Reign of the Supermen #524: Android-I

Source: Superman vol.1 #174 (1965)
Type: Robot
One of these men isn't real! But which one? Yes, it's another Superman robot story gone wrong, albeit a "fleshy" new kind of Superman robot. Our story begins with a chap called Adam Newman (clues!) showing up at Clark Kent's office and revealing that he's Superman.
No, Clark doesn't notice how much the guy looks like him. Newman has all of Superman's powers and Clark realizes he doesn't. Even the costume is gone.
Can't be Red K, because he didn't feel woozy all morning! When he gets home after work, he can't find the secret door in his apartment and can't get to the robot Supermen that should supposedly be behind it. Supergirl's in space, but maybe Batman can corroborate his story and tell him he's not hallucinating. No bat-cigar.
When he publicly confronts "Superman" in front of Lana Lang, the Man of Steel has no trouble remembering details from their childhood, while Clark, having lost super-recall, does! So HAVE  the last 30 years been a delusion? Maybe psychology can help.
It doesn't. And soon, he's seeing Superman flying around with Krypto, and the dog would sniff out any impostor, right? So the Silver Age twist in this story SHOULD be that Clark Kent is actually the robot, and Superman is trolling him for some convoluted reason, right? Wrong. Because Krypto is himself a robot, and it's this Superman who's up to no good. Well, up to SOME good, because impostor or not, he's still programmed for good deeds, and in trying to fix a nuclear power station, he is irreparably damaged and flies to Clark's side to confess, apologize and ask the real Superman to deal with the situation before Metropolis blows up. Turns out, he's really Android-I, a new robot model created chemically.
Rejected because of his "weak nerves" all too vulnerable to electricity, he seemed to be destroyed by a live wire incident. Superman abandoned the project and never noticed his creation had survived. He swore revenge! (Oh, daddy issues.) He stole a costume, practiced his powers and learned everything he could about Superman's life (it's all on tape, apparently). But how to turn Superman into simple old Clark Kent? That's where it gets... improbable.
The invisible costume on a timer that also can't be felt on the skin... the radio projecting a distant red sun's energy up Clark's body... the robots accepting orders from another robot... a brown dresser by a green wall inside the Batcave... I find it all a little hard to believe. But it happened! In the end, Android-I repents and Superman does what he'd do for any of us if we said we felt forgotten and abandoned:
Create a memorial in our honor as our lives ebbed away so we would never feel in death like we did in life. I mean, for what it's worth.


abc said...

I've been coming to this site for years, and had either forgotten or just discovered that you put funny floaty captions on all your pictures. Awesome.
I really needed this -- Friday afternoon at work, and it's too late to start anything new, but too early to just leave. :)

Siskoid said...

It's LITERALLY the second level.

Glad I could help! Wish I'd had a similar end to my day. But then, I've got to go in tomorrow, so it's not even the weekend yet.


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