Action Comics #270: "Voyage To Dimension X!"

Action Comics #270
"Voyage To Dimension X!"
December, 1960

Story: Otto Binder
Art: Al Plastino

The alien spacecraft that appeared from outer space one day had all of Earth mystified! Even the Man of Steel was puzzled at the amazing feats the spaceship performed! Even more amazing was its mission on our planet and what it had come for -- Superman himself! The entire world waited to learn what would become of the Man Of Steel's "Voyage To Dimension X!"

Daily Planet reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane have been assigned to follow the mysterious craft with the Flying Newsroom helicopter, when the alien spaceship projects a glowing ray! As Clark prepares to land the helicopter, Lois broadcasts what happens through their radio hook-up! As the girl reporter uses her microphone, Clark informs her he will get closer and get some photos! In the cornfield, the mild-mannered reporter becomes the Man of Steel, then uses a scarecrow to make it appear "Clark" is on the job! The ray bores a deep hole revealing a pool of oil beneath a farm! Superman wants to know what's going on!

As the Man of Steel uses a super-shout, the alien spacecraft moves on without answering him! The ship's hull is coated with lead so that Superman's x-ray vision cannot penetrate to see the crew aboard! After retrieving his clothes from the scarecrow, Clark returns to Lois. The girl reporter wonders why did the alien spacecraft do a good deed for the poor farmer, and make him a rich man? The mild-mannered reporter is confident Superman will continue to follow the ship's progress until he uncovers the truth! The following day, the Man of Steel is present when the alien spacecraft pauses over a military camp! The ship fires a ray off into the nearby woods! The ray transforms a couple of hobos' tin cans into solid gold! Their old iron pot is now a veritable pot of gold! RRRRRRRR A weather observation plane has gotten caught in the backwash of the alien spacecraft as it leaves at high speed!

Superman stops the plane's tailspin! The aliens have performed two good deeds! The following day, the alien ray strikes near two forest rangers, forming a luminous arrow on solid rock! Inside a cave, the Man of Steel and the rangers find a wooden chest filled with jewelry. Superman recognizes the Royal Ruby as loot from a former robbery pulled by Luthor! As the forest rangers prepare to bring the loot to the authorities, the Man of Steel deals with a mountain lion who has made its home in the cave! His super-aim enables Superman to send the mountain lion landing into a bed of soft pine needles! As the Man of Steel pursues the alien globe, he sees they are heading for Metropolis!

A message finally comes from the mysterious alien spacecraft. The aliens' physical appearance would have shocked the people of Earth, but now that they know the aliens are not their enemies, they will be able to see what the aliens look like. The alien creature is only an electronic projection from Dimension X, where they reside! They could not visit Earth in person, so they sent the globe-ship by remote control! The aliens performed three good deeds with their super-ray, a demonstration of how they have aided other worlds before! For once, it is they who need help! Their world is threatened by a super menace and they want the Man of Steel to save their civilization from destruction! Their globe-ship will transport Superman to Dimension X! The Man of Steel agrees to go! Their planet merits his aid so that they may continue helping other planets! Inside the alien globe, Superman is told by the aliens the crossing into Dimension X is dangerous! This is why they made the globe-ship out of solid lead! It will protect him from all outside radiations! Once the hatchway has sealed, an inner microphone activates! The Man of Steel is told not to burst out as the capsule is guided into Dimension X! The globe gathers speed to cross into Dimension X!

Unbeknownst to Superman, the spacecraft is only orbiting the Earth like a satellite. He is unaware the globe is made up of lead to prevent him from using his x-ray vision! The Man of Steel is also unaware the "light ray man" was only neon-tubing plugged in while Luthor projected its electronic image to Metropolis! The leaden globe is guided gradually back down to Earth! Superman is dumped in the Sahara Desert, unaware Luthor has pulled off this hoax on him! The renegade scientist uses his exchange cabinet to swap places with his robot double in prison! He had made the parts during work-periods in the prison machine-shop! Luthor assembled the robot secretly in solitary! He knew his jailers were going to do health shots today! The steel needle would have bent and revealed his robot! He and the robot will swap places once more when he is back in his prison cell!

Back at his hideout, Luthor prepares to pick up the rest of the gang who were involved in the false good deeds! A helicopter lands at the farm to pick up the false farmer, who reveals how they drilled for oil, and planted a dynamite charge set to go off when the glowing ray struck the ground! The hobos are the next ones to be picked up! Their cups and pot were coated with tin -- which melted off in their fire just as the ray struck! The Man of Steel was unaware they had secretly painted an arrow with colorless chemicals before his arrival! Sunlight revealed the chemical arrow! At the hideout, the gang lost their loot to the authorities, but they will get it all back with interest later! Luthor's scheme will enable them to loot the entire world! The Man of Steel will never escape from his trap in time to stop them! At this moment, Superman wonders why he hasn't been released into Dimension X, and uses his super-hearing to pick up outside sounds!

