Monday, November 19, 2018

Retro Review: The Adventures of Superman #482 (1991) - "The Planet Strikes"

Writer: Jerry Ordway
Art: Tom Grummet, Doug Hazlewood, Glenn Whitmore
Cover Price: $1.00
Release Date: July 30, 1991
Review by: Joey Casco

Please go check out Joey's awesome site 

In The Adventures of Superman #481, Parasite drained the life out of every passenger and employee on a subway train and gave Superman a hell of a fight as he absorbed Supes' powers. Parasite escaped but you know he's going to want more of the Kryptonian good stuff!

The Adventures of Superman #482 opens with an Intergang meeting in a warehouse, discussing the strike that the pressmen are about to have at the Daily Planet. They want the Daily Planet to shut down because of their exposes, so they're trying to get any violence or problems during the strike going. One of them smells something stenchy and they discover a bunch of skeletons, just like the victims on the train. The Parasite is still out there!

We then see Clark Kent hanging out at home in his pajamas. He checks up on Ma and Pa who are sleeping in the guest room, and then flies off as Superman to pay a visit to his fiance Lois Lane. Lois is just being woken up by a phone call informing her about the strike, and Superman politely knocks on her slider door. She lets him in, I'm sure there's some off-panel sucking face, and she pours her signature orange juice while going on about all of the changes at the Planet. Perry White is no longer there and he's been replaced by Sam Foswell, who fired a bunch of people (including Jimmy Olsen).

At the Daily Planet the strike is already on. Foswell gets crap from the striking pressmen as he's walking in, and Cat Grant asks him a question that receives the classic  "no comment". Cat is now working for WGBS AM, which has gotta be a radio station, so I don't know why she has a cameraman with her. She gets a tap on the shoulder and it's good ol' Jimmy Olsen looking to write a piece on the strike and sell it to whoever will take it. Suddenly, a man attacks Cat's cameraman and runs away, and Jimmy chases after him into an alley with Cat following right behind him. But it was a trap! They were lured there by Parasite to get to Superman!

With Jimmy setting off his emergency signal watch, Superman stops what he's doing and comes to the rescue. He drops a freakin trash can on Parasite and punches the can into a wall. Pretty smart move since he doesn't want to touch him. Parasite gets out and we get his origin story!

 "All they did was change me... inside and out!" He grabs some cables to absorb electrical energy and then charges at Supes, but when they collide the electricity blows them away from each other. With Superman weakened and Parasite more powerful, Parasite gets up and starts beating the living hell out of Superman. But he doesn't kill him because he wants to be able to use him again in the future. "See? I've joined the recycling bandwagon!", which could or could not be a little kick back to his hatred of litterbugs from the last issue. Then he grabs Cat and Jimmy and flies off to... collect disability compensation from S.T.A.R. Labs? WTF???

Professor Emil Hamilton hooks Superman up with a force-field apparatus, that way Supes can fight Parasite without getting drained. Meanwhile at S.T.A.R. Labs, outside of the Personel Division door, Parasite has Jimmy with a camera and Cat with a microphone to record and witness this event. "Okay, action! I'm a former S.T.A.R. Labs janitor, and I've got a grievance!", he says as he's ready to bust down the door. I don't know whether to laugh at this or bang my head on the table. Anyways, Superman shows up!

Parasite walks over to the hole in the wall and sneak attacks him, grabs his head by his legs, and flies him outside where Hamilton has guys with high voltage "pop guns" blast them. Superman turns off the force-field to get the same reaction as the last time they collided when Parasite was charged with electricity, and Parasite goes down like a ton of bricks. Then he's brought back into S.T.A.R. Labs where he'll be held until Stryker's Island or Belle Reve is better equipped at containing him.

And just when Jimmy thought he would catch a break...

Bits and Pieces

Just like the last issue, Parasite's entrance was pretty awesome. It does a good job making connecting the reader with Jimmy's struggles. And Parasite wanting disability compensation is weird. I mean, I get it. He's definitely owed that, and in reality that is something this version of Parasite would want. But the goofy way it's presented makes it feel like it's right out of the 70's or early 80's. Like Captain Boomerang wanting revenge for losing his retirement money on the stock exchange in 1980's Batman #322. The art here was great, especially on Superman and Parasite, but overall it's just an average comic from that era. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing.


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