Reign of the Supermen #269: Super-Genie

Source: Superman vol.1 #157 (1962)
Type: HoaxReady for another Silver Age super-hoax? I don't think you are...

It all begins with a normal day in Metropolis, as Superman returns from space "just in time". He should have checked his scheduler - he had a hoax ready to start
That plans carries a Professor Von Schultz who has made an incredible archaeological find: Aladdin's magic lamp! When he demonstrates for journalists, Superman is on hand to "become" the genie, switching to an "indestructible" costume (never ties into the plot, Superman is just super proud of his mad sewing skills) and using heat vision to start smoke, if not fire.
The Professor sends the genie on a test mission, getting a fallen satellite from the murky depths of the sea. Well, that's nothing Superman can't normally do, so he gets back in costume, visits Lori Lemaris, and gets his hands on the fallen thingamabob.
Me? I love that shark in the corner about to eat a fish. The next demonstration is to occur in fron of the television cameras and should be a little less "Superman-compatible". We're at the Army Proving Grounds, and a random soldier asks the genie to make a tank fly around (nobody's going to ask for riches or women, are they?). And it happens! How is Superman doing this? Easy peasy: He uses super ventriloquism to instruct Krypto to get into a tank at superspeed and use his strength and flight to anti-grav the thing.
So why is he also sitting at the controls? He's a dog, what do you want from me? I'm a cat person! Ask me why Streaky is doing something and I'll have an answer! Anyway, after the demonstration, the Professor announces he'll give the lamp to the U.S. government so they can use the genie to demilitarize America's enemies. Turns out there's an international spy watching all this on tv (and taking pictures of the screen - not the most outgoing of secret agents). He goes to the Professor's hotel room to steal the lamp and surrender it to the Commies, but then stops himself. Why not keep it for himself? He calls the genie, but now the genie reveals himself!
AND the fact that Superman was wearing fake flesh arms and chest OVER his costume! WHA--?! Was he afraid somebody would recognize his nipples or something? And now the truth can be told. The FBI suspected a spy was in Metropolis, so this outlandish scheme was planned to flush him out in the open. There's even a tape recorder inside the lamp with the baddie's confession on it. And in the role of Professor Von Schultz...
Take a bow, Perry White. Not only have you helped take down a spy, but you've also undermined Metropolis citizens' confidence in television news, securing a future for the Daily Planet. Good job.


snell said...

You know, with a Russian spy that stupid and gullible, they might have been better off leaving him in place...

Martin Gray said...

Ha, great point about the fake flesh! How very odd, and wonderful. I really was born too late - I just love the old stories in which everyone was pranking everyone else, and an ordinary day would see Superman visit with Lori and have Krypto scam someone. Ta for a fun piece.

Michael Hoskin said...

A flying tank is pretty fantastic...but wouldn't a flying tank driven by a DOG be even more fantastic?

Siskoid said...

I might have been the whole point. I like to imagine DC's offices back then as one huge dare.

"I dare you to put Krypto in a flying tank this month."

"See if I don't!"

"Oh, I expect you will!"

Jon K said...

Of course, the reason reason Krypto was piloting the tank was, because he could! It's way too boring to just fly underneath a tank and lift it up, much more interesting to be sitting at the controls and flying it around!


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