Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Superman #217

Superman #217 (On Sale: April 8, 1969) has a cover by Curt Swan and the dreadful Vinny Colletta. featuring Famous Firsts!

We begin with "The Outlaws from Krypton" by Bill Finger, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye and reprinted from Action Comics #194.

Next is "The Girl in Superman's Past" also by Bill Finger, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye and reprinted from Superman #129. This is the first appearance of Lori Lemaris. Superman recalls an old romance from his college days. When he met Lori Lemaris, she was a college girl confined to a wheelchair. He began to date her as Clark after saving her from an accident. He found her mysterious because she always had to leave at a certain time of night.

Eventually, Lori told Clark that she must return to her homeland. Clark did not want to lose her, so he decided to give up being Superman and propose. Lori told him that she already knew his secret and could not marry him.

Clark investigated further and found a huge salt water tank instead of a bed in her bedroom, and he was able to guess her secret. Lori was a mermaid from Atlantis. She tells Clark the truth about herself, but she still must return to Atlantis forever.

"The Super-Duel in Space" is by Otto Binder and Al Plastino and is reprinted from Action Comics #242 and features the first appearance of the bottled city of Kandor. Clark Kent and Lois Lane are aboard an experimental rocket ship to cover the story for the media. The ship is attacked by a flying saucer. Clark exits the ship and arrives as Superman. Inside the saucer, an alien called Brainiac uses a shrink ray to steal Earth cities and place them in bottles. Superman is prevented from reaching Brainiac by a force field that surrounded the ship.

Superman returns to Metropolis where the rocket has landed. As expected, Brainiac shrinks Metropolis next and takes the tiny city aboard his ship. A tiny Superman escapes the bottle and tries to restore the captured cities to normal. He is forced to hide momentarily as Brainiac’s monkey attacks him.

Superman hides inside another bottle. The bottle contains a Kryptonian city called Kandor, taken from before Krypton’s destruction. Superman is powerless inside Kandor, so he seeks out a scientist, Kimda. Kimda has studied Brainiac’s machines and knows how to free everyone. Superman uses a rocket to escape the bottle.

Outside the bottle, Superman’s powers return. He reverses the controls to restore the Earth cities. There is only enough energy for one more use of the machine. He decides to restore Kandor rather than himself, but Kimda flies a rocket out of Kandor and presses the control which restores Superman. Kandor is stuck in it’s tiny form. Superman takes the city back to his Fortress of Solitude for safekeeping. Brainiac, who is now in suspended animation is sent into space.

Next we have "The First Supergirl" by Otto Binder, Dick Sprang and Stan Kaye and reprinted from Superman #123. Jimmy receives a magically totem which grants three wishes to him. The first wish brings into existence a Super-Girl, who Jimmy wishes to be the perfect mate for Superman. Unfortunately, the female heroine gets in Superman’s way and becomes a nuisance. She realizes her existence is becoming a problem, so she sacrifices her life to make the Man of Steel happy.

Crooks steal the totem and use the second wish to remove Superman’s powers. Jimmy and Superman then spend the day faking his powers to convince the crooks that the spell failed. After being tricked, the crooks allow the spell to be removed, restoring Superman’s powers.

For the final wish, Jimmy wishes for Superman to meet his parents. However, he has decided to type the wish and a typo causes Superman to "Mate" his parents. As a result, Superman travels back to Krypton and meets young Jor-El and Lara. They are working as undercover agents with Kryptonian Intelligence. With Superman’s aid, they stop a criminal, Kil-Lor, and the Man of Steel plays cupid, setting up his own parents, before returning to Earth.

We end with "The Menace of Metallo" by Robert Bernstein and Al Plastino and reprinted from Action Comics #252. Reporter John Corben is involved in a near fatal car accident. He is found by Professor Vale who rushes Corben to his lab. In order to save the injured man’s life, Vale gives Corben a metal body powered by uranium. After completing the operation the professor suffers a stroke.

Corben begins a criminal career as Metallo. He begins stealing uranium from secure places with his super strength that the robot body provides him. He also joins the staff at the Daily Planet.

When the professor recovers from his stroke, Corben learns that Kryptonite can also power his body. Corben is given a piece of Kryptonite by the professor, but he uses it on Superman who has been trying to capture him. He replaces his own Kryptonite with a sample from a display. The display Kryptonite was fake, so without power, Corben dies from heart failure..

Edited by Mort Weisinger and E. Nelson Bridwell.

1 comment:

Luis said...

"The dreadful Vinnie Coletta"? I'm not one to defend him, but it seems that on this cover at least, Vinnie did an adequate job.