Superman 341 – Major Disaster’s catastrophes, and J. Wilbur Wolfingham’s protection

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J. Wilbur Wolfingham, who had not appeared in over thirty years, gets the cover of Superman 341 (Nov. 79) for his return.

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But though he gets the cover, Wolfingham is not in the lead story.  Wein, Swan and Chiaramonte, who do both stories in the issue, open the book with a Major Disaster story.

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Metropolis gets struck by an earthquake and a volcano, both induced by Major Disaster.  The story has him diverting his own energies into Superman, so that they do not destroy him.  But it cites Green Lantern 57 as his last appearance, ignoring that he had been in the pages of Karate Kid and Kamandi the previous year.

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The story ends with Superman expelling the disaster energy into the sun, which Superman believes will leave the Major powerless.  He is so wrong about that, as he will find out in three years in the pages of World’s Finest.

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Wolfingham’s tale is mildly connected to the first story, as he takes advantage of the recent disasters to sell amulets to ward off danger.

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You gotta give him some credit, he has an impressive con set up, as a car apparently lands on him, but he emerges unscathed.  Using his x-ray vision, Superman can see that there is a trap door where Wolfingham is standing, so he never really gets hit by the car.

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The story plays out much like the character’s tales back in the 1940s.  Clark buys an amulet, and then survives a lightning strike (because he is Superman), leading Wolfingham to think the amulets really work.  He then tries to buy them all back from the people he has sold them to.

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In the end, Superman lets Wolfingham know that the amulets are fakes, and as he points out, as always, Wolfingham’s schemes bring trouble to no one but himself.

Wolfingham makes one final appearance, in the pages of Action Comics in 1985.

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