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Action Comics 333
"Superman's Super-Boo-Boos!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND February, 1966

Story: Unknown Art: Al Plastino

On the cover, Superman doesn't know what to make of the college professors, who are startled to see that the man of steel has turned into a purple dragon with a red cape, which appears to be melting the bronze scroll with flames from its eyes! Supes is just doing what they asked him to do -- signing their honor scroll with his heat-vision! (Holy Selegue, Batman! Looks like the eyes have it!)

The man of steel is used to reacting to Lex Luthor's criminal schemes by thwarting his plans! But when Superman does just that -- he finds that his arch-foe is committing good deeds! This is just the start of the amazing battle of wills in history, as the man of steel's heroic feats end up as... "Superman's Super-Boo-Boos!" On the splash page, the man of steel is punching out Luthor's robot into scrap iron, while a police officer tells him that the criminal scientist has been using the automaton to return the stolen loot from his previous robberies! (Holy Rock-Em, Sock-Em Robot, Batman!)

In his lair, Lex Luthor has a rabbit trapped in a maze, the animal is unable to reach the carrots which are on the other side of the maze. When he removes the rabbit from the maze and places it next to the carrots, the animal continues to run in circles, as it had been in the maze for hours! Luthor's plan is to use psychological warfare on Superman to shatter his mentality, and render him a complete blank! Later, Lex uses his monitor screen to tune into planet Lexor and sees his wife, Ardora, who now knows that he is a criminal. The previous month, he began his current campaign to confuse the man of steel by saving his life from a kryptonite trap and an assassination attempt...

Luthor's monitor now tunes into Superman, who is staring at the wanted poster of his arch-foe, wracking his brains in front of a concerned Jimmy Olsen. The following day, scientists at a research institute are inspecting a unique weapon... the super-sword from Krypton -- made from a metal called Kryptium which was hurled into outer space by an atomic blast prior to Krypton's destruction! The scientists are unable to unravel the metal's composition because of its indestructable nature! The man of steel is scheduled to arrive and assist them with the analysis. The tests continue... and the scientists see that the super-sword can slice through steel like it were cheese! It also slices through a diamond -- the hardest known substance -- like a marshmallow! Since Superman comes from Krypton, he, too would be as vulnerable to the sword as an Earthman would be to a steel sword! An enraged intruder enters the lab and grabs the sword! The scientists know that the man of steel is due to arrive... and when he does, he is greeted by Tom Vance, who plans to use the super-sword on him for his brother's imprisonment... and a bottle of nitro will be for blowing up the lab!

Vance wants Superman to beg for his life, while the man of steel eyes the nitro in his hands! Luthor has been watching this on his monitor... and sees another chance to baffle his arch-foe once more! He launches one of his projectiles, whose radar will home in on the lab in seconds! The projectile contains a small sleeping gas charge and knocks out Vance, while Superman catches grabs the falling nitro! When one of the scientists asks where the missile came from, the man of steel sees Luthor's insignia on the gas missile. His life saved for a third time, the man of steel can only wonder what his deadly enemy has in store for him!

Luthor sees that Superman is becoming bewildered by his seemingly benevolent acts, and is confident that he is doomed! The next day finds the man of steel attending the graduation ceremonies at Metropolis Engineering College... he is given an honorary degree of Doctor of Super-Science ... and is asked to use his heat-vision to carve his name in their scroll of honor! Lurking in the wings, Luthor uses his iconoscope to project a 3-D monster image which will cling to the man of steel like a second skin! The polarized magnetic aura field is activated, and the professors see Superman transformed into a red caped purple dinosaur with a green tongue, whose eyes are spouting jets of flame! (Holy Barney, Batman!) The learned men flee in terror from the scene!

The man of steel is unaware of his transformation, while the people on campus see the flying super-monster in their midst! Only cub reporter Jimmy Olsen refuses to panic, and figures that a temporary red Kryptonite effect has caused the transformation, as he snaps some pictures for the Planet, while Superman leaves! As he heads for the horizon, Luthor shuts off the iconoscope, causing the projected monster image to dissolve! He knows that the man of steel will have a hard time trying to figure out what happened.

In Clark Kent's apartment, Superman is relieved when he looks into a mirror, and sees that he's normal. He figures that some sort of mass hypnosis must have taken place! When the mild-mannered reporter arrives at the Daily Planet, Jimmy shows him pictures of the man of steel's bizarre transformation!

Perry White sees that Clark looks kind of shaky! He tells the hard-working reporter to take the rest of the week off. Clark wonders if it was a Red K effect, but he would have felt the customary tingling, and decides that he could use a vacation. Superman soars into space... and heads for a faraway planet where he can relax for a few days! On a distant planet, he rests on some cloud plants and listens to the soothing melodies of the wind blowing through the harmono-rocks, which relaxes his nerves. Luthor sees on his monitor that the man of steel has returned to Metropolis, and has a welcome prepared! During his first patrol, Superman spots a giant robot with Luthor's insignia... his x-ray vision is unable to penetrate the metal ball it's carrying. He figures that it must be a bomb, shielded by lead, and designed to blow open the bank vault! (Holy Vault of Horror, Batman!)

The robot tells him not to attack, for nothing must interfere with his mission, and in striking Superman, the robot's hand has received a rough manicure. A voice yells for the man of steel to stop, but he has already dismantled the robot with one punch. The police officer tells Superman that the metal ball is a portable vault containing the loot from a bank robbery. While he was away in space, Luthor has been returning the loot he has stolen from all his bank robberies... using the robot to bring the stolen money! Now that the robot is destroyed, that will be the last of the money they'll ever receive! Superman is stunned by Luthor's seeming reform, and when he becomes Clark Kent, the mild-mannered reporter hears how the rival paper embarrasses the Daily Planet over Superman's goof!

