The Adventures of Superman Annual #2

The Adventures of Superman Annual #2 cover




“Chapter One: Quest for Vengeance”
“Chapter Two: Discoveries”
“Chapter Three: The Fires of Brainiac”
(Cover Title: “Son of Brainiac!”)


Arriving on Earth with the intention of tracking down and killing Vril Dox’ father, Brainiac, Dox and Lar Gand collide with an airplane, which Superman saves.  Trying to find the cause of the accident, Superman encounters the rest of the L.E.G.I.O.N. team.  Dox and Gand enter the tunnels of Project Cadmus, where Dox is mistaken for his father.  While Gand holds off Guardian and the security forces, Dox does research on the Cadmus computers, and has to fend off an attack by Dubbilex.  When Superman finds Gand battling the Cadmus forces, he sides against Gand and L.E.G.I.O.N., and Lobo dives in, but Lyrissa Mallor eventually stops the battle.  Joining forces to stop a nuclear meltdown and an attack by monsters, Superman and L.E.G.I.O.N. find that Brainiac controlled Dubbilex to cause the meltdown and attack.

This story is continued in L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1.


Dan Jurgens (Writer) • Bob McLeod / Curt Swan / Kerry Gammill (Pencillers) • Bob McLeod / John Byrne / Dick Giordano (Inkers) • Bill Oakley (Letterer) • Glenn Whitmore (Colorist) • Jonathan Peterson (Associate Editor) • Mike Carlin (Editor) • Kerry Gammill / John Byrne (Cover)


Date of Change Content of Change




Unified to a single file


Tracking updates from Superboy v3 #65


Tracking updates from Superman: Panic in the Sky


Date correction


Format correction


Typo correction


Tracking update from The Adventures of Superman #598

Tinted cells and text indicate missing or incomplete information.

Character and Object Tracking



Previous Appearance

Next Appearance


Vril Dox, Jr. L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 #< > L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1
Also appears in flashbacks to < > (on Colu) and < > (with L.E.G.I.O.N.)
Lar Gand L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 #< > L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1
Lyrissa Mallor L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 #< > L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1
Also appears in flashback to < >
Strata L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 #< > L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1
Also appears in flashback to < >
Lady Quark L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 #< > L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1
Telepath (< >) L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 #< > L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1
Stealth L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 #< > L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1
Also appears in flashback to < >
Lobo (footnote #1) L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 #< > L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1
Phase (Tinya Wazzo) L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 #< > L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1
Garryn Bek In flashback to < >
Superman (Clark Kent) < > L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1
Also appears in flashback to < >
Guardian (Jim Harper) None in Legion books Next Legion appearance:
     Superman v2 #65


     (also appears as Vril Dox, Sr. and Milton Fine)
None in Legion books L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1
Also appears in flashbacks to < > (on Colu), < > (as Fine), < > in Luthor’s lab), < > (against Superman), and < > (reborn)
Computer Tyrants of Colu In flashbacks to < >
Morgan Edge No appearance; mention only
Lex Luthor In flashback to < >
Maxima No appearance; mention only
Draaga No appearance; mention only
Darkseid No appearance; mention only
Dabney Donovan No appearance; mention only

Supporting Characters

Lois Lane None in Legion books None in Legion books
Jimmy Olsen None in Legion books Next Legion appearance:
     The Adventures of Superman #598
Perry White No appearance; mentioned as “The Chief”
Kel Gand No appearance; mention only
Dubbilex None in Legion books Next Legion appearance:
     <Superboy v3 #18>
One-shot or Untracked Characters:
     unnamed airplane captain and crew (3)
     unnamed Metropolis citizens (3)
     unnamed air traffic controllers (2)
     unnamed airplane passengers (at least 15) and a stewardess
     unnamed airport personnel (at least 5, including police and fire fighters)
     unnamed Project Cadmus security guards at least 6)
     Elvis Presley


