Come on Superman! Inspire the guy! Train him! Convince him to look into a career path more suited to his current situation! Don't give the guy a fish, teach him how to catch his own. Oh well, at least he didn't have to drug this one to steal his identity.
Convincing Larry he is capable of winning by uprooting a tree, Superman drops the ex-champ in an apartment he has apparently rented for emergency situations, and heads to The Crystal Club to complete Larry's scheduled fight for the evening. A twelve man free-for-all!
Knocking all 11 opponents out in less than a second, Superman scores himself a meeting with Jock Kane, Larry's former manager. Why the hell would he want that? The manager is an established scumbag cheater! [edit from the future: It turns out that while this new manager is clearly drawn the exact same as the old one they are written to be different people. Great.]
See? One of them has a grey shirt on. Entirely different characters.
So Superman, as Larry, meets with Jock and is immediately sent packing due to being a big loser. And what's more, a boxer by the name of Slugger gives him an entirely ineffective hotfoot.Can't a Superman catch a break?? Okay, this story is as slow as a modern Tyson fight so it's time for a list.
- Superman clocks Slugger for trying to burn his shoe.
- Slugger responds by suggesting they give him another chance in the ring, since he's got such a good punch. But secretly he wants the fight so he can beat him up! Why not just do it now?
- It turns out I spoke too soon earlier, and Superman is actually training the real Larry in his spare time. When does he sleep?
- In his fight with Slugger Superman gives him the ol' rope-a-dope (minus the rope) until Slugger is so tired he punches himself out. What a maroon! What a mook!
- Larry's old manager approaches Superman and offers to bring him back to the top. Seeing an opportunity for revenge, Superman agrees.
- The days of Superman hiding behind chairs and hanging from windowsills are behind us. Superman, perched high atop a far away building, listens in as his manager plans to drug him during the fight. The first use of superhearing!
- Three different papers are shown lauding Larry Trent's exciting comeback, following which Editor tells Clark that the other papers have been laughing at him for supporting Trent. Apparently Editor doesn't keep up on the news.
- A yellow box informs us that Superman has been at this for months. Well yeah, it isn't as if he has anything better to do.
- Larry finally realizes that Superman winning the title for him would be a hollow victory, so Superman allows him to take his place in the title bout.
- Evil Manager and his thuggish accomplice attempt to drug Larry between rounds but Superman, in full costume, puts a stop to that. I guess he's given up on the whole "subtlety" thing from earlier stories.
- Why the hell did Superman allow Evil Manager to manage him again if his big revenge plan was to yank him away from an attempted drugging of Larry? Why even give him the chance? This guy never thinks ahead.
- Larry wins and when he goes to thank Superman he finds the apartment empty, apart from a congratulatory note. Touched by a frickin' angel.
- Editor is shocked that Clark was able to write an article about the fight before it happened, and get every detail correct. Hell, I don't understand how he did it either. That doesn't make any sense.
Next time: Superman goes to war again, and there's a really cute monkey! Be there!