Action Comics #164: "Superman's Hall Of Trophies!"

Action Comics #164
"Superman's Hall of Trophies!"
January, 1952

Story: Bill Woolfolk
Art: Wayne Boring
Inks: Stan Kaye

On the cover, Stefan Andriessen -- Adventurer and Explorer, is about
to unveil his greatest Superman trophy, while The Man of Steel uses his
x-ray-vision, and sees that the trophy will prove that he is Clark Kent!

Many are the trophies which comprise the super-feats of The Man of
Steel in his never-ending battle against crime and injustice, but when a
famous explorer develops an interest in them, it looks like these
reminders of Superman's heroic feats will expose his double identity, and
he must take steps to deal with the threat of Stefan Andriessen, he who
would learn the hidden meaning of... "Superman's Hall Of Trophies!" On
the splash page, Lois Lane watches in horror, as The Man of Steel
shatters the trophies of his heroic deeds, such as a soapstone statue of
The Prankster, while other exhibits include: a lamp post used as
handcuffs in catching The Wilton Gang, as well as a sample of
handwriting on the wall of Superman's signature engraved in marble with
his finger.

Clark Kent is covering a story at Metropolis Airport, and his fellow
reporters watch as a plane arrives, with Stefan Andriessen -- the famed
adventurer and explorer has returned from a year in the jungles of
Africa, and what a story this will make! A guard asks to see their press
cards, while a group of men push past Clark, the leader wanting a picture
of what Andriessen is allegedly carrying... a million dollar in precious
Egyptian relics. The group turn out to be a gang of hoods, who demand
the valise, but Clark tells Andriessen not to worry because they're not
armed, then thinks that it wouldn't be a great idea for folks to know
that he has x-ray vision! A helicopter descends on the scene, with an
armed passenger, who'll shoot anyone who interferes, with the reporters
struck by the novelty of this aerial crime, that Clark manages to slip
away into a nearby maintenance shed, and changes to Superman, who
assesses the situation, not noticing that his press card has fallen away!

He squeezes some sand in his hand, changing it to molten
silicon,which he shapes into a glass sphere, and uses to shine blinding
light in the direction of the armed thug, who orders the helicopter pilot
to change position, but even as he begins to give altitude, the copter
goes down, instead... thanks to Superman! With the crooks taken care of,
Clark Kent is on the scene and asks Andriessen what his next adventure
will be, but the older, bespectacled man seems to be distracted. He
abandons his plan to search for the lost continent of Atlantis, but now,
he has to think! The following day, Perry White tells Clark that
Andriessen is about to embark on a strange adventure, and won't tell what
it is. Lois Lane sees a scoop, and Clark is determined not to lose his

At the hotel, reporters have staked out Andriessen's room, but the
explorer's assistant tells the assembled journalists that he'll only
speak with the reporter from The Daily Planet, which has Lois pushing
Clark aside, confident that she'll do a better job of getting the story,
to a stammering Clark's dismay. The assistant tells Lois that Andriessen
wants to speak to Mr. Clark Kent, who obliges, and Lois fumes, certain
that she'll get the story even without an interview! In the study,
Andriessen is delighted to meet Clark, and tells him that he's been an
admirer of his for years, then asks for an autograph, which has the
mild-mannered reporter at a loss for a moment, but he agrees. As he
hands Clark the pen, ink sprays forth in the reporter's face, and
Andriessen apologizes, and offers to clean the glasses, while Clark
washes up. Andriessen hands the glasses back, then tells Clark that the
interview is over, and that he'll be busy planning his latest adventure!
When Clark points out that he didn't get his autograph, and that the
interview hadn't even started yet, he was under the impression that he'd
get some idea of what Andriessen's plans are, but the explorer assures
him that he has given the mild-mannered reporter a very big hint, just as
he shows Clark the door.

