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Superman 150
"The One Minute of Doom!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND January, 1962

Story: Unknown Art: Al Plastino

(Originally Reviewed On 05/21/02)

Within the Fortress of Solitude, Superman, Supergirl, and Krypto watch in silence as the second hand on a Kryptonian clock slowly moves, and one wonders why The Man of Steel, The Maid of Might, and The Dog of Steel are in such somber spirits... during "The One Minute of Doom!" The city of Metropolis sees the approach of a tornado, which soon sweeps into the heart of the city...

Having returned from an overseas trip, Superman sights the tornado, and knows that thousands of lives are being threatened. Within the eye of the storm, The Man of Steel flies in a circular pattern, contrary to the twister's direction, and moments later, the citizens cheer as the city is saved. As a citizen seeks to shake The Man of Steel's hand for this great feat, he begs off and tells the startled man that he must keep a personal appointment. Two citizens note the sadness on Superman's face and figure that it must have to do with his personal appointment. In space, Krypto spots a meteor swarm and soon re-arranges them, fusing the meteors with his heat-vision...

The Dog of Steel now has a Doghouse of Solitude, but as he is about to enter his new domicile, Krypto recalls his urgent appointment, and heads for Earth. Supergirl is swimming under the sea and her telescopic-vision sees two kids with expensive fishing equipment teasing a young boy who is using a bamboo pole. She attaches a whale to the barefoot boy's fish-hook, and sends it upward, where the two boys gape at what the younger boy has caught with his humble fishing pole!

Heading north, Supergirl knows it's time for her urgent appointment, and soon, she meets Krypto and her cousin at The Fortress of Solitude, where The Man of Steel is unlocking the hidden entrance with the giant key disguised as a airplane marker! Within The Fortress, the three stand before The Bottle City of Kandor, and observe one minute of silence. This day is their Memorial Day... the anniversary of Krypton's destruction, their homeworld... Within the bottle city, The Kandorians also stand in silence, their heads bowed in remembrance of their native world upon which their city originally stood. Superman recalls how his parents placed him within Jor-El's experimental rocket model...

Sending it into space before the planet died, knowing that their son would live, and as the rocket left through outer space, behind it, all which remained of the mighty world were green radioactive fragments which would be known as Kryptonite! Supergirl recalls how Argo City was sent away, encased within an air bubble, and her father, Zor-El managed to keep Argo City alive by covering the ground with lead shielding, and years later, he and his wife had a daughter, who would grow into a teenager... Like her cousin, she, too was sent to safety in a rocketship, while Argo City was destroyed when a shower of meteors exposed the lead shielding, dooming its citizens. Upon landing on Earth, she would meet her cousin, and be trained to be his "secret emergency weapon." Krypto remembers how Jor-El used him as a test subject on an expermental rocket, which drifted out of orbit when struck by a meteor, and years later, he would find himself on Earth!

The Kandorians recall how the alien known as Brainiac stole their city from Krypton, prior to its destruction, by using a reducing ray, and transporting it to a waiting bottle on his spaceship. Once The Man of Steel defeated Brainiac, he took The Bottle City to his Fortress of Solitude for safe keeping, and each Kandorian is aware that they must not forget their Kryptonian heritage. In the Phantom Zone, even the intangible Kryptonian criminals are aware of the anniversary of their world's destruction, and know that none of them can ever return to their homeworld, for it no longer exists!

On the cubed planet of Htrae, The Bizarros are celebrating Krypton's destruction by making a full minute of noise, and Bizarro #1 jumps for joy that Krypton blew up, while Bizarro Lois #1 regrets that the whole universe didn't go as well! The minute has passed, and Supegirl uses her microscopic-vision to see that The Kandorians have resumed their normal activities, while Superman recalls how his late father sought to convince the science council to build space arks in order to escape their doomed world, but was not heeded. He weeps, as his cousin seeks to console him.

He has an idea to make Krypton's memory live on, and soon, the three of them fly from Earth, where they soon come upon an uninhabited world in another solar system, and soon use their super-abilities and the planet's resources to create an duplicate of Krypton! Still, something is missing...

Thousands of androids are created, and subsist on raw chemicals. They watch in amazement as Krypton lives again! The Man of Steel, The Maid of Might, and The Dog of Steel are soon reunited with android duplicates of their loved ones, and although she is happy, Supergirl regrets that the real citizens and homeworld of Krypton no longer exists. She tells her cousin that creating the memorial planet was a wonderful idea, and he confesses that he enjoyed every minute of it. They vow to return each anniversary to the memorial planet, and bid farewell to this Krypton.

The Kryptonian clock has shapes of planets and stars instead of numbers, while a more traditional clock is located in its center.

In 1962, The Man of Steel does the "Twist" with a tornado.

Krypto has a Doghouse of Solitude, while Supergirl goes for the ultimate fish story.

Supergirl's parents, Zor-El and Allura would survive Argo City's destruction by entering The Survival Zone.

At the time of this story, Brainiac is depicted as an alien rather than an android.

The Bizarros clang giant cymbals, blow giant horns, and celebrate, while Bizarro-Lois wields a frying pan. Perhaps their New Year's would be a moment of silence during some other month in the year.

Superman would revisit this duplicate of Krypton, as well as coming across the mystery of "Krypton's Second Coming" in 1966, which would also be a duplicate created by Jor-El, and designed to distract alien invaders.

In reading this story, I'm reminded of the joke that only Jor-El and Lara must have been left on Krypton during its destruction, while everyone else made their way to Earth.

Steve Chung
"The One Minute of Review!"