Adventures of Superman 436 – the secrets of Smallville

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Adventures of Superman 436 (Jan. 88) is a Millenium crossover by Byrne, Ordway and Beatty, continuing the story from the previous issue of Superman, in which the hero followed a flying Lana Lang back to his hometown.

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Everything seems normal at first, and Clark goes to visit Pete Ross, and winds up running into kindly old Doc Whitney, just before the townspeople all turn on him and attack him.

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Superman wakes up, bound and helpless, in a Manhunter base. He learns that the Manhunters had followed his ship from Krypton, but were too late to reach him, despite sealing off the town with a snowstorm.  The real Doc Whitney was killed and replaced with a Manunter android, and as he delivered all the children born in Smallville, implanted them with devices that made them all Manhunter sleeper agents.

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Though the Manhunters are using an inhibitor on Superman that removes his strength, he discovers that many of his other powers are still working, and uses flight to disrupt the base – which turns out to be a spaceship, buried underground.  He makes the ship fly erratically, until the inhibitor gets broken and he can get free.  He smashes the Whitney android, but is then shocked by what he sees – though exactly what that is (that all his friends now appear dead), is not revealed until next week’s issue of Action Comics.

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