The Kryptonian Cybernet Issue 11 • Neperos (2024)

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The Kryptonian Cybernet Issue 11 • Neperos (1)

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Kryptonian Cybernet

·5 Jul 2024



All characters and locales are copyright and/or trademark DC Comics

Section 1: Superscripts: Notes from the Editor
News from KC, the comics, and Hollywood
With A Little Help From My Friends...
Ma and Pa Kent, by Denes House
The Fleischer Cartoons
Episode #7, ÒElectric EarthquakeÓ,
by Neil Ottenstein

Section 2: And Who Disguised As...
Choosing to Believe, by J.D. Rummel
Just the FAQs
ÒWhy doesnÕt anyone realize that Clark Kent is Superman?Ó
by David Chappell
The Adventures of Superman
A review of an audio dramatization of the early years of
SupermanÕs career, by William J Nixon

Section 3: Reviews
The Triangle Titles
Superman: The Man of Steel #43, by Anatole Wilson
Superman #99, by Ken McKee
Adventures of Superman #522, by Patrick Stout
Action Comics #709, by William Nixon
Other Super-Titles
Superboy #14, by Victor Chan

Section 4: Reviews
Other Super-Titles (cont)
Steel #14, by Jeff Sykes
Showcase Ô95 #3, by ReneÕ Gobeyn
The New Titans #120, by ReneÕ Gobeyn
Miniseries and Special Appearances
Blood Pack #2, by ReneÕ Gobeyn
Guy Gardner: Warrior #30, by Jeff Sykes
Looking Back
AfterByrne: Post-Crisis Reviews
Panic In the Sky
Fourth and Fifth Strikes, by Jeff Sykes

Section 5: Looking Back (cont)
Legacies: Pre-Crisis Reviews
The Silver Age Superman
SupermanÕs Return to Krypton, by Bill Morse
Superman: Time After Time
A review of a serial running from Action #385 through
Action #387, by Jon Knutson
Superman #398, by Ken McKee
KC Contest Winner!!!

Section 6: From Superman to Wonder Woman
An interview with John Byrne, by David Chappell
Coming Attractions

Section 7: Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Up, Up, and Coming
News and Notes, by Jennifer L. Traver
The Agony of the Ecstasy
Looking at the new romance arc, by Zoomway
Episode Reviews:
ÒTop Copy,Ó by Marta Olson
ÒThe Return of the Prankster,Ó by Patrick Stout

Section 8: Super-Crosswords
Crossword #6 and Answers to Crossword #5
The Mailbag

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

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-
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 for permission. Feel free to advertise
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THE KRYPTONIAN CYBERNET is available by e-mail Ñ to subscribe, send
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Back issues are available via ftp Ñ see the resources section.


SUPERSCRIPTS: Notes from the Editor

KC News:
We are *still* looking for a writer for THE SCU FILES, our (intended)
monthly column spotlighting SupermanÕs greatest villains from the
post-Byrne era. If you are interested in writing this column,
contact me at or by replying to this issue.

This month also marks the addition of another new monthly feature.
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS will spotlight the numerous supporting
cast members from the Superman comics. Welcome Denes House, the writer
of this promising new column!

Comics News:
The new on-going Superman title begins in May! SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF
TOMORROW will essentially be a quarterly, filling in the four skip
weeks each year. Written by Roger Stern and illustrated by Tom Grummett
and Brett Breeding, this new title will fit seamlessly within the four
current titles and will sport a triangle number.

The first of several inter-company crossovers appears in May as SUPERMAN
VS ALIENS debuts from Dark Horse Comics and DC. Future projects include
rumored crossovers with MarvelÕs Thor and Silver Surfer.

Though Gil Kane is not the artist who will be taking over the art chores
on SUPERMAN, he will be filling in for several issues beginning with
issue #101. As weÕve reported here before, we have word that Ron Frenz
(see the post-Byrne SUPERMAN ANNUALS #1 and #2) will be the new artist.

There are also hints in the just-released SUPERMAN #100 that Dan Jurgens
has at least one more Superman project in the works after the above-
mentioned SUPERMAN VS ALIENS. I read quite some time ago about a possible
crossover with the Hulk, I believe...

WhoÕs that bald guy popping up in Metropolis in a few months?

More rumors say that with his new art chores at Valiant, Jackson Guice
will be leaving ACTION COMICS. No word on a replacement, though...

Hollywood/Other-Media News:
Hero is now reporting the Superman Animated Series, slated to appear
in the Fall of 1996. In fact, DC has indicated that after the Batman
hype this year to accompany BATMAN FOREVER, 1996 will be the year of
Superman! A first draft of a script for a new Superman movie is
supposed to be in the works as we speak. This movie is to be a complete
new start. It will not be a new Christopher Reeves movie, and it will
not be a transportation of ABCÕs Lois & Clark to the big screen.
Speaking of L&C, the first date episode managed to finish 13th in the
Nielsons, winning its time slot! Add this to solid ratings in the
February sweeps, and it would seem that L&C is well on its way to renewal
for a third season!

Enjoy the new issue!

Jeff Sykes


a column about the supporting cast in the Superman family of books
by Denes House

Before I begin, let me just say what an honor it is just to be nominated.
Er, what I mean is, to be able to write this column. For as long as IÕve
subscribed to the Kryptonian Cybernet, IÕve been a fan of writers such as
Zoomway and Jeff Sykes, and am honored to be a part of such a talented

One of the things that makes the Superman family of comic books so special
is the way that they flesh out supporting cast members, making them
fully-realized characters that the reader becomes attached to. They seem
like *people*, like friends, and we care about their lives. I have been
convinced of this since I started collecting Superman comics in 1987, and
remain convinced even now. While many of us may gripe that the Man of Steel
sometimes seems to be a guest-star in his own titles, we cannot dispute
that the supporting cast adds a richness and depth to Metropolitan life
that is a refreshing change from the entirely hero-driven books published
and consumed at an alarming rate.

a.k.a. ÒPa and Ma.Ó

I thought IÕd inaugurate this column by profiling, in my opinion, the most
important supporting cast members in the Superman mythos, Jonathan and
Martha Kent.

Jonathan Kent and Martha Clark both grew up in the town of Smallville,
Kansas. It was a quiet town in the heart of the United States. People
lived close to the land, and many were born, grew up, got married, grew old
and died within its town limits. Jonathan grew up on his parentsÕ farm, and
became a farmer himself when he reached adulthood. MarthaÕs family ran the
Clark General Store. The two were childhood friends, and grew to be
teenage sweethearts whom everyone assumed would get married. Jonathan,
however, did not propose. Instead, he served in World War II, and was
reported Missing In Action, assumed dead.
The richest man in Smallville, ÒOld ManÓ Fordman, attempted to take over
the ClarkÕs store, but was thwarted by his son, Dan. When his father died,
Dan proposed to Martha. Dan was dying of lung cancer, and Martha felt sorry
for him. She accepted his proposal and the two were married.
Jonathan Kent returned to Smallville, and learned of MarthaÕs marriage.
DanÕs cancer had gone into remission, but Fordman knew it would eventually
kill him. Knowing that Martha truly loved Jonathan, he asked Jonathan to
take her away from him. This proposal shocked the deeply moral Jon to the
core. In the meantime, Fordman died, leaving Martha the only thing she
requested, a ten-acre section of land. A year later, Jonathan and Martha
were married.[1]
The happiness of their marriage was evident to all, marred only by their
inability to have children. MarthaÕs three miscarriages made any more
attempts unwise, and her doctor warned her not to try any more. It was at
this point that the KentsÕ lives were changed irrevocably by a strange
young visitor from another planet.
Jonathan and Martha were battening down the hatches of their home for the
worst snow storm in recent memory, when a Òfalling starÓ landed in one of
their fields. Investigating, they found it to be a space vessel. Intrigued,
and fueled by the many pulp-science fiction magazine stories he read,
Jonathan descended into the crater left by the falling ship. Inside, he
found a newborn baby, and the two took him into their home. Jonathan
suspected that the childÕs origin was extraterrestrial, but Martha
convinced him that the human-looking child was an Earth-born child used in
some evil experiment. The storm hit with ferocity, dealing the Kents in
their home for many months. When the weather brightened and the roads
cleared, they announced the baby as their own child, Clark Kent.
As Superman fans know, Clark was actually sent to Earth from the dying
planet Krypton by his real father, Jor-El, a prominent scientist, to avoid
perishing in its explosive demise. The spacecraft was a Òbirth matrix,Ó or
artificial womb, attached to a star-drive. Thus, Clark was ÒbornÓ on earth
the moment Jonathan opened the matrix.
As the child grew, he exhibited strange abilities. Once, when cutting
across a field on the way home from school, Clark was stampeded by a prize
bull. Witnessing the event, Jonathan rushed to his aid, expecting to see
his adopted son dead, trampled. Remarkably, the child was unharmed.
Throughout his youth and adolescence, ClarkÕs powers grew to include
superhuman strength and speed, Òx-rayÓ vision that enabled him to see
through walls, and perhaps most spectacularly the ability to fly. As each
new power manifested itself, the Kents taught Clark not to use his
abilities to make others feel useless. He was Òspecial,Ó but he must not
make others feel that they were worthless.
One Saturday evening during ClarkÕs high school years, riding home from
a party, he was involved in an automobile accident that left his close
friends in the hospital, the driver in a coma. ClarkÕs unique metabolism
prevented him from getting drunk, but the driver was not so blessed. Clark
took his friendÕs coma very seriously, and Ma and Pa reminded him that he
needed to act responsibly, even when others failed to do so.[2] It was
strong moral instruction like this that eventually gave the world its
greatest hero.
Clark became a high-school football hero, often winning big games almost
single-handedly. It was after the biggest game of his senior year that Pa
took Clark aside and pointed out to him that he had made his teammates feel
worthless. He then revealed to his son the spacecraft in which he had come
to Earth. For the first time, Clark was told that he was not the KentsÕ
natural son. While they still knew nothing about his extraterrestrial
origins, this new insight convinced Clark even more strongly that his
destiny was to use his powers to help people. Shortly after this, he left
For the next few years, Martha followed ClarkÕs adventures in the local
paper, realizing that stories of averted disasters and miraculous
occurrences were in fact the clandestine activities of her son. She clipped
every article and pasted them in a scrapbook that she kept, against
JonathanÕs advice. One morning while reading the paper, Jonathan read of
his sonÕs first public display, saving the experimental space plane, the
Constitution, from crashing in Metropolis. The story was written by Daily
Planet reporter Lois Lane, who was aboard the Constitution, and who dubbed
her mysterious savior ÒSuperman.Ó[4] Lois and Clark would later become
colleagues, then friends, and eventually grew to love each other.
Clark returned home confused by his experience, ashamed and angry at all
of the people wanting him to endorse products and enter into business
deals. Jonathan and Martha helped him work through his pain, and devised a
way for him to have a private life in the future. From then on, Superman
would operate in a bright costume, helping people, and Clark Kent would
wear street clothes and glasses to hide the fact that they were the same
person. Clark and Jonathan devised the ÒSÓ shield for the front of his
costume, and Martha sewed the red, blue and yellow uniform that would
become famous world-wide. She would also sew new capes throughout ClarkÕs
career, to replace capes that got destroyed in his many battles.[5]
Early in his career, Clark encountered a situation in which his powers
were of little use. He confronted a wife-beater, and attempted to scare him
by throwing him high into the air. The wife refused to press charges,
however, and Clark became confused. As always, he turned to his parents for
guidance. Jon and Martha helped Clark to realize that he couldnÕt solve
every problem, and that many problems donÕt have a Òquick-fixÓ solution.[6]
Superman made many enemies in Metropolis in his early career, the most
deadly of which was Lex Luthor. In his search to find out more about
Superman, Lex had his men investigate Clark Kent. His men attacked the
Kents and their friend Lana Lang, taking ClarkÕs birth certificate, family
albums, and the scrapbook, now containing Superman articles, as well. From
this evidence, LuthorÕs computer experts learned that Superman and Clark
Kent were the same person, but the power-hungry Luthor refused to believe
that a man as powerful as Superman would masquerade as a human being.[7]
The Kents recovered from the attack, and went on with their lives. Clark
returned home often, to spend time with his adoptive parents. It was during
one such visit that Clark learned of his alien heritage.[8]
Some time later, the Kents were stunned to meet a woman calling herself
Supergirl.[9] They only met her briefly before she flew off, but were
reacquainted with her days later when Clark brought the badly burned Matrix
to them as a house guest. Matrix was an artificial life-form that had the
ability to change shape. While on a mission together, Matrix reverted to
her natural protoplasmic form, and lost much of her memory and higher brain
functions. The Kents agreed to raise Matrix, who they dubbed ÒMae.Ó[10]
Matrix eventually became convinced that she was Clark Kent/Superman, at a
time when the real Superman had left the Earth. She wandered Metropolis in
confusion, and caused a great deal of havoc. Upon SupermanÕs return, Matrix
attacked him, assuming SupermanÕs form. Eventually, Superman convinced
Matrix of her delusion, and the Kents were present when Matrix left Earth
for outer space.[11]
The Kryptonian artifact, the Eradicator, altered ClarkÕs mind to change
him into a dispassionate Kryptonian. It was Ma and Pa that eventually
roused him from his confusion and convinced him that while his body may be
Kryptonian, his mind and heart were human.[12]
Later, when ClarkÕs superhuman powers were removed by the machinations
of Mr. Mxyzptlk, Ma gave Clark her engagement ring, which Clark used to
propose marriage to Lois Lane.[13]
The Eradicator eventually returned to Earth, attempting to re-make it into
a new Krypton. During this crisis, Clark gave his parents the gift of a
cruise on an ocean liner. It was here that they met Perry and Alice White,
also on the liner. The two couples became fast friends, and earned each
othersÕ respect.[14]
It was much later that the Kents experienced perhaps the most painful
event in their lives, watching their son get killed on national TV by the
juggernaut monster called Doomsday. They sat in their living room, helpless
and unable to help Clark in any way. They saw his last moments, and wept in
agony as they lost their only child.[15] Unable to attend his burial, they
buried Clark in their own way, interring a small box containing ClarkÕs
baseball mitt, teddy bear, and the infamous scrapbook.
The pain of losing their only son, coupled with cholesterol-packed eating
habits contributed to a massive heart attack in Jon Kent.[16] While in the
emergency room, Jon had a near-death experience, and met Clark in the
beyond. Convincing Clark that it was not his destiny to die, he helped his
son to return to his dead body. Jon awoke, claiming to have brought Clark
back from the dead with him.[17]
At the same time, four people showed up in Metropolis wearing the Superman
shield. This chaos aggravated Jonathan, and it was not until the *real*
Superman showed up alive that JonÕs afterlife experience was believed.
Since JonÕs heart attack, Martha has altered their diet, replacing her
famous Rhubarb pie with low-fat gelatin, much to JonÕs chagrin. Martha has
discovered a talent for artwork, and lost some weight as well.
During the recent Crisis in Time, Jon and Martha met the Jor-El and Lara
from an alternate timeline in which Krypton had not exploded.[18] Given a
choice of leaving with his ÒnaturalÓ parents or staying with Jon and
Martha, Clark chose his adoptive family.
Most recently, Pa helped a returned Supergirl defeat a runaway farm
tractor at the Small County Fair.[19]
Ma and Pa will play an important role in the upcoming ÒDeath of Clark
KentÓ storyline.

No other characters have had as much influence on the shaping of Clark
Kent/SupermanÕs personality than Jonathan and Martha. Their strong moral
heritage and loving guidance have given the world the greatest superhero it
has ever known.

[1] The above is distilled from the ÒMa and Pa KentÓ entry in WhoÕs Who in
the DC Universe, 1990
[2] Adventures of Superman #437
[3] Man of Steel miniseries, issue 1
[4] Man of Steel, issue 1
[5] Adventures of Superman #440
[6] Superman: The Man of Steel #16
[7] Superman #2
[8] Man of Steel miniseries, #6
[9] Superman #21
[10] Superman #22
[11] Action Comics #644
[12] ÒDay of the Krypton ManÓ - Superman #41-42; Adventures #507-508;
Action #110-111
[13] Superman #50
[14] Superman #57
[15] ÒThe Death of SupermanÓ - Superman #75
[16] Superman: The Man of Steel #21
[17] Adventures #500
[18] Superman: Man of Steel #37, Superman #93
[19] Action #706


by Neil A. Ottenstein

Episode 7: ÒElectric EarthquakeÓ
Released: 5-15-42
Running Time: 8:42 minutes

Faster than a speeding bullet
More powerful than a locomotive
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound

A panoramic view of Manhattan greets viewers of this cartoon. The view
continues under the water surface where there are cables on the water
bed coming from a strange structure. We then see a capsule come out of
the structure. It turns out to be a kind of elevator. A man gets out
of the elevator and into a speedboat.

The scene changes to the Daily Planet where this man declares that
ÒManhattan rightfully belongs to [his] people.Ó He wants it evacuated.
After this being called ridiculous he declares that Òmaybe modern
science will make you think differentlyÓ and leaves. Perry thinks ÒheÕs
just a harmless prank,Ó but Lois has sneaked off after him and hides in
the back of his boat.

After he has arrived at his elevator, before going down he sees Lois in
the reflection of the elevator and invites her down saying, Òyou
wouldnÕt want to miss this story.Ó They descend. Moments after she
sits in a chair, he presses a button which sets off straps trapping her
in. After changing his suit to proper scientist white attire and
protective goggles he goes to his equipment. He turns a dial, flips a
lever, and electric power is seen. He sends a periscope up above the
surface of the water and tells Lois, to Òget ready for the greatest
story of your career.Ó

Electric power runs along the cables. There are soon explosions and
mass destruction in Manhattan with panic all over. Perry tells Clark,
ÒletÕs get off [the Daily Planet building].Ó They leave and are soon
separated. Clark declares that Òthis looks like a job for Superman.Ó

He goes into a descending staircase alcove by an apartment building to
change and is soon obscured by falling rubble. Superman removes the
rubble, leaps into the air and comes down in the water. Following
electricity on the cables he detaches some of them before boulders fall
on him. A cable wraps around him pulling him down as he surfaces for
air. He pulls more cables apart and goes to their source. He pulls
some from the structure causing water to enter inside. Noticing the
elevator rising, he tries to follow but is momentarily delayed by the
flow of water into the structure.

