DC Comics Presents – 9


DC Comics Presents – 9

General Info

Issue No:
9
On Sale Date:
February 1979
Cover Date:
May 1979
Era:
Bronze Age
Story Title:
Invasion of the Ice People!

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Ross Andru, Dick Giordano
Writer:
Martin Pasko
Penciller:
Joe Staton
Inker:
Jack Abel
Letterer:
Ben Oda
Colourist:
Jerry Serpe
Editor:
Julius Schwartz

Characters

Main:
Wonder Woman (Diana Prince/Princess Diana), Superman (Clark Kent/Kal El)
Heroes:
N/A
Villains:
Skyrnian
Olympians:
N/A
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Lois Lane, Anton Lupescu, Mrs. Quinch
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Comments

“DC Comics Presents” was a monthly publication that featured Superman team-ups. Each issue would guest star a hero or heroine from the DC Universe who would take part in an adventure with the Man of Steel. The series was modelled on the similar formula used featuring Batman in “The Brave and the Bold” series.

Synopsis

Outside Metropolis in the snowy, wooded hills Clark Kent and Lois Lane arrive at a quaint old house to interview Mr. Lupescu, a great sculptor. But even though the old man had originally agreed to see the two journalists, he now tells them that he must cancel the appointment.

As the wind howls outside he apologises for not contacting them sooner and saving them the trip. As he again states that he cannot allow them to stay he suddenly gets up from his chair and abruptly rushes out of the room.

His housekeeper Mrs. Quinch asks the two concerned reporters not to interfere and tells them that when he gets this way, nothing will stop him. Every so often a trance comes over him and he goes out to resume work on his latest project. It started out as a snowman at first and she had thought he was going senile, but when the snow froze he began chiseling and has been working like a demon on it non stop. It is as if he is under a spell, slaving to complete it as quickly as possible.

Clark muses over the strange story and turns to see Mr. Lupescu reenter wearily, declaring his work is finished. At that moment the old man collapses and they rush over to him. Unnoticed outside, the evil looking ice sculpture appears to smile.

A few moments later Mr. Lupescu recovers and Clark helps him into his chair and asks him to explain what is happening. The old sculptor replies that he is not even sure why he started it in the first place but as he thinks harder it suddenly comes back to him. He cries out that he realises what he has done and that it must be stopped! As he declares that he has created a monster, a giant ice hand smashes into the room and snatches him, knocking Clark backwards in the process.

As the reporter tumbles down the basement stairwell he uses the opportunity to transform into Superman unseen and races outside. He sees the huge ice sculpture carrying the old man towards a precipice. The creature tells Lupescu that he will not reveal what he knows to anyone. The creature then hurls him off the edge and Superman realises that he dare not catch the old man in midair in case his fragile bones shatter. He uses his breath instead to inhale the snow beneath the falling sculptor and create a snow drift. Superman checks on Mr. Lupescu who seems to have fainted again. He lifts him up and carries him away, scanning for the creature. But there is no sight of it anywhere and strangely no footprints either!

Meanwhile at Metropolis airport an incoming flight maintains its holding pattern awaiting landing clearance. On board, Diana Prince muses to herself that she chose a great time to visit her friends in Metropolis – in the middle of a snowstorm! Just then she hears screams outside and looks down to see a gigantic ice creature tearing up the runway in a fit of rage! It bellows that the temperature is too warm for it to survive and it must make things colder. As the other passengers on the plane try to block out its high frequency screams, Diana races to the back of the plane and opening the door, leaps out as Wonder Woman.

As she approaches the ice man it continues to send out waves of energy which trigger large snowflakes to fall. As Superman arrives at the scene, he has already deduced that the creature left no footprints because it re-froze the snow under it instantly. It must have weather changing power and that is how it is creating these giant snowflakes. He wonders the best way to fight it assuming it is a living thing and uses his x-ray vision to discover that, in fact, the creature is simply hollow ice, animated by some mysterious force. As he tries to use his heat vision on it though the creature clouts him with a mighty swing of its damaged arm and sends the Man of Steel flying across the tarmac like a paper air plane!

The ice creature regenerates its arm but suddenly finds itself ensnared in Wonder Woman’s magic lasso. She orders him to talk, asking him who he is and what does he want? But the creature simply yanks on the lasso and pulls the surprised Amazon into the air. As he swings her around like a kite, she cannot understand why her lasso did not compel it to obey her commands. She quickly unhooks her lasso from her belt loop and flies clear, landing with a heavy thud on the ground.

Momentarily stunned, she lies on the ground motionless as the creature removes her lasso from around itself. However, while its back is turned, Superman thunders towards it and smashes through its body, shattering it into a million pieces. But no sooner have the shards of broken ice flown away from the impact point than they seem to reverse and re-form the creature again! To Superman, it seems to be taunting him as if it knew what he had been thinking.

