Friday, April 27, 2007

Action Comics #351

Action Comics #351 (On Sale: April 27, 1967) has a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein. I think we are beginning to see an effort on DCs part to make their covers more dynamic. The Superman character on this one is not very typical for Curt Swan and there are even more departures in style for Swan in the months ahead.

Inside we have the cover story, "Zha-Vam the Invincible" by Otto Binder and Wayne Boring. The leaders of a crime syndicate meet to elect a new leader after Superman has captured their last boss. The meeting is interrupted by the appearance of Zha-Vam, a super powered crook who demands to be voted the leader. Zha-Vam displays his powers which including the lightning of Zeus, the strength of Hercules, the invulnerability of Achilles, the flame-breath of Vulcan, the archery of Apollo, and the speed of Mercury (I wonder where they cam up with this idea for a character?). After his impressive display of power, Zha-Vam is elected the crime syndicate leader.

Zha-Vam soon leads the crooks in a raid on the Fort Knox gold reserve. Superman attempts to stop the robbery leading to a fantastic battle between the two super powered men. Zha-Vam proves to be the equal of Superman. He then uses additional power available from his belt which allows him to grow to titanic size. He throws Superman into outer space. By the time the Man of Steel recovers and returns to Earth, Zha-Vam has disappeared leaving behind only a message for Superman. The message tells Superman to leave Earth.

The second story is "Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl" is by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan and Stan Kaye and is reprinted from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #57. In this "imaginary tale" Jimmy returns to Midvale Orphanage where he once stayed while he had amnesia. There, he meets Linda Lee while displaying his trophies. Linda becomes exposed to Red Kryptonite, causing her to lose her powers and memories of her life as Supergirl. She and Jimmy then fall in love and get married.

When Linda’s memories return, she reveals the existence of Supergirl to Jimmy. Jimmy keeps the secret, and Supergirl gets Jimmy to fall in love with her. Torn between the two women he loves, Jimmy vows never to see Supergirl again to be faithful in his marriage to Linda.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

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