With San Diego hosting their annual convention, here's to hoping all that are there are having a good time.
But, there was a time when the Main Man went down to the convention floor, and all hell broke loose!
First, though, a little history of dolphin loving Lobo!
Lobo premiered in Omega Men #3 (June, 1983) by Roger Slifer, Keith Giffen and Mike DeCarlo, where he had been hired by the Citadel to capture Queen Kalista. Appearing here and there in the series, Lobo helped the Omega Men defeat the Citadel. Later, he returned in Justice League International #18 (October, 1988), now working for the Cluster, and, through a series of mishaps, fighting Green Lantern Guy Gardner.
Spinning out of the Invasion! event, L.E.G.I.O.N. got its own title, and Lobo followed soon after. He appeared first in L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 #3 (April, 1989), finding one of his precious space dolphins dead, he went to track the killer. Lobo decided it was Garryn Bek, and, as he was about to kill him (and other team members like the Durlan), Vril Dox (the son of Brainiac) made him an offer he couldn't refuse, leading to Lobo joining L.E.G.I.O.N. in L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 #5 (June, 1989), with Dox using Lobo's battle energy to convince Bek's disreputable police force to be the foundation of an intergalactic police patrol, taking down an interplanetary drug lord with an army of Lobos (as Lobo replicates when his blood is shed....)..
After encounters with Superman and Mr. Miracle, Lobo had a few mini-series, specials and even an Annual. His first 4 issue mini-series from 1990 by Keith Giffen, Alan Grant and SimonBisley, had Lobo going after a person who wrote an unauthorized biography of the Last Czarnian (him). A 1992 mini-series, Lobo's Back, finds Lobo dead, but neither heaven nor hell want him, so he gains an immortality. After a few other specials, full of inappropriate violence and language (all proving popular), Lobo, "he who devours your entrails and enjoys it" finds himself in...
The Convention Special
The Lobo Convention Special #1 (September, 1993) was a give-away at the SDCC (and sold through comic shops across America), by Keith Giffen, Alan Grant and Kevin O'Neill.
Lobo, finding his copy of the Death of Superman messed up, wants to get a new one, and decides the best place to get a comic (and not be ripped off) is the San Diego Comic Convention.
Full of Lobo's unique brand of social commentary (along with plenty of violence...lots and lots of violence), he both succeeds and fails in his quest for the elusive deal on that issue, leaving plenty of carnage in his wake.
The success of his various mini-series, specials, guest appearances and L.E.G.I.O.N. membership lead to....
His Own Title
Lobo finally got his own regular title, with Lobo #1 (December, 1993), which lasted for 64 regular issues as well as a zero issue and one special 1 Millionth issue, ending in July, 1999.
Still somewhat offensive, but much more in a comedic vein, quite a bit of fun was had here, firmly implanting Lobo in the DC Universe, where he continues to be revived here and there (in places including R.E.B.E.L.S. and Young Justice to this day.
With CW's Riverdale likely a part of the San Diego Comic Con, it is time to show that Archie and his friends have been a part of Comic Cons for years, with this cover by Bill Galvan and Mike DeCarlo for Archie And Friends #156 (August, 2011), the last issue of the series with a new story (the next three issues of the series were reprints).
On the cover are: Betty Cooper (Avatar), Archie Andrews (Pureheart The Powerful), Veronica Lodge (Snow White), Sabrina Spellman (Princess Leia), Josie McCoy (Catwoman), Reggie Mantle (Harry Potter), Chuck Clayton (Luke Skywalker), Jughead Jones (Spock) and Bingo Wilkin (vampire)....with the group dealing with someone in a Maximus Chrome robot costume trying to wreck their show in a story by Alex Segura, Bill Galvan and Jim Amash.
Ultraa was an alien sent to Earth by his race to avoid their imminent destruction, wherein he landed in the Australian Outback, and with his enhanced speed, strength and senses, was running to the United States over the ocean to become a hero.
