Action Comics 187
Superman is following some crooks who had just pulled a job, but he notes a dynamite truck on the same road. He worries that something might happen with the truck during the chase and is relieved when the truck pulls onto a side road. But the road there is being repaired and Superman knows the heat might also set off the dynamite. Superman stops to bring the truck to safety, but he needn’t worry about the crooks as they had an accident and had perished. Superman laments that he doesn’t have enough power, or else he would known about the danger of the truck before.
One of the people watching this scene hears him and thinks ‘So– the great Superman admits he isn’t perfect, Eh? Well I mustn’t let that encourage me… I must remember that in all the years I’ve been battling him, I’ve always come out the loser.’ Which, okay what ever he’s obvo the villain in this piece, but I’ve never seen him before? Next panel he is called Silver by a man who works for him as they see Superman on TV, where he is on a show and is being told that in a few weeks the planets will be in the same position as when Krypton exploded. (Not possible in that amount of time but okay.)
The next day at a bridge opening ceremony Superman seems to hear a man say he is going, to jump, but he can tell the man is not speaking. Still, he rushes to be near the man. As he grew near the man did leap, and as Superman saved him he told the Kryptonian that he couldn’t help thinking about doing so as he walked across the bridge, and Superman comes to conclude that he might have heard the man’s thoughts. That night a similar occurrence- but this time a criminal who for some reason is stealing sand off a barge. He follows the man, and is lead to a lead lined cavern. Needless to say he is both shocked and pleased when he manages to see inside the cavern, though not as clearly as he does through other substances. But the men inside are doing nothing but piling up sand.
While helping set up for the news cast that will celebrate the solar system’s alignment with how it was on the day Superman’s planet died, he hears a man thinking that he had found some kryptonite. The man with the kryptonite goes to the cavern, and Superman feels it’s effect and thinks it must be true. Inside the cavern Silver is explaining to the men his plan and shows how he has had Superman ‘read’ minds by playing a radio message higher than a human could hear. And he changed the doors on the cavern to one with less lead, and then none, so Superman would now be able to see through ‘lead’. On his next visit to the cave the kryptonite has been switched for a fake, making Superman think he is now invulnerable to the mineral.
Seeing this he heads in, only for them to bring out the real thing, and they then tie him up. They taunt him with their plan to blow up Metropolis, if the city doesn’t pay ransom for it’s hero. Before they go one of the men wants to beat up the helpless Superman, so Silver moves the kryptonite away just enough so Superman can barely defend himself. Since he has little to to no strength he knows he must use his brain to get out of this situation. After he is beaten they leave him alone, but the do have a camera watching him. Silver tells his men that he’s not actually planing on turning off the bomb, even if they get the cash.
But Superman just stands up, rips off his bonds and finds the bomb, in like five seconds and gets to the controls even though their covered with lead. Oh, oh see Superman managed to switch places with the man during the fight, who then rushed to destroy the bomb, as it he didn’t have the time to flee if the bomb went off. Then he headed to his gang and as they fled from the ‘Superman’ they left the kryptonite, so Superman was able to head in a pick them up. (The bonds were just weak, though strong enough to hold a kryptonited Superman.)
Bill goes to see a friend, who is the new king of a small European country. Well not king yet. He tells Bill that he must first win a joust to get his crown. Well, not a real joust as the lance is rubber, but enough to fulfill the law. Bill’s sharp eyes see that his friend opponent is not using a rubber lance at all, but one made of steel. He tells his friend, who is worried. If he fails to win this joust, the man who beat him shall be king. Bill takes it upon himself to teach his friend to joust, in the short week before the duel.
When it is learned how skillful the king to be has become they drug his drink before the final showdown. Though he does wake before hand he is far too weak to properly fight. Then the fight begins, and masterfully the knight dressed in the white armor of the king to be wins. The man who drugged the prince declares a foul and states it is Bill in the armor. Bill doesn’t deny it as he takes off the helm. But he sites the law that if the prince is unwell he can ask a knight to take his place, and as Bill was knighted right before the duel, it was valid. Also, the fighter who was going to fight with the steel lance and the drugger were captured and I guess thrown in jail? Who knows, maybe they were beheaded.
Tommy and his still unnamed partner (seriously he’s in almost everyone of these stories give him a name you fuck wits!) are out in space and they are passed by an alien craft. They send out a message but there is no response. As the ship seems to be heading to Earth Tommy follows it. It lands on our planet, but nothing leaves the dark ship. Tommy offers to go in first, to check it over with special equipment. It is full of wonderful machines, such as one that makes water from air.
As soon as the machines were removed the ship flew away. It was thought to be a benevolent gift from another race, but Tommy isn’t so sure. When the ship returns later, people pile inside to see what has been brought this time, but there is nothing, and the doors seal. Finding that they look just like us they decide to go to our home and take or places, to escape their police and become the important people who had been chosen to examine the new gifts. Left in a cage there seemed to be no hope, except for something Tommy has kept hidden.
With the mini acetate torch he burns out of the cage and sets a fire to the dry grasses, which brought the police. The criminals were captured, and the Earthmen sent home.
During a show of Greg’s Stuff notices a man they suspect to be tied with the gang they’re hunting leave the place, and keeps an eye on him while Greg wraps up and changes clothes. By following this man the two were able to see a bank robbery in progress. They see on of the crooks ‘drops’ the loot on the man they had followed there, obviously double crossing his own gang. Vig jumped at the man with the money, and we see in the other man’s thoughts that he is surprised that someone was right where he was going to dropped the loot.
They manage to shake Vig, but the man who had dropped the gold had been proven to be a traitor to the gang, and so the boss told him to either kill the Vigilante, or have proof of his crimes given to the cops. The doomed man has two men lead Vig to where he can shoot at him, but he sees the reflection and dodges in time. Knowing he has no chance the would be killer jumps off a small cliff to a river and manages to cling to a tree above the falls.
Next he goes to Vig’s hotel. (Did he get a room in both identities? Why does the Vigilante get a hotel room?) Anyway, he comes in and starts shooting. When his first shots missed he jumped out the window into a hay cart he had placed there, and it rolled him down hill where he was able to change clothes and hide. Seeing Vig help out an old man he came up with a new idea, and the next day he disguised himself and pretended to be a weak person, that needed help. With his guard down, the man was able to shoot Vig.
Or so it appeared, for a few more panels and the gang who came to see if he was really dead, was ambushed by Vig, who looked hale and hearty. After he took them down he pointed out the mistake in the man’s disguise that had made Vig know he was a fake, (no callouses) and let him switch the bullets for blanks.