Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - Action Comics #440

This installment of Tales From the 50 Cent Bin has been brought to you by He-Man, the most powerful singer in the universe!

Dang, you know you're out of ideas when you're using something from Mr. "Power of Grayskull."  Today, for The Month of Superman, I'm looking at another comic from the 70's. It was an older comic for a cheap price and the cover was interesting. That's all I really got for a preamble. The writer for the book is Elliot S! Maggin, and the artists are Curt Swan and Bob Oksner. With all of that out of the way, let's see how weird this issue really is. For an added bonus, I'll also take a quick look at the Green Arrow Back-up feature for this book.

Action Comics #440
Writer: Elliot S! Maggin
Artists: Curt Swan and Bob Oksner

The Man who Betrayed Krypton!
The story starts out with a recreation of the cover, which looks good pretty good. The story properly starts as... we see an older man named Michael Coram talk to two teens. He tells them he can can make them important and rich if they follow him. They follow him and the captions say that "he is a monster... a Human Monster!" Hmm... yeah, this is kinda disturbing. Luckily, we shift scenes to STAR Labs where news reporter Clark Kent is interviewing a a scientist named Thomas Woodrow. Suddenly, a super-duper tank (yes, it's called that) starts to attack the building. The scientists get out, but Clark intentionally trips up so he can kick some villain butt as Superman.

So... I guess this is what Old Man Herbert was up to in the 1970's.

Superman comes on the scene to stop the super-duper tank when an armored figure comes out of the tank. He shoots red sun blasts at Superman and that hurts him a little bit. Luckily, Superman is able to outmaneuver the "Tony Stark Wanna-be" and crush the tank. Clark changes back into his civilian clothes and messes them and his film up intentionally to make it look like he was in the building. When he gets back o WGBS, he randomly runs into Bruce Wayne. Luckily, that won't be the only cameo in this month. He also unfortunately runs into everyone's favorite jerk: Steve Lombard. Luckily, Clark gets the upper hand this time.

Elsewhere, Coram calls a meeting of his "Think-Tankers" to come up with a way to defeat Superman. It also turns out that Thomas is one of the evil men. We find out that Coram takes kids off the streets, gives them and education, and has them work in his evil unnamed empire when they are grown. We find out that Thomas has a device that will attack Superman's reasoning ability. Three days later, the plan is put into motion as the device is activated and Clark leaves WGBS and flies off as Superman. when he comes to some place he sees ghostly images of his Kryptonian parents. They say that they are ashamed of him and that they want him to leave the Earth to go build a new Krypton. Superman obliges and leaves Earth. This leaves Coram and his boys to pull a lot of heists.

 What in the heck is Clark wearing? I know the 70's had bad fashion, but that is a BAD outfit, Jim! Woo!

While they do their thing, Superman finds two asteroids, heat visions them together, and comes up with who to bring with him. As Coram and Thomas are trying to take over Metropolis, Superman busts in and grabs all of the Think-Tankers and and their stolen goods. He puts all of them into the asteroids and tells them he's taking them to New Krypton. Coram protests and tells Superman that they tricked him into doing this. Superman drops off the asteroid at an airfield and the men are arrested. In the end, it's revealed that Superman knew it was all a trick because he knew his parents would have never been ashamed of his life and because his ghostly parents pronounced his name wrong.

Green Arrow Back-up
Writer: Elliot S! Maggin
Artist: Mike Grell

Little Dog Lost!
... Krypto!?!?!?

The story starts as some random white dog who looks like Krypto sees Green Arrow on a jet pack...weird first page. All GA needs to do now is hum his theme music. He jumps on a boat and tries to take down some smugglers. With the help of the white dog (who I will name Fake Krypto), he is able to defeat the smugglers. Later, Fake Krypto follows Ollie and brings one of the smuggled devices over to Dinah's flower shop. Ollie accidentally activates the device and it zaps Dinah, sending her into a frenzy. Luckily, Fake Krypto is able to get to the device and shut it off, calming Dinah. In the end, the two decide to name the dog Demian (Awww... I hate that name!).


This first story is okay. It's not really note-worthy though. All Superman does is go up against a really weird old man who recruits young men to do evil things. While the cover does look cool and makes you think that something awesome is going to happen, the story doesn't convey that awesomeness. I do like that Superman does turn the table on the evil group.  Even if the story is not that great, the art is pretty good. Actually, the art in both stories is well done. The back-up story is okay as well. I just thought it was amusing that we had another white dog fighting crime at this time. Also, what was up with Green Arrow's jet pack?!? I didn't know he had one of those!

 Overall, the issue is okay. It does have some nice artwork though. I don't know if I would recommend it, but if you find it for a cheap price, I do think it's money well spent. Plus, it's not everyday that we get a whole  Superman story told in 14 pages. Well, I'm outta here. I believe it's now time to jump into the TARDIS and come to the present day... or 2012 at least, as I look at three issues from the new Action Comics.

NEXT TIME: THE DEATH OF ____ ____!!!!

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