Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

Superman 87

1 (this first tale is Earth-one) “The Thing from 40,000 A.D.”

One night a strange being lands near Metropolis, seeming to have come from outer space. It has no form, looking like a weird eyed ditto more than anything. Like a ditto it seems to be able to change form, as it does so- shifting into a tree shortly after landing. It is sentient, as it takes in the life forms around it, and thinks that they must be extinct in 40,000 A.D, which is when it is from.

Though it is not know what has landed the people in the city known that something has. Clark is sent to report upon it. As Clark changes clothing so he can make better time he notes that this is especially  important as the area was to be used for bombing test soon, which had made the army cordon off the area. The thing takes on the appearance of one of the men that pass it, thinking that the fact humans are the predominant life form will make things easier for it. As it will have no trouble from the primitive species.

Superman arrives and is told that the fallen object seemed to have vanished. But, seeing the thing pass by shortly before the man it had copied, lets Superman and the captain into the thing’s secret. The thing escaped, and Superman began to search for clues, finding that there was a trail of slime from a place that looked like a tree had been recently and where he had seen the thing looking like the private.

We then see the being robbing the town of radioactive isotopes, using it’s shifting abilities. But Superman cannot follow up on this right away, as Clark has another assignment, reporting on the world’s largest synthetic diamond. As Clark leaves he is seen by the thing, who thinks he would be a valuable identity to use. That night it used Clark’s form to steal the diamond. Superman finds the large diamond using his x-ray vision, and then loudly proclaims no human could lift the stone, so he must be the fake.

Having followed it to it’s headquarters he finds the thing is making an atomic time machine. His foe creates a landslide that Superman has to stop, but first Superman gets the thing to reveal it’s plan to take over his time, with it’s great abilities and explain that it had been driven to the past as those from the future had feared it. When he next finds the thing it has taken the form of Superman. The two begin a ferocious duel, the thing having Superman’s powers along with his shape. Superman lead the thing back to where it landed, and as he had hoped it was unable to adapt to the explosion in time, and so only one blue clad figure survived.

“Superman’s Super-Boners”

One day Clark is asked to report on a showing of gems, but as he already knows all about the show as he is the one who has been asked to transport and protect them, he decides to check on an atomic engine. He sees it is about to explode, so he wraps it in his cape and lets it explode there. Soon afterward Superman makes the wrong move in dealing with a small fire, and accidentally causes more damage than he would have prevented. He is able to fix it up with little to no problem, but he wonders if his thinking may have been impaired by the explosion. (dude you made one mistake- lighten up)

He goes on patrol later and finds a yacht in danger of crashing due to a dead motor and the tides. He smashes the rocks they are about smash into, without realizing one of the bridge supports is in them. He holds up the bridge while he waits for the repair crew. A rival paper spoke with the mayor and the city planned to test Superman to see if he will be allowed to use his powers. He agrees and the test begins. He is first asked to make a cruel man love his dog, and does so by staging a rescue by the hound. Next he is told to stop a rock slide, but he is not allowed to melt the rocks with his heat vision, nor blow the boulders back uphill also he must do it from a distance. He forms a giant container from a boulder,melts iron inside it and pours the mixture on the rocks. Then he makes a large magnet and lifts them out of the way. Finally he is made to count all the grains of sand in a patch. As there was a time limit he compresses it into a brick and has it weighed. Using that information, plus a small sample he was able to measure and count in time allows him to calculate the rest.

Superman wonders about the ‘mistakes’ he had made, and wonders if things may have been set up. So he goes to look and finds that the rocks where the bridge support was were covered with lead, and that there was tampering at the scene of the fire as well. He figures that the reason he had been made to seem incompetent was so he would be taken off guarding the gems. He rushes back to the show and recovers the gems.

“The Prankster’s Greatest Role”

Clark Kent is walking down the street when he hears a cry for help, saying the Prankster is back. Barely thinking he strips his outer wear, not even bothering to conceal himself first. Nearly gave me a heart attack that did. But we see in the next panel that Clark has been asked to play Superman in an upcoming play. We continue with the flashback seeing Clark-dressed as Superman- being hoisted by a wire, and capturing the ‘Prankster’ as practice for the big night.

The real Prankster is furious at being put in the play, and vows to make the role of Superman trouble for Clark. At the next rehearsal Superman sees that some of the people who have come to watch have rotten eggs, tomatoes, and other prime throwing material along with cards saying they are from the Prankster. Clark rushes backstage and spins the backdrop, hurling the rotten food back at the Prankster’s men.

Angry at their failure he Prankster says he’ll handle it himself, and his anger rises again as some fellow crooks mock him. He shows the hoodlums who’s boss and sees on the paper that the first showing of the play will be in a swampy town outside of Metropolis. Oswald cut out a section of the bridge, and disguised it so when Clark and the rest of the play’s crew passed over it they fell to the murky water below. Superman manages to make it seem as though a rope in the car had tangled around his leg, and he fell over a support beam, the momentum snapping them over again- so saving the car and his identity.

