Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics
Many thanks to reviewer Wallace Harrington (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Superman #129Cover date: May 1959
Writer: Bill Finger
Penciller: Wayne Boring
Inker: Stan Kaye
Cover: Curt Swan and Stan Kaye
"The Girl in Superman's Past"
One fall day, Clark Kent takes Lois Lane to see a football game at Metropolis University, the college Kent attended. Shivering, Lois huddles under a blanket to shield her from the cold, but the sight triggers on old memory in Clark reminding him of Lori....
A young Clark Kent was walking down along the edge of campus when he saw a wheel chair careening down a hill. Thinking quickly, Kent used his X-ray vision to melt the tires of the chair and slow it down. However, the heat melted the wheels too quickly and the sudden stop threw the girl into the air. Racing to her, Kent caught the girl easily, and when he looked at her, a pair of blue and mysterious eyes greeted him. She spoke with just a hint of an accent, and explained that even though she was unable to walk, she was not going to let that stop her from getting an education.
After Kent has placed her back into her chair, Lori notices the tires. Frantically, Kent tries to think of a way to explain the melted rubber tires, when she smiled. "The speed of the wheels must have created so much friction heat that the tires melted," she said.
The next day, Kent is still thinking about the mysterious woman when his Biology class takes a field trip to "the ARK," a floating aquarium anchored near the seashore. "Her name is Lori Lemaris," he thinks, "a lovely name for a lovely girl." Lost in thought, Kent is shocked back to reality when a boiler explodes, ripping the floating aquarium in two. Kent dives off the boat and changes to Superman, then corrals all of the escaped specimens. Looking around he sees a giant octopus grab Lori. Speeding to her rescue, he is amazed to see Lori "talking" to the octopus which then releases its grip on the girl and swims away. Superman grabs Lori and flies her to the surface. "You're lucky you weren't hurt," says Superman. "He probably saw you streaking near and was frightened away" explains Lori.
Days pass quickly, and Lori and Kent begin a whirlwind romance dating steadily through the semester. Curiously, Lori always has to be home by eight each night. Still, Clark has fallen madly in love with the intriguing woman, and searches for super-ways to express his love, finding the best way is to just be himself.
Out of the blue, Lori tells Clark that she must return to her parents that very night, and that their next date will be their last. Frantic, Kent decides that he cannot stand the thought of losing her, and makes a drastic decision. He will tell Lori his secret, then ask her to marry him.
Unfortunately, that night Kent is restricted to quarters as part of a freshman initiation. Looking for a way to sneak out unobserved, Kent creates a downdraft filling the room with chimney smoke. In the confusion, he slips out and finds Lori sitting by the beach.
Bending on one knee, Clark says, "Lori, I love you. Will you marry me? Before you give me your answer, I must tell you the truth about myself." "You don't have to tell em Clark, I've known from the beginning that you're Superman." Kent is completely shocked. "That's not important," says Lori. "What is important is that although I love you, I can never marry you." Frantically wanting to change her mind, Superman offers to help her walk, but she turns away. "I must be home by eight," she says moving away.
Kent again changes to Superman and follows Lori to her trailer, watching her contact someone with a secret radio. Thinking that she might be a spy, Superman sneaks into her trailer after she leaves for dinner. When he slips into her bedroom, he is amazed to find that there is no bed, just a huge tank filled with seawater. "Of course! That's the only possible explanation."
Again Superman flies to Lori to confront her. But before either can speak, a thunderous roar fills the air. Using his telescopic vision, Superman sees that the State Dam has burst. "Wait Superman! I can be of some help, screams Lori. Grabbing her wheel chair, Superman lifts Lori into the air and speeds to the dam site. Above the water, Lori leaps out of the chair, diving into the water. "Just as I suspected," thinks Superman. "Lori is a mermaid!"
The two work heroically saving life and property, then shoring up the dam to stop the raging waters. Returning to her trailer, Lori explains to Superman that she is from the sunken island known as Atlantis. Originally, Atlanteans were human and constructed a huge dome to protect themselves from the sea. But scientists found a way to convert the race to mer-people who could live in the open oceans, but to remain in perfect health, they needed to be immersed in sea water for at least ten hours a day. They were also able to master the art of telepathy.
