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Superman 197
"Clark Kent Meets Al Capone!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND (80 Page Giant #36) June - July, 1967

Story: Unknown Art: Wayne Boring

In the case files of crime, there is an unsolved mystery dating back to the Roaring '20s before federal men were finally able to smash the greatest syndicate of that era! Who was responsible for defying the most powerful gang? What was the secret which enabled him to stand against the most ruthless killers in the mob? Guesses can be made, but not all of the incredible results which occur when, "Clark Kent Meets Al Capone!" On the splash page, the mild-mannered reporter finds himself back in the 1920's before the man of steel came to Earth! He doesn't dare change into his costume, because there is no record of Superman battling Al Capone's gang! The mobster is amazed that bullets... knives... nothing can rub out this mystery man, who must be a federal agent! One day at the Daily Planet, Perry White is showing Clark a scientific report... an archeologist has found a fossil footprint of a new species of dinosaur and claims that he may be bigger than Titano, The Super-Ape! It would be a great headline for the paper but... The gruff editor wonders if it could be true, and he recalls how Superman sent Titano through the time barrier into prehistory, and the man of steel is the only one who can verify it for them! The mild-mannered reporter takes his leave, but is sure that something could be worked out.

Out of sight and in a nearby alley, Clark changes to Superman, and plans to take a trip to the past! Even as he passes through the time barrier, he knows that he must avoid Titano's Kryptonite-Vision! Shortly, the man of steel arrives at his goal, and soon finds an imprint left by the Super-Ape in the soft soil. He commits the measurements to his super-memory for Perry, then the editor will know who's bigger -- Titano or Gargantosaur! The next moment finds Superman pacing the width of the footprint, when a huge shadow falls over him, and Titano is coming his way! Already, the man of steel begins to travel into the future, but he is brushed by Titano's Kryptonite-Vision before he could gain enough speed to pass through the time barrier! Due to the exposure to the Kryptonite radiations, Superman's return trip to 1960 has been postponed... and he begins to slow down... He is now off course, and sees not Metropolis, but the city of Chicago during the Great Fire of 1871!

Superman struggles to travel back to the future... and according to a sign below, he is passing by the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893! Unfortunately, the weakness takes its toll, and the man of steel must land in Chicago, where it's only a few years after 1900. He plans to change to Clark Kent and stay until the effects of the Kryptonite-Rays have worn off. Soon, Clark exits from an alley, and sees that the time period is after World War I, near the 1920's! He notes how things appear old-fashioned in comparison to 1960! Checking out a newstand, he sees that this is the year when Al Capone was in power, and ran all of the rackets! Clark knows that Capone will be arrested by federal agents, but in the meantime, he is scoffing at the law! His next stop is at a shoeshine stand... where the shoeshine boy is impressed that his latest customer is Cyrus Martin, the publisher of the Chicago Journal! The young boy wishes to become a cub reporter and wants a chance on the newspaper! The publisher promises to hire the boy if he can bring in a scoop!

The boy is eager and vows to do so! Clark finds something familiar in the shoeshine boy's voice... Great Scott! It's Perry White when he was a young man and hadn't started his newspaper career! The mild-mannered reporter removes his glasses and... smears some shoe polish across his cheek to change his appearance! The Perry of 1960 will not remember meeting an adult Clark Kent when he was younger, othewise he'll figure out that it's Superman travelling through time! The disguise fools Perry, but it also fools a small-time hood... who greets him as "Touch"! The scar is a trademark of "Touch" Vincent, and the small-timer named "Silky" Hale figures taht he must have gotten out of prison! Hale tells "Touch" that Mr. Big wants him to join their mob if he's good enough! Clark thinks about it, and decides to help Perry get his cub reporter job with the crime scoop! He intends to play along as "Touch" Vincent! On a roof, Hale asks if he's impressed with the penthouse, and Clark recalls how gangland chiefs used to live in luxury with their ill-gotten profits from the rackets! Soon, Clark meets Mr. Big! He sees that it's Al Capone, the greatest public enemy in crime history! Hale presents him as "Touch" Vincent, who can open a safe as easily as you could open a sardine can! He's a better safe-cracker than Jimmy Valentine!

Capone points to a safe which was taken from a guy who owed them protection money! The money's inside, but it was rigged to blow if it was forced open! "Touch" is to open it! Using his super-hearing, Clark is able to listen for the clicks of the combination! To the onlookers, they will think that "Touch" Vincent's sensitive fingers did the job! Capone is impressed, but "Touch" is to pass another test! A rival gang has grabbed one of his beer trucks, and "Touch" is to hijack it back! The truck is being driven along Highway 17-A to their hideout! Clark plans to save some time by changing to Superman! In the air, a pilot flying his plane wonders if he is really seeing a.. a... flying man, but hopes that it's just an illusion! The man of steel wonders why the pilot isn't amazed at seeing him, especially since everyone knows about Superman! He remembers that this is the time before he came to Earth as Superbaby, or was growing up in Smallville as Superboy! He is a complete unknown in this decade!

