Reign of the Supermen #273: Headless Ghost of Superman

Source: Action Comics #406 (1971)
Type: ImpostorHow do you attract Superman's attention? Why, with a convoluted super-hoax, of course! This is the story of Dr. Troy Magnus, a man of the 17th century (yes, named Troy, yes, with the haircut you're about to see) who created and drank an elixir meant to make him invulnerable to the plague. Something went wrong, however, and it turned him into a kind of undead. He could turn into a ghost (and apparently take off his head, it's never explained), and in solid form, was a contagious carrier of the plague. So he had himself sealed behind a wall in the Tower of London, where he lived, immortal, conducting fruitless alchemical experiments to turn lead into gold. And then, with his "spectral vision", he saw Clark Kent doing a story on the Tower and perceived he was Superman. Why not approach the Man of Steel as a simple specter. Well, that wouldn't be convoluted enough, now would it?
We shouldn't dwell on the details. The important thing is that it worked and Superman went into Magnus' tomb to hear this story. And now the "ghost" wants to die and asks Superman for that mercy. Obviously, Superman doesn't kill so he's barking up the wrong tree. Oh well then. Could he instead use his heat vision to repair the wall he busted up? Sure. And so Magnus throws himself into the beams and dies.
Yep, Superman is a murderer. As he rebuilds the wall, hiding the evidence, he ironically muses that "atomic scientists of our age transmuted metals long ago". Well, that's only ironic if alchemists were trying to make RADIOACTIVE gold, but whatever. I'm gonna quibble about this story's logic NOW?! In the LAST PANEL?!



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