Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reign of the Supermen #158: Jal Quorz

Source: Superboy vol.1 #81 (1960)
Type: The real deal (since retconned)Been a while since our last, true Silver Age attack, hasn't it? Well...

Remember the time Superboy was asked by astronomers to go into space and count the stars in another galaxy? Not only did we get valuable data (uhm... well one, big number), but Superboy had a little side-trip as well, courtesy of an old Kryptonian rocket (unmanned), part of a junk field flying through space. Superboy goes in to investigate and gets pulled down to the planet Xenon where the gravity and red sun make him lose his powers. He is soon rescued by a Xenonite couple who not only have super-powers, but speak Kryptonese! All can be explained easily:
They just liked Kryptonese better! Their world was shrunken by cosmic forces, but retained its mass so they all inherited super-strength and the ability to fly! So simple! But some are born without super-powers, and since the super-dictator Zozz took office last year, he's been sending out Weakling Search Squads to round up these inferiors and exiling them on "Weakling World". Superboy's new family ferret him outta there.
Because they don't have spaceships on Xenon, Superboy is effectively trapped, so they adopt him under the name Jal Quorz and allow him to use their exiled son's clothes, and maintaining the various tricks that hid the fact he was a weakling, like anti-grav generators in the ceilings, a silent rocket pack, and a super-dog. Super-useful when it comes to preventing love interest Llela Llark from exposing him as a weakling.
Lana's a pest, but Llela will get you exiled! But "Jal" is exposed anyway when his dog Zollo rips his cape off and reveals the jet pack underneath just as the Weakling Search Squad passes by. Despite the Quorz' contention that there were no spaceships to be had, Superboy is sent to Weakling World via "space missile".
Couldn't you just point that thing at open space and get out of the solar system? Well, to be fair, they're just ordinary folks... with super-powers. Which makes me wonder why they can't escape imprisonment at the hands of Zozz. Superboy makes friends with the Weaklings and is able to mount a revolution when a bully throws a rock at him.
A RED KRYPTONITE ROCK! He could have become fat, or tall, or turned into a pink elephant, but no, luckily, he gets his powers back! He goes off to fight Zozz and manages to beat everything the tyrant throws at him. So Zozz has his men throw a mountain at Weakling World to send Superboy away, and then as the Teen of Steel catches it in space, blows it up with a uranium ray. Oh, Zozz, you just undid yourself!
Yes, just as blowing up Krypton created kryptonite, blowing up a mountain from Xenon created powers-removing Xenonite. (We shouldn't be worried about creating Earthonite, I think it only works on worlds named after inert gases.) Result: Everyone on Xenon lose their super-powers, Zozz is captured, and the exiles can come home. Superboy is applauded by his adopted family, but I do have to wonder how everyone else is taking it. After all, this was a world where the front door was on top of the house, and where merchants traveled with their stores on their backs!

4 comments:

Radagast said...

He couldn't have found a way to restore the powers after overthrowing the dictator?

Hold on, I'm trying to apply logic to a Silver Age story. My apologies, I must be having an off day...

Siskoid said...

And this story is especially low on logic, contradicting itself all the way through.

For example, if exiling the Weaklings only started a year ago, why does no one know the Quorz boy was one, and why did his parents deceive everyone for so long?

Nizbel said...

There's Red Kroptonite in the new episode of Brave and the Bold. It turns Superman into a giant dick. Not in the literal sense of course. Full of references from past comics that you'd probably see more than me.

Teebore said...

After all, this was a world where the front door was on top of the house, and where merchants traveled with their stores on their backs!

Way to just completely eff up an entire planet's society. Superdickery at its finest.