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"-formedMan 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:
Synopsis: Six Legion Of Super-Heroes tryouts who were previously rejected for having the same powers as an existing Legionnaire join forces to challenge their Legion counterparts to a fight to determine who deserves to be on the team. They proceed to beat up the Legionnaires before getting thrown out by Superboy. Mad at the Teen Of Steel's interference, the six Legionnaires challenge the rejects to a duel the next morning, during which time they win by pulling the classic Silver/Bronze Age trick of...switching opponents.
For tonight's round I'm focusing on my favorite of the rematch fights: Phantom Lad vs. Phantom Girl.
Wait, what's that at Phantom Girl's bell-bottomed feet? Could it be...?
Yes, it is!
The classic Shrinking Violet Growing Uppercut!
Tonight's fight music comes from Soul Asylum.
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