Action Comics #313: "The End Of Clark Kent's Secret Identity!"

Action Comics #313
"The End Of Clark Kent's Secret Identity!"
June, 1964

Have you ever been betrayed by a friend? Have you ever been double-crossed by someone you trusted? Think about how much worse it would be if all your friends turned upon you! That's the torment the Man of Steel must endure as his most trustworthy friends bring about "The End Of Clark Kent's Secret Identity!"

One day, as the Man of Steel completes his cousin's missions for her while she is on a distant world, he is about to relax in his other identity as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent! As he starts to change identities in the Daily Planet file room, he is disturbed by the sudden arrival of Supergirl, who came back just in time to expoose him! She points out to Perry White that Superman has been masquerading for years as a timid reporter! Superman is surprised his cousin has ruined his career! The Maid of Might cames she doesn't know what came over her, and the Daily Planet editor vows never to reveal his dual identity! A package for Supergirl has arrived in care of the Daily Planet! As Perry signs for the package, she wonders what could be inside the package. It is from the New York World's Fair! They are going to erect a statue of the Man of Steel in the wax museum exhibit and will also feature one of Supergirl! They sent a model for her approval! Right now, Clark wishes to speak with his cousin in private!

In the file room, the mild-mannered reporter wants to know why his cousin has betrayed him. She can't explain it and is prepared to expose her own identity as Linda Lee Danvers to Perry White! Clark insists that revealing her own identity will not help things and she should leave through the side door before she is noticed! As the mild-mannered reporter emerges from the file room, Perry asks who was the young girl he saw him with. Clark says she is Linda Lee Danvers from Midvale, a fan of his articles who wanted his autograph! Back at his desk, the editor insists as far as he's concerned, Clark Kent is still a mild-mannered reporter! Clark hopes no one else discovers his dual identity! The following day finds the Man of Steel patrolling Gotham City, where his telescopic-vision spots an armed gang waiting in ambush! He also sees an armored car with a shipment of currency! This must be the payroll for the silk factory and the Caped Crusader is guarding it --

The Man of Steel swoops in and stops their bullets like a stone wall! His invulnerable form also prevents their grenades from damaging the armored car! When the police arrive, they find the crooks wrapped up with a bow made of silk as a ribbon! When they leave, Batman wonders why Superman made his play. The Man of Steel points out the "armor" is made of balsa wood. His x-ray vision spotted it just prior to the ambush. The thieves probably swapped a fake armored car by bribing a guard in the gararge! The Caped Crusader would have discovered the substitution, but he was in a hurry! Commissioner Gordon phoned him at dawn on the hot-line to give him this assignment. He jumped out of bed and headed to the bank without even eating breakfast! Lois Lane is on the scene to get the story!

In a nearby alley, the girl reporter thanks them for the scoop! The Caped Crusader then claims to have the greatest scoop of her career! Batman reveals the hidden pouch in Superman's cape where he carries glasses, a hat, shoes, and a suit made of super-compressible material! Since these are Clark Kent's clothes, the Man of Steel must be the mild-mannered reporter! The Caped Crusader has betrayed him, claiming an uncontrollable urge made him do it! Lois reminds Superman how she feels about him and promises to keep his identity a secret! Inwardly, he wonders if the girl reporter can keep the secret! As the Man of Steel continues his patrol, he does not know what to make of this bizarre coincidence! At the Daily Planet, the staff overhears a news bulletin about the S.S. Victory reporting a pirate raid off Canada! The pirates made their escape in a small submarine! Perry tells Clark and Jimmy to take the helicopter and track down the Pirate Gang!

Hours later, Clark and Jimmy spot the miniature submarine, who open fire upon the helicopter! The fuel tank is punctured, but Jimmy is determined to find a place to land before they crash! After landing on a snow-covered beach, Superman's Pal uses his signal watch, but finds his friend has not answered his signal! Clark tells the cub reporter he is heading for the ridge where he can spot some sign of civilization in the snowy wasteland! As the mild-mannered reporter reaches the ridge, he places his clothes on a snowman he built! Jimmy will think Clark sat down, while the Man of Steel will fly at super-speed to catch the pirates! Over the ocean, Superman spots an oil slick near an iceberg! Beneath the iceberg, the Man of Steel discovers the submarine, moored in the opening cut in the iceberg's bottom!

He discovers a hidden submarine base carved in the heart of the iceberg! With warehouses, dormitories, and radar detectors, the pirates have all the comforts of home! Superman finds the pirates enjoying a movie and turns them into the coast guard. The pirates will not miss their iceberg after being locked up in the cooler! After completing his mission, the Man of Steel returns to the snowy ridge, and slips back into his Clark Kent clothing while moving at super-speed! The snow flurry will conceal his movements! The cub reporter will think it was caused by a gust of wind! As Clark returns to Jimmy, he finds Lori the Mermaid! She has a knife which she found in an old wreck! There is something she wants to show Jimmy and the mild-mannered reporter can help her!

