his life has hung in the
balance his armor miraculously would reappear. She counts down to shoot him:
3, ..., 2, ...,1 Double crashes thru the skylight saving Steel from both
Death and his armor. Double moves, about as fast as a speeding bullet,
through the room dodging the attempts of BunnyÕs gang to capture him. He
frees John Henry from his bonds and together they face BunnyÕs software
warriors: Worm, Digit, Bug, Gearhead, and Digit. All hell breaks lose for
about four pages until just as our heros are doomed to certain death, John
HenryÕs reluctant armor returns and over the next three pages, our
magnificent heros thrash the laddies and save the day.

All the baddies would have been taken in to justice, except that another
baddie, Default (... where does DC dig up these names?) applies his(?) powers
and everyone defaults back to some other place, and Steel and Double are left
in a warehouse by themselves. They reveal their secret identities to each
other and pledge their support for each otherÕs causes, blah, blah, blah, ...

Double asks Steel about his armor being able to appear and disappear at will.
Steel says ÒBelieve me,... YOU donÕt want to know.Ó In other words, he
doesnÕt understand it either.

One of the weaknesses of the four (soon to be five) triangle titles for
Superman is different artists. It is disconcerting from week to week to see
ClarkÕs chin or eyebrows or nose change. ThatÕs one reason I enjoyed the
most recent Superman. Gil KaneÕs Superman looks like Stuart ImmonenÕs
facially, and both are appropriately heroic. Why do I mention that here?
This issue is pencilled by two different people. The characters donÕt look
quite the same from one page to another. ItÕs probably not as bad as I make
it sound since the inking by Faber is consistent and the inconsistency mostly
shows up in facial structure and expression.

This is the first issue of Steel in the new glossy format. The colors are
very vivid and the lines are sharp. The composition tends to be big: i.e.
there are lots of pages with a splash overlaid with two or three small panels.
Most of the background is very sketchy.

This is the second consecutive issue with practically no characterization.
Only on the page when Tyke is wishing that he wasnÕt crippled do we see any
emotion or real characterization. Come on Louise, work harder at building
people; for that matter work harder at building interesting plots. Oh, well,
maybe itÕs just that since IÕm a computer scientist, I have a low tolerance
for silly computer plots and villains. But, being a kid at heart, I still
have hope that one of the open threads will develop into a first rate story.

Dick Sidbury (sidbury@cs.uofs.edu)

========================================================

SHOWCASE Ô95 #5, ÒChasing GhostsÓ (Part 2 of 2)
Starring The Thorn
Written by: Roger Stern
Pencils by: Howard Simpson
Inks by: Mark Stegbauer
Cover by Humberto Ramos & Stan Woch
$2.95 US/$4.25 CAN/#2.00 UK

RATINGS:

RG: Story 4 Shields - too much happens too quickly, otherwise good
Art 3.5 Shields - looked rushed, lack of detail, some nice places
JS: 4 Shields - Lovely art and an intriguing story. Humberto RamosÕ
cover is a bit strange Ñ cartoonish, if you will.

Rose is being interviewed by Inspector Sawyer concerning ThornÕs possible
connection to her family (see last issue). A series of flashbacks tells the
(post-crisis) story of Thorn. Maggie is suspicious of RoseÕs connection to
Thorn even though she canÕt prove anything. Maggie uses a glass that has
RoseÕs fingerprints to check them against those of Thorn that the police
found in the records room the night before.

Maggie has Turpin give Rose a message about another member of the 1000, Mr.
Orchid. Maggie has the SCU on stake out surrounding the warehouse that
Turpin told Rose Mr. Orchid was using as a headquarters. Thorn is much more
suspicious than Rose and discovers the SCU, so she decides to hunt up a little
info on Mr.Orchid in her own way. She eventually tracks him down and captures
him, turning him over to Maggie. Maggie tries to take her in as well, but
Thorn escapes. We also learn that Rose and Thorn have different fingerprints,
very curious, Rose/Thorn may very well be more than we have ever suspected
until now.

The Spoiler: ÒUneven ParallelsÓ
written by: Keri Kowalski
Pencilled by: Yancy Labat
Inks by: Christian Alamy

The Spoiler (daughter of villain The Cluemaster) is a new character from the
Bat titles, she has appeared several times in the Robin monthly. Solid short
story, not reviewed.

Firehawk: ÒA little taste of fireÓ
Written by: Shon C. Bury
Penciled by: Ramon Bernado
Inked by: Mike Sellers

Story rating: 3.5 - solid story, could tell us more about Firehawk
Art rating: 3.5 - pretty good, nice inking, needs more backgrounds

Firehawk is a heroine who hasnÕt been seen in several years. In fact the
last time that I know that she appeared was in the old Firestorm title.
She has been living her secret identity as a S.T.A.R. Labs administrative
assistant ever since. In this story she has a rematch with The Parasite, who
she had fought back then. They fight, and she eventually defeats him by
absorbing his energy. She comes to the realization that she canÕt turn her
back on her powers, so I suspect that we will be seeing more of her.

ReneÕ (gobeyn@kodak.com)

========================================================

THE NEW TITANS #122, ÒSyndicate RitesÓ
Written by: Marv Wolfman
Art by: Finn Harris
$2.25 US/$3.10 Can/#1.50 UK

RATINGS:

RG: Story 3 Shields - not much story, just a big fight
Art 5 Shields - too dark, not enough detail
JS: 1 Shield - Horrid art, extended fight scene. No reason to get this
unless reading the entire crossover.

This issue actually starts out in the closing pages of this months
Deathstroke #48. (See later review for more info.) In it Arsenal,
Darkstar, Deathstroke, Terra, Damage, and Supergirl are sent to what
is supposed to be one of the CrimelordÕs hidden bases to recover a
stolen nuclear bomb.

Our story opens with Darkstar (Donna Troy) and Deathstroke (Slade Wilson)
attacking a Syndicate base in Dallas, Texas, where Deathstroke is apparently
killed in the first minutes of battle. Donna continues the battle alone
until one of the aliens holds a gun to the captured Titans and threatens to
kill them if she doesnÕt surrender.

After a too short visit with Mirage in the hospital, Green Lantern and Minion
are dispatched to Dallas to help the other Titans in their battle. Meanwhile
Deathstroke recovers and we get a brief glimpse of the other captive Titans.

Deathstroke finds them just as Damage lets loose with a controlled explosion,
freeing the Titans. The Titans and Deathstroke are again attacked, this time
by robotic Cybernaughts. They are having a pretty hard time of things when
Green Lantern and Minion show up. The battle is still going strong when out
of no-where one of the CrimelordÕs ships shows up and destroys the remaining
robots. Just when our heroes think they are getting a break, they meet the
CrimelordÕs new Force-Troops. The story is continued in Darkstars #32 (To
be reviewed next issue).

The Titans are my current favorite DC book. I can usually count on good
solid stories, with clean detailed art. Well I guess everyone can have an
off month. This month, the story had almost no characterization, in fact it
was almost all one long (boring) fight scene after another. The art was
below what I would call standard, being much to dark and blocky. The lack
of detail and too heavy inking made the issue look rushed.

Overall this one was barely average.
Recommended only for cross-over followers.

ReneÕ (gobeyn@kodak.com)

______________________________________________________________

ANNUALS AND OTHER APPEARANCES:
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ

THE NEW TITANS ANNUAL #11, ÒAfter Year OneÓ
Written by: Marv Wolfman
Pencils by: Greg Land
Inks by: Keith Champagne,Mike Sellers,Will Blyberg
Cover by Land and Sellers
$3.95 US/$5.50 Can/#2.50 UK

RATINGS:

RG: Story 4 shields - a little disjointed, but mostly fun
Art 3.5 shields - too loose for this title, needed detail
JS: 4.5 Shields - wonderful characterizations and beautiful artwork. Funny
how my favorite issue of NT since SG joined is the annual...

While technically following through with the ÒYear OneÓ theme of this yearÕs
DC annuals this book went beyond what I was expecting. This book, while
following up on the theme, takes place following Titans #122 (also reviewed
this month).

With the Titans being a team book, I was expecting a story based on the first
year of the team. Which team I wasnÕt certain. With the history of the
Titans, it could have been just about anything. What I got was a collection
of connected but separate stories based on each member of the current team.
Each segment was interesting on its own, but when tied together they formed
the most characterization oriented book IÕve read this year.

ItÕs tough to do a good job of characterization when youÕre dealing with a
large group of people. It is usually easier (given the medium) to write more
action oriented stories, picking one or two characters to focus on and
develop, showing the other characterÕs personalities as they react with the
character(s) that are the focus. This is not to say that it was lacking in
conflict, far from it, but instead of a straight punch-em-in-the-face
adventure, the book was character not plot driven. A real delight for this
old (pre-crisis) Titans fan.

The stories told here are a (very) brief origin story for Mirage that explains
why she, (Terra and Deathwing) didnÕt wink out of existence at the end of Zero
Hour. Terra destroys the plot device before it can give any more detail on
TerraÕs (real?) origin. A follow up to the Divorce Hearing story involving
Donna Troy (Darkstar) where we learn the outcome. An all too brief scene of
Jarras (Minion), Donna, and Kyle Rynor (Green Lantern), where we are reminded
of the developing relationship between Donna and Kyle. We are also given a
glimpse of some interaction between Supergirl and Impulse. By blending in
some flashbacks of SupergirlÕs early meetings with Arsenal, we get a view of
how serendipity kept Arsenal from asking Supergirl to join the Titans earlier.
We get a solo mini-adventure starring Impulse, and Jarras goes clothes
shopping. We then get a flashback adventure starring Arsenal, and brief
present day visit with Damage experimenting with his powers. The book closes
with Terra discovering that the coffin of the original Terra is empty. The
story will be continued.

ReneÕ (gobeyn@kodak.com)

========================================================

LOOSE CANNON #1 (of 4)
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Adam Pollina
$1.75 US/$2.50 CAN/#1.25 UK

Writer Jeph Loeb jump starts this four issue miniseries with a fight between
a big blue guy and a big orange guy atop a skyscrapper, and quickly moves the
action onto (or rather, literally, through) the streets of Metropolis with an
earth-shattering crash. The big blue guy is Loose Cannon, the star of the
show, a bone-breaking, color-changing ÒNew BloodÓ born of an alien insect
bite (see Action Comics Annual #5 for details). The big orange guy is
Killrok, another individual transformed by the same ÒBloodlines EarthplagueÓ
that turned Detective Eddie Walker into the aforementioned blue behemoth.

Before long this New Blood tussle (hey, doesnÕt that sound like some kind of
line dance?) attracts some attention. Enter (who else?) Superman and Maggie
Sawyer of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit. But this cavalry arrives a
little too late as Loose Cannon has taken care of his mutant brethren all by
himself, stopping him from making any human ÒsacrificesÓ to their alien
creators. Almost as fast as the Man of Steel arrives on the scene does Loose
Cannon exit it, but of course, the brief meeting has served its purpose Ñ the
tone is set, the supporting cast is introduced and the relationships between
certain characters are established.

In this opening scene, Jeph Loeb shows off his knack for writing hard-hitting
action and ability to set the proper mood for a story. (Check out his work on
the Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Specials or X-Man for more examples
of this.) And before issueÕs end he displays his skill at intrigue (baiting)
as he plants some pressing questions in the readerÕs mind, undoubtedly
designed to compel them to pick up the next issue, if not to find out why
Eddie Walker staged his own death only to incriminate his crime-fighting alter
ego, then to tune in to what promises to be another entertaining knock-down,
drag out fight when Loose Cannon meets up with the heavily armed team of
bounty hunters calling themselves Bounty, Inc..

An added incentive for checking out this miniseries is to witness the debut
of a shining new star named Adam Pollina. Where have they been hiding this
guy? His artwork has shades of Keith Giffen and a definite Bart Sears ÒlookÓ
to it, while at the same time coming across fresh and stylistically unique.
This newcomer is particularly adept at visual storytelling and creating
interesting and detailed backgrounds. He also manages to successfully
experiment with such things as lay-out, perspective and line weight without
compromising the narrative in the process.

Overall Loose Canon #1 presents an entertaining total comic book package;
itÕs a thoroughly impressive debut. Subsequent issues promise more action
and adventure from master scribe Jeph Loeb and certainly some more eye candy
courtesy of Adam Pollina. ThereÕs definitely more to be seen of both
Superman and especially Maggie Sawyer. And more to be learned about this
blonde-haired, blue-skinned giant who actually turns redder as he get angrier,
bounds about Metropolis the way Superman did in the early days, and seems to
be on everyoneÕs Òto killÓ list (including his own!) ...

Joseph Torres

========================================================

DEATHSTROKE #48, ÒThird Strike Chapter Ten: RoseÓ
Written by: Marv Wolfman
Pencils by: Sergio & Octavio Cariello
Inks by: Will Blyberg

Guest Starring: The New Titans

Story rating: 4 shields - Tightly plotted, the cross over works
Art rating: 4.5 shields - cleanly drawn and inked, well detailed

Deathstroke meets his daughter Rose for the first time just before Sarge
Steel sends him and the Titans to Dallas to destroy what is supposed to be
Crimelord base and an atomic bomb. It turns out that Crimelord has set them
up and has arrannged to have them attack a Syndicate base instead. Somehow
(it happens off panel) all of the Titans except Darkstar (Donna Troy) and
Deathstroke are paralyzed. The story is continued in New Titans #122.

ReneÕ (gobeyn@kodak.com)

========================================================

THE RAY ANNUAL #1, ÒMan and SupermanÓ
Written by: Priest
Pencils by: Oscar Jimenez
Inks by: Chip Wallace

Story Rating: 5 shields - a deeply moving, well written story
Art Rating: 4.5 shields - well done! art expresses storyÕs mood

In keeping with the Ô95 annual theme of Òyear oneÓ stories this one keeps
pace by running a current story. It can get away with this because (in
comic time) this is RayÕs first year as a hero.

