Monday, June 29, 2009

With the Contest Over, Superman Formulates a Plan

The military developed an earthquake machine, Luthor kidnapped its creator and attempted to steal the machine itself but Superman prevented him from getting it, and now the two of them are involved in a battle of man vs. machine! Superman won the first round, a race around the world, can he win the rest? Let's find out.

The next contest is to see who can rise higher in the sky before returning to the Earth: Superman, or the plane he just beat in a race around the world. Superman uses his muscles of coiled steel to leap straight into space alongside the plane, where the lack of gravity strands both it and its two pilots with no way down. Superman, however, kicks his legs as if in water and swims his way to the ground, securing himself the victory. That's how space works, right? It's thick, sort of like a molasses? Yeah!

Imagine being those two pilots! When you sign on for a fun contest against the planet's mightiest hero, you don't exactly expect to be left to slowly suffocate/freeze in the cold embrace of space.
And their families! "Sure dear, go have fun with that Superman. I know you'll be safe in his hands!"

Next Luthor uses electromagnetism to lift a giant boulder, knowing full-well that Superman couldn't possibly do the same. But somehow, someway, the man who just leapt straight into outer-space finds it within him to lift not only the boulder, but Lex's remaining plane over his head as well.

At this point Luthor gets desperate and simply chucks a grenade at Superman to see "who is the most vulnerable". When the grenade fails he fires a canonball, followed by deadly gas at our hero. Hardly a fair contest! Shouldn't they at least take turns? Superman is slow to cotton to the BS he's being fed, but eventually he has enough and offers to find out which cracks first: Luthor's skull or his plane's hull. At this point Luthor wisely cedes the victory.

Handing over that scientist dude who invented that earthquake thing, Luthor leaves a very confused Superman in his wake.

Hah yes, it's ALMOST as if you just had a contest where the loser had to do exactly what Luthor just did. But, no...this is a mystery that will be forever unsolved.

Superman's doubts were not unfounded however, as the contest was merely a distractionary measure to allow Luthor's henchmen to steal the earthquake machine without Superman's interference. Of course, if Luthor would simply learn to hold his tongue and stop telling Superman every time he's going to steal something then he wouldn't need to arrange these games.

This is amazing. Do you see that panel there? What idea do you think the professor's words gave Superman? Do you think maybe it's to use the professor's self proclaimed ability to recreate the machine in some way? Perhaps to build another one and fight fire with fire?? Well NO, the idea it gave Superman was to destroy the original machine.

Yeah, I'm serious. He needed outside input to come up with that.

So with that plan having been formulated, the professor tells Superman that Luthor held him captive in Satan's Canyon. Arriving at the canyon Superman is met by falling boulders triggered by Luthor's earthquake machine! These pose no threat to our hero. Following that he falls into a pit and is beset by wolves, which post no threat! Emerging from the pit he is hit by a gas which... knocks him out immediately? Well, okay I guess.

Here things get really rushed: Superman's lifeless body is shot with the Earthquake machine causing him to be buried, he once again uses his ability to "flail about" to burrow to freedom, once above ground he kicks a wall which destroys the earthquake machine which was theoretically sitting on top of it but there is no time to show that because Superman has to pose majestically while wishing he could kill Luthor who somehow disappeared but there's no time to dwell on that because now we're back at the professor's lab and he's committed suicide, hold on suicide? Why would he com-THE END!

All he can see is miles of red fabric.

They probably should have devoted the entire issue to those goofy trials instead of shoving them into a story about an earthquake machine, at least then the ending wouldn't have had to be rushed onto a single page. But hey, at least Superman's plan worked.

Next time: Luthor! Again!?

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Superman vs. Luthor at the FUNlympics!

Earthquakes are a rare sight in Metropolis, so when Superman #4 opens with one The Daily Sta-...sorry, The Daily Planet's editor sends ace reporter Clark Kent out to cover it. Clark suspects something is afoot, and so delegates the job to his good friend Superman.

Yes, it's The Daily Planet now and no longer The Daily Star! As us prideful Canadians know Metropolis was initially based on Toronto, and The Daily Star was named for Toronto's own Daily Star (now known as simply The Star). As the story goes the creators were concerned with copyright issues regarding using established newspaper names, and opted to change their fictional one to avoid potential lawsuits. The change first appeared in the Superman newspaper comic strip, followed by Action Comics #23 and Superman #4. You might notice that I missed this when summarizing Action Comics #23, and in that case I ask that you look at something distracting while I make my escape.

Superman saves people from the earthquake, including a kid trapped under a massive steel girder:

Notice that he's lifting that girder between his legs. The resultant shuffle to the side before awkwardly dropping it must have looked real super! Also, I'm fairly certain that kid is dead.

Reporting back to the Planet Clark Kent reveals that he somehow learned the source of the earthquake while offpanel: a military device designed to create earthquakes that went haywire! Clark immediately heads out to interview the machine's inventor, who welcomes him with open arms. Then he shouts "Meddler!" and strikes Clark in the back of the head with a blackjack, which is completely awesome. Following this he throws Clark's limp body out the window of his apartment building. In broad daylight.

Now this seems like an absolutely moronic thing for a scientist trying to keep a secret to do, but it isn't at all and you are the stupid one for thinking it! What it actually is is an absolutely moronic thing for a thug trying to keep a secret while pretending to be a scientist to do. Either way you don't really want the attention that dumping a body out of your window and onto the street is likely to bring. I guess what I'm saying is that I just want my hired thugs to be written a little more intelligently!

Clark Kent, now Superman, grabs hold of the building and begins the ascent back to his point of origin. Meanwhile the evil thug reports in to a mysterious red-haired man via a video screen embedded in his suitcase. The red-haired man notices Superman outside the building via his own suitcase, and sends a "weird plane" to drop a bomb on him!

Superman catches the bomb and tosses it back at the plane, adding yet another hit to the list of things that don't pose a problem to Superman. So far nothing DOES pose a problem, and I can see why they would eventually introduce Kryptonite.

The plane destroyed, Superman returns to the lab to find it empty apart from a talking suitcase. Superman recognizes the man in the suitcase as his brand new arch-enemy: "LUTHOR! The mad scientist who plots to dominate the Earth!" Luthor reveals that he has kidnapped the real professor, but he has thus far failed to force the man to build him an earthquake machine.

Having admitted incompetence to his super-powered foe, Luthor next all but gives away the next step of his plan when he states that he "may be more fortunate with the army itself!" Is he trying to be foiled? Come on.

