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Superman 183
"The Eye of Metropolis!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND (80 Page Giant #18) January, 1966

Story: Unknown Art: Wayne Boring

Superman's secret identity is a closely guarded secret! No eye has ever seen the truth -- that Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent is really the man of steel! But now an eye has focused upon Clark -- an eye which seeks to reveal his heroic secret to the entire world! What will happen when the mild-mannered reporter seeks to evade its unwavering gaze, you'll have to read in the suspenseful review of... "The Eye of Metropolis!" On the splash page, the host of the "Eye of Metropolis" TV show is showing Clark a news photo where an escaped convict is firing his gun directly at the mild-mannered reporter! At this range he cannot have missed -- and since he is unhurt, could it be because he, Clark Kent, is really Superman? The Daily Planet reporter wonders how he's going to answer this question!

In Perry White's office, Clark listens as the editor tells him that since he's been voted "Reporter Of The Year" he's become a celebrity -- and Perry has a special assignment for him... Clark is to be a guest on the "Eye of Metropolis" program, and the mild-mannered reporter knows that John Bates' TV show interviews famous personalities. Since the publicity will be good for the paper, Perry thinks this is a good thing, but Clark knows that although Bates is an honest inteviewer, he'll ask tricky questions -- and he may ask one which could reveal his Superman identity! The following evening, Perry and Lois Lane are watching the program... John Bates announces that the Eye of Metropolis will focus its gaze on Clark Kent... In order to make certain that the questions won't endanger his secret identity, Clark plans to check the notebook with his x-ray vision... Great Scott! His x-ray vision can't pass through the covers, which are lined with lead! This means that Bates lined the notes with lead because he suspects that Clark is Superman and intends to ask him questions which will reveal his secret identity!

The first question involves Clark's trip to Mexico last month, where he covered the story of a volcano which suddenly became active... Watching from a safe distance, his guide saw the mild-mannered reporter standing on the rim, taking notes -- when the rim crumbled... and Clark fell in! Seconds later, the volcano began to erupt -- and the guide saw the flying form of Superman... who has seemingly arrived too late to save poor Clark! The guide watched as the man of steel snapped off the top of a nearby mountain... ramming it into the volcano -- corking it! Superman left -- and Clark later appeared -- alive! An ordinary mortal would have died in the molten lava -- but Clark didn't! John Bates then asks if this is because he's Superman?!?

Lois is furious that John Bates suspects that Clark is Superman! Perry tells her not to worry since Bates is way off base -- and he doesn't blame her for being angry! She's angry -- angry that for years, she's suspected Clark of being Superman -- and now it's Bates who will prove it instead of her! At the MTV studio, Bates awaits Clark's answer... The Daily Reporter tells him that it could have been that the guide saw Superman after he saved Clark... it could have occurred when the man of steel's telescopic vision saw his predicament from a distance... If this was so, then Superman would have been moving at super-speed... too fast for the guide to see him.. Bates accepts this explanation, but if Superman was moving at such speed, both of them would have fallen into molten lava... and why wasn't Clark singed?

Clark tells him to suppose that Superman created a whirlpool -- so that both of them were untouched by the lava... then the man of steel could have bored up beyond the volcano -- dropped him off -- then headed back to cork the volcano! Bates accepts this, but wants an explanation to his next question -- not a theory! (Holy Selegue, Batman!)

Perry smiles since he thinks that both Lois and Bates are off base about Clark being Superman. But Lois isn't convinced, and neither is Bates. As they continue to watch, Bates shows Clark a gun he borrowed from the police department, and asks if he recognizes it. He then shows the Daily Planet reporter the photo of an escaped convict firing the gun at him when Clark was covering the story of his arrest at a movie lot... John Bates then shows a photo of the man of steel demonstrating his invulnerability as police fire their guns at him at a firing range. Since the convict couldn't have missed him -- isn't it likely that both he and Superman are invulnerable to bullets -- and that he, Clark Kent, must be Superman?

Before Clark can answer Bates' question, the program takes time out for a word from their sponsor... The mild-mannered reporter is relieved for the time it will give him to think. As Bates gives the commercial... Clark tells the floor director that he's going to stretch his legs for a moment... and that he'll be back in time when the commercial ends in two minutes. When the program continues, Clark is handling the gun and asks Bates if it is exactly in the condition it was when the police gave it to Bates... and if it hasn't been tampered with? The host assures the Daily Planet reporter that the gun has its original cartridges in the chamber when it was placed in the police safe after the convict's capture! In that case, Clark knows that there's only one way to prove whether he's invulnerable or not! BLAM! Bates and the studio crew are stunned when they see that Clark is uninjured, and horror turns to triumph... since only Superman would have fired the gun at himself and not be scatched! With Bates convinced that his case has been proven, the mild-mannered reporter asks the host to examine the cartridges! Bates is startled to see that the gun is loaded with... blanks!

He then realizes that since the convict was captured at the movie lot with a stolen gun, Clark must have known that the gun must have been loaded with blanks! This is what Clark hoped Bates would think... what the host doesn't know is that during the commercial, Superman flew to the studio's prop room... and found some blank cartridges! Racing back, Clark substituted the bullets at super-speed. Even though, the Daily Planet reporter has blocked Bates' attempts to unmask him, the host has another photo up his sleeve! He shows Clark a photograph of Rock Island Prison (Holy Lonnie Donnegan, Batman!) -- and asks him to remember the prison break which happened there... Metropolis reporters were gathered there to cover the story...including Clark Kent! As was later learned, the man of steel was trying to free a visitor who was being held hostage by the convicts. Superman couldn't melt their guns with his heat-vision since the heat would cause the gas mains they are standing against to explode!

