Superman #165: "The Sweetheart That Superman Forgot!"

Superman #165
"The Sweetheart That Superman Forgot!"
November, 1963

Story: Jerry Siegel
Art: Al Plastino

     Jim White can no longer bear to watch the TV newsreel about
Superman.  Being in a wheelchair, he cannot understand why Sally Selwyn
would want to spend the rest of her life with him.  What Jim doesn't know
is that he is the Man of Steel, but without his memory or super-powers.
Mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent is reading the new flash about an
unidentified flying object about to strike an orbiting satellite.  After
a swift change of clothes, Superman is now in outer space, where he
catches the mysterious object, but begins to tingle all over.

     His x-ray vision spots the Red Kryptonite inside the alien capsule
and the Man of Steel hurls it into the sun.  On the return to Earth,
Superman plans to stay at his Fortress of Solitude until the effects of
the Red K wear off.  The strange substance never affects the Man of Steel
the same way twice, and never lasts longer than 48 hours.  On the ground,
Superman discards his uniform, and changes back to Clark Kent.  The
mild-mannered reporter buries his costume, his identification, and all
other objects which would reveal both of his identities.  In the
afternoon, Clark is hot and thirsty from the heat.  He has lost his
super-powers and is now unable to remember who he is.

     The amnesiac continues on his way, until he comes to a farm, where a
farmhand is milking a cow.  When Clark asks for something to drink, the
farmhand turns, and he sees a beautiful girl before him.  After two sips
of the milk, Clark faints, and is carried to the mansion.  Digby Selwyn
sees that his daughter has brought home another stray, but this one is no
dog.  He and Sally see that their guest is having a nightmare.  In his
dream, Clark is clad in the red and blue uniform of a doorman.  The
Dimensional Beast from a movie poster had come to life and he must stop
the creature.

     The Selwyns introduce themselves to the young man, who gives them
the name of Jim White.  Not wanting to admit that he's suffering from
amnesia, Clark has chosen the names of his friends.  Hawkins the Butler
helps to show "Jim" how to use an electric shaver.  As the Selwyns show
"Jim" around the farm, a storm appears on the horizon.  Mr. Selwyn sees
that someone has left a pitchfork next to the dynamite where water
pipelines are being built.  If the lightning strikes the pitchfork, the
dynamite will explode, and the pipeline will be destroyed.  Determined to
repay the Selwyns for their kindness, "Jim" rides his horse towards the
dynamite, and lassos the pitchfork out of harm's way.

     When lightning strikes the pitchfork, there is no danger, and Mr.
Selwyn wants the brave man on his payroll.  At night, "Jim" dreams of red
and green rocks closing in on him.  When he awakes, he can only wonder
why the sight of such things would scare him.  The following day finds
"Jim" working at the Selwyn's Lumber Company.  The foreman doesn't like
how Sally is looking at the new employee and thinks that he's just after
her money.  As "Jim" yells "timber," Bart Benson vows to rid himself of
his new rival for the Selwyn fortune.

     When Sally returns to the lumber company, she sees that "Jim" is
freeing a fawn from a trap.  Bart had set the trap for minks and had
hoped to make some extra money.  He is about to pick a fight with "Jim,"
then sees Miss Selwyn staring at him.  She tells the foreman to get rid
of the traps.  Now determined to get even with the new employee, Bart
tells "Jim" to show how good of a logger he is.  As "Jim" steps onto the
log, Bart uses a pole to make the log spin.  "Jim" is soon soaked, as the
foreman asks Sally for a date, but she decides to go out with "Jim."

     Although he doesn't remember how to dance, Sally promises to teach
him.  That night, "Jim" and Sally are all smiles at the barn dance.  Bart
has brought along a date who works at the town dance hall.  As they
dance, Sally is impressed by "Jim's" character and good looks, while her
date is struck by her beauty.  Both are surprised when they win the fifty
dollar gift certificate, but Bart is eager to wipe the silly grin from
"Jim's" face.  When they are outside, "Jim" and Sally share a kiss.  He
pulls away from her and admits that although he loves her, he doesn't
have the right to ask for her hand.