BONG BONNG BONG ZZZZZZZZ ZZZZ TOOT TOOT He can hear Big Ben chiming the hour in London, the buzzing from a sawmill, and a train tooting! He is still on Earth! As the Man of Steel prepares to smash his way out -- he hears Luthor's voice via a tape-recording set to activate when he pushed against the wall! If Superman attempts to break out of his lead prison, it will set off an electronic signal box mounted on top! The impulse will reach America and set off a neutron bomb Luthor placed beneath Metropolis! The renegade scientist may be bluffing -- but can the Man Of Steel afford to take the chance? He cannot send an x-ray beam to activate one of his Superman robots. Krypto is off in outer space and if he super-shouts through the lead to call Linda Lee at Midvale Orphanage, others would learn of Supergirl's existence! Luthor must have dropped him in the globe in some remote area where no one will find him for years! If he breaks out, Metropolis is doomed!

Luthor begins the next phase of his plan by unwinding the bandages, revealing the plastic surgery that made Gypo a perfect double of Superman! Wearing a perfect copy of the Man of Steel's costume, they are ready to pull off their big coup, and sending Gypo to Metropolis in a duplicate of the globe-ship! Once the duplicate globe-ship arrives in Metropolis, the false Superman delivers his message! Gypo explains when he reached Dimension X, he found an ice age was threatening their world! When he attempted to remove the giant glaciers surrounding their city, the "Man of Steel" has lost his super-powers! On Earth, "Superman" derives his super-powers from the light gravity and the yellow sun! Beneath the rays of a red sun, he has no super-powers!

The "Man of Steel" returns to Earth in hopes of persuading the inhabitants to give them what is necessary to save their civilization! In Metropolis, Gypo completes his false story, and asks for Earth's entire stockpile of atomic bombs to destroy the ice threat! The United Nations are notified and hold a special meeting! At the emergency meeting, the members of the U.N. vote unanimously to give the light ray people all of their atomic bombs to save their world! Luthor has seen all from his view-screen. Lois Lane is covering the story for the Daily Planet and is fooled by the false Superman.

Gypo is rewarded by Lois with a kiss! The girl reporter senses his warm response and believes he is falling for her at last! As Gypo promises they will have a big date once his super-task is completed, Lois knows it won't be long before she becomes the bride of the Man of Steel! As the atomic bomb-collection begins in America, Gypo fakes "super-strength" via magnetic forces from a powerful electromagnet in the globe to carry the heavy bomb himself! Once Luthor has collected all nuclear weapons, his ambition to conquer the entire planet will be realized! He will orbit the bomb-load around the Earth and issue his ultimatum. With the real Superman trapped and unable to stop him, Luthor will become dictator of Earth!

The Man of Steel is still sealed within the lead ball in the Sahara Desert. He has overheard Luthor's plot with his super-hearing! He cannot escape without triggering the electronic impulses that will blow up all of Metropolis! KRAK SSSS KRAK SSSS Superman overhears a thunder and lightning storm overhead! If he can reach it, he will have his way of escaping this trap! The Man of Steel rolls himself into a ball and whirls at super-speed! The friction between his body and the air creates heat! The heated air expands, softening the lead, expanding it like a balloon without cracking open and jarring the electronic box! The huge "balloon" with its outer leaden skin has now stretched as thin as rubber! The heated air causes it to soar up into the sky! Now in the midst of a thunderstorm, a flash of lightning burns out the electronic box! It can no longer send out an impulse to set off the neutron bomb Luthor buried beneath Metropolis.

Superman is now able to smash his way out in safety and have his showdown with Luthor! Back in America, the first load of atomic bombs have been delivered to Luthor's hideout, and the Man of Steel has dropped in for a visit! Superman disposes of the Luthor robot and removes the neutron bomb beneath Metropolis! Dimension X has been exposed and everyone on Earth breathes a sigh of relief! Back at the Daily Planet, Lois Lane is furious she kissed a Superman-impostor, and was asked out for a date! The mild-mannered reporter is sorry she fell for that particular hoax and shares a knowing wink with the reader.

The alien spacecraft resembles a pink Sputnik.

The alien reminds me of Neon Noodle from the Duck Twacy cartoon.

A cornfield was the scene of an unusual chase in "North By Northwest".

Jed Clampett became a millionaire when he spotted some bubbling crude.

The two hobos were not as good as gold.

A steel needle would bend if it came into contact with Clark Kent.

Krypton and Lexor were planets with a red sun.

Lois Lane was once fooled by John Corben when Metallo impersonated the Man Of Steel.

Supergirl was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino.

The Man of Steel sought to dispose of Earth's nuclear weapons in "Superman: The Quest For Peace!"

Steve Chung
"Review To Dimension X"