Reign of the Supermen #332: Superman Robots (Pre-Crisis)

Source: 1st - Action Comics #240 (1958)
Type: RobotsWhen you've got girls trying to uncover your secret identity on one side, and killer kryptonite schemes on the other, and yet the full resources of the Silver Age at your disposal, what are you gonna do BUT build robot duplicates of yourself to act as handy dei ex machinae? It all started innocently enough in the 1940s, when on a couple of occasions, Superman used a Superman "dummy" he could project his voice into with super-ventriloquism and manipulate at super-speed either to have Clark Kent and Superman in the same room, or to convince the robotic Uranians that Earthlings were robots too and thus not worth kidnapping and/or probing.
(It happened in 1949's World's Finest Comics #42. You know the one. The issue that introduces the Wyoming Kid. Now you've got it.)

In the 50s, Superman started using robots - not all Superman Robots - as plot devices, but he still needs to use ventriloquism and remote control to animate them. His first autonomous, programmed robot is a Clark Kent that can work at the Daily Planet independently, and that's in 1958's Action Comics #240, also the first appearance of a programmable Superman Robot.
He programs them with his x-ray vision. Explanation: Silver Age.

Soon, Superman has multiple robots stashed in a closet and each one has one of his powers.
A couple of years later, each robot has all the powers (albeit at a weaker level than Superman's) and even a measure of sentience. Superman takes to using them for any old emergency, twist ending, unwanted date, or for the Fortress of Solitude's servile needs.
But of course, the whole robot scheme began much earlier, as we found out from Superboy's retroactive continuity. He had designed robot duplicates of himself as far back as his teens, which leads me to ask the only relevant question: How BORED must he have been in high school classes?!

Over the years, a few Superman Robots got starring roles, and Reign will get to them, don't worry. In the 1970s, Superman's new Bronze Age direction phased out the Superman Robot. 1971's World's Finest Comics #202 revealed that Earth's pollution levels had made the robots unstable and dangerous.
Oh it was just a little choking of the Batman, is it really worth the recall? They would show up now and again in nostalgic pieces, their last pre-Crisis appearance occurring in "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", when Alan Moore had them defend the Fortress from the supervillain onslaught. The concept would return in the Modern Age, but that's a story for another day, a day I call TOMORROW.

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