This is a ÒmessageÓ story. If you donÕt like stories that make you think,
skip this one. On the other hand, if you enjoy good characterization and
story telling, this one should be on your list. It is a pleasant mix of
action scenes and character building. In fact it seems to favor character
building. A very nice change from most current books.

The RayÕs enemy Death Masque causes an airline crash. The Ray managed to
slow the plane and minimize the impact so that 112 people survived, however
eighteen were killed. The survivors give credit for the save to Superman.
Raymond, convinced that his girlfriend was on the plane (she wasnÕt), is
worried because he was more concerned about Jenny than he was about the
people who died in the crash. It is one of the better uses of super-hero
angst as a plot device and character-builder that IÕve had the pleasure of
reading.

We follow Raymond as he attends the funerals of each of the victims, and
finds out that he has a bad case of hero worship for Superman. Without going
into a lot of detail that would not interest anyone who isnÕt following the
title, IÕll skip the spoilers. Needless to say the real Superman does show
up (all too briefly) to talk to Raymond about some of the things that are
bothering him. A quote that sums up the whole book take place as Superman
is turning to go.

Ray: ÒHey... Before you go... How do you deal with it..? The people
you *canÕt* save? The pain I mean?Ó

Superman: ÒI was hoping you could tell *me*.Ó

For me this scene summed up everything about the book and maybe about life as
a super hero. Even Superman is human. He canÕt save everyone. He has to
make hard choices, and sometimes that means someone is going to suffer and
die that he might somehow have saved.

Raymond has learned that now, and I suspect that it reminded Superman of some
of the choices he has made over the years. I suspect that living with that
kind of pressure and still going on is what makes them heroes.

ReneÕ

______________________________________________________________

End of Section 5

______________________________________________________________

THE MANY DEATHS OF CLARK KENT
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ-
by Rich Morrissey

ÒThe Death of Clark Kent,Ó the most recent serial in the Superman titles, has
aroused more attention than any Superman storyline since ÒThe Death of
Superman.Ó Yet, as was pointed out by several fans when the earlier serial
appeared, neither the title nor the concept is being used for the first time.
As far as the world knows, Clark Kent is a mere mortal, but nevertheless one
often found in dangerous situations, despite the assumed timidity of his pre-
Crisis incarnation. Aside from a number of instances in which Clark was
thought to be dead for a matter of minutes or hours, only to turn up alive in
a manner that quelled any suspicion of his identity, there were several
earlier stories that directly addressed the same theme as the recent serial Ñ
what if the circ*mstances were such that ClarkÕs death was unquestioned,
explainable only by the truth that he was really Superman? How would Superman
function without his long-time identity Ñ would he have to live without a
mortal guise? Alternatively, could he create a new identity, and if so, how
would he live? At least three different writers addressed these questions
before Mike CarlinÕs current ÒSuper-Team,Ó and all four stories are of
interest because they addressed the matter from different sides.

The earliest use of the idea IÕve been able to find, interestingly enough,
was also the first story to use the title ÒThe Death of Clark Kent.Ó
Written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Ira Yarbrough, it appeared in
Superman (first series) #42 (September-October 1946), and was reprinted in
Superman #284 (February 1975). It opened with Clark Kent in one of many
situations that gave him cause to regret the personality heÕd built up for
himself, as he was banished from an Arctic expedition for cowardice (necessary
so Superman could secretly save the others from an avalanche). Preoccupied
with his thoughts after flying back to Metropolis, Clark walked into the path
of a speeding truck and, before Lois LaneÕs horrified eyes as she watched from
the Daily Planet window, was run down.

With no means of explanation besides revealing his identity, Superman tried to
adopt a new one. Donning a false mustache and taking the name Kenneth
Clarkson, he went to an employment agency and sought work in his old
profession. But the only opening for a reporter proved to be with a
sensationalist tabloid, which ÒClarkson,Ó used to the sober and prestigious
journalism of the Daily Planet, quickly found repulsive. The straw that broke
the camelÕs back was a fake monster story deliberately calculated to deprive
the Planet from any favorable publicity associated with KentÕs death, so just
before getting fired by his editor, Superman exacted a fitting revenge by
turning the monster into a real one.

Still, Clarkson was back at the employment agency again and again, already
facing the spiral of downward mobility thatÕs hit all too many people with
the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. His next two
jobs were as a bus boy and a door-to-door salesman, and in both cases he found
too many memories of his old life. Fortunately, a last-minute plot twist gave
him an out when Lois discovered that Clark had been sent away from the Arctic
only a short time before, she concluded that the man sheÕd seen hit by the
truck must have been someone else. Superman at once rushed to the Arctic Òto
bring Clark back,Ó and after getting smothered with rare kisses by Lois, Clark
reflected that ÒBeing dead was a terrible nuisance, but I guess it was worth
it for this! Anyway, itÕs good to be alive again!Ó

At that, it was getting harder and harder to build up a new identity, as the
Ô40Õs gave way to the Ô50Õs. There were still honest and law-abiding men in
1946 with no credit history, school transcripts, or Social Security numbers,
but they were getting fewer and farther between. By the next time Superman
was confronted with such a situation, he took a different approach.

ÒWhen There Was No Clark Kent,Ó by writer Jerry Coleman and artists Curt Swan
and Ray Burnley, was published in Superman #127 (February 1959) and reprinted
in Superman #197 (June-July 1967). It was said to be a recounting of events
that had taken place some time earlier (possibly even before the ÒThe Death of
Clark Kent,Ó which might help to explain why Superman decided so quickly to
assume another identity in the Schwartz/Yarbrough story). Once again Clark
was apparently killed, this time by an explosion in a glass factory, and
Superman decided that Òfrom now on, IÕll be just one person, Superman!Ó He
asked Jimmy Olsen if he could move into his apartment as a roommate, and the
cub reporter enthusiastically agreed.

It didnÕt take long for him and everyone else in the neighborhood to change
their minds, as the streets were congested with people hoping to catch a
glimpse of Superman, the phone was ringing off the hook, and the landlord
raised the rents. The final straw came, for Superman, when some criminals
ambushed him with a large piece of kryptonite one evening when he was flying
home. He barely escaped with his life and immediately racked his brain to
figure out a way to bring back Clark Kent. Rebuilding the giant bottle that
had blown up, Superman made it seem as if it had been blown out to sea with
Clark inside, and all ended well.

Surely his past experiences had shown Superman how much he needed Clark Kent,
underscoring the need for a secret identity and the impossibility of building
up another one as successfully. Then, in 1968, an unexpected opportunity for
an even more pleasant other life dropped into his lap.

In ÒClark KentÕs Last RitesÓ by writer Leo Dorfman and artists Curt Swan and
Mike Esposito (Superman #210, October 1968), the last thing Superman wanted to
do was to assume another identity. All he was trying to do, when he spotted a
superstitious criminal heading for a fortune-tellerÕs booth at an amusem*nt
park where Clark had taken Lois on a date,

was to find out his plans. Knowing 
that the man the crook was looking for had just been arrested for swindling,
Superman assumed the identity of ÒDr. Astar,Ó guessed the crookÕs plans were
to rob an expensive restaurant at the park, and captured most of the gang as
Superman. The ringleader escaped, however, and, suspecting he might want
revenge on ÒAstar,Ó Superman flew back to the booth and donned the swamiÕs
turban and false beard for what he thought would be the final time.

Unexpectedly, Lois (who had suspected the crookÕs intentions) turned up just
as the crook arrived at AstarÕs booth. Perhaps for reasons he himself didnÕt
realize, Astar overcame him with purely human techniques rather than reveal
himself as Superman. He may already have seen the fascination he had for
Lois, so far from abandoning the identity when Lois asked to interview him,
Superman maintained it, relishing the affection Lois had for him in a mortal
identity.

As he began to date Lois as ÒAstar,Ó Superman listened to her frank opinions
of Clark Kent that she was too polite to express to Clark himself or to his
friend Superman. Concluding that heÕd finally found an identity that had
everything Clark didnÕt, Superman determined to retain it permanently. And,
while the Daily Planet staff was on a cruise, Clark deliberately fell
overboard, leaving a suicide note.

Clark Kent was dead, long live Astar! Or so Superman thought, at least. Leo
Dorfman had always presented a somewhat more emotional Superman than most of
his contemporaries (though not nearly as much so as many of todayÕs writers),
and allowed Superman to become almost maudlin and resentful in speaking at
ClarkÕs funeral. Yet he himself was surprised how much his wimpy alter ego
was missed, even by Lois, who couldnÕt stop talking about him in her continued
dates with Astar. So Superman bowed to the inevitable, and let Astar vanish
again while Clark returned. No doubt due to his earlier experiences, Superman
had carefully not burned his bridges behind him, writing a suicide note that
could be interpreted as a gag and describing Clark in his Astar identity in
a way that fit his drowning, as well as his possible rescue by Aquaman. Yet
all wasnÕt entirely back to normal, since Clark came back determined not to be
quite the cringing coward heÕd been before. And, as far as I can tell, he
never was Ñ a development more than welcomed by readers of the time.

So, with all this historical background behind it, how does the current
version of ÒThe Death of Clark KentÓ compare to those of 1946, 1959, and 1968?
IÕll give the current writers Dan Jurgens, Louise Simonson, Karl Kesel, and
David Michelinie credit for coming up with yet another twist on the idea,
since this is the first time an actual villain, rather than an accident
usually unforeseen even by Superman, has been responsible for ClarkÕs Òdeath.Ó

ClarkÕs own circ*mstances have, of course, changed a great deal since 1968.
His greatest drawback in previous decades, that Lois never appreciated him as
Clark, much preferring his Superman identity, is no longer a factor now that
sheÕs both engaged to Clark and fully aware that heÕs Superman. Still, while
Leo Dorfman was right that Clark had a tendency to overdo his cowardice from
time to time and was well advised to tone it down, I think John Byrne went way
too far in the other direction. Making Clark less of a coward is one thing,
but revising his past to turn him into an ex-football player and body-builder
who wasnÕt mild-mannered by any stretch of the imagination undercuts much of
the basic appeal, especially to readers who (like Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
themselves) werenÕt particularly athletically inclined. I would have much
preferred to see, as the writers of the Earth-1 Superman seemed to be very
slowly inching toward, an improved relationship between Clark and Lois that
might culminate in engagement, or even marriage, without any attempts to
rewrite his past. Byrne and his successors were, in effect, doing literally
the same thing Clark tried to do symbolically in ÒClark KentÕs Last Rites,Ó
maintaining that the only way Clark Kent could ever stand a chance with Lois
Lane would be to change, not only his personality, but his entire past life
and identity, something he specifically rejected at the end of the Dorfman
story.

On the other hand, another of the earlier writersÕ often-questioned claims
that Superman was forced to guard his secret identity because his enemies
would get to him through his friends if they knew it has been underscored
more dramatically by the current writers. The pre-Crisis Clark was an orphan,
no closer to his best friends than Superman was already known to be, but now
Clark has living (adoptive, but loved as much as any real ones) parents, is
engaged to Lois, and is known to be close to several other people. So, to
actually have one of SupermanÕs foes learn his identity and take action
against those people is, surprisingly, a plot line that has rarely, if ever,
been used before.

In retrospect, the choice of a villain is more successful than IÕd originally
thought it would be. Conduit struck me at first as a singularly lame
character, the creative descendant of Doomsday in ÒThe Death of SupermanÓ and
Bane in ÒKnightfall,Ó a villain remarkable not so much for being a second-
rater as for the fact that not only he but others around him, his writers and
editors included, seem to consider him a first-rater. To see a mindless
Kryptonian survivor succeed where Luthor, Brainiac, and the Phantom Zone
villains failed, or for an illegal alien junkie to do what the Joker, Two-
Face, and Ras al Ghul have never succeeded in doing, might be explained as
the luck of the draw, but undercut by the lack of puncturing of their
delusions of grandeur. (I was fully expecting to see BaneÕs ÒVenomÓ replaced
within a week by the JokerÕs variety, although seeing the real Batman defeat
this masked grandstander on his TV series was even better.)

Yet Conduit, paradoxically, had more of a genuine claim to greatness than
either Doomsday or Bane in large part because his origin incorporated much of
that of SupermanÕs all-time greatest foe, Lex Luthor. As conceived by his
creator, Jerry Siegel, Luthor was an old Smallville boy, originally a friend
of Superboy and Clark Kent but unable to suppress his overriding jealousy of
this alien from outer space, whom he unjustly blamed for his physical
deformity. (His lost hair, as should be obvious to anyone who rereads his
origin, was never anything more than an excuse.) Marv Wolfman and John Byrne
erased much of this psychological depth from LuthorÕs background (though he
remains a great villain, because his true characteristic of jealousy of
SupermanÕs superiority not only physical but moral to him remains), but it
has now been reapplied to Conduit.

Even if much of it has been undercut, in ConduitÕs case, by ClarkÕs revised
Smallville history, it serves to underscore the difference between the two
villains. John ByrneÕs Clark was at the top of his class, a star of the
sports teams and lionized by his friends Ñ who wouldnÕt be jealous of him?
On the other hand, who would be jealous of Jerry SiegelÕs Clark, a timid nerd
pushed around by the other kids? Actually, one might be Lex Luthor, for one,
recognizing that Clark still had the loving parents, good friends, moral
standards, and promise of a successful career that Luthor himself lacked.
But the shallow, superficial Kenny Braverman never would have been, his last
name providing the clue to his entire personality and ultimate future life.
He was and always would be a second-rater obsessed with his status, and even
if Clark had retained his original personality, Braverman would perhaps in
college, perhaps in later life, simply have found someone else to hate with
a passion more single-minded than even LuthorÕs. Make no mistake, just as in
Smallville and Metropolis, he would forever be second to Clark Kent, so as a
Superman foe he would never even reach second place behind Lex Luthor. He
was a second-rater who realized he was a second-rater, using techniques other
villains (the pre-Crisis Brainiac and Phantom Zone criminals who knew Clark
was Superman, the post-Crisis Luthor who came close) disdained as beneath
them.

