Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Action Comics #367

Action Comics #367 (On Sale: July 30, 1968) has a Neal Adams cover over a Carmine Infantino layout.

"Mysteries of the Superman Awards" is by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and George Klein. This is George Klein's final inking effort at DC, a career that began in 1944 inking a Jack Kirby Boy Commandos story in Detective #85. After being pushed out of DC by Carmine Infantino, Klein would move to Marvel where he would produce amazing runs on The Avengers inking John Buscema and Daredevil inking Gene Colan. Klein's final assignment at Marvel was inking Jack Kirby in The Mighty Thor #168-169. There is no telling how long his career at Marvel would have lasted (Klein was the uncredited inker of Fantastic Four #1 in 1961), but tragically, Klein died in 1969, in his fifties, of cirrhosis of the liver, six months after getting married.

In our story, Superman attends an award ceremony in which worthy people receive an achievement award for helping the Man of Steel. This year's winner is Clark Kent, but Superman and Clark cannot appear together. While Lois looks for Clark, Superman tries to dream up a way to cover his secret identity. His robots are unable to respond because his apartment is being painted, and Bruce Wayne is attending the ceremony too, so Batman can't fill in for Clark.

While Superman thinks of a solution, the commissioner tells the audience the stories of the past three award winners which include a baby who disabled a scientist's prediction machine, a hermit who saved Superman from the Revenge Squad, and a forest ranger who died while saving Superman from Kryptonite, then donated his heart to save another life.

Our cover story is "The Evil of Alpha and Beta" by Cary Bates and Kurt Schaffenberger. Continuing from last issue, Supergirl exposes herself to Gold Kryptonite to permanently remove her super powers. She then assumes her Linda Danvers identity and is discovered outside the shield that surrounds Stanhope College. The evil Alpha and Beta capture her and bring her back inside. Had she still possessed her powers, Supergirl would have triggered a bomb that would destroy the school.

Once she gets inside the shield, Linda meets David Carew, a student which Alpha and Beta believe will invent valuable Noricon. David and Linda try to free the students from hypnosis, but David sees the Linda Lee robot. Supergirl then reveals herself and convinces David that the robot is the real Linda.

Before they can find and dismantle the bomb, Supergirl sees Superman returning from a space mission and attempting to break through the shield. Supergirl tries to warn Superman about the bomb before he reaches the shield.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.


Sharon said...

I know many prefer Murphy Anderson on Swan, but for me Klein was the absolutely best inker for Swan...and IMO he was the best for for Buscema, too. He had such a clean, classic line--in the Sinnott mold, but much less slick.

-Keller said...

I was late coming to Marvel comics. I thought they were ugly looking, particularly their covers. But when I did start buying them and buying the older used copies, I was really taken by the Buscema and Klein Avengers issues, never realizing till years later that it was the same George Klein who inked Swan at DC. At DC Klein was competent, but at Marvel he really shown.

And yeah, I prefer Swanderson for what Murphy added to the Swan pencils.

Nick said...

Am I the only one who ever noticed that Superman and Supergirl are having what seems like a 10-second conversation, but in all that time (an eternity when you're flying at the speed of light) he can't stop? I mean, at that speed he had to have been a substantial distance away when the conversation started anyway, in which case he had plenty of time to stop as soon as he heard the words "Superman--stop!" Oh well--I guess if we accepted the idea of grown men flying around in long johns saving the universe we shouldn't have been troubled by a minor physics problem. ;-) Anyway, very cool cover!

-Keller said...

But Nick you forget, they can talk Super-fast!

nick said...

A-HA! I knew there had to be a logical explanation. ;-)