Action Comics #368: "Supergirl's Stand To Save Stanhope!"

Action Comics #368
"Supergirl's Stand To Save Stanhope!"
October, 1968

Story: Cary Bates
Art: Kurt Schaffenberger

Two fiends from the future have constructed a bomb which threatens those
who attend Stanhope College.  The Maid of Might has lost her powers after
exposure to Gold Kryptonite.  If the Man of Steel should breach the force
field surrounding Stanhope, the bomb will go off.  Alpha and Beta have
set up headquarters at Stanhope College, with their plan to capture David
Carew, and get ahold of the formula which he is about to invent.  At that
moment, Supergirl is warning her cousin not to touch the barrier or else
the bomb will go off.  Superman is flying at such speeds, that he will be
unable to stop in time. 

A micro-second later, the Man of Steel speeds up, and fades away from
view.  Superman has traveled faster than light and now finds himself many
days in the past.  Returning to the present, he wonders how his cousin
was able to slip inside without triggering the bomb.  If a super-powered
being so much as touched the force-shield, it would go off instantly.  In
his Fortress of Solitude, the Man of Steel discovers that the box
containing Gold Kryptonite has been moved.  There is no way to restore
her powers, and now Supergirl is as helpless as any other person at
Stanhope.  With the dome in place, there is nothing Superman can do.

The Maid of Might and David Carew plan to dismantle the bomb, but there
are hypnotized students guarding it.  As Supergirl wades into the trio,
David leaps over the fence, and discovers that the bomb is much less than
it's supposed to be.  They have been fooled by a paper-mache prop.

The genuine bomb has been hidden elsewhere, with Alpha and Beta donning
hypnotic lenses to get them into their power.  David punches Beta aside,
while the Maid of Might is unable to resist Alpha.  The student makes his
escape, while Supergirl is now under their control.  For some reason,
David is pleased with this development, and is now able to search for the
true bomb.  Beta orders her to fall in line with the other students, and
search for David Carew.

The history tapes of 3405 will have to be changed, with the great
Supergirl now the slave of Alpha and Beta.  When they have left, the Maid
of Might removes the contact lenses that David made for her.  The
Kryptonian chemical coating them prevented her from being hypnotized.
She first tries to talk the student slaves out of their trance, but
fails.  Dave has arrived at the science lab, where he intends on building
a device to find the bomb.  Once inside, something has gotten ahold of
the student, instead.

The mechanical guard has got the student in its tentacled grip, but David
reaches for a fateful flask.  The acid eats through to the machine's
master circuits.  With the danger over, the student is now free to work.
In thinking about a way to bring the students out of their trance,
Supergirl recalls a stunt her cousin used on a hypnotized Lois Lane.

The shock of seeing her changing back to Linda Danvers begins to take
effect.  After another change of clothes, the students believe they saw
Linda instead of the Maid of Might, but the student is standing next to
them.  The Linda robot protects her mistress' secret, but without her
powers, she may not need to keep her dual identity.  After learning
what's happened, the students want to confront Alpha and Beta, but
Supergirl knows that their futuristic weapons would be too much for them.
David Carew arrives with the device which will lead them to the bomb.

Dave's device is designed to track the radar waves used to detect
super-powers.  They soon find the bomb hidden inside a statue.  Alpha and
Beta appear from two trapdoors, and carry David Carew off into the air.
While the students work on dismantling the bomb, Alpha and Beta want Dave
to write down the Noricon formula.  The two women from the future know
that he made the discovery in his senior year at Stanhope College.

Using parts from her own belt, Beta soon assembles a powerful weapon.
The student still insists that he knows nothing about a Noricon formula,
but Beta is about to open fire.  The Maid of Might appears at
super-speed, her power returned.  Both Alpha and Beta soon find
themselves wrapped up by the futuristic weapon.  When asked by Dave how
she regained her super-powers, she says that they were never lost.  Two
lawmen from the year 3604 arrive to take Alpha and Beta into custody. In
their era, the Noricon formula is a precious vaccine.  Many elements are
rare in the 37th century (Holy Selegue, Batman!), but the criminal duo
had researched the historical records, and found the identity of the
person who made the discovery in the 20th century.  Alpha and Beta came
to have David make the serum, so they could sell it in their time period
for a fortune.

The lawmen are forbidden to interfere with past events, so they couldn't
go after the criminals themselves.  They were able to help the Maid of
Might by using a force-field device to protect her from the Gold
Kryptonite.  A brainwashing beam was used to make her believe that she
had lost her powers.  With her subconscious suppressing her
super-abilities, the bomb wouldn't have gone off.  Once David had been
captured by Alpha and Beta, they were able to dismantle the bomb.  They
would have gotten away with it too, if not for those meddling lawmen.
Once the bomb was dismantled, the hypnotic suggestion was removed, and
Supergirl regained the use of her powers.  David Carew asks the lawmen
how it could be that he discovered the serum, with only one month of
college left before graduation... and he hasn't done it yet.  Alpha and
Beta had made one small error when they read the historical records.  It
is David Carew Jr. who will be the one who will make the Noricon
discovery.  Beta begins feeling ill when they learn that they've been
after the wrong David Carew in the wrong time.  As the lawmen take away
their prisoners, Dave plans to catch up on his studies, as are all of the
other students.  Supergirl is about to smash the force-bubble, but her
cousin has arrived to do the job.

Alpha and Beta wear purple body suits and gloves, with striped trunks to
complete their futuristic prison uniforms.

I wonder why the Man of Steel didn't become an intangible phantom when he
arrived in the recent past.  Maybe he was already on another time-travel
trip then?

David Carew looks like Jimmy Olsen wearing Clark Kent's glasses, complete
with his usual green sweater, and purple pants.

I wonder if things ever got this exciting at the science labs we attended
in college?

How would you feel if someone from the future told you that your
offspring would be responsible for making an important discovery?

Would you be tempted to find out more about your future or be content to
let things take their course?

If Linda Lee Danvers went to Stanhope College, then why didn't Peter
Parker go to Mort University?

Steve Chung

"Supergirl's Stand To Save Review!"