Comics Reviews: Superman 344, Action 504, DC Comics Presents 18

Superman 344 coverSuperman #344 – “The Monsters Among Us” – Len Wein, Paul Levitz/Curt Swan/Frank Chiaramonte

It was a dark and stormy night … No, this isn’t a novel by Bulwer-Lytton (or Snoopy), but it is rather “gothic” in theme. It starts with Superman blocking a lightning bolt from striking in downtown Metropolis and using his heat vision to evaporate the storm clouds. He rushes to a mansion (Castle Kanlyn) outside the city and changes to Clark Kent. Clark is ushered into the mansion by his host, Ms. MacArdle, to find Lois is waiting for him. They’re there to report on a séance where the participants try to contact the spirit of a dead magician named Roland Randall. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 344, Action 504, DC Comics Presents 18”

Comics Reviews: Superman 343, Action 503, DC Comics Presents 17

Superman 343 coverSuperman #343 – “The Last Days of Metropolis” – Denny O’Neil/Curt Swan/Frank Chiaramonte

This one’s kinda goofy, but it seems familiar to me. I may have had it as a kid, or maybe it just reminds me of the typical Silver Age weirdness. This one starts in Ancient Rome, specifically in Pompeii, where a sorcerer named Moximus has conjured a vision in his brazier of Superman in the future. Moximus says Superman heralds destruction, then warns his fellow citizens about a more immediate threat … Mount Vesuvius, which is about to spew lava all over their town. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 343, Action 503, DC Comics Presents 17”

Superman 342, Action 502, DC Comics Presents 16

Superman 342 coverSuperman #342 – “Hero Under Glass” – Len Wein/Curt Swan/Frank Chiaramonte

This one starts with Superman getting a call from Jenet Klyburn at STAR Labs. It seems STAR were trying to solve the problem of industrial pollution, so they seeded the sky over the industrial area with an experimental chemical that was supposed to eliminate pollutants. Unfortunately, it did just the opposite, combining with the pollution to form a noxious black cloud that’s now raining filth on the town. Klyburn says what happened is impossible according to STAR’s simulations, so Superman goes to check it out. Continue reading “Superman 342, Action 502, DC Comics Presents 16”

Comics Reviews: Superman 341, Action 501, DC Comics Presents 15

Superman 341 coverSuperman #341 – “The Man Who Could Cause Catastrophe” – Len Wein/Curt Swan/Frank Chiaramonte

This one starts with an earthquake opening a huge fault in downtown Metropolis. Superman shows up to rescue the people who fell in, then closes the fault in a very Silver Age way: he fashions a huge needle and thread out of broken lamp posts and telephone cables and sews the fault back together, sealing it with his heat vision. I can’t even begin to analyze all the reasons that wouldn’t work. Superman can’t figure out what caused the fault in the first place, since Metropolis is built on solid bedrock, but we see the man who engineered the whole mess … Major Disaster. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 341, Action 501, DC Comics Presents 15”

Comics Reviews: Superman 340, Action 500, DC Comics Presents 14

Superman 340 coverSuperman #340 – “The Night of the Walking Bomb” – Len Wein/Curt Swan/Frank Chiaramonte

You’ll remember last issue a not-so-friendly rivalry between two old friends turned deadly when one of them (Ray Ryker) sabotaged the nuclear plant where the other (Grant Haskill) worked. When the bomb exploded, Haskill’s mind was forcibly transferred into a robot he’d been using to safely work around the plant. Superman was unaware of all that and just saw a menacing figure threatening Lois, so he attacked the robot. Haskill was still confused by the mind transfer and lashed out, hitting Superman with some weird energy that seemed to turn him into a true Man of Steel—a steel statue. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 340, Action 500, DC Comics Presents 14”

Comics Reviews: Superman 339, Action 499, DC Comics Presents 13

Superman 339 coverSuperman #339 – “Nuclear Nightmare” – Len Wein/Curt Swan/Frank Chiaramonte

This one starts with Superman in Houston stopping an experimental rocket sled that sped out of control. He slows the errant sled without injuring the test pilot and flies off. Back in Metropolis, He reflects that it’s nice to “escape” into his Clark Kent identity for a while, since being Superman 24/7 would probably drive him nuts. Clark runs into a neighbour, Mrs. Goldstein, who tells him he should exercise more and recommends he join a gym called the Hercules Health Spa. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 339, Action 499, DC Comics Presents 13”

Comics Reviews: Superman 338, Action 498, DC Comics Presents 12

Superman 338 coverSuperman #338 – “Let My People Grow” – Len Wein/Curt Swan/Frank Chiaramonte

This one starts with Superman at the heart of an exploding supernova. No, he’s not on vacation, he’s collecting energy from the supernova that he hopes will help enlarge the bottle city of Kandor. The energy from the exploding star is so great Superman has to wear a special space-suit, and even then he’s almost overwhelmed. His collecting device melts, but he figures he’s got enough supernova energy, so he heads back to Earth. But being at the heart of the supernova sapped his strength and he passes out, plummeting down toward the ground. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Superman 338, Action 498, DC Comics Presents 12”