Action Comics #481-483
Welcome BACK to the greatest show online that's right kids ANCIENT HISTORY IS BACK I'm not drunk you're drunk, anyway this week we're talking a much maligned chapter in the history of the Man of Steel, highly important in canon and gravitas and such... THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE SUPERMOBILE!
The supermobile first appeared in a 3 issue arc running from Action Comics 481-483. In this arc Amazo displaces the Justice League in a pocket dimension in a scheme to kill Professor Ivo or something. The timing couldn't be worse as at that moment (or last issue, rather) the wave of radiation from Krypton's explosion hits Earth rendering Superman powerless for a week. Luckily there is a solution...
Constructed of Supermanium (no, really.) and designed to replace Superman should he ever lose his powers it is his equal with simulations of all of his powers, which begs the question as to why Batman swings around on a rope like a dick. Beside the point Amazo is on the loose and comes in and out of the story that showcases the versatility of this wonderful vehicle until thanks to time travel wonkery the plot is neatly resolved 3 issues later.
This 3 issue arc is a decent representation of the quality the late 70s had for Superman in Action Comics, kind of fun but ultimately toothless. Nevertheless, I think this arc is a blast and a decent addition to any collection being easy to find for 2-10$ an issue. The Supermobile’s legacy persisted far beyond the reach of this short arc with at least TWO toys I can think of and maybe showing up on a lunchbox or two.
The Amazo plot and missing Justice League are a fine plot and the final resolution is well done to a point, but I just never feel any kind of urgency or danger for anyone involved and feel like this book is at best a filler story that got stretched 3 issues or at worst a failed cash grab amid the famed DC Implosion.
The pencils by Curt Swan (with inks by Frank Chiaramonte and colors by Jerry Serpe and Adrienne Roy) are characteristically excellent and sell the story well, the fight scenes are done as well as they can be being a fight between a 12 foot tall robot and a flying car with superpowers anyway. Also worth mentioning are the covers, the first two being Jose Luis Garcia Lopez covers and the third being Rich Buckler.
All in all if you find this arc or any issue from this arc for cheap snag it but I wouldn’t spend more than $5-7 an issue.
Thanks for reading if you have a book you'd like to see reviewed from before 1990 or so let me know I'm here to help!
ANCIENT HISTORY #17: THE SUPERMOBILE COMETH
Writing - 6/106/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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