Luna < > < >
Earth < > < >
Krypton No appearance; mention only
Sol < > < >
Colu L.E.G.I.O.N. ’< > #< > L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 Annual #1
Metropolis International airport None in Legion books None in Legion books
Daily Planet building, Metropolis None in Legion books < >
Project Cadmus None in Legion books < >
One-shot or Untracked Locations:
     unspecified location in the Atlantic Ocean, near Metropolis
     water cooler and storeroom, Daily Planet
     Milton Fine’s dressing room
     laboratory, LexCorp

Alien Races and Creatures

One-shot or Untracked Races:
     failed Cadmus cloning experiments


L.E.G.I.O.N. shuttle < > < >
L.E.G.I.O.N. cruiser < > < >
levitating furniture < > < >
Brainiac’s ship None in Legion books < >
One-shot or Untracked Items:
     Boeing 747 jumbo jet (Eastair flight 247)
     hologram of Lobo’s space dolphins
     Project Cadmus reactor
     Guardian’s shield
     nerve disruptor

1. Much as it pains me to list Lobo under “Heroes”, that is the side he is technically on when with L.E.G.I.O.N.

Analysis Notes

Cover For the 1990 annuals, DC did “branding”, putting “go-go checks” across the tops of all the annuals.  “Go-go checks” had been part of the DC branding in the late 60’s, too.
Note that during his time with L.E.G.I.O.N., Lar Gand was early in his career and did not go by any of his later codenames (Valor, Champion, M’Onel).
1:1 The comments here indicate that the shuttle was obtained from non-L.E.G.I.O.N. sources; perhaps it was part of Cairn’s police force that Dox acquired as part of his takeover of the planet.
2/3:2 In other words, “To hell with fixing it, just make the immediate needs operative.  If we survive, we can do real repairs later!”
2/3:5 It isn’t often that you get anything resembling this decent a level of science in comics.
On the other hand, why doesn’t Lar use his powers from inside the ship?  While using them full strength to immediately alter the shuttle’s plunge - as would occur if he were outside and tried to catch the shuttle - would probably simply rip a hole through the fuselage, he should be able to exert a fraction of his flight power and greatly assist the lift and steering controls without causing significant damage to the vehicle.
4:2 From the angle of descent shown in the previous panel, no, they definitely can’t make it to the airport!
4:5 Lar Gand joined L.E.G.I.O.N. in <L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 # >, just a few months before this annual.
5:2 Morgan Edge was the business tycoon owner of Galaxy Broadcasting who bought the Daily Planet.  Directed by Darkseid, he was also secretly the leader of Intergang.  <At least in the pre-Crisis Superman mythos.  I don’t know the details of this “trial”.>
5:3 Oh, please.  By the time the police get the report from the airport, replay it over the police band, and Jimmy hears it and relays the info to Clark/Superman... that plane crashed ten minutes ago!  (Which means that the depictions in 4:1, 6:5, and 7:2 exaggerate the angle of descent and the damage significantly.  The damage from the collision must not have put the plane into the extreme dive that was depicted, such that it was able to limp closer to the airport and survive for the critical minutes until Superman arrived.)
6:2 No idea how low a plane has to be to drop off the radar; probably only a few hundred feet.
6:5 The bird is a pelican.
As noted in 5:3, the plane cannot be making this steep of a dive.  (Among other reasons: even with Superman’s powers, the abrupt change of momentum and angle would surely injure the passengers, if not rend the fuselage.  See Superman’s own comment in 7:2.)
7:2 An updraft.  Right.  After however many years of having superheroes around - and especially on the Eastern seaboard in and near Metropolis - they still don’t want to credit such saves to such heroes.
7:3 Not on your life should you cancel the mayday.  The plane is still too damaged to fly and will need suitable emergency crews on the ground when Superman helps it to land, not to mention medical personnel for any injuries (or heart attacks) caused by the collision and near-crash.
7:5 The stewardess got out of her crash seat awfully quick.  She should have had time to repeat crash procedures and strap herself in during the time since the collision.