Apprehending the man he is told that a girl is still down there. While
Superman goes down the man sends dynamite with a timer down the
elevator. The water is up to LoisÕ neck by the time Superman frees her
from the chair. He swims with her toward one of the holes in the
structure. Just after they reach the hole, the dynamite explodes to
mighty effect.

The man is racing off in his speedboat and smiles to see the explosion,
sure in his escape. He is quite surprised when his speedboat rises from
the surface of the water, pushed up in one hand by Superman who is
holding Lois in his other arm.

The Daily Planet headlines are ÒSuperman saves Manhattan IslandÓ and
ÒSuperman disappears again.Ó The photo of Manhattan turns into the view
from a boat for Clark and Lois. Clark notes Manhattan is okay and Lois
adds, Òthanks to Superman.Ó

Like the previous Superman cartoon, this one starts off with another
title effect. The title shakes, cracks appear in the letters and part
of the letter ÔqÕ even falls off. The scene showing Lois reflecting in
side of the elevator is very nice in that LoisÕ reflection is quite
distorted as you would expect on such a convex surface. The depiction
of the flow of water into the structure and SupermanÕs struggle against
the water flow are nice touches. I thought it interesting that it was
set with the real city of Manhattan. Once again it was beautifully
rendered with lots of nice touches and an exciting story.

The two Fleischer Superman cartoon volumes are available for $19.95 each
directly from Bosko Video or from anyone who carries high quality

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

[It has recently come to my attention that there are lesser-quality, less-
expensive video-tapes of the Fleischer cartoons available. I have seen these
at such places as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and several video chains. ÑJeff]

End of Section 1

By J.D. Rummel (

Choosing to Believe

One day (that was how I started all my stories as a kid), I was your typical
fifth grader at the beach. I didnÕt have my glasses on, so I was completely
anonymous. A whole new guy. That was how it worked in the comics and on the
tube. I can remember practicing whipping off my glasses as George Reeves
would do as he yanked his tie down and stepped into that closet. When the
glasses came off, I was My Other Self. I had unlimited potential. I really
believed that.

As I sat there squinting at the other bathers, a boy walked past me and said,
ÒHi, J.D.Ó Maybe I replied, I cannot honestly say, because I remember being
stunned. _How could he know me?_ I wondered. I wasnÕt wearing my Clark
KentÕs! (I really had horn-rimmed Clark Kent glasses. Wore them way down
deep into the heart of disco and geekdom). That was the day that I grew up.
It was a slow process, I still have a ways to go, but it started there.

That day, I knew that Clark Kent was not a real disguise.

Oh, you can run all that stuff about changed voice, slumped shoulders, and
different hairstyle or whatever else, but it donÕt wash. If that stuff works
for you, great, but where I live, changing your voice and removing your
glasses does not fool people who know you, particularly a woman who loves
you. The only time I ever came close to believing it was watching Christopher
Reeve (probably the best of all Supermen to date). I also understand that
Superman needs that other identity. IÕm not talking about the old Òprotect my
loved onesÓ song. No, Clark Kent is us. ItÕs how we relate to the fantasy
world. I mean, I have never run around in spandex trying to right wrongs, and
while I have been known to tie a towel around my neck and jump off the sofa, I
know who I look like. There have been times in my life when I wished I had
another identity, rather than face that meeting, IÕd wish that I could hear
some special signal, step to that closet, whip off my glasses, and go out and
make the world a better place. In reality, the only way I make the world a
better place is by bathing regularly. You, me, all of us, we are Clark Kent,
and we need him as much as Superman.

Maybe the key up above is the phrase, Òthe real world.Ó Superman ainÕt the
real world. No superhero comic book ever has been or ever will be. They are
the stuff of dreams. Batman would have been killed by his efforts at
collecting scar tissue, and no Marvel handbook pseudo science will make me
believe that Spider-man can do anything that he does everyday. In the world
in which I live, virtually all super-heroes would have nothing to do. How
practical is the ability to pop claws out of your hands or shoot ray blasts
from any part of your anatomy? Answer: Not at all. Even the best comic books
that deal with costumed dudes can be reduced to utter bushwah in short time:
No exceptions.

So why read a comic book? Because we like them. Because theyÕre fun.
Because just like when I watch a play, I pretend those folks on stage donÕt
know IÕm watching. I make myself believe that things in comics are possible.
In the reality established by comics such things are possible. ItÕs one of
the things that we agree to when we pick them up. People who canÕt read
comics donÕt have that gift. They are grounded. Now, as I have learned about
the world, like so many other things, it is a choice to make. I can choose my
supper, I can choose the route I drive home, and I choose how I will live my
life. I can choose to believe that Clark Kent is a real disguise. We read
Superman because we choose to believe that a man can fly.



More Details about Frequently-Asked Questions about the Man of Steel

by David T. Chappell

One of the major changes in John ByrneÕs 1986 revamp of Superman came in the
realm of the secret identity. Like most popular DC heroes, Superman has
always had a civilian identity in which he leads a semblance of a normal
life, and he only dons his crime-fighting costume when necessary to help
others. To us comics readers, it was a given fact that Clark and Superman
were one and the same, but Byrne changed all that.
In the new, modern Superman the roles have reversed. While Clark Kent
used to be just a cover personality for the Man of Steel, it is now Superman
who forms the false identity. Clark was raised as a normal human for 18
years before he learned of his alien heritage, and he acts as himself rather
than pretending to be a cowardly weakling. Clark excuses his strength by
his regular workouts, and he is man enough to have won LoisÕs heart without
With greater similarities between Clark and Superman, it may seem odd
that no one has discerned the connection. In truth, someone has, but IÕll
discuss that next month when I fully cover the question of ÒWho knows
SupermanÕs secret identity?Ó This issue, however, the hoopla about the
Death of Clark Kent leads me to ask

ÒWhy doesnÕt anyone realize that Clark Kent is Superman?Ó

Clark and Superman dress alike. They have many of the same friends.
They are approximately the same height and built. Superman doesnÕt wear a
mask, and the only facial differences are the hairstyle and ClarkÕs glasses.
Does the combination of the costume, glasses, and hair really work as an
effective disguise? Are the citizens of Metropolis stupid, or is there a
more logical answer? Why doesnÕt anyone realize that Clark Kent is
Several weeks before this article was scheduled to originally appear in
the KRYPTONIAN CYBERNET, I posted a teaser message to relevant Internet
newsgroups. Surprisingly, my original message has prompted a number of
replies, and the thread continues with more postings. Some fans defend the
secrecy of ClarkÕs identity, while others insist that the whole idea is
hogwash and wouldnÕt fool anyone short of Mr. Magoo. The ultimate defense
presented by some readers is that Superman is a comic book rather than
reality, but herein I hope to present the strongest arguments for why
SupermanÕs civilian life has remained a secret for so long. The complete
basis for the secret identity can be found in the MAN OF STEEL mini-series
and the first two issues of John ByrneÕs SUPERMAN series, though later
actions have given further credence to the distinction between the newspaper
reporter and the super-hero.
In the pre-Crisis days, it seemed like half of the Superman subplots
concerned ClarkÕs protecting his secret ID. Lois Lane was always suspicious
and trying to prove that Clark was the Man of Steel, but the hero always
managed to keep outwitting her and hiding the evidence she needed to prove
her case. Some stories used what modern readers (including me) see as lame
plot devices: SupermanÕs Kryptonian glasses hypnotized anyone looking at
him; Superman had the power to physically alter his facial appearance
(similar to Clayface); and SupermanÕs many robots could stand in for him.

In the more logical post-Crisis era, things have changed. While Lois,
Lana, and a selected few others know about ClarkÕs double-existence, neither
they nor others have suspected the truth and tried to prove it. Instead,
ClarkÕs multiple confidants help him keep the truth hidden. Over the years,
Ma and Pa Kent and Lana Lang have occasionally interfered to help cover
ClarkÕs timely disappearances. Now that Lois Lane knows about ClarkÕs alter
ego, she works overtime to quiet any suspicions before they start.

Clark keeps his normal and super-hero personas distinct by using simple
disguise and acting techniques. The physical distinctions between the
Superman and Clark Kent persona are a curl of hair, the glasses, and a
deepening of his voice. Roger SternÕs novel THE DEATH AND LIFE OF SUPERMAN
reports that Clark distinguishes his two identities via Òchanges of voice,
posture, and body language.Ó Jonathan Kent helped Clark plan his appearance
as Superman (MAN OF STEEL #1, 1986): ÒWith his hair all slickered back and
an old pair of my spectacles, his whole face seems to change. All he needs
to do is stoop a tad, and he looks like a whole different man.Ó While these
subtleties are enough to prevent general suspicion of ClarkÕs being
Superman, they do not stand up to strict scrutiny.
Thus, Clark also puts forth the effort to prevent anyone from realizing
the physical similarities between his identities. When in costume, Superman
takes great care to avoid being photographed (MAN OF STEEL #4, 1986;
SUPERMAN #1, Jan 87), a partial admission of the greater physical
resemblance between Superman and Kent when he lived in Smallville. When he
suspects being viewed by camera, our hero always vibrates his face slightly
so that photographs will only show his features as a blur (SUPERMAN #2, Feb
87). This facial blur was also used by Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash
and one of the first major heroes to go without a mask. Superman clearly
used this technique in the first few years of his career, but it is unclear
whether he continues to need it in light of later evidence on his behalf.

Furthermore, there have been several occasions where Clark and Superman
have been seen and even photographed together. It is generally known that
the two are friends, and their associates are not surprised to see them
together occasionally. In the first such case, ÒSupermanÓ was really a
robot, while Clark was the real thing. (ADVENTURES #439, Apr 88)
During Kal-ElÕs self-imposed exile to outer space (in 1989), a confused
Matrix (Supergirl) took on ClarkÕs identity after being exposed to so many
memories and mementos of Clark while living with the Kents. Soon after
SupermanÕs return from his self-exile in space, the Man of Steel returned to
his apartment only to find Matrix there in the form of Clark. Hearing Jimmy
Olsen approaching the apartment, the real Clark quickly donned his Superman
costume so that Jimmy met both Superman and ÒClark.Ó Matrix suggested that
the young photographer take his picture, and Jimmy readily agreed to snap a
photo of the two buddies: ÒA good one for your scrapbook!Ó (SUPERMAN #34,
Aug 89) Jimmy kept this photo in his Superman collection that he shows to
various publishers (SUPERMAN #77, Mar 93).
Finally, Superman rescued Clark Kent on television news. After
SupermanÕs return from death, the Man of Steel had to devise a plan to
account for ClarkÕs disappearance. Kent has been presumed killed in
DoomsdayÕs rampage across Metropolis, but Superman concocted a credible
scheme after finding some children trapped in a basem*nt with a civil
defense shelter. The next day, Matrix disguised herself as a disheveled
Clark Kent, and Superman arranged to rescue ÒClarkÓ after scanning all
defense shelters with his x-ray vision. Jimmy Olsen was on hand again, and
he took a picture of the happy trio of Lois, Clark, and Superman.
Afterwards, MatrixÕs abilities helped her convince doctors that ÒClarkÓ was
a normal, healthy human. (ACTION #692, Oct 93)

Another major factor is that the lack of a mask keeps people from even
suspecting that Superman has an alter ego. Understanding the effects of the
lack of a mask can be better understood from an historical perspective.
Nearly all of the Golden Age Òmystery menÓ of the Justice Society wore masks
the conceal their identities. They freely admitted to having secret
identities, and their refusal to reveal their names in a 1950s trial led to
the temporary disbanding of the JSA. When Superman ushered in the modern
heroic age, he neither wore a mask nor claimed to have a normal life. Other
modern heroes such as Wonder Woman and Aquaman do not have alternate
identities, and it seems logical that Superman would not have one either.
Hence, most people believe that Superman is a full-time champion of
justice rather than a part-time hero who spends much of his time as someone
else. Just as Pa Kent predicted (MAN OF STEEL #1), Òso long as heÕs careful
never to let on that he has two separate identities, heÕll be able to move
freely like ordinary folks!Ó For example, Lex Luthor was once told the
truth, but he dismissed the idea because he could not believe that someone
so powerful Òwould ever pretend to be a mere human!Ó Even the head
scientist in charge of LuthorÕs investigation admitted ÒThat would never
have occurred to me!Ó (SUPERMAN #2)
This single-identity attitude about Superman was recently reflected in
the ÒLois & ClarkÓ television show. In the episode entitled ÒTop Copy,Ó
Superman publicly denounced accusations of being Clark Kent and stated that
he has no life aside from being Superman. The public accepted his claims
without doubt. In another scene from ÒLois & Clark,Ó Lois wondered what
Superman does in his free time without considering that he might have a
secret identity as a normal person. These scenes reflect examples of the
seriesÕ incorporation of several of ByrneÕs changes to the Superman saga.

Therefore, the modern myth of Superman tries to logically explain why
no one realizes the truth about ClarkÕs double life. The Last Son of
Krypton continues to fight crime and injustice in his super-hero costume
even while working as a newspaper reporter under the guise of Clark Kent.
While the connection may seem obvious and the disguise minimal, remember
that the reader takes an omniscient view and does not have to piece the
puzzle together the way characters in the story have to. The duality of
Clark and Superman has always been an integral element of the legend, and
weÕll soon see whether the ÒDeath of Clark KentÓ story line makes any
permanent modifications to the identity that Clark once called his ÒFortress
of Solitude.Ó (MAN OF STEEL #1)


THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (audio dramatization)
With Stuart Milligan as Superman,
William Hootkins as Lex Luthor,
and Lorelei King as Lois Lane
Based on the stories by John Byrne, Dave Gibbons and Jerry Ordway
Written and Directed by Dirk Maggs
BBC Radio Collection, 7.99 UK

2 hrs 30 mins

ÔFaster than a speeding bullet
More powerful than a locomotive
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound
Look up in the sky, itÕs a bird, itÕs a plane, itÕs SupermanÕ

The Adventures of Superman (AOS) was broadcast on BBC radio back in 1990 in
five fifteen-minute episodes and completed a few years later. I had just
started reading the comics back then and was swept away by this retelling of
SupermanÕs early days. I hadnÕt read ByrneÕs Man of Steel at the time and
wasnÕt familiar with it. The BBC has since issued AOS as part of its Radio
Collection, so that it was with a mix of nostalgia and wonder that I put this
review together. I still think itÕs an excellent adaptation of some of the
best comic book stories around and it sounds great. The characters and
stories are brought to life in a way which complements the comics and fires
the imagination. It was written and directed by Dirk Maggs who has done a
superb job.

AOS opens on the 250th Anniversary of Metropolis and the maiden flight of the
NASA space-plane Constitution. Hyped-up reporters play up the excitement, and
we are introduced to Lois Lane, whoÕs aboard the flight. Metropolis airport
is packed with crowds anxious to see the landing, and the terminal buildings
hum with the sound of people. In the VIP lounge, MetropolisÕ Òworld famous
crusader for human enterprise and the American dream... Lex LuthorÓ is being
interviewed for WGBS. In some sharp characterization, Luthor explains that he
is disappointed with the lack of military developments which have been made
with the technology onboard the space-plane. In the co*ckpit of the
Constitution, Lois remarks that Luthor sounds more like a politician everyday
and Maggs develops their characters and relationship. Ground control warns
the crew about a light aircraft with an unconscious pilot and the radar blips
to show a small plane. LuthorÕs interview is cut short as the Constitution
and the light aircraft collide with a boom. ÒIs there anything you can do?Ó
asks Lois. ÒMake a large hole in downtown MetropolisÓ is the CaptainÕs grim
reply. As the Constitution falls to the ground, it suddenly levels out with
the aid of a mysterious flying man who brings it safely down. The tires
squeal and the onboard computer says ÔHave a nice dayÕ. Lois bolts for the
hatch to see this man. Superman has made his first appearance in Metropolis.
He and Lois exchange awkward words until he flies off as the crowd surrounds
them. Familiar fare to Superman fans but an exciting reintroduction to the
Last Son of Krypton as you are propelled into the thick of the action.

The AOS is a wonderful evocation of SupermanÕs early days in Metropolis.
ItÕs a high-octane, roller-coaster ride of drama, humor, great sound effects
and wonderful characters Ñ all the things you would expect from the origin
of the worldÕs greatest superhero. Dirk Maggs, who adapted and directed the
program, has taken the major elements of the Byrne miniseries (and beyond) and
brought Superman to life in a richly-textured world. AOS tells the story of
SupermanÕs beginnings and his confrontations with Luthor, Bizarro and Metallo.
There are great action scenes like the ConstitutionÕs landing and the
terrorist attack on LuthorÕs yacht, the Sea Queen. The finale at Two Mile
Island is gripping. ClarkÕs life, his parents, feelings for Lois and
friendship with Jimmy all make this a comprehensive introduction to the Man
of Steel in an innovative way.

The casting is great. In particular, William Hootkins is brilliant as Lex
Luthor, and his voice portrays every villainous nuance of the character. When
Superman flies through Metropolis for the first time in costume, there are
cheers and a choir of car horns from the citizens of Metropolis. Luthor, on
the other hand, wants to see and own this new phenomenon and will trample on
anyone who gets in his way. He intimidates a helipad supervisor who tells him
that sheÕs given his standby helicopter to Lois Lane. Lex tells her to Òget
out of Metropolis, and if you value what I may laughingly refer to as your
life, never cross my path again!Ó Wow, this is not a guy you want to cross!
Stuart Milligan is the perfect foil for Luthor and handles the different roles
of Superman/Clark Kent very well. He effectively uses his voice to switch
characters: Superman is self-assured and confident with a deep and resonant
voice, comfortable with humor and the funny questions he gets asked in the
early days (ÔWhat are the bullets going to do to your fancy underwear, son?Õ
a SWAT captain asks), while Clark is more laid-back and unsure as a rookie
reporter (Perry encourages him to be more assertive). When the Kents step out
into the daylight to see how the Superman outfit looks all put together, you
canÕt help but grin as Clark says, ÒWhenever people need my special kind of
help, it wonÕt be a job for plain, ordinary Clark Kent - it will be a job for
SUPERMANÓ. ThereÕs a rush of air as Clark soars into the sky and MarthaÕs
shout of ÒTake care sonÓ is left to carry on the wind. This is the stuff of
heroes and legends, and families.