So the end to the story was so inevitable the cover of the final issue, Action
Comics #711, telegraphed it. Conduit remained a second-rater to the end of
his miserable life, dying as he lived by placing the blame, wrongly, on
others. He died as quickly and inevitably as the criminals in the Weisinger
era who discovered Clark was Superman invariably did (if they werenÕt
neutralized by less-lethal means like hypnotism or amnesia), and SupermanÕs
life and identity are once again safe as they would not have been had Lex
Luthor or some other classic foe, whoÕd be next to impossible to eliminate
permanently, been the one to learn the secret. As the cover copy states,
ÒConduit is dead! Long live Superman!Ó and I very much doubt anyone, least of
all the readership, will miss the former character one bit.

All in all, the greatest criticism IÕd make of this incarnation of ÒThe Death
of Clark KentÓ is the same that many other readers have made, it simply ran
on too long. Perhaps this is a logical consequence of the current technique
of writing by committee Ñ every writer seems to want a crack at every
storyline, especially if itÕs a ÒbigÓ storyline. But IÕd have to agree with
the consensus that ÒThe Death of Clark KentÓ was potentially a very good two-
issue story (after all, none of the other stories on the theme ran longer
than a single issue) that was unwisely expanded to eight issues. Only once
was the theme of building a new life (so important in all three past stories)
seen, when Superman took on a new identity as a lumberjack, and that plot
went nowhere when his female co-worker was summarily killed.

Granted, Superman in the Ô90Õs can hardly be what he was in the Ô40Õs, Ô50Õs,
Ô60Õs, or even Ô70Õs, but surely the success of _Lois and Clark: The New
Adventures of Superman_ has demonstrated that the audience is still out there
for a version of Superman with more emphasis on relationships and character
interactions, and less on extended fight sequences. Ironically enough, that
show seems to be on the way to developing the love and relationship between
Lois and a truly mild-mannered and self-effacing Clark (as opposed to
Superman) in a way the comic book no longer does. This is a Clark that, once
again, Kenny Braverman would never be jealous of (though once again, as the
show made clear, Lex Luthor would be), but who knows? Maybe he can still get
the girl after all, as so many of us over the years have hoped.

______________________________________________________________

KC CONTESTS!
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SUPERGIRL CONTEST RESULTS:

First the answers.
What comics (title and issue) featured
1. the first appearance and origin (they were in the same issue)
of Kara Zor-El, the pre-Byrne Supergirl?

Kara debuted in ACTION COMICS #252.

2. the death of Kara?

She died a heroic death in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #7

3. the first appearance of Matrix, the post-Byrne Supergirl?

Supergirl appeared from under the frozen surface of
Antartica in SUPERMAN #16.

And the winner, chosen randomly from all who provided correct entries,
and the recipient of a copy of SUPERGIRL #1 autographed by its author,
Roger Stern, is DaveyRNier@aol.com! Congratulations!

MAN OF STEEL CONTEST!

IÕve decided to can the trivia questions for this contest. Instead,
answer this for me. WeÕve now seen ÒThe Death of Clark KentÓ play
out as dictated by the discovery of CKÕs secret identity by Conduit.
Now, if *you* were to write a new story about one of SupermanÕs
enemiesÕ discovery of the Man of SteelÕs secret identity, which
villain would you use? Assume that this story would follow current
continuity, and further assume that any post-Crisis villain is
possible.

Note that I donÕt want the whole story! Just give me a brief idea
of who the villain would be and maybe how you would have that villain
use the information against Clark. Writing the story itself would be
fan fiction, a legal no-no. Any such mail will be deleted and not
eligible for the contest PRIZE!...

To prompt this Òcreative survey,Ó IÕm going to randomly select one
entrant to receive a very special prize Ñ an original first printing
of the collectorÕs edition of the book that started it all Ñ John
ByrneÕs MAN OF STEEL #1, autographed by John Byrne!!!

Furthermore, those story ideas which intrigue me will be printed in
next monthÕs issue!

Send your ideas to either KryptonCN@aol.com or sykes@ms.uky.edu no
later than June 7, 1995. I look forward to hearing from you!

______________________________________________________________

End of Section 6

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LOOKING BACK
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AFTER-BYRNE: Reviews of the Post-Crisis Man of Steel
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SUPERMAN #12, ÒLost LoveÓ
December 1987
Written and pencilled by John Byrne
Inked by Karl Kesel

Cover Price: $0.75 US
Wizard Price: $3.00 (Overstreet probably lists it much lower)

The rugged Atlantic coastline north of Metropolis.

7:23 A.M.
Superman drops from the sky, answering the telepathic summons of a man named
Ronal. Choosing to ignore the bitterness in Kal-ElÕs greeting, Ronal reminds
the hero that today is the anniversary of LoriÕs death. He asks Superman to
regale the ocean with the story of his love for Lori Lemaris...

One year before he adopted his Superman identity, while a senior at the
University of Metropolis, Clark heard a cry for help. Turning towards the
desperate plea, he discovered that a young woman had lost control of her
wheelchair, which was speeding wildly down the hillside. Quickly devising
a way to rescue the girl without revealing his powers, Clark used his heat-
vision to melt the rubber tires of the wheelchair. As the melted rubber
gripped the ground beneath, the girl was thrown forward from the chair,
landing safely in ClarkÕs waiting arms.

She raised her eyes towards his, and before she could speak a word, Clark
found himself looking deeply into eyes Òas deep and mysterious as the sea...Ó
He immediately fell in love for the first time in his young adult life.
After introducing themselves, Lori noticed the melted tires and wondered
aloud what could have happened. Clark began thinking quickly for an
explanation, but almost as if she knew it were not true, she guessed that
the speed caused a tremendous amount of friction. They parted and did not
see each other for almost a week.

ClarkÕs biology professor took his class on a field trip to the Ark,
MetropolisÕ floating aquarium. As they exchanged pleasantries, during which
Clark learns that Lori had asked around about him to discover that he was
a journalism major, disaster struck the Ark in the form of a runaway tugboat.
Seeing Lori foundering without the use of her covered legs, Clark first
took Lori to the safety of the dock. As he rushed to help rescue the others,
Lori pointed out that the polluted river water would poison the fish. Using
the explosion of the tugboat as a cover, Clark propelled the Ark into drydock.

As he turned to make certain the people aboard the Ark were all safe, he
noticed Lori diving into the water. As he approached her position, he found
her wrapped in the tentacles of the giant octopus from the Ark. However,
as he watched, her lips began to move, the octopus released her, and it then
swam out to sea. Lori explained upon surfacing that the beast must have been
startled by ClarkÕs approach.

This, however, did not explain why she had been in the water in the first
place. She explained that she thought she had seen a child and had wanted
to help. Clark pointed out that her soaked blanket could have weighted her
down and that he was surprised it hadnÕt come off. Lori very firmly informed
him that the blanket was very securely fastened because she didnÕt want anyone
to see her legs. She then made him promise that he would respect her secret.

From that day, they began a deeply romantic relationship, all the while Clark
respected her privacy. Then one day, Clark decided to propose to Lori, but
he felt the need to reveal his secret to her. But before he could, she
interrupted him with the information he was about to bestow. However, she
could still not reveal her secret, and she told Clark that she could never
marry him Ñ regardless of how much she loved him.

Fearing another man, Clark broke his promise and spied on her that night.
He discovered that she was reporting to someone via secret radio transmissions.
Deducing that she was some sort of foreign agent, Clark broke into her trailer
and discovered that her ÒbedÓ was actually a giant tank filled with seawater.
His mind raced furiously, piecing together all of the clues, and Clark made
a fantastic conclusion.

He raced to the oceanside spot he knew to be LoriÕs favorite, where he found
her out of her wheelchair, struggling toward the ocean. He swooped down and
lifted her out over the ocean, where she protested his arrival, explaining
that she had hoped to leave without seeing him again. Realizing that he had
deduced her true identity, she allowed Clark to carry her out to sea, where
she quickly threw off the blanket, revealing her mermaid tail, and dove into
the dark waters.

She explained the history of Atlantis and how her colony had lost touch
with the sunken island, to the point that they no longer knew its location.
Clark begged her to let him help in her search for the lost cities, but she
pointed out that they were from entirely different worlds and their love
was impossible. They shared a final kiss and parted.

Later, shortly after adopting the identity of Superman, Clark learned the
location of Atlantis from Aquaman. He searched for a way to contact Lori,
eventually coming upon a deranged sailor, Hans Schmidt, who had claimed to
have seen a mermaid. The description matched LoriÕs, so Clark proceeded
to the place Hans had told him about, where he reached out to Lori with his
mind. Soon she appeared, and the magic of the moment found the two in a
passionate embrace. Reading his thoughts, she realized that he had found
Atlantis, but before they can even react, Lori slumps into ClarkÕs arms, the
dagger of Hans Schmidt protruding from her back.

Realizing time was of the essence, Clark managed only to threaten Schmidt
before rushing Lori to Tritonis, one of the fabled cities of Atlantis. A
waiting party sped her into a hospital, but they could only save her life.
The doctors informed Clark that she would remain paralyzed. Clark refused
to accept that, and the doctors mentioned a young intern named Ronal. At
ClarkÕs insistence, Ronal agreed to help.

For months, Clark returned time and time again to check upon her progress.
One day, she was finally well again, and Clark decided that they could
marry at last. But it wasnÕt to be, as Lori had fallen in love with Ronal.
She tried to convince Clark that he had loved her out of pity for her
handicap, and she further argued that she could see in his mind that he had
found another Ñ Lois Lane. She did not let Clark speak further, but they
shared one last kiss and separated.

A few months later, Superman discovered that Lori had died defending
Atlantis. So he and Ronal had both lost her...

The story told, the ocean begins to spin Òthe tale of Lori Lemaris into
an epic poem to sing across the boundless seasÓ Ñ a tale which will endure
Òfor so long as the great whales endure!Ó

8:17 AM
The song begins...

In light of the story arc to grace the Superman titles in a few months,
I felt it would be a good idea to remind the readers of ClarkÕs first love.
This was a beautifully told tale of a love that could never be, of a love
between two people from completely different worlds, a la Romeo and Juliet.
This issue has always stood out in my mind as one of the best examples of
what John Byrne is capable. Certainly credit must be given to the writer
of the original pre-Crisis tale of Lori Lemaris, but this incarnation of the
story is vintage Byrne.

The artwork in this issue is gorgeous Ñ few inkers compliment the pencils
of an artist in the way that Karl Kesel does. Given the promotional art I
have seen for Mr. ByrneÕs upcoming take on Wonder Woman, I must say that
I wish somewhat that Kesel was inking that title for him. This issue exhibits
that Mr. Byrne is certainly capable of drawing very beautiful young women.
(And of doing so in such a way as not to feature massive zero-gravity breasts!)

I would not be at all surprised if this issue were available in some places
at little more than cover price. Even though this was arguably one of the
greatest eras of the post-Crisis Superman, the books from this time do not
have overwhelming value Ñ fortunately for our readers! I would highly
recommend this story as a wonderful example of what a Superman story can be.

Next month, I will take a look at SUPERMAN #63, in which we learn more of
the fate of Lori Lemaris!

