Posts Tagged ‘Zaora’

December 21st, 2015  Posted at   Supergirl Mondays

Supergirl MondaysSupergirl Mondays is a weekly celebration of the Girl of Steel, who has graced the pages of DC Comics in a variety of forms for more than five decades.

This feature’s primary focus is to take an issue-by-issue look back at Supergirl’s adventures in the post-Crisis universe. From an artificial being on a mission to save her home world, to an Earth-born angel on a mission to save her soul, each Monday, before the airing of “Supergirl” on CBS, reflect on the earliest days of the incredible and winding journey of a frequently divisive, sometimes confusing, but always entertaining era for the Maid of Might.

In this issue

Superman (Vol. 2) #22

Issue: SUPERMAN (Vol. 2) #22
Cover date: October 198
Cover price: 75 cents ($1 Can./50p U.K.)
Cover by John Byrne
Story: “The Price”


John Byrne, story and art
John Costanza, lettering
Petra Scotese, coloring
Renée Wittestaetter, assistant editor
Mike Carlin, editor
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster


As Supergirl, Superman and the Pocket Universe Lex Luthor begin their final confrontation with the General Zod, Quex-Ul and Faora, the Phantom Zone criminals strike back, destroying the Smallville fortress and killing the remaining members of the resistance. Outraged, Supergirl attacks Zod and Faora, but is hit with a double blast of heat vision.

Attacked! (Part 1)  Attacked! (Part 2)

Superman is in shock, but Luthor tells him not to worry about Supergirl because “the protomatter will regenerate itself soon enough.” With no time explain, Luthor sends Superman to the site of Superboy’s former laboratory on a mission to find the one thing that can stop the rogue Kryptonians.

After a brutal fight with Quex-Ul, Superman finds the object of his search: a canister containing Gold Kryptonite. He then uses that to remove the powers of the three Kryptonians and trap them in a makeshift prison made from the remnants of the underground lab before finding Luthor, who has been fatally injured.

The death of Lex

Turning his attention back to the Phantom Zone criminals, Superman speaks of the heinousness of their acts. As the last representative of right on that world, he tells them he has no choice but to act as judge, jury and excutioner, and exposes them to a lethal dose of Green Kryptonite.

With sadness over his own actions in addition to the tragedy upon tragedy that has occurred, Superman buries the bodies of Zod, Quex-Ul and Faora on the barren remains of the Pocket Universe Earth before returning to the Kent farm with Supergirl in his arms.

Supergirl left with the Kents

With Supergirl in good care and much on his mind after what has transpired, Superman flies away with a heavy heart and much to ponder.


Of the three issues that make up “The Supergirl Saga,” Supergirl’s part of in this one is smallest all of them as she is taken out of action quite early, and in a fashion that is quite brutal. But, I try to temper my disappointment (and, to a degree, dissatisfaction) with that by remembering, as I’ve said, that this is a Superman story.’ Much like those original interludes that introduced Supergirl in short, one- or two-page bursts, Supergirl’s story continues to unfold as a supporting character in the various Super-titles.

But, here, we get final answers — or at least more complete ones — about this new Supergirl’s origin: A new lifeform based on a previous person but literally a blank slate. In many ways, a very meta approach to rebooting the character. This is Supergirl, but not the Supergirl we know. She’s one who hearkens back to the past but leaves the door open for new and even better and more wondrous tales.

Superman leaving the injured Supergirl in the care of Kents (and, to an extent, Lana) shows now only the great amount of trust he has in his adoptive parents, but it also shows the optimistic and hopeful side of Superman. Yes, this Supergirl attacked him, the Kents and even Lana, but as Superman says, she did so out of fear — not malice. Unlike the Phantom Zone criminals that ultimately caused her creation, Supergirl, while perhaps prone to act impulsively or on rash instinct (as seen in attacking the Kents or, in this issue, Zod and Faora), isn’t intrinsically evil and deserves a second chance.

And much like Superman, she is the last survivor of her world — her universe, even. This creates a strong kinship between her and the Man of Steel that, in theory, could supersede any blood kinship the pre-Crisis versions of the characters shared.

Next time on Supergirl Monday: Who’s who’s Supergirl!

December 14th, 2015  Posted at   Supergirl Mondays

Supergirl MondaysSupergirl Mondays is a weekly celebration of the Girl of Steel, who has graced the pages of DC Comics in a variety of forms for more than five decades.