So yes, Luthor next sends his men to the army camp containing an already constructed earthquake machine with the intention of stealing it. Superman, thanks to Luthor's subtle clue, is on hand to stop them! WOW!

As the men try to flee in their autogyro, Luthor makes them blow up real good so that Superman can't follow them back to his lair. Which is pretty effective at establishing him as evil, in this otherwise goofy story.

Suddenly, a tree with Luthor's face challenges Superman to a series of tests! Science vs. Muscle, loser retires from crime or crime fighting, whichever they like more. Superman has never been led astray by a tree, so he immediately agrees.

You might think it was stupid of Superman to agree to this, but he could still be written dumber! At least he isn't punching the tree and claiming victory. You half expect him to though.

Shortly, Luthor arrives in a nice red plane and tells Superman that the first challenge will be a race around the world. Superman vs. airplane! What oddly lighthearted fun from the man who just blew up his minions so Superman couldn't find him.

And so the race is on! WOO!

This. This is the weakest burn of all time.

I hope your intelligence doesn't feel insulted when I tell you that Superman wins in no time at all! It wasn't too obvious was it? Luthor is impressed by the fact that his opponent hasn't even broken a sweat, and lays down the next challenge: Who can fly higher in the sky? The airplane, or Superman using his mighty jumping ability?


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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Correcting an Egregious Error

In an earlier update I made the claim that Superman #4 consisted of reprints of stories already seen in Action Comics. I was dead wrong! Reading Action Comics #23 in order to witness Luthor's first appearance I uncovered this ad:

Which explicitly states that Superman #4 contains all new stories! HELL YES! This also means that Luthor appeared in Action Comics and Superman in the same month, clearly they had big plans for the red-headed charmer. If only he had stuck around...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lex Luthor is a Bad Man

The incredible debut of the man known only as "Luthor" continues!

Luthor's minions, having kidnapped Lois instead of Clark out of sheer laziness, bring her back to Luthor's dirigible which is floating high in the stratosphere. Perhaps Luthor is used to such bungling, as he immediately takes Lois as an acceptable Clark substitute. However, he doesn't have time to question her about Clark's knowledge of his operations so he has her sent away.

By God, imagine if he had enough time to conduct three minutes of inductive reasoning! He'd realize the only guy who knows about him is the dude in the blue and red long undies who also looks exactly like Clark Kent. Good thing he's so busy sitting around...doing...all kinds of things. Like hey, check out that subtle Nazi iconography projected onto the back of his chair! He spends hours arranging for shit like that!

Also, in case you didn't know it Luthor has a full head of beautiful red hair. Makes for a dashing figure, doesn't he?

Locked in a guarded room Lois immediately notices that her guard is not under Luthor's hypnotic influence. The very same hypnotic influence that hadn't been mentioned at all prior to this exact moment! Wow! Lois threatens to expose his lack of hypnosis to Luthor unless he delivers a letter to Clark Kent.

Normally in a situation like this the guard would be willing to help Lois because the only thing making him be evil in the first place was the hypnosis, but in this case he simply doesn't want Luthor to know his hypnosis doesn't work on him. He still wants to work for him though! So what, is he afraid of hurting Luthor's feelings? "Oh no sir, your hypnosis is the best! Why, I do believe I'm feeling more like a chicken as we speak!"

Of course, none of this is important as we never see this particular guard again once he's delivered the note.

Once that note is delivered Superman sets off for Luthor's airborne fortress. Now, we all know The Man of Steel can leap a tall building in a single bound but did anyone suspect he can leap straight into the stratosphere? Well he can, and he does! That's 6 miles at the least. What a badass.

Having jumped onto Luthor's dirigible Superman punches some guards, while Lois is menaced by some dude trying to extract info from her. Superman uses his "x-ray eyesight" (his WHAT!?) to find Lois' exact location and puts his fist through a wall and straight into the mean man's jaw. So, I guess he's got x-ray vision now. Huh.

Luthor then shows up as the big Asian face again and tells Superman to submit or he'll hurt Lois. Despite being there to protect her, Superman inexplicably acquiesces to these demands and allows himself and "the girl" to be brought before Luthor, where the evil leader reveals his plot to rule the planet: incite a world war and take over after every country is weakened.

Lex Luthor, please report to the burn ward.

Following this Superman allows himself to be chained to a wall and shot with a laser. Because he's an idiot.

So this laser see, it's slowly killing Superman. But too slowly for Luthor! So he just gives up and decides to point the laser somewhere else -- at a city! Superman can't allow this so he grabs the laser and tries to shoot Luthor with it, but instead he just kills a few of his henchmen. Luthor then shoots Superman with yet another laser which Superman announces is "sapping [his] strength!" Immediately after saying this he simply punches Luthor's laser, ending the threat.

This establishes two things: One, that Luthor has at least two lasers capable of destroying entire cities and thus has no real need for the roundabout world war domination plan and two, that Superman is stronger than a city.

Also, the laser's ray is specifically pointed out to be green. A green laser hurting Superman! And this is before Kryptonite was invented! That's kinda cool.

Seeing he's in a bit of a pickle Luthor offer Superman unlimited riches, as long as he doesn't harm him. Obviously our hero would never agree to this, and instead he beats up a few more guards and then punches the dirigible's engine causing the whole thing to come crashing down to Earth. I'd like to take this time to mention that there were a great number of people on this craft, and apparently all of them were under hypnosis. That's a whole lot of innocent casualties! Especially since Superman already had Luthor at his mercy. And yes, Luthor is assumed to have died in the crash.

Clark then speaks to the two warring factions once more, and is able to convince them that there was in fact a third party attempting to prolong the war using the crashed dirigible as evidence. That's just flawless! "There is a man trying to prolong the war for his own ends! Don't believe me? Well a blimp just crashed!" The war is thus ended.

Clark's editor is amazed by him nailing another scoop, and Lois thinks about how much she'd like to see Superman again, THE END.

Next time: Still more Luthor! B-b-but he's dead!?

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hero House - A Review

This is unusual. Today I'm reviewing something that only relates to Superman in the scantest of senses: they're both about superheroes. I hope this doesn't freak anyone out too much.

Season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured the Slayer attending college for the first time, and being introduced to a whole new set of real life challenges in addition to the supernatural ones she had grown used to. She was hot shit in Sunnydale, but had to start fresh in this new environment.

