Action Comics #333: "Superman's Super-Boo-Boos!"

Action Comics #333
"Superman's Super-Boo-Boos!"
February, 1966

Story: Leo Dorfman
Art: Al Plastino

On the cover, Superman doesn't know what to make of the college
professors, who are startled to see that the Man of Steel has turned into
a purple dragon with a red cape. It appears to be melting the bronze
scroll with flames from its eyes. Supes is just doing what they asked
him to do -- signing their honor scroll with his heat-vision!

The Man of Steel is used to reacting to Lex Luthor's criminal
schemes by thwarting his plans. When Superman does just that -- he
finds that his arch-foe is committing good deeds. This is just the start
of the amazing battle of wills in history, as the Man of Steel's heroic
feats end up as... "Superman's Super-Boo-Boos!" On the splash page, the
Man of Steel is punching out Luthor's robot into scrap iron, while a
police officer tells him that the criminal scientist has been using the
automaton to return the stolen loot from his previous robberies.

In his lair, Lex Luthor has a rabbit trapped in a maze. The animal
is unable to reach the carrots which are on the other side of the maze.
When he removes the rabbit from the maze and places it next to the
carrots, the animal continues to run in circles. It had been in the
maze for hours. Luthor's plan is to use psychological warfare on
Superman to shatter his mentality, and render him a complete blank.
Later, Lex uses his monitor screen to tune into planet Lexor and sees his
wife, Ardora, who now knows that he is a criminal. The previous month,
he began his current campaign to confuse the Man of Steel by saving his
life from a Kryptonite trap and an assassination attempt.

Luthor's monitor now tunes into Superman, who is staring at the
wanted poster of his arch-foe. He is wracking his brains in front of a
concerned Jimmy Olsen. The following day, scientists at a research
institute are inspecting a unique weapon. The Super-Sword from Krypton
is made from a metal called Kryptium which was hurled into outer space by
an atomic blast prior to Krypton's destruction. The scientists are
unable to unravel the metal's composition because of its indestructible
nature. The Man of Steel is scheduled to arrive and assist them with the
analysis. The tests continue... and the scientists see that the
Super-Sword can slice through steel like it were cheese. It also slices
through a diamond -- the hardest known substance -- like a marshmallow.
Since Superman comes from Krypton, he, too would be as vulnerable to the
sword as an Earthman would be to a steel sword. An enraged intruder
enters the lab and grabs the sword. The scientists know that the Man of
Steel is due to arrive. When he does, he is greeted by Tom Vance,
who plans to use the Super-Sword on him for his brother's imprisonment
and a bottle of nitro will be for blowing up the lab.

Vance wants Superman to beg for his life, while the Man of Steel
eyes the nitro in his hands. Luthor has been watching this on his
monitor and sees another chance to baffle his arch-foe once more. He
launches one of his projectiles, whose radar will home in on the lab in
seconds. The projectile contains a small sleeping gas charge and knocks
out Vance. Superman catches the falling nitro. When one of the scientists
asks where the missile came from, the Man of Steel sees Luthor's insignia
on the gas missile. His life saved for a third time, the Man of Steel can
only wonder what his deadly enemy has in store for him.

Luthor sees that Superman is becoming bewildered by his seemingly
benevolent acts, and is confident that he is doomed. The next day finds
the Man of Steel attending the graduation ceremonies at Metropolis
Engineering College. He is given an honorary degree of Doctor of
Super-Science and is asked to use his heat-vision to carve his name
in their scroll of honor. Lurking in the wings, Luthor uses his
iconoscope to project a 3-D monster image which will cling to the Man of
Steel like a second skin. The polarized magnetic aura field is
activated, and the professors see Superman transformed into a red caped
purple dinosaur with a green tongue, whose eyes are spouting jets of
flame.  The learned men flee in terror from the scene.

The Man of Steel is unaware of his transformation, while the people
on campus see the flying super-monster in their midst. Only cub reporter
Jimmy Olsen refuses to panic, and figures that a temporary red Kryptonite
effect has caused the transformation. He snaps some pictures for the
Planet, while Superman leaves. As he heads for the horizon, Luthor shuts
off the iconoscope, causing the projected monster image to dissolve. He
knows that the Man of Steel will have a hard time trying to figure out
what happened.

In Clark Kent's apartment, Superman is relieved when he looks into
a mirror, and sees that he's normal. He figures that some sort of mass
hypnosis must have taken place. When the mild-mannered reporter arrives
at the Daily Planet, Jimmy shows him pictures of the Man of Steel's
bizarre transformation.

Perry White sees that Clark looks kind of shaky. He tells the
hard-working reporter to take the rest of the week off. Clark wonders if
it was a Red K effect, but he would have felt the customary tingling, and
decides that he could use a vacation. Superman soars into space and
heads for a faraway planet where he can relax for a few days. On a
distant planet, he rests on some cloud plants and listens to the soothing
melodies of the wind blowing through the harmono-rocks, which relaxes his
nerves. Luthor sees on his monitor that the Man of Steel has returned to
Metropolis, and has a welcome prepared. During his first patrol,
Superman spots a giant robot with Luthor's insignia. His x-ray vision
is unable to penetrate the metal ball it's carrying. He figures that it
must be a bomb, shielded by lead, and designed to blow open the bank

The robot tells him not to attack, for nothing must interfere with
his mission. In striking Superman, the robot's hand has received a
rough manicure. A voice yells for the Man of Steel to stop, but he has
already dismantled the robot with one punch. The police officer tells
Superman that the metal ball is a portable vault containing the loot from
a bank robbery. While he was away in space, Luthor has been returning
the loot he has stolen from all his bank robberies. The robot was used to
bring the stolen money. Now that the robot is destroyed, that will be
the last of the money they'll ever receive. Superman is stunned by
Luthor's seeming reform. When he becomes Clark Kent, the mild-mannered
reporter hears how the rival paper embarrasses the Daily Planet over
Superman's goof.