8:3 Maxima is the queen of Almerac and chose Superman as her mate, but he rebuffed her advances.  Subsequent to this story, she came to Earth during “Panic in the Sky” and was later briefly a member of the Justice League.  Draaga was a gladiatorial champion on Mongul’s Warworld who lost honor when Superman beat him but refused to kill him.  Subsequent to this story, Draaga redeemed himself and died during “Panic in the Sky.”
9:1 Lady Quark finds this Earth distasteful, since it survived Crisis on Infinite Earths while hers did not.  Of course, in the post-Crisis continuity munge, there were no parallel Earths, so it is just Earth in general that she dislikes, but for the same reason.
10:1 Lobo’s poem has the same rhyme scheme and meter as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
10:2 As will be revealed years later, Phase is actually a time-lost body of the Bgztlian-Carggite crossbreed Legionnaire, Apparition, although she has no memory at this time that indicates such.  At the time this was written, Phase was intended to be the adult Phantom Girl from the then-current continuity, and her appearance matched.  With the retcon changes wrought by Zero Hour and the later revelation, Phase is actually much younger than she is drawn here, probably only about 16.  (Note that this goes hand-in-hand with the de-aging of Lar Gand which also has to occur in light of future revelations.)
10:4 “Feetal” is apparently a Czarnian deity or legendary hero.  Czarnians - of which Lobo is nearly the last one, at this point - have massive regeneration abilities.  The “Feetal’s Gizz” epithet may well relate to that racial power.  “Gizz” is presumably short for “gizzard”, the stomach; perhaps that is the root of the Czarnian ability.
11:3 Yes, you’ll be stranded, unless you contact, say, Superman or Hawkman or Green Lantern or any number of other people with the ability to produce a starcraft to help you get home.  But Dox prefers to think of himself as so vastly superior to Terrans that the possibility of such help is readily discarded.
12:3 <Does this indicate something about Project Cadmus’ origins?>
13:3 Lar’s father was Kel Gand.  The “invasion” was an invasion of Earth by an alliance of alien races, intended to stop Earth from achieving cosmic greatness in the coming millennium.  Gand and his fellow Daxamites realized that the success of the invasion could result in an attack on other humanoid races, and they aided humanity instead.
14:4 L.E.G.I.O.N. should calibrate its machines to detect individuals.
15:1 It’s astounding that they actually started to follow Lobo’s “plan”!
19 Indeed, the Project Cadmus tunnels extend for miles and miles beneath Metropolis and the surrounding area.
21:9 In the past, Brainiac transformed from the human Milton Fine into a Coluan, so further minor genetic alterations - especially as small as the father-to-son shift for Vril - would be within the realm of possibility for Brainiac.
22:3-6 These are flashbacks to < >.  The robots here are the Computer Tyrants of Colu.
22:7 Lar Gand is obviously puling his punches throughout this fight.  With his strength and speed, he could probably end it in seconds, but he is buying Vril time to execute his plan.
23-24 Lar Gand is obviously puling his punches throughout this fight.  With his strength and speed, he could probably end it in seconds, but he is buying Vril time to execute his plan.
24:1 <I don’t know what Guardian’s shield is made of.>
25:5 “Licensed Extra-Governmental Interstellar Operatives Network” was the cheesy reverse-engineered meaning DC worked up for the L.E.G.I.O.N. acronym.
30:5 This is a flashback to < >.
31:1-5 These are flashbacks to < > (Luthor), < > (head/Superman), < > (body), and < > (ship).
32:4 Ah, the old “hero fights hero, then they team up” schtick.  It is usually a pretty contrived situation, but this case of mistaken identity, unfamiliarity with the other hero (no Spider-Man vs. Daredevil, this!), and possible manipulation by the real Brainiac serves to make this one of the more plausible of such conflicts.
33:1 So I will behave like a madman, destroy property, and show just how right your initial take on me was!
35 Of course, Dox is just using Lar for his own ends.  There is no true friendship involved.