Justin Aclin's Hero House follows a similar premise. In this case, small town superhero Turbine the Turbo Teen (a name intentionally chosen by Aclin to be corny, fear not) finds himself lost among a sea of people who simply don't care about his past accomplishments when he begins attending a big city college.

There, Superheroes are commonplace enough that they've formed their own frat based around training the protectors of tomorrow. This is the titular Hero House, which the former Turbine quickly finds himself a member of, under a much less flattering pledge name.

Hero House is a balance of drama and comedy. The villain's cartoonish scenery-chewing reaches a near 10 on the Nicholas Cage scale, while at the same time having some very real consequences to the characters.

This graphic novel does have a thorn in its side, however. It takes tropes already firmly established in the public mind and doesn't flesh them out fully. One character's problem with his gigantism is introduced, and then solved, in all of three pages. This rush towards a pay-off is also likely due to the fact that the book is an introduction to a new series, and needs to pack as much information into its 50 pages as it possibly can.

Hero House will be available at San Diego Comic-Con at the Arcana Comics booth, and then it will be in the September Previews for items shipping to comic shops in November. It's definitely worth your time to pick it up.

Monday, June 22, 2009

In Which a Huge Debut Occurs

As you may or may not know the issues of Superman covered thus far are simply reprinting earlier Superman stories from Action Comics. Superman would eventually become its own stand-alone comic, but we haven't reached that point yet. (Edit: I was very wrong about this!) I mention this because Superman #4 begins with a story centering on a character who had been introduced in an Action Comics story that the publishers had not seen fit to reprint in Superman. The fools!

I however couldn't do that to ya'll, as this character is someone you'd want to witness the first appearance of. So today we will be looking at Action Comics #23, the first appearance of "L.L." (Lori Lemaris? Lana Lang? Lois Lane? Linda Lee? Hmmm...)

We join events already in progress, as Clark Kent and Lois Lane are covering YET ANOTHER WAR. That's creativity! Lois n' Clark are caught in a bombardment which knocks Lois unconscious, allowing Clark to become Superman and throw the shells back from whence they came. Regaining consciousness Lois is disappointed to learn that she missed Superman saving their sorry asses. Because, in case you don't get it, she loves that guy.

Our heroic reporters are next seen speaking with the head general of the Galonian forces General Lupo, who tells them that he has an impending appointment to discuss peace with his Toran opponents. Yes we have seen this before, but rest assured that this is merely the calm before the storm of insanity this story is preparing to unleash upon us.

Someone blows up the approaching Toran diplomats, allowing the war to continue. Clark suspects it was done on General Lupo's orders and asks him what the hell is up wit dat!? The General denies any involvement, but a departing Clark's supersensitive ears overhear him making a suspicious phone call.

And so it comes to pass that Superman follows the general as he drives up to a mountain, exits his car and disappears. Superman is utterly dumbfounded "No entrance anywhere!" he shouts "What happened to him is beyond me!" immediately following this statement he shoves the rock blocking the hidden entrance out of the way. Was he just being sarcastic or what?
Also, special attention is called to the fact that Superman used his "bare hands" to move this rock. If all this attention needs to be brought to the amazing power it requires for Superman to move the the hell did Lupo do it!? That guy must work out.

Having busted into this secret cave hideout (and why does the evil leader of an evil army need to be evil in secret?) Superman observes from afar as Lupo stares at a stalagmite with shiny lights swirling upon its surface. Suddenly, the lights coalesce into a giant Asian guy's face! Lupo informs the face that the war has been prolonged, and it happily disappears.

Superman takes this opportunity to emerge from his hiding spot and threaten to crush Lupo's skull if he doesn't tell him what the hell is going on. I love when he does that! Lupo reveals that Luthor's plan is to send planes to bomb a neighbouring country and bring the entire continent into this war. "Who" asks Superman "is Luthor?"

That's right friends, we just got our first glimpse of Lex Luthor! EVER! And he was a giant Asian face on a stalagmite! What an entrance.

Lupo is about to reveal Luthor's identity (he's Luthor...what the hell more do you need?) when the "incredibly ugly vision" appears once again before him, and shoots some totally sweet lasers out of its eyes. Luthor does not allow for traitors.

The evil face turns its laser eyes on Superm-hold on. Luthor had laser eyes before Superman did! DAMN!

Anyway he lasers our hero to no effect, before Superman punches the stalagmite in its stupid face destroying it once and for all. Unfortunately, this must have been a load bearing stalagmite as its destruction leads to the collapse of the cave. Superman escapes from certain doom here in the dorkiest possible way.

Seriously, "flails about"? What is he, a dandy?

Upon his emergence from the earth's bowels fortune is, as always, on Superman's side. The planes sent to sow the seeds of war across the continent happen to be directly above him. He leaps onto one plane, beats up its gunner and uses the mounted machine gun to shoot down others. Running out of bullets he simply grabs two planes and smashes them into each other (!!) before flying his commandeered plane into the last remaining one.

Having prevented the war's expansion, Clark Kent now wishes to put a stop to it all together. He informs the two factions of a third party's plan to prolong the war, but his information is dismissed as mere fantasy. Why? Because he is entirely unwilling to cite his source. "Superman told me..." or "My investigations of General Lupo's activities revealed to me that..." aren't good enough? Why is he being so secretive? Oh right, because otherwise the story would be over.

The diabolical Luthor somehow learns of Clark's attempts to end the war OR SOMETHING I DUNNO, but he orders his followers to kidnap the reporter for knowing too much. They then proceed to...not do that at all...

Unable to kidnap anyone but the first person they happen to see, Luthor's hired muscle fail him once again. Seriously, I love that one of them is even pointing out that they've got the wrong person. "D'uhhh, hold on! This woman isn't Clark Kent!"

Next time: Luthor's glorious flowing locks of beautiful red hair! Would you dare ask for more??

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sidetracked by Images

First of all, if you're reading my blog and not reading Comics Make No Sense then you might consider remedying that! Second, if you're reading my blog...thank you!

Today I've decided to focus on a few of the things included in these issues of Superman that I've thus far glossed over or ignored. These early issues of the book don't just contain Superman, they also have Ripley's Believe It or Not "inspired" facts, odious funnies, vague health tips, and even short stories that aren't always about Superman! I won't be posting those short stories though, as the last thing this place needs is more text.