This feature’s primary focus is to take an issue-by-issue look back at Supergirl’s adventures in the post-Crisis universe. From an artificial being on a mission to save her home world, to an Earth-born angel on a mission to save her soul, each Monday, before the airing of “Supergirl” on CBS, reflect on the earliest days of the incredible and winding journey of a frequently divisive, sometimes confusing, but always entertaining era for the Maid of Might.

In this issue

Adventures of Superman #444

Cover date: September 1988
Cover price: 75 cents ($1 Can./40p U.K.)
Cover by Jerry Ordway
Story: “Parallel Lives Meet at Infinity …”


John Byrne, scripter/co-plotter
Jerry Ordway, penciller/co-plotter
Dennis Janke, inker
Albert DeGuzman, letterer
Petra Scotese, colorist
Renée Witterstaetter, assistant editor
Mike Carlin, editor
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster


While Superman mourns the deaths of the Pocket Universe’s Jonathan and Martha Kent, that universe’s Lex Luthor and Pete Ross fill in the Man of Steel on what happened to their now war-ravaged world. In the aftermath of Superboy’s disappearance (during the Pocket Universe saga), Lex set out to find out what happened to him. Upon discovering Superboy’s secret lab, Lex was tricked into releasing from the Phantom Zone a trio of Kryptonian criminals (General Zod, Faora and Quex-Ul), who proceeded to destroy the lab and the Phantom Zone projector before going on a global rampage destroying anything and anyone in their way.

As part of his newly formed resistance, Lex devised a way to give the Pocket Universe’s Lana Lang super-powers. She adopted a costume like that of Superboy, as well as the name “Supergirl,” and became a rallying symbol for the people of Earth in the fight against the rogue Kryptonians. But, the resistance served only to infuriate the Kryptonians, who responded by burning away the planet’s atmosphere, killing everyone except a small band of fighters inside Lex’s citadel.

Discovering the existence of Superman, Lex devised a way to send Supergirl to his universe in an attempt to recruit him to help.

Supergirl's mission begins

Caught up to speed, Superman vows to join the Supergirl, Lex and the rest of the resistance in order to end the Phantom Zone criminals’ reign of terror.


Honestly, there’s very little specific Supergirl content here. However, we must remember that despite being referred to as “The Supergirl Saga,” this is, first and foremost, a Superman story. And while perhaps not specifically Supergirl, this issue does detail much of the Pocket Universe’s story which, as detailed, led to the creation of Supergirl and thus — like the entire storyline — remains key in the foundation of this new Supergirl’s backstory, addressing and answering many of the mysteries presented in the preceding six months.

Not much is added to Supergirl’s character or personality here, though I did appreciate her adopting the costume as a way of becoming a rallying point for the resistance, which is something that pays as much tribute to Superman’s (or, in this case, Superboy’s) legacy as Supergirl herself.

Fans talk back

With the letters column addressing ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #440 (see Supergirl Monday #2), the second interlude featuring the new Supergirl, more writers addressed the character’s return, including this impassioned letter from writer Thomas Romano of Houston, Texas.

Letter from Thomas Romano

But wait, there’s more

And end-of-issue blurb and the letters page chatter both plug the conclusion of the story in SUPERMAN #22, though neither give much indication of Supergirl’s role.



Next time on Supergirl Monday: Unhappy endings!

October 31st, 2012  Posted at   Blog Crossover

A spook-tacular Halloween treat is in store today as several blogs have joined forced to look at DC’s “Ghosts”-themed annuals from 1998, along with other supernaturally themed stories featuring your favorite DC Comics characters.

If you’re unfamiliar with “Ghosts” crossover, in the mid- to late-’90s, DC regularly linked their annuals with a unified theme or direction. In 1998, it was “Ghosts,” which depicted various heroes fighting against or being haunted by figures who had died throughout their storied careers.

While Superman and supernatural are an odd combination, the Man of Steel, being the foremost hero of the DC Universe, was, naturally, included. Superman’s installment came in SUPERMAN ANNUAL #10 (October 1998 cover; released around August 12, 1998) and calls back to a decision made by Superman early in his career, which comes back to haunt him once again in “The Death Sentence.”


Dan Jurgens, writer
Paul Ryan, layouts
Chris Ivy, finishes
John Costanza, letters
Glenn Whitmore, colors
Digital Chameleon, seps
Maureen McTigue, assistant editor
Joey Cavalieri, editor
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

Chapter 1

Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent pays a visit to Stryker’s Island Maximum Security Prison at the request of inmate Lloyd Corman, who is due to be executed the next day for the murder of a convenience store clerk during a robbery two years prior.

