"The Origin of Superman!": This story is reprinted from Superman #53.
Appearing in "The Origin of Superman!"
- Nitro Kale
- Hercules (Mentioned only)
- Kryptonians (Dies)
- Metropolis Police Department
- Krypton (Destroyed)
- Kryptonopolis (Destroyed)
- Hall of Wisdom (Destroyed)
- Kryptonopolis (Destroyed)
- Uranium (Mentioned only)
- Kryptonian Rocket (Destroyed)
Synopsis for "The Origin of Superman!"
This story is reprinted from Superman #53.
Appearing in "The Super-Key to Fort Superman!"
- Professor Welkins (Single appearance) (a scientist)
Synopsis for "The Super-Key to Fort Superman!"
This story is reprinted from Action Comics #241.
Whenever he needs to get away from the day-to-day acts of heroism, Superman retreats to his hidden Artic Fortress of Solitude. Access to the Fortress is gained by way of a giant metal key – a key so heavy, that only Superman could ever hope to lift it. Inside his fortress are vaults and trophy rooms devoted to his various exploits. He has a room in honor of Jimmy Olsen, one in honor of Lois Lane, one in honor of his close friend, Batman, and even a room dedicated to star reporter, Clark Kent.
One day, Superman visits a scientist named Professor Welkins, who asks the Man of Steel to test out the durability of a new metal compound he has been developing. Superman takes the compound back to his fortress and tests its breaking point. While there, he finds an ominous message written on the wall. Someone has managed to break into the Fortress of Solitude. The message taunts Superman, daring him to discover the intruder's true identity. In order to secure the Fortress from future break-ins, Superman welds the keyhole shut with a blast of heat vision.
Superman flies off to put out a fire in Metropolis, but when he returns he finds a second mysterious message. Someone has found yet another way to invade his sanctum. Unable to piece the puzzle together any further, Superman retires to one of his fortress's laboratories where (enclosed with lead) he begins experimenting on a piece of Green Kryptonite.
The intruder is still present however and soon makes his appearances known. It is Batman! As Batman leaps out and admits to leaving the vague messages, a cave-in erupts sealing the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight Detective inside of an enclosed cavern. Trapped inside with them is a deadly piece of Kryptonite. Superman is too weak to burst through the cave walls to generate an escape. As Batman begins to panic, Superman stands up, and reveals that the cave-in was actually a carefully staged ruse designed to flush him out. Batman tells Superman that in honor of the anniversary of Superman's arrival on Earth, he wanted to provide him with a fun, challenging game. He reveals that he managed to break into the Fortress by creating a secret stowaway panel inside the pointed tip of the giant key.
The two go to the Batcave in Gotham City, where Batman has personally cooked a giant Anniversary cake for Superman. The cake is decorated with extra-large candles molded in the shape of Superman and Batman.
Appearing in "The War Between Superman and Jimmy Olsen!"
Synopsis for "The War Between Superman and Jimmy Olsen!"
This story is reprinted from Action Comics #253.
Superman takes Jimmy Olsen to his Fortress of Solitude in order to show him some of his latest discoveries, including a Venusian Chameleon Jewel, and the Bottle City of Kandor before returning him back to Metropolis so that he can write the story. Changing back into Clark Kent, Superman and Jimmy are summoned to court to provide testimony against the Double-X Gang, and the police have come to take them into protective custody for three days. Everyone is shocked when Jimmy suddenly decides he wants no part of being in protective custody and breaks the doors off the patty wagon in a feat of super-strength and flees.
Realizing that Jimmy has some how gained super-powers similar to his own, Clark changes into Superman and tries to talk Jimmy into going back to the Fortress of Solitude, however this does not work and Jimmy -- suddenly taking on a mean-streak, denounces the Man of Steel and goes off to cause various disasters, and destroying monuments to Superman. Superman tries to reason with Jimmy after he destroys a military base. Trying to prove the to the lad that he can't be all that bad, otherwise he would have killed Superman with some Kryptonite he helped Superman dispose of. This in turn, makes Jimmy go after this Kryptonite chunk and (with giant lead clamps to carry it at a safe distance) goes after the Man of Steel.
Chasing Superman all the way to his Fortress of Solitude, however Superman had deduced that this person was not Jimmy Olsen, but an impostor. He had made the fake Kryptonite to fool him and lead him back to the Fortress of Solitude, exposing himself. Revealed as a Kandorian criminal known as El Gar-Kur, who used a machine to switch places with Jimmy due to their close resemblance. As Superman stops him from smashing the city of Kandor, the Kandorian police manage to use El Gar-Kur's device to swap Jimmy back with the criminal. With the real Jimmy freed from Kandor, El Gar-Kur is taken into custody. Superman uses this experience to explain to Jimmy why the location of his Fortress of Solitude must remain a secret.
Appearing in "The Conquest of Superman!"
- Superman Robot
Synopsis for "The Conquest of Superman!"
This story is reprinted from Action Comics #277.
A disaster erupts while Superman is off-planet. Having nowhere else to turn, the authorities free Lex Luthor from prison so he might aid them in preventing an airplane carrying a hydrogen bomb from crashing. Luthor uses anti-gravity equipment to save the plane, but then turns it on the police so that they cannot return him to prison.
Afterwards, he returns to the Luthor Lair to plan his next scheme against Superman. Luthor uses his weird technology to rob the federal gold reserve from Fort Knox. Superman arrives on the scene, but Luthor scares him off with Kryptonite. Back at his lair, Luthor laughs over the fact that the Kyrptonite he used was fake. But his victory is short lived however, as he discovers that the foe he defeated was actually one of Superman's robots. Enraged over the hollow victory, Lex returns all of the gold to Fort Knox.
Appearing in "The Trial of Superman!"
Synopsis for "The Trial of Superman!"
This story is reprinted from Action Comics #301.
To trap a spy, Superman stages the "murder" of Clark Kent and goes on trial for it.
Appearing in "The Superman-Batman Split!"
- Desmond Jason (Only appearance; dies)
- Ronald Jason (Only appearance; dies)
Synopsis for "The