Once every hundred years, an Atlantean is chosen by his people to visit the surface world to learn of the surface people's progress during the preceding century. Lori had been chosen for that task, but now must return to her people. "And," recalls Clark Kent years later, "soon, under the sea, we kissed - and there never was, or ever will be, such a strange kiss again - the farewell kiss between a Superman and a mermaid!"
Lois interrupts Clark's thoughts. "Clark, you were staring at me in the strangest way. Whatever were you thinking?" "I was thinking of a friend of mine and why he never married," says Kent thoughtfully. Of course, that makes Lois think of Superman. "I suppose he'll never ask me to marry him because it would mean giving up his Superman career. I guess he'd never do that for a woman." How wrong, Lois. How wrong.
Story - 4: One of the many recurring themes in Superman stories has been the shear number of characters whose names begin with the initials "L.L." This story introduces Lori Lemaris, and adds her to the list of such notables as Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Lucy Lane, Lana Lang, Linda Lee, Lita Laverne, Lester Link, and soon to be followed by Lyla Lerrol and Lydia Long. The story, while definitely more in the romance genre than adventure, paints a very different picture of Clark Kent's emotional life. Where he is unwilling to allow himself to love Lois Lane completely, this story shows us that he was able to feel free enough to love at one point in his life. It also shows that even Superman is not invulnerable to the pain love can provide.
Art - 4: This story was another very solid effort by Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye. Perhaps most apparent in this story was the "stretch" Boring made by moving away from the more routine adventure art, and emphasizing the brooding, frantic love of Clark Kent. It provided a whole new dimension to the Clark Kent persona.
Cover Art - 3: Superman #129, like many of the issues of Superman from this time period, contained three stories. The cover to this issue illustrated the first story of the issue, The Ghost of Lois Lane. The art was by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye, early in his run of nearly 70 consecutive covers for Superman (which began with Superman #123). The art was certainly adequate, depicting Superman recoilling from an apparition of Lois, which Jimmy and Perry could not see. However, the cover was nothing special, and contained a rather gharish color scheme which, to my mind, detracted from the whole image.
Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews
- Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
- Action Comics #2 (July 1938)
- Action Comics #3 (August 1938)
- Action Comics #4 (September 1938)
- Action Comics #5 (October 1938)
- Action Comics #6 (November 1938)
- Action Comics #7 (December 1938)
- Superman Archives: Volume 1 (1939)
- Superman #1 (Summer 1939)
- Action Comics #8 (January 1939)
- Action Comics #9 (February 1939)
- Action Comics #10 (March 1939)
- Superman #13 (November/December 1941) - The Archer
- Superman #19 (November/December 1942) - Case of the Funny Paper Crimes
- Action Comics #60 (May 1943) - Lois Lane - Superwoman
- Superman #30 (September/October 1944) - The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk
- Action Comics #80 (January 1945) - Mr. Mxyztplk Returns
- Superman #38 (January/February 1946) - The Battle of the Atoms
- Superman #42 (September/October 1946) - The Death of Clark Kent
- Superman #45 (March/April 1947) - Lois Lane, Superwoman
- Superman #53 (July 1948) - The Origin of Superman
- Action Comics #124 (September 1948) - A Superman of Doom
- Superman #60 (December 1949/January 1950) - The Two Identities of Superman & Superman Fights the Super-Brain
- 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
- Superman #134 (January 1960) - The Super-Menace of Metropolis
- Jimmy Olsen #42 (January 1960) - The Big Superman Movie!, Perry White, Cub Reporter!, and Jimmy the Genie!
