Adventures of Superman 424 – a new title for the post-Crisis Superman

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A new Superman 1 began in January, 1987, marking the start of the post-Crisis version of hero’s adventures, after the Man of Steel miniseries re-introduced the character.  Rather than simply cancel the long-running original book, it underwent a title change to Adventures of Superman, continuing the numbering with issue 424, as Marv Wolfman, Jerry Ordway and Mike Machlan updated some old characters, introduced some new ones, and put Superman into battle with foreign terrorists.

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Lois Lane’s parents get re-introduced, as Ella Lane lies in the hospital, dying of a disease the doctors have no idea how to deal with.  We meet the new Sam Lane, and also catch up with Lois’ sister Lucy, who had appeared in Man of Steel.

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At the Daily Planet, Clark Kent meets a new staffer, Cat Grant.  Somewhat a blending of the old adult Lana Lang and Lola Barnett, Cat Grant would be developed into a fascinating and distinct character in her own right, but in this story all we really see is that she is attracted to Clark.  Perry White sends both of them out on an assignment together.

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They meet another new character, Emil Hamilton, a scientist with a big grudge against Lex Luthor. We do not learn too much about Emil in this story, but he has created a force field device that even Superman finds it difficult to break through.

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Hamilton’s storyline gets pushed to the side as Clark rushes off to deal with a number of mechanical devices wreaking havoc in Metropolis.  The new Inspector Henderson gets his introduction in this story as well, though he doesn’t do much.

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Lois Lane gets sort of kidnapped by Luthor, but only so that he has an opportunity to talk to her.  He gives her a cure for her mother’s disease, although it has to be taken every month.  Lois is still very cold, wondering what Lex will demand in exchange, but he plays the good guy, insisting that he has no real ulterior motives beyond showing Lois that he is not a monster.

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The mechanical devices merge into a bigger and more dangerous version that Superman must face (next issue).

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And the story ends with a real kicker, as we discover that Lex himself created the illness that Ella Lane is suffering from, simply to be able to provide the cure and put Lois in his debt.

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