Reign of the Supermen #346: Fake Superboy From Krypton

Source: Adventure Comics #309 (1963)
Type: ImpostorAnnnnnnnd welcome to the Silver Age portion of our broadcast.

Here's the set-up. Ex-con Blackie Burke returns to Smallville to do some hunting, but he got a head injury in a gang war that's got him hallucinating. The meds help, but he still has nightmares about pirates that feel real. In the woods the next day, he spies Superboy flying out of trap door and unless he's hallucinating again, he thinks he may have discovered Superboy's secret identity. After all, there's only one teenage boy living in the immediate vicinity. (Ex-con keeps tabs on teens? Creepy.) A few hours later, the son of Blackie's old cell mate, Dirk Jagger, shows up at the motel with a plan to destroy Superboy concocted by his old dad, put away by the Boy of Steel. He's even got a chunk of kryptonite to prove it. Blackie puts his theory to the test and has something delivered from the Kents' store and when Clark arrives, boo-ya, the kryptonite hurts him. PROOF! Dirk then brings Blackie and the insensate Clark to his dad's cavern hide-out in the Kansas mountains, a veritable museum of Superboy-ness.
They tie Clark up with kryptonite ropes and as Blackie looks around he finds a book about Superboy and Krypton lore, and a costume and mask combo so that Dirk could disguise himself as Superboy and steal from banks or whatever.
All he's missing is the powers, but Dirk's dad once told him about a scientist working on a serum to give powers to people under the age of 21 (THERE'S a dangerous project!). They drive to Metropolis to see this Professor Stanton after Blackie has made Dirk memorize everything in The Legend of Superboy. It's a good thing he made the kid study too, because Stanton knows he's in a Silver Age story and expects to be tricked. This may be Superboy looking to restore his powers after a nasty encounter with Red K, or it may be a clever hoaxter.
Dirk passes the Professor's tests with flying colors, just don't ask how Stanton knows how many sesatrons-wide is the Scarlet Jungle of Krypton. He gives the kid the serum, and Dirk is soon shrugging off snake bites. They fly back to the Dirk-Cave and find Clark has died from kryptonite poisoning, his skin has turned green. Blackie too knows that he's in a Silver Age story and starts rubbing at the green skin in case Superboy/Clark has painted himself to look dead. Just then, the statues of Jor-El and Lara start accusing Blackie of being a murderer, and he soon passes out with a little help from a gas gun activated by... Dirk?

And now for the hoax.

Turns out, Superboy saw Blackie see him in the woods and knew his identity was at risk. He further saw Blackie's medicine bottle in his pocket and knew it was for hallucinations (thanks to his super-pharamacist abilities). He then assembled a Superboy museum and called an old friend to play the role of Clark Kent while he disguised himself as Dirk Jagger. That friend?
The green-skinned Brainiac 5. See where this is going? So it's fake kryptonite and Brainy feigns illness, and the fake serum is administered at a fake lab by a disguised Professor Lang, who's also in on it. When they return to the cave, Superboy blows the white make-up off Brainy's hands and uses super-ventriloquism to make the statues talk before activating the kryptonian gas gun to make Blackie pass out. To complete the trick, he drops the sleeping Blackie off at his motel and resets the alarm clock so that Blackie thinks it's the previous morning and that he hallucinated the whole thing. Hahaha. Let's amuse ourselves by confusing the brain-damaged.


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I love the Silver Age recaps. And the bad guys names, pretty much the same as in Superman's time. And they all wore hats. Damn that JFK! Between the years before Superboy became Superman, I wonder if some of these fellows fought Martian Manhunter!

Siskoid said...

They were all fleeing Florida (home of the Martian Manhunter according to the Absorbascon) and heading for Kansas!

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Yep. Apex City. In the DcnU, I wonder how much we'll see of Kansas.

Martin Gray said...

I remember that story. I recall being most impressed that we had a Superboy Museum in England. I've still not been.


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