Friday, December 14, 2007

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Superman #204

Superman #204 (On Sale: December 14, 1967) has another cool Neal Adams cover. This was the first issue of Superman that I purchased.

The issue begins with "The Case of the Lethal Letters" by Cary Bates, Rose Andru and Mike Esposito. Superman receives a warning that harm will befall his friends if he does not abandon his crime-fighting career. When Lana Lane and Lori Lemaris are both attacked and disappear, Superman suspects that Lois Lane will be the next target. Despite his efforts to protect her, Lois also disappears.

Superman announces that he will end his career and asks that his unknown opponent return the missing girls. Following his announcement, television reporter Lorraine Delon returns to her hideout in preparation to kill the kidnapped women. Superman follows her after picking up her excited heartbeat following his announcement.

Lorraine incapacitates Superman uses Q-Energy which originates from another universe. She explains that her real name is Lorraine Lewis, a brilliant female scientist. She holds a grudge against Superman because his girl friends with the same initials have upstaged her own achievements. Reprinted in Limited Collectors' Edition C-31.

Next is "The Duplicate Superman," reprinted from Acton Comics #222 and created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino. Superman is divided into two beings during an experimental Q-bomb test. One Superman does not possess X-ray vision, while the other is missing telescopic vision. Together the two Supermen take turns as Superman and Clark, appearing in the same place at the same time for Lois Lane.

Later, Superman-T turns criminal and steals a gold plated statue. Superman-X confronts him, but is forced away to deal with an emergency. Alone, Superman-T constructs a lead shield from the inside of the statue.

The final story is "The Fortress of Fear" by Cary Bates and Al Plastino. An alien life force takes control of Superman's Fortress of Solitude. The Fortress itself then attacks the Man of Steel and nearly defeats him.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.

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