Maggs has added to the early days of Superman by painting in background
scenes. In MOS, Superman confronts Luthor with the Battle Armor used
against him and warns him that someday he will pay. In AOS, Luthor discusses
its design with Dr. Teng in Hong Kong and demonstrates its devastating
firepower to Amanda McCoy. Luthor then orders it crated up for use in
Metropolis. In Smallville, Clark and Jonathan are looking at the spot where
his capsule has been stolen from the farm when he hears screams from
Metropolis. The scene cuts to falling buildings and a Metropolis police
officer reporting the situation and calling for backup. The officer is hit
and Lois and Jimmy drag him into a shopping mall. The Battle Armor wheezing
and clanking (and generally tearing up the place) follows them in. Lois is
terrified as the ground rumbles around them, but itÕs Superman who flies up to
stand against this ÔSoldier of TomorrowÕ. He turns to Lois to say ÒLate night
shopping, Lois?Ó before going up against it. Cue another smile for a well-
played scene and MaggsÕ feel for the characters. The story has lots of clever
continuity touches too. Lois has an answering machine on which Luthor leaves
a message. Her message is frenetic Ñ ÒThis is Lois Lane. If youÕve tried my
desk at the Planet, leave a message, blah, blah, blah, bye-eÓ Ñ but it is the
kind of message you could imagine her having. Lorelei King is a brash and
convincing Lois Lane Ñ the fearless army brat always chasing the big story
and never short of an aqualung in her car!

Amanda McCoy features through the story as LuthorÕs right hand and suggests
ways to catch up with Superman. She recounts SupermanÕs MO, and is involved
in breaking into the MayorÕs office while Luthor throws his party on the Sea
Queen. ItÕs Amanda who discovers that Clark Kent is Superman, a conclusion
she brings to Luthor in the final scene, with unfortunate personal
consequences. Luthor refuses to accept it and has Amanda fired and the data
trashed. In a neat radio trick, Luthor then reads out the cast list to his
legal department, punitive division, as persons to be sued for defamation of

The sound effects are tremendous. From the background buzz of the Planet
office to the traffic on the streets on Metropolis, the attention to detail
shines through. When Martha and Jonathan help Clark with his costume, you
can hear MarthaÕs sewing machine running up the cape! The wind buffets Clark
as he flies and the only line missing is ÔUp, up and awayÕ. It has been
replaced by a whoosh, but that works, honest! Radio broadcasts, answering
machines and talking computers are all used as narrative devices without
being intrusive. As icing on the cake, the story has been re-recorded in
Dolby Surround so that missiles swoop overhead, bullets ricochet around the
room, and you are left believing a man can fly. The soundtrack plays to the
mood of the scenes and helps the opening lines come together.

The meeting with Batman doesnÕt feature, which is a pity since that would
have been interesting Ñ but it is SupermanÕs story after all. Time has been
telescoped and Clark is already working at the planet when Lois discovers
heÕs written the Superman story. Maggs uses this to his advantage to show
life at the Planet. He also sets up a running joke that every time Perry
looks for Clark heÕs gone to washroom.

On the eve of the Death of Clark Kent story arc, itÕs interesting to recall
that some 97 issues of Superman ago, Lana Lang was kidnapped and tortured
about what she knew about Superman. Clark finds her and flies her home to
Smallville and then goes up against Luthor because heÕs now gone too far.
I havenÕt got these early issues, and my thanks go to David Chappell who
pointed out some differences between the tape and the comics in the handling
of LanaÕs kidnapping and ClarkÕs reaction to what has happened to his parents.
In both, Clark finds Lana and she tells him she never told them what she knew.
In the comic Clark then tells her, ÒYou should have. My secret isnÕt worth
you having to suffer like this.Ó As David has said in postings, itÕs going
to be interesting to see if Clark reacts the same way now. SupermanÕs rage
at what has happened to Lana and his parents is well conveyed as he confronts
Luthor (with his new Kryptonite ring), Amanda, and Two Mile Island in the
thrilling finale.

The Adventures of Superman is a worthy addition to any Superman fanÕs
collection and a great example of how well Superman can translate into
another medium. Up, up, and away!

5+ Shields

William J Nixon

End of Section 2


Ratings Panelists:

AL: Art LaMarche PS: Patrick Stout
AW: Anatole Wilson RG: ReneÕ Gobeyn
JG: Jose R. Galan SA: Shawn Aeria
JS: Jeff Sykes VC: Victor Chan
KM: Ken McKee WN: William J Nixon

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


13. SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL #43, ÒDeathtrap!Ó
Writer: Louise Simonson
Layout Artist: Jon Bogdanove
Ink Artist: Dennis Janke
$1.50 US/$2.10 CAN/70p UK


AW: 4 Shields - Wow! An all-action issue! I liked it!
JS: 4.5 Shields - ItÕs a first! I thought MOS was the best of the four
this month!
KM: 3.5 Shields - I canÕt really think of anything I HATE about this issue;
nothing really memorable either except I like Mister Miracle.
PS: 3 Shields - An action-packed issue, and a good trap that our heroes had
to truly team-up on to defeat; and I enjoyed Bog and JankeÕs
trip into the genre of Ògood girl artÓ with the nearly full-
page Barda shot on page 7, and the humorous Òshark shotÓ in
the upper right of page 16.
WN: 3.5 Shields - I liked the dynamic Supes art by Bog and it was an
entertaining conclusion to the Deathrap storyline.

ÒDeathtrap!Ó is the second part of a battle between Superman, Mister Miracle,
and Deathtrap (Carl Draper). Draper is a world-renowned designer of prisons
and escape-proof traps. But recent jailbreaks have convinced him that he
needs better testing of his devicesÑand who better to test them than the Man
of Steel? Not only will trapping Superman prove the efficacy of his traps,
but it will be an even more exciting event when heÑCarl DraperÑfrees the
heroes from the traps which have been ÒsubvertedÓ by DraperÕs alter-ego,

Unfortunately, Draper has made some miscalculations. His ultimate trap isnÕt
as foolproof as he thought, and itÕs instability threatens to set off a
volcano and devastate Hawaii. Only with Big BardaÕs help can Superman and
Mister Miracle escape the trap and avert disaster.

The balance of action and exposition in the issue was well-handled. I ÒlikeÓ
Deathtrap as a villain, and IÕm wondering what secrets DraperÕs daughter has
up her sleeve. I didnÕt even mind that Superman wasnÕt able to catch
Deathtrap this time aroundÑa ploy used most often to stretch out thin story
lines featuring second-string villains.

IÕm not quite clear, however, on how Draper gets hold of all that Apokolipsian
technology. Is he a member of Intergang? Does he have some sort of deal with
Darkseid? IÕm sure weÕll learn more in future issues.

Superman and Mister Miracle use a combination of skill, brains, and brawn that
we rarely see anymore in a Superman comic. I do have to say that I was a
little disappointed with their dependence on that deus ex machina, the Mother
Box. Yes, I know Kirby used it a lot in the original New Gods stories, but
somehow they seemed less dependent on the box to save the day than in this

As usual, BogdanoveÕs layouts were interesting, but the execution was weak.
As was pointed out in KC #10 by others, a lot of the blame goes to Dennis
JankeÕs inks. Still, action is BogdanoveÕs forte, so the art remains

Anatole Wilson


14. SUPERMAN #99, ÒBurning the PastÓ
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Pencils: Gil Kane
Inks: Josef Rubinstein
$1.50 US/$2.10 CAN/70p UK


KM: 4 Shields - Based more on the art than the story.
AW: 2 Shields - Nice to see Gil Kane anywhere, but Agent Liberty? yuck.
And yet another two-bit villain Superman canÕt catch.
JS: 2.5 Shields - Nice Kane art, but RubinsteinÕs inks donÕt complement.
Though I *like* the character of Agent Liberty, I didnÕt
care for this story. The characterizations of Agent
Liberty and Lois Lane just didnÕt seem right to me.
PS: 4 Shields - Supes steps into the background and lets Lois and Agent
Liberty carry the story, serving up a nice change of pace
and dialogue reminiscent of ÒMoonlightingÓ; the flying
sequences and mini-skirt jokes are hilarious (ÒHey! Watch
your hands, Buster.Ó Ñ Lois, page 6).

This issue opens up with a crowd of tourists, including Lois Lane, gathered
around the Jefferson Memorial. Suddenly an unknown terrorist tosses a
handmade bomb directly into the startled spectators. At this point you would
expect a certain Man of Steel to swoop down and save the day. However, Agent
Liberty grabs the bomb in midair, throws it away from the crowd and then
blasts it with his handy six shooter. Eat your heart out, Clint Eastwood.

He then swoops back down to the astonished crowd to take care of the other
two terrorists by bashing in their heads. Believe me, this guy is NOT for
gun control. He finds out the bomb was intended for Lois and not for the
Monument. It is revealed by one of the frightened hoods that a certain
Arclight wanted all the journalists dead. Liberty decides to go find Arclight
(of course), and Lois wants to tag along. So he swoops her off her feet like
a bag of wet laundry, which I am sure she was not expecting.

Cut to the local hotel where Clark and Jimmy are attending a journalistic
convention. Suddenly a man wearing an overcoat whips out a gun (which is
putting it mildly). Jimmy decides to be the hero by taking him out. A burst
of heat vision from Clark puts the weapon out of commission while Jimmy
punches the guy out. After hearing a report about a bomb killing seven
reporters, Clark begins to think that someone is out to kill all reportersÑ
including Lois. He decides to check out the situation as Superman.

Jump back to Lois and Agent Liberty landing on the roof of one of the
buildings. He calls up some information through a voice-activated computer
on Arclight. Liberty explains to Lois, ÒArclight was the tag name for one
Noah Pastenetti, a torch for the Gotham mob about ten years ago. Called him
Arclight because of his technique. A single arc of electricity between
electrodes would ignite his bombs into an inferno. Whatever the targetÑ
Arclight took it down.Ó As it turns out, Pastenetti was betrayed by a young
reporter, Alicia Parker, who used him to get some information on the mob.
The mob caught up with Arclight, who was apparently killed when the building
he was in exploded. Lois and Liberty decide to check on Alicia Parker and use
the computer to determine her whereabouts. As they are flying over Washington,
they are intercepted by Superman. Superman decides not to follow too closely
in order to see where they are going. Liberty realizes they are being
followed but decides to ignore it. They land on ParkerÕs penthouse suite
which suddenly explodes in LibertyÕs face. Lois is safely out of range but
Liberty is caught by Superman right before he crashes to earth.

Suddenly Arclight appears and decides to take on both of them. The next
couple of pages consist of a tremendous battle between the three super
characters. Arclight blames the reporters for turning him into a freak and
Superman wants to take him to S.T.A.R. labs for help. Before Superman can
catch him he vanishes into thin air. Rather anti-climactic, if you ask me.
Needless to say, heÕll probably be back.

The last page shows Clark and Lois walking down the hall to his hotel room.
As he opens the door, they notice a message on the window, ÒI KNOW.Ó Thus
begins the start of a whole new story, one I am looking forward to reading.

Okay, so this was simply a way to introduce the next continuing story line.
I enjoyed it and I always look forward to JurgensÕ work. Perhaps Agent
Liberty could fight along with Captain America and finally put an end to all
the commie liberal reporters who donÕt know how to report the news honestly
and fairly. Oh, sorry, I guess I got carried away.

Ken McKee


Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Jose Marzan Jr.
$1.50 US/$2.10 CAN/70p UK


PS: 4 Shields
JS: 3.5 Shields - Nice Immonen art (really nice depiction of Wonder Woman)
and a well-told story. IÕm not certain about DMN, and IÕm
starting to wonder what theyÕre building up to with Lord
KM: 3 Shields - Some things are better left to the imagination. This, IMHO,
was a case of the writers saying to themselves, ÒHey, we
have to come up with some explanation as to what happened to
Metropolis, so letÕs do this.Ó I did like PerryÕs
perspective on it. But, it was an oversimplified answer to
a complex story.
WN: 4.5 Shields - Another fine Kesel script with some great touches like
Shazam and Impulse giggling together and the clever twist at
the end. The whole team have a feel for the heart and soul
of Metropolis. So magic rebuilt Metropolis, hey, why not,
sometimes itÕs nice to believe in miracles.

The issue starts out with a cover thatÕs not only reflective of the story
inside, but also an homage to one of the final covers of the Òpre-ByrneÓ
Superman series. The

original cover had the Superman supporting cast on the 
roof of the Planet buildingÑthis one has the supporting super-heroes who will
help him rebuild Metropolis.

The splash page perfectly frames the narrative as Òan editorial by Perry
WhiteÓ as Perry sits at his keyboard recounting the rebuilding of the city.
In the background, as if in a dream, is the nearly transparent figure of
Superman flying past the office window.

PerryÕs story recounts how Superman returned to the ruined Metropolis with
Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Maxima, Guy Gardner, Martian Manhunter, and
Impulse. They are immediately directed by the Guardian to a hostage situation
on the top floor of the Newstime Building. The destruction of Metropolis has
caused the jobless and homeless to strike backÑanti-poverty activist Josh
Eichorn is desperately torn between a shoot-out with police or use of the drug

As the superheroes begin to discuss a hostage negotiation strategy, Impulse disarms the group at super-speedÑforcing them into their backup plan of
taking the Òdemon drugÓ. Superman and his allies tear into the transformed
quintet. (In a clever inside joke, Kesel has two of the monsters fighting
over Captain Marvel, saying, ÒRed cheese you are to us! Yum!Ó)

The defeated group is strapped to stretchers as the DMN drug wears off, and
theyÕre helicoptered away to the hospital. At Perry WhiteÕs suggestion, the
super-heroes begin to rebuild Metropolis along its periphery. Zatanna the
magician then appears, indicating that she can restore the central city with
her magicÑusing PerryÕs memories of Metropolis and the heroesÕ super-energy.

Metropolis is restored, and Impulse and Captain Marvel share a giggle over
ZatannaÕs backwards incantations. They are scolded by Wonder Woman: ÒIÕd
expect something immature like that from ImpulseÑbut you, Captain? IÕd
think youÕd act your age.Ó

This story should appropriately end on page 20, with Superman heroically
marking the complete restoration of Metropolis by placing the original Daily
Planet globe back atop the building. ThatÕs where PerryÕs editorial narrative
concludesÑÓMetropolis is back! Give us your best shotÑwe can take it!Ó

But unbeknownst to Perry and the rest of the cast, it is really the black
magic of Lord Satanus that has restored Metropolis. And Satanus has a human
identity, Newstime publisher Collin Thornton who also invented the demon drug
and saved the city to cover his involvement.

As Clark and Lois work at their desks to finish their articles for the next
dayÕs paper, ClarkÕs terminal screen displays the phrase ÒI know!Ó repeatedly.
Clark has previously seen this message on the video billboard at the heart of
Metropolis (Man of Steel #43) and on a mirror in his apartment (Superman #99)Ñ
he will also see it on a series of postcards that arrive in his mailbox
(Action #709).

IÕm a sucker for a first-person reporter narrative, and so I greatly enjoyed
PerryÕs tale of the heroic restoration of Metropolis. But Kesel leaves the
reader with troubling thoughts by revealing the rest of the story. What can
or will happen in a city rebuilt through black magic? This is a story for
later; right now weÕre waiting to see what happens to Clark as the result of
his mysterious messages.

Patrick Stout


16. ACTION COMICS #709, ÒCrime tunnel! or When warriors strongly disagree!Ó
Writer: David Michelinie
Artists: Jackson Guice and Denis Rodier
$1.50 US/$2.10 CAN/70p UK

WN: 2.5 Shields - Action issue saved by advances in the serial killer subplot
and SCUÕs Dan Turpin
JS: 3 Shields - Not a bad story (not nearly as bad as Mr. Michelinie seems
prone to write). And I actually liked the art in this
issue Ñ when Guy was in the scene. Guice & Rodier draw
Warrior really well.
KM: 3.5 Shields - I liked this issue but I hated having to buy one from
another series to figure out the missing parts. I enjoyed
the action scenes.
PS: 2 Shields - The Warrior/Superman slugfest just didnÕt do anything for
me, though I liked the Turpin subplot....and WHERE is the
slasher subplot leading?

ItÕs rush hour in the Queensland Park tunnel, and Guy Gardner is in the back
of a cab urging the driver to get into Metropolis as fast as possible. HeÕs
about to lose control and become Warrior. Guy needs to find Superman because
his Vuldarian side is taking over in response to an alien threat. He loses
control and becomes Warrior then smashes out of the cab. At the Planet, Clark
is wondering who ÒknowsÓ while Lois waits on developments on her serial killer
story. Perry sends them both to check out the disturbance in the tunnel.

Dan Turpin is getting out of town on a fishing vacation and gets caught up in
the jam. Warrior grabs a police officer who tries to stop him. Turpin moves
up through the gridlock on foot to find out what the disturbance is and
confronts four guys mugging a Mercedes driver. Superman flies down the tunnel
to confront Warrior, who throws the officer to the side. Guy makes a plea for
help before his Vuldarian side reasserts itself, and his hand becomes a large
mace which he uses to pound Superman. Guy then uses a cannon-type weapon and
hits a passer-by. Superman stops to help the civilian hit by one of WarriorÕs
bullets. HeÕs a truck driver carrying illegal radioactive waste and warns
Superman about the danger.

In Suicide Slum, the serial killer has a splitting headache which he can only
relieve by punishing Òfalsifiers and foolersÓ - aspirin doesnÕt cut it. His
Spartan room has a newspaper cutting with the ÒDuped AgainÓ headline on it and
a shot of Superman in the coffin, which he can still see. The police break in
and he cries out while pointing at Superman that he has to Òpunish the greatest
deceiver of all.Ó All the police can see is the empty coffin.