     Sally tells "Jim" that money is not a problem and that her father is
looking for someone to take care of things when he's gone.  "Jim" wants
to earn his own way and wants to enter the rodeo contest with a $5,000
prize.  Bart listens in on "Jim's" plan and vows to make sure that he
won't win.  The following day, the gift certificate is exchanged for an
engagement ring.  At the rodeo, the foreman places loco weed into Black
Terror's feed so that the horse will become dangerous for its rider.
During the contest, the judges are tempted to call off the contest, due
to the horse's behavior, but "Jim" insists on riding the horse.

     "Jim" rides for his life, while Bart waits for him to fail.  The
horse bucks off the rider and the doctor takes the unconscious man to the
hospital.  Back at the Selwyn Mansion, "Jim" has been released from the
hospital, but is now in a wheelchair.  Sally wants to set the wedding
date, but he wants her to forget about him.  She knows of a doctor who
might be able to help, but she loves him no matter how he is.  "Jim"
thinks that Sally is acting out of pity.  She asks for him to think it
over, while Bart listens in, and chuckles at their situation.

     When "Jim" wheels himself to a private area, he sees that Bart has
been waiting for him.  When the foreman suggests that the half-man marry
the Selwyn dame for her money, "Jim" tells Bart that his mind is sicker
than his body.  As "Jim" wonders what to do, Bart has gone off to roll a
boulder, and scare his rival.  As he decides that he loves Sally too much
to ask her to marry him, the boulder strikes the wheelchair, causing
"Jim" to be sent screaming into the river below.  As Bart leaves the
scene, "Jim" sinks beneath the water, and blacks out.  The Selwyns have
heard the scream and find the wheelchair on its side.  Sally weeps and
thinks that "Jim" had killed himself over his feelings for her.  Her
father asks if she had wanted to marry the young man out of pity.

     As he hugs her, Sally knows that she loved "Jim" with all her heart.
Now in her room, she holds the picture taken the night of the barn
dance, and knows that she'll never love anyone other than "Jim White."
Days pass, and Clark Kent wakes up in an air-filled chamber.  Lori
Lemaris tells him that Aquaman had brought him to Atlantis, where he was
saved via artificial respiration.  They had been monitoring him
telepathically and know that he had lost his powers and memory for about
a week.  The mild-mannered reporter remembers the Red K and being forced
to bury all forms of identification.  With his memory restored, he bids
Lori farewell, and swims to the surface.

     After recovering his possessions, Clark heads back to the Daily
Planet.  When Lois asks him where he's been, he tells her that he was on
a secret mission with the Man of Steel.  As a journalism student asks the
girl reporter if she thinks Superman will ever marry, Lois is doubtful,
and knows that the never-ending battle is the Man of Steel's first
priority.  Clark Kent knows all too well the responsibilities he has as
Superman, and wonders what it would be like to be loved for himself.  It
would be nice if this were so, but he's sure that there's no such girl
out there.  At the Selwyn Mansion, Sally knows that she'll never know
another man like her "Jim."

     Al Schroeder III gave special mention to this story by Siegel and
Plastino as one of his favorite Superman stories.

     Although Red Kryptonite never affects the Man of Steel the same way
twice and its effects never last longer than 48 hours, this time was the
exception to that rule.

     Clark wears his glasses at all times, even when he's having a
nightmare in bed.

     "Jim" has a close shave with a metal pitchfork than with an electric

     In his nightmares, "Jim" has a "Bad Day At Red And Green Rock."

     Despite his mishaps at the lumber company, "Jim" wins the heart of
Sally Selwyn.

     Winning the barn dance contest was a surprise victory, but "Jim"
wants to prove himself worthy to marry Sally.

     Bart Benson is loco for the Selwyn fortune.

     Even when "Jim" finds himself in a wheelchair, Benson is determined
to squash his competition.

     There is no doubt who the better man is, and I'd like to think that
the foreman got his in the end.

     Their time was short, but Sally Selwyn will never forget about the
man she knew as "Jim White."

     Whether he wore the cape and tights or was seated in a wheelchair,
he showed all of us what true strength of character was all about.

      Steve Chung
      "The Review That Superman Forgot!"