Ultraa was all set to become the first super-hero of Earth-Prime, a world that was suppose to be our own, but, the Justice League of America prevented that from happening.
Earth's First And Last Super-Hero
Ultraa premiered in Justice League of America #153 (April, 1978) by Gerry Conway, George Tuska and Frank McLaughlin, under a cover by Rich Buckler and Jack Abel.
Ultraa was from an alien world, raised by the Indigenous Australians, planning to use his enhanced abilities to help the world. While running to the USA, Ultraa was tracked by the United States Air Force, and came into conflict with the Justice League of America, who had ended up on Earth-Prime thanks to a poll of the most popular Leaguers editor Julius Schwartz had had in their magazine (the JLA were fictional comic book characters on Earth-Prime). The League and Ultraa battled due to a misunderstanding, then had to team up to stop Maxitron, Ultraa's spaceship's controlling computer that had gone insane. During the course of their battle, the heroes realized Earth-Prime was not ready for super-heroes of their own, so when the JLA figured out how to return home, they brought Ultraa with them.
The Super-Power Of Negative Thinking
Ultraa quickly returning in Justice League of America #158 (September, 1978) by Gerry Conway, Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin, under a Rich Buckler/Frank Giacoia cover, finds himself in the middle of a battle between the JLA and the Injustice Gang of the World.
Ultraa decides super-hero battles could also spell the end of Earth-1, thus hatches a plan to end them. Inventing a device that fills people with "negative radiation", he uses this on the JLA, which takes away their will to use their powers. Ultraa then uses his ray gun on the IGW, but the negative energy simply empowers them. Only realizing his mistake after the IGW captures him, it takes the undefeatable will of the JLA to overcome his power dampening device, allowing them to beat the IGW, and unmask their new, mysterious leader.
But, what to do with the untrustworthy Ultraa now? Well, after his brief return, meeting up with World Citizen's Defense Society Lawyer Ernest Sloane in Justice League of America #168 (July, 1979), readers find out.
The Doomsday Decision
Ultraa's next full return happens in the Justice League of America #169 (August, 1979) by Gerry Conway, Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin, under a cover by Dillin and McLaughlin.
Due to recent actions by the JLA (due to a mind swap with members of the Secret Society of Super-Villains), the world has less trust for its heroes. The team is brought in front of the World Court of the United Nations, because of lawyer Ernest Sloane, as it was found out that the League put Ultraa in a "status cube" designed by Superman. Sloane helped free him, but now declares the JLA a menace to humanity. While this trial is happening, a rash of disasters and rioting break out all over Earth, and Batman coordinates the JLA's response from the JLA Satellite. Ultraa, meanwhile, finds out his lawyer is a manifestation of the Over-Complex, an alien entity causing the disasters.
While A World Lies Burning
Ultraa and the JLA (along with Supergirl) are dealing with disaster in Justice League of America #170 (September, 1979) by Gerry Conway, Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin (cover by Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano).
The Over-Complex is on to Ultraa's discover of him, but it matters not, as the Over-Complex was able to defeat Superman, with the League having his cousin help look for him. The JLA, being hampered by the disasters and UN court proceedings is distracted, but eventually finds Superman, while Ultraa helps the JLA reveal Ernest Sloane as the Over-Complex. When Wonder Woman finds Superman, he reveals the aliens were stealing Earth's Hydrogen, causing the disasters, but, Batman had already defeated the aliens, sneaking aboard their satellite, and sending their ship away from Earth. Now less of a menace, Ultraa wanders away without a purpose.
A Hero For All Seasons
Ultraa's last pre-Crisis appearance happens in Justice League of America #201 (April, 1982) by Gerry Conway, Don Heck and Robert Allen Smith, under a George Perez/Dick Giordano cover.