Turpin beats down the muggers and grabs a dirt scrambler to help Superman.
Dan knocks Warrior off of Supes with the bike heÕs borrowed, and Warrior is
frozen in liquid nitrogen. Superman then flies him off to S.T.A.R. labs.
Cue: Continued Warrior 30 box. Clark returns to his apartment thinking
ÒPeople think heroes never sleep... IÕm going to nod off for a weekÓ. He
checks his mailbox, finding that itÕs full of postcards which say ÒI know,Ó
and he is left again wondering ÒWho?Ó

This episode could have been nothing more than a relentless slugfest but
thankfully wasnÕt. I donÕt know much about GuyÕs latest exploits or his
Vuldarian side, but there wasnÕt much previous knowledge required for a
storyline which will be continued in Guy Gardner: Warrior #30. It did live
up to the Action in this bookÕs title though. I was perhaps too cynical about
that and GuyÕs appearance, but it was offset with advances in the serial
killer subplot and an opportunity to showcase Dan Turpin. The former has been
a curious affair but seems to be building towards an as yet indeterminate (for
me) conclusion. This issue confirms that the ÒSlasherÓ is ultimately pursuing
Superman as the Ògreatest deceiverÓ (as Art suspected). [The fact that the
killer can still see the body in the casket probably indicates that he has
some link to Brainiac. ÑJeff] The victims we have seen killed have been
killed for truth - but truth for whom? I liked the use of Dan and the
insights into his character, like a love of fishing and his relentless
dedication. The art was good, in particular the wonderful close-up of Dan
Turpin saying ÒBut I got a job to doÓ in the center pages. The J. Shuster
mailbox below ClarkÕs was also a nice touch.

The cover art is a neat homage to Action 688 which was part of the Reign of
the Supermen arc. That cover read ÒGuy Gardner chooses sides!Ó and Guy (with
bowl haircut) is shown fighting the visored Superman. Coincidentally, Action
688 was Triangle 16 of 1993 (709 is this years 16).

William J U Nixon



SUPERBOY #14, ÒKill Them All!Ó (Watery Grave: Part 2 of 3)
Writer: Karl Kesel
Artist: Tom Grummett
Inkers: Doug Hazlewood & Stan Woch
$1.50 US/$2.10 CAN/70p UK


VC: 4 Shields - The previous issue is still somewhat better, but this is
solid artwork and a still-interesting storyline.
AW: 4.5 Shields - Characteristically strong art, dialogue and plot.
Another winner!
JS: 4 Shields - The story was a little weaker than last issue, but the
art is as great as ever! DonÕt guess Sidearm is going
to be SuperboyÕs arch-nemesis.

Our covert team is off to a great start. Not only have they entered the
Silicon DragonsÕ lair with their undersea craft damaged but they are
immediately fired upon while swimming in a moon pool.

However, not is all lost. Makoa starts off the action with an incendiary
device and Knockout follows up by launching Superboy into the midst of the
fight. Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Knockout and Superboy enter an area of
the complex and seal it off under a hail of gunfire. While they believe
theyÕre safe, they realize that King Shark, Makoa and Sidearm may be done

In reality, King Shark had taken Makoa back out underwater only to ram open
another part of the base. Sidearm had followed them and demands to abort the
mission. Unfortunately, it is King Shark who gives Sidearm a more final

Meanwhile, the other four members of the team are making their way through
the undersea labyrinth encountering devious traps in each area they pass,
until finally, the group falls. When Superboy recovers consciousness, we
see only him, shackled and ready to meet his execution at the hands of Lady

Except for a few minor things, I would say that Kesel has another
well-crafted issue on his hands. The only nit-picking I have was the lack of a
plan on the part of our heroes. All we know is that their mission is to
locate and destroy the central base of the Silicon Dragons. What we donÕt
know is how they are to accomplish that. Regardless of how powerful they may
be together, they have been separated and they probably lack the tactical
knowledge on how to destroy the complex. An exotic dancer, MTV-raised clone,
thieving Aussie and a marksman - a thinktank they do not make. IÕm more
content to believe that theyÕre just wandering around looking for a self-
destruct button or more logically, a way out.

I have to admit that Makoa and King SharkÕs tenuous relationship makes for a
great read but is it just me, or are others getting tired of the rest of the
Suicide SquadÕs complaints? The fact that Kesel culled them together for an
important mission is great but they interact with each other awkwardly.

Still, I enjoyed the fact that the team are human beings with limitations and
really had to struggle through the issue, testament that Kesel does not give
his characters cakewalk situations to deal with.

I canÕt say much more about the art that I havenÕt mentioned previously but
if youÕre reading this for the first time, Grummett and Hazlewood et al do a
fabulous job, making them the most consistent and talented S-related art team
this past while. (IÕm a sucker for Stuart Immonen but who knows how long heÕs
gonna be with the S-titles?)

Victor Chan

End of Section 3


STEEL #14, ÒSpirits and FlameÓ
Written by Louise Simonson
Pencilled by Roberto Flores
Inked by Rich Faber
Cover by Batista & Faber
$1.50 US/$2.10 CAN/70p UK


JS: 2.5 Shields - Decent guest art, but a dumb story with several problems.

After attending the funeral of Rosie Kurtz (who was killed in issue #9), John
Henry finds himself face to face with RosieÕs previously unknown twin sister.
Suzzie warns him of impending woman troubles, but their discussion is cut
short by a nearby explosion. Steel begins to pull people from the burning
building, but realizes that there are simply too many to save by himself.
Fortunately, Superman (in town for the reporterÕs convention in Superman #99)
arrives on the scene to aid in the rescue.

Just as it is cleared, the building collapses. Realizing that the firemen
donÕt seem to be able to contain the blaze, Superman funnels water from the
Potomac to douse the fire. Before they even have time to catch their breath,
however, Steel and Superman are drawn to another explosion about a half-mile
away. They repeat the rescue and water-funnel act. Once again, they try
to take a moment to recover, but they witness the appearance of a suit of
armor which launches a bomb, igniting a gas main. Amidst the resulting
explosion, the armor seems to become part of the flames.

After concluding that this villain travels as a gas until he can rematerialize
and ignite another fire, Superman and Steel give chase. Superman comes up
with a plan and directs Steel to keep him from exploding again. Steel manages
to tackle Firebomb (as he introduces himself), sending the two of them flying
just over a row of fire hydrants. Superman promptly uses his heat vision to
shear the hydrants, innundating Steel and Firebomb. Though the water has
little effect against the incredible heat that Firebomb is generating, Superman
uses his super-breath to freeze Steel and Firebomb. After thawing them,
though, they discover that the bomb escaped through cracks in his suit.

John Henry then goes to the nearest hospital to have his burns looked at, and
Dr. Quick seems to draw a connection between him and Steel by the pattern of
his burns. Across the city, Nate enters the office of Senator Weaver, her
new employer, to find the Senator staring blankly into her computer screen.
An in yet another location, White Rabbit gloats that her use of Firebomb
distracted Superman and Steel long enough for her reprogram Senator WeaverÕs
computer. The result Ñ ÒWeaver and her anti-violence cohorts will work to
repeal the weapons control legislation they passed so recently.Ó

The best part about this issue is the gorgeous cover by Batista & Faber. The
interior fill-in art by Flores is nice, and his Superman is impressive. There
is, however, a lack of backgrounds for all but the largest of panels.

There are *way* too many convenient occurrences and little problems with this
issue. First is the appearance of Suzzie Kurtz. If they wanted a weird
psychic character in the book, they should not have killed Rosie. In fact,
you could make an argument that this somewhat negates her death! When Steel
tackles Firebomb, he ignites, heating SteelÕs armor to white hot Ñ yet
SteelÕs cape is just tattered along the bottom. Then of course, thereÕs the
unlikelihood of seeing a series of hydrants lined up so close together.

In the months IÕve been buying it, STEEL has had a roller-coaster tendency.
There have been very good issues such as the #0 issue and the first two
parts of ÒMaximum Orbit.Ó But there have also been some horrible issues
such as the two-part story about Rosie KurtzÕs death.

Jeff Sykes


SHOWCASE Ô95 #3, ÒNo MercyÓ
Starring The Eradicator
Written by: Karl Kesel
Pencils by: Greg LaRocque
Inks by: Stan Woch
$2.50 US/$3.50 CAN/L1.50 UK


RG: Story: 4 shields - good self contained origin/motivation story
Art: 2.5 shields - inks are too heavy, needs background detail
JS: 3.5 Shields - Nice take on the Eradicator, but the story was little more
than a fight and an origin recap. I love Greg LaRocqueÕs
artwork, though I agree that the inks could have been a
little lighter Ñ especially on the EradicatorÕs scars.

Team Turmoil, a mercenary super-powered group, and an unknown leader have taken
over the day-care center of Star Labs in San Francisco killing the adults. The
leader is demanding that he be given super-powers or he will start killing the

The Eradicator easily beats Team Turmoil, seriously injuring several of them.
He then turns his attention to the (still) unnamed leader, who is using one of
the children as a shield. As the Eradicator prepares to kill the leader, he is
stopped by the intervention of his kids (who we saw several times in the
flashbacks). They donÕt want him to kill the guy as they (and the world)
believe he killed their father. He is just about to explain to his kids who he
really is when the police arrive on the scene and he is forced to escape.

Through an interesting interplay of flashbacks to the life (and death) of Dr.
David Connor (the personality currently inhabiting the body of the Eradicator),
we get a little better feel for who the current Eradicator is, and why he
reacts the way he does. IÕm not sure if the EradicatorÕs origin has ever been
presented before (IÕve never seen it), but as an origin and background story
this one works well. [The merging of Dr. Connor and the Eradicator occurred
in Action Comics #693. ÑJeff]

I didnÕt care for the art, it looked rushed and unfinished. There are few
panels that have anything beyond an attempt at a background, and the inking
was too heavy for my taste.

ÒClaw reunionsÓ starring Claw (of Primal Force)
Written by: Steven T. Seagle
Pencils by: Shannon Londin-Gallant
Inks by: Tim Simmons

Story 1 - uninteresting presentation of a forgettable character
Art 2.5 - looks rushed, needs background detail

Claw reminisces about an incident in Hong Kong that involved his
mother, and explains a bit about some of his problems with the
Triads in Asia.

ÒHomecomingÓ starring the Question
Written by: Dennis OÕNeil
Art by: Rick Burchette

Story 3 - about average, OK but not remarkable
Art 3 - OK, needs more detail. It looked unfinished

Vic Sage, The Question is visiting the orphanage where he grew up
when he encounters a trouble maker from his past about to trash the
place and the nun who still resides there. Vic easily defeats his
old tormentor and his gang saving the nun, and the orphanage from
further harm.

Not a bad story, but predictable. Dennis is capable of much better work.

ReneÕ Gobeyn


THE NEW TITANS #120, ÒThe Road to HellÓ (Forever Evil: Part 2 of 3)
Written by: Marv Wolfman
Penciled by: William Rosado
Inks by: Keith Champagne
$1.95 US/$2.75 CAN/#1.25 UK


RG: Story: 5 shields - tightly plotted nice lead in for Supergirl
Art: 5 shields - great perspectives with detailed backgrounds
JS: 3 Shields - I use to read Titans, but it got uninteresting. Having picked
up the last two issues because of the Supergirl appearance,
I can say that these two issues have been better than what
I left. The art is good Ñ though I donÕt care for the
ÒpunkedÓ Supergirl Ñ and the writing is okay.

The story continues from last issue and Showcase Ô95 #2, with hints to
happenings in this years annual.

Raven and her converts have kidnapped Mirage and taken her to their cavern
deep under the city. Raven plans to use her to lure the Titans into a trap
so that she can use them as hosts for the other Children of Trigon.
Meanwhile, in the dimension of Azarath, Phantasm has reformed to do battle
with her again.

The Titans get a distress call from Mirage, and they charge off to the rescue.
While deep in space, Phantasm is calling on Minion (see the last few issues of
Darkstars for details) for help.

The Titans fall into RavenÕs trap and are beginning to win the fight when
Supergirl, in her punk/spiked mode joins the fight against them (yup, sheÕs a
villain in this one). Supergirl is easily defeating the Titans one-by-one,
and has just defeated Terra, who was trying to rescue Mirage, when she is
beaten by Phantasm and Minion. The story is supposed to conclude in the next

Confused? DonÕt be concerned, this is a very busy title and carries a large
amount of history. This is not to mention that DCÕs Darkstar and Green
Lantern (and probably the new Impulse) titles are tightly linked to the events
in this book. As it appears that Supergirl is to become an on-going member of
the Titans, if anyone wants a recap of the current plots or other details, let
me know and IÕll include them in a future issue.

The New Titans is (IMHO) one of the best books currently being printed. IÕm
glad that Supergirl will be joining them as it gives me one more good reason
to pick up the book each month. Marv Wolfman (one of the original creators)
seems to really care about the team. He takes the time to show the interplay
between the characters and works hard to show the relationships that are
developing between the members.

The wonderfully detailed art work works to help tell the interesting and well
plotted story lines. This book is a lot more than just long boring fight
scenes tacked together with a few pages of completely unrelated interaction.
When the inevitable fight does happen, it is shown as an integral, and
necessary part of the story. The characters are consistent and have realistic
personalities. TheyÕre treated in such a way that as a reader I care what
happens to them from month to month. What more can a reader ask of a book?

ReneÕ Gobeyn



BLOOD PACK #2 (of 4), ÒBlue HawaiiÓ
Written by: Charles Moore
Pencils by: Chris Taylor
Inks by: Andy Lanning
$1.50 US/$2.10 CAN/70p UK

RG: Story: 4 shields - tightly written story, good characterization
Art: 3.5 shields - figures look rushed, lack of backgrounds hurt
JS: 3 Shields - Good characterization of Superboy, and pretty good art
highlight a story which is actually better than you might
expect. And hey, itÕs got Jade!

(recap of issue 1)
The Blood Pack (newbloods Sparx, Nightblade, Ballistic, Razorsharp, Loria,
Geist, and Mongrel, and led by Jade) are hired by a TV studio that wants to
put together a series based on their exploits. To make this possible, each of
the members of the Pack are closely followed by (at least one) flying camera
that is constantly monitoring their activities. The studio will then edit the
films to make the series. Kind of like a Superhero 911 show. [More like
MTVÕs ÒThe Real World.Ó ÑJeff] Naturally since this is a comic book, there
is some sort of conspiracy, and hidden agenda. In the first book of the
series, the Pack are called out to fight a group of terrorists that have
taken over an atomic plant in Germany. The team are split up and each of
them is in serious trouble when the book ends.

The story picks up while the Blood Pack are in Germany trying to shut down
the reactor that had been damaged by the ÒDemolition TeamÓ (a group of
costumed environmental activists). They are getting themselves stomped
pretty badly when their backups (heavily armed humans in fighting suits) step
in and help them defeat the terrorists. Razorsharp manages to shut the
reactor down.

Later as the Pack kicks back, we get a (small) glimpse of them trying to get
to know each other better. Not all of the Pack want to get along, and Loria
decides that she wants out. We also get the obligatory scene of the master
minds planning to use them in their own agenda.

An emergency takes the Pack to Hawaii, but they are forced to leave Razor and
Loria behind. When the Pack get to Hawaii they join with Superboy in rescuing
the tourists and locals being threatened by the eruption of a supposedly
dormant volcano. (We get to see some alien-like tentacles in the lava so we
know that the disaster has been generated by the showÕs producers.)

While performing a rescue, Superboy damages one of the flying cameras that
are following the Pack around. After the rescue is finished, Geist picks up
the damaged unit to try to fix it. He is working on it in the plane on the
way back to base when he manages to activate it in ÒplayÓ mode. What he sees
is Devlin (one of the armored backups) kill Loria. He shows a few of the
others, and they decide to wait to see what else the Producers are up to. The
book closes with a shot of the producers threatening to terminate Baxter and
the project.

The Blood Pack is DCÕs first real effort to build a team of the new young
heroes that came about in the ÒBloodlinesÓ annuals of two years ago. As an
effort to try to make use of the characters (and introduce them to new
readers), itÕs a great start. I just wish we could have seen more of Sparx
and Superboy. The concept of a ÒrealÓ super-hero TV show is great! ItÕs
especially good to see DC making good use of the old Infinity Inc. characters.
(Jade is here and her brother Obsidian is in JLA.)

IÕm enjoying the series right now, and hope that DC will continue with the
characters in some form after itÕs over. The new characters are interesting
and diverse, from a large number of different backgrounds. Watching them
interact could make for some interesting story ideas in the future.

ReneÕ Gobeyn


GUY GARDNER: WARRIOR #30, ÒThe Enemy of My FriendÓ
Written by Beau Smith
Pencilled by Mitch Byrd
Inked by Dan Davis
Cover by Grummett & Davis
$1.50/$2.10 CAN/70p UK


JS: 4 Shields

This issue continues the story from Action Comics #709, beginning with STAR
LabsÕ attempt to help Guy. After Dr. Faulkner confirms that Guy is reacting
to SupermanÕs alien DNA, Warrior breaks free from the chamber in which heÕs
being studied. To help Superman, Dr. Faulkner changes into Rampage. After
extensive battle, Superman manages to knock Guy unconscious.

Supergirl arrives at Warriors after her recent bout with the New Titans and
Raven, where she is informed of GuyÕs inability to control his powers. She
rushes off to help, arriving just after Guy has awakened and resumed the
battle. She finally helps him to regain control by shifting her appearance
to that of Ice, GuyÕs past love who was slain prior to Zero Hour.

Warrior is one of the better titles at DC, and I believe they handled their
part of this meeting better than Action did. Mitch ByrdÕs art is a little
bit stylized, and his rendition of Supergirl was much better than his take
on the Man of Steel. The writing is great. IÕve seen better from Beau
Smith, but this was still well-written. And it was really nice to see that
Supergirl saved the day, and she did so without simply joining in the brawl!
Oh, and it was great seeing Tom GrummettÕs Superman on the cover!

Jeff Sykes



AFTER-BYRNE: Reviews of the Post-Crisis Man of Steel

Reviewed by Jeffery D. Sykes (

ACTION COMICS #675, ÒDivide and ConquerÓ
March 1992
Written by Roger Stern
Art by Bob McLeod & Denis Rodier
Cover by Jurgens & McLeod

Cover Price: $1.00 US/$1.25 CAN/60p UK
Overstreet Price: $1.00 US

The heroes of Earth have begun to turn the tide of the battle with BrainiacÕs
forces, prompting some expression of concern from Maxima. However, Brainiac
assures her that he has prepared for every contingency. Even as they speak,
the heroes have split into smaller teams. One by one, Brainiac manages to
waylay these teams by implanting devices onto the heads of certain heroes,
thereby gaining control over them.

