Friday, February 19, 2016

Action #305: That darn Ol' Stockroom Mirror!

OCTOBER, 1963:  This is the last page of this mini-vignette that ruminates on Superman's need for a Secret Identity.

After Jimmy Olsen, meaning no harm, lets it slip to his Fan Club that Superman's civilian identity is one of his acquaintances, a criminal eavesdropper passes the info to a crook, who replaces a convenient Daily Planet stockroom mirror with a special lead-lined one-way glass.

Sure enough, in the scene also captured by this issue's cover, they witness Clark Kent in the act of transforming from Superman.

Then, the jerks pull the ol' switcheroo and swap out an honorary key-to-the-city with a duplicate made of Gold Kryptonite.

It's a sign of the 1963 era:  The astronaut is being honored for CIRCLING THE EARTH FOR A WEEK.  In years to come, that would be thin beer.  After all, don't those guys in the "International Space station" do the same?  The difference is, THEY AREN'T PLANNING TO GO FARTHER ANY MORE.

So, Superman is rudely informed that his powers have been stolen.  And his poor well-intentioned pal Jimmy is to blame.  What a bummer!

Compare Kal-El's final words on this page with later practice in most comics, regarding a Secret Identity.  "No one in the world could keep a secret like that!"   A statement more honored in the breach, eh?

See you Monday with the continuation of this story.


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