Friday, March 6, 2009

Superboy #156

Superboy #156 (On Sale: March 6, 1969) has a cover by Curt Swan and Mike Esposito celebrating the 20th anniversary of Superboy.

We begin with "Superboy's Farewell to Smallville" from Adventure Comics #217 by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Creig Flessel. A rocket ship lands on Earth. Two people emerge from the ship claiming to be Superboy's real parents, Jor-El and Lara. Superboy listens to their story in which they claim to have escaped Krypton's doom. Superboy happily believes them. Then they tell him that they want him to join them to live on another world. Superboy agrees, so he leaves Earth.

The story continues in "The Two Worlds of Superboy" from Adventure Comics #218 also by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Creig Flessel. Superboy leaves Earth to live with two people claiming to be his real parents, Jor-El and Lara. When word of this reaches death row convict Duke Mason, he is angry. Mason has just deciphered a code which revealed Superboy's secret identity. With Superboy gone from Earth, Mason is unable to take revenge and dies in the electric chair.

Superboy witnesses the execution with his telescopic vision. He then decides that he can safely return to Earth. His parents were really actors hired by Superboy. The hoax was created in order to stall until Mason was executed.

Back on Earth, the Kents find a note left by Superboy revealing his plan. The note had been lost, so they were heartbroken over Superboy's decision to leave. They nearly reveal their son's secret to the people of Smallville, but find the note in time. Jonathan then uses a Clark Kent robot to protect his son's secret, until the real Superboy returns.

Next we have "The Super-Hungry Super-Heroes" from Superboy #91 by Robert Bernstein and George Papp. After an encounter with a metal-eating monster in space, Superboy and Krypto gain insatiable appetites which force them to eat strange objects, such as a park bench, a wooden statue, a pair of shoes, a painting, and a ladder. After realizing that he is eating only green objects and Krypto is eating red ones, Superboy realizes that the monster must have eaten some Red Kryptonite which caused its fiery breath to have an effect on Krypto and himself. To cure their condition, they travel into space finding a red and a green moon. They proceed to eat them until their hunger goes away, and they return to normal.

We end with "The New Boy of Steel" reprinted from Superboy #96 and by Robert Bernstein and George Papp. Lex Luthor creates a device designed to kill Superboy. In a fluke accident the device transfers Superboy’s powers to Pete Ross instead. Pete takes over as Superboy and flies three days into the future by mistake. When Pete returns, Clark believes his friend has changed and is out to get him.

Luthor tries to kill Superboy again; this time he destroys a Superboy statue and Pete loses his powers giving them back to Clark. Pete explains his odd behavior because when he was in the future, he saw a headline that Luthor destroyed Superboy. Pete missed the rest of the headline though which read "Luthor destroys Superboy statue."

Edited by Mort Weisinger (E. Nelson Bridwell).

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