Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics

Action Comics #493

Action Comics #493

Cover date: March 1979

"The Metropolis UFO Connection"

Writer: Cary Bates
Penciller: Curt Swan
Inker: Frank Chiaramonte

Cover: Ross Andru And Dick Giordano

Reviewed by: James Lantz

Click to enlarge

Four red oval shapes with auras of pure yellow light are flying through the Metropolis skies. Yesterday, triangle objects had been seen in the city. The extremely fast ovals make a quick disappearance into space shortly after Clark Kent is examining them with Superman's powerful vision abilities. Unfortunately, Clark is unable to learn anything about the strange UFOs.

Clark is walking with Lois Lane into the Galaxy Broadcasting Building. Lana Lang exits just as they are about to enter. She tells Clark that Morgan Edge, the head of GBS, wants to see him. Edge is forcing Clark to take a vacation and won't take no for an answer. As Clark tells Jimmy Olsen of this, the young man feels tremendously sick. A very strong strain of flu has infected Jimmy. Now, he must be quarantined inside the GBS clinic. Clark must take his place interviewing reclusive millionaire Lyle Corliss at 3:00 this afternoon for the Daily Planet, which is owned by Galaxy Broadcasting. Jimmy makes Clark promise to take his signal watch used for calling Superman with a hypersonic sound in case the mild mannered reporter is in trouble.

Superman is patrolling Metropolis while waiting for Clark Kent's interview with Lyle Corliss. Besides a few routine crimes, all is quiet until an alien probe enters Corliss' penthouse. The unearthly sound reaches the Man of Steel's superhuman ears. This leads him to destroy the probe and save Corliss. Superman then stashes the pieces of the alien device in an alley while returning to his persona of Clark Kent.

Clark has just arrived for his interview with Lyle Corliss. He gets the shock of his life when he learns that Corliss is an alien with telepathic abilities that knows that Clark Kent is really Superman. Corliss had set up an interview with Jimmy Olsen in order to use him as bait to trap the Man of Tomorrow. It was a fortunate coincidence that Clark replaced the young man.

Corliss continues to explain his plan. The flying saucers are actually Yota Pulses, which are his race's version of Morse Code messages. He was sending them to his people, who intend to invade and use Earth as waste repository once all life on the planet has been eliminated. The probe Superman had destroyed was a data drone with which Corliss had communicated telepathically.

Lyle Corliss must now deal with Superman as he is the only one who can stop his alien race from invading Earth. Corliss does so by using a device disguised as a television to transport the Man of Tomorrow into another dimension, one where his superhuman senses have difficulty focusing. Superman has trouble concentrating until he remembers that Jimmy had given Clark Kent his signal watch. The Man of Steel follows the sound of its alarm in order to pinpoint a means of escaping.

Having now broken free of Corliss' trap, Superman defeats the alien and reprograms the Yota Pulses sent by Corliss with his X-ray vision. The Man of Steel's exposure to Corliss' technology allowed him to be able to change the messages. Now, Corliss' people believe that Earth is no longer suitable for their needs. However, they will leave Corliss on the planet in case the situation should change in the future.

Clark Kent is now visiting the recovering Jimmy Olsen in the GBS clinic. He has given the signal watch back to the young man as they both look over Clark's article unmasking Lyle Corliss as an alien invader in the Daily Planet. Just then, Perry White enters to speak with Clark. It seems that Kent's upcoming vacation will be a working one thanks to Morgan Edge, for the mild mannered reporter will be once again, at least temporarily, working for the great Metropolitan newspaper.

5Story - 5: After the slight sluggishness of Superman #332, This issue was a refreshing change of pace. It's a fast, straightforward story that brings the point home to the reader. I wish more comic books were like this one.

One thing that I really liked was seeing Clark going back to the Daily Planet in the last page's lead-in for the next issue. Don't get me wrong, I like seeing Clark as a WGBS anchorman in the Julie Schwartz edited books, but I miss seeing him in the newspaper's city room with Perry, Jimmy and especially Lois.

As a whole, this particular issue's story moves like a runaway train and leaves you wanting more. I find myself growing impatient to read number 494.

5Art - 5: Corliss seems to have a hair piece like Donald Trump's, except Trump's is less realistic looking. All joking aside, this comic book has some pretty strong visuals. Curt Swan's art is always great, but he seems to excel at space and science fiction elements for the Man of Steel's adventures. Swan did a stunning job with this one.

5Cover Art - 5: Is it Superman Meets The Ring? No, but it is perhaps one of the most awesome covers I've ever seen. If Superman trying to escape from a television (Perhaps he heard of the Smallville version of Doomsday and just couldn't take anymore?) doesn't make you wonder what's going on in the pages within, nothing will.

Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews



  • Superman #76 (May/June 1952) - “The Mightiest Team in the World”
  • Superman #80 (January/February 1953) - “Superman's Lost Brother”
  • Superman 3D (1953) - “The Man Who Stole the Sun”, “Origin of Superman” and “The Man Who Bossed Superman”
  • Superman #87 (February 1954) - “The Prankster's Greatest Role”
  • Superman #88 (March 1954) - “The Terrible Trio”
  • Superman #89 (May 1954) - “Captain Kent the Terrible”, “Superman of Skid Row”, and “One Hour to Doom!”
  • Superman #91 (August 1954) - “The Superman Stamp” and “Great Caesar's Ghost”
  • World's Finest #88 (May/June 1957) - “Superman and Batman's Greatest Foes”
  • Superman #115 (August 1957) - “The Midget Superman!”
  • Superboy #65 (May/June 1958) - “The Amazing Adventures of Krypto Mouse”
  • Action Comics #242 (July 1958) - “The Super-Duel in Space”
  • Superman #123 (August 1958) - “The Girl of Steel”
  • Superman #127 (February 1959) - “Titano the Super Ape”
  • Action Comics #252 (May 1959) - “The Menace of Metallo” and “The Supergirl From Krypton”
  • Superman #129 (May 1959) - “The Girl in Superman's Past”
  • Superman #130 (July 1959) - “The Curse of Kryptonite!”, “The Super-Servant of Crime!”, and “The Town that Hated Superman!”
  • Jimmy Olsen #40 (October 1959) - “Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl's Pal”




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