In the hallway, Clark rubs his forehead and wonders if Andriessen
has lost his senses or has he? Days later, the explorer's strange
behavior becomes apparent to the mild-mannered reporter, who notices that
his glasses aren't fitting the way they should, and sees that they are a
copy, which Andriessen must have switched that day! Using his
telescopic-vision, Clark sees into Andriessen's home and sees the glass
ball Superman used to stop the crook with. Embedded in it is Clark's
press card, which he realizes he must have dropped on the sand, then
molded into the sphere! Andriessen must believe that Clark Kent is
Superman! He also sees other trophies of Superman's feats... including a
bullet which hit him and flattened... a sword which was thrust at him....
and a piece of coal which The Man of Steel compressed into a diamond!
The glasses are there, and the clear lenses are proof that the
mild-mannered reporter doesn't need eyeglasses! The explorer must be
gathering evidence for his greatest adventure... the discovery of
Superman's secret identity!

Once again using his telescopic-vision, Clark watches Andriessen
digging in The Forest of Twisted Trees... the result of another exploit,
and the color on the trunk is further proof that Clark Kent is Superman!
Years ago, Clark was at the Rubitan Company for a story on the new color
process, and he was handed a sample of the new color tone -- Pink Sunset,
created from a secret formula, and it will never fade! Clark is
interested in the discovery, when his super-hearing picks up the sounds
of a crackling fire, and he swiftly tells Mr. Smithers that he has to
take an early train, with the company man telling him to take the sample
with him to show to the fashion editor! The Man of Steel arrives at the
scene of a forest fire, and he stops it by circling upward in a series of
rapid spirals, creating a draft which will cause the flames to follow him
skyward! The swiftly twisting air currents caused the saplings to become
distorted into strange shapes, and becomes known as The Forest of Twisted

When Perry asks Clark for the vial of Sunset Pink, because Smithers
called and said it was dangerous and needed to be destroyed, he tells the
editor that he lost it on the way to The Daily Planet! Clark recalls how
the sample was taken by him, and left on a tree trunk by Superman! He
has no choice but to have Andriessen fail his adventure so that his
identity will be preserved! He tells Perry that he knows what the
explorer is up to and asks for a few days to prove his hunch, with
Perry's blessings and a desire to scoop every paper in town! Changing to
Superman, he visits the sites of many heroic feats: the gigantic pot he
made when The Man of Steel acted as chef for the office picnic (Holy
Tupperware, Batman!), The Table In The Sky which was built when a patient
was too ill to be flown down from a plane, and a surgeon had to operate
(Holy Frequent Flier Miles, Batman!), and a huge lyre which was made for
an international music festival! These trophies hold no clues to
Superman being Clark Kent, but there are two trophies which can link
him... an impression of himself in the hardened lava of a volcano near
the Mexican town of Alazita, where Lois and Clark were covering the
story, and the mild-mannered reporter feigned ducking for cover in order
to change to Superman!

Using his super-strength, The Man of Steel brings an iceberg from
the South Pole to quickly freeze the lava, and in the present, Superman
smashes his outline, then creates a fake impression by expanding his
muscles so that his measurements are larger, and Clark Kent will no
longer be suspected! After his trip to Mexico, Superman heads for an
area deep in the Atlantic Ocean, where he sees a twisted mass of metal,
which is another example of The Man of Steel's abilities, and which also
saved many lives, but now, he must destroy it, as it serves as a link
between him and Clark Kent... On The S.S. Politania, he had to write a
series of articles on Countess Irina, and when the ship was heading to
England, she asked him to wear a diamond dragon ring, which is said to
bring good luck, in gratitude for the nice things Clark had written about

Aboard the ship, the first mate has suffered a heart attack, and the
ship has been off-course for an hour, and has come near The Dangerous
Devil's Maelstrom! While the passengers come up on deck to see the
whirling maelstrom, Clark knows that if Superman were to fly the ship to
safety, the navigator would die from the shock if he were to come to!
During the confusion, Clark changes to Superman, and dives over ths side,
where he finds an anchor on the bottom, then bends it into a more useful
shape! Now armed with a giant "corkscrew," Superman spins it in the
opposite direction to The Devil's Maelstrom, causing it to be stilled
forever! In the present, The Man of Steel smashes the corkscrew, for it
has the impressions of the ring loaned to Clark by the Countess!
Superman soars away to replace the corkscrew, as well as switch the
stolen glasses for some real ones! The day comes when Perry asks Clark
what his theory is about Andriessen, as they head for the trophy room,
where the explorer is about to reveal the results of his greatest
adventure on the morrow!