Trying to live a simple, civilian life as Jack Grey in Atlantic City, Ultraa is accidentally found by Joe Parry (the small time crook who created the menace of Super-Duper, who fought the JLA when Hawkman joined). Manipulating Ultraa into a life of crime, the JLA fought him, until Hawkman (disheartened by the absence of his wife, Hawkwoman) convinced Ultraa to stand down, with the Justice League capturing Joe Parry as the true criminal. Ultraa decides on abandoning the big city heroic life to live peacefully in the Australian Outback, amongst people similar to the one's who raised him back on his own Earth.
Post-Crisis, Ultraa returned as a suitor for Maxima, facing Captain Atom, in Justice League Quarterly #13 (Winter, 1993), and then joined with a team of other villains to be a group of League Busters when the JLI was facing Judgment Day in Justice League International #65 (June, 1995), but, here, he was just a native of Almerac, living by his own code with enhanced abilities, now including telepathy and telekinesis as well.
Another Ultraa returned thanks to the Multiversity, this time as one of many characters invading Earth-Prime via comics (along with Gary Concord, the Ultra-Man and Ultra the Multi-Alien) with the Intellectron in The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 (May, 2015) by Grant Morrison, Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, Keith Champagne and Jaime Mendoza.
Faced by Earth-Prime's only hero, Ultra Comics (a manifestation of the will of the readers to protect them from reality), the villain was defeated....only when readers stopped reading!
Fact of the matter is, it's hard being Superman's Pal and a cub reporter at the same time.
Being a reporter means having to constantly be on the go, learning new things..
...and those new things that Jimmy Olsen would learn at times, would put him at odds with his friend, Superman!
The Red-Headed Beatle Of 1,000 B.C.
How fab! Jimmy has taken up rock and roll, making him a popular as the Beatles (well, as Superman points out, maybe only as much as Ringo) in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #79 (September, 1964) by Leo Dorfman and George Papp, all under a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein.
While wearing a Beatle wig, Jimmy is listening to the Beatles, but he stashes the wig in his pocket as he gets a knock on the door. Kasmir is here, claiming to be a lawman sent to Jimmy by the Legion of Super-Heroes, who want Jimmy to take Kashmir back 3000 years. Jimmy drives Kasmir's time bubble there, where the future man reveals he was really a criminal, and needed Jimmy to drive the vehicle (which only got to Jimmy's time because it was pre-programmed).
Firing on Jimmy, Olsen is saved by Mighty Youth, a young hero in a turbin with incredible strength. Mighty Youth sends Kasmir fleeing, and takes the now damaged time sphere to his secret base, then helps Jimmy get a job as a sheep-shearer (with Jimmy finding out his helper is really Samson, hiding his hair to keep his strength). Making too little, Jimmy dons his Beatle wig, and, after making twelve Beatle wigs with black dye and leftover wool, sells the wigs as he entertains the townspeople with Beatles' songs. Kasmir finds him, and tries to steal Jimmy's profits, but both end up in jail. Mighty Youth helps free Jimmy, and Superman shows up, having tracked the time sphere, helping Jimmy and Samson against Kasmir (who tried to depower Samson by cutting his hair, except Jimmy had slipped his wig on Mighty Youth in the dark). After one last performance, Superman takes Jimmy and Kasmir back to their respective times.
Hippie Olsen's Hate-In
The days of peace and love seemed to take a wrong turn in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #118 (March, 1969) by Otto Binder and Pete Costanza (with a Neal Adams cover), as Jimmy turned into a hippie, getting his hate on for the Man of Steel!
Jimmy avoids the barber for a while, letting his hair go for an assignment for Perry White...to join Guru Hansen's hippie cult. While there, Jimmy listens to them preach love, and falls under a spell of their flower power, with a mist that he thinks takes him to dream land (wherein he goes to punch Perry White for not giving him a raise on this assignment). He comes back to the love-in thinking it was all a dream, only to be exposed to the flower gas again, which sends him to get revenge on his girl, Lucy Lane, who was out dating another boy after seeing how messy Jimmy was becoming.
