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Action Comics 354
"The Brain-Stealers!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND September, 1967

Story: Unknown Art: Jim Mooney

Captured on an alien planet, the maid of might is the mental captive of a weird race! Her mind is being converted into a living receptable of important information which will aid her captors to enslave the universe! (Holy Waid, Batman!) How will Supergirl prevail when she becomes the victim of... "The Brain-Stealers!" On the splash page, disembodied brains in chemical tanks asks the maid of might such questions as, "How hot is the double sun, Gamma IV?" "Describe the space-fleet of the planet Xenax!" With a mental cap on her head, and seated on a throne, she answers, "The surface temperature of Gamma IV averages 750,000 degrees!" "Xenax has four mother-ships equipped with space-warp drive... 40 interplanetary cruisers... 20 scout craft..." In a distant galaxy, a weird spaceship makes its way towards a strange planet... the travellers are grateful to have returned to Zorkia, their native world. They are pleased to be home after their long star-trek! (Holy Roddenberry, Batman!) The crew disembarks from the ship... disembodied brains contained within nutrient fluid... Their androids will retrieve their cargo, while they report to the palace, and Cerebron!

At the palace,Cerebron asks what precious information they have gathered on their quest which will make their world stronger? The crew lead their ruler to another building... where Supergirl sits on a throne, their prisoner, and her super-abilities will be at their command... including her super-memory! (Holy McGoohan, Batman!) They intend to use her to memorize all the scientific data they've gathered! On the trip home, her super-mind was supplied with all the information their brain-banks had stored! (Holy Scrooge McDuck, Batman!) When Cerebron asks with her super-powers, why Supergirl would agree to be a mental slave, the maid of might rises in defiance...

She is hit by paralyzing rays, and the crew inform their ruler that any attempt to escape will have Supergirl exposed to Kryptonite from a nearby lead box, which is activated by a photo beam! When she collapses, the box is closed! She will cooperate or die! Now, the maid of might will be their living super-library, who will answer their greatest problem! Long ago, the Zorkians had normal bodies, and were a race of conquerors. They had captured the tunnel city and has kept the final survivor in a zoo. With their futuristic weaponry, they were unbeatable. They had emerged victorious over every species on their world. With the destruction of the last floating fortress of the sea-people, the Zorkians set their sights on the conquest of other worlds.

In dying, the sea-people had a deadly plan, with their plant-spores which would soon reach their atmosphere. Experts in bio-warfare, the sea-people had their revenge, as the plague-spores struck! The Zorkians' atmosphere was soon contaminated with the deadly mist, one which the Zorkian scientists have found no cure! The only way to survive lies in the royal laboratory. The scientists began the operation which was executed by automated surgery... They work quickly before the poison mist destroys them all!

After the operation, Cerebron addressed his subjects, and tells them how the robo-surgeons have preserved their brains in automated mobile casings. Now able to communicate telepathically, the Zorkians' body lie in suspended animation, while androids will aid in running Zorkia until the plague has passed. Cerebron has Supergirl analyze the mist with her microscopic-vision, and asks how they can neutralize it. Although the answer is stored in her mind, she refuses to give the answer to the Zorkians, who would conquer the galaxy once they had their bodies back. The scientists suggest that they destroy the maid of might before she can be rescued by her friends, but Cerebron is confident that their infra-wave space-blockades will keep anyone from finding her! He has a much better plan... A glass vault containing Cerebron's wife, Queen Neolla, is wheeled in. Since she was near death when the plague struck, they were unable to preserve her brain, so she was placed in suspended animation. Cerebron asks Supergirl to tell him how to immunize her from the plague so that she can be revived. It may seem cruel, but it could also be a trick, and the maid of might remains adamant.

Since they are unable to force her to aid them, Cerebron orders her to be released, but before she leaves, he has her promise to peform some feats! She agrees, as long as the feats are harmless. Upon her release, the maid of might is given her first task... Cerebron wishes her to carve a memorial for his queen at the Crystal Mountains. Supergirl finds his sentiments highly suspect, to say the least. Her fists soon create images upon the shining peaks, and she wonders if the giant statues she's making will be regarded as great a mystery as those on Easter Island. The maid of might is unaware that an antenna is tracking her every move... At Cerebron's palace, 100,000 megacalibrans of super-energy are recorded!