Jeff Sykes

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LEGACIES: Reviews of the pre-Crisis Man of Steel
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THE SILVER AGE SUPERMAN
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by Bill Morse (billmorse@aol.com)

Superman on Krypton Part 3

ÒSupermanÕs Return to KryptonÓ first appeared in Superman 141, November
1960. It became a sort of classic, which was referred to in future Superman
stories, until Crisis did away with the Silver Age Superman. Jerry Siegel
wrote it, and Wayne Boring drew it.
It begins with Superman accidentally breaking the time barrier. Fate
(the editor) conspires to have him wind up in the vicinity of Krypton, about
five years before it blew up. His powers conveniently persist just long
enough to let him land safely. He realizes where he is, and the hopelessness
of his situation.
He walks past a film crew shooting a science fiction movie. Because of
his costume, he is assumed to be an extra. With nothing better to do, he
plays along. He sees a breathtakingly beautiful woman, and it is love at
first sight. Her name is Lyla Lerrol, and she is a famous actress, the star
of this production. At the end of the day, the director (wearing a goatee
and beret) asks the extras to wear their costumes around town, for publicity.
This allows us to see Superman in his familiar costume throughout the story.
Next he attends the public wedding of his parents, Jor-El and Lara,
acutely conscious that they, and he, and the entire planet would soon meet
violent deaths. He decides to befriend Jor-El and Lara, without telling them
anything about their future, or who he is. He becomes Jor-ElÕs assistant.
He meets KryptoÕs parents. Then one day, Jor-El introduces him to Lyla, who
remembers him from the movie set. (Nobody asks ÒWhy are you still wearing
your science fiction costume, since youÕre not working on the movie
anymore?Ó) There is a strong mutual attraction, but Superman rushes off,
thinking ÒRomance on Krypton is not for me! IÕve got to escape before this
world explodes!Ó Lara decides to play Cupid, and arranges another meeting
with Lyla, and they surrender to their attraction. There is a whirlwind
romance, interrupted only temporarily by frightening earthquakes.
Jor-El confides his theory of KryptonÕs imminent doom to Superman. Then
he shows Superman a scene on Earth, which Jor-El has been monitoring on an
observation screen. They see Jonathan and Martha Kent during their
courtship, which reveals that they were married after Jor-El and Lara.
JonathanÕs rival for Martha hides some stolen funds in a statue. Superman
fires a Òtiny, explosive friction-proof space needle missileÓ at Earth, which
strikes and smashes the statue, revealing the rivalÕs guilt, and cements the
KentsÕ engagement. Nice aim! All in a dayÕs work on Krypton.
Superman begins to wonder if fate can be changed. He and Jor-El
collaborate on a space ark that can shuttle a large portion of the
Kryptonians to safety. But in a bitter twist of fate, they have constructed
it in Kandor, and the rocket gets stolen by Brainiac, along with the city.
This puts a new spin on BrainiacÕs deed, which some readers had noted saved
the entire city of Kandor from KryptonÕs explosion. Now if only SupermanÕs
brain were really working, he would have arranged for KryptonÕs population to
be in Kandor when Brainiac shrunk the city. OOPS! Quick Ñ Argo City!
Naahh . . .
At this point, Superman decides to stop fighting fate, marry Lyla, and
have a few years of bliss before it all goes Ka-Boom! He visits Lyla on the
movie set, and the improbable editorial hand of fate intrudes again.
Superman is alone on the prop spaceship used in the filming, when a beast
with flame breath breaks loose and breathes into the ÒengineÓ, causing the
ÒspaceshipÓ to take off into space! It actually gets as far away as a yellow
sun, where Superman regains his powers. Does he decide to return to Krypton
with the knowledge that the population can be saved in prop spaceships,
powered by flame beasts? Nope, he returns to Earth in his proper era. I
always thought it was interesting to note that he had spent quite a while on
Krypton Ñ perhaps a year Ñ yet he returns to his life on Earth the same day
he left. Hey Clark, did you have an interesting weekend?
This story wasnÕt just forgotten, as was continuity that was sometimes
added in other stories. Future stories referred to Lyla Lerrol, the one true
romance of SupermanÕs life. She became another Lori Lemaris, SupermanÕs
mermaid girlfriend. Lyla actually returned for a sequel six years later, in
Superman 189, August 1966. And twenty-five years after her initial
appearance, she figured prominently in one of the last pre-Crisis stories, in
a story by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the Watchmen team, in Superman Annual
#11, 1985. A villain, Mongul (first appearance?), causes Superman to live an
entire lifetime in his head. The life he lives is on Krypton, married to
Lyla. I will review both of these stories in future issues.
This story also added to continuity the fact that in capturing Kandor,
Brainiac had sealed KryptonÕs doom. I always liked the idea of Kandor
surviving. I know that one of the main points of the post-Crisis Superman
was that there were no other survivors of Krypton, so Supergirl, Krypto,
Kandor, Argo City, and the Phantom Zone criminals had to go, but I wish there
was a way to re-introduce Kandor.

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SUPERMAN #100

(Sept.- Oct. 1955)
(A Review by Tony Cianfa*glione)
(ab616@cfn.cs.dal.ca)

I am overcome by nostalgia as I gaze upon this issue which I
purchased around 1972 from a US dealer. The bright green cover adorned
with a large bust of Superman displaying the four quarter mark issues
of the line really stands out when viewed at armÕs length. Actual
reproductions of Superman #Õs 1, 25, 50 and 75 are placed at the four
corners of the cover and Superman is standing behind them, smiling.
Looking at this cover, I smiled too.

The three stories inside were lightweight reading for a youngster in
the mid-50Õs. Nothing controversial or questionable in this issue,
published within a few months of the then-encompassing Comics Code
Authority ruling. The CCA stamp was quite noticeable in the upper right
hand corner of the cover. The three stories look like they have been
drawn by Wayne Boring and, possibly, inked by someone else.

The first story entitled ÒThe Toy Superman ContestÓ, featured a
toymaker who has created working miniatures of Superman, featuring x-ray
vision (pre-heat vision story), flying via special magnets so as not to
need wires and real-life Kryptonite reactions due to an element contained in
the phony ÔKÕ which temporarily short-circuited the doll (rather cruel to
give a kid when you think about - Òhey, mom, watch me ÔkillÕ SupermanÓ),
super-breath, super-strength and advertised as being able to Ôlift trains
and crush bricks in one handÕ).

Superman, passing by on patrol, spots one of the toys flying out of the
window and setting fire to a Ôbox of hayÕ laying outside of the building
Ôin the middle of the cityÕ. After grabbing a huge coffee cup from a
billboard (the ads in this city are incredible), Superman douses the fire
by smothering the flames, not wanting to use his super-breath lest he fan
the flames. Returning the toy to the manufacturer, Superman learns there
is to be a contest in which half the profits from the sale of these toys
will go to charity. The toy maker asks for SupermanÕs permission and help
as judge. Because itÕs for a good cause, Superman agrees.

After watching numerous stunts performed by the various childrenÕs
toys (operated by remote control by the children), entrant #467, Tommy,
presents an interesting solution to a particular problem. On a toy scale,
a car is sinking in a swamp and Superman canÕt rescue it because of
Kryptonite in the swamp. So Tommy has the doll forge a kite from a tree
and with a string attached to it, harpoons the cars and use its
super-breath to blow the kite and car away from the swamp. Bob, the next
contestant has his doll save a professional swimmer doll who is suffering
cramps in the water. Knowing that having Superman save the swimmer would
break the prestige of the swimmer, Bob has his doll take a large chunk of
salt from underground and let it dissolve in the water. The amount of
salt in the water made the man buoyant enough to float, thus saving the
man and his reputation.

Harry, the final contestant, wins the contest by having his doll use
its x-ray vision to peer into a chemical building. Superman, after
declaring Harry the winner, zips off without an explanation, leaving the
other children calling ÔfavoriteÕ. Superman flies to a government lab
where he is fitted with a special pair of glasses through which he sees and
captures Red Anson, a notorious criminal who had threatened to blow up half
the buildings around the district where he was hiding out. By locating
Ôheat-sensitiveÕ bombs in various homes, he knew Superman couldnÕt use
his x-ray vision to track him down. HarryÕs idea of putting asbestos in
front of the chemical building to filter the heat gave Superman the idea
for the glasses and thus the arrest of the criminal.

When all is explained to the other contestants that Superman left a
message burnt into the table for Harry not to say anything, the other
kids realize Superman was right in awarding the prize to Harry. The story
is followed by a one page strip called Little Pete by Henry Boltinoff.

The second story entitled ÒSuperman...Substitute TeacherÓ features
Superman posing as Mr. Cranston, a substitute teacher in order to ward
off an identity seeker. Using sap from a tree as glue and bristles from a
black brush conveniently disposed of in a trash can nearby, Superman changes
his looks slightly and is mistaken for Cranston by a student. ÔAs fate
would have itÕ, as the story goes, a principal of a nearby school needs a
substitute teacher for a day and offers Super-Cranston a job. Noticing
the identity snoop nearby and Lois across the street; fearing Lois may
recognize him as Clark, Superman accepts and meets with some mean
spirited pranks played by the students.

The first is a wooden apple which Superman eats, spoiling their prank,
then crushing a lock on a door that the students put there, curing a sudden
epidemic of laryngitis by telling the students theyÕll have to skip lunch
because swallowing is bad for their throats and then pressing a glass
into a long, thin, invisible tube and drawing the aromas from a restaurant
across the street into the classroom to make the kids hungry. Then he
thwarts the kidsÕ attempts at bean shooting off the ceiling by melting
the ends of the shooter tubes with his x-ray vision and guiding, with his
super-breath, the arm of the prank-leader by forcing him to correctly
answer a tough question on the blackboard and thus making the other kids
desert him by making them think he was trying to make them look bad.
How the kid never felt the super-breath on his arm is not pursued in the
story as were many plot holes in the early stories. These were written
for entertainment and not for nit-pickers like many of todayÕs stories
seem to be.

When the principal notices how well behaved the boys have become, he
asks Cranston how he did it, at which time Superman, realizing his secret
identity is safe, now reveals himself to be the Man of Steel. He then
does some super stunts for the kids before leaving; juggling a bunch of
different sized clay balls simulating the orbits of the planets, setting
a chemical fire a blaze in the palm of his hand and polishing their
window to make a super-telescope so they can actually see a jungle far away
instead of just reading about it. Upon leaving, Superman sees the
identity seeker accosting the real Cranston about being Superman and so
Superman appears before them and gets the real Cranston off the hook.
The last page of this story features a ÔFearless FosdickÕ Wildroot Hair
Cream Oil advertisem*nt by Al Capp in the bottom third of the page.
There is a Shorty comic strip one pager by Henry Boltinoff and a
two-page illustory called ÔTrouble ShootersÕ by Jerry Malloy.

The third and final story is entitled ÒThe Clue From KryptonÓ. Floyd
Fowler, an unscrupulous individual summons Clark Kent to his home for a
Ôbig exclusiveÕ but when he arrives he is confronted about being Superman
instead. It seems Fowler, using an autobiography published by Superman a
few years ago, has found the crash site in Smallville of little Kal-ElÕs
rocket and while digging for clues, discovered a piece of the ship with
the babyÕs super-hard fingerprints imbedded into it (obviously from the
impact, the baby instinctively put out his hands to protect himself).
Using these fingerprints, he compared them with those of people involved
in SupermanÕs past cases and found the similarity between Clark and
Superman. Wanting Superman to make him rich, Fowler makes some
demands and Superman realizes he has no choice but to agree to his terms.

First Superman must find oil on useless land and Fowler buys it up.
Then Superman must find him the worldÕs largest diamond; instead Superman
creates one from coal. Receiving the film of the fingerprint but not the
original fragment as promised by Fowler, Superman drains away the oil
making FowlerÕs land worthless and then screams in a high voice to
destroy the diamond, now stored in FowlerÕs safety deposit box. No
one seems to notice that SupermanÕs screams should have permanently
deafened everyone in the bank; they simply covered their ears. Calling
SupermanÕs bluff, Fowler calls a news conference to make the big exposure
but when he produces the fragment of the rocket, Clark, within eyeshot
(as opposed to earshot) of the piece of metal, uses his x-ray vision to
etch the fingerprint, effectively altering it. As another reporter
announces that the prints are nothing alike, Clark interjects that Fowler
must have compared two prints of the same fingerprint accidentally. Fowler
is not impressed and Lois adds the final comment that she could have told
Fowler that Clark wasnÕt Superman.

No letters columns appeared in the early DCÕs. The rest of the issue
is filled out with ads for Stephens Credit Sales (cards), Tootsie Rolls,
Garcelon Stamp Co. (Royal Family stamps), Fashion Frocks Inc. (a
ÔstunningÕ $10.98 dress without paying 1 cent), Colonial Studios, Inc.
(Christmas cards), Charles Atlas (Ònew bodies for old!Ó) and on the back
cover, Curtiss Candy Company (Miracle Aid ÔKool-Aid-styleÕ drinks).

I hoped you enjoyed reading this review as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Tony Cianfa*glione

______________________________________________________________

End of Section 7

______________________________________________________________

LEGACIES (continued)
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ

SUPERMAN #400, ÒAnniversary IssueÓ
Elliot Maggin, Writer
Julius Schwartz, Editor
Howard Chaykin, Cover Artist
And some of the finest comics artists in America
October, 1984
$1.50

Rating: 5 Shields

ÒEarth-time: 1984; Krypton-time: Unknowable...for time across the
vast universe is not absolute...but is tied to a point in
space...and Krypton no longer occupies a point in spaceÑitÕs
time no longer exists. But this is the day that its last son,
Kal-El, sets aside each year as a personal memorial...to spend in
solitary contemplationÑflying at unutterable speed through the
vast galaxy among whose worlds Krypton once numbered itselfÑ
knowing that it falls to him to keep in mind the land and seas,
the culture and languageÑthe love and values that once made
Krypton live...for it is only through the memory of those who
love itÑ

That a Legend Lives.Ó

This is truly a memorable issue and one I thought appropriate for
the one-year anniversary of the Kryptonian Cybernet. However, I
found it awkward to adequately review it in its proper context.
It is more than Òjust another comic book.Ó On the surface, it
appears simply as a collection of short stories about SupermanÕs
life as told in the future by people who either knew him or knew
about him. On a deeper level, it is about a legend. It is a
tribute to the greatest superhero ever created. Folk tales about
the Man of Steel are instituted as the events of his life are
narrated and reported over the many years. Superman is an
American icon, a symbol of what makes this country great. DC may
try and kill him off but he will never really disappear. Other
super characters come and go, but Superman lives on forever.

I think the best way to describe this tribute is to continue to
quote some of the best passages and then point out my favorite
sections.

ÒThe accomplishments of the greatest men and women across human
historyÑhave been simple enough to contain in a single powerful
sentence...Martin Luther King used the principles of nonviolence
to win civil rights for his people. Albert Einstein changed our
way of looking at how the universe works. Moses freed his people
from Egyptian bondage and laid the foundations for the laws of
civilization. William Shakespeare built the groundwork for modern
English literature through his plays and poems. Joan of Ark led
troops to free the people of France and was wrongfully burned at
the stake as a witch. Abraham Lincoln saved the union and freed
the slaves.

ÒHe rocketed to Earth as a baby from a dying world and grew up to
fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way! Do you know whom
IÕm talking about, class?Ó

ÒSuperman! Superman! Superman!Ó

ÒWhat else can anyone tell me about Superman,Ó the teacher asks
his students.