To start, here's an image of Superman taken from the end of a story in issue 3. that Superman? Since when does he wear a toga? I'm fairly confident in saying that's just some Roman centurion they've recoloured to be Superman! Lay-zee.


I guess weights had yet to be invented in 1948. And what the heck kind of goal is that anyway? Finally, you'll be able to make people regret politely shaking your hand!


Not everything I post today is for the purpose of mocking it. This for instance, I can't make fun of. It's just good advice! Just posting it as an example of the kind of thing old comics contained.


No doubt Ripley's work was immensely popular at the time, and the folks at DC were not above ripping off others! That beard fact is interesting, but a google search turns up nothing on the primrose colour changing. Guess I'll need to conduct the experiment myself.


And finally here's a terrible comic that will make you a worse person just for having looked at it:

Yeah, and there's more where that came from! Pray I never post them.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Seen it All Before

Remember when Superman saved that boxer from suicide and then wasted months of his life helping him win the title back? Well get ready for some sweet, sweet continuity! Clark covered that story so well that he's earned himself a promotion, and Lois a demotion. She'll now be covering the "lovelorn column", while Clark will be doing something else that isn't specified because I guess it just isn't important. Does this mean that Clark used to be in charge of that column? I'd understand him writing in to it, but covering it himself?

Seeing Lois' anger, Clark attempts to smooth things over by offering to listen to her troubles at "some gay place". Probably not the best way to convince her of his manliness, but Clark's new at this dating thing. Lois rejects the offer in a manner so cold their editor emerges from his office to comment on it. "The less I see of that worm, the better!" I don't know if I've made it clear just how much Lois hates Clark in these comics, but that quote should help drive the point home.

Shortly after Clark slinks off with his tail between his legs a woman comes in looking for the lovelorn editor! It seems Lois' first minute in her new job will provide her with a way out of it, as this woman's husband has taken to hanging out at "Joe's Joint" and become a violent smuggler as a result. The lady wants her husband back, but Lois is more interested in the smuggling ring, and what uncovering it will do for her job.

Cut to Clark grousing about how mean Lois was when she shot him down. To be fair to Lois with the amount of times Clark has asked her out she's likely learned that kid gloves just ain't gonna cut it. But wait! She wants to go on that date after all, and would it be okay if they had it at Joe's Joint? Of course it would!

At the Joint Lois quickly spots the woman's husband, a man by the name of Lew, and while dancing with Clark gives him a dazzling wink. Seeing his chance to score, Lew asks to cut in on the reporters' dance. Clark takes umbrage at this request, and is pie-faced for his trouble. Whoa...I swear this has happened before.

Yep, it has! Superman #1 on the top, #3 on the bottom. At least he redrew the art, I guess.

Lois steals a piece of paper from Lew, revealing that some smugglin' is transpirin' that very night. She then storms out of the building, leaving Clark behind because he's a sissy and she hates him. Just like...Superman #1. Huh.

However, Lois' act of sticky fingery did not go unnoticed by Lew's companions and the three men take our intrepid reporters to a boat at gunpoint. Here Lois is accused of being a detective, while Clark begs the thugs not to manhandle her. Sadly, Clark is knocked overboard and assumed dead. Hey! Just like Superman #1! This is the most creative story yet!

Of course, Kent didn't truly drown and instead swam so quickly he reached the boat's destination before it. Just like Superman #1.

Despite the fact that Superman arrived first, the three men are allowed to drag Lois into an empty warehouse where they reveal that they smuggled jewelry so that they wouldn't have to pay customs. The ultimate scheme!!! When Lois asks why they'd reveal this to her, we already know it's because she's about to die.

However, before any triggers can be pulled The Man of Steel bursts through the warehouse's wall. Superman leaving rescues to the last second just so that he can make a dramatic entrance is pretty old hat at this point, although you'd think he would be less eager to play it this way when it's Lois who is danger.

Fortunately for Superman (who loves to show off!) Lew is so shocked by his entrance that he accidentally fires his gun straight at Lois. And here we get our very first "faster than a speeding bullet" moment.

That's history, folks!

I'd feel just awful if I didn't point out that Superman stepped in front of a hail of bullets to save Lois' life once before. Can you guess where that happened? Yeah, Superman #1.

Superman then beats up the thugs, and takes 'em off to Jail. Lois begs him to stay with her, but Superman simply says "Sorry -- I can't remain!"

That's all sorts of romantic, until you realize why he couldn't stay. See, Lois returns to the Daily Star to turn in her story on the jewel smugglers, only to find that Clark Kent scooped her and his story is already in print. That's right, he couldn't remain because he had to rush home to steal her story from her. Lois is for her part surprised that Clark is even alive. These two sure do treat each other like shit! THE END.

Well that was certainly a lazily written tale. Hey, remember the lady that wanted her husband back? Well neither did the man who wrote this story!

NEXT TIME: Superman #4 begins!

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Superman's Manager Part 2

Recap: Superman has a manager, but this is news to Clark Kent! An interview is arranged between Clark and Superman, which Lois worms her way into attending. Clark and Lois stop by a nightclub, where a song is sung about Superman...

Which Lois is enthralled by, because she loves anything to do with that Superman guy. Meanwhile Superman's manager and a guy in a Superman suit treat us to some fantastic expository dialogue revealing that the guy in the suit is, in fact, an actor with a repertoire of staged tricks designed to give him the illusion of super powers. It's pretty clear at this point that Siegel assumes his audience is comprised entirely of idiots. Sure we've read previous issues wherein Superman's identity was apparent, and sure this one opened by flatly stating that Clark Kent is Superman, but if we aren't bluntly told that this faker isn't the real deal we might just fall for his tricks!

It's also important to note that the part of Fake Superman will be played by Ronald Reagan. The things people do before they're famous.

The skinnier the actor, the more convincing the hoax!

Back at the club Lois slips a roofie into Clark's glass(!!) before sneaking off to conduct the interview herself. Of course the drug didn't truly effect a man with an immune system like Superman's, so he's quickly on her trail. In case you're wondering, instead of loathing her to the core of his being for drugging him and stealing his story Clark laughs it off with a "Double-crossing a pal, eh? Just like a newspaperwoman!" Even when no one's around, he just can't drop the pathetic loser act. Perhaps it's natural?

Lois shows up for the interview and, after the initial shock of a (gasp!) girl being assigned to the story has worn off, is introduced to Superman who lifts a desk above his head and bends a steel rod. Lois is unconvinced, as she has met the real Superman in person. She quickly exposes their hoax (cardboard desk, aluminum rod), and as she begins to storm out of the room is stopped by the wicked manager.

