Reign of the Supermen #112: Lion of Steel

Source: Action Comics #243 (1958)
Type: TransformationCat of the Geek hits #100 today, so in celebration, let's look at a super-cat! (Sorry, Streaky's already had his day.) I don't know that it's becoming a Wednesday tradition, but it happens to be a Silver Age classic.

So it all starts when Superman spots an earthquake in Greece making the Temple of Circe fall apart. He saves a young woman named Circe, who is the direct descendant of the fabled sorceress from the Odyssey who turned men into animals. Also named Circe, she tells Superman her ancestor came from outer space and that her magic was actually an evolution serum. She doses Superman's drink with it and tries to get him to marry her.
It's a Silver Age shotgun wedding ultimatum! Superman must return to Circe at before the next dawn and marry her for the antidote, or else he will become the animal that is closest to his nature. Believing himself immune to such potions, Superman doesn't return, and so the next morning, is turned into a lion! When he didn't show, the jilted Circe took off in her spaceship, out of reach and heartbroken. As for Superman, tuning into a large feline makes him SUPER-EMO! From then on, he's entirely motivated by self-loathing and self-pity, digging tunnels under Metropolis so that nobody catches sight of him.
He's especially afraid of what Lois will think. And he may be right...
Lois Lane... not the eagle-eyed reporter we've come to know in the post-Crisis era! But she is kind-hearted and tells him looks don't matter to her (which makes her a lot less shallow than Superman himself). She even takes him out in public to see a play, though she's embarrassed to realize it's Beauty and the Beast. Superman really wallows in it. "I know she's doing it out of pity for me!" She kisses him to get his spirits up, but of course, this isn't a fairy tale. After the play, Superman is off to the zoo to entertain kids with his new found freak-on.
Then he stands in for a sick lion in a Superman costume at a circus, and then saves a movie crew from a pride of real lions, becoming its new alpha male.
I mean, really, it's a good thing the day was filled with lion-related problems. In the end, though he can't find Circe, he does discover traces of kryptonite in what he ingested, explaining why it worked on him. He deduces that the original Circe thus came from Krypton, and finds the cure in a Kandorian library book. He steals another kiss from Lois Lane, this time with human(oid) lips... The end!


Michael Hoskin said...

Circe was yet another survivor of Krypton?

I love the "uh..."s which keep turning up in Superman's speech. It's as though he was an actor embarrassed to read his lines.

MOCK! said...

My son has the Superman action figure with all of the interchangeable heads and hands, including that lion!

Siskoid said...

Your son, riiiiiight...


That's a really cool figure!


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