ÒHe can change the course of rivers...,Ó one student proudly
replies; Ò...bend steel in his bare hands...and people say he has
a secret identity.Ó

ÒA secret identity? Why would he have that?Ó

ÒSo he could walk around like an ordinary man and know what
ordinary people have to think about.Ó

ÒHe lives in the Fortress of Solitude near the North Pole!Ó

Then the question is asked: ÒHow do people look at Superman? How
will we see him in the future, as historians and scholars
evaluate this figure who so dominates the twentieth century? When
he is no longer with us...

ÒWho will we think he is?Ó

Travel with me now to the year 2199 at Armstrong City in the
state of Luna...on the moon. An old man is talking to a group of
wide-eyed kids about his encounter with Superman. He claims to be
the last person to see Superman alive. He is also trying to sell
bottles of a powerful elixir made from a recipe that once
belonged to Superman. He tells his audience that Superman once
saved him while traveling through an asteroid belt. He was quite
surprised to see Superman (who by now looks like an elderly
Howard Hughes) come to his rescue because it was rumored that he
was dead.

Superman responds to the accusations about his death, ÒI tried
that once but itÕs not all itÕs cracked up to be!Ó How prophetic.

Suddenly Superman detects faint traces of Kryptonite floating
among the asteroids and begins to crumble with pain. The
astronaut is instructed to quickly retrieve a bottle from inside
SupermanÕs cape. Superman swallows the antidote (developed by Lex
Luthor many years before) and is immediately healed. The rescue
is complete and Superman flies off, never to be seen again.

One of the boys hearing the tall tale doesnÕt buy it. He begins
criticizing the important details of the story like the fact that
liquid cannot pour and voices cannot be heard in outer space. In
response, the old man gives the boy a swig of the potion. He is
amazed at the taste of the powerful liquid which, of course,
persuades others to buy their own bottles. Later on we find out
the boy and the old man are working together to con people into
buying bottles of ÒSupermanÕs potion.Ó

The old story teller tells his grandson, ÒIt doesnÕt really
matter to people whatÕs true, boy. SupermanÕs history
now...historyÕs like a good cure-all. DoesnÕt matter how real it
isÑjust so it feels good going down.Ó

...And the Legend Lives!

In another story Dr. Noah Mandell explains to a television
audience the significance of a newly discovered asteroid. ÒThis
asteroid, Bradbury Rock, is a kind of time capsule planted not
for historians...but for explorers of Parallel Universes! We here
feel confidentÑnot only that this rock is from a universe
outside our own...but that we know that age-old mysteryÑTHE
SECRET IDENTITY OF SUPERMAN!Ó Dr. Mandell has also excavated a
twentieth-century movie of ÒThe Adventures of SupermanÓ starring
George Reeves. As we all know the beginning of each show gives
the viewers the secret identity of Superman. HowÕs that for an
Elseworlds idea?

And so it goes...

There are some really great full-page illustrations of Superman
throughout the comic. Some of the many contributors are Jack
Kirby, John Byrne, Joe Orlando, Brian Bolland, Al Williamson,
Frank (Batman) Miller, Jack Davis, and many others. Even Little
Orphan Annie is shown flying on SupermanÕs back and like his
passenger, Superman has no eyeballs!

Ray Bradbury presents ÒA Salute to SupermanÓ which I believe is
worth mentioning. ÒI rather imagine there is a close relationship
between Superman and his survival and the survival of all the
maniac kids of the thirties who believed in comics and comic
strips at a time when no one else did. Our sympathy and need for
him was rooted in the fact that any and all of us felt we could
never run across a football field without tripping over a peanut,
never dive in a pool without sinking out of sight forever, and
never touch a girlÕs hand without having a heart attack. It was
nice to know that the young reporter who turned into Superman at
peculiar hours, harbored the same doubts and tripped over similar
shoelaces.Ó

The Legend Continues...

As I am writing this down, it is the day after the tragic bombing
of the federal building in Oklahoma City. I found myself wishing
for a real Superman who could have saved the many innocent
victims and bring the killers to justice. Then I realized that
Superman really did exist...in the courageous acts of the many
brave strangers and individuals who risked their lives climbing
through the crushed rubble of a devastated building looking for
one more survivor or who gave a scared individual a helping hand,
a cool glass of water, a pint of blood, a bandage, or simply a
shoulder to cry on. The scene which really hit me the hardest and
still causes me to choke down a few tears was the fireman holding
the precious little baby in his arms, both covered with smoke and
soot. In spite of his valiant efforts, however, the child died.
Then there are the Supermen, the police and federal officers, who
risked their lives finding the Òevil cowardsÓ responsible for
this monstrous and appalling crime. These are the real Supermen,
and women, who risk their lives for people they may not even
know; thank God for them.

ÒTruth, Justice, and the American WayÓ

Finally, I want to say Òhappy birthdayÓ to the Kryptonian
Cybernet and a big thank you to Jeff, Art, Zoomway, David, and
the many others for making this dream a reality. (Sheesh, I sound
like I just won an Oscar). Seriously, I am truly honored to be
part of such a grand endeavor and to be part of the Editorial
Staff. Even though I have never met any of them I feel like I
know them and anxiously look forward to reading their columns
with each issue. Last month I did not contribute a review and
realized later how much I missed it. I hope to never make such a
mistake again. See you next month.

Up, up, and away!

Ken McKee
stdkrm01@shsu.edu

______________________________________________________________

COMING ATTRACTIONS
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ
A List of Upcoming Comics Featuring The Superman Family of Characters
Assembled by Jeffery D. Sykes

This monthly section is dedicated to giving you official information
concerning which comics you should watch for in the near future in order
to keep up with Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, and all the rest of the
Superman family of characters.

The information which follows is reprinted without permission from Diamond
Previews and is in no way meant to serve as a replacement for that magazine.
In fact, I strongly recommend that each reader find his or her own copy for
additional detailed information on the entire DC Universe!

Notes: Gangbuster continues his appearance in BLACK LIGHTNING, which ships
on July 18th at a price of $2.25. The official crossover book of
the DC Universe, THE NEW TITANS, finishes its second crossover in
four months, as THE SIEGE OF ZI CHARAM concludes with a double-sized
(joy) issue of NEW TITANS. This crossover, the annuals for STEEL
and ADVENTURES, the final issue of SUPERMAN VS ALIENS, and a guest
appearance in GREEN ARROW #100 make July a very pricy month for the
Supes completist.

1. List of Titles by Shipping Date:
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ-

Date: Comic title and information:
ÑÑ ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ-
May 2: Action Comics #711
THE DEATH OF CLARK KENT: Part 7 (of 7)
Michelinie, Guice, & Rodier
$1.95

May 9: The Darkstars #32 (Supergirl/New Titans)
THE CRIMELORD/SYNDICATE WAR: Part 3 (of 4)
Friedman, Collins, & Branch
Cover by Mike Deodato Jr.
$2.25
Deathstroke #49 (Supergirl/New Titans)
THE CRIMELORD/SYNDICATE WAR: Part 4 (of 4)
Wolfman, S. Cariello, & Blyberg
$2.25
Loose Cannon #2 (of 4)
Loeb & Pollina
$1.75
Superboy #17
K. Kesel, Grummett, & Hazlewood
$1.95
Superman: The Man of Steel #46
L. Simonson, Bogdanove, & Janke
$1.95

May 16: Black Lightning #6 (Gangbuster)
Isabella & Newell
$2.25
Green Lantern #64 (Superman)
PARALLAX VIEW: THE RESURRECTION OF HAL JORDAN: Part 2 (of 2)
Marz, Banks, & Tanghal
$1.75
The New Titans #123
Wolfman & Friedman, S. Jones, & Rankin
$2.25
Superman #102
Jurgens, G. Kane, & Rubinstein
Cover by Jurgens & Rubinstein
$1.95
Superman Annual #7
Stern & Gossett
Cover by Walt Simonson
56 pgs, $3.95
Showcase Ô95 #6 (of 12)
Bibbo Story!
Mike Carlin & Denis Rodier
48 pgs, $2.95

May 23: Adventures of Superman #525
K. Kesel, Immonen, & Marzan Jr.
$1.95
Aquaman Annual #1 (Superman)
David, P. Jimenez & Various, Shum & Various
56 pgs, $3.50
Steel #17
Michelinie, Batista, & Faber
$1.95
Superman vs. Aliens #1 (of 3)
from DC and Dark Horse
Dan Jurgens with Kevin Nowlan
48 pgs, $4.95

May 30: SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF TOMORROW #1
Stern, Grummett, & Breeding
$1.95

MAY Super-FanÕs Total: $22.80
Hopeless CompletistÕs Total: $41.50 (!!!)

June 6: Action Comics #712
Michelinie, Dwyer, & Rodier
$1.95

June 13: Loose Cannon #3 (of 4)
Loeb & Pollina
$1.75
Superboy #18
K. Kesel, Grummett, & Hazlewood
$1.95
Superman: The Man of Steel #47
L. Simonson, Bogdanove, & Janke
$1.95

June 20: The New Titans #124
THE SIEGE OF ZI CHARAM: Part 1 (of 5)
Wolfman, S. Jones, & Rankin
$2.25
Showcase Ô95 #7 (of 12)
Mongul story - Part 1 (of 2)
Tomasi, Eaton, & Eklund
$2.95
Superman #103
Jurgens, G. Kane, & Rubinstein
$1.95
Superman vs. Aliens #2 (of 3)
from DC and Dark Horse
Dan Jurgens with Kevin Nowlan
$4.95

June 27: Adventures of Superman #526
K. Kesel & Damaggio
Cover by Immonen and Marzan
$1.95
Green Lantern #65 (Supergirl)
THE SIEGE OF ZI CHARAM: Part 2 (of 5)
Marz, Lim, & Tanghal
$1.75
Steel #18
Michelinie, Gosier, & Faber
$1.95

JUNE Super-FanÕs Total: $16.90
Hopeless CompletistÕs Total: $25.35

July 4: Action Comics #713
Michelinie, Dwyer, & Rodier
$1.95
The Darkstars #34 (Supergirl)
THE SIEGE OF ZI CHARAM: Part 3 (of 5)
Friedman, Collins, & Branch
$2.25
Green Arrow #100 (Superman)
Dixon, Aparo & DaMaggio, Fernandez & Campanella
48 pgs, $3.95

July 11: Adventures of Superman Annual #7
K. Kesel, R. Wagner, & Rubinstein
Cover by Walt Simonson
56 pgs, $3.95
Damage #16 (Supergirl)
THE SIEGE OF ZI CHARAM: Part 4 (of 5)
Joyner, Armstrong, & Ensign
$2.25
Loose Cannon #4 (of 4)
Loeb & Pollina
$1.75
Superboy #19
K. Kesel, Grummett, & Hazlewood
$1.95
Superman: The Man of Steel #48
L. Simonson, Bogdanove, & Janke
$1.95

July 18: The New Titans #125
THE SIEGE OF ZI CHARAM: Part 5 (of 5)
Wolfman, Rosado, Champagne & Blyberg
48 pgs, $3.50
Showcase Ô95 #8 (of 12)
Mongul Story - Part 2 (of 2)
Tomasi, Eaton, Eklund
Cover by Jurgens & Austin
48 pgs, $2.95
Steel Annual #2
L. Simonson, Sharpe, & Pepoy
56 pgs, $3.95
Superman #104
Jurgens, Garcia-Lopez, & Rubinstein
$1.95

July 25: Adventures of Superman #527
K. Kesel, Immonen, Marzan Jr
$1.95
Steel #19
Michelinie, Gosier, & Faber
$1.95
Superman vs. Aliens #3 (of 3)
from DC and Dark Horse
Dan Jurgens with Kevin Nowlan
$4.95

JULY Super-FanÕs Total: $26.05
Hopeless CompletistÕs Total: $41.20 (!!!)

2. Spoilers:
ÑÑÑÑÑÑ

July 4:
ÑÑÑ
Action Comics #713
The serial killer plaguing Metropolis gains metahuman abilities and adopts
the symbol of SupermanÕs death as he sets out to make a corpse of the Man
of Steel!

The Darkstars #34
THE SIEGE OF ZI CHARAM: Part 3 (of 5) - Darkstar Donna Troy and the Titans
must recover the components for a deadly bio-weapon needed to stop the
threat of the Progenitors. Meanwhile, Ferrin Colos seeks a way to bring
the newly freed Jenuwynian population back into our universe.

Green Arrow #100
WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD: Part 5 (of 5) - Superman guest stars in the
extra-sized conclusion to this 5-part story arc, featuring a holographic,
foil-stamped cover! In a plane high above Metropolis, Green Arrow and a
band of eco-terrorists intend to unleash a devastating viral weapon, and
Superman is forced to choose between the destruction of his city and the
maiming of a friend. It all adds up to a crucial crossroads and the
start of a new direction for this ongoing series.

July 11:
ÑÑÑ-
Adventures of Superman Annual #7
A YEAR ONE ANNUAL - SupermanÕs arrival in Metropolis brings with it a
number of questions and concerns. With the cityÕs police department
seriously shaken up by this ÒMan of Steel,Ó Maggie Sawyer comes to
Metropolis to take command of a Special Crimes Unit Ñ created
specifically to deal with the metahuman menaces Superman has attracted.

Damage #16
THE SIEGE OF ZI CHARAM: Part 4 (of 5) - To stop the Progenitors, Damage
and Green Lantern must battle an armada and brave the dangers of an alien
planet in their quest to recover the components of a devastating bio-
weapon. Meanwhile, on Earth, Phillip Darrow makes a deadly deal with the
mercenary Bounty.

Loose Cannon #4 (of 4)
Loose CannonÕs battle with the Eradicator has pushed his power to a new
level Ñ at the cost of CannonÕs sanity. Now everyone is at risk, and
the more the Eradicator tries to stop him, the further enraged Cannon gets.