Alas, she knows too much and must be killed! Fake Superman protests for the length of a panel, but is swayed to the side of murder by the time we reach the next one where he is already in the process of throwing her out the window. Typical Reagan, am I right??? Hi-yooo!

Real Superman shows up just in time to catch Lois, and having done so wastes no time in leaping through the window from which she was thrown. The evil men have already begun their escape via elevator, but -- though it may be hard to believe -- Superman is really really strong so he just pulls it back up the shaft. He then carries Lois and the two men to a police station, where Lois presses charges for attempted murder. The end!

Yeah, who cares that her spine's broken? You caught her!

Next time: Smugglers!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Superman's Manager

This story begins with an official overview of Superman's powers at this point. Siegel gets a bit carried away describing Superman's manly, drool-inducing strength and doesn't leave himself enough room to mention the super hearing we've already seen in action. However, this remains an interesting bit of trivia. An eighth of a mile!

Next up we learn that Superman is in the news more and more each day, something those of you who've been reading from the start know he had hoped to avoid, and that "meek ace-reporter" Clark Kent is assigned to track down all Superman related stories. That might have been a conflict of interests in a comic that cared about characterization, but Superman ain't got time for that shit, he's got nutty adventures to have!

Clark's editor introduces him to a man claiming to be Superman's manager, which causes Clark to tense up so much that he reduces an ashtray he happened to be holding to a "shapeless pulp". This is used to reveal to the reader that Clark Kent is, and please don't be angry that I'm spoiling this for you, actually Superman.

Clark knows that this guy isn't really Superman's manager, we know that this guy isn't Superman's manager, but the Daily Star's editor doesn't. Manager dude offers the paper exclusive Superman stories before Superman even does 'em, and to prove that he's on the level he turns on the radio to reveal his newly started Superman radio drama! Following which he invites the two gentlemen to look out the window to see a plane pulling a banner advertising Superman gasoline, along with a billboard advertising The Superman Automobile.

It's pretty amazing that Clark has noticed none of this, considering the flippin' billboard is right outside his office. Also he's a reporter and is paid to notice stuff. Also, he's Superman.

Manager guy tells them that he's also got Superman bathing suits, costumes, exercisers, movie rights, and (haha, oh man!!) comic books! What a hoot!

Now anyone who was stupid enough to watch the tv show Lois & Clark like me knows that episode 5 of season 1 (shoot me...) contained a story very similar to this one. It's interesting that the show actually drew inspiration from classic Superman stories, especially considering the tiny amount of people who would have even noticed. Hell, I'm probably the first person to have noticed period. Well don't worry Lois & Clark writers, after 16 years your obscure reference has finally payed off!

Desperate to prove that he isn't lying the manager arranges an interview between Clark and Superman, an arrangement that is overheard by an "office boy" listening through the closed door. Someone fire that kid! Having overheard this exciting piece of gossip the kid runs straight to Lois, who doesn't intend to let Clark conduct this interview without her.

Well aware of the power she has over Clark, Lois offers to let him take her out on a date that very night. Not wanting to miss this opportunity, and embarrassingly cow-towing to her every whim as usual, Clark agrees to take her out with the caveat that she will have to accompany him on his assignment first.

Lois walks away muttering under her breath about how easily she manipulates Clark, while Clark mutters the same thing to himself. Frankly, I have a problem with that! There's no doubt Clark actually wants to get with Lois, and as we've seen multiple times Lois hates that he's a total pussy and has no respect for him because of it. So why, oh WHY, would Clark be proud of convincing her that he's exactly what she hates?

Did Jerry Siegel even think about what he was writing here, or was he just glad that Superman gets to show how smart he is by pulling the wool over someone's eyes? Like, what's the plan? Superman wants Lois, convinces her he's entirely undesirable, gloats about how he just cock blocked himself? I can't wrap my head around this one.

ANYWAY, Clark arrives to pick Lois up for their date and they head to a trendy nightclub where Clark proceeds to nag Lois about how much he likes her and if only she'd give him a chance (I won't even point out that this date IS his chance and that he's blowing it...oops, just did), before being interrupted by a singer taking the stage. Met by "tumultuous applause" the singer announces that tonight she will perform "You're a Superman". Uh oh!

The strangest part about this is that instead of singing the song, she simply thinks it to herself. Think I'm kidding? Check the picture:

And she performs the whole thing like that! Must have been one awkward performance. Is that really how singing balloons were drawn in the late 30s? Or, worse yet, have I been mistaking songs for thoughts my entire life??

This is a pretty darn good place to leave off, so I'll do just that.

Next time: Clark Kent meets Superman!

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Superman vs. a Dam, Lois vs. Clark

Disaster! The Valleyho (home of California's biggest slut?) Dam is ready to burst, its walls already cracking under the pressure of an unprecedented rainfall!

Just a few years from now ("now" being October 1938) you could be certain that an evil alien, robot, or fat guy who likes toys a lot was behind this. However this is a more innocent time for comics, Jerome Siegel has no reason to "spice up" these events as his audience at the time would be sufficiently thrilled by the mere presence of Superman. Even back then they'd no doubt seen a few dam-bursting stories, but those centred around perfectly mortal heroes, nothing compared to Superman. He was unique among heroes at the time, who consisted of jungle men, cowboys, and private dicks and thus a draw all on his own.

Back in the comic: Editor wants Clark on this story right away, rejecting Lois' offer to cover it because it's too damn important for a girl. Rightfully angered by this, Lois finds Clark before their editor can and asks him to cover a story on a woman giving birth to septuplets. Here we get another glimpse into why Lois has no respect for Clark, as he essentially drools all over her in his eagerness to please.

Clark is suprised to find that there is no woman birthing septuplets at the local hospital, and begins to suspect that Lois is up to something. Returning to the office he is informed of the story he has now missed, the last train has already left see, and summarily fired! Superman however knows a faster way to reach Valleyho (what a fun name to say!), and in all honesty needs to eat something because his legs are wasting away. Not that the blue belt with monstrous headlight buckle is doing him any favours.

For about the 8 millionth time Superman proves that yes, he can outrun a train. I think we get it! But we should also know by now that Superman never races a train without a good reason, even if that reason doesn't present itself until the race is complete. Speeding ahead of the train Superman finds that the bridge it is about to cross is moments from collapsing due to the quickly rising water, so you know he be proppin' that shit UP until the train passes.