In the combat arena, Superman, Supergirl, and Draaga escape the storm
initiated by Brainiac by fleeing into the headship, still controlled by
Dubbilex. Inside, Dubbilex receives some surprise assistance as the
mother box units taken from Lightray and Orion suddenly disappear from
BrainiacÕs grip and reappear at DubbilexÕs side.

Back on Earth, Jimmy makes his way into the Newstime building amidst the
Chaos on the streets of Metropolis, where he finds Collin Thornton. True
to his word, Thornton gives Jimmy a job to help photograph the mayhem. Out
in the streets, the heroes have made some progress against BrainiacÕs ground
forces, and when they are joined by both Team Luthor and the SCU. Working
together, the three groups manage to push the aliens away from downtown and
against the waterfront. Up above, Jimmy and Ron Troupe cover the story
in the Newstime helicopter.

On Warworld, Brainiac finally admits to some concern over his inability to
regain control of his headship from Dubbilex. His concerns grow when Dubbilex
transports the ship deep into Warworld and drains all of the power from its
teleporters. Brainiac quickly orders Maxima to investigate, but not before
further angering her over his mistreatment.

Superman encounters the controlled Kilowog, who blasts him with his Green
Lantern ring energy, but Superman uses the yellow shield on his cape to stop
the energy and remove the device. And in another corner, Captain Marvel helps
the Forever People to escape a horde of Warworlders, and they repay the favor
by summoning the Infinite Man. And in yet another corridor, Supergirl
distracts the controlled Barda long enough for Mister Miracle to remove the
device sheÕs wearing. Witnessing these small defeats, Brainiac is further
enraged when his monitors begin to go down. He lashes out in desperation,
sending the other controlled heroes after their compatriots.

This is yet another great issue from the Super-team, though the art gets a
little busy at times. However, it remains crisp and clean, and there are some
beautiful panels. Bob McLeod has some particularly beautiful renditions of
Supergirl, Maxima, and Captain Marvel, as well as a truly evil Brainiac.
Another thing to note about the art is that Denis RodierÕs inks on this issue
are nowhere near as heavy as his current work on Action Comics.

The storytelling is vintage Roger Stern. His insights into the mind of Maxima
and his scripting of the cold calculations of Brainiac are wonderful. And yet
again we see how the writers let us *see* the action taking place instead of
telling us as well. In addition, the pacing is very well-done Ñ we spend
very little time in one situation, thereby emphasizing the panic and urgency
of the moment.

Great work, worthy of 4 shields!


April 1992
Written by Louise Simonson
Art by Jon Bogdanove & Dennis Janke

Cover Price: $1.00 US/$1.25 CAN/60p UK
Overstreet Price: $1.00 US

Inside Warworld, Supergirl faces BrainiacÕs forces as the tides have begun to
turn back in favor of the heroes, but she is rendered unconscious by a tele-
pathic attack from Maxima. And elsewhere Superman begins to be overwhelmed
by the combined might of the heroes who Brainiac now controls.

Dubbilex has used the Mobius chair to teleport himself and Draaga to where
Orion, Lightray, and Metron are being held captive, and Draaga frees the New
Gods. Before they can proceed, Dubbilex discovers SupermanÕs grave situation.
Draaga rushes off to help, while Dubbilex uses the mother boxes to restore
the New Gods. He also contacts the remaining heroes which have not been
enthralled and they rush to join the fray.

With the arrival of help, Superman begins to make headway against his friends,
and one of the controlling devices is removed from Guy Gardner. Metron,
Dubbilex, and Kilowog then set to the task of conquering the technology.

On Earth, the alien forces are finally being beaten, but one of them manages
to take a shot at the Newstime helicopter carrying Jimmy and Ron. Things
look grim as they plunge into the bay, but they are soon rescued by none
other than Aquaman! As they climb to shore, they are greeted by Lois Lane,
who is also covering the story. Upon hearing that Jimmy is working for
Newstime, she lets him know that Perry is back in charge at the Planet, and
she will see if he canÕt get JimmyÕs job back.

Supergirl manages to convince Maxima to free her, as Maxima sees that the best
hope for her people is the destruction of Brainiac. Supergirl rejoins the
battle, and Draaga admits to himself that he has fallen in love with her.
Together they stand, side by side, against BrainiacÕs hordes. Realizing that
Metron has nearly finished his own device to nullify those of Brainiac,
Brainiac unleashes a new distraction upon the heroes Ñ he needs time to
get Warworld into position for his ultimate weapon.

The distraction is an organic construct which unleashes bursts of anti-matter.
Enraged by BrainiacÕs callous disrespect for life, Supergirl prepares to plug
the mouth of the construct with her own body. Upon realizing her plan,
Draaga springs in front of her and throws himself into the beast. The
disruption of the attack allows the completion of MetronÕs device and all of
the heroes are freed. The construct is then sent out into space by the Green
Lanterns where it overloads from DraagaÕs sacrifice. The GL power rings
protect DraagaÕs body from the explosion, but his life is lost.

Supergirl mourns the loss of her close friend, and she assumes his shape to
honor his sacrifice. Maxima suddenly appears, requesting that she be allowed
to join the heroes. Though the first response is extremely hostile, Supergirl
stands up for Maxima. Meanwhile, Brainiac is maniacal with glee as Warworld
has made orbit and he is about to unleash his master plan to shrink the
cities of Earth!

Bog and JankeÕs art in this issue is not quite as good as that in the previous
issue, but it is still quite dynamic. The art is still clean and as in the
previous review, it is interesting to note that Dennis JankeÕs inks are not as
heavy in this book as they are in todayÕs books. Has the process involved in
inking changed in the past three years? Or are heavy inks the current style?
The cover of this issue is an homage to the cover of Crisis #7, which
featured the death of Supergirl. This cover also shows hints of BogÕs style
change which would begin in a year or so.

The writing was not quite as good with this issue as with some of the others,
but it was still fairly good. Some of the dialogue and behavior was a little
uncharacteristic of the heroes to which it was attributed. However, the
growing connection between Draaga and Supergirl was handled extremely well,
One minor continuity gripe. Supergirl changed her form to match DraagaÕs
while she was holding his lifeless body. In issues which have transpired
since Panic in the Sky, it has been made obvious that increasing her mass so
much would have weakened and pained her tremendously (consider the issue where
she mimicked Hellgrammite). I canÕt believe that she would have been able
to continue to hold Draaga during the transformation.

Though not quite as outstanding as the prior issues, I would still rate this
above average - 3.5 shields!

Brainiac deploys his doomsday weapon and the heroes make their final
onslaught as the Panic reaches its climax, next month!

End of Section 4

LEGACIES: Reviews of the pre-Crisis Man of Steel

by Bill Morse (

SupermanÕs Return to Krypton

Last issue, I gave an overview of the Silver Age Superman stories, their
strengths as well as weaknesses. I wrote that although there were a lot of
silly plot devices, the stories that had some real meaning were generally
found in the ÒThree-Part NovelÓ category. In most issues, there were three
separate adventures. But once in a while, the editor would devote an entire
issue to a story which was better thought out, and more thoughtfully told.
There was a sub-genre of these, called Imaginary Stories. This was the
concept that gave rise to MarvelÕs What If...? series, and DCÕs current
Elseworlds series. Imaginary stories were a plot device that gave writers a
chance to stretch the boundaries of an established character, such as
Superman, without being locked into continuity.
In this and in my next few articles, I will describe some of my favorite
Three-Part Novels, Imaginary and otherwise. Several of my favorites have
been reprinted in The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told, published in 1987
in hardcover, and just recently reissued in paperback. This is a book which
lives up to its name, and I urge all Superman fans to find a copy.
The first theme I want to explore is one that cropped up with some
regularity in the Silver Age: Superman on Krypton. As I described in last
issueÕs article, one common theme of that era was meetings of diverse members
of the SupermanÕs supporting cast: Jimmy Olsen met Superboy, the Kents
adopted Supergirl, and just about every possible combination of characters
met at some time or another, regardless of their time zone of origin. So it
was natural that Jimmy Olsen would visit Krypton, and that Lex Luthor would
meet Jor-El and Lara. Many of these stories were throwaways, but the stories
about Superman on Krypton had some more depth to them, explored the grief
that Superman carried as the survivor of a great civilization.
SupermanÕs Return to Krypton first appeared in Superman 123, published
in 1958. The story was by Otto Binder, and the art was by Dick Sprang, who
was a regular Batman artist, and very rarely worked on Superman. It might
have been the first three-part novel, and it actually worked more as three
separate stories tied together by a narrative device.
Jimmy Olsen is given a magic totem by an archaeologist, who tells Jimmy
that once every hundred years, the totem grants three wishes. Jimmy
unselfishly decides to use his wishes to help Superman. Each of the wishes
gets a chapter. The first chapter is a sort of tryout of the Supergirl
concept. This appeared a little over a year before SupermanÕs cousin Kara,
the Silver Age Supergirl, came to Earth. This magical pre-SupergirlÕs
chapter is contrived to show us that having a Supergirl around was more of a
headache than help for Superman, even though she sacrifices her life saving
him from Kryptonite. In chapter two, crooks get hold of the totem, and use
it to wish away SupermanÕs powers, which of course he regains by the end of
the chapter.
ItÕs the third chapter where things get interesting, although there is a
glaring example of editorial contrivance. Jimmy is depressed that the first
two wishes have turned out so bad for Superman, so he decides to wish that
Superman could return to Krypton and meet his parents. But (here comes the
contrivance) in order to keep it a secret from SupermanÕs super-hearing,
Jimmy TYPES the wish. As soon as Superman is whisked away, Jimmy realizes
that he has committed a typo: he typed that Superman should MATE his parents.
DARN! DonÕt you hate when that happens?!
Superman mate his parents? Sounds too kinky for the Comics Code
Authority. (In one of these articles IÕll tell the story of my own personal
run-in with the Comics Code Authority, during my time on staff at DC.) But
in the context of the story, this didnÕt imply anything improper, rather, it
meant that Superman would help to bring about his parentsÕ marriage. (When
you think about it, many people without any super powers at all have
accomplished that same objective. In fact, thatÕs probably one of mankindÕs
oldest stories.)
So Superman finds himself on Krypton, and for some reason, he is
invisible and intangible. He follows Jor-El and Lara during their courtship.
To his shock, he sees them enter the secret headquarters of Kil-Lor, a
would-be dictator. They salute Kil-Lor in front of a swastika. Superman
canÕt believe his eyes. Are they Nazis? Of course not! They are undercover
agents of the KBI, KryptonÕs FBI. Suddenly, Kil-LorÕs headquarters is raided
by other KBI agents who donÕt know Jor-El and Lara. They are arrested. When
they try to prove their innocence by revealing their radioactive tattoos, the
tattoos have mysteriously disappeared. Superman stands helplessly by, unable
to help, as Kil-Lor and his parents are sentenced to a space exile in
suspended animation. (This was before Jor-El invented the Phantom Zone ray.)
The phantom Superman watches the rocket ship depart, and is somehow
drawn along with the ship. Once they are away from Krypton, he regains his
solidity, as well as his powers. Why? Because otherwise the story wouldnÕt
go anywhere. He guides the satellite to one of KryptonÕs moons, and revives
the sleeping prisoners. Everyone has super-powers. A battle ensues, which
ends in a stalemate. Kil-Lor flies away, but spies on the others with his
super senses. He hears Superman explain a frightening scenario to Jor-El and
Lara: what if Kil-Lor uses his powers to create a nuclear explosion, by
colliding two radioactive rocks at super speed? Kil-Lor rejoices that
Superman had unwittingly given him the means to revenge himself on Krypton.
He tries an experiment on two small rocks, just as Superman planned, and
succeeds in recreating the conditions (on a small scale) that blew up
Krypton. As a result, Kil-Lor finds himself trapped in a pit of Kryptonite,
where he dies! We see SupermanÕs thoughts as he views the scene from a
distance: ÒI tricked him into duplicating the very same chain reaction that
blew up Krypton and created Kryptonite!Ó So Superman acknowledges that he
engineered a plot to kill a villain! That was out of the ordinary for the
Silver Age Superman. There were entire stories devoted to SupermanÕs resolve
never to take any life. The guy didnÕt even step on ants!
Jor-El and Lara get a painless, mild exposure to the Kryptonite, which
is just enough to re-establish their radioactive KBI tattoos. Now they can
return to Krypton, prove their innocence, and get married. All thanks to
this stranger. Lara kisses Superman, and says, ÒI hope that we have a son
like you someday!Ó
As they begin to fly back to Krypton, Superman calls optimistically,
ÒYouÕll lose your flying powers on Krypton! Just be careful to fall at sea
without harm, and some ship will pick you up!Ó Just like that!
Superman is then whisked back to Earth, having fulfilled the third wish.
Next issue, an imaginary story about what would have happened if Krypton
had never blown up, and Kal-El had grown to manhood there.


By Jon B. Knutson

ÒTime After TimeÓ is the name IÕve given to a multi-part serial that
ran, as the Virus X serial in my previous article, in Action Comics. There
are a few noteworthy items to mention about this story.

You will notice that Superman pulls a major mental miscalculation in
the first chapter... after reading it, you may well wonder why he didnÕt
wait a day. This was duly noted in the letter columns shortly after this
serial was completed, and was explained away as Superman not thinking
clearly. Oh, well. HereÕs the summary:

The three-part tale begins Action Comics 385, Feb 70, ÒThe Immortal
Superman!Ó Told by the President he canÕt fly into the past or future for a
24-hour period or he may cause a top-secret army experiment to fail,
Superman returns to the Fortress, where he finds a message requesting
his help in the year 101,970. Since heÕs not allowed to use his own
powers to travel through time, he decides to take a damaged Legion Time
Bubble. Traveling to the future, when he arrives, he discovers the defect
in the Time Bubble caused him to age every year along the way, making
him over 1,000 years old. He discovers, however, that heÕs every bit as
powerful now as he was in 1970.

Superman is shown an auton-vault door guarding the monetary reserve
chamber, which opens only once every 12 hours, but when shut, nothing can
enter or leave it. However, over the past weeks, tons of currency have
been stolen during the lock-up period. Even if someone could cut through
the super-reinforced walls, heÕd be killed by a pulsato-energi fence, which
dissolves anything coming within two feet of it. That eraÕs super-
champions were unable to find out what occurred.

Superman is locked in the vault, and discovers the culprit is a
synthetic being spawned by the radiations of the pulsato-energi. It hits
Superman with a series of shocks that, if they continue, will put him into
a death-like coma, which is what occurred to that eraÕs superheroes.
Superman hides inside the pulsato-energy fence, where he sees the energy
entity eating the money. When the 12 hours are up, Superman has the
officers provide him with a paint-atomizer, which he uses to paint yellow
on a stack of blue coins. Superman had noticed that the creature didnÕt eat
the blue money. The creature, tricked into eating the blue money, short-
circuits itself.

Superman then enters the time bubble, and heads back to 1970, but
finds an obstruction sealing off the time dimension. Superman hopes itÕs
temporary, and decides to see what Earth is like in that time. We discover
the Time-Trapper is keeping the past off-limits to the Man of Steel.

When Superman again reaches Earth, he finds heÕs accidentally sped
further into the future, where he is pursued by police who think heÕs a
member of a gang of criminals who wear Superman costumes. Superman
hides in the Metro-Museum of Ancient History, in his Clark Kent clothes.
Suddenly, his Clark clothes dissolved by the Multiple-Men, who each have
25 powers. Since theyÕd just captured the Superman Gang, they knew he
was the real Man of Steel. They spray him with noxious gases, calling
them a gift. Later, Superman, thinking heÕs recovered from the gases,
flies off, but passes out in mid-air. HeÕs brought to the Metro-Medicon
Center, where he discovers he is now immune to Kryptonite, Magic, and
even Virus-X. This means he can never die... and can never go home.

The tale continues in Action Comics 386, Mar 70, ÒThe Home For Old
Super-Heroes!Ó Trapped in the future, Superman continues to travel
forward in time, where he discovers the era heÕs stopped in has outlawed
super-powers, due to the actions of three superheroes some time ago (this
is a similar idea to that in the ÒLegendsÓ miniseries of some time ago).

Exploring the city, Superman happens upon the current incarnation of
the Daily Planet Building. Going inside, he searches the morgue to
discover what happened to his friends: When Clark Kent vanished, it was
determined he was Superman. Lois married a leading actor who played
Superman in movies, Jimmy Olsen wrote a best-seller about his years as
SupermanÕs pal, and Perry White retired to take charge of the Superman

Leaving the Planet building, Superman spots a flier going out of
control. As soon as he takes off, however, he is captured for violation of
the anti-powers law and banished to a planet for retired super-heroes,
where he is immediately chosen as their leader. On the third day of his
sentence, the major of Metropolis visits the planet, asking them to come
back with him. Superman convinces them to use this as their chance to
prove super-powers shouldnÕt be outlawed.

When they arrive in Metropolis, their first task is to eliminate the
super-power detectors. They find that a storage silo for nutanium, the
most powerful explosive in the universe, was exposed to an electrical
charge, stating a chain reaction. The radiations would disrupt the circuits
of robots, and the nutanium canÕt be moved because the slightest vibration
could set it off. The city canÕt be evacuated, either. Superman has the
retired heroes combine their forces to use the explosion of the nutanium
to force it into space. Superman decides to continue forward in time.