- Jimmy Olsen #44 (April 1960) - The Wolf-Man of Metropolis
- Adventure Comics #271 (April 1960) - How Luthor Met Superboy
- Jimmy Olsen #46 (July 1960) - Jimmy Olsen, Orphan
- Superman #141 (November 1960) - Superman's Return To Krypton
- Superboy #85 (December 1960) - The Impossible Mission
- Jimmy Olsen #51 (March 1961) - The Girl with Green Hair
- Jimmy Olsen #52 (April 1961) - Jimmy Olsen, Wolf-Man
- Superboy #89 (June 1961) - Superboy's Big Brother!
- Action Comics #279 (August 1961) - The Super-Rivals
- Superman #147 (August 1961) - The Legion of Super Villains
- Superman #149 (November 1961) - The Death of Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #57 (December 1961) - Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl
- Superman #155 (August 1962) - Superman Under the Green Sun and The Downfall of Superman
- Justice League of America #13 (August 1962) - Riddle of the Robot Justice League
- World's Finest #129 (November 1962) - Joker-Luthor, Incorporated
- Superman #158 (January 1963) - Superman in Kandor
- Superman #160 (April 1963) - The Mortal Superman
- Superman #161 (May 1963) - The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent
- Superman #162 (July 1963) - The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue
- Superman #163 (August 1963) - Wonder-Man, the New Hero of Metropolis and The Goofy Superman
- Justice League of America #21 & #22 (August/September 1963) - Crisis on Earth-One! and Crisis on Earth-Two!
- Superman #164 (October 1963) - The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman
- Superman #165 (November 1963) - The Sweetheart Superman Forgot
- Superman #166 (January 1964) - The Fantastic Story of Superman's Sons
- Superman #167 (February 1964) - The Team of Luthor and Brainiac
- Superman #168 (April 1964) - Luthor - Super Hero and Lex Luthor, Daily Planet Editor
- Superman #169 (May 1964) - The Man Who Stole Superman's Secret Life
- Action Comics #314 (July 1964) - The Day Superman Became The Flash
- Justice League of America #29 & #30 (August/September 1964) - Crisis on Earth-Three! and The Most Dangerous Earth of All!
- Superman #173 (November 1964) - The Triumph of Luthor and Brainiac
- Action Comics #318 (November 1964) - The Death of Luthor
- Action Comics #319 (December 1964) - The Condemned Superman
- Superman #175 (February 1965) - Clark Kent's Brother
- Superman #181 (November 1965) - The Superman of 2965
- The Legion of Super-Heroes - Archives Volume 4 (1965)
- Superman #184 (February 1966) - The Demon Under the Red Sun
- Action Comics #338 (June 1966) - Muto - Monarch of Menace
- Action Comics #339 (July 1966) - Muto versus The Man of Tomorrow
- Superman #189 (August 1966) - Krypton Lives Again
- Action Comics #346 (February 1967) - The Man Who Sold Insurance to Superman and The Case of the Superman Imposter
- Superman #194 (February 1967) - The Death of Lois Lane
- Superman #196 (May 1967) - The Star of Steel
- Superman #199 (January 1967) - Superman's Race With The Flash
- Superman #200 (October 1967) - Super-Brother Against Super-Brother
- The Flash #175 (December 1967) - Race to the End of the Universe
- Justice League of America #63 (June 1968) - Time Signs a Death Warrant for the Justice League
- Superman #211 (November 1968) - The Name of the Game is Superman!
- Superman #215 (April 1969) - Lois LaneŠ DeadŠ Yet Alive
- Superman #224 (February 1970) - Beware the Super-Genius Baby
- Action Comics #393 (October 1970) - Superman Meets Super-Houdini! and The Day Superboy Became Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #133 (October 1970) - The Newsboy Legion
- Action Comics #394 (November 1970) - Midas of Metropolis and Requiem for a Hot Rod!
- World's Finest #198 (November 1970) - Race to Save the Universe!
- Action Comics #395 (December 1970) - The Secrets of Superman's Fortress and The Credit Card of Catastrophe
- Jimmy Olsen #134 (December 1970) - The Mountain of Judgement!
- World's Finest #199 (December 1970) - A Race to Save Time!
- Superman #233 (January 1971) - Superman Breaks Loose!