Lois, who was on the train, arrives at the station to find the city's populace fleeing for their lives. She hails a taxi and asks to be taken to the dam, but the driver instead gives her the car as he is leaving the city via train. Meanwhile despite Superman's attempts to hold it together the dam collapses, washing Lois' car from the road in a torrent of water.

Seeing a woman in distress, Superman leaps to her aid pulling her unconscious form from the submerged automobile. He is then off like a rocket racing the flood water, Lois' limp body in his arms. Eventually he reaches a rocky outcropping which, using muscles of pure steel, he pushes into the water's path stopping the flood before it can cause any harm to the city below.

Lois kisses Superman, and declares her love for him. As Superman drops her back in Valleyho (isn't that the Slumdog Millionaire song?) she begs him to stay with her always, a request he responds to with a solid "perhaps we'll meet again!" Christ, she's as spineless as Clark!

Returning with the story Clark is, of course, rehired at the Daily Star. Back at the office he confronts Lois with a manly "That wasn't a nice stunt you pulled on me! But I still like you!" Okay I was wrong, no one's as spineless as Clark. In response Lois tells him she doesn't care, and then thinks about how Superman is a "real he-man". Which he is.

If there's one lesson to take from this story it's that the editor was right, a woman couldn't handle the story. That's a pretty awful lesson. Kids, don't read this!

I've only barely scanned the story, but I still feel confident in saying...

NEXT TIME: The best Superman tale yet!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Savin' dem Orphans

Quick refresher: Clark saved an orphan and returned him to his hellish orphanage to act as his "inside man". Clark, Lois and two unwanted tagalong reporters are now investigating the orphanage, attempting to expose it for what it truly is.

Upon the reporters' arrival the orphanage's Superintendent, a man named Lyman, rushes out the back of the building and orders the children to stop their work and begin to play. He also threatens anyone who reveals the shabby treatment with severe punishment.

While Clark disbelievingly listens to Lyman's tale of loving the children as his own, Lois speaks with a little girl with bruises on her arm who immediately tells the reporter that Lyman "never hits" them, she simply fell down the stairs. She also meets with a little boy unable to leave his bed who tells her that he's layed up from playing too hard.

Lois and Clark, ace reporters that they are, suspect they aren't hearing the whole truth. Just then Frankie pulls Clark into an empty hallway and is about to reveal Lyman's deception when the two are interrupted by the arrival of Lyman himself. Unable to find any definitive proof, the reporters all leave, the two outsiders scoffing at the pedestrian subject matter Lois and Clark felt was worth investigating. These two are never seen again, but boy were they important to the story! In case you missed it I will explain exactly how their presense was instrumental to the entire plot, for you see

Back at the office Clark tells the chief of his failure, and is himself told to never act on another hunch. That's gotta be a blow to the old super-esteem!

With the reporters gone Lyman has the children cleaning floors and chopping wood, while he laughs to himself about fooling the reporters. That night Superman reveals his really good timing superpower, as he arrives outside Lyman's window just in time to hear the crook talking to himself about the "secret account book" he is certain the reporters would love to get their hands on.

Meanwhile little Frankie finds himself locked in the attic: a reward for his earlier attempt at betrayal. Being a bit of an idiot, Frankie decides that if he makes a giant racket Lyman will have no choice but to release him!

No stranger to idiocy himself Superman thinks nothing of it when Lyman, still talking to himself, announces that he is going to "fix" the brat in the attic for causing such a disturbance. Instead of rushing to Frankie's aid Superman uses Lyman's absence to read the secret account book. Hey, what's a child casualty when there's a secret book to look at!?

The book lets Superman know that Lyman has purchased food from the Star Groceries company, at an unusually high price! Now it's my turn to be the idiot because I have no idea what this is meant to imply, but Superman feels it is worth investigating and rushes to the aforementioned company's office. Meanwhile Lyman whips the shit out of Frankie for being a nuisance, while back in her home Lois finds herself unable to sleep from worrying about the children. She leaves her house to get to the bottom of things herself.

At the grocery company Superman breaks into their files and discovers that Lyman's book lied about how much he payed for groceries, the actual prices being much less. It is decided that this is all the evidence he needs to put Lyman away for good, so it's back to the orphanage for our hero.

Lois however arrives first, and catching Lyman in the midst of whipping Frankie declares that she will report this story right away. Realizing that his game is up, Lyman overpowers Lois and locks her in the room with Frankie. Grabbing his ill-gotten funds he then sets fire to the orphanage, before fleeing into the night.

Fortunately Superman arrives on the scene and manages to pull him from his car, before applying a Kryptonian Death Grip to the back of the man's neck. Lois and Frankie are quickly pulled from the burning building, while the police drag Lyman away for setting fire to an orphanage.

A Clark Kent penned article is then shown declaring Frankie to be a boy hero, despite having done nothing. Why did Clark even need an inside man for this story? The tactic at no point payed off, and instead demonstrated Superman's shocking callousness towards the safety of children! As usual Superman learned everything he needed by listening to someone else's conversation (in this case with themselves) through a window.

Heck, check out these panels:

Presented exactly as they appeared in the book itself, Lyman in the upper panel torturing kids, Superman in the lower standing around looking all sexy and buff. The parallel here is undeniable, with the implication being that the two men are no different from one another. Perhaps Lyman is better for not hiding his true child hating nature.

Next time: Have you ever seen a dam in a work of fiction that doesn't burst?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Superman Saves the Kids, and Gets the Ladies.

Welcome one and all to Superman #3! This post is going up a day early as I won't have time to write it tomorrow.

The issue begins with a little boy climbing from the window of his orphanage and bidding it adieu. The child has a newsboy hat placed at a jaunty angle atop his blonde head, a bindle slung over his shoulder, and is accompanied by a black and while spotted dog. This should be a quick way of telling the audience "you are going to hate this obnoxious child's precocious manner". Unfortunately this comic isn't much for characterization, so we can't expect too much of anything from this kid. Shucks, I really wanted to hate him too!

The kid walks along some train tracks until he passes out from the heat. Fortunately for him this sparsely populated wasteland is Clark Kent's chosen route for his daily walk to the city's biggest newspaper office. Huh, I guess "Metropolis" was named in an ironic sense, rather than descriptive.

Ladies and gentlemen: Downtown Metropolis.