He heads for a remote mountain top, where Luthor locates him... and contacts him by Lex-O-Phone! (Holy 1-800-Luthor, Batman!) He asks to be heard and Superman agrees... He tells the man of steel how his monitor has located a runaway train on the Southwest Railroad! Its sealed cars are carrying radioactive atomic wastes. If the train is wrecked, the surrounding area will be contaminated... and millions will die! He suggests that Superman fly the train to Venus, where the radioactive cargo won't harm anyone, and he'll be the world's greatest hero once again! Thanking Luthor, the man of steel is unaware that he is flying into another Luthor trap! Superman tows the train into outer space, and his x-ray vision is unable to penetrate the cars! He believes that they are coated with lead to keep the radioactivity inside! When he dumps the cars on Venus, Earth will hail him as a hero!

Astronomers are in disbelief when their telescopes show a train heading for Venus! He leaves the train on Venus and heads back to the Daily Planet to give the exclusive story! As the man of steel leaves, the people who were heading for the International Police Convention emerge from the cars... finding themselves on the strange planet! The French, Canadian, Indian, and English policemen ask their American counterpart if Superman was responsible for their unexpected trip! At the Daily Planet, Jimmy shows the man of steel the Daily Standard's headline about Superman stealing 1,000 cops! He is told by the cub reporter that the top police from many nations were on their way to a convention, and the cars were sealed to keep them safe from criminal attack! Once he has returned the train from Venus, the man of steel has become a laughing-stock, and circus-goers take a gander at the funniest clown of them all... Superman! (Holy Last Train To Clarksville, Batman!)

Changing back to Clark Kent, the mild-mannered reporter is asked by a small boy to sign a petition to get Superman out of town! So confused is he, that Clark doesn't immediately realize that he just signed a petition for his own exile! He figures that what is being said about him is true... he's cracking up! (Holy Gray Davis, Batman!)

Days pass, and Superman appears on a national TV hook up... the announcer tells his viewers how the station has been swamped with calls, letters, and petitions demanding that the man of steel leave Metropolis, but he thinks that it's unfair to turn against their hero when he, himself, is in trouble! (Holy Jemas, Batman!) The world's greatest hero's record is called into play, but the man of steel asks that no pleas be made on his behalf. He asks for one more chance to prove himself! He promises that if he can't prevent the next major crime or disaster in Metropolis, he'll hang up his cape and retire! (Holy AARP, Batman! That would be the Great S-Cape!) The announcer speaks on behalf of the citizens of Metropolis in wishing him luck! Luthor has other plans, however... He sees that his arch-foe is living on borrowed time, and that he is just the one to push him over the edge! The following day, Metropolis TV spotlights the bizarre change in the weather, as the temperature has fallen, and a blizzard has hit Metropolis! A special newscast from the upstate area is about to begin...

An unknown force has frozen the lakes and resevoirs into solid ice glaciers which no dam can hold! The rivers of ice are heading for Metropolis, and a call has been sent for Superman! Luthor's dyno-frost ray has altered the climate for hundreds of square miles! The new Ice Age and the advancing glaciers will cause the city to panic, and the gang will be able to loot to their heart's content! The man of steel has arrived, but Luthor tells his men to keep... Ha, Ha!... cool! The weeks of psychological warfare will pay off, and he predicts that Superman won't be able to lift a finger against them! As he swoops down, the man of steel begins to use his heat-vision to melt the glaciers and redeem himself with the public. (Holy Public Eye, Batman!) Seconds pass, and he realizes that if the ice is melted, the water will pour through the broken dams and flood Metropolis! He plans to hurl the glaciers into outer space...

Superman sees Luthor with a strange device! He wonders if his arch-foe caused the glaciers to form or if he's there to help him? He saved his life, but lied about the train! He has been both friend and foe! If the glaciers are carried away, perhaps a booby-trap will be set off, and backfire on Metropolis! He begins to wonder if the glaciers are an illusion, and if he reacts to it, he will be perceived as a menace, and people will think he's lost it for good! Superman loses his nerve as he wonders what action to take, and Luthor laughs as he and his men watch him fly in circles... in no condition to stop him and his gang!

On the cover by Curt Swan, Superman becomes a purple dragon. I recall an Adventure Comics cover where Superboy's costume is in the jaws of a purple dinosaur with Kryptonite teeth.

The story title would make you think that the man of steel is teaming up with Yogi Bear against an army of Boo-Boos. Holy Hanna-Barbera, Batman! Let's hope that Supes is smarter than the average bear, shall we?

Planet Lexor is where Luthor is considered a hero and Superman is a villain. Ardora is the wife of Luthor.

I don't know what happened to the super-sword, and assume that Superman took it away to the Fortress of Solitude for safe-keeping.

College graduations can be an nervous experience, but I don't think there's been any quite like this one.

Luthor's brand of mischief has Superman seeing his insignia on everything from missiles to robots to Lex-O-Phones. It's the original designer's label.

The Lex-O-Phone is an orange rocket with green fins, and gives new meaning to the terms, "Reach out and touch someone," and "Long-distance call."

A Strange Adventures cover has a futuristic outlaw gang commiting a "Great Space-Train Robbery."

This Review is dedicated to Bob Buethe and Professor Jack Selegue

Steve Chung
"Superman's Super-Review-Boo-Boos"