Corman pleads for Clark’s help, swearing innocence, but Clark is reluctant, saying he’s reviewed the case file and it seems pretty open and shut. Corman says he’s read Clark’s column and knows he’s “always stickin’ up fer the little guy… fightin’ fer justice fer all!” and questions if Clark believes in capital punishment.

Clark leaves, pausing momentarily when he hears a haunting voice saying, “Killer… killer! Now it’s your turn to die for your crimes!” Dismissing it as transient chatter picked up by his super-hearing, Clark heads back to the Daily Planet and begins again looking into Corman’s case. The evidence seems to stand up but still leaves questions lingering in Clark’s mind.

He pays a visit to the convenience store and gets no solid answers, only more doubt. On his way out of the store, he again hears the hollow and menacing voice. Suddenly, stacks of food fly at him from the shelves and suddenly turn green — kryptonite green. Thinking he might be under attack, Clark runs from the store to investigate as Superman. But, upon hitting the street, he sees a trio of familiar faces from the past.

Chapter 2: ‘Clarity’

Swiftly changing to Superman, the Man of Steel rockets into the air to try and find the evil three (not to be confused with “The Evil Three,” since Jonathan Hale, Rhys Williams and Cecil Elliott do not appear in this comic… unfortunately). He spots a trio of people on a nearby street and angrily confronts them, only discover he was mistaken and has just scared the ever-lovin’ out of three random people.

All of this leaves passers-by, local authorities and even Superman himself wondering if the Man of Steel has gone a bit coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. Superman then reflects on his encounter with the Kryptonian criminals and their ultimate fate (a flashback to events that culminated in SUPERMAN (Vol. 2) #22, which marked the end of John Byrne’s run as writer and artist following the MAN OF STEEL reboot).

Superman reflects on his regret over his actions and then flies off, unknowing that Zod, Quex-Ul and Faora watch from a nearby rooftop.

Shortly, Clark pays a visit to Police Commissioner Bill Henderson and attempts to enlist his help in looking into Corman’s case. Henderson is reluctant, saying the case is solid, but Clark still sees doubt — even more after examining Henderson’s case file.

As Clark leaves, his is confronted by the parents of the man killed in the hold-up, upset that Clark is, seemingly, trying to prove Corman’s innocence. Clark pleads his case, but the father isn’t buying it… lecturing Clark on the matter of justice — something, he says, Clark knows nothing about.

Clark continues walking and is hit with more visions of the Kryptonian criminals, but shrugs them off as his tired imagination. He then visits Corman’s wife and two-year-old son.

Clark creepily look through the woman’s mail and private papers, seeing she told the truth about her son’s illness. He then sees more visions of the Kryptonian criminals and tries to shrug it off. But a booming voice from outside the window challenges him to come — and as Clark looks outside, he is shocked to see General Zod, Quex-Ul and Faora looming in the sky!

Chapter 3: ‘Inner Turmoil’

Superman goes on the attack but is no match for the three fully powered Kryptonian criminals. After seven pages of Fightapalooza ’98, Superman tries a last-ditch gamble, charging at the criminals like a Kryptonian battering ram. Inexplicably, the criminals disappear and Superman, unable to stop his momentum, crashes into Mrs. Corman’s apartment.

While collecting himself from his ungraceful entrance, Superman notices the keys the boy was playing with — and, that one of them isn’t a toy key but a key to a locker at a nearby bus station. Clark visits the station and uses his X-ray vision to survey the locker’s contents, only to be dismayed at what he finds.

Before he can ponder it further, however, he is attacked once again by the Kryptonian criminals, which results in another four pages of Fightapalooza ’98 (don’t call it a comeback; it’s been here for years). Finally discovering the three are intangible (despite them being pretty good at tossing him around earlier in the story), Superman thows an electrified piece of rebar through the spirits’ forms, causing them to dissipate.

With time nearing sunrise and Corman’s execution, Clark hurries to the prison, imploring the governor to hear him out. The victim’s father yells at Clark for being another “bleeding heart” trying to say Corman is innocent… but Clark responds to the contrary, saying that he found conclusive proof that Corman did, in fact, kill the man, but urges the governor to hear him out, anyway.

And with that, the story came to close. While Superman’s execution of the criminals would remain in continuity for just shy of another decade (it was officially disavowed following INFINITE CRISIS and the accompanying soft-reboot), the storyline was scarcely revisited again. And, aside from the other “Ghosts”-themed annuals from that year, we never got a firm resolution to the mystery of who — if anyone — was responsible for Superman’s ghostly visitors.