Cerebron's next order is for her to create a weird super-echo by super-shouting Neolla's name, and the resonant crystal mountains will have it re-echo from the statue's lips for many ages to come... as a memorial for his wife. The scientists see that the super-shout has generated fifteen million vibro-audions, and fortunately for the Zorkians, their protective cases are ultra-hard or else the oscillations would shatter them! With the memorial completed, Supergirl follows Cerebron's ship towards a volcano for the next task. On Zorkia, the volcanos shoot out lightning! (Holy Isabella, Batman!) The maid of might realizes that their world must have a core of electro-energy instead of molten rock! (Holy Swank, Batman!) Cerebron tells her that they've been unable to measure the speed and power of the bolts! Her next task is to do just that!

The volcano's next eruption has Supergirl using herself as a flying target... She tells Cerebron that the bolts travel at the speed of light and hit with the force of 5 megatons! The maid of might sees that on Zorkia, lightning flashes upwards... and each bolt has a different color! At the palace, the scientists register her super-speed at 1 trillion velocitors... her flying power at 50 anti-grav units, while her invulnerability factors 50,000 resistrons! (Holy Metric, Batman!) Supergirl performs her next task of using her telescopic-vision to find a burnt-out sun... its heat almost gone, and surrounded by an orbiting pile of ashes! Cerebron asks her to use her heat-vision to ignite their sun again! The thermo-dynamic reaction begins, the sun turns incandescent, and the corona is soon seen.

Suddenly, a flock of birds are about to fly into the path of her heat-vision, while she expresses concern, Cerebron considers them inferior. She has sworn never to kill and to protect all living things. The maid of might uses her super-breath to blow them away from the path of her heat-vision! At the palace, Queen Neolla's revival circuits have been re-activated. She has come out of her suspended animation. She takes to the sky, happy to be among the living once more, while the scientists note that their queen has all of Supergirl's super-powers!

Seeing the sound and flashing light in Cerebron's case, the maid of might is told that her last super-task awaits at the palace! As she enters, Supergirl is struck by the pain, for she has walked into Cerebron's trap... a Kryptonite ray which will hold her prisoner! Even with the pain, the maid of might sees a flying figure and thinks that she'll help her! Cerebron tells Supergirl that it's his wife, Queen Neolla, who received each of her super-abilities when the maid of might used them. Neolla approaches, having been told by her subjects of the plan to use the memory transfer device to absorb all knowledge in the heroine's mind. Cerebron is confident that once this has been achieved, and Supergirl has been eliminated, Zorkians will conquer the mist, and then the entire universe!

The next moment finds Neolla smashing the memory transfer device, then freeing Supergirl from the Kryptonite force-field, unharmed by the element, herself. When Cerebron asks his wife why she's ruining his plan, the maid of might explains that when Neolla absorbed her super-powers, she must have also absorbed some of her mental and emotional make-up...(Holy Max Factor, Batman!) Since she has always used her powers for good... as in the case of the metal birds... so would Neolla! The queen now has a love for all living things, and has the code... not to kill... but to protect the weak! She offers the maid of might her freedom! When she asks Neolla about her people being trapped in the glass cases, and if she should dissolve the mists, the queen knows that her race is not ready to live in peace with the rest of the universe. She will solve the problem herself one day, when the Zorkians forget their ways of conquest. They say goodbye, and Supergirl hopes that Neolla will show her world the ways of peace and good will.

In the Star Trek episode, "The Gamesters of Triskelion," disembodied brains employ other races as thralls to play in their deadly gladiatorial games and wager on their outcome.

"The Brain From Planet Arous" had one evil disembodied brain taking up residence in the mind of John Agar, while a law enforcement brain took up space in Agar's dog.

The Doctor Who serial, "The Brain of Morbius," had a scientist determined to place the disembodied brain of an evil time lord into that of the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker.

Race car driver Cliff Steele suffered a near-fatal car crash, which had his brain transferred into the body of Robotman.

Shot by crooks, a scientist has his brain transferred into a robot body by Charles Grayson, and becoming the Golden Age hero, Robotman!

In the Star Trek episode, "Spock's Brain," the Vulcan's brain is removed, and the crew of the Enterprise must recover it before time runs out for the first officer.

Steve Chung
"The Brain-Reviewers"