Finally the opening night. Police guard the entrances, as now they are expecting trouble from the Prankster. Of course though the real Prankster has taken the place of his double and sticks up the crowd while Clark dangles from a wire. The wire ‘breaks’ and Clark lands on the floor, sending a barrel flying onto the prankster. He takes out the lights with a chunk of lead and tears off the fake costume for his own. He then paints a picture of himself? and makes a cage. When the lights come back on he swoops down and gathers up the crooks. Superman got accused of being Clark in reality, but the wax figure of Clark (there was one for each cast member) and ventriloquism allied suspicions.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954, Jan

Superman 86

Clark, Lois, and Perry are in London, about to open a new branch there, and the older man is scoffing at a tale in another paper about a dragon. He says they would never publish a false tale like that, and Clark pipes up about, what if it’s not fake? He is laughed at and told if he ever brings in a story about a dragon he would be fired on the spot. The real story, according to Perry is a jousting tournament, put on by the descendants of famous knights.

Because all the details remain the same among-st the witnesses, Clark wants to investigate the dragon tale, but worries that his co-workers might wonder why Superman was in England. Clark hears some of the knights saying that they want to seek out the dragon as well, and so he challenges one of the knights, and of course wins. This allows him to become one of their group, and he goes with them to search for the beast.

They soon find claw marks upon the ground, and the dragon appears. In order to protect the knights Clark steps forward and his armor is melted from his invulnerable body when it breathes flame on him. But stray flame burned one of his comrades and so he rushes him to a hospital after trapping the dragon with a large canyon around it. But when it rains the creature is able to swim across the gap and is free.

In his delirium the knight mutters about Superman’s identity and reveals it to Lois and Perry. Clark has no time to come up with a story, as he must go fight a dragon. While he does this task, sidetracked by putting out fires and the like, they write-up the story. The dragon breaks into a museum and perishes next to bones that look like itself. Superman says that it was a prehistoric beast and the added carbon dioxide caused the flaming breath and instinct made it want to die next to its kin.

He was able to clear up the reveal of his identity by stealing a wax figure of Clark they had made to fit his armor, so the real Clark wouldn’t have to stay there. Thinking Superman hid inside the wax figure, in order to help his friend, his identity was safe.

2

Perry White wakes from a nightmare to Superman fighting, well is it really fighting when Superman is going after regular crooks? I don’t think so.. So I guess I’ll saw he was swooping down to catch them and being shot at. So he runs to the office to write-up the story, just as Clark dons his less colorful suit and does the same. To their shock they find Jimmy Olsen, (eeeeeeeee! Jimmy has been around, but this is his first month as a named character, and I am super excited) the cub reporter of the Daily Planet is now the editor. Lois explains that it’s just for a day, as it’s boy’s day when all the jobs are given to kids so they can learn how they are.

Clark types up the Superman story for Perry and then the two are called in to the editor’s office by Jimmy. As the town is pretty quiet right then Jimmy suggests that the two look into an old unsolved case that took place exactly seven years ago. As the statute of limitations would end tomorrow, Jimmy wanted them to solve it by then. He gives Clark the photos of the crime, and tells him to run the plates. Lois was in charge of the only witness and Perry was to look in the jewelry stores to see if  the stolen goods had been sold.

I think it was a tad silly that he switches to Superman to check on the plates, but I suppose he could just say Clark asked him to. He finds that one of the cars at the scene belonged to a criminal known as Snipe. Lois meanwhile has located the witness siting at the same table in a bar with Snipe! Blinded by anger and a need for justice she tells him that he is nothing but a crook and she bets his testimony was fake. But, she doesn’t have the strength or training to resist when they capture her. (Lois Lane, Karate Champ. I want it.) Still she does have a super (boy)friend, and he spots her as the crooks are about to throw her-bound and gagged- into the sea.

He saves Lois and gets the story confirmed that the ‘witness’ was a member of the gang, as was Snipe. The jewels had yet to be recovered though, so Superman headed out to see if Perry found anything. The usual editor was tired, and sore, and he’d been looking at the photos of the gems for so long he knew them each by heart. And so when one of them was right under his nose he knew it at once and headed out to the paper. The owner of the store where Perry found the jewel was run by a member of the gang though, and when Perry arrived to tell Jimmy what he had learned, they were both held at gunpoint.

He didn’t want to kill them, just hold them til the statute of limitations expired. Superman located his friends and, seeing their predicament blew Chloroform through the air system and put them to sleep. When they awoke they found themselves handcuffed and being brought to jail by boy police officers.

3

It was a normal day at the Planet, with Lois printing a story praising the man of steel, with Perry’s approval. The next day though things started going wrong. It started small, with a picture being changed into something ridiculous. Then Perry went to investigate the type machine which was spitting out sardine cans. When he exclaimed in shock the thing spoke! “Someone – Please- Get Superman at Once!” he calls and so Clark sheds his over clothes and asks his help. Before Superman can speak a voice comes from thin air, and says Superman is too stupid to explain anything.

