Did Superman's Superman Robots Remain Decommissioned?

This is "Never Gonna Be the Same Again," a feature where I look at how bold, seemingly "permanent" changes were ultimately reversed. This is not a criticism, mind you, as obviously things are always going to eventually return to "normal." That's just how superhero comic books work. It's just fun to see how some of these rather major changes are reversed. This is differentiated from "Abandoned Love," which is when a new writer comes in and drops the plot of the previous writer. Here, we're talking about the writer who came up with the idea being the same one who resolved the change. This is also differentiated from "Death is Not the End," which is about how "dead" characters came back to life, since this is about stuff other than death.

Today, we look at how long Superman's robots remained decommissioned.

As noted in a recent Never Gonna Be The Same Again, when Julius Schwartz took over the main Superman title in the early 1970s, he decided to work in some major changes to the Man of Steel. In that other column, I wrote about how one of those major changes, the elimination of kryptonite as a threat to Superman, lasted a few years before writers reversed it. There were two other major changes that I'll address in this column, beginning with the loss of Superman's famous Superman robots.

There is a whole other column that I could write (and probably WILL write) about how Superman's Superman robots came into existence, but however they came about, the main result is that during the 1950s and 1960s (particularly the 1960s), Superman had a collection of robots that looked just like him that he used for ALL sorts of stuff, but primarily as fill-ins for him for secret identity purposes. But they did other things, as well, like work as security guards at this exhibit...

In any event, they were certainly very much tied to the past type of Superman stories that the revamp was trying to move away from, so in 1971's World's Finest Comics #202 (by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin and Joe Giella), Superman discovers that Earth's pollution has ruined his robots...

Of course, the one robot that was still out there had been swayed by a villain to help capture Batman and some others and turn them into slave labor to uncover a special tomb in the middle of the desert.

Superman shows up to stop his rogue robot...

However, the tomb is then opened and the being behind the door had special red sun powers and Superman is weakened and the Superman robot attacks and Batman has to distract the new threat while also stopping the crazed robot (comic books are weird, man) until the weakened Superman manages to disable the mysterious entity from behind the tomb door which also turns out to somehow be a robot, too...

That's a trippy ending, right?

So, were Superman's robots gone for good?

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