skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
[personal profile] skjam posting in [community profile] scans_daily
There were a few notable DC characters who didn't get to be Black Lanterns--one of them was Pa Kent. So let's go back in time, to a story where Pa Kent rises from the grave for one last visit to his son.

I'm also posting this as a part of the Dick Giordano memorial, as he did this cover with Ross Andru.

Five and 2/3rds pages of 17.

Back before Crisis on Infinite Earths, Jonathan and Martha Kent died before Superboy became Superman. Originally, it was just of old age (they having been no spring chickens when they adopted Clark), but eventually it was established that they'd died of a rare incurable disease. This served both to sever Clark's ties to Smallville, and to remind Superman that he could not, in fact, save everyone.

But suddenly here's Pa Kent, alive in the present day. In the previous chapter, Superman had given Pa a tour of the Fortress of Solitude, and now they visit Ma Kent's grave. Pa has to play the grieving widower, even though from his perspective Martha's still alive. And he wonders if perhaps Clark has too much solitude.

Back in the day, Clark Kent had an entire assortment of wacky neighbors living in his apartment building, who would pop up as needed for stories. None of them got much development, but they helped with establishing that Clark had his own life outside of just being Superman whenever he wasn't being a reporter. Right now, I'm trying to remember the names of Clark and Lois' neighbors in their current apartment, and coming up empty.

It's Lana Lang on the TV, filling in for veteran WGBS morning broadcaster Jeb Rolland. She explains that for unknown reasons, every able-bodied person over the age of thirty has left Metropolis. Jonathan doesn't notice any urge to vacate the premises. So as soon as the girls go off to check on the other tenants, Clark changes back to Superman.

Outside, he scans Metropolis, and learns that indeed, except for a few bedridden oldsters who can't move under their own power, all the over-thirties have left the city. The remaining people look a bit bewildered, but not panicky, and all essential services are running okay.

Beyond the city limits, Superman finds the rest of Metropolis' population, looking kind of lost. But again, no panic or rioting. Part of that may be explained by their simple faith that Superman will eventually come around and save them. He finds Perry White, Morgan Edge and Steve Lombard, the last of whom passes him a football, to encourage Superman to win the day. They give their testimony. They were doing their normal things when suddenly they just found themselves walking out of the city limits. And any attempt to re-enter is blocked by something invisible.

A voice summons Superman to Metropolis' sewer system, and upon emerging he finds the culprit behind all of this. A young fellow named Starshine, who has the ability of making people do anything he wants, as long as he says "please." He shows off the power by making Superman kneel before Zod Starshine.

Meanwhile, Pa Kent gets a visit from the aliens who brought him to the present. He thinks they are reneging on his time allotment, but no, they just wanted to warn him of a possible catastrophe.

Jonathan's immune to Starshine's powers, because they come from the same "magic cloud" that brought him to the present, but if they get too close to each other, their conflicting desires will cause an explosive cancellation. So Pa can't help directly, and he's not allowed to tell Superman the full truth. However, the aliens do gift Pa with the ability to see Superman in his mind's eye, and even read his thoughts.

What Pa sees is a badly beaten Superman, too weak to get back to his own place, so headed for 922 Oak Hill, Lois' apartment. Pa rushes right over there. Lois is surprised to see Jonathan, she recognizes him from pictures Clark has, but why come to her place? And how does he know she has a "sick friend" in her apartment?

Back when this story was written, Superman was officially 29 years old "in the present day."

And those readers under thirty may not remember this directly, but there was indeed a time in the late Sixties and Seventies when anyone over thirty was not to be trusted. Starshine here is on the tail end of that, as by 1980 many of the youth movement leaders had passed over the divide, and the Reagan years would drastically change generational dynamics.

So Superman returns to deal with Starshine again, but this time he's prepared with a remote-control muzzle. If he can't say anything, then Starshine can't give any orders. Superman roughs the young vagabond up a bit (carefully avoiding leaving bruises) and then super-hypnotizes him into reversing the damage he caused.

That evening, Clark Kent arrives just before the evening newscast with Lana, and she hands him a note from Pa. Pa apologizes for the blowing of secret identity thing, and suggests Clark come over to Smallville for a return visit. Lana starts the news with yesterday's headlines, and the note disappears. Things get hazy...

...As the aliens explain to Jonathan that time is resetting itself. It will be as though the whole strange adventure never happened. But Jonathan's okay with that.

Rest in peace, Pa Kent.

Your thoughts, comments?

Suggested tags
char: Lois Lane
char: Superman/Clark Kent
creator: Cary Bates
creator: Curt Swan
creator: Dick Giordano
creator: Ross Andru
publisher: DC Comics
title: Action Comics

Date: 2010-03-29 02:33 pm (UTC)
phosfate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] phosfate

Date: 2010-03-29 03:00 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
hmmm? im confused?

Date: 2010-03-29 03:06 pm (UTC)
phosfate: (Moondragon think hard by perletwo)
From: [personal profile] phosfate
Method of taunting smaller siblings in which older child grabs younger child's arm and makes him punch himself, while shouting, "Stop hitting yourself! STOP HITTING YOURSELF! STOP IT! I can't stop him! Help!" Much as Starshine does to Superman above.

Date: 2010-03-29 03:07 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
oooho heh, i missed that :)

Date: 2010-03-29 03:01 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
i love how Lois is all "Maybe i already knew?"



does anyone know WHEN exactly in current continuity Lois found out clark was superman? and may i humbly request those scans be posted?

Date: 2010-03-29 03:22 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theanswer
Yeah, Clark revealed he was Superman to Lois after they became engaged.

Date: 2010-03-29 03:19 pm (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
I'd rewrite the meetin'-the-neighbors scene to have Pa say, "Twins? Redheads? Next door? Son, please tell your old man that you're bangin' both of 'em."

Also, completely forgot about the dirty hippie with the orange beret, Action Comics' version of that TOS episode "The Way to Eden."

Date: 2010-03-29 03:47 pm (UTC)
jaybee3: Nguyen Lil Cass (Default)
From: [personal profile] jaybee3
Not to mention the fact that both twins look like the young Lana Lang. Speaking of which I think the Bronze Age Lana (the one who was an anchorwoman with Clark at GBS and was dating him till the COIE re-boot) is the only version of Lana I've ever actually liked - she wasn't the Superboy-obsessed version of the Silver Age or the Clark-obsessed present day version.

Date: 2010-03-29 10:01 pm (UTC)
schala_kid: Stephanie Brown as Batgirl (Default)
From: [personal profile] schala_kid
Also Lana from the DCAU, she wasn't obsessed with Clark/Supes still she held a torch for him and did want to be his crime fighting partner.

Date: 2010-03-30 12:53 am (UTC)
kingrockwell: he's a sexy (Ferdinand)
From: [personal profile] kingrockwell
"How can we make these aliens totally outrageous and weird?"
"Widow's peaks!"
"Two widow's peaks!"
"Give that man a raise!"

Date: 2010-03-30 03:34 am (UTC)
ext_398513: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
The alien with 2 peaks would destroy Vegeta.

Date: 2010-03-30 04:32 am (UTC)
jlroberson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jlroberson
I remember this(if you post any DC comic from 1976-1983, chances are I had it). Nobody drew evil hippies quite like Curt Swan(remember his final work, that Chester issue of Swamp Thing? Still one of the best things Millar was ever involved with). Pa looks weird in a turtleneck, though.


scans_daily: (Default)
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