The concluding chapter appears in Action Comics 387, Apr 70, ÒEven a
Superman Dies!Ó In the year 801,970, Superman finds five spacemen
floating in space in suspended animation. Reviving them on a nearby
planetoid, Superman signals a passing ship to pick them up. Moving
forward in time again, to one million years ahead of 1970, he finds the
earthÕs been used up by mankind, and is just a contaminated globe of waste
material. Suddenly, a pair of gigantic robots approach the planet, bent on
destroying it. Wishing to prevent this, Superman enters one of them and
charges both robots with positive energy, causing them to repel from each

Superman then splits the earth in half, exposing the fresh, untapped
materials inside and fusing the halves together side-by-side. Then,
finding the right combination of gases, Superman inhales them to use to
create a new atmosphere. Scouring the galaxy, Superman finds plants,
animals and humanoids to restore the balance of nature. Finished with his
task of restoring life on earth, he flies off, only to be blasted by an
energy beam from a strange spacecraft. The craft is powered by the psyche-
energy of Lex Luthor, who wants to be the one to kill Superman. Luthor
never believed Superman had died in 1970.

From century to century, the craft absorbed the evil psyche-force from
executed criminals. SupermanÕs nearly-lifeless body is picked up by a
different spacecraft and brought to a nearby station. The master healer
there saves his life. Hearing that the Magnor Comet is due to pass by,
which disintegrates everything in its path, Superman heads off to it,
pursued by the Luthor ship. The comet destroys the ship, but Superman is
whisked by the comet to the end of time, where he blacks out.

He then relives his life through a series of vignettes, ending up at the
day he went into the future at the Fortress. The time-bubble is gone this
time, and Superman realizes he has a second chance at life.

All in all, an interesting storyline, if a paradoxical one. It takes
advantage of the theory that time is circular, yet has Superman being able
to split off into a new timeline, one in which he doesnÕt travel forward in

As I mentioned earlier, you may well wonder why when Superman got
the summons from the future why he didnÕt wait until the 24-hour period
had elapsed. The real reason for this, I believe, is that DCÕs theory of
time-travel seemed to incorporate the philosphy of everything happening
at once... if thereÕs an emergency in the future, it must be responded to
immediately. WeÕve seen this incorporated most recently in the ÒZero
HourÓ miniseries.

Additionally, when one of the Superman family travels to the future,
they always seem to arrive in the present after the same period of time
passed that they lived through in the future. Considering how often
Superboy visited the time of the Legion of Super-Heroes, if he didnÕt do
this, he would have become a mature Superman much sooner.

And so, I leave you with this serial. In my next installment, IÕll cover
a serial that occured between this one and ÒVirus X,Ó a serial I like to call
ÒClark Kent Ñ Lost or Stolen.Ó IÕll see you then!

Jon Knutson


SUPERMAN #398, ÒThe Kid Who Master-Minded SupermanÓ
Written by Joey Cavalieri
Pencilled by Curt Swan
Inked by Dave Hunt

ÒThe Clothes that Make a Man,Ó August, 1984
Written by Paul Kupperberg
Pencilled by Alex Saviuk
Inked by Dennis Jensen

Rating: 3.5 Shields for the artwork; 2.5 for the stories.

The first story is about a boy who apparently has the ability to manipulate
people and events with his mind. Even Superman is helpless against the boyÕs
ESP abilities.

It starts off with Mickey Morris finishing his paper route early so he can
pursue more important endeavorsÑpretending to be Superman. He imagines an
airplane is about to crash to earth and rushes up to catch it in midair.
(Boy, does that bring back memories. Only I had a towel as a cape and not a
Superman suit as Mickey does). Turn the page and we see Superman streaking
toward a real plane which is in downward plunge towards the center of
Metropolis. He is just about to grab the plane when...he canÕt remember what
he was going to do. So, he uses his super-breath to gently land the crippled

Cut back to Masonville where Mickey begins thinking about all the rain his
community gets. By midnight his mother rushes him out of the house. An
uncanny rain storm is threatening the town with a disastrous mudslide. Mickey
thinks Superman could use his super-breath to blow the rain clouds away.
Superman does arrive on the scene only to find he has lost the ability to use
his super-breath. As an alternative he stretches his cape, which is made of
Kryptonian material, between power poles above the city where it catches the
downpour. He then uses his heat vision to turn the water into steam where it
evaporates into the atmosphere.

It isnÕt too long before Mickey thinks about the cityÕs power supply
exploding. But, not to fear. Superman will just wrap his cape around the
power plant to keep the explosion inside. Needless to say Superman is back
at Masonville to avert another disaster; unfortunately he cannot remove his
cape. He has to use his super-breath to freeze the entire plant until the
danger subsides. Is this getting predictable or what?

The next day Mickey is playing baseball and hits what he hopes will be a
homer. It turns out to be just a pop fly instead. He thinks about how nice
it would be if gravity would go into reverse and the ball would never come

Yep, you guessed it. People and buildings begin to float into the atmosphere.
Superman arrives on the scene and realizes Mickey is the one causing all the
unusual events. It appears Mickey was also in Superman #388 and had developed
some incredible mental powers. Superman tells Mickey not to think of any
ÒsuperÓ way for him to get things back to normal. ThatÕs like telling someone
not to think of pink elephants. Anyway, it works (naturally) and Superman
uses his heat vision to speed up the atomic structure of the floating bodies
causing them to attract each other again. Are there any nuclear physicists in
the audience who can verify this phenomenon? After things have settled down,
MickeyÕs hero tells him that he must stop pretending to be Superman. Mickey
agrees, sort of. He still reserves the right to be Superman just in case something happens to the real Man of Steel.

The second story shows Superman zipping through space after a much deserved
vacation and coming into contact with some unknown force heading for an
inhabited planet. He causes it to explode by rushing headlong into it and
assumes everything is back to normal. Upon returning to earth he reaches
into his cape to pull out his Clark Kent disguise. Suddenly his suit takes
on a life of its own. The sleeves smack Superman in the jaw and the suit
begins flying through the air. Dazed, Superman intercepts it and gives it a
mighty WHUMP of his own. The suit falls limply into his arms and he zooms
down to the studios of WGB in order to do the nightly news. What, no Daily
Planet? [Towards the end of the pre-Byrne era, Clark began working in
television. ÑJeff]

With three minutes left to go in the news broadcast, the suit begins to act
up again. Clark stumbles out of the studio into another room complaining of
a stomach ache as the suit rips itself off his body. They fly out of the
building and Superman uses his super-vision to try and figure out what is
going on with his clothing. It appears that some creature of pure energy
attached itself on the suit when Superman caused the explosion in space. All
it wanted to do was get back home. The story ends with Superman taking the
suit back out in space in order to give it a helping hand back to where it
came from.

Well, the stories werenÕt too impressive. However, Lois, Jimmy, and Perry
all played minor roles. In fact, the only time they appeared was at the
beginning of the first story. The artwork is great and I have become a big
fan of Curt SwanÕs work. It also makes me appreciate some of the stories in
the present comics.

Ken McKee

Next issue I plan to begin a three-part review of the WorldÕs Finest mini-
series starring Superman, Batman, Luthor, and the Joker. IÕve pretty well
exhausted my supply of pre-Byrne comics. Of course, if anyone would like to
make a contribution...



Last monthÕs contest question was this:
Which Supes comic featured the first post-Byrne appearance of red Kryptonite?

The answer:
Red K first appeared in the Mxy-induced Superman-Flash race in ADVENTURES OF
SUPERMAN #463. As the race passed through Russia, Mxyzptlk discovered that
Lex was there tracking some Kryptonite. He then created a red piece of
Kryptonite, which he had intended to give to Flash for winning the race, and
offered it to Luthor instead. Believing the rock worthless, Luthor refused,
and Mxy discarded the red K with a remark about it being the Òwrong color.Ó
It was during MxyÕs next appearance that he gave some Red K to Luthor, so
that first appearance was an appropriate teaser for the Krisis.

The winner:
And recipient of a copy of SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL #1, autographed by
Louise Simonson, is David Skaar (!

Note that a case could also be made for ACTION COMICS #1. In this
crossover with the Legion of Super-Heroes which introduced the Pocket
Universe (which would later give us Supergirl), Krypto went into
SuperboyÕs stock of kryptonite to obtain some gold K to use against
Superman. In the cabinet was a lead container marked ÒRed K.Ó Though
this red K was never shown, it could be taken as the first appearance.

Watch for another contest next month and then yet another (this one with
another *big* prize) in our first anniversary issue in May!

End of Section 5

An Interview with John Byrne
by David T. Chappell

Readers of recent DC books have probably noticed multiple advertisem*nts for
the DC Comics Online portion of America Online. The claims for opportunities
to meet DC writers and artists on the computer service are substantiated by
recent discussions with famous creators such as John Byrne. On 25

1995, John Byrne appeared live on DC Comics Online, reporting from the Great
Eastern Convention in New York City. Though much of the discussion centered
on ByrneÕs upcoming work on WONDER WOMAN, he also fielded questions on his
past work, including Superman. I was among the ÒliveÓ computer audience and
was lucky enough that Byrne answered one of my questions. This article
presents a summary of the moderated discussion with an emphasis on ByrneÕs
Superman work. Fans interested in the entire text of the interview can
download it from DC Comics Online.

Comics writer and artist John Byrne is best known for his work on several
Òsuper-menÓ books: Superman, the X-Men, and his Next Men. After several
years of work with Marvel and on creator-owned books, Byrne is returning to
DC Comics to work on their most famous Òsuper-womanÓ: Wonder Woman. In the
recent interview, Byrne said that the marketplace is currently Ònot too kind
to creator-owned books.Ó He is discontinuing JOHN BYRNEÕS NEXT MEN but hopes
to resume the series when and if the market improves, and he insists that its
return relies on fansÕ demands.

As he leaves the Next Men, John seems eager to work on the Amazon Princess,
claiming that she is Òthe last of the big toys I havenÕt had the chance to
play with.Ó Beginning with issue 101 (shipping in June), heÕll be writing,
pencilling, and inking the book. Byrne says he Òwill be doing everything but
stapling the dang thing,Ó though Patricia Mulvihill will be the colorist.

Byrne plans to revamp Wonder Woman similar to his famous work on Superman in
1986. After George Perez left WONDER WOMAN, many fans (including this
reporter) feel that the seriesÕ quality has dropped substantially and could
use such rejuvenation. John also plans on returning the Greek gods to the
series, though not making them play as important a role as they played under
Perez. The first story arc, starting in WONDER WOMAN #101, Òinvolves Darkseid
trying to find out where the gods have gone.Ó Byrne plans to use New Gods
characters further in the series as he can, and he also gave subtle credence
to the rumors of a Darkseid-Galactus DC-Marvel cross-over.

Byrne also gave hints about his changes to the legend of Princess Diana.
SheÕll be moving from Boston to Gateway City Òsince I prefer the fake cities.Ó
Byrne will emphasize her great strength, saying ÒThere ainÕt nobody tougher
than Diana but Superman.Ó Fans will reported not need to know any background
information on Wonder Woman but can easily pick up the series starting with
issue #101.

In addition to ByrneÕs upcoming woman-work, many questions covered his work on
the Man of Steel. During ByrneÕs time on Superman, he worked with Perez to
develop an intriguing friendship between Clark Kent and Princess Diana. Fans
who liked this relationship or just ByrneÕs Superman work in general will be
happy to hear that Byrne hopes Òto use Superman ASAPÓ in WONDER WOMAN. When
asked why he left the Superman books, Mr. Byrne said ÒThere were a thousand
reasons,Ó though he emphasized Òburn out.Ó

Other questions covered John ByrneÕs attitude about the modern Superman
stories based on his revamp. On the comic books, he said ÒThe current
Superman team is not doing what I would have done, but [. . .] if I HAD done
it, thatÕs the WAY I would have done it.Ó He also gave a favorable appraisal
of ABCÕs ÒLois & ClarkÓ television show: ÒI think Dean Cain is the best Clark
Kent ever, and Teri Hatcher was the first person to make me actually
understand what Superman might see in Lois.Ó Thus, it seems that Byrne is
not disappointed in the current Superman work spawned from his famous
incarnation of the legend.

Therefore, DC readers have much to look forward to from John ByrneÕs work on
Wonder Woman. Fans of the Amazon Princess will see more stories with the
Greek gods and the New Gods as well as a Byrne-style revamp. Superman fans
can also look forward to Kal-ElÕs appearance in the book. If the resulting
work on WONDER WOMAN even approaches the same league as ByrneÕs past work on
other comic books, it will be well worth reading.


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!

Quickly let me point out a few changes and additions to this section.
The notes below will now only point out minor details about the crossovers
and guest appearances of the Superman family. In some cases, I may
indicate a very minor appearance *only* in the notes section Ñ for example,
last month, THE RAY ANNUAL was only listed in the notes.

IÕm introducing a new feature which some of you may find helpful. Following
the brief listing of titles for each month, IÕm going to indicate the total
damage for that monthÕs Super-titles. There are two totals given: the
Super-FanÕs Total gives the total cover price of the monthly titles (including
Superboy, Steel, Showcase, and New Titans), their annuals, and the new
quarterly, while the Hopeless CompletistÕs Total gives the total cover price
of everything Ñ including guest appearances, crossovers, and miniseries.

Notes: The SUPERMAN VS. ALIENS miniseries from DC and Dark Horse will
feature the introduction to the post-Crisis DC Universe of Argo
City! The NEW TITANS crossover concludes this month in THE DARKSTARS
and DEATHSTROKE (though another is being set up...). The Eradicator
is called in to stop LOOSE CANNON, while Gangbuster drops in on
BLACK LIGHTNING. In GREEN LANTERN, HalÕs back and all of his friends
are out to stop him. Finally, Superman gives Aquaman a hand in a
Year One story from the AQUAMAN ANNUAL.

1. List of Titles by Shipping Date:

Shipping date: Comic title and information:
March 7: Action Comics #709
Michelinie, Guice, & Rodier
Guy Gardner: Warrior #30 (Superman, Supergirl)
Beau Smith, Byrd, & Davis
Showcase Ô95 #4 (of 12)
Thorn story (Part 1 of 2)
Stern, Simpson, & Stegbauer
48 pgs, $2.50

March 14: Primal Force #7 (Superman)
Seagle, Choles & Larocque, & Kaalberg
Superboy #15
WATERY GRAVE: Part 3 (of 3)
K. Kesel, Grummett, & Hazlewood
Superman: The Man of Steel #44
L. Simonson, Bogdanove, & Janke

March 21: The New Titans #121 (Supergirl)
FOREVER EVIL: Part 3 (of 3)
Wolfman, Rosado, & Champagne
Jurgens, with Breeding & Rubinstein
64 pgs, $3.95 (Coll. Ed.), $2.95 (Stan. Ed.)
Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #4
L. Simonson, Leon, & Janke
Cover by Walt Simonson
56 pgs, $2.95

March 28: Adventures of Superman #523
K. Kesel, Immonen, & Marzan Jr.
Steel #15
L. Simonson, Batista, & Faber

MARCH Super-FanÕs Total: $17.85 ($18.85 for Coll.Õs Ed. of Superman #100)
Hopeless CompletistÕs Total: $21.30 ($22.30 for Coll.Õs Ed. of Superman #100)

April 4: Action Comics #710
Michelinie, Guice, & Rodier
Guy Gardner: Warrior #31 (Supergirl)
Beau Smith, Byrd, & D. Davis

April 11: Deathstroke #48 (Supergirl/New Titans)
Wolfman, S. & O. Cariello, & Blyberg
Loose Cannon #1 (of 4)
Jeph Loeb & Adam Pollina
The New Titans Annual #11
Wolfman, Land, Champagne & Blyberg
64 pgs, $3.95
Superboy #16
K. Kesel, Grummett, & Hazlewood
Superman: The Man of Steel #45
L. Simonson, Bogdanove, & Janke

April 18: The New Titans #122
Wolfman, Rosado, & Champagne
Showcase Ô95 #5 (of 12)
Thorn story (Part 2 of 2)
Stern, Simpson, & Stegbauer
48 pgs, $2.95
Superman #101
Jurgens, G. Kane, Breeding & Rubinstein

April 25: Adventures of Superman #524
K. Kesel, Immonen, & Marzan Jr.
Steel #16
L. Simonson, Batista, & Faber

APRIL Super-FanÕs Total: $20.85
Hopeless CompletistÕs Total: $26.60

May 2: Action Comics #711
Michelinie, Guice, & Rodier

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

May 16: Black Lightning #6 (Gangbuster)
Isabella & Newell
Green Lantern #64 (Superman)
Marz, Banks, & Tanghal
The New Titans #123
Wolfman & Friedman, S. Jones, & Rankin
Superman #102
Jurgens, G. Kane, & Rubinstein
Cover by Jurgens & Rubinstein
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.
Aquaman Annual #1 (Superman)
David, P. Jimenez & Various, Shum & Various
56 pgs, $3.50
Steel #17
Michelinie, Batista, & Faber
Superman vs. Aliens #1 (of 3)
from DC and Dark Horse
Dan Jurgens with Kevin Nowlan
48 pgs, $4.95

Stern, Grummett, & Breeding

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

2. Merchandise:

For more information on how to find these items, consult your local comic
shop dealer.

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Cards
From Skybox
These are the same cards advertised in the January issue of KC (and
the January issue of Diamond Previews!). The release date has been
pushed back to May.

SupermanÕs World of Krypton
From TOR
By Kupperberg, Chaykin, Anderson, & Chiaramonte, this classic chronicle
of KryptonÕs history reprints the late Ô70s DC miniseries.
Paperback, 4x7, 160 pgs, b&w, $3.99

For more information, see the latest issue of Previews or your local
comic store.

3. Spoilers:

May 2:
Action Comics #711
THE DEATH OF CLARK KENT: Part 7 (of 7) - Superman defeats the villain who
destroyed the life of Clark Kent Ñ but it may still prove to be a pyrrhic
victory unless the Man of Steel can save the lives of his parents, Jimmy
Olsen, and Lois Lane.

May 9:
The Darkstars #32
THE CRIMELORD/SYNDICATE WAR: Part 3 (of 4) - The Darkstars battle the
forces of the Syndicate and the Crimelord under the threat of nuclear
annihilation. Plus, Colos sets out to free the enslaved Jenuwynians.
Guest-starring Supergirl, the New Titans, and Deathstroke.

Deathstroke #49
THE CRIMELORD/SYNDICATE WAR: Part 4 (of 4) - Deathstroke is joined by
Supergirl, the New Titans, Hawkman, the Blood Pack, and others in a
desperate search for a dozen nuclear warheads Ñ the CrimelordÕs doomsday
devices in his final battle with the alien Syndicate. The outcome will
redefine the balance of power of EarthÕs underworld...

