Action Comics #317: "Superman's Rainbow Face!"

Action Comics #317
"Superman's Rainbow Face!"
October, 1964

Story: Otto Binder
Art: Al Plastino

The Man of Steel has been exposed to Red Kryptonite and now his emotions are revealed on his face in "Technicolor"! This is also visible on the mild-mannered reporter and threaten his dual identity in "Superman's Rainbow Face!"

As the Man of Steel returns from patrolling outer space, he feels a familiar tingling sensation, and spots a headline with his telescopic-vision. As rage rises in Superman at the newspaper headline about Luthor escaping prison, a passing policeman notices his face has turned purple! Seeing his reflection in a store window, the Man of Steel deduces one of the meteors he checked on must have been Red Kryptonite! The unexpected effect this time is making his face reflect his emotional state, and news of Luthor's escape made him purple with rage! The purple shade fades away after a few moments. It turns out the Sentinel newspaper ran the story without checking out the facts! Superman keeps an appointment at a Metropolis TV station. Lana Lang usually runs the Teen Time show, but she has a cold, and Lois Lane is doing the show in her place! As the Man of Steel prepares for his appearance, Lois informs him that he will be on after the Beatlettes!

Superman's female admirers want something more than autographs and line up to kiss him! Lois sees his face is the brightest shade of red she has ever seen! The girl reporter didn't think he could even blush because he is invulnerable! The Man of Steel explains this is an unfortunate side-effect of his recent exposure to Red Kryptonite. In an alleyway, Superman changes back to Clark Kent, who must be on guard if anyone sees his face changing to another color! At the Daily Planet, the mild-mannered reporter uses his telescopic-vision to look in on his Fortress of Solitude, and check in on the bottle city of Kandor! Clark sees the laboratory of Nor-Kan, who is working on an enlarger ray. It is powered by Illium-349 and is too dangerous to use because it enlarges things too much!

As the Kandorian scientist prepares to tone down the radioactive power with a solution, a flash of intense radiation strikes his brain! As the mild-mannered reporter witnesses his friend's plight, his face turns white from the shock! Clark sees his reflection in the mirror and realizes his predicament! When Lois asks him to check her copy, he uses super-speed to work the combination dial on a safe, and puts away an important document! This gives him time for his face to regain its proper color! As Clark checks the copy, Lois reminds him Perry wants them to cover an astronaut wedding together! They will be leaving in an hour and she will pick him up in her new convertible!

Outside the church, the two reporters see the wedding automobile has been made to resemble a space capsule to launch the newly-married couple into an orbit of happiness! As Lois tells Clark how she envies their happiness, the mild-mannered reporter imagines flying his bride across the threshold into his Fortress of Solitude! Having their own home, quiet nights together, and a super-child for their happiness, but it would be impossible! The Man of Steel's wife would be the target of the underworld, who would use her as a hostage to prevent Superman from interfering! As Clark watches the happy astronaut and his bride, his face turns green with envy. He sees his emerald appearance in the rear-view mirror...

The mild-mannered reporter remembers an abandoned inn on a nearby road -- but he must act fast at super-speed before Lois finishes turning! Superman spots the inn and lights the lantern with his heat-vision! There was still some oil left inside of it! The Man of Steel lifts the entire inn and carries it to a spot before the automobile, where the girl reporter hasn't finished turning her head... Clark is back in the driver's seat at super-speed!

Lois sees her fellow reporter's face has turned green! This matches the Man of Steel's face, changing color to match his own emotions! The mild-mannered reporter points out that the girl reporter's face is green, as well! The rays from the Green Lantern Inn are bathing both of their faces. Lois has never noticed it before! Clark knows his fellow Justice Leaguer would be amused to know another "Green Lantern" saved his dual identity! The mild-mannered reporter's face is back to normal when he decides to monitor Kandor again with his telescopic-vision, to learn if physicians were able to save Nor-Kan's life... His telescopic-vision picks up his friend's funeral procession! Clark's face has turned blue to match his grief! He must think of some way to prevent Lois from noticing!

As their automobile passes by the beach, the mild-mannered reporter uses his super-ventriloquism to make it seem someone is calling for help... As Clark runs to rescue the swimmer, the girl reporter wonders if his face turned blue? In the water, the mild-mannered reporter uses super-breath to draw a child's uninflated balloon to him! Clark pulls the balloon over a big fish to make it appear to be a man! The girl reporter will be fooled from her distance!

Back on shore, Lois asks why the swimmer called for help. Her fellow reporter says it was a momentary cramp! Clark uses his heat-vision to burst the balloon and free the fish, so it does not smother! He figures she won't be able to tell if his face was blue from the water or the Red K! The girl reporter decides to try one sure-fire test... Back at the Daily Planet, Lois pulls a piece of jade from her handbag, and plants the largest stone on her fellow reporter's desk, with a note... The police memo reads, "To Clark Kent, You're known as Superman's close friend. Please check to see if this glowing green stone someone turned in is Kryptonite!" The mild-mannered reporter returns to his desk, where Lois sees his face turn yellow with fear from the false Green Kryptonite!

Noticing the sunlight from the window, reflected by the jade, making it glow like Kryptonite, he uses his super-breath to move Jimmy Olsen's bowling trophy in the proper position where the golden sunlight will reflect in his face! The mild-mannered reporter asks Lois if she can tell the difference between a yellow and a golden tone of color. Once his face has returned to normal, Clark slips away to monitor Kandor once more. His telescopic-vision focuses upon the final ceremony honoring the fallen scientist. He recalls his first meeting with Brainiac, who has used his shrinking ray to reduce Kandor and other cities to tiny size. The Man of Steel beat Brainiac, restoring the other cities to their normal size. There was not enough power to restore Kandor to normal! He took the bottle city to his Fortress of Solitude and vowed to find a way to return it to its proper size!

Clark's face has turned black with hatred from thinking about Brainiac! He sees Lois about to enter the storeroom, and she is surprised to see the emotion of hatred... on Superman! Since she didn't notice the mild-mannered reporter entering the storeroom, he was able to switch identities, and Lois thinks he flew in through the window! Once he has explained his facial color change came from thinking about Brainiac, he is grateful these temporary changes will wear off soon!

Green Lantern's power ring is vulnerable to the color yellow.

The Human Torch and the Thing once met the Beatles.

The Metal Men met the Beatles, and signed Ringo's drum.

Several Superman Family comic books appeared in the movie, "Help!"

The Purple Man was one of Daredevil's earliest foes.

Brainiac and the bottle city of Kandor were created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino.

Robert Bruce Banner turns green whenever he becomes the Incredible Hulk.

Sally Selwyn was the sweetheart Superman forgot.

The Green Lantern Inn made a later appearance in Superman #261 (February, 1973.)

The Psycho-Pirate uses his facial expressions to control the emotions of others.

Superman (George Reeves) solved "The Riddle Of The Chinese Jade" on the Adventures Of Superman.

Jimmy Olsen is best known for being Superman's pal.

Steve Chung
"Superman's Rainbow Review!"