Friday, February 29, 2008

Action Comics #362

Action Comics #362 (On Sale: February 29, 1968) has a Neal Adams cover, and a strange one at that!

"The Head of Hate" is by Leo Dorfman, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. Ventor Caine, a ventriloquist, robs an armored car full of cash. Clark Kent was riding in the car and is taken prisoner. Ventor blames Superman for capturing his twin brother Bruno. Bruno died in jail, but Ventor has fashioned a dummy of Bruno and in his insanity believes that his twin still lives.

To gain revenge, Ventor hypnotizes Clark Kent using super-hypnosis powered by a damaged Superman robot. The hypnosis appears to have succeeded. Clark turns from coward to a fighting man, but he still refuses to hurt Superman. Ventor then uses dummies of Clark's friends to convince him that Superman has killed Lois, Jimmy, and Perry. Clark then agrees to help Ventor by killing Superman, unaware that he himself is the real Man of Steel.

The back-up Supergirl story is "The 40th Century Outlaw" by Otto Binder and Kurt Schaffenberger. Linda Danvers wins an opportunity to become an exchange student. To her surprise she changes places with a Stanhope student from the 40th century. Linda gets a guided tour of the future Stanhope, but is shocked when she learns that Supergirl is considered a criminal.

During her tour, Linda is forced to become Supergirl to stop an out of control robot. Authorities quickly apprehend her and force her to stand trial. Robin the Boy Wonder acts as her defense attorney since he accidentally arrived in the 40th century after a visit to the 30th century Legion of Super-Heroes.

At trial Robin pleads Supergirl's case, but then uncovers stolen property in the Girl of Steel's cape pouch. Supergirl is convicted and is branded an outlaw.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

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