Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics
Superman #238Cover date: June 1971
"Menace at 1000 Degrees"
Writer: Denny O'Neil
Penciller: Curt Swan
Inker: Murphy Anderson
Back-Up Story: "A Name is Born"
Writer: Cary Bates
Penciller: Gray Morrow
Inker: Gray Morrow
Cover: Carmine Infantino and Dick Giordano
Reviewed by: James Lantz
Superman has not fully recovered from his encounter with the mysterious sand duplicate in the previous issue. In spite of this, he rushes to aid a ship attacked by modern day pirates. Once he's prevented a torpedo from hitting the ship's ruptured hull, the Man of Steel turns the criminals over to the Coast Guard only to find that the siege on the boat was a diversion. Terrorists have taken over Project Magma, a floating oil derrick on the ocean that has been modified to drill lava from under the Earth's surface to use it as an alternative fuel source. Superman leaps to stop the bandits, but hot, molten liquid is shot at him stopping him in his tracks. The Last Son of Krypton is able to free himself under the ocean once the rock cools. However, he is not powerful enough to stop the hijackers. Only one being can assist him - the strange double of the Man of Steel. Unfortunately, the creature refuses to help. The hostages aboard Project Magma and the entire world may very well be doomed.
Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are in the Galaxy Broadcasting offices of the Daily Planet newspaper waiting for news of the situation at Project Magma. The leader of the terrorists is named Quig. He's demanding ten million dollars in gold and a hydrogen bomb. Should he not get what he wants, Quig will kill all the hostages. The explosive's power could be so powerful that it could split the planet in half. However, it is delivered with the riches the next morning as the world wonders what has happened to Superman. Among the people delivering Quig's goods to Project Magma is Lois. She may get more than a story if she meets the vicious Quig.
Lois has caught the attention of Quig. While the hijacker's guard is down, the ace reporter takes his gun. Unfortunately, Quig seems to know that she won't shoot him. This forces the criminal to take serious action. He's going to kill Lois as a lesson to any of the other hostages. A man, whose face and body are hidden in his hat and coat, suddenly offers to take Lois' place. Quig refuses, but the person defends Miss Lane and the others. It is none other than Superman. He is using what powers he has to deal with most of Quig's men until the Magma Gun that had been fired at him is aimed at the hostages. The Man of Steel seems to have gotten the innocent people out of one danger only to get them into another one.
Superman has regained his power of flight and has made short work of the man working the lava weapon. Desperate, Quig launches the H-bomb into the magma pocket. Determined to make certain that Earth doesn't suffer the same fate as Krypton, Superman dives into the hole. The Man of Steel takes the explosive from the one thousand degree Fahrenheit passage under the surface and hurls it into the air. Quig fires his gun at the approaching Kryptonian, but the bullets only irritate our hero. With Quig subdued, Superman catches the hydrogen weapon to dispose of it permanently. The world is once again safe thanks to Superman.
Lois is questioning Superman once the hostages are safe. She cannot help but wonder why the Metropolis Marvel took so long to rescue everyone. He feels that the ace reporter must never know that Superman was unsure of himself. Now more than ever, the Man of Tomorrow is determined to return to full power or die trying.
Story - 5: Admittedly, I felt that this issue was a little slow when I first read it, but it got better when I got to it the second time around. This is yet another great chapter to an overall excellent story.
Though the duplicate itself seems to have only a cameo this time around, this is still an extremely important part of "The Sandman Saga." We see Superman recovering from the events of the last issue, and that helps to create more emotion and tension in the characters and story. Denny O'Neil also shows these points to be his strengths in his various Batman tales, and they also work well for Superman. This was yet another amazing Bronze Age comic book.
Art - 5: The Swanderson team did it again. The visuals are superb. When the heck is DC going to come to their senses and put out an omnibus of their collaborations? I'll definitely buy one.
Back-Up Story: "A Name is Born"
Two teachers are preparing for the first day of school on Krypton. One is worried about how she'll keep her playful first level students in line. Her colleague tells her a story that he's told his classes many times.
Before humanoid life existed on Krypton, it was surrounded by a crimson cocoon that would dissolve into the atmosphere many years later, turning the sky red. A hole had appeared in the covering that had allowed an explorer's starship to land on the surface. A mysterious being is watching as the pilot leaves the vessel. The two aliens greet each other. However, the actions of one of the individuals in space suits are taken as war-like. A battle ensues until one person is trapped in a red, suffocating syrup. The other saves the entangled one, and both remove their helmets while they make peace. The man introduces himself as Kryp, while the woman says that her name is Tonn. Seeing that his craft has sunk into the ruby-colored muck. Kryp realizes that he and Tonn will not be able to leave this new world. And thus, the name Krypton was born.
Back-Up Story - 1: Rod Serling is turning over in his grave. Anyone that is a fan of the original Twilight Zone series is going to see that this story is basically a copy of "Probe Seven Over and Out." Cary Bates is a capable writer and could have done better tale without giving us something that had been done before. It's the worst back-up I've ever read. How Julie Schwartz approved this is beyond me. Skip this one, and watch the TZ DVDs instead, folks. You'll get more entertainment out of them than from this waste of paper.
Back-Up Art - 5: The art reminds me of the old EC Comics' science fiction books. It doesn't help make the story better, but it is beautifully done. It's a pity that the writing wasn't as good as the images in this tale.
Cover Art - 4: The image itself is beautiful and classic Carmine Infantino art. However, the big banner about the back-up story ruins it a bit. It might have been better to do a small blurb in the corner to tell readers about that. Otherwise, it's an awesome cover.
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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