skjam: Skyler Sands as a UNIT soldier (Unit)
[personal profile] skjam posting in [community profile] scans_daily
One of the most frequently reused plots of the Silver Age Superfamily titles was "supporting cast character temporarily gains superpowers, causing problems for the hero." Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane were the most common targets of this, but everyone got into the act, including some long-forgotten characters like the one we'll look at today.

This post contains what adds up to 7 2/3rds pages of 23 from the lead story in Superboy #157, "Get Lost, Superboy...Who Needs You?!" plus a special treat.

This issue's focus character is Big Bash Bashford (apparently his actual name), Smallville High's star athlete and stereotypical jerk jock. The splash page is him versus Superboy in a junkyard, which we'll see later in the story.

Superboy holds Koko until a guard can fire a tranquilizer dart into the beast. He then places the gorilla back into its cage, and uses some of the zoo's outer fence to strengthen the bars.

Lana comes to, and Bash claims to have helped corral Koko. Clark Kent reappears stuck halfway up a tree, obviously no help in a crisis.

The tranquilizer was a low dose, and Koko comes to. But contrary to its recent feat of strength, Koko now is so weak it can't even crack a peanut. When Clark hears that the dart wasn't sterilized prior to use, he theorizes that an infection got in Koko's bloodstream and suggests that a test be run. (He's secretly used his X-ray and microscopic vision to confirm this.)

Lana reminds Clark that there's a combination picnic and track meet tomorrow, and he's her date. Bash thought he'd asked first, but Lana feels sorry for Clark and says they can share her--and the picnic lunch she's bringing. (I guess that Lana is okay with threesomes, but only when she's the pivot.)

Later, Superboy checks in at the zoo. Koko continues to get weaker, not even able to peel a banana. The vet has found the infection, but it will take time to create a counterserum...time Koko may not have. Superboy stares at the banana and has an idea. If he brought food from a red-sun world to Earth's yellow-sun atmosphere, it would gain supernutritive qualities that might restore Koko's ability to function.

One small catch is that Superboy loses his powers under a red sun, so he's going to need other transport, which he happens to have stashed in his Cave of Silence (having not built the Fortress of Solitude.)

Meanwhile, Lana realizes that she's out of Bash's favorite food, bananas, and the Smallville stores closed at sunset.

Superboy tows a spacecraft through space, being faster than it until he reaches a red sun area and has to get inside and pilot. He searches for a semi-tropical zone on an Earthlike planet for fruit, and lands near an area rich with blue banana-like growths.

Once back in the Sol system, the blue banana-like objects turn yellow, just like Earth bananas, showing that they're absorbing solar energy. At home in the Kents' cellar, Superboy distills the essence of alien banana into a serum. He then tells Ma Kent that he's in too much of a hurry to explain what he's up to and flies off.

Ma takes the opportunity to start cleaning the cellar. At this point, Lana comes over to the Kent house as the party line was busy and no one closer had any bananas. Ma Kent is happy to share the bananas she just found in the cellar.

Superboy explains to the vet that he's calculated the dose of superbanana extract to be just enough to restore Koko to normal strength from its weakened state, but it would be too dangerous if it were healthy.

Abruptly, a lightning storm blows in and a bolt strikes the tree where our trio is sitting. Bash puts up his arms in a futile attempt to save himself...or is it so futile?

Bash's new found superstrength allows him to leap high and long, winning all the events he's in, and the other students gullibly accept that he's Superboy and shower Bash with praise.

That evening, Clark is sulking a bit at home while the radio announcer goes on about how awesome "Superbash" is, then mentions Koko's recovery, and Clark finally clues in to what happened. He hears noise at the junkyard...

The next morning, Superbash faces his first test as a bank robbery has gone south, and the thugs outgun the police. Bash is astonished to discover that he can now fly, and relieved when it turns out he's bulletproof. (Superboy is secretly supplying these powers for him.) Bash is riding pretty high.

And when he frees a construction worker from steel beams with heat vision (Superboy again), Bash is practically on top of the world. But then the graduate exam comes along. A meteor that was originally scheduled to miss Earth has suddenly changed course and is heading straight for Kansas. As someone points out to Bash, this is a crisis because "It could destroy half the United States!...Our half!" Bash promises to deal with it.

I hope we've all learned a valuable lesson about respecting animals.

And here's dessert, a handy chart explaining how the Superfamily got to Earth in the first place.

Your thoughts and comments?


Date: 2012-01-27 01:41 pm (UTC)
eyz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eyz
I actually like that final page above, with the rocketships' arrivals and all :P


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