Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Mystery of Sorcery Boy

Here we have the cover of Superboy 108, cover-dated October 1963. Typically wonderful Curt Swan art shows Superboy's suspicions about the Kents' glassy-eyed denials of "Mighto" the super-kid.

Turns out Mighto was a mean motor-scooter and a bad go-getter, to quote the lyrics of "Alley Oop."

But the main memory of this issue is the back-up story, whose splash is presented below. "The Mystery of Sorcery Boy" is one of those time-travel stories exemplified a LOT more often in the Supergirl stories in Action : A relic from the past provides a super-mystery, so the hero travels back in time to investigate it, thereby involving themselves in the creation of the mystery.

Superman did it in the Action with the caveman skeleton in the Super-outfit. Supergirl did it in the Action tale where she investigated a rock carving depicting her fighting a dragon.

And, in "The Mystery of Sorcery Boy," the McGuffin is a couple of silver coins dated 1680 found among the Kent family heirlooms. They bear an inscribed portrait of the Boy of Steel, S-shield and all!

Hmmm ...

So Superboy flies back into time and meets some foster-ancestors, Jonas and Maria Kent. They take him into their hearts. He helps them out, raising the ire of a pompous judge, who (unwigged) is revealed to be the highwayman Bald Pate, and who bears a striking resemblance to a certain modern follically-challenged baddie whose initials are LL.

But before he gets caught, Bald-Pate -- I mean, Justice Grimm -- accuses Superboy of being a magician, and sets up an execution. He "personalizes" the bullets by having a smith inscribe a portrat of "Sorcery Boy" (Superboy in his heroic duds) onto each of the "silver bullets."

So the "silver coins" were actually the flattened bullets bouncing off Superboy's chest before he streaked back to the present. They were found by the Kents, and passed down over the years.

I must've liked this tale a lot as a kid. Because, at the ripe old age of seven, I wrote my first fan letter to DC, about that story.

My mom even addressed an envelope for me -- but never mailed it. She doesn't remember WHY she didn't mail it.

I CAN tell you, though, that my handwriting in this note is better than the handwriting I use now!

Anyway ... see you next Super-Time!

And don't forget to check in with Professor S O'Terrick to! (see sidebar)

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