Lori lashes out with the knife, bending it, and revealing Superman's uniform beneath! Clark can't understand why his one-time sweetheart betrayed him! She can't explain it and will never forgive herself for it! The cub reporter insists since he is Superman's Pal, he would never betray him! The mild-mannered reporter appreciates his loyalty, but can't understand why his most trusted allies are suddenly betraying him! As the Man of Steel flies Jimmy home, he decides to use hypnotism before the entire world discovers his identity! The following day finds the Daily Planet staff at Professor Potter's laboratory. Perry, Jimmy, and Lois are surprised that each of them knows Superman's secret identity! He has a solution and has built a brain-washing machine to erase his secret identity from their memories! Speaking on behalf of the others, Perry White agrees for him to use it on them!

To prevent a short-circuit, each of them are to remove any metallic objects they carry on this table! Seconds later, the Man of Steel throws the switch. After it is over, he is startled to find they still retain knowledge of his secret identity! Perry White suddenly demands $1,000,000 dollars or else they will reveal his secret identity! At that moment, in a spacecraft hovering above Earth's atmosphere, which is under control by members of the Superman Revenge Squad. Their 3-D scanner has zeroed in on Professor Potter's laboratory! As the strange device zeroes in on the events occurring below, the cub reporter demands to be made king of Bardonia or else he will unmask his pal to the underworld!

The girl reporter wants Superman to maroon Lana Lang on a distant planet! As the Revenge Squad members watch him squirm, the Man of Steel believes the shock treatment has turned his friends evil! Superman knocks a bottle of tear gas to the floor, and is about to inhale it with his super-suction, then blows it out of the window! As the acrid fumes are exhaled out the window, Perry White demands to know his answer to their ultimatum. The Man of Steel says he has had enough of their disloyalty and treachery! They are about to receive the punishment they richly deserve! Far out at sea, Superman drops them into the water below! Has the Man of Steel violated his code to never take a human life?

Just as Superman leaves, the spacecraft descends from the sky, and the retriever net is lowered! As the Man of Steel's victims board the spacecraft, the Revenge Squad members are surprised to learn Superman was ready to murder his friends! They have failed -- and after they took the effort to capture the Man of Steel's real friends, placing them in suspended animation, in a cave beneath Metropolis! Superman could not have detected that all of these friends were actually androids created by the Android Master! The Revenge Squad received a message from the Man of Steel via super-ventriloquism! He spotted them with his telescopic-vision! He was aware of the androids! The androids gave themselves away when the tear gas flooded the laboratory. Although they seemed to be choking, none of them were capable of shedding a tear! The androids are sent back into the dissolving vats, where the Android Master will re-create them when he needs them! They are happy to merge with the plasmic fluid again and vow to do better next time!

Back on Earth, the Man of Steel has located his friends asleep in suspended animation! He uses a hyper-energized oxygen tank to revived the Caped Crusader first! After switching to Clark, he tells Batman to awaken the others, and hide the tank. When they revive, they will see him as the mild-mannered reporter, and won't ask any embarrassing questions! Before this is done, Clark slips the signal-watch back on his pal's wrist! As the oxygen takes effect, the cub reporter claims the last thing they remember was a gas bomb going off at the Daily Planet, but Clark wasn't there! The mild-mannered reporter claims he was caught later while out on a story! He then tells Jimmy to use his signal-watch and call Superman! ZEE ZEE ZEE Supergirl answers the sub-sonic call, having just returned to Earth, and having been contacted by her cousin via super-ventriloquism! Once they have emerged from the cavern, the Maid of Might tells them they were kidnapped by the Revenge Squad as part of a plan to make the Man of Steel do their bidding. Their plan failed! Afterwards, when the Man of Steel is alone with his friends, Lori Lemaris asks when did he detect he was fooled by their android duplicates? The tear gas confirmed his suspicions the Daily Planet staff were not human.

Clark suspected "Supergirl" when she opened the package rather than using her x-ray vision to see what was inside! The Man of Steel recalls how the Caped Crusader said he was in a hurry to the bank and hadn't eaten breakfast! There were no beard stubbles on his chin from not shaving and androids do not grow hair! The mild-mannered reporter noticed his breath forms a frosty vapor cloud in the cold atmosphere, but there was no vapor coming from either Lori or Jimmy, who were both androids who did not need to breathe! The Man of Steel apologizes for misjudging his friends! He should have known he has got the most loyal and devoted friends in the world!

I was unaware Lana Lang was the niece of Professor Potter.

Supergirl was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino.

The theft of an armored car was far from being smooth as silk.

Finding the miniature submarine was only the tip of the iceberg for the Man of Steel.

The Revenge Squad members wear green bodysuits with purple helmets.

Members of the Justice League used Amnesium to remove knowledge of their secret identities from one another.

Steve Chung
"The End Of Clark Kent's Secret Review!"