Reign of the Supermen #557: Luminous Superboy

Source: Superboy vol.1 #16 (1951)
Type: The real deal (since retconned)
"The Strange Costumes of Superboy" part the third: Meet Reynolds. He's an idiot wannabe pilot who's having a hard time passing his certificate because he's too nervous up there. Considering Superboy grew up in the era of biplanes, who could blame him? But he wants his license, so he steals a plane (ok, well that's just counter-productive) and goes flying without the instructor to prove his mettle. Normally, Superboy would go out and save him, but he doesn't want to steal the guy's thunder - Superboy was such a parade-monger, this seems entirely out of character - so he finds a way to help with the landing invisibly.
But not invisibly enough! Even if Reynolds didn't know the wind fairy was in his corner, there's still no bravery in doing anything in Smallville, so what's the point? (By that reasoning, no one should be allowed to get a pilot's license in Smallville.) To prove his courage, Reynolds pulls another stunt and this time asks Superboy not to interfere: He steals the plane again (he has way too much access to aircraft for an unlicensed pilot) and tries to cross the Atlantic - at night - with it. Uhm... Can you do that with ANY old one-seater? Whatever. Superboy follows, just in case this guy is a moron (and by "in case", I'm being generous), and Reynolds in fact does drift on course and is about to miss Ireland's coast. When Superboy tries to help, Reynolds threatens to jump out of the plane (well, Sboy could save him just as easily, so this is a particularly worthless thread). So "invisibly" is again the order of the day if the Teen of Steel wants to save this guy's dignity (you know, before he's carted off to jail for all this). So a little super-breath to put the plane back on course? TOO EASY. Instead...
That's right, pure phosphorus on the ocean floor, heated by impact into a malleable material with which to make a GLOWING COSTUME.
Reynolds thinks it's a meteor and that of course meteors only his land or something. YOU MORON! If only he'd noticed the cliffs lit up by the meteor. That's a lot of effort on Superboy's part to let an idiot prove his courage. Next time, how about just throwing the ball of phosphorus down from the stratosphere? Or even just covering yourself in the material without painstakingly etching your "S" shield on it, or molding a cape out of it. After all, if you're going to pass yourself off as a shooting star, you might not want your "meteor" to have a superhero shape.

Ok, one last strange costume coming next week. It's gonna be a shocker.


Martin Gray said...

I do like the inventive panel layouts. John Sikela? I shall look it up!

Great series!


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