Before his eyes, multiple creatures appear and dare him to stop them before they disperse in all directions. He rushes after the nearest one but as he reaches out for it, the ice creature vanishes. Quickly he realises that whatever consciousness is animating the thing must be telepathic and is creating illusions in his mind. How else could it taunt him with his own thoughts? It must have reached into his mind and planted the multiple images there, allowing the real creature to escape.

Meanwhile, Wonder Woman has recovered and nurses her shoulder, which took the full force of her impact. She realises she will not be getting much use out of her right arm for a while, but other than that she is fighting fit. Just then Superman touches down beside her and asks if she is OK? She says she is fine under the circumstances and asks what he knows about this creature. He fills her in as he lifts her up into the sky with him, explaining that the creature is telepathic and that his super vision cannot see it anywhere. She in turn reveals that it must be alien in nature because her lasso has no effect on it.

They return to Mr. Lupescu’s house to find Mrs. Quinch out cold on the floor. A few minutes later after she has been revived she tells them that the creature had returned for the sculptor. However, before he had been taken, Mr. Lupescu had managed to explain to her that the ice sculpture has been inhabited by a life form from a cold, dying planet called Skryn. The Skrynians knew that their sun was growing bigger and warming the planet. Although they had the ability to generate cold, even their powers would eventually not be enough to save themselves. However, one day one of their astronomers located Earth and thought our planet could support them. Using powers unknown on Earth, it transported its life essence across the cosmos to Earth. It used its telepathic abilities to locate a sculptor and possessed Mr. Lupescu, compelling him to create the ice statue to provide a body for the alien to inhabit.

Mrs. Quinch then tells Superman that just before the creature made off with the old man, she had overheard that it was heading north because the temperatures here were too high for it. With that, the Man of Steel and the Amazing Amazon take to the skies once more. She asks him how they intend to find the creature and Superman replies that the alien must have plucked form his mind the fact that his x-ray vision cannot see through lead. Since then it has only evaded him by hiding behind something lead. Wonder Woman realises that if it is now travelling out in the open then it risks exposure and as if to confirm the fact Superman spots their quarry.

They see what looks like an ice sheet on the ocean and realise that the creature is freezing the Atlantic so that it can walk across it, and in doing so threatening to bring another ice age on the planet. They can also see an entranced Mr. Lupescu sculpturing another creature from the ice too! As they approach the creature is brought to life by the original creature and they decide to move into action. They each take on one of the massive ice beasts in order to smash them into pieces, but their blows have no effect. The creatures announce that they are now stronger and as they draw ever nearer to the north they will get even stronger!

Superman uses his heat vision again and at first it appears to begin melting one of the creatures. But the alien laughs of his attack and too late they realise that the melted area has become glass like. Acting like a mirror, Superman’s heat vision reflects off it and heads towards Wonder Woman. Swiftly she raises her bracelets instinctively even though she cannot see the vision beams. She thanks Hera for her keenly developed senses, as she had only felt the approaching wave of heat and that considering her wrist is burning, must have deflected it. But in the process she has wrenched her shoulder even worse than before and is suffering in pain.

For a moment she stands immobilised by the agony and that one unguarded moment is all it takes for the creature to fell her with a hammer blow. As she struggles to get to her feet the creature closes in for the kill and Superman acts quickly to put some space between her and the alien. He uses a super karate chop to smash the ground and open a chasm. As Wonder Woman gets to her feet, nursing her shoulder, she thanks him and says that she will be fine in a minute. He replies that she had better be because the creatures are now freezing the chasm in order to cross it!

Just then she tells Superman she has got an idea and begins to race round and round the creatures at super speed, hoping he understands what she is planning. He joins her and together they run, stopping momentarily at regular intervals to leave after images of their figures at rest. For a moment the aliens are confused by the seemingly multiple images. Wonder Woman then runs flat out and instructs Superman to pour on the speed and pull her along behind him with the vacuum he creates. The pair move faster than the speed of thought, preventing the telepathic aliens from deducing their plan.

Suddenly she yells for Superman to stop and simultaneously they each turn and punch the nearest creature with their mightiest. The creatures sail towards each other with such force that they smash into each other, scattering their remnants far and wide and preventing them from ever reassembling.

From the shards of ice, the Skrynian life force rises up and Superman, beginning to at last make out its shape for the first time, uses his heat vision to immobilise the alien. As Superman captures it in a special thermal container, he explains to Wonder Woman and the now trance free Mr. Lupescu that the creature probably has been so weakened that it can no longer induce an illusion of invisibility.

Wonder Woman confirms that the container will keep the creature’s high temperature, leaving it powerless, but why did it make the mistake that Earth was cold enough for it to live in the first place? Superman replies that Skryn must be thousands of light years away and the images of Earth they saw had left here thousands of years ago. The Amazon replies “Of course!” and realises that the Earth would have still been in the grip of an ice age back then.

Ironically, the Skrynians intended conquest was doomed to fail from the start!