Loose Cannon #2
Wanted for murder, Loose Cannon is on the run from a team of super-powered
bounty hunters, a confrontation that pushes Cannon over the edge. Plus,
Maggie Sawyer is forced to call in her own super-powered trump card to
stop Loose Cannon: the Eradicator!

Superboy #17
One revelation follows another when Superboy heads for Las Vegas to find
Roxy Leech. But Roxy has an agenda of her own, and she doesnÕt *want* to
be found.

Superman: The Man of Steel #46
In the wake of ÒThe Death of Clark Kent,Ó the mysterious Shadowdragon
tries to aid Superman in returning to Metropolis. But after all thatÕs
happened, the Man of SteelÕs return may not be an option.

May 16:
Black Lightning #6
Gangbuster guest-stars as tensions in Brick City threaten to erupt into a
full-scale gang war. Whatever the cost, Black Lightning must protect
gang summit mediator Carlos Arredondo from the vengeance of Gangbuster,
who believes Arredondo may be the biggest threat Brick City has ever

Green Lantern #64
the Flash, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Hawkman, and Green Arrow guest-star
as Parallax stands victorious over the defeated Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner.
Now nothing stands between Hal Jordan and Ganthet, the last Guardian of the
Universe Ñ nothing except the combined might of JordanÕs closest friends
Ñ now his most desperate enemies!

The New Titans #123
The guest creative team of scripter Michael Jan Friedman and artists
Stephen Jones and Rich Rankin join plotter Marv Wolfman for the origin of
the new alien Titan, Minion. Orphaned after the destruction of his
homeworld and gifted with the most powerful weapon his people ever created,
Jarras Minion roams the cosmos in search of salvation. This issue sets in
motion intrigue that unfolds in an upcoming crossover storyline!
[Oh, joy. Another crossover... ÑJeff]

Superman #102
Captain Marvel guest-stars when, with Superman gone from Metropolis, a
mysterious figure claims the deteriorating Lex Luthor from STAR Labs.

Superman Annual #7
The Year One Annuals continue, exploring pivotal elements and untold
stories of the DC UniverseÕs greatest heroes. Dr. Occult guest-stars in
the story of the Man of SteelÕs first encounter with magic, an encounter
which aptly illustrated that even a ÒsupermanÓ can be vulnerable to the
mystic arts.

Showcase Ô95 #6 (of 12)
The fate of the Universe is at stake, and only two men can save it. One
of them is Lobo. The other is... Bibbo? This one-of-a-kind team-up is
written by Mike Carlin, with art by Denis Rodier. The two back-up stories
feature Leviathan and Andromeda, both of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

May 23:
Adventures of Superman #525
Just when his life has reached its darkest moment, the Man of Steel finds
someone he believed was gone forever, who convinces him the world still
has need of Superman.

Aquaman Annual #1
This issue features four stories integral to the Aquaman continuity, each
revolving around the villain Triton Ñ son of Poseidonis. In one of the
four tales, Superman guest-stars as Triton unleashes his full fury against
the Sea King.

Steel #17
Steel gains control of his armor powers and uses them to hunt down his
nephewÕs abductor. But this is no mere kidnapping... itÕs an act of
vengeance that will cost Steel dearly if his nephew is to survive!

Superman vs. Aliens #1 (of 3)
He came to Earth in a rocket, a strange visitor from another planet. Now,
years later, signals from space could be the beginning of a trail leading
back to his home planet of Krypton. Can anything stop a Man of Steel from
discovering his long-lost heritage? Can anything stand between a Superman
and that which he longs for most? How about the most feared and deadly
species in the galaxy?! In the tradition of the acclaimed best-selling
Batman vs. Predator match-ups, DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics proudly
present SUPERMAN VS. ALIENS, a three-issue limited series pitting the Man
of Steel against an Alien infestation among the ruins of a decimated
planet. Crafted by longtime Superman writer/artist Dan Jurgens and inked
by Aliens artist Kevin Nowlan, the series promises to be the best of both
worlds. Says Superman executive editor Mike Carlin: ÒIt fits with current
Superman continuity... IÕve enjoyed the Alien movies... IÕve enjoyed the
Alien comics... unfortunately for Superman, I donÕt think heÕs going to
enjoy his encounter with the Aliens as much as the rest of us will!Ó Face
it, crossover fans, this is sure to be the inter-company crossover of the
year! [There is an excellent interview with Dan Jurgens about this mini-
series in the March issue of Diamond Previews, which has a Superman vs.
Aliens back cover. ÑJeff]

May 30:
Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #1
ItÕs a new SUPERMAN #1 when this essential new quarterly debuts, fitting
in seamlessly among the four regular Superman titles. Featuring a cover
Òtriangle numberÓ like the other Superman titles, SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF
TOMORROW marks the return of writer Roger (ACTION COMICS) Stern, penciller
Breeding. No sooner is Superman back in Metropolis than the power-hungry
Lex Luthor returns as well to plague the Last Son of Krypton.

End of Section 6


by Jennifer L. Traver

News: New episode information! After ÒTempus Fugitive,Ó there remain
only four new episodes for the season. In one of the remaining
episodes, Jimmy Olsen is discovered to have been part of a
strange experiment in his youth. Another episode has Superman
bitten by a radioactive insect, causing the Man of Steel to begin
to mutate! (This information comes second-hand from HERO ILLUSTRATED.
That is, I read this from someone elseÕs report from the magazine.)

Hello and welcome once again to the Lois & Clark section of the KC, where we
ponder such weighty subjects as why Lois never wears primary colors. But
seriously FOLCs, February was a month filled with great episodes, as the
sweeps period put some fire under the writersÕ collective rear ends. In the
first week of February, Lois and ClarkÕs desire for each other rose from the
ashes in ÒThe PhoenixÓ. This was followed by the discovery of SupermanÕs true
identity (again) in ÒTop CopyÓ, with guest star Raquel Welch. And then we
welcomed back one of L&CÕs most annoying villains; Bronson Pinchot as Kyle
Griffin in ÒReturn of the PranksterÓ.

So letÕs get on with our reviews of these episodes in the following space.
Next month, look for catch-up reviews of ÒThat Old Gang of MineÓ, ÒMetalloÓ,
and of course, reviews of MarchÕs episodes. Enjoy!


By Zoomway

Teri Hatcher, the actress who portrays Lois Lane on Lois and Clark: The New
Adventures of Superman, describes the romantic relationship between the title
characters as a Hokey Pokey courtship. You put your right hand in, you put
your right hand out, you put your right hand in, well, you get the picture.
This unique television series has taken yet another dynamic stride in
distancing itself from the mundane which surrounds it on Sunday nights. The
Lois and Clark staff has decided to let the couple move forward into a real
romance, and as Ms. HatcherÕs allusion suggests, it will have fits, starts
and speed bumps.

The romance arc began with ÒThe Phoenix.Ó Clark daydreams at his desk about
a romantic moment with the ever elusive Lois Lane. He bolsters his courage,
and asks her out on a date. Lois is at once intrigued, and reluctant. She
worries how a date might damage their unique, and fulfilling friendship, but
as previous episodes have hinted, sheÕs also curious whether there might be
something deeper than friendship between them. After a bit of stress and
pressure, Lois agrees to the date. The date is to be a Pearl Jam concert,
but with all best laid plans, this date does not happen. Perry White needs
them to work around the clock on a surveillance detail. This portion of the
episode becomes very reminiscent of last seasonÕs ÒHoneymoon in Metropolis.Ó
Forced intimacy during a stakeout.

The difference between the two scenes, however, is that in ÒThe Phoenix,Ó they
have reached a point in their relationship where they will soon be exploring
something beyond friendship, while in ÒHoneymoon in Metropolis,Ó their
friendship was just becoming comfortable. There is a level of intimacy
between Lois and Clark in ÒThe PhoenixÓ that is almost excruciating. In
deciding to make the stakeout a practice run, or Ôalmost first dateÕ, they
have taken the scene further than what would have been possible in ÒHoneymoon
in Metropolis.Ó In ÒThe Phoenix,Ó they are beginning to need and want each
other, while at the same time they must maintain their boundaries if they wish
for the romance to be real and substantial further down the line.

The stakeout Ônear dateÕ is launched by a not too subtle metaphor as Clark
begins to open a bottle of champagne, while the strains of the old Flamingos
tune I Only Have Eyes for You plays in the background. Clark looks up just
in time to see LoisÕ silhouette behind a frosted glass door. She is
disrobing. He turns away, but within an instant is again watching her. The
moment her blouse falls away, the champagne uncorks with a vengeance sending
the cork ricocheting around the room. Clark hands a glass of champagne to
Lois, now dressed in a tank top, sweat pants and high-top sneakers, as she
exits the bedroom. Lois takes a sip and wonders how Clark chilled it so
quickly. Not being able to say he used his super breath, and not being very
swift at lying, he uses his heat vision to destroy a light bulb in a lamp,
plunging the room into darkness. As both Lois and Clark race to the opposite
side of the room to turn on the remaining lamp, there is a collision. When
Lois manages to reach the lamp and turn it on, we see Lois lying on top of
Clark on the sofa. This becomes one of those wonderful excruciating moments.

Had this incident occurred last year, Lois might have been pleased at first,
and then would have feigned anger, and quite probably have accused Clark of
setting the whole thing up. In ÒThe Phoenix,Ó however, Lois seems quite
comfortable with where she has landed, and it is Clark who must endure the
sweet agony of not being able to act upon the circ*mstances. Lois rubs his
chest where the champagne has doused him and speaks in a soft voice with her
face mere inches from his. They disentangle after a moment, and it becomes
LoisÕ turn to watch Clark as he changes behind the door. So entranced by her
partnerÕs silhouette, she overfills the champagne glass, and as she is trying
to clean up the mess, Clark exits and asks her what happened. She, still
overcome by her perving (nice Aussie slang for a type of voyeurism), exclaims,
ÒI had a muscle, uh mishap.Ó

In the final scene of the stakeout, Lois is lying on the sofa suffering from
consumption of takeout food unwisely ordered from an establishment called
RalphÕs Pagoda. Clark crouches next to her and places a cushion under her
head, and begins to rub her stomach. Lois talks about being embarrassed, and
Clark assures her that itÕs ÔokayÕ. He tells her she should turn in, and that
she can have the bedroom. Lois makes a pained expression and says that she
doesnÕt think she can make it to the bedroom. Clark takes her into his arms,
and lifts her from the sofa. Lois holds Clark tightly and buries her face in
his neck. It is no doubt clear to Clark that Lois is holding him in a manner
more intimate than she had ever held him as Superman. The expression on
ClarkÕs face seems to vary between wanting to hold her like this forever, and
hoping he can make it to the bedroom before his knees give way. After Lois is
safely inside the bedroom, Clark lets out a Ôrelief valveÕ gust of air. Their
agony was pure ecstasy.

The next episode is ÒTop Copy.Ó Clark spends most of this episode in the dog
house as far as Lois is concerned because at the moment Lois is sharing deep
feelings with him about their impending date, Clark must change into Superman.
He tells her to Ôhold that thoughtÕ while he returns a tape to the video store
so he wonÕt have to pay late charges! This dreadful excuse nets him the
acrimony he richly deserves. By the end of the episode, Clark and Lois decide
to finish the chess game they had begun at the start of the episode, and Ôtake
it from thereÕ. ÒReturn of the PranksterÓ is next, but aside from being an
abysmal and imbecilic episode, it pays only general lip service to the
romance. We can then gratefully fast forward to ÒLucky Leon.Ó

In ÒLucky Leon,Ó Lois and Clark finally get their date. The preparation for
the date is hilarious as we switch back and forth between Lois and ClarkÕs
apartments. Clark exiting the shower dries himself with such speed, his towel
burns through from the friction. Lois tries on a variety of burgundy outfits
she has purchased because she believed Clark expected her to be wearing that
color. Meanwhile Clark, spinning in a cyclonic fashion, is switching from
suit to suit while this rather strange salsa music is playing in the
background. Clark finally selects a suit, and as he stands in front of a full
length mirror, the lyrics from the music intone, Ôsomebody stop himÕ and
Clark, in a tribute to The Mask, says ÒSmokinÕÓ and dashes off in a Mask-like

Lois, scrapping burgundy for a rather elegant black dress, accompanies Clark
to a restaurant where we pick up on their conversation near the end of their
dinner. Lois tells Clark about moving out on her father after a huge fight,
and that her father had always been disappointed that he had never had sons.
Clark asks her if thatÕs why she became a world famous journalist, to prove
him wrong. She admits it might be, but that she stayed in journalism because
she liked it. She then hints to Clark that sheÕd like some of his dessert.
He puts a helping of it on his fork and feeds it to her. She consumes it
slowly, and moans softly as she rolls her eyes, all to the fascination of
Clark. She then asks Clark if he and his parents ever had fights. He
confessed that maybe he had little ones, but was basically a goody two-shoes.
Clark then says that he feels people are only completely honest when they are
passionate, ÒLike when they fight.Ó Lois, looking at him warmly adds, ÒOr
make love.Ó There is a long pause between them, but it is not an awkward
moment, rather it is a moment that telegraphs a kind of electricity between

Lois, so blown away by the intensity she had never expected to feel for Clark,
and perhaps for no man, panics. She simply canÕt handle the enormity of her
new-found feelings. Not knowing what else to do, she slams the door in
ClarkÕs face at the end of the date, telling him that she can never see him
again. Of course later she apologizes for her behavior, then we get Ôthe
kissÕ. It is a small kiss at first, as if they are sampling wine. Lois,
deciding she enjoys the vintage, moves in for a much more passionate kiss,
and Clark responds in kind. Unfortunately, this very amorous kiss is
interrupted by what is literally the ÔexplosiveÕ death of Mayson Drake.

MaysonÕs death leads us into a story arc that sidetracks, but hopefully does
not derail the budding romance. Derailing the romance would be very foolish
of the powers that be given the stunning ratings the date episode managed to
draw. The fans are ready for the romance to be real and wonÕt stand a great
deal more of the Hokey Pokey between their favorite couple. Fortunately, the
staff at Lois and Clark has promised a Ôwhole new directionÕ for the show
next season, and that could very well mean a permanent place for the romance.



Episode #14: ÒTop CopyÓ
By Marta Olson

US Airdate: February 19, 1995
Special Guest Star: Raquel Welch as ÒDiana StrideÓ
Guest Starring: Robert Culp, Wayne Pere, Tom Virtue,
and Farrah Forke as ÒMayson DrakeÓ
Written by: John McNamara
Directed by: Randall Zisk

ÒSuperman is Clark Kent!Ó Those immortal words were announced by Diana
Stride on her show ÒTop CopyÓ. Even though I knew Clark would find a way out
like he always does, it still sent chills up my spine.
There seems to be a general consensus about what makes an episode good.
First there must be interaction with Jimmy and Perry. This time they provide
a running commentary comparing Lois and Clark with Norcross and Judd, two
previous Daily Planet reporters who were partners, then best friends that
fell in love. Their relationship along with the partnership and friendship
were lost when they fell out of love. Jimmy and Perry also unknowingly run
interference for Clark a couple of times with Diana and Rolf.
There must also be a fairly believable villain. What can you say about
Raquel Welch other than she still looks great! She brought just the right
amount of campiness to her character which played off well with her sidekick
The plots are woven together in a way that compliment each other. Diana
Stride is a news reporter who is dedicated to uncovering SupermanÕs secret
identity. She is also an Intergang assassin whose latest target is the
subject of Lois and ClarkÕs current assignment - a former Intergang assassin
and DianaÕs former partner (another partnership gone bad) who is ready to
tell all to the authorities.
Mayson Drake also makes an appearance in this episode and so do Martha
and Jonathan Kent both at home in Smallville and in Metropolis. The romance
was only conveyed in looks between Lois and Clark with the exception of the
opening teaser and the closing bit. The opening teaser reminded me of the
story Teri tells about when she met her husband Jon. Lois and Clark are at
the Planet playing chess when Lois begins talking about their relationship.
Right as she is saying she wants to go on Ôthe dateÕ Clark hears the sirens.
He takes off again with a lame excuse to return a video tape leaving Lois
alone and talking to a chess piece. Teri and Jon were on their first date.
They were at a dinner party and Teri was telling a story. She realized no
one was listening so she got up and went over to a ficus tree and started
talking to it. He later told her that was the moment he fell in love with
Lois pushes Clark into a meeting with Mayson to try and get information
from her regarding ÒMr. XÓ. When she wonÕt help besides saying itÕs someone
famous, Lois ÒborrowsÓ her pager. They are able to trace the numbers and
find the safe house. While at the safehouse Superman foils DianaÕs attempt
to kill Mr. X. At that point Diana decides to kill Superman. She also
makes reference to some substance that is rumored to be able to hurt
Superman, something Lex Luthor had found. Her supervisor (played by Robert
Culp) is able to find the kryptonite. [This probably comes to Intergang via
Nigel, who betrayed Lex for Intergang in ÒThe Phoenix.Ó ÑJeff] They grind
some of it down and make a paste out of it. Diana uses it as lipstick and
poisons Superman with it.
Just before he is poisoned, Clark goes home to see his parents. While
there he talks about how it feels to be stalked. He also is introduced to
his momÕs new art project, laser light sculpture or holograms. When he
returns from Smallville he meets with Diana as Superman and that is when she
poisons him.
The next day Clark is feeling worse and worse. His parents encourage
him to go to the hospital, he decides to go as Superman. As he is changing
into Superman, Diana and Rolf are filming from his patio and see he is
wearing the suit under his clothes. Diana says ÒClark Kent is Superman and
we got it on filmÓ and Rolf says ÒoopsÓ. The battery in his camera died.
When Superman gets to the hospital they decide the kryptonite is acting
like a cancer so they treat it as such and use the largest source of
radiation available - the nuclear power plant. Needless to say Superman
catches Diana and Rolf but it is after Diana reveals that Clark is Superman.
With his parents help and his momÕs new art, they are able to show both
Superman and Clark at the same time at a press conference. There was a
glitch in the hologram, and I thought Lois noticed it. If so, we havenÕt
heard any more on this - yet.
If you havenÕt seen this episode, it is worth seeing. To me it was one
of the better episodes so far in the second season. I did jump around in my
description, and I did leave a lot out, so if you havenÕt seen it and have the
chance, please do - itÕs worth it.