I wasn't lying about Clark's presence being fortunate, because it just so happens that a train is barreling down the very tracks that this adorable scamp has passed out upon. Clark transforms himself into "the dynamic man of tomorrow. Superman!" and races the train to its deadly destination. Saving the boy at the last second (when else?) Superman leaps to someplace else entirely leaving the train and its passengers to breathlessly discuss his daring rescue.

Talking to the boy Clark Kent learns he passed out due to hunger - he hasn't eaten in days! Having inhaled some "swell feed" at the local diner, imaginatively named "LUNCH", the boy makes to head back on his aimless journey.

At this point I can't help but notice his dog is nowhere to be seen. In fact, I just checked every upcoming panel in this story and it seems it never shows up again. They don't even mention it, it's just gone. The unstated implication here is rather gruesome and I think I'm just going to be depressed throughout the rest of this summary now.

Somehow life goes on, and Clark asks the boy to hang around to he can ask him a few questions. Here we learn that the boy is named Frankie Dennis, that he ain't got a home, and there's no way he's going back to the state orphanage. Frankie tells Clark that the superintendent feeds the children slop, hires them out as cheap labour, and makes them scrub floors for hours on end.

Of course Clark offers his assistance, but on one condition: Frankie returns to the orphanage and acts as Clark's inside man, reporting to him on any of the superintendent's unjust acts. You know what Clark? Sometimes a crafty scheme just isn't necessary! The kid already has reported the unjust acts to you, now it's your turn to do something! But nah, Clark's right. Returning a runaway to an abusive authority figure couldn't possibly be dangerous.

Upon their arrival at the orphanage superintendent Lyman bursts out the front door and immediately grabs Frankie by the collar while shouting non-specific threats. (See? See!?!) Clark, forgetting he's a pussy, grabs the man by his shoulder and tells him to stop. At first Lyman is indignant, but upon learning of Clark's press credentials quickly softens his demeanor and attempts to convince the reporter of his benevolence. Clark leaves, wondering which of the two is a liar: Frankie, or Lyman? Come on, what an idiot! The guy is named Lyman! Like, duh.

Returning to the Daily Star office, Clark asks Lois to join him for lunch and is rather harshly rebuffed.

Lois Lane does not fuck around when it comes to turning losers down.

As you can see in the above image, editor in chief George Taylor calls Clark into his office where he tells Clark to cover the daring rescue of a child from an oncoming train that occurred earlier that day. It's funny, you see, because Clark, are you ready for this? IS Superman! This "joke" shows up in some form or another in every story, surely it will never get old!

Clark tells the chief his suspicions about the orphanage, and suggests he be allowed to cover the story... with Lois' help. Chief agrees, and Clark chortles to himself about how clever he is to have found a way to work with Lois. I'm starting to understand why she hates him so much.

As they hit the street together Lois turns to Clark and says "I'm going with you only because I'm forced to -- and don't you forget it!" Clark smugly responds "What difference does that make? As long as we're -- alone?" And THAT is how you woo a lady.

But it turns out they aren't alone after all! A pair of reporters from a rival paper make the scene and ask our intrepid pair about the story they are currently chasing. Not wanting to lose their scoop, Lois tells them she and Clark are simply out for lunch. The reporters don't buy this at all, but they back off anyway. As Lois & Clark set off toward the orphanage their taxi is tailed by the rival reporters. Noticing this Lois has the cabbie swerve down an alleyway, shaking the tail once and for all.

Or so they believe! Shortly after Clark rings the building's doorbell the other two reporters pull up, gloating obnoxiously about their dirty tricks. Unable to convince the men that the story to be found here is entirely uninteresting Clark and Lois are forced to to work alongside them. Clark continues to ring the doorbell, but is met with no response.

The above image is of Lyman, the evil superintendent. How's he gonna get outta this one!?

And where's Frankie, is he dead? Like his dog?? Probably!

Find out on Monday!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Superman and the Skyscrapers

The final tale of Superman #2 begins with a frame featuring a man falling from the building he was presumably constructing, followed by a piece written by our very own Clark Kent revealing that this was the fifth falling death on site in as many days. Also take note that he appears to have lost his cape and replaced it with a dish towel. That's some wonky perspective.

Superman knows something is amiss, and heads off to the building under cover of night. He isn't there long when his super hearing detects the arrival of the night watchman, who immediately begins to saw through a girder that a coping saw? Jesus Christ, he'll be there all year!

Somehow sawing through almost the entire girder in mere moments with his friggin' coping saw the watchman is stopped in his egress by an imposing figure clad in red and blue. Why, it's Superman! Wordlessly staring the watchman down Superman slowly approaches, and is met by a typically ineffective hail of bullets. Panicking, the watchman backs up onto the very girder he had sabotaged. That's poetic, folks.

If you read the previous story where Superman kills people left and right you would be forgiven for assuming that Superman lets this schlub fall to his death, but this is one of the arbitrarily chosen times when he feels like saving lives. So our hero leaps from the building grabbing the watchman mid-fall and throws him back into the sky, before landing and making the catch. Pretty cool trick, really.

And it's a darn good thing Superman saved this guy, because otherwise he never would have known that a man named Butch Grogan put him up to the murders. Having given Superman enough info to continue the story, the watchman dies of a heart attack. People seem to do that a lot in this comic. Sure it's only been twice, but that's more people than I've given heart attacks to. At this point I can't help but imagine Superman to be similar to Of Mice and Men's Lennie. He loves people, really he does, he just don't know his own strength!

Superman leaps to suburbia and somehow instinctively knowing where Butch Grogan lives, knocks on his door. Some thug answers and tells Superman that Butch isn't home before slamming the door in his face. I really hope Superman gets a little notoriety in the underworld soon so people stop doing shit like that.

I mean really, the results are always the same. Superman breaks the door down, and carries the thug around the house searching for Butch much like he did with the villainous butler in his first adventure, except this time no one is home. The thug won't tell Superman where Butch is, so he...

Tell me about the rabbits, George.

Yeah, tosses him up and down like a baby. That's great. This is great. Not wanting Superman to embarrass himself further with more "interrogation" the thug makes to reveal Butch's whereabouts just as the man himself arrives on the scene.

Butch has a gun, Superman crushes it, thug hits superman with a piece of banister but it bounces off the Skull of Tomorrow and he knocks himself out, Superman grabs Butch and carries him to the building that started this whole mess in the first place.