The man of steel then tore some steel prison bars... and wound them around his body... then flying up into the storm, and letting the lightning bolts strike at him again and again! When the man of steel charged the convicts -- their guns were sent flying out of their hands at him! Superman knew that the lightning charged the coils with electricity and turned him into a human electro-magnet! Once the convicts were captured, the reporters went to phone in their stories, but the warden told them that the phone lines were dead because of the hurricane. This prevented the reporters from getting across the bay to file their stories, but the man of steel came up with a solution... carrying them all in a boat past the prison beacon! When the reporters arrived on the mainland... they hear that the Daily Planet has scooped them all on the story!

Bates believes that once the convicts were turned over, Superman flew to Clark's office and typed the story, then returned to the prison... which is why Clark Kent was not seen -- since he is Superman! Watching the program, the Daily Planet editor begins to laugh... and Lois wonders what the joke is! Perry tells her that she'll find out when Clark answers Bates! She's about to learn a secret which he and Clark had kept for a long time! The mild-mannered reporter tells Bates that he can check with Perry White, who was visited by Superman, who told him that he would foil the jailbreak. After he left, Perry called Clark to his office, where the editor tells him that two headlines will be prepared to roll tomorrow... "Convicts Escape" and "Superman Stops Jailbreak!" Clark knows that this will enable them to have a jump on their rival papers. From his window, Perry can see the prison beacon. He tells Clark that when Superman arrives, the Daily Planet reporter is to disappear and use the beacon as a signal. If the man of steel stops the prison break, Clark will block the light, and this will be the signal to put the right headline on the paper! (Holy Dewey Beats Truman, Batman!) Bates understands, but then asks how Clark was able to enter the beacon tower when only the warden has a key. The mild-mannered reporter tells him that this is a trade secret that he can't reveal since he may have to use the trick again for a future story!

Clark has not lied to Bates, for everything has happened as he said... with the exception of one detail... It was when Superman carried the reporters in a launch, that he blocked out the beacon light, and gave Perry the signal. When he asks if Bates has any other questions, the host asks Clark if he'd agree to answer while strapped to a lie detector. Watching the program, Perry knows that no one can beat the lie detector, and Lois wonders why she never thought of trying that! Knowing that if he refuses, people will suspect he's Superman, and if he agrees, he'll risk exposing his secret identity... there's only only thing he can do... Clark agrees to take the test! Bates introduces him to Professor Vidal, an expert with a lie detector! Vidal tells them that just as a seismograph records the Earth's disturbances -- the lie detector will record a person's reactions of blood pressure and perspiration to vital questions!

Clark braces himself for the questions which may reveal his identity forever! He truthfully answers that he is a Daily Planet reporter... that his editor's name is Perry White... and both Lois and Perry see that the needle is moving in a straight line, but the Daily Planet editor knows that Bates is leading up to the surprise question! Bates then asks if Clark has super-powers! (Holy Mattel, Batman!) The mild-mannered reporter replies... No -- I do not have super-powers! Professor Vidal sees that the needle did not jump and sees that Clark was telling the truth. Only the Daily Planet reporter knows that it was the truth for exactly one minute! He was prepared for the question, and the moment it came, he flipped open the face of his "wrist-watch" (Holy Chester Gould, Batman!) -- which was actually a lead-lined container... and held a tiny piece of Kryptonite -- the one substance which he is vulnerable to... While exposed to Kryptonite, Clark is robbed of his super-powers -- so that he could truthfully answer that he does not have super-powers!

Bates knows that if Clark were Superman, he could have held the needle steady with his super-breath or use his heat-vision somehow -- so he'll ask the questions again -- after having made certain preparations! The mild-mannered reporter is now wearing a lead-lined blindfold, which will foil his x-ray vision, and a steel gag which will block his super-breath! The host tells him that when the question is asked, for him to shake his head yes or no! While Clark wonders how he'll foil the needle from jumping, people across the nation are also watching the machine, whose needle may write the end to the man of steel's secret identity! Bates watches Clark's hands shake and tells him not to be nervous... He then tells him to shake his head yes or no! "Clark Kent, are you Superman?" The Daily Planet reporter shakes his head, saying no! Bates knows if he's lying, the needle will jump! Professor Vidal shows them that the needle did not jump! Even so, it is Bates who jumps at this discovery!

The host admits that he was wrong about Clark being Superman -- but he was right in the fact that he was a good sport! He thanks the reporter for appearing on "The Eye of Metropolis!" Perry wonders what Lois thought of tonight's program, and she walks away in a huff! On a rooftop, as he changes to Superman, Clark knows that John Bates will never know that his hands were shaking, not because he was nervous... he was shaking his hands so that he could whip a super-cold breeze at the lie detector... The intense cold froze the machine's oiled parts temporarily so that the needle can't move much! John Bates has actually done him a big favor! Now, millions of TV viewers believe that Clark Kent is not Superman -- so his secret identity will not be questioned for a long, long time...

MTV has a much different format than the one depicted in this story.

In an episode of the Filmation Superman cartoon, Superman arrives in Central America to stop an active volcano, but in doing so, he must deal with some bizarre lava monsters. The story was by Bill Finger.

In his screen test for Superman The Movie, Clark's secret identity is revealed when Lois (Holly Palance) shoots him, then learns that the gun was filled with blanks!

"Rock Island Line" was a hit for Lonnie Donnegan.

On an episode of Lois and Clark, Clark Kent (Dean Cain) foils a lie detector test by using his flying ability to cause the chair he's sitting on to float for a moment, causing the needle's reading to go askew.

This Review Is Dedicated To Bob Buethe and BradW8

Steve Chung
"The Eye of Review!"