Outside of town, Superman shoves the hi-jacked truck off the highway, while the two crooks who are driving can jump to safety, and not know that he's behind it... To them, the truck went out of control, and will sink into the swamp... forever! Once they've left, the man of steel flys it away, but to prevent Capone from profiting from the illegal cargo, he uses his heat-vision through the barrels! The heat will chemically ferment the beer... into vinegar! (Holy Selegue, Batman!) Back in the city, "Touch" Vincent is being congratulated by the mob, who discover that the beer went sour! Capone claps "Touch" on the back for a job well done, but he still has one more test to pass so that he can join the gang! Capone shows him a picture of a cop, and tells him that they will watch while he shoots him down! Fortunately, Clark has an idea! When "Touch" finds the officer, he has to make it look good to the mobsters watching him from a green car! He fires -- but also uses his heat-vision, to... melt the steel-jacketed bullets before they can reach the policeman!

At the same moment, his suction-breath will cause a vacuum around the policeman so that he can't breathe! It will look to Capone that the shots got him! The cop has only blacked out from lack of air, but will recover after they've left! Capone congratulates "Touch" for a job well done, and drives them back to the penthouse to celebrate! But, at the penthouse, the radio, which is tuned to the police reports... announces that "Touch" Vincent's parole was denied today, and he will remain imprisoned for another five years! Capone realizes that Clark is an...an imposter! Figuring that he's a federal agent who's trying to get the goods on him, Capone grabs for what's inside the violin case! The deadly sub-machine gun begins its chatters... and Clark zig-zags at super-speed so that the bullets won't bounce off him, and hit them! By moving faster than the eye can follow, the bullets will pass harmlessly through the wall! While Capone stops firing... they see that Clark has remained untouched, and Capone figures that he was just... uh... lucky! He orders his men to use their knives! The next moment finds... their knives getting crumpled up, and the Fed isn't even scratched! Clark smiles, as he sees that the mobsters are baffled by his invulnerability! In old-time Chicago, they don't know about the man of steel!

In desperation, Capone fires at the high-voltage power-line, which runs across the roof! One end falls down the skylight, and gets Clark! The live wires are as nothing to the man of steel... and Capone can't believe it! More electricity is passing through the Fed than would be received in ten electric chairs... and he just grins! (Holy Green Mile, Batman!) Clark decides to let history take care of Al Capone! The treasury agents will later arrest him for income tax evasion! The stunned mobsters watch as Clark leaves... Capone wipes his sweaty brow and wonders if the Fed is wearing some sort of new bulletproof vest?! Whatever it may be... the Fed is...uh... Untouchable! The mild-mannered reporter realizes that he will go down in crime history as an unsolved mystery! Once he has changed back to his Superman costume... he leaves the scoop at Perry's shoe-shine stand! (Holy Underdog, Batman!) The young boy will be able to win his cub reporter job at the Chicago Journal with it, and the man of steel travels back across the time-barrier to 1960! Back at the Daily Planet, Clark is once more his mild-mannered self in appearance... and listens as Perry tells him how he owes many of his scoops to Superman, such as the one involving Titano! When he was a shoeshine boy in Chicago, he's often wondered who it was that... gave him his first scoop, before he first came to work for the Daily Planet! While Perry reads the framed newspaper headline about the "Untouchable Stranger Foils Capone Mob!" Clark smiles and winks at the reader... telling the editor that the man of steel can't take the credit for that one, and wonders who...er... was that first "Untouchable?"

We see on the splash page that Clark's wardrobe isn't as invulnerable to bullets as he is.

On an episode of "Lois and Clark," the Daily Planeteers met Al Capone, Bonnie And Clyde, and other hoods.

In the Silver Age, Clark Kent and Lana Lang met Bonnie and Clyde, back when they were teens living in Smallville.

The Gargantosaur has a long neck, and in Spanish, "Garganta" means throat.

When travelling through time, the man of steel appears to be flying through golden rings to illustrate the journey, as rendered by Wayne Boring.

In the 1920's, Clark doesn't stand out, with his white hat, blue suit, and red tie.

When Perry White was a boy, he had blue hair!

Al Capone is proud owner of a purple suit, throughout this story.

Only mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent could survive a "Night of The Long Knives" in Chicago or at the Daily Planet, for that matter.

It's Capone and his men who are in for a shock when the live wires do no more than tickle Clark!

In the episode, "A Piece of The Action" of Star Trek, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to a planet which has patterned itself after a book about Chicago in the 1920's. As representatives of the Federation, it's up to them to put order to a society which has based itself on the mob. The "Feds" must deal with Bela Oxmyx (the late actor Anthony Caruso, who passed away almost a month ago) and JoJo Krako (the late actor Victor Tayback). Among the delights of this episode is learning that Captain Kirk is unable to to drive a car, and that when Scotty attempts to use the lingo, he threatens to place Krako in some "concrete galoshes!"

The Untouchable Federal Agent goes down as an unsolved mystery in this story, but on television, it was Robert Stack who portrayed Elliot Ness on the series narrated by Walter Winchell... "The Untouchables."

Mr. Stack would also serve as the host to the NBC series, "Unsolved Mysteries," which would later find a new home on the Lifetime Channel.

In the movie, "Airplane," he got to show his humorous side by acting as seriously as he did on "The Untouchables."

"The Untouchables" was one of the shows my parents would watch late at night in syndication on Channel 2 in the bay area. Before I was of school age, I would spend many a night checking out this black-and-white program. It is among my memories of sharing some quality time as a family, and is priceless beyond price.

This Review Is Respectfully Dedicated To The Memory Of Robert Stack

Steve Chung
"Clark Kent Meets Al Review!"