Superboy #19
Superboy and Knockout must stop a rampaging Valor Ñ no matter what the
cost. And it may take the US Army to stop all three of them! Plus, Roxy
decides to keep a secret that will have a profound effect on her future.

Superman: The Man of Steel #48
Aquaman guest-stars when Superman must deal with an offshore threat on
the former site of Coast City. But the Sea King isnÕt quite as Superman
remembers him Ñ and the encounter is none too friendly.

July 18:
ÑÑÑ-
The New Titans #125
THE SIEGE OF ZI CHARAM: Part 5 (of 5) - ItÕs the extra-sized, explosive
conclusion to this 5-part crossover! Lost in space almost 700 billion
light-years from home with no hope of return, the Titans and their alien
allies have assembled the components of the deadliest bio-weapon ever
created Ñ a virus so powerful it will exterminate the threat of the
Progenitors forever. Now the Titans face a choice: allow the Progenitors
to annihilate all life in the Zi-Charam galaxy Ñ or take part in the
genocide of a species with a population in the trillions.

Showcase Ô95 #8 (of 12)
This issue: Mongul becomes ruler of a poisoned planet, where miliions may
die and there may be no hope for escape, in Part Two of a two-part story
by Peter Tomasi with art by Scot Eaton and Pam Eklund. The backup stories
feature an Ostrander & Mandrake tale of the Spectre and an Arsenal story.

Steel Annual #2
A YEAR ONE ANNUAL - Secrets of Steel are revealed in this story of John
Henry IronsÕ original prototype armor and his first heroic adventure
before meeting Superman and becoming the Man of Steel.

Superman #104
The Cyborg escapes from DarkseidÕs prison, bringing the Man of Steel to
Apokolips. Plus, the groundwork is laid for an upcoming major storyline Ñ
one that raises serious questions about the Man of SteelÕs origin.

July 25:
ÑÑÑ-
Adventures of Superman #527
Alpha Centurion arrives in Metropolis, making Superman wonder if one of
the alternate timelines he witnessed during ZERO HOUR might actually be
fulfilled.

Steel #19
While searching for his nephew, Steel and his new ally, Chindi, are
threatened by Hazard and his team of super-powered youths. And Steel
learns that his rescue mission may be a bad idea.

Superman vs. Aliens #3 (of 3)
Away from the nurturing yellow sun, his powers fading fast, Superman
struggles to stay alive amongst the Alien-infested ruins of Argo. But
the real threat isnÕt the Alien Queen thatÕs stalking him; itÕs the
chestburster planted inside him! Can he beat the bug inside his chest,
or is he doomed to die on a distant planet?

______________________________________________________________

End of Section 8

______________________________________________________________

LOIS AND CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ

UP, UP, AND COMING:
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ
by Jeff Sykes & Jennifer L. Traver

News: ÒLois and ClarkÓ has officially been renewed for a third season, and it
will remain in the same US time slot: 8:00 PM (ET) on Sunday nights!
Unfortunately, NBC has given up on the idea of ÒSeaQuestÓ beating L&C
(though they have inexplicably not given up on the show itself yet...)
and is moving their powerhouse comedy ÒMad About YouÓ and recent lineup
addition ÒHope and GloriaÓ into that time slot. Thus we will be facing
even stiffer competition next year!

As I ready this issue, we are five days away from the season finale,
and apparently, the show is in a battle with ABC over what will happen
in this finale. It is now widely known that Clark will be proposing to
Lois in the finale, but two separate versions have been filmed. One
includes ClarkÕs revealing his secret identity to Lois and the other
sees Clark keeping the secret from her. Who will win? Find out Sunday
night!

This month we feature reviews of three of the most popular L&C
episodes to date: ÒLucky Leon,Ó ÒResurrection,Ó and ÒTempus Fugitive!Ó
Next month weÕll return with reviews of the final three episodes of
the season.

Enjoy!

______________________________________________________________

THE THREE FACES OF CLARK/SUPERMAN AND THE FOUR FACES OF LOIS LANE
ÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑÑ-
By Zoomway

Well, since this goes to press before the final two episodes of the season
air, IÕll mark time with an article comparing the best known portrayers of
Clark/Superman and Lois Lane.

IÕll leave out Kirk Alyn from the old movie 
serial since this portrayal is so rarely seen, and I wonÕt cover any of the
ÔinvisibleÕ actors who were only the voice of Superman or Lois for radio or
animated series. That leaves George Reeves, the star of the original
Adventures of Superman co-starring Phyllis Coates and later Noel Neill as
Lois Lane, Christopher Reeve, the star of four Superman movies co-starring
Margot Kidder as Lois, and lastly Dean Cain, the current star of Lois and
Clark: The New Adventures of Superman co-starring Teri Hatcher as the latest
incarnation of Lois Lane.

George Reeves, who wore the Superman costume for six seasons back in the
1950Õs, probably had the least discernible shift in personas between Superman
and Clark Kent. Whether in the suit and glasses, or tights and cape, he
remained basically the same person. Both men even shouted Ôgreat Scott!Õ
when upset. If modern audiences have trouble wondering why todayÕs Lois
canÕt see that Clark is Superman, they would have a field day with the old
series. To ReevesÕ credit, his depiction of Clark Kent would be somewhat
familiar to todayÕs audience. His Clark was intelligent, well-spoken, and
fairly charming, and not in the least nerdy. Of course this show was aimed
at children, so he did have to run like a six year old in fear of catching
cooties if Lois Lane made a pass at him.

Phyllis Coates, who portrayed Lois Lane for the first season of the series,
was not very popular with the fans. They felt she came across as too
abrasive and cruel, especially in her attitude toward Clark Kent. Coates
left the show after the first season and was replaced by Noel Neill. Neill
was a de-fanged and de-clawed version of CoatesÕ depiction. NeillÕs Lois
might say the same cutting remarks about Clark, but unlike CoatesÕ Lois,
NeillÕs Lois didnÕt mean them. NeillÕs Lois also had a believable rapport
with Jimmy Olsen, which is good considering she seemed to spend ninety
percent of her screen time ÔliterallyÕ tied up with him. The Adventures of
Superman had a simple goal; be fun and exciting entertainment for children.
It succeeded.

Christopher Reeve was the absolute ÔidealÕ of Superman. Standing six foot
four, with a well toned body, piercing blue eyes, and the spit-curl dangling
from his forehead, Reeve looked as though he had just stepped off the cover
of Action Comics. The rescue of Lois Lane and the disabled helicopter remains
one of my favorite movie scenes of all time. The creators of the Superman
movies were smart in that they tapped into the popular and well-known myths
of Superman. People who had never read a Superman comic already felt at
home with the Superman universe. Clark Kent, Superman, Lois Lane, the Daily
Planet, Kryptonite, etc. were all elements that most audiences at least had
a nodding acquaintance with. This was probably one reason that Superman
succeeded where Popeye failed as a movie. Aside from some truly forgettable
songs, the creators of Popeye ignored the popular lore of the famous sailor,
and opted for his obscure, and all but forgotten comic strip origins.

The double-edged sword of SupermanÕs legend, however, was the popular notion
that his disguise, Clark Kent, was a nerdy, spineless jellyfish. So, Reeve
gave us a stumbling, stuttering, gawky, clumsy, geekish Clark Kent. Of
course with such a contrast it was easy to understand why Lois did not see
through the disguise, well at least not until the second film.

Margot Kidder, as Lois Lane, was sharp-edged, but not venomous, politely
mindful of Clark, but not actually a friend to him, she had a healthy
cynicism, but was not a cynic and, as popular myth demands, fell head over
heels in love with Superman. This was the first time that a true sexual
attraction was given to the myth of Superman. She not only loved him, she
wanted him. Superman was obviously attracted to her as well, however, as
long as she kept a low opinion of his alter ego, he kept a certain distance.
This all flew out the window in the second movie when Lois ÔunmaskedÕ
Superman, and confessed her love for him. This became the first time
outside of a marriage (real or imagined) that Superman had ever made love
to Lois Lane, or any other woman for that matter. This was all re-set at the
end of the film with a hard to believe it-never-happened-mind-erasing-kiss.
Overall, the films got worse with every sequel, but the first two films
still stand as a nice tribute to the Man of Steel.

Dean Cain, football player turned actor, is the current portrayer of
Superman/Clark Kent. Had he been stuck with the old legend of Superman,
he would no doubt have had the hardest sell. Having a very youthful look,
Cain had to suffer a great many ÔSuperboyÕ jokes in the beginning. To many
viewers he simply looked too young. His youth, coupled with little acting
experience could have spelled disaster for this new version of Superman.
But, to CainÕs good fortune, this was not to be the typical re-telling of
the myth. This version is based on John ByrneÕs revamp of the Superman
legend wherein Superman is the disguise, and Clark Kent is the real person.
This is the secret of the showÕs success, and also the quality which allowed
Cain the time necessary to grow into the role, and to stretch as an actor.

Cain seems to improve with every effort, and seems to have an insight into
his character that lends nice nuances to his performance. Though his
depiction of Superman, especially in the early going, was rather stiff,
CainÕs portrayal of Clark Kent is charm personified. Cain, as Clark Kent,
is warm, intelligent, idealistic, romantic and quite handsome. This Clark,
though world traveled, is not a snob, and though farm grown, never comes
across as a hick. He is also hopelessly in love with Lois Lane.

Teri Hatcher, without a doubt, portrays the most beautiful and sexy version
of Lois Lane yet. Not to mention that Ms. Hatcher also has an amazing
ability to express an endless array of emotions with great believability and
subtlety. HatcherÕs Lois is partially an amalgam of all previous versions,
however, there is a quality to this particular Lois that is new. Though
this Lois is tough, it is a brittle toughness. Just the right emotional
touch, and she may crack and fall into little pieces. This quality in Lois,
along with ClarkÕs willingness to put the pieces back together, have started
this couple on a path that no other telling of the Superman legend, outside
the comics, has ever explored.

Lois and Clark have truly evolved over the past two years. The couple who
started as strangers, became partners, friends, and then best friends, are
now exploring their romantic feelings for each other. They are falling in
love. Where all of this will lead is now in question due to ABC entering
into some kind of power struggle with the creative forces at Warner Brothers.
It is hoped that ABC will butt out, and do what they were designed to do,
promote the show. A job they have done so poorly in the past, that they
have no business branching out into creative endeavors which require a given
amount of skill and cleverness. Neither of which the alphabet network has
demonstrated a talent for.

Well, there you have the three faces of Superman and the four faces of Lois
Lane. Next month I hope to re-cap the second season, the romance, the
finale, and what this might all mean for the third season. If, however, ABC
wins the arm twisting contest, I can promise you that my article will be of
a very different nature.

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EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode #16: ÒLucky LeonÓ
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by Marta Olson <molson@raisinets.den.mmc.com>

US Airdate: March 12, 1995
Guest Starring: Farrah Forke, Mark Rolston, Robert Culp, and John Kapelos
Written by: Chris Ruppenthal
Directed by: Jim Pohl

I have to admit that it has been awhile since the first time I saw Lucky Leon.
As I re-watched Lucky Leon, one thing stood out about the episode more than
the first time I saw it, and that is RELATIONSHIPS. The plot line with Lucky
Leon seemed to get in the way more of my enjoyment than add to it. Lucky Leon
is like the guy on television who always has a new gadget designed to make
your life easier for an incredibly cheap price. The problem with Lucky LeonÕs
is they contain listening devices and miniature cameras, and in at least one
instance commit murder. Unfortunately for Jimmy, he had just delivered a Desk
Friend to Mr. Voorhies, the murder victim, and consequently is charged with
the murder.

I have to admit that I did enjoy the way Superman was tricked into stealing
the nuclear warheads for Leon. It was so simple it makes you wonder why it
hadnÕt been tried before. We find out later when Lois pretends to be Mayson
and takes a phone call that Voorhies was involved in drugs but was caught by
the CIA and given the choice to work for them. Leon is also ex-KGB, compared
to Q, the inventor of the gadgets used in the James Bond books. Of course,
Lois, Clark and Jimmy are captured and Superman arrives to save the day.

Now, relationships. At the beginning we see that Lois and Clark have not
forgotten about their date. Between work and their schedules they cannot seem
to find an evening open anytime soon. That is, until Mayson walks in. When
Mayson asks Clark out to the theater that night Lois announces that they have
plans. They decide on dinner at 8.

At one point early in the episode, Lois says that men have a hard time being
direct, they use sports metaphors to hide their true feelings. The rest of
the episode supports this, from Perry telling them to tell Jimmy that even
though it feels like the bottom of the 9th, to Superman saying itÕs time for
a field goal and Lois holds the armed nuclear warhead so he can kick it off
the planet.

One of my three favorite scenes from this episode is where Lois and Clark are
talking about how we are all slaves to each otherÕs expectations. She then
begins to give her expectations for their date. Clark will wear something
elegant, not too dark - charcoal gray suit. Lois will be wearing deep - she
says violet he says burgundy - and Lois immediately becomes the ÒslaveÓ she
was speaking of a few moments before. She rushes out to buy something
burgundy even though Clark assures her that violet will be fine. Her lines
as she leaves are great! Pick me up at 8:15 instead, no thatÕs a bad way to
start a date, make it 7:45, no wait, no I look flaky for changing my mind.
As she stands in front of the elevator continuing to talk to herself, Clark
gently says Òyou have to press the buttonÓ.