- Jimmy Olsen #135 (January 1971) - The Evil Factory!
- Superman #234 (February 1971) - How to Tame a Wild Volcano
- Jimmy Olsen #136 (February 1971) - The Saga of the D.N.Aliens
- Superman #235 (March 1971) - The Sinister Scream of the Devil's Harp
- Superman #236 (April 1971) - Planet of the Angels and The Doomsayer
- Jimmy Olsen #137 (April 1971) - The Four-Armed Terror!
- Superman #237 (May 1971) - The Enemy of Earth
- Superman #238 (June 1971) - Menace at 1000 Degrees
- Jimmy Olsen #138 (June 1971) - The Big Boom!!
- Superman #240 (July 1971) - To Save a Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #139 (July 1971) - The Guardian Fights Again!!!
- Superman #241 (August 1971) - The Shape of Fear
- Superman #242 (September 1971) - The Ultimate Battle
- Jimmy Olsen #141 (September 1971) - Will the Real Don Rickles Panic?!?
- Jimmy Olsen #142 (October 1971) - The Man from Transilvane!
- Jimmy Olsen #143 (November 1971) - Genocide Spray
- Jimmy Olsen #144 (December 1971) - A Big Thing in a Deep Scottish Lake!
- Superman #247 (January 1972) - Must There Be A Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #145 (January 1972) - Brigadoom!
- Jimmy Olsen #146 (February 1972) - Homo-Disastrous!
- Jimmy Olsen #147 (March 1972) - A Superman in Super-Town!
- Jimmy Olsen #148 (April 1972) - Monarch of All He Subdues!
- Superman #292 (October 1975) - The Luthor Nobody Knows!
- Action Comics #458 (April 1976) - Make Me a Super-Hero! and Masquerade of the Nutty Kid!
- Superman vs. Muhammad Ali (Spring 1978)
- Action Comics #484 (June 1978) - Superman Takes a Wife!
- Superman #328 (October 1978) - Attack of the Kryptonoid
- Action Comics #489 (November 1978) - Krypton Dies Again and Where There's a Will... There's a Fray
- Superman #329 (November 1978) - I Have Met The Enemy... And He Is Me! and The Secret of the Talking Car
- Superman #330 (December 1978) - The Master Mesmerizer of Metropolis!
- Action Comics #490 (December 1978) - No Tomorrow For Superman
- Action Comics #491 (January 1979) - A Matter of Light and Death
- Superman #331 (January 1979) - Lockup at 20,000 Feet
- Action Comics #492 (February 1979) - Superman's Secret Afterlife
- Superman #332 (February 1979) - The Eternity Cage
- Action Comics #493 (March 1979) - The Metropolis UFO Connection
- Action Comics #494 (April 1979) - The Secret of the Super S
- Action Comics #495 (May 1979) - Attack of the Ultimate Warrior
- DC Comics Presents #14 (October 1979) - Judge, Jury... and No Justice!
- The Superman Story (1979) - The Life Story of Superman
- DC Comics Presents #57 (May 1983) - Days of Future Past
- DC Comics Presents #67 (March 1984) - 'Twas the Fright Before Christmas
- DC Comics Presents Annual #3 (1984) - With One Magic Word
- Superman: The Secret Years #1 (February 1985) - Dreams and Schemes and Feeling Proud!
- Superman: The Secret Years #2 (March 1985) - Reach Out and Touch
- Superman: The Secret Years #3 (April 1985) - Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #80 (April 1985) - A World Full of Supermen!
- Superman: The Secret Years #4 (May 1985) - Beyond Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #85 (September 1985) - The Jungle Line
- Superman Annual #11 (1985) - For The Man Who Has Everything
- World's Finest #323 (January 1986) - Afraid of the Dark
- DC Comics Presents #97 (September 1986) - Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter
- Superman #423 & Action Comics #583 (September 1986) - Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow?
- Showcase Presents: Superman Family - Volume 1 (October 2005)
- Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons (December 2007)
- Not Brand ECHH #7 (April 1967) - The Origin of Stuporman
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