Superman 414 – the Superman Revenge Squad attack New Krypton

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Maggin, Swan and Williamson bring back the Superman Revenge Squad for one final story, as Crisis on Infinite Earths takes over Superman 414 (Dec. 85).

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This issue follows the DC Comics Presents story that introduces Superboy Prime, but all that character does in this story is get sucked away in a funnel cloud.  There is never any clear explanation of this event, but it takes him into the final issue of Crisis, so I assume it was caused by Alexander Luthor, who wanted to ensure that Superboy Prime would be safe, along with the original Superman and Lois Kent.

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This story itself makes it seem like the Revenge Squad are behind it, as they attack Superman immediately after, wrapping him up and carting him away to the shock of Jimmy Olsen in the flying newsroom.

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The Revenge Squad bring Superman to New Krypton, where they have taken over the minds with a ray that can control Kryptonian’s thoughts.  They make Superman watch as they prepare to destroy the planet and its inhabitants.

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As New Krypton orbits a red sun, Superman is powerless, and the Revenge Squad believe that means he will not be able to escape. They are very wrong.

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But then they send Van-Zee, his identical double, to battle him.  Van-Zee is out to kill, being mind-controlled, while Superman has no desire to kill his friend, giving a definite advantage to Van.

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Close to defeat, Superman is approached by Sylvia, the human wife of Van-Zee, who is just pretending to be mind-controlled.  She slips Superman a small Phantom Zone projector.  With this, he is able to send the Revenge Squad members into the Zone, and reverse the mind-control.

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The story ends on a somber note, as Superman brings the body of Supergirl to her parents, Zor-El and Allura, who apparently has dyed her hair black.

The various residents of New Krypton shown in this issue had last appeared in the Krypton Chronicles miniseries in 1981, but this marks their final appearances.  Different versions of Zor-El and Allura would eventually be introduced, but not for over a decade.

Similarly, this is the final tale of the Superman Revenge Squad.  A completely different group of people would wind up re-using the name, but not for many years to come.

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