Superman 353 – Superman never meets his enemy, and Bruce (Superman) Wayne begins

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte put together a somewhat interesting, certainly unique, story in Superman 353 (Nov. 80).

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An alien villain with the uninspired name the Demolisher comes to Metropolis, causing all sorts of destruction, and mocking Superman for not coming to face him.

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But this is because the villain is from another dimension, and trades places with Superman every time he comes to Earth.  Superman has no idea where he is when teleported, and cannot find any way back, until the switch happens again and returns him.

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The Demolisher appears to kill Lois Lane before heading back to his realm for good.  But Superman gave all his friends space gems that absorb destructive energy, figuring that the Demolisher would try to kill them.

As Jimmy Olsen points out, Superman defeated the bad guys plan without ever actually meeting him.

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A new series begins in this issue, Bruce (Superman) Wayne, a blending of the two heroes, in a tale by Bob Rozakis, with Swan and Chiaramonte on the art.

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Baby Kal-El lands on Earth just outside Gotham City, and is found by Jim Gordon, a policeman.  He brings the child to the nearest doctor, Thomas Wayne.  He and Martha decide to adopt the child.

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This means that when Joe Chill tries to kill them, young Bruce catches the bullets in his hand, and Chill gets killed by a rebounding bullet when he tries to shoot the boy.  As he dies, he names Lew Moxon as the one who hired him, and Moxon gets sent to prison.

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The story then jumps a number of years.  Gordon is now Commissioner of the police, and friends with Thomas Wayne and his adult son.  Moxon gets out of prison, and tries to kill Wayne himself.  Knowing that he has to conceal his powers, Bruce wraps a cape around himself, and takes Moxon out.

As the story ends, he adopts the Superman identity.

This series returns in a few months, but it’s not a bad start.

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