Perhaps appropriate for Halloween, this issue was both a trick and a treat: A trick because it wasn’t all that good… but a treat because it was actually better than I remembered it.

Halloween stories featuring Superman are a tough nut to crack. Despite Superman being more versatile a character than generally thought, he really isn’t built for tales of horror and fright. Ghosts and supernatural don’t really fit into the world of a character designed to bring hope and light.

One might also question the wisdom of revisiting the execution of the Pocket Universe villains when Superman’s own death, those killed in the wake of Doomsday’s rampage, or even the death of Krypton itself, could have provided fodder for a poignant “Ghosts”-themed story.

However, this was published in a period when DC seemed to be revisiting the early post-Crisis stories — or at least early days in Superman’s career — quite a bit. SUPERMAN: FOR ALL SEASONS, JLA: YEAR ONE and even a Byrne-written and illustrated issue of JACK KIRBY’S FOURTH WORLD that unofficially tied in with MAN OF STEEL, were all published the same month as this issue. Plus, Superman actions against Zod and the others were a watershed moment for the character and, thanks to Jerry Ordway, Roger Stern and, later, Dan Jurgens, led to many wonderful storylines. (As Michael Bailey and I discussed on a recent episode of my podcast, The Thrilling Adventures of Superman, there is a direct line from Superman’s execution of the Pocket Universe villains through “Reign of the Supermen,” one of the most-loved and most-remembered Superman stories of the last three decades, and beyond.)

It also feels like the “Ghosts” theme and the inclusion of the Kryptonians criminals was done as more of an afterthought to a story already dealing with the idea of Superman’s position on the death penalty. Yes, the two go hand-in-hand by their very nature but removing all references to the earlier story makes no noticeable change to the main plot of this one.

But still, like I said, this story was better than I remembered it. I enjoyed the focus on Clark Kent. I enjoyed seeing Clark setting out to right a wrong — even though it ultimately turned out that the original conviction wasn’t wrong. Superman is a defender of Truth, Justice and the American Way… and, to me, those often go hand-in-hand. Justice depends on truth. So, Clark searching to discover the truth in the name of justice is absolutely right in line with the character.

The art in the issue was perfectly serviceable. Ryan, while not my favorite Superman artist, draws a fine Man of Steel. Ivy’s inks are capable, not overpowering Ryan’s pencils but embellishing in most of the right ways. I do wonder if a less-traditional artist for Superman might have served the story better, given its nature. But, few complaints about Ryan and Ivy as they serve the story fine.

But, wait, there’s more

Despite the lackluster nature of the story, I want to thank Chad Bokelman over at Corps Conjecture for inviting me to play along in this crossover. It was a lot of fun and, regardless of the quality of the story, reading a Superman comic is never a complete waste of time! And special thanks to Rob Kelly at Aquaman Shrine and Garrey Adams at Gotham Knights Online for the crossover’s custom graphics!

As mentioned earlier, several blogs have joined forces to look at the various “Ghosts” annuals and other Halloween-flavored stories. Be sure to visit the other blogs to see how they spotlight their own favorite heroes!

The Atom in “Shrinking From The Past” @ Power of the Atom

Aquaman in “Dead Calm” @ The Aquaman Shrine

Batman in “Bough Breaks” @ Gotham Knights Online

Booster Gold in “Seeing Ghosts” @ Boosterific

The Creeper in “What Creeps Out the Creeper? @ DC Bloodlines

Firestorm in “Shoe Shine… Back from the Dead” @ Firestorm Fan

The Flash in “Haunts” @ Speed Force

Green Lantern in “The Corpse Corps” @ Corps Conjecture

Green Lantern in “The Legend of Driq” @ The Indigo Tribe

The Justice League of America in “Life Itself” @ The Captain’s JLA Blog

The Martian Manhunter in “Heart’s Afire” @ The Idol-Head of Diabolu

The Phantom Stranger cosplay @ I am the Phantom Stranger

Ragman in “Tattered Remnants” @ Ragman: DC’s Tatterdemalion of Justice

The Spectre in “Zor!” @ Siegel & Shuster: Mythmakers

Superman in “The Death Sentence” @ Great Krypton!

Swamp Thing in “Ghost Dance” @ The Blog From the Bog

Vixen in “Role Model” @ Justice League Detroit

Wonder Woman in “The Distance Gone” @ Diana Prince is the New Wonder Woman