"Superman's New Secret Identity": Metropolis is under attack by a Metalek Xenoformer machine, which is rampaging through one of the city's poorer neighbourhoods, and causing massive property damage. Without much effort, Superman rips its head from its b
- You're not one of the Justice League. It was you in those news stories, wasn't it - The Blake Farm Ghost. The ones Clark said couldn't be Superman.
Synopsis for "Superman's New Secret Identity"
Metropolis is under attack by a Metalek Xenoformer machine, which is rampaging through one of the city's poorer neighbourhoods, and causing massive property damage. Without much effort, Superman rips its head from its body. Though the robot is destroyed, the former inhabitants of the building - which took the brunt of the damage - beg Superman to help them. He offers to rebuild their building into something even better, if they all pitch in. Within hours, the place is in better shape than before. Before reporters can crowd him too much, Superman comments that he smells smoke in Bakerline and rushes away.
However, it is not as Superman that he faces the burning building, but as Johnny Clark; a fireman. He rescues several trapped civilians and a cat, earning him yet another commendation from Captain Farrell. The other firemen of Engine 1938 are eager to get to know their new star fireman, but Johnny plays his cards close to his chest, admitting only to having come from the Keystone City Fire Department, and to being a fan of the Monarchs - the latter of which placing him at odds with the others, who are Meteors fans. They invite him to come with them to Bibbo's Place, but Johnny has a prior engagement at the hospital.
He visits George Taylor, who was partially blinded by the blast that apparently killed Clark Kent, which prevents him from recognizing Johnny as Clark. Johnny explains that he was the man who saved George's life during the explosion, but George is regretful that it wasn't Clark who he saved. He thought that Clark was a good man who had a lot of potential, so having him - an old man - survive instead, just seems wrong.
That night, Superman stops in on Batman in Gotham City, who warns that their visit must be brief, as crime seems to crop up every five minutes. He is surprised that Superman has come without the rest of the Justice League, and more so when it seems that Superman only wants his advice. Even so, he listens as Superman explains his predicament.
Batman had already known about the death of the Clark Kent identity, so Superman explains that when his identity was discovered by both Batman and Nimrod the Hunter, he felt compromised. With the amount of time he was spending as Superman increasing, he saw the explosion at the Daily Star as the perfect opportunity to retire Clark Kent. His identity has been further confused by the fact that he lives on a space station populated by 204 miniaturized civilizations. Their conversation is cut short by the expected crime, following the five-minute time limit, and in exchange for Superman's help, Batman promises to try to resolve his identity problem.
Meanwhile, Lois Lane's niece Susie has grown attached to the hamsters that Clark gave her after rescuing then from a child murderer. Lois is impressed by the girl's drawings; complicated geometric patterns. The girl explains that she saw the patterns in her dreams, shown to her by a strange space-man. Lois can't put her finger on it, but there is something unusual about Susie.
From his Fortress of Solitude, Superman reflects on the Metaleks, and wonders why all of these alien forces seem to be drawn to Earth of late. The Brainiac computer responds that the Collector of Worlds had been attempting tosave the 333 worlds known to be on the Death List of the Multitude; six each from the 54 galaxies of the congregation, and nine others. Superman realizes that the Collector had been trying to protect Earth's civilization when he'd attacked Metropololis, by keeping it from the Multitude's destruction. The computer has little information about the multitude, but despite its apparently being unstoppable, records show that Jor-El of Kryptondid manage to repel the Multitude, before the planet's inevitable destruction. Though it was thought to be impossible, it was done.
Meanwhile, Lois and Susie's trip to the movies is interrupted by the sudden appearance of a strange man who uses telepathy to communicate. He is seeking someone he calls the "future child", and he stops in front of Susie, recognizing her as the one he seeks. Lois steps between the man and the child, and as she looks on him, she realizes that he is the rumoured Blake Farm Ghost - the one who was saving people in the mid-west before Superman was active. Susie is drawn to him, and agrees to go with him, despite Lois' efforts to prevent it.
Superman, as Johnny Clark, is riding in Engine 1938, unaware that the driver is, himself, a Metalek. The mysterious telepath remarks to Susie that the Metaleks are just one of several interstellar agencies who have targeted Earth, and they must go if he is to save her from the planet's inevitable fate. Johnny realizes too late that the driver is a Metalek, and the fire engine speeds down the street, bearing down on Lois and Susie. Instinctively, Lois thrusts the girl aside but is herself hit head-on by the oncoming vehicle.
In the aftermath, Susie sees her aunt slam into the hood of a nearby car, and witnesses the telepath tear the fire engine in half, destroying the Metalek. He reassures her that he will protect her, and with his cloak pulled back, she realizes that he is the spaceman from her dreams. He admits to no concern for Lois' well-being, as she is human and fated to die, but Susie is very important to him. She is a Nutant - a Neo-Sapian - an advanced human born one hundred thousand years ahead of her time in order to prepare the way to inherit the earth. He promises that he has come to protect and teach her.
He spots Superman behind him, and warns that there is no time for them to fight. As strong as Superman is physically, he is no match for the mental powers of this man, with his four-lobed brain and super-ESP. In order to escape with Susie unobstructed, he attacks Superman mentally, and forces the civilians around to turn on him. He and Susie prepare to head off into space leaving her aunt Lois unconscious in the wreckage.
Appearing in "Superman's New Secret Identity"
- George Taylor
- Lois Lane
- Metropolis Fire Department
- Captain Farrell (Mentioned only)
- Susie Tompkins
- Cometeer (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Clothes Encounters"
A man from Michigan visits a Metropolis copy-shop, eager to purchase a souvenir Superman shirt, given that there are no heroes of that ilk anywhere near Grand Rapids. The shirts run a hefty $25, much to the dismay of the man's Metropolitan friend. The proprietor explains that they are so expensive because they are the very same shirts which Superman wears while he is working.
The local man reacts with doubt, so the salesman tells the tale of how one day - before Superman was active - he received an order of fifty blue T-shirts featuring a yellow and red 'S' insignia. He didn't have fifty blue shirts on hand, so some would have to be red and white.
Just then, a man armed with a gun burst into the shop and demanded the money in the register. The customer attempted to calm the would-be robber, but the gun goes off right into his chest. At the time, the shop owner had thought the gunman missed, but now they all know Superman is bulletproof. The customer knocked the robber out, and as a sign of thanks, he was given ten percent off the price of his order.
The tourist is amazed at the story, and is eager to purchase a shirt, but his friend drags him out of the store without it. He explains that he would encourage buying a real Superman shirt for $25, if only every other print shop in the city weren't telling the same story.
Appearing in "Clothes Encounters"
- The fire engine 1938 is a reference to the year in which the first issue of Action Comics was published.
- Fire Captain Farrell is a reference to Fireman Farrell.
- Susie's musings before going to the film is an extended reference to Mister Mxyzptlk and the Fifth Dimension.
- Superman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 2)
- Adventures of Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- DC Comics Presents (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 3)
- Superman (Volume 4)
- Superman (Volume 5)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- Superman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Steel (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Tomorrow (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)