When they arrive the dead watchman's body is amazingly still there. He died in the middle of the night, and it's broad daylight now! I've seen roadkill get cleaned up faster. Superman indicates the body and tells Butch that he knows he is responsible for the murders since his henchman ratted on him. After some threats Butch reveals that he was hired by Nat Grayson of Akme Construction (ugh) to ensure that Bruce Construction couldn't finish the job, thus putting them out of business. Grayson and Bruce, you say? I think they're on to something with that.

Butch having worn out his usefulness, it's time for him to buy the farm. The only question is how his death will be achieved. Fortunately for the story a police officer approaches the two men and asks what they're doing...causing both of them to flee like naughty school children. Superman: hero for the ages. The officer fires his gun at Superman's fleeing back, before setting off in pursuit of Butch. This is all without him having noticed the dead body the two were standing next to. I guess it's illegal, not to mention punishable by death, to stand around and talk on the sidewalk. Great place, Metropolis.

Butch escapes into a nearby store and uses their phone to warn Grayson that a man with "the strength of 50 elephants" is coming for him. This actually happens every issue, this is like Superman on autopilot. Butch exits the store, and finds the officer waiting for him. Ignoring the order to stay where he is, Butch is shot in the back and killed. Justice!

As Superman rushes toward his home, Nat Grayson is shown gloating about the room of pure steel he had constructed for just such an occasion. He has also lined his entire home with explosives, which he warns Superman he will detonate if he hangs around too long. Well, it certainly pays to be prepared for the possibility that a man with the strength of fifty elephants will someday invade your home. I applaud Nat's foresight.

So the bombs are detonated because Superman ain't no quitter, and Superman is forced to use his preternatural agility to dodge the explosions which we are informed would have lead to certain annihilation. It seems Superman's weakness is explosions. ...Awesome!

The Man of Steel has no trouble breaking into Nat's room, where he immediately forces the man to phone the police and confess to his crimes. A big deal is made about Grayson's desire to be arrested so that he can escape Superman's wrath, the cops all have a laugh about it, and then the next frame shows a paper declaring Grayson has been sentenced to the electric chair.

Oh. Hahaha. Grayson wants to escape Superman! What a riot! And now he's DEAD! My sides!

We then get the typical ending of Clark's editor wondering how he got the story so quickly, while Clark attributes it to "luck (and Superman!)".

What happens next time? Superman pals around with some kid who looks like he came from another strip entirely. It should be great!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Superman Champions Universal Peace Part 2

When last we left our hero he had just finished wasting time pretending bullets hurt him before wasting more time revealing that they actually do not. Stock in seat edges went up about 100 points.

Now back to the story! Having given the villains enough of a head start to make the chase interesting Superman once again sets off. While running through a battlefield Superman notices that a town is under bombardment, endangering the lives of innocent women and children. Fortunately it is but a single long range canon that is responsible for the deadly barrage and Superman quickly dismantles it. Taking its powerful payload into his arms Superman turns the army's own weaponry against them and blows their munitions factory to pieces.

I'll get nit-picky here: It appears as if Superman traveled all of two steps before bombing the factory, which implies that the town being bombarded was in fact right next to the now former-factory. Thus it is not much of a stretch to assume that this army was destroying one of their own villages. That's fucked up.
That accomplished, Superman is next confronted by a dirigible. This sequence is fantastic. I absolutely love the art, which truly captures just how imposing these things were at the time. Of course, it is nothing to the symbolic power of Superman. See for yourself:

Superman just be killin' folk left and right this issue! I hope no one in that factory or dirigible crew had families. Next we flash back to mere moments before Superman's bombing raid where the vile Bartow arrives in the wicked Lubane's office to deliver the terrifying gas formula. The formula is given to some sciencey guy who is ordered to put it into production immediately, and no sooner has the man left than the building is rocked by explosions which we already know the source of.

Despite Bartow's warnings Lubane ain't afraid of no Superman, as he feels his gas is just the thing to bring The Man of Steel to his knees. Good luck, buddy. Bartow takes his money and leaves while we see Superman, say it with me now, listening outside the window. He plans to instill a little fear of Superman into Lubane.

Finally alone Lubane seizes the opportunity to do some villainous cackling about the deadly weapon he as acquired, but his revelry is cut short when Superman bursts through the window to confront him.

At this point Lubane somehow has a sample of the gas. How did that happen? Surely it would take a bit of time for that scientist earlier to round up the ingredients and create the stuff. How long was Superman hanging around outside this guy's window before getting up the courage to burst in, and why didn't he do it before the gas was completed? I guess when you're Superman you intentionally make things more complicated than they have to be or you'd just get bored.

Lubane threatens to release the gas on the both of them, but Superman bravely calls his bluff which causes the bumbling oaf to drop the gas vial shattering it. As Lubane dies he shouts at Superman, demanding to know why he doesn't die. Because he's Superman, geez! Honestly, I think modern Superman might have tried to save this guy instead of watching him succumb to a slow and agonizing death. That's sort of monstrous, really.

Having killed this mean guy, Superman's job is not done yet! He leaps through the roof of the building and toward another containing representatives of the two warring factions in the midst of peace negotiations.

Peace negotiations which are quickly breaking down! Superman arrives just in time to tell the negotiators that he isn't going to let them leave until they reach terms. The arbiter tells Superman to get out, because seriously who the hell is he anyway!? Superman demonstrates that he's got more than one screw loose when he destroys the pillars supporting the ceiling and threatens to bring the whole place down on the men unless they listen to him. Bit of an extreme reaction, but I guess he's pretty wound up after all the murders he's just committed.

And so peace is reached under the watchful eye of Superman! The Boravian people celebrate, while Clark notices that he is about to share a plane home with the loathsome Bartow. Kent sends a telegram to Editor requesting that police meet them at the airport. It's important to note that here we finally learn Editor's name: George Taylor. And with that piece of information at your disposal you shouldn't have any trouble winning any future Superman trivia games.

Clark goes to court and testifies against Bartow and his men in the murder of Runyan, resulting in them all being sentenced to death by electric chair. That's great and all, but what about justice for that monkey!?

After the trial Clark hopes Lois' opinion of him might have improved since his war story scoop, but she brushes it off as mere luck. Editor George Taylor asks Clark about the secret gas formula, which Clark claims to know nothing about. However!!!! he is next shown tearing it in two, so that it can never be used again. The end.

Next time: Superman and the Skyscrapers!

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