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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 252

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today I will let the installment’s number dictate the cool comic – Action Comics #252, the debut of not one, but TWO notable Superman characters!


Action Comics #252 is best known for having the first appearance of Supergirl, in a nifty tale by Otto Binder and Al Plastino…

First off, look at the beautiful facial expressions by Plastino!

And then, the nifty origin by Binder and Plastino…

So this issue would be cool JUST for this, but this issue ALSO introduces Metallo, a notable member of Superman’s Rogues Gallery.

John Corben is introduced in a dramatic opening…

We see him get a job at the Daily Planet…

Uh oh, Lois thinks HE’s Superman!

Robert Bernstein and the same great Al Plastino came up with this strong story (with a twist I’m sure you all know by now, but if not, pick this issue up – my copy is a recent Millennium reprint, so you can get one pretty cheap!)


What an amazing coincidence that John Corben looks exactly like Superman with a mustache!

I think we all know from Star Trek in particular that

facial hair = evil

(says a guy with a big bushy beard)

I was going to ask where your version came from due to the big white spaces at the top and bottom of each page. But I have to question you calling the Millennium reprints (those books with the big stamp on them, right?) recent, since they came out in 2000. Ten years ago, that is.

Don’t worry, it makes me feel old too.

In the history of Superman comics, I wonder how many people have been near-duplicates of him. Seems like the number could be 50 or 100.

I think hanging round Supes all that time must’ve dulled Lois’s emotional responses – “Someone just tried to GUN ME DOWN! Oh well, never mind – let’s do lunch!”

One of the best single issues ever. I love Plastino.

I think there’s an error there. Before the last page, your say, “Uh oh, Lois thinks HE’s Metallo!” I think you meant to say, “thinks HE’s Superman!”
Cool issue, I’ll have to check it out.

Metallo, like the 1949 version of Batman’s foe the Mad Hatter discussed in another comments section here, is another late 1940s/early 1950s one-shot characters that was revived in the Bronze Age to become a mainstay (if often minor) villain thereafter.

This is also why most fans now remember some of the most minor (and often most campy) 40s and 50s Batman villains: Len Wein and Gerry Conway, among others, were busily reviving them in the Bat-books in the later 1970s, partly because of E. Nelson Bridwell’s features on forgotten villains over in Batman Family. Minor leaguers like the Monk, Kite-Man, and the Signalman came back or were revamped, as did forgotten big-leaguers like the Cavalier. Meanwhile, guys like Marty Pasko and Cary Bates were doing similar things with Superman’s titles, bringing back characters like Metallo, the Kryptonite Kid, and Amalak. In the 80s, it was Mike W. Barr on the Outsiders title who continued the trend.

Thanks, cousin Superman -choke-
Couldn’t stop laighing after that

Cary Bates was really bad about making villians look like Superman, too. I recall noticing that Braniac’s face was identical to Superman’s.

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