He heads for a remote mountain top, where Luthor locates him and
contacts him by Lex-O-Phone. He asks to be heard and Superman agrees.
He tells the Man of Steel how his monitor has located a runaway train
on the Southwest Railroad. Its sealed cars are carrying radioactive
atomic wastes. If the train is wrecked, the surrounding area will be
contaminated and millions will die! He suggests that Superman fly the
train to Venus, where the radioactive cargo won't harm anyone, and
he'll be the world's greatest hero once again. Thanking Luthor, the
Man of Steel is unaware that he is flying into another Luthor trap.
Superman tows the train into outer space, and his x-ray vision is
unable to penetrate the cars. He believes that they are coated with
lead to keep the radioactivity inside! When he dumps the cars on
Venus, Earth will hail him as a hero.

Astronomers are in disbelief when their telescopes show a train
heading for Venus. He leaves the train on Venus and heads back to the
Daily Planet to give the exclusive story. As the Man of Steel leaves,
the people who were heading for the International Police Convention
emerge from the cars and find themselves on the strange planet The
French, Canadian, Indian, and English policemen ask their American
counterpart if Superman was responsible for their unexpected trip. At
the Daily Planet, Jimmy shows the Man of Steel the Daily Standard's
headline about Superman stealing 1,000 cops. He is told by the cub
reporter that the top police from many nations were on their way to a
convention, and the cars were sealed to keep them safe from criminal
attack. Once he has returned the train from Venus, the Man of Steel has
become a laughing-stock, and circus-goers take a gander at the funniest
clown of them all... Superman.

Changing back to Clark Kent, the mild-mannered reporter is asked by
a small boy to sign a petition to get Superman out of town. So confused
is he, that Clark doesn't immediately realize that he just signed a
petition for his own exile. He figures that what is being said about him
is true... he's cracking up.

Days pass, and Superman appears on a national TV hook up. The
announcer tells his viewers how the station has been swamped with calls,
letters, and petitions demanding that the Man of Steel leave Metropolis,
but he thinks that it's unfair to turn against their hero when he,
himself, is in trouble. The world's greatest hero's record is called into
play, but the Man of Steel asks that no pleas be made on his behalf. He
asks for one more chance to prove himself. He promises that if he can't
prevent the next major crime or disaster in Metropolis, he'll hang up his
cape and retire. The announcer speaks on behalf of the citizens of
Metropolis in wishing him luck. Luthor has other plans. He sees that his
arch-foe is living on borrowed time, and that he is just the one to push
him over the edge. The following day, Metropolis TV spotlights the bizarre
change in the weather, as the temperature has fallen, and a blizzard has
hit Metropolis. A special newscast from the upstate area is about to begin.

An unknown force has frozen the lakes and reservoirs into solid ice
glaciers which no dam can hold. The rivers of ice are heading for
Metropolis, and a call has been sent for Superman. Luthor's dyno-frost
ray has altered the climate for hundreds of square miles. The new Ice
Age and the advancing glaciers will cause the city to panic, and the gang
will be able to loot to their heart's content. The Man of Steel has
arrived, but Luthor tells his men to keep... Ha, Ha!... cool! The weeks
of psychological warfare will pay off, and he predicts that Superman
won't be able to lift a finger against them. As he swoops down, the Man
of Steel begins to use his heat-vision to melt the glaciers and redeem
himself with the public. Seconds pass, and he realizes that if the ice
is melted, the water will pour through the broken dams and flood
Metropolis. He plans to hurl the glaciers into outer space.

Superman sees Luthor with a strange device. He wonders if his
arch-foe caused the glaciers to form or if he's there to help him? He
saved his life, but lied about the train. He has been both friend and
foe. If the glaciers are carried away, perhaps a booby-trap will be set
off, and backfire on Metropolis. He begins to wonder if the glaciers are
an illusion, and if he reacts to it, he will be perceived as a menace,
and people will think he's lost it for good. Superman loses his nerve as
he wonders what action to take, and Luthor laughs as he and his men watch
him fly in circles. He is in no condition to stop him and his gang.

Planet Lexor is where Luthor is considered a hero and Superman is
a villain. Ardora is the wife of Luthor.

I don't know what happened to the Super-Sword, and assume that
Superman took it away to the Fortress of Solitude for safe-keeping.

College graduations can be an nervous experience, but I don't
think there's been any quite like this one.

Luthor's brand of mischief has Superman seeing his insignia on
everything from missiles to robots to Lex-O-Phones.

It's the original designer's label.

The Lex-O-Phone is an orange rocket with green fins, and gives new
meaning to the terms, "Reach out and touch someone," and "Long-distance

Steve Chung
"Superman's Super-Review-Boo-Boos"