36:3 Why chunks of debris would be dropping from the ceiling here, when the battle is miles away, down the tunnels, is unclear.  Presumably the battle is shaking the entire complex, and the unidentifiable debris here is chunks of suspended ceiling or light fixtures rather than anything that might be affecting the structural integrity of the underwater tunnels.  (Of course, this ignores the fact that the battle is occurring beneath Metropolis.  If this sort of damage is occurring miles away, the buildings directly above must be taking a major pummelling.)
37 Mighty wide tunnels, based on how big that ship was when Superman met it out over the ocean.
38:6 A rather simple deduction, given that the last person Dox encountered thought he was Brainiac.
39:3 Lar Gand’s dialogue balloon is done by a different letterer than Lobo’s; it must have been added in late in the production cycle.
39:6 Coloring error: Superman’s hand has been colored as thought it were Lobo’s.
40:4 That is Lyrissa Mallor in the darkness.
40:5 Dialogue is from Brainiac.
41 Brainiac presumably implanted or otherwise created a mental connection with Dubbilex when they met in < >.
42:3 With the damage being seen way down the tunnels, yes, the fight could have been responsible.
42:4 Coloring error: Lady Quark’s upper body did not get colored.
43:5 “Our only chance” is... wait, I know!  We’ll use our superbreath to cool the reactor down so that the technicians can restore the coolant.  That way, we won’t have to destroy millions of dollars of equipment, break the security of Project Cadmus any further, and cut off all electricity to the site, as would happen if we...
44 the reactor out of the ground and take it to the surface, where an explosion will be uncontained and possibly contaminate the entire Eastern Seaboard.  Eh, never mind.
45:1 Ah, yes.  Let’s take it high into the atmosphere, where the impending explosion can affect the entire planet rather than just the local area.
45:4 You would think they would eventually get tired of calling him “Lar Gand” all the time, like it was “Joe-Bob” or something.  First names, people!
46:1 Oh my god!  It’s the Deviants, invading the Eternals’ home!  (Oh, sorry, wrong company.)  <More seriously, are these the so-called DNAliens, of which Dubbilex is one of the successful ones.>
46:2 Coloring error: between the balloons, at the top of the panel.
46:3 Lobo is in the lower-left corner of this panel.
47:3 Observe that the red dots on Lady Quark’s outfit only appear when she is using her powers.
47:4 Good ploy: burn them into submission!
48:1 Good plan: sneak out and leave the chaos to the security guards to deal with.  Mighty heroes!
458:4 Coloring error: the beast’s foot is colored the same as Lyrissa’s uniform.  (Perhaps it has chameleon-like color change abilities, too?)
48:6 If Lobo can’t take out the creatures, a water hose won’t do the trick.
49:1 The named characters in the battle on this page are hard to make out.  Dox is blue, above Guardian.  Phase is green, on the far side of the purple beast Dox is fighting.  Lyrissa is purple, just to the right of the water blast.  Lady Quark is blue, toward the upper-right.  Strata is blue, near Lar Gand’s right hand.  Stealth is green, next to Strata.
49:5 As is revealed in later years, Guardian doesn’t know a lot about the real workings of Project Cadmus.  For example, that he himself is a clone.
51:3 Coloring error: left side of panel, between the balloons.
Ah, so these aren’t the Deviants, they’re the Alpha Primitives!  (Inhumans who fail to be beneficently mutated by the Terrigen Mists.)
53:1 <Was this ever followed up on?>
53:5 Coloring error: Telepath should be yellow.
54:1-2 “Moons of Colu” is an old Legion epithet.  Observe that Colu has at least three.

Appearance Counts

Character Name


Panels / Speaking

Vril Dox, Jr. X 61 / 57
Lar Gand X 72 / 50
Lyrissa Mallor 34 / 27
Strata 22 / 4
Lady Quark 12 / 4
Telepath (< >) 9 / 2
Stealth 22 / 11
Lobo 53 / 50
Phase (Tinya Wazzo) 14 / 9
Garryn Bek 1 / 0
Superman (Clark Kent) X 118 / 98
Guardian (Jim Harper) 37 / 18
     (also appears as Vril Dox, Sr.
     and Milton Fine)
6 / 12
4 / 0
1 / 0
Computer Tyrants of Colu 3 / 0
Lex Luthor 1 / 0
Supporting Characters
Lois Lane 2 / 3
Jimmy Olsen 3 / 2
Dubbilex 29 / 24