Going back to the commune, the Guru and his partner, Blacky Sloan, send Jimmy out again, where Jimmy tries a "hate-in", with signs saying how much the hippies hate everything (but supposedly with opposite sayings on the back). Superman shows up and confronts him angrily, but quickly leaves (being the Guru is disguise). When Jimmy comes back to the commune, the Guru baits Jimmy into wanting to get even his with pal, by killing him with Kryptonite (since it will "only be a dream"). Jimmy does, making lead-coated Kryptonite bead necklaces, which, after Superman arrives, Jimmy dissolves the lead with his signal watch. Guru and Blacky arrive as Superman is dying...which helps Jimmy realize this is real, and he saves Superman, who catches the criminals (and helps the hippies realize how wrong they were to follow criminals who were exploiting their lofty ideals). Jimmy then heads back to the Daily Planet, where he is confronted by an angry Perry White (and avoids an even angrier Lucy Lane).
Lois Lane marries Lex Luthor? Not a dream or a hoax, but an imaginary story!
Yes, circumstances conspire, in a world similar to the regular fiction universe that Superman, Lois and Luthor occupy, yet so different, wherein Lois Lane decides Lex Luthor is a better match for her than the Man of Steel!
How could this have happened? Read on.....
The Wife Of Superman's Foe
This was explored in Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #34 (July, 1962) under a cover by Kurt Schaffenberger, who also drew the Jerry Siegel written story.
Luthor gets free of jail, kidnaps Lois Lane and takes her to another planet....where telepaths there turn him "good", at which point, he brings Lois back to Earth and turns himself in! Luthor saves the governor's life, getting a pardon, then invents many items to make life easier for the people of Earth. Then, after Superman fails to save Lois once, Luthor uses science to help her recover....after which she marries him, much to Superman's surprise. Lex and Lois have a son, Larry, who eventually turns to crime after discovering Lex once fought Superman, and then accidentally kills his own father, with Superman pursuing the now evil lad into space.
Lois Lane's Outlaw Son
Jerry Siegel and Kurt Schffenberger provide the follow up to the previous story in Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #46 (January, 1964).
Larry Luthor, now evil, takes up the name of Black Luthor, while Superman (who had married Lana Lang and given super powers), had their own daughter, and she fights crime as Joan Superman. Lois, who had been the only recipient of an immortality serum from Lex, is horrified to see that Larry has become an interstellar criminal, but Joan Superman has fallen for him. Joan tries to reform Larry, with no success, but, after one of Lex's henchmen, Ironclaws, tries to kill Lois, Larry stops him and decides to give up his life of crime. Larry stops an invasion of Earth, then marries Joan.
Crazy, right? But, events transpired in the regular DC Universe, with Lois and Lex getting close once.....and, in an alternate reality, Lois and Lex did get married, and the results of that union were an important part of the Crisis On Infinite Earths!
Seems pretty simple. Superman lives the life as a super-hero, while Clark Kent earns the keep working for the Daily Planet.
But, why not just be Superman all the time?
Action Comics #305 (October, 1963) sheds a little light on that idea, under a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein!
Why Superman Needs A Secret Identity
Leo Dorfman, Curt Swan and George Klein provide the Superman story in this issue. Other than the splash page, the story starts in the here and now, with Clark and Jimmy doing some work at the behest of Perry White, but getting in trouble, as Benny The Blaster tries a robbery, and Clark thinks there is no way to save Jimmy without revealing his identity. So, Clark goes through a few imaginary scenarios in his head....such as if he had revealed his identity as Superboy (at his parents request, as Clark was bullied). Ends up mobsters would likely have killed the Kents, and Superman would end up alone. Second time, criminals find out Superman's identity (thanks to Jimmy) and expose him to Gold Kryptonite, ending Superman's career. The third time, Superman gives up the pretense of being Clark....but still wants to help, so tries an alter ego as Mark Trent, but cannot get a job, so ends up a homeless vagrant.
