Reign of the Supermen #416: The Thing from 40,000 A.D.

Source: Superman vol.1 #87 (1954)
Type: ImpostorIs it the precursor of Proty (our time) or its descendant (DCU time)? Did it inspire the Blob? Or the Body Snatchers? Who knows? The only facts we know are these: Something fell from space near Metropolis AND ALSO near the site of an atom bomb test (way to go, DCU military!) and Clark Kent was sent to report on it as troops moved into the area. Lois was kinda pissed she had to finish the "woman's page" and the thing that fell to Earth? This Shmoo of a thing:
We soon find out that it is a shapeshifter and comes from the year 40,000 A.D. It makes like a tree and leaves, disguised as a soldier.
Superman puts the clues together (for once, he doesn't leap to an unlikely conclusion, it's well worked out - unlike Metropolis' geography), but Clark Kent is called to report on a giant synthetic diamond and can't track the amorphous identity thief who has gone on a crime spree, collecting various materials to build a time machine to get back to its own time. It crosses the line, however, when it takes on Clark's identity to steal the diamond and expose his plans to Superman. Then he BECOMES Superman and a battle royale across the country (or across Metropolis' varied ecosystems) ensues.
The battle ends in the desert, site of the aforementioned atomic test, so put that in your "Where's Metropolis?" pipe and smoke it (side effects of the smoke inhalation may include not worrying about it). It gives Superman a headache, but maxes out the Thing's abilities and it is vaporized. In other words: DON'T IMPERSONATE SUPERMAN!


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I was wondering when we'd see him. I recall owning this, so it must have been reprinted in the 60s. I do recall it being the cover story and I always liked the title.

Matthew Turnage said...

Wayne, you may be thinking of Superman #196 from 1967. It was reprinted there and cover-featured with a new Curt Swan cover.

According to the Grand Comic Database, it was written by Bill Finger. That may account for more logical reasoning in this story than some of the others of the Weisinger era.

Craig Oxbrow said...

Its little googly eyes are adorable.

Doesn't look much like a Space Marine, either.


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