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"Superman: "The Babe of Steel!"": Clark Kent has been sent out to do a report on a medium who can contact people from beyond the grave. Secretly using his x-ray vision, he learns that the entire operation is a hoax, and that the "ghostly" hand that appears and writes messages is in reality someo


Quote1 Recently, I encountered six Red Kryptonite meteors! So far, three of them caused my body to change in amazing ways! What will the remaining three meteors do to me??!! Quote2
Supergirl

Action Comics #284 is an issue of the series Action Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of January, 1962.

Appearing in Superman: "The Babe of Steel!"

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  • Dreadnaught Class Battleship
  • Earth Escape Rocket
  • Kryptonian Rocket (Mentioned only)

Synopsis for Superman: "The Babe of Steel!"

Clark Kent has been sent out to do a report on a medium who can contact people from beyond the grave. Secretly using his x-ray vision, he learns that the entire operation is a hoax, and that the "ghostly" hand that appears and writes messages is in reality someone using phosphorescent paint. However, left alone in the medium's room, Superman does get a ghostly message from someone needing his help.

Taking time off from the Daily Planet, Clark goes to his Fortress of Solitude as Superman. There he purposely exposes himself to Red Kryptonite that will revert him, physically, back into Superbaby while retaining his adult intelligence. Going out on patrol, Superman spots a carnival for charity, and notices that it's a fraud and that the games are rigged so that nobody wins. Borrowing some children's clothing, Superman then proceeds to use his super-powers to clean out the fraudulent carnival owners out of all their prizes which he gives away to all the children.

Flying off, Superman thwarts a bank robbery, but has a hard time convincing the police that he's really Superman until he flies away to answer a distress call regarding a sinking naval ship. Superman saves it from sinking into the ocean, and puts on a display of his super-powers to prove that he's really the Man of Steel, but reduced to a young age.

Flying toward his destination, Superman comes across a crazy scientist who thinks Earth is going to explode and is about to send his only son out into space in an experimental rocket. Knowing this to be false, Superman switches places with the child. When the test rocket explodes, Superman appears to show the man that his child is okay and convinces him to return to civilization and get help.

Noticing the nearby Aurora Borealis, Superman flies to the event that he has come to prevent: A portal opening into the Phantom Zone. With the portal being only large enough for someone the size of a child, this is the reason why he used Red Kryptonite to shrink himself. Entering into the Phantom Zone he is met with his friend Mon-El who has warned him that the Phantom Zone criminal Jax-Ur is plotting to expand the portal, so that he and the other Phantom Zone criminals can return to the Earth dimension.

Heeding Mon-El's warning, Superman races back out of the portal, summoning Supergirl and Krypto to meet him at the portal's opening. There the trio combine their x-ray vision to seal off the portal thwarting Jax-Ur's plot to return to Earth. With Superman returning to his adult form, Jax-Ur vows to one day to escape the Phantom Zone and get revenge against Superman.

Appearing in Supergirl: "The Strange Bodies of Supergirl!"

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  • B-36 Peacemaker

Synopsis for Supergirl: "The Strange Bodies of Supergirl!"

Kara Zor-El/Linda Danvers is worried. She found six Red Kryptonite meteors, three of which changed her body in weird ways. There's no telling what the last three will do.

Wanting to forget her troubles, Linda visits Midvale's fair. As she's combing her hair in a restroom, Linda grows another head due to the Red-K effect. "Supergirl Head No.2" -as dubbed by Linda- is completely confused and argues with Linda, wanting to look at the fair even though Linda wants to get away unseen. Fortunately for Linda, everybody thinks she's one of the workers of the freakshow, and the second head vanishes after Linda catches and detonates safely a bomb accidentally dropped off by a jet.

Supergirl flies back home at the same time her parents come back from an emergency trip to Europe. Soon after Supergirl gains the uncontrollable ability to slay anything living she gazes upon, including her parents and Krypto. Desperate, she streaks into space and comes up with a way to put their fatal vision to good use: wiping out one race of globular monsters which travel through the space to prey on other alien lifeforms. Once she's through with them, Kara collapses on her knees, sobbing.

Suddenly Supergirl finds herself back in her home, in her Linda identity, and looking at her, clearly still living, parents. She guesses she's just experienced a Red-K induced hallucination.

Later, Kara is blowing rainclouds over a farm area when the final Red-K effect changes her into a mermaid. Since she looks like a fin-tailed Atlantean, Kara decides to pay a visit to Jerro and Lori Lemaris. Kara is introduced to Lenora, Lori's sister who has a crush on Jerro. When Jerro proposes to Supergirl, Lenora runs away, broken-hearted. Oblivious due to her grief, Lenora blunders her way into the "Valley of Hands." Jerro explains that Atlantis was invaded several centuries ago by an alien race of giants. The Atlantean weapons were useless, but the giants sank into the valley's bogs and only their upraised hands remain in view. Supergirl swiftly streaks into the Valley and pries Lenora from a giant hand.

After swimming Lenora to safety, Kara senses her body changing back to normal. Supergirl says goodbye to Jerro and Lenora and flies out of the ocean. Unexpectedly, she feels pangs of pain when a Green Kryptonite meteor flies past her. Supergirl is wondering why she's lost her immunity to Green-K when Superman turns up. While returning from the future, her cousin overshot his mark and arrived a few days in the past. He saw Mister Mxyzptlk giving her super-powers magically. Evidently his magic wore off and Kara's original powers have returned.

But that's in the past. Now Supergirl's powers have finally stabilised, Superman intends to reveal his cousin's existence to the world.

Notes

Trivia

  • Future Superman writer and editor E. Nelson Bridwell has a letter published in this issue.
  • Dr Xadu is shown being projected into the Phantom Zone in a flashback, but is not actually shown in the Zone itself. In a future issue, Superboy #100, he is shown in Superboy's time leaving the Zone and not returning.
  • Jax-Ur refers to a time that he escaped the Phantom Zone, when Superman was just a boy. That was Jax-Ur's first appearance in Adventure Comics #289.



See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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