With a little more thinking, Clark finds a way to sabotage Benny's nitroglycerin, saving the day without revealing his identity!
The Girl Who Hated Supergirl
The second story of the issue by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney has Supergirl dealing with Karen Blair, who seems to hate the Maid of Steel. Linda Danvers keeps having encounters with Karen Blair, who professes a hatred of Supergirl! As Supergirl, returning to Midvale to celebrate the day she landed on Earth (May 18, 1959), she even tries to arrange for her to fly Karen, but nearly kills her in the process. Karen explains her father had invented a way to communicate with aliens, and was, as an object flew between the communication rays, setting his lab on fire, killing him and injuring Karen's brother, confining him to a wheelchair. Supergirl, using Superman's chronoscope in the Fortress of Solitude, shows Karen what really happen that day (that an alien bat had flown into the path of the rays, reflecting them back). Supergirl then gives her the plans to her father's communication device, as well as getting doctors to help her brother reacquire his mobility!
Just sitting down on the beach as summer approaches, and as you enjoy your favorite issue of Strange Adventures, the creature from the comic attacks!
Odd, you say? That's what happened to Eric Craig in "The Creature From Strange Adventures" from Strange Adventures #170 (November, 1964) by Dave Wood and Mort Meskin (under a cover by Dick Dillin and Sheldon Moldoff).
Looking back, Superboy has usually been best friends with the Legion of Super-Heroes....
...but, in one case Superboy divided the Legion, pitting friend against friend, setting members against each other in pitched battle!
Let's look back at that classic story!
The War Between Krypton And Earth
It was originally in Adventure Comics #333 (June, 1965) by Jerry Siegel, John Forte and George Klein, under a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein.
In the Legion's 30th Century, the team found proof that Krypton had invaded Earth millions of years ago, prompting Superboy and the Legion to go back in time in two teams to find out what happened. Superboy, with Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Colossal Boy and Element Lad go to ancient Krypton, finding it a feudal society, except for a rogue group of scientists led by Zat-El, preparing a spaceship to leave Krypton with "giant tame lizards" (what would be dinosaurs on Earth). They help them on their way and go with them. On Earth, Brainiac 5, with Phantom Girl, Chameleon Boy, Star Boy and Light Lass find Leta Lal, who, with her people, came to Earth from Vruun, have already colonized Earth, and are building the city of Atlantis.
The two teams meet, and opposition begins as to who can get Earth, with the Kryptonians having no powers, as Earth has a red sun millions of years ago.
The battle wages, with both sides supposedly using stun weapons, but the Kryptonians find they are being killed by the Atlantians....with the Atlanteans becoming sick in Earth's atmosphere. Superboy goes to negotiate with Leta Lal (whom he has fallen for), while Brainiac 5 finds out the Atlanteans are slowly being poisoned by the Xenon in Earth's atmosphere. Mon-El comes back in time for a last minute save to stop the war, while Kryptonian physiology explains their deaths, Brainiac 5 finds a "cure" for the Atlanteans, which is to turn them into mer-people to survive, which he gives them the formula to do so, and Star Boy sinks Atlantis for them to live there. The Kryptonians then inherit the Earth....but, Superboy finds their records in his time, finding that the "tame" lizards turned wild on Earth, and killed the diminished Kryptonians that were left.
This was one of 4 Adventure Comics stories reprinted in a four issue run of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 1970s, at a time when the Legion was only a back up in Superboy's magazine (but, proved so popular with its Nick Cardy covers for the first two issues....
...with the popularity of the feature in Superboy as well, including Dave Cockrum's new costume designs for the LSH, so that with issue #197, the Legion shared the covers and space of the regular comic, eventually taking the comic from Superboy!).
Losing his own comic (even to his friends) would make even a Superboy mad!