Their preparations for the date are reminiscent of some scenes in The Mask.
Clark at superspeed tries several different suits before deciding on a
charcoal gray suit, while Lois tries on several burgundy outfits before
deciding none of them work. When he arrives in his charcoal suit she tries
to go back and put something burgundy on, but he wonÕt let her. During dinner
they talk about growing up and comparing a little about their family
backgrounds. They seem to be at ease with each other until they arrive at
LoisÕ door. All the insecurities Lois feels from past experiences, or nerves,
are evident here. Even though the date ÒworkedÓ she tells him she canÕt see
him anymore and slams the door in his face.

The next morning Perry is not surprised when Lois asks for a new partner,
but he *is* surprised when itÕs because the date was wonderful, not because
it was bad. One more scene worth mentioning is when Lois runs back into the
warehouse that contains the armed nuclear warhead, not because of Superman,
not because of the bomb, but because she canÕt find Clark. Superman being
there is almost secondary to Clark.

The final scene of this episode is also one of my favorites. Lois and Clark
are walking to MaysonÕs office to give their statements about what happened.
They talk about their relationship and the slamming of the door, and finally
we get the kiss. The moment just makes you smile. Then they switch to Mayson
walking out of the building and into her car. The kiss is interrupted by a
ticking sound. Clark pulls away from Lois to quickly locate the sound. He
begins to yell at Mayson to not get in her car and runs towards her, but he
is too late. The car explodes before he can reach it. He pulls Mayson out
of the car, and lays her down on the ground while holding her. She notices
his shirt is ripped and sees the blue underneath. She moves it aside, and now
she knows his secret. She says so thatÕs what youÕve been hiding (referencing
her question to him at lunch earlier that day). She looks back into his eyes
and with her last breath whispers ÒResurrectionÓ. Lois arrives at the scene.

I can just imagine what is running through ClarkÕs mind at this point. Things
were never really settled between him and Mayson and now they never would be,
if he and Lois would have been on time for their appointment would she still
be alive? So many questions, so much guilt.

If you havenÕt seen this episode, I hope when you do you will enjoy at least
the relationship portion as much as I did.

========================================================

Episode #17: ÒResurrectionÓ
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by Sriya Sampath <sriya@seas.ucla.edu>

US Airdate: March 19, 1995
Guest Starring: Dennis Lipscomb, Jim Pirri, Curtis Armstrong,
Danny Woodburn, and Oliver Muirhead
Written by: Gene Miller & Karen Kavner
Directed by: Joseph L. Scanlan

In the first episode after Lois and ClarkÕs big first date, the main focus is
the investigation regarding the word Òresurrection,Ó which Mayson Drake
mentions right before she dies in an explosion. Resurrection turns out to be
the code name for a pill used to simulate death in prisoners so that they can
be smuggled out of prison without arousing the suspicion of the authorities.
The evil villain this episode was an embittered Star Labs employee seeking to
expose all of Metropolis to the deadly airborne Alpha virus. Also, this
episode was the first to introduce Dan Scardino, the DEA agent after his
partnerÕs killer and LoisÕ heart.

Because of its predecessor, I expected a lot from this episode, but I felt
that it didnÕt live up to its potential. Coming off of MaysonÕs death, we
could have been shown the guilt that Clark felt over her death (especially
considering that he and Lois were making out while the bomb was about to
explode in MaysonÕs car). We werenÕt shown this. We could have been shown
some growth in the closeness between Lois and Clark as she stood by him
through this whole ordeal. We werenÕt shown this. We could have been witness
to a heart to heart with Clark and his parents where he deals with his guilt
and recognizes the fact that he hasnÕt had much time for his relationship with
Lois. We werenÕt shown this. We could even have been treated to Clark looking
for MaysonÕs murderers in a fit of anger and revenge, to the exclusion of his
feelings for Lois, but we werenÕt. What did we get instead? DEA Agent Dan
Scardino, the writersÕ male counterpart to Mayson Drake. Instead of exploring
this new relationship that they forged, the writers chose to take the easy way
out and pull Lois and Clark apart again with an artificially induced obstacle.
And the worst of it is, as time went by, I actually understood and sympathized
with Mayson, whereas with Dan, the only reaction I can seem to muster up is
laughter. The guy is so cheesy and corny, I find I am hard-pressed not to
laugh whenever he is on. ÒExcuse me, Lois, I donÕt mean to sound rude, but
are those eyelashes real?Ó Excuse me, Scardino, but are _you_ for real? Who
would fall for a pickup line like that? I thought it had already been
established that Lois was a bit wary and careful about men, especially after
Claude and Lex. It has taken her two years to approach a first date with
Clark, and yet she suddenly has some spontaneous physical attraction to this
guy who appears out of nowhere? Even if his wild-man persona does appeal to
her, it doesnÕt explain why she would be mooning over him all the time.

I donÕt like the way that Clark dealt with LoisÕ infatuation either. Instead
of descending into childish insinuations about DanÕs character, he could have
tried to be adult and mature about the whole thing and just talk to Lois about
it. But I forgot...talk doesnÕt bring in ratings: action does. So, we get
yet another villain of the week with his moronic sidekick and all of the
attendant moments: Superman rushing to diffuse the bomb, stupid scenes with
the villains hatching their dastardly plans, Superman too late to save Lois
(again), and Superman saving Metropolis by launching the frozen virus into
space. This episode only needed the villains responsible for MaysonÕs murder
(and perhaps not even that: I would have been content if they had never really
solved the murder or had pinned it on some criminal with a grudge). The only
point of the villains here seemed to be to have some way to solve MaysonÕs
murder and to bring in Scardino. If youÕre that desperate to have someone for
Lois to fall for, why not try letting her go for the guy who sells her all
those Double Fudge Crunch Bars. At least weÕve seen _him_ before, and heÕs
always there with an answer for her emotional problems. Why isnÕt dealing
with emotions and talking about relationships good enough? CanÕt we have a
one-episode breather from having to save the world or stop some evil person?
I donÕt think that is so much to ask for. One episode right here in the
continuity, dealing with these kinds of issues could have moved the whole
relationship forward without even having to touch issues dealing with Lois
finding out about Clark, or them getting more intimate, or even a second date.

Maybe the problems with this episode were not so much with the show itself,
but with what I expected out of it. The gulf between my expectations and
what the writers delivered was so huge that my first reaction was one of
disappointment. On rewatching the episode a few times, however, I was at least
a little more impressed by what I saw. This hasnÕt modified the core of how I
believe the should have gone (most of the fanfic I have read is better than
the actual episode), but I did notice some things that made me re-evaluate my
total condemnation of the episode. I like the fact that while ClarkÕs jealousy
was not channeled in the most constructive manner (it was actually quite
reminiscent of how he dealt with Luthor: trying to discredit him, etc.), at
least it was apparent. This shows very nicely how much he loves Lois
underneath the temporarily cold exterior. I like the fact that at least Lois
tried to talk to Clark about progressing their relationship, even if you-know-
who did interrupt. I like how funny and sometimes hilarious moments were woven
into the often somber background of the episode. I loved the part at the end
where Clark makes some effort to get back to where he and Lois were before by
asking her out to the movies. I didnÕt like what followed this, however, but
I can live with that. I donÕt understand why Lois didnÕt just say no outright
to Scardino (especially after Clark just asked her out and she said yes, _and_
Clark is sitting right across from her). I also donÕt know why Clark turns
passive all of a sudden and gives her the Òlooks like you have some choices to
makeÓ line. He is so obviously in love with her that he should be more
aggressive in the face of the competition, especially considering how he almost
lost her completely to Lex Luthor before. DidnÕt he learn from past mistakes?
I guess not. In some twisted way, I actually liked the scene with Lois in her
pajamas answering the door, and Clark jumping to conclusions (only because it
was kind of nice to see Lois trying to defend her actions for a change, and
also because I thought it might push Clark to fight for her). When I tried to
analyze why I liked this scene, I suddenly remembered what got me hooked on
the show in the first place: the acting. I know it wasnÕt the writing that
really did it because one of the first episodes I saw was ÒSmart Kids,Ó among
the worst episodes ever of L&C. So it doesnÕt surprise me that the actors
took the lemons they got and made lemonade this episode, too. The way Clark
looks in that scene is so convincingly heartbroken that my heart broke for
him, too.

So overall, I suppose the episode wasnÕt all that bad, it just wasnÕt all
that it could have been, either. And ultimately, not living up to its full
potential could really spell drooping ratings and disillusioned viewers.
Overall, the episode gets a 7.9 from me (considering that I would have given
it a 5 or 6 before I saw it again, that is a lot of improvement).

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End of Section 9

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MORE LOIS AND CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN!
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EPISODE REVIEWS (continued)
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Episode #18: ÒTempus FugitiveÓ
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by Diane Levitan <levitan@husc.harvard.edu>

US Airdate: March 26, 1995
Guest Starring: Terry Kiser, Robert Costanzo, Don Swayze,
Joshua Devane, and Lane Davies as ÒTempusÓ
Written by: Jack Weinstein & Lee Hutson
Directed by: James Bagdonas

ÒLOIS GETS THE NEWSFLASH OF A LIFETIME!Ó read the headlines in the promo
for Tempus Fugitive. ÒWHAT?Ó screamed Lois and Clark fans across the
nation. ÒItÕs too SOON for a revelation!Ó Indeed, Tempus Fugitive caused
quite a stir when its storyline was first divulged. And although most
fans could predict the Òcop-outÓ ending, Tempus proved a unique
opportunity for the writers to satisfy the craving of Lois and Clark fans
for a revelation scene. While plagued by the typical scientific problems
and a refusal to stick to sci-fi dogma, Tempus is an entertaining and
touching episode, a sort of a side-line to Lois and ClarkÕs ongoing
romance that explores what COULD be. With strong performances by guest
stars Terry Kiser and Lane Davies, Tempus succeeds on the basis of LoisÕ
believable reactions, and the chance, brief though it may be, for Clark to
finally attempt to explain himself.

Tempus Fugitive revolves around the idea that early 20th century science
fiction writer H.G. Wells, who wrote the sci-fi classic The Time Machine,
actually succeeded in building one. Using it to travel into the future to
prove that time travel is possible, he stops in Metropolis on the way back
to pick up more fuel. Traveling with him is Tempus, a man from a 22nd
century society founded by SupermanÕs descendants, where there is no war,
no violence, no work, and in TempusÕ opinion, no fun. He decides that
this must be changed, and goes about trying to kill Superman, by traveling
back to 1966 Smallville and intercepting the baby Kal-ElÕs spaceship.
Lois and Clark follow in an attempt to stop him, and amidst strong
similarities to Back To The Future, revelation and reconciliation ensue.

But the plot of Tempus, while better than such A-plot fiascoes as Chi of
Steel, is not the episodeÕs strong point, and one of the biggest
complaints that has been made about TF is the decidedly bad science that
accompanies its ideas about time travel. While its imaginary status gives
anyone writing about time travel a little leeway, there are certain common
sense and science fiction conventions that most writers have chosen to
stick to in the past. One wonders why BOTH of ClarkÕs paternal
great-great-grandparents look like his parents, and while we see two
versions of Clark in the scenes in 1966 Smallville, Lois and Clark are
somehow dropped back in Metropolis before Wells ever arrived, without
encountering their former selves. In this regard, Tempus most reminded me
of Bolt From The Blue. While the science (and even sci-fi science) behind
BFTB was also atrocious, the character interactions and sheer fun of the
episode made it enjoyable.

Likewise in Tempus Fugitive, the revelation and the ensuing scenes will
remain some of my favorites, even after the ÒrealÓ revelation that we will
hopefully see in this seasonÕs finale. With all of ClarkÕs stupid
excuses, his running out, and the hints heÕs dropped, who of us can say he
or she has not wanted to simply shout at Lois (as Tempus does), ÒDuh!
Clark Kent IS Superman!Ó The way TeriÕs face just falls when Tempus
gloats over meeting Òthe most galactically stupid woman who ever livedÓ is
absolutely amazing, and as many times as I watch the scene, IÕm still
impressed by TeriÕs perfect reaction. As predicted by such Lois and Clark
gurus as our own Zoomway, Lois is very concerned about being perceived as
stupid, and when she finally has Wells alone, her first question is not
whether she and Clark are happy together, but rather whether it is true
that in the future she is thought of as incredibly dumb. LoisÕ anger at
Clark, and her unwillingness to trust him after the bomb drops are
completely in character, as are ClarkÕs attempts to explain how he felt
about his double identity. His line to Lois that ÒSuperman is what I can
do, Clark is who I amÓ could be used to sum up the seriesÕ take on the
Superman legend, and helps Lois and the audience understand the crucial
line Clark draws between the two.

With strong characterizations throughout, the only truly awkward scene is
that between Lois, Clark, and the Kents in 1966. While the make-up job on
K Callan and the obvious shock of Clark on seeing his parents 29 years
younger are impressive, the dialogue is stilted and uncomfortable. When
Lois and Clark tell the Kents theyÕre Òlooking for a baby,Ó as if they
have lost one, rather than being naturally alarmed Mr. and Mrs. Kent slip
into a reminiscence over their own ability to have children. This
conversation also makes the KentsÕ later discovery of baby Clark
problematic; if they were aware that another young couple(namely, L & C)
were searching for a baby, one would think they would alert the
authorities upon finding baby Clark. Other than this scene, the only real
serious slip in show continuity is when Lois berates Clark for covering up
his strength, with ÒAll those times you pretended you couldnÕt hit,
couldnÕt jump, couldnÕt open a jar of peanut butter by yourself!Ó While
this might apply to the pre-Byrne Superman of the comics, we have NEVER
seen Clark attempt to cover for himself in this way. The show contains
many cute details that help make up for the occasional slip - in 1866, Miss
Martha reminds Mr. Makita not to forget his tools, and the time travel
theme allows such great dialogue as ÒLois, come on, you havenÕt said a
word since 1866.Ó Details such as the innuendo-filled dialogue between
the two James brothers (as in Jesse) prove that the show continues to aim
to please an audience beyond kids and early teens, but do not detract from
the showÕs family appeal.