Episode #15: ÒThe Return of the PranksterÓ
By Patrick Stout (

US Airdate: February 26, 1994
Guest Starring: Rick Overton, John Pleshette, Cliff DeYoung,
Harold Gould, and Sal Viscuso, with special appearance by
Bronson Pinchot as ÒThe PranksterÓ
Written by: Grant Rosenberg
Directed by: Philip J. Sgriccia

A lot of action, a lot of laughs, and a Clint Eastwood parody characterize
this episode. Pinchot and Hatcher play their parts broadly, but are ably
supported by some great character actorsÑHarold Gould (PranksterÕs dad),
John Pleshette (Professor Hamilton), Rick Overton (Victor), and Cliff DeYoung
(Agent Carrigan). Dean Cain is the rocksteady straightman, and Lane Smith
never fails to disappoint as Perry.

Returning home from the market, Lois finds her apartment trashed. A light
flashes and she is frozen in place. Prankster and Victor have a flash camera
that immobilizes its subjects. Prankster plants a kiss on the frozen Lois
while Victor snaps a photoÑand, when Lois regains mobility, she finds the
photo in her hand as the villainÕs calling card.

Later, at the Daily Planet, Perry is worried about a scheduled presidential
visit to Metropolis with Prankster on the loose. Lois is to have an exclusive
interview with the chief executive. At their hideout in an abandoned building,
Prankster tells Victor that his plan is to capture the President and hold him
for ransom.

Under orders from Perry, Lois calls the White House to inform them of the
situation in Metropolis. Agent Carrigan of the Secret Service appears in the
newsroom in response to the call, and tells Lois that his agency is already
aware of the Prankster. The agent also reveals that he has never forgiven
himself for taking the day off to visit the dentist when President Jimmy
CarterÕs fishing rowboat was attacked by a killer rabbit. ÒI should have
been there,Ó he mutters through clenched (but perfect) teeth.

PranksterÕs father enters Metropolis Light and Power disguised as a painter to
clear out an office so Prankster and Victor can steal a high-power chip. The
lights go on and off in Metropolis, and in the Planet newsroom in particular.
Prankster calls Lois to make it clear heÕs in controlÑhe directs her to the
window, where she sees heÕs used the lights in nearby office buildings to
spell out, ÒHi, LoisÓ.

Lois goes to the power plant to try to find out more. She finds employees
frozen in place. Prankster and Victor emerge, and tie her to a generator
theyÕve rigged to explode. Prankster is in hopes her screams will summon
Superman, which is what happens.

The flash from PranksterÕs camera has no effect on the Man of Steel, but the
crooks make their escape after telling him that Lois is in danger. Superman
races at superspeed to pull Lois out of the plant before the explosion. Back
at the hideout, Prankster wants more information about Superman. Victor says
LoisÕ computer might hold the key.

At the Daily Planet, Perry tells Lois her presidential interview has been cut
to five minutes. Lois and Clark leave to interview an informant. Nearby,
Prankster has frozen a lady with her baby carriage and a man lowering a piano
from a building. The piano begins to slip from the pressure-free grip, and
Clark changes to Superman and quickly pushes the woman and baby to safety.

Lois and Clark return to the Planet, followed shortly by Prankster and
VictorÑand the whole newspaper staff (except Clark, who has stepped out) is
frozen in place by the rays from the camera flashes. When he comes back,
Clark finds Lois in her underwear, Jimmy wearing LoisÕ dress, and Perry with
his tie cut just below the knot. Clark also finds a video message to Lois
from the Prankster on her computer.

A visit to Professor Hamilton reveals to Lois and Clark that some special
contact lenses might be constructed that could render a person invulnerable
to the rays from PranksterÕs camera. Meanwhile, Prankster finds out from
LoisÕ Superman files that he might be vulnerable to a certain light intensity.

A call supposedly from the White House summons Lois to a penthouse apartment
at Lakeside Towers. Prankster is there and immobilizes her with his flash
camera. Superman answers the villainÕs challenge to rescue Lois and is
frozen in place as well. ÒThis is a Kodak moment,Ó says the Prankster of
his victory.

Lois snaps out of her daze to find the immobile Superman. She gasps as the
Prankster flips the Man of SteelÕs body off the penthouse balcony. The
stonelike body smashes a newsstand below.

Prankster throws Lois off the balcony as well, but Superman comes to in time
to fly up and catch her. Later, Lois and Clark uncover PranksterÕs hideout
and his detailed plans to kidnap the President.

Hamilton constructs the special contact lenses and gives a pair to Lois just
as the presidential motorcade passes through downtown. Victor uses a pickup
truck to block the parade route while the Prankster blankets the crowd with
his immobilizing photo flash. Rushing to the presidential limo, the crooks
find Superman inside, also wearing the special lenses to make him invulnerable
to the rays.

While trying to flee, Prankster crashes into Superman and knocks out the
lenses that shielded his eyes from the effects of his own weapon. So he is
frozen by the flash. Lois gets a measure of revenge by tugging at the
PranksterÕs pants and showing Metropolis the gaudy boxer shorts he wears.

A small subplot in the story involves Lois spending two nights on the foldout
couch in Jimmy OlsenÕs apartment because she feared PranksterÕs return to her
apartment. On the first night, she turned off the television and discovered
that Jimmy bursts into screams with the absence of constant noise while
sleeping. On the second night, Jimmy and his pals keep Lois up late with
their conversationÑso she slips out to a telephone booth and calls police to
break up the gathering.

At episodeÕs end, Lois has apologized to Jimmy for not gracefully handling
the difference in their lifestyles. Jimmy tells Clark he feels bad for
plotting revenge. He suddenly realizes something, and shouts to Lois not to
open her desk drawer. MagicianÕs ÒsnakesÓ pop out of the desk and startle
Lois. Jimmy heads for the nearest elevator.

Three things leap out at me in contrasting this program with those of last
season. (1) The special effects have improvedÑSupermanÕs superspeed move to
rescue Lois at the power plant was a dynamic effect. (2) Is Teri Hatcher
playing Lois as more of a ditz this year? SheÕs just a step above ÒI Love
LucyÓ in her portrayal. (3) The script needs tighter and more responsible
editing to eliminate silly inconsistenciesÑin three separate scenes, the
local utility company was referred to as Metropolis Light and Power, the
Metropolis Department of Light and Power, and Metropolis Edison.

Quick scenes, snappy dialogue, and two or three super-stunts per episode
appear to be the formula for ÒLois & ClarkÓ this year. But I canÕt say
that the sum of these parts is unsatisfying.

End of Section 7

By Jon Knutson (

For best results, print this out in a monospaced typeface.

|1 |2 |3 | | | | |XXX|XXX|4 |5 |6 |
| | | | | | | |XXX|XXX| | | |
|7 | | |XXX|XXX|XXX|XXX|8 |9 | | | |
| | | |XXX|XXX|XXX|XXX| | | | | |
|10 | |XXX|XXX|XXX|11 | | | | |XXX| |
| | |XXX|XXX|XXX| | | | | |XXX| |
|12 | |13 |14 |XXX| |XXX| |XXX|15 |16 | |
| | | | |XXX| |XXX| |XXX| | | |
|17 | | | |18 | |19 |XXX|XXX|20 | | |
| | | | | | | |XXX|XXX| | | |
|21 | | | | | | | | |XXX|22 | |
| | | | | | | | | |XXX| | |
| |XXX|XXX|23 | |XXX| |XXX|XXX|24 | | |
| |XXX|XXX| | |XXX| |XXX|XXX| | | |
| |XXX|25 | |XXX|26 | |27 |28 | | | |
| |XXX| | |XXX| | | | | | | |
|29 |30 | | |XXX|XXX|31 | | | |XXX|XXX|
| | | | |XXX|XXX| | | | |XXX|XXX|
|XXX|32 | |XXX|XXX|33 | | | | |XXX|XXX|
|XXX| | |XXX|XXX| | | | | |XXX|XXX|
|34 | | |35 |XXX|XXX|36 | | | | |XXX|
| | | | |XXX|XXX| | | | | |XXX|
|XXX| |XXX|37 | | | |XXX| |XXX|XXX|XXX|
|XXX| |XXX| | | | |XXX| |XXX|XXX|XXX|


1 KaraÕs pet
4 Species of 1 Across
7 What ThorÕs hammer is made of
8 Wear down
10 Jonathan, to Clark
11 Homeworld of Mon-El
12 Kind of cheese
13 Emergency Broadcast Response (init.)
17 What one does when the gunÕs empty
20 Earl Grey, for example
21 Superman villain
22 Not AM
23 Power stone for MarvelÕs Sphinx
24 Health resort
25 What the Army wants you to be all you can
26 It blew up!
29 What Superboy might tell Krypto
31 Jor-ElÕs better half
32 Preposition
33 Post-Crisis Mon-El
34 KaraÕs hometown
36 Ms. Page or Cooper
37 MorganÕs TV Station


1 One of the Legion spin-offs
2 Lord Manga Khan is one
3 A famous college (init.)
4 The Super-Horse
5 Not BC
6 RootinÕ shootinÕ villain
8 A kind of skeleton
9 Egyptian god
11 Jonathan Kent and Jor-El
13 With ice cream: ___ mode
14 Species of 16 down
16 Stowaway on baby Kal-ElÕs rocket
18 Alias (abbr.)
19 Scientific institute in Metropolis and elsewhere
24 The beginning
25 Sound made by a gun
27 College
28 Amoebic super-pet
30 What the pre-Crisis Superman couldnÕt do
35 A Silver Age reaction to Green K



|K|I|T|T|Y| |A|I|M| |B|O|
|R| |I|O| |I|N|V|A|D|E|R|
|Y|U|M|Y|U|M| |O| | |P| |
|P|L|E| | |A| | |R|A|P|T|
|T|T| |D| |G|A|G| |J|O|R|
|O|R| |U| |E|M|U| | | |E|
|N|A| |B|E| |C|A|D|M|U|S|
|I| |I|B|A|C| |R|U|I|N| |
|T| |R|I|C|H| |D|E|N|I|S|
| |A| |E| |R| |A| | |N|O|
| |D|A|X|A|M| |N|I|X| | |



Instructions for obtaining the complete resources file can be found below.
This monthÕs new information:

FTP Availability:

Kryptonian Cybernet Files:
kcreadme.txt (675) - information about the files in the directory
kcresrcs.txt (25674) - This file (423222) - a zipped file containing all 1994 issues (172858) - a zipped file containing all 1995 issues
kc94-05.txt (82180) - Issue #1, May 1994
kc94-06.txt (113802) - Issue #2, June 1994
kc94-07.txt (130896) - Issue #3, July 1994
kc94-08.txt (145698) - Issue #4, August 1994
kc94-09.txt (154368) - Issue #5, September 1994
kc94-10.txt (147189) - Issue #6, October 1994
kc94-11.txt (125426) - Issue #7, November 1994
kc94-12a.txt (79219) - Issue #8a, Early December 1994
kc94-12b.txt (116711) - Issue #8b, Late December 1994
kc95-01.txt (133357) - Issue #9, January 1995
kc95-02.txt (137998) - Issue #10, February 1995
kc95-03.txt (177920) - Issue #11, March 1995 (
Mirrors (contains exactly the same files as)
The old files may not have their names changed for a little while.

Lois and Clark Files:
LC.EpGuide2 (10151) - Updated Second Season episode guide for L&C

APM.jpg (151572) - members of the loiscla listserv (possibly
on the set) Ñ each of these is high memory
# Cover.jpg (11908) - a 270x292 picture of Lois (in brown) leaning
on SupermanÕs shoulder
# DLRAT.JPG (181054) - a loiscla member with a space rat from
ÒSeasonÕs GreedingsÓ
# DPP.JPG (169316) - loiscla members
# Dean.jpg (8864) - a 266x287 picture of Dean sans shirt
# DeanChipmnk.jpg (14292) - a 201x375 picture of Dean with a chipmunk
(from an amusem*nt park)
# Index.jpg (201632) - a 864x913 thumbnail index of all pictures in
the directory

{Note: a thumbnail index displays every picture indexed at a reduced size}

# LnCCape.jpg (13820) - a 270x357 picture - same as lccape.gif
# LnSupes.jpg (13387) - a 201x333 picture - same as llsup.gif
# LustyLois.jpg (15231) - a 167x313 picture of Teri in a black dress with
one spaghetti strap off of her shoulder
# M&P.jpg (286125) - loiscla members
# PERRI.JPG (598261) - loiscla member (maybe in Perry WhiteÕs office)

TH-Idx-1.GIF (186383) - a 640x512 thumbnail index of THatchXX.GIF
(Numbers 1-20)
# TH-Idx-2.JPG (203453) - a 640x512 thumbnail index of THatchXX.JPG
(Numbers 21-40) this new batch comes primarily
from the two-part season finale
# THatch21.JPG (169707) - a 640x512 head shot of Lois on LexÕs plane
# THatch22.JPG (175396) - a 640x512 head shot of Lois
# THatch23.JPG (182845) - a 640x512 head shot of Lois
# THatch24.JPG (168123) - a 640x512 picture of Lois wearing nightgown and
facing Superman
# THatch25.JPG (167564) - a 640x512 head shot of Lois
# THatch26.JPG (183731) - a 640x512 head shot of Lois
# THatch27.JPG (167784) - a 640x512 head shot of Lois
# THatch28.JPG (180408) - a 640x512 picture of Lois in bed and talking on
the phone
# THatch29.JPG (169578) - a 640x512 close-up of Lois on the phone
# THatch30.JPG (186362) - a 640x512 picture of Lois at the wheel of her car
# THatch31.JPG (180031) - a 640x512 close-up of Lois at the wheel
# THatch32.JPG (181996) - a 640x512 picture of Lois in her wedding dress in
front of the mirror
# THatch33.JPG (182851) - a 640x512 picture of Lois in her wedding dress in
front of the mirror
# THatch34.JPG (180203) - a 640x512 b&w version (from flashback) of
THatch03.GIF Ñ see above
# THatch35.JPG (171345) - a 640x512 picture of veiled Lois during the
wedding ceremony
# THatch36.JPG (175183) - a 640x512 picture of veiled Lois during the
wedding ceremony
# THatch37.JPG (181465) - a 640x512 picture of unveiled Lois during the
wedding ceremony
# THatch38.JPG (179430) - a 640x512 picture of unveiled Lois during the
wedding ceremony
# THatch39.JPG (178777) - a 640x512 head-shot of Lois looking up
at Superman
# THatch40.JPG (177498) - a 640x512 head-shot of Lois looking up
at Superman
# farra-01.gif (177585) - a 1024x510 picture - two shots of Farrah
Forke (Mayson Drake)
# llhatch1.jpg (162927) - a 733x944 autographed photo of Teri with long
hair and in tank top

{The following three bitmaps are nice.}

# (216199) - unzips to LNC1.BMP - a 800x600 ÒframedÓ collage
of Lois & Clark pictures
# (289105) - unzips to LNC2.BMP - a 800x600 ÒframedÓ collage
of Lois & Clark pictures
# (120447) - unzips to LNC3.BMP - a 640x480 ÒframedÓ collage
of Lois & Clark pictures
# ml-hatch.jpg (101089) - a 468x1024 picture of Teri from MovieLine
black mini-skirt and halter-top

# There is now a subdirectory (Thumb) which contains thumbnail-size
versions of each of the above pictures. The following pictures have
been removed since the last issue:

How to obtain the complete Resources file:
Note that the file also contains information about how to use ftp and
ftp e-mail. The file will be located at in the
directory /pub/zines/kc and at 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: or
chdir /pub/zines/kc
get kcresrcs.txt

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.



(Welsh Publishing). Will pay postage and cover+. Would prefer mint
condition, but may settle for less.

E-mail me with what you have for sale and weÕll talk business.
I really, really would love to get my hands on these...

Thank you.

Montreal, Quebec


If you live in the San Francisco Bay area and are interested in saving a
substantial amount on your new Superman comics, then you should consider
the Stanford Comics Coop! The Coop does not involve mail order, so it
only serves customers local to the SF Bay area. Since the Coop exists
solely to save its members money on new comics, it does not make a net
profit (there is only a small monthly fee of $2 to cover expenses). And
you can get Superman (& other) new comics for 40% off retail price (plus
sales tax). And with the imminent price increases at DC, thatÕs a savings
which amounts to no small change! If you are interested in more information,
contact David Chappell at or call (415) 497-4422.


1 premium edition (platinum cover) of Action Comics #700 for $20 plus
S & H. Contact William Berkovitz at


GBS - Galaxy Broadcasting System - GBS

We let the Cat out of the bag every weekday on

ÒThe Cat Grant ShowÓ

Catherine Grant, local news reporter and
co-host of the GBS TV special ÒWorld Without a Superman,Ó
hosts a talk show that covers todayÕs REAL issues

Weekday afternoons before ÒThe Brave and the BoldÓ
WGBS Channel 3 in Metropolis
Check your local listing for time and station

GBS - Galaxy Broadcasting System - GBS


If you would like to place an ad, send it to one of the following addresses:
Arthur.E.LaMarche@Dartmouth,, or We ask
that you follow these three simple rules:
1. No dealers or businesses. This is meant to be more of a trading
post for fans of the Man of Steel, not an outlet for people to
operate a business.
2. Superman merchandise only. Anything not related to the Man of
Steel will be edited out of the ad.
3. Try to keep your ads 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.




Concerning the Superman Revenge Squad, as mentioned in Ken McKeeÕs review of
ACTION COMICS #343, ÒEterno the ImmortalÓ :

The Superman Revenge Squad was another of those Weisinger-era additions.
They appeared in several stories in the 50Õs and early 60Õs, and to the best
of my sometimes-faulty memory, the Squad rarely seemed to have the same
membership two appearances in a row. If anyoneÕs interested in further info
about the Superman Revenge Squad, they can e-mail me at,
and IÕll work up an article about them for publication in the near future!


End of Issue #11

The Kryptonian Cybernet Issue 11 • Neperos (2024)
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