Friday Night Fights: Lights Out - Round 4: Terra Vs. Terra!
Howdy, Pardners! It's time for another rip-snortin' round of Friday Night Fights: Lights Out, this time featuring my all-time favorite Superman villain. Tonight's western-style wallopin' comes courtesy of Action Comics#470, by Cary Bates, Curt Swan, and Tex Blaisdell.
Synopsis: A blue-skinned alien has arrived in Metropolis and has been apparently defeated by Superman, only for both combatants to be interrupted by....Terra-Man.
Ok, so now you're wondering: What the hell just happened? TWO Terra-Men?
Here's the story: Terra had come to Metropolis to challenge Superman. The fight between the two ended with T-M apparently killing Supes and leaving him buried in a "Boot Hill" type grave. What really happened was that the Cosmic Cowboy had used his super-futuristic-pulling-things-out-of-his-ass alien science to change Superman's image to resemble his own. Why did he do all that? To trick the aforementioned blue-skinned alien above, who just happens to be the brother of the alien Terra-Man killed in his origin story (artfully summarized here), into killing the "Terra"-formed Man Of Steel instead of T-M himself.
Got all that? Good!
Two things about this story have always left me scratching my head:
First, Judging by Terra-Man's dialogue and actions on the above page, he already seems to have forgotten his own plan.
And second, throughout this issue, we kept seeing scenes of a cop repeatedly encountering a homeless man, with ominous foreshadowing that said homeless man was essential to the story. Instead, he was used for the sole purpose of setting up this clever joke toward the story's end:
Jeez, Cary Bates, with the distance you went to get to that Terra-ble pun you could've circled Earth repeatedly and saved Lois Lane.
The fight music for tonight's gunslingin' go-round is by The Church.
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