Thus, the strong character-character interactions of Tempus Fugitive
largely overcome its problems, and with the possibility of a revelation
this season or early next, serve as teasers as well. After all, itÕs all
worth it to have Lois understand that ÒIt must have been really hard all
those years, having to hide, pretend, not being able to share,Ó and to
have Clark come back with ÒI wasnÕt alone, Lois. I always had my parents,
and you. I mean there were a lot of things I couldnÕt say, but there was
nothing I couldnÕt feel.Ó Seeing Lois kiss Clark, KNOWING that itÕs Clark
in the Superman suit, is a sight not to be missed, and something we can
only hope for in future episodes - this time for real. In many ways,
Tempus Fugitive is like a dream - it may be transitory and not make complete
sense, but it leaves us with an overall feeling of content, and a craving
for more. HereÕs hoping ABC fulfills all our dreams.

______________________________________________________________
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CLASSIFIEDS
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For sale or trade, the following Superman-related books:
Action Comics 0,560,563,662,670,685-686,689,691-692,697-700,703
Adventures of Superman 0,499-506,510-511,513,516
Armageddon 2001 2
Greatest Team-Up Stories Ever Told (hardbound)
Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) 295
Showcase 95 1-2
Steel 6-7
Superboy 0-16
Superboy (& LSH) 212
Supergirl & Team Luthor
Supergirl digest
Supergirl mini 1-4
Superman 0,61,76-77,81-83,87,90,93
Superman: Man of Steel 0,20-21,23,28-29,34,38
WorldÕs Finest Digest
Worlds Collide 1
Xenobrood 0-6

All reasonable offers considered.
Email sg94ace9@dunx1.ocs.drexel.edu for prices and more details.

Johanna Draper

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I am looking for the _Superman Sourcebook_, POST-CRISIS edition. This is
a role playing reference guide. I need it for reference purposes.
Ken McKee
stdkrm01@shsu.edu

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ONCE AGAIN #1 IN THE SKIES OVER METROPOLIS

The unchallenged leader, providing service from Metropolis to points
all over the globe. Only Superman could get you there faster!
LEXAIR - Reliability, confidence, and safety Ñ all faster than a
speeding bullet.

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SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL and DC MASTER SERIES Cards For Sale!

MOS Platinum Edition Sets (2): $25 each
MOS CollectorÕs Edition Set: $8
MOS Spectra-Etch Cards (S1,S5,S6): $4 each
DC Master Series Sets (2): $10 each

In addition, I have many singles from each of the three sets which are
for sale. I will pay for postage on all transactions. Any purchase of
$25 or more will be mailed by 2-day priority mail in the continental US.

Also, I am interested in trading for the double-sided spectra-etch card DS5
from the DC Master Series Set and for a box of the new Lois and Clark trading
cards from Skybox. I will purchasing the DS5 for a reasonable price.

For any additional information or to make a purchase, contact Jeff Sykes
at sykes@ms.uky.edu.

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If you would like to place an ad, send it to one of the following addresses:
Arthur.E.LaMarche@Dartmouth.edu, sykes@ms.uky.edu, or KryptonCN@aol.com.

Try to keep your ads fairly short.

All advertisem*nts must be received by the second Monday of the month to
be included in the next issue of the magazine. Be certain to include
your e-mail address in the ad.

______________________________________________________________

RESOURCES
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In the interest of time, which is at a premium for me right now as I study
for my upcoming exam, I decided not to update the resources file this month.
It will be fully updated next month, including new information about
Superman-related homepages and new ftp sites.

In the meanwhile, here is the basic information which is included every issue.

How to obtain the complete Resources file:
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Note that the file also contains information about how to use ftp and
ftp e-mail. The file will be located at phoenix.creighton.edu in the
directory /pub/zines/kc and at ftp.hiof.no in the directory
/pub/Comics/Fanzines. For those of you who do not know how to use ftp
or donÕt have ftp access, e-mail a message to either of the addresses
given below. For the body of your message include only the lines
between the dashes below.

Addresses: ftpmail@decwrl.dec.com or ftpmail@sunsite.unc.edu
Body:
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connect phoenix.creighton.edu
chdir /pub/zines/kc
get kcresrcs.txt
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Do not include the lines of dashes, and do not include anything else
in the body of the message. You will receive a message telling you
that your request has been queued. Then, about a day later, you will
receive the file itself.

______________________________________________________________

THE MAILBAG
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The mailbag is bursting at the seams this month, so letÕs get to it!

From: Rich Morrissey
IÕm a Superman fan, having been one since I was 6 or 7 years old (IÕm 41
now), and heÕs been my favorite comic book character since 1961. As a result,
IÕll admit to a greater preference for the pre-Crisis Superman (or Supermen)
over the post-Crisis John Byrne version, but I continue to follow the latter,
and am particularly interested in versions of Superman, including the Lois
and Clark TV show, that combine aspects of both versions. IÕve also been
researching the character for the last 10 years or so, having discovered most
of the writers and artists of the individual stories from the earliest ones
(by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) through 1970 (after which all the writers
and artists were credited on the stories themselves.
Of those IÕve seen, Jon KnutsonÕs article on the sons of Superman and
Batman is probably my favorite, though the comments on Lois and Clark and on
the current comics are also thought-provoking. I assumed for a long time that
the Super-Sons of the Ô60Õs were the same as those of the Ô70Õs, since their
rather unimaginative names (Clark Jr. and Bruce Jr.) and other factors (they
were the same age, and neither Superman nor Batman had any daughters, or any
other sons) seemed to support this. But I suppose a few of the late
developments made that unlikely most notably young Clark having only half
his fatherÕs power, along with the final Sons appearance having them not
remember who their mothers were (theyÕd been established as Lois Lane and
Kathy Kane in WorldÕs Finest #154). By the way, their second appearance Jon
asked about was in WorldÕs Finest #157, showing the boys a few years later
(theyÕd been maybe 10-12 in the first story, 14-16 in the second), so at the
time it seemed a logical progression when Bob HaneyÕs Super-Sons series picked
them up at around 18-20. Edmond Hamilton wrote both of the original stories,
which had art by Curt Swan and Sheldon Moldoff.
To help out with the credits on the other reviewed stories, the
Virus X serial (Action Comics #362-366) was written by Leo Dorfman, with
art by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. And the Eterno story in Action #343
was written by none other than Jim Shooter, best known today as former
Editor-in-Chief of the Marvel, Valiant, and Defiant lines, with full art
by Wayne Boring.

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From: Benjamin Lee <bc657@freenet.toronto.on.ca>

While IÕm here, I was also wondering if you can about answer a question
concerning about SupermanÕs main weaknessÑKryptonite. I only know of
four types (green, red, gold, and white) of Kryptonite. Are there any more
types of Kryptonite out there in the Pre-CRISIS/Pre-John Byrne stories? If
there are, what the others can do to Superman (like BLUE kryptonite?)?

*** Readers?

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From: Patrick Williams <money@aloha.com>

Since everyone is talking about anticipated Marvel/ DC crossovers
(Galactus/ Darkseid, Batman/ Daredevil, Superman/ Silver Surfer), how
about having someone review the two Superman/ Spider-Man crossovers from
the 70s. I believe one involved Lex Luthor and the other the Parasite.

*** This is a really good idea. I know *someone* out there must have
these issues available to review!

Speaking of Luthor, how about a comparison between the Pre-Crisis
Luthor and the the Byrne-revamp version (assuming this hasnÕt been done
before).

*** There have been a few background discussions of some counterpoint
articles to compare and contrast the pre-Crisis and post-Crisis
aspects of the Superman mythos, but nothing definite Ñ yet.
I think that this idea has the makings for a *really* good monthly
article, probably written jointly by two or more writers.

I also wouldnÕt mind seeing some of the old WorldÕs Finest
reviewed, since it was my favorite comic as a kid. Also, keep the Silver
Age Superman reviews coming, I find them very interesting.

*** Seems to be one of our most popular areas. As long as people keep
sending them, weÕll keep printing them!

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From: Roger Stern

Just discovered KC #12...and in reading the article about ÒWho KnowsÓ
about SupermanÕs double life, I found an error...the current incarnation
of the Eradicator is a) non-Kryptonian, and b) most definitely does not
know that Clark Kent is Superman!

I was there!
(Mr. Stern may be contacted via DC Comics Online on AOL. Check for
the folder ÒAsk Uncle RogÓ in the messages section.)

And, no, thereÕs nothing at all Kryptonian left in the new Eradicator. His
body was made of terrestrial elements by a Kryptonian artificial intelligence
which has since expired. Superman is still the one and only survivor of the
doomed planet Krypton...which is just as it should be.

*** Ooops. Well, you have to admit, it was just a *tiny* bit confusing. :)
Seriously now, your last statement has me worried that none of the
Kryptonians Superman discovers in Argo City (in the upcoming SUPERMAN
VS ALIENS) will survive that miniseries Ñ unless, of course, theyÕre
not really Kryptonian...

Thanks for keeping in touch with us, Mr. Stern, and we will look
forward (well, thatÕs probably not the right phrasing) to your
pointing out our mistakes in the future! :)

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From: Lee K. Seitz <lkseitz@seitz.b11.ingr.com>

First, thank you for publishing my Òletter.Ó Do you get very many?

*** Up until this issue, we havenÕt received many. But if this volume
keeps up, IÕll have to find a way to pick and choose! (But IÕd love
having to do it!!! :)

I liked the review of the ÒPrivate SnafuÓ cartoon. Maybe the next time
Mr. Mxyzptlk shows up, he can turn Superman into a Snafuperman. It would be
interesting to see the real Superman going around making blunders like
Bizarro.

*** In pre-Crisis tales, what types of mischief did Mxy cook up? I can
certainly imagine him turning Superman into a klutz!

The main thing I would like to discuss is ÒWho Knows SupermanÕs Secret
Identity?Ó First, I absolutely *love* the irony that Pete Ross was the only
one pre-Crisis that knew ClarkÕs secret, but post-Crisis it seems heÕs about
the only one who *doesnÕt* know, since both Lois and Lana *do*. A nice
switch.
Actually, Pete wasnÕt the only one who knew pre-Crisis. There was
another character from SUPERMAN: THE SECRET YEARS who found out. Alas, he
died for his trouble by the end of the limited series. IÕve unfortunately
forgotten his name.

*** IÕm sure a reader can come up with this one as well!

Now, as far as the actual list of characters who know, I would argue
that Superboy doesnÕt know. I really have no facts to back me up, itÕs just
a feeling I have. IÕm not a regular reader of Superboy, but I donÕt believe
he has the maturity to not mention it, especially to the Man of Steel himself,
if he did know.
On the other hand, I believe Dubbilex does know, or at least should be
listed in the ÒUncertainÓ column at the end of the article. I donÕt remember
the issue, but Dubbilex once scanned SupermanÕs mind and thought to himself
something like, ÒI never suspected....Ó Although itÕs not certain, IÕd say at
that moment he discovered SupermanÕs secret.
I couldnÕt help but notice the absence of Mr. Mxyzptlk from the article.
While there are no hard facts proving he knows, I suspect he does. One might
argue this from the Krisis of the Krimpson Kryptonite, where Superman lost his
powers as long as Lex Luthor didnÕt tell Superman about it. Instead, Lex told
Clark, at which point he regained his powers. As I said, this is not proof,
but my personal theory on Mr. Mxyzptlk is this: He doesnÕt know itÕs a
secret. Much as he didnÕt know how to lie, I think no one from MxyzptlkÕs
dimension can keep a secret from each other. Therefore, he doesnÕt realize
that no one else knows Clark and Superman are the same person and the havoc
he could cause letting this knowledge slip out.

*** With each of these three characters (Superboy, Dubbilex, and Mxyzptlk),
valid arguments can be made for either stance. There simply hasnÕt been
any concrete evidence either way. DonÕtcha just hate when they do that!?
Personally, IÕm undecided about Superboy and I think Dubbilex probably
knows (The Dubbilex story you mentioned above was the final chapter of
the ÒBlackoutÓ storyline). I havenÕt really thought about Mxy, but I
do kind of like your theory.

On other minor points, I would argue that Batman did not tell Robin.
(Who was Jason Todd at the time and now deceased, so it really doesnÕt matter,
does it. 8) I would also like to point out that the original Bizarro also
knew, but was not mentioned in the article. I also think there is some
argument as to whether Darkseid knows, from when he summoned Superman to
Apokolips (sp?) during Legends. My memory is too vague on that one to have
an opinion. Lastly, it might have been mentioned that Perry White believes
Clark and Superman were brought up together (from around the time the
Manhunter plot in Smallville was revealed, I believe).

*** I read somewhere a statement from one of the writers that said Batman
did not share this information with Robin. ItÕs probable that Darkseid
knows. But this is not the kind of information which would be of any
use to him.

Please donÕt take these as harsh criticisms, because I liked Mr.
ChappellÕs a lot. As I was reading, I kept thinking, ÒOh yeah, thatÕs
right. So-and-so know, too, doesnÕt he?Ó An excellent bit of research
on Mr. ChappellÕs part.

*** DonÕt worry, we wonÕt! (Besides, you have to start developing a thick
skin when expressing opinions on the Net! :) And isnÕt David an excellent
researcher? It always amazes me how detailed and thorough his articles
are Ñ and he does this while located quite a distance from at least the
majority of his Superman collection!

______________________________________________________________
***********************************************************
End of Issue #13

The Kryptonian Cybernet Issue 13 • Neperos (2024)
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