Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Hey!! Kids Comics: Superman 328 (1978)

Superman, Vol. 40, No. 328

Cover date: October 1978

Cover artists: José Luis García-López and Dick Giordano

"Attack of the Kryptonoid"

Writer: Martin Pasko
Penciller: Curt Swan
Inker: Frank Chiaramonte
Colorsist: Adrienne Roy
Letterer: Ben Oda
Editor: Julius Schwartz

Plot: A commensal mico-organism from Krypton fuses with the body of a Superman robot and a one-armed general who blames Superman for the loss of his limb. The composite being, who calls himself the Kryptonoid, attacks Superman.

"Clark Kent, How Would You Like to Meet Your Real Father?"

Writer: Cary Burkett
Penciller: Kurt Schaffenberger
Inker: Tex Blaisdell
Colorist: Jerry Serpe
Letterer: Shelly Leferman

Plot: Clark Kent poses as the son of a wealthy man to reunite him with his real long-lost son.

The main story begins with Superman destroying the Laser Defense System (LDS) satellite in orbit. The LDS, a plot from an earlier issue, is a top secret space based laser system supposedly built to protect Earth from outer-space threats. But, when Superman found out about it, he got super-pissed because no one bothered to tell him about it!

Now, Superman has finally convinced the Pentagon that LDS was far too dangerous to have in orbit and it must be dismantled. Of course Superman volunteered to be the one to do all the dismantling!

Meanwhile, General Derwent watches it all on a monitor, fuming. Derwent, who has only one arm, was in charge of the project and vowed revenge on Superman a few issues ago. Derwent begins raving against Superman for messing up his cushy gig and how now he'll probably get demoted. The General obviously hates Superman, but this can't be the only reason for this level of vitriol...

While collecting all the debris Superman notices something else falling into the atmosphere... Scanning it with his super-vision he sees a warning label on it written in Kryptonese that says it contains dangerous micro-organisms. The thing is shown to be sentient as it is plotting to conquer the planet!

Superman tries to catch it but it veers toward him instead. The thing begins to take humanoid form before colliding with Superman. Superman is knocked out by the collision and falls into the ocean. The creature realizes that Superman is of the race of people that exiled it and now seeks revenge!

The creature lands on Mooney Island (secret headquarters of the LDS project) and spots "Superman" working on a chain link fence... (Wait, didn't he just fall into the sea unconscious?) The creature decides transfer itself into the metal of the fence so when Superman touches the fence it can merge with him.

Ok, there is something going here because Superman flies up from the sea with all the pieces of broken LDS satellite only to be confronted by Gen. Derwent. Derwent unloads on Superman and tells him to get lost. Superman leaves and that's when we find out the real reason Derwent has such hostility towards Superman...

See, years ago Superman volunteered to be the target for a secret weapons test, however something went terribly wrong and a tiny sliver of shrapnel ricocheted off Superman's belt buckle and entered the General's arm causing an infection that resulted in amputation. The General blames Superman for the loss of his arm!

When they get back to base we find out that the "Superman" we saw earlier working on the fence is actually a Superman robot. It was found smashed up and washed on shore and the General ordered it repaired so they could use it to fix fences and stuff... Sounds reasonable, I guess. Anyway this robot is what the creature has merged with, thinking it was the real Superman!

Superman changes into Clark Kent and heads to a phone booth in the Galaxy Building to make a call to the Fortress of Solitude (I bet that long distance charge is a doozy!). Conferring with the super-data processor, he learns about Kryptonian scientist Ser-ze who was working on creating artificial limbs for amputees and discovered a micro-organism he called the Commensals.

These Commensals could infuse metal limbs making them pliable like flesh and respond to the nerve impulses of the host allowing the new limb to respond to the host as if they were real! But the Commensals had a mind of their own and eventually took over the entire host transforming him into a monster and killing poor ol' Ser-Ze in the process. The monster was eventually destroyed by freezing it.

Superman's dad, Jor-El collected what was left of the Commensals into a refrigerated capsule and shot it off into space... right towards the Earth no less! When the capsule burned up in the Earth's atmosphere the Commensals were revived and now they could threaten the entire planet!

Back on Mooney Island the creature has convinced Gen. Derwent to allow it to merge with him. Derwent agrees so he can finally get his desired revenge on Superman! The resultant gestalt creature rushes off to Metropolis to kill Superman.

The creature, moving faster than the eye can see, rushes towards Clark Kent in the phone booth just as Lana Lang comes into work! She spots Clark in the phone booth right before it appears to explode and disintegrate Clark! But Clark made a super-speed escape in the nick of time and changed into Superman to confront the creature, now calling itself the Kryptonoid.

The Kryptonoid, thinking Superman is his enemy Jor-El, wraps Superman up in a light pole and stretches out his hand, preparing to destroy Superman...

Can Superman escape his fate? Tune in next time to find out!

This is part one of a two part story... So a lot of the issue is filled with backstory and setting up the next issue where the real battle will take place. Curt Swan's art shines and Chiaramonte does a good job inking although not as good as Murphy Anderson... Martin Pasko, like Elliot S! Maggin, knows how to tell a good Superman story and that is hard to do with a man who can juggle planets and do pretty much anything with the speed of thought.

The back-up story is a snooze fest about Clark being taken for a missing heir who was kidnapped as a baby and how he reunites the real heir with the father (ZZzzzz) ... read it if you must, but you've been warned!

Here is the whole comic for you to download and read as a CBR file, just follow the link on the left.

CBR files hold comic book pages as images in a compressed archive format enabling them to be viewed, sequentially, from within a comic book reader program or app such as CDisplayEx.

What are your thoughts on today's adventure with Superman vs. the Kryptonoid? Who was your favorite writer on Superman? who is your favorite Superman villain? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!

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