Mr. Mxyzptlk appears and tells Perry he will continue to give the Planet a hard time til they retract the lie that Superman is the greatest person to have ever lived. He was, and he wanted that in print. Perry says he’ll think on it, and then begs Supes to get the imp to go home. Forming a plan Superman challenges Mxy to do better than him in  a series of tests. Superman smashed a rock, and Mxy changes another into rockcandy.  Superman collects an entire crop of grapes, and Mxy changes them to grapefruits, which cost more. Superman then unearths an old temple, claiming only he could possibly read the runes upon it. He ‘translates’ the first word and almost gets Mxy to say the second, but he catches himself in time.

Returning to the Planet Perry flatly refuses Mxy, and he leaves, saying he’s gonna put out his own paper and out sell the Planet. Perry tries not to worry, though he should, as Mxy has access to the fourth dimension, and  is able to print news from the next day. Crimes are stopped before they happen, stock is bought at great profit, and weather is watched with greater knowledge. But as many good things as it did, it did just as many bad. Knowing this has to stop Superman gathers up a bunch of goose feathers (?) and then changes the feed of future news to the printer.

Next Paper he puts out says that Mxy is going to become a laughing-stock, and when he leaves his office he sees everyone is indeed laughing at him. After circling the globe to find the same results everywhere he leaves. Superman explains to his friends that he used super speed to tickle everyone as Mxy came near them.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Nov

Superman 85

Clark was off dealing with a cut cable in the ocean, (I think the phone lines go through those?) and a building began to fall in Metropolis. Since Superman is away you would think that a bunch of people would die right? But they are saved by the most unlikely of heroes, not someone from the JSA or any other DC hero, but the notorious Lex Luthor. He steps out of his rocket and announces that he has had a brain surgery to remove his criminal tenancies and now wants to make up for all the evil he has done. And it seemed to be true. Luthor was saving people left and right, and even capturing wrongdoers himself.

Superman doesn’t believe it for a second. He wonders just how the genius is able to get to all the disasters he does, and decides to follow him. Lex erects some dykes around a dam and tells the people it is bound to collapse, he would take their valuables with him, so they could focus on saving themselves. Clark tells Lex there is nothing wrong with the dam, but as he speaks, the dam breaks. His first thought is that he must apologize. But then he sees traces of TNT on the dam as he repairs it. Clark catches up to him when he is creating an earthquake with a giant drill. He stops the disaster and then goes after Luthor, who had used the promise of a quake to ‘protect’ a collection of jewels. Superman brings them in, tells the evidence and the world is back to normal.

2

The Publisher of the planet has stepped away for a time, leaving his sister in his place. She has some very different ideas about what a newspaper should be however. She thinks it should be more dignified, stately. She even orders a change of dress and speech in the members of the staff. Lois is really funny about it, hard headed and brash as she can be.

Clark catches her use an odd term of Speech and looks into her past. He finds out the new publisher had once run away to join the circus, though her family had hushed it up. He figures she is extra prim to make up for her past escapade.

A swindler turns up and, using flattery, gets the publisher to run a feature promoting donations to raise a ship. Superman knows the man plans to just take the money himself so he raises the ship himself, and takes away the need for donations. But the swindler isn’t one to give up easily. He comes up with another ‘worthy cause’ for the public to fund. Superman does that too, and informs the man he will do any worthy cause he can think up.

He pulls aside his friend to talk up a new plan, but the way Superman has arranged the room they were in made it so their words were brought straight to the ears of his new boss. Pissed off the woman takes to the decorations around them and trounces the men with a cry of “Hey Rube”. Finding out from the next days papers that she as being hailed as a hero and not looked down upon she swiftly changes the Planet back to normal.

3

We open upon a man who has achieved his dream of getting a professorship at a prodigious school. Feeling successful, he asks his girlfriend to marry him. She tells him that while she likes him he is too meek, especially compared to Superman. After that every mention of the Kryptonian brings the poor professor anger. So he decides to become as strong as Superman. He announces his powers to his students, and when he is not believed he pulls up a tree and then flys home. It isn’t long before the Planet gets a hold of this news and Clark goes out to investigate.

He finds that the man truly is powerful, stronger in fake than he. But he suspects a gadget as his clothes were lined with lead to keep Superman from looking under them. His lab too is lead lined, but by diving underneath he is able to see through the floor and get the answers he needs. The powers he had gained were due to the fact it was a robot doing the feats. Of course a normal robot would not be as strong as Clark, but there is kryptonite in the thing’s alloy. (Where did he manage to get that?) Clark might even let the farce go on, if it wasn’t for the fact the prof didn’t have the control he needed for such power.

And so Clark undertook the task of making it seem like the real prof had the powers of a kryptonian. Believing it almost at once he destroys he robot, not wanting any evidence he once used it. He went to take his girl out, and slightly scares her by using powers he didn’t mean to (because it was Clark). She tells him it is too frightening to be out with him and she wished he were his normal self once more. Since he believed he had gained his powers by thinking he had them, he was able to “imagine” them away. The story ends with a wedding.