Clark tells Perry that he believes Andriessen may have proof of
Superman's secret identity, but the mild-mannered reporter believes that
the explorer is on the wrong track, and Perry figures that this would be
the story of the century! At The Metropolis Museum, reporters listen as
Andriessen reveals that he has been collecting Superman souvenirs so that
they could be gathered for a dedication of a Superman Museum in
Metropolis! He had kept this a secret in the event that if his plans
were known, people may try to charge high prices for the items! (Holy
CGC, Batman!) Clark is relieved that he was wrong about Andriessen
gathering the trophies in order to find out his secret identity, and
hopes that no one notices the changes he made to the trophies, but Lois
sees that they are forgeries, for the lava which contained Superman's
impression was smooth, not pitted... and if the corkscrew had been
underwater for the past three years, there would be signs of undersea
plant growth! In shock, Andriessen tries to assure them that they are
the genuine article, and Perry acknowledges Lois' findings, which
represent the explorer's first failure, and she apologizes to Andriessen,
but it's her duty as a reporter! The explorer can't figure out how the
trophies could possibly be fake, and Clark knows that this failure is
also his fault, and he can't reveal what he did without telling them
why... he decides to speak to Lois...

Clark wonders if there's another explanation, especially since
Andriessen is an honest man, but Lois figures that she has all the proof
she needs for the story, and thinks that the explorer must not have
risked retrieving the trophies from the whirlpool and the volcano, with
Clark asking her to take a walk while they think it over. Near Follen's
Pond, Clark uses his super-breath to send Lois' hat to the middle of the
pond, and when she asks him to help her retrieve it, he walks away,
pretending to go get help! Infuriated, she starts to walk across the
ice, but is unable to make it with her high-heeled shoes! Clark changes
to Superman, and watches as Lois begins to slip, and pits the ice with
sand by flinging it with super-strength, so she'll be able to walk back!
He tells Lois that she can tell Clark how she got her hat back, and
seeing how he helped her, Lois figures that Superman must have
surreptitiously provided safe footing for Andriessen to climb the

When she asks him if he tampered with the trophies, The Man of Steel
tells her yes and he didn't want anyone to know about it, answering her
question truthfully and saving the reputation of Andriessen at the same
time! He hopes that she won't tell the public about his interference,
and Lois tells him that she'll tell them how she discovered that the lava
was pitted by dust blown by the wind, and how the swift-moving waters
prevented the vegetation to form, and admits that she can tell a white
lie even if Superman can't! Andriessen is grateful for having the
trophies deemed as genuine, and one thing has the explorer wondering...
for one of Superman's trophies was Clark's eyeglasses which were made
when the mild-mannered reporter broke them years ago, and when Clark
found out that Andriessen had switched the glasses, why did he think that
Andriessen was after Superman's secret identity? Clark sheepishly tells
the explorer that it's hard to make glasses, so he thought that
Andriessen must have theorized that The Man of Steel was an optician in
his other identity, and Lois laughs at her rival, telling him that he
needs some special glasses to help him see the stories which are right
under his nose!

An intriguing cover, as an elderly explorer is about to reveal his
greatest Superman trophy, and with it, to The Man of Steel's horror,
Superman' secret identity!

With the amount of super-deeds, The Man of Steel has done, it would
take a while for him to smash all of them.

It's fun to see Clark pretending to be meek, then when there's
danger, he changes to Superman, then deals with the threat in his own
inmitable fashion!

Using his crystal ball, Superman sees some jail cells in the gang's

Clark's fellow reporters wear different colored suits and hats, to
the mild-mannered reporter's perennial blue suit and orange (?) hat.

Lois could show Andriessen a few things about stalking one's
quarry for an interview or when courting.

A thrusted sword played a part in The Adventures of Superman
episode, "The Golden Vulture."

Holy Rozakis, Batman! Production men play an important part when
it comes to developing new color processes.

Dealing with a runaway volcano was the tip of the iceberg for
Superman, who also had to deal with The Devil's Maelstrom, a threat which
The Man of Steel successfully corked!

Clark uses his telescopic-vision a bit in this story, and Lois
uses her reporter's eye to detect some signs of a hoax when it came to
the authenticity of the trophies.

Steve Chung
"Superman's Hall of Reviews!"