Posts tagged ‘General Zod’

Adventure 293 – The Legion of Super-Pets, and Bizarro Luthor

Adv_293___Superboy__LSH

Jerry Siegel does double-duty on Adventure 293 (Feb 62), writing both the Superboy and Bizarro World features.  Curt Swan draws the Superboy tale, but alas not the Bizarro World one.

Adv_293___Superboy

Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl show up in Smallville and try to trick Superboy into freeing General Zod and Jax-Ur from the Phantom Zone.  Mon-El, still a resident of the Zone at this time, warns Superboy.  The Legionnaires then attack Superboy, and are revealed to be under the mental control of the Brain-Globes of Rambat.

When they notice that Krypto is not vulnerable to the Brain-Globes powers, the team decides to form a battle squad of animals, and zip through time, recruiting Streaky the Super-Cat, Beppo the Super-Monkey and a Super-Horse.  This is Comet, making his first appearance.  He is introduced as an animal that will soon become Supergirl’s pet.

Adv_293__Superboy__Super-Pets

The animals defeat the Brain-Globes, who flee, and are never heard from again.  Saturn Girl rewards them by officially creating the Legion of Super-Pets as an auxiliary unit of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Adv_293___Superboy_001

The Legion of Super-Pets will return and have some of my favourite goofy adventures from this era.

 

Adv_293___Bizarro

Bizarro Luthor gets created in this issue.  And as Lex Luthor does bad deeds, Bizarro Luthor of course does good deeds.  But when Bizarros try to do good deeds these often turn out badly.  So when Bizarro Luthor tries to do good deeds they turn into bad deeds but not really bad deeds, more like…

My brain hurts.

Adv_293___Bizarro_001

Although this story is really fun, overall the series is beginning to feel repetitious, and the constant inclusion of new Bizarros means that few actually get to do anything significant in the story.  While Bizarro Luthor gets the spotlight in this tale, a Bizarro Bottle City of Kandor and Bizarroe Superman Emergency Squad are also created in the tale, but pretty much shoved to the side.

Adv_293__Bizarro__Luthor

 

Adventure 283 – Superboy discovers the Phantom Zone and Congorilla ends

Adv_283___Superboy

Unlike so many stories that retroactively put people and items from the Superman series into the Superboy one, Adventure 283 (April 1961) really is the first appearance of the Phantom Zone, which would quickly become a major element throughout the Superman books.

A box of deadly Kryptonian weapons lands on Earth, just outside Smallville (where else?), and Superboy discovers that it was Jor-El (who else?) who sealed them away.

Superboy examines the weapons, including a disintegrator gun and an enlarging ray, but its the Phantom Zone projector that is the important one.

Adv_283___Superboy___Dr_Xadu

We learn, in flashback, of Dr Xadu, the first person sentenced to the Zone for failed experiments on suspended animation, and of General Zod, who attempted to overthrow the government of Krypton with a Bizarro army.  This is the first appearance for both characters.

Superboy then accidentally sends himself into the Phantom Zone, so we get to see how they exist as insubstantial beings who can see and hear what is going on in the real world, but cannot be perceived themselves.

Adv_283___Superboy_001

Superboy manages to escape by mentally causing a typewriter to work, detailing his situation, and Pa Kent uses the projector to free him.  Never again would anyone in the Zone find it so easy to affect real objects.

While Dr Xadu would appear rarely, General Zod would become one of Superman’s greatest foes.

 

Adv_283___Congorilla_

Congorilla’s final story gives him a decent villain, so it’s sort of a shame that it ended here.

A greedy scientist finds King Solomon’s Mines, and wants to keep the treasure for himself.  He devises a way, much like the magic ring, to transfer his brain into a lion’s body.  As the lion he scares off anyone who approaches.

Congo Bill at first believes he is facing a nasty lion, but eventually realizes there is a human mind behind it all.

At the end, he raises the possibility for the lion to return, and if the series had not ended at this point, I expect he would have.  It’s not like Congorilla had much of rogue’s gallery.

Adv_283____Congorilla

Congo Bill and Congorilla would both return a few months later in a story in Action Comics, and continue to appear on occasion throughout the DC Universe.  Janu would have to wait until the 1980s, and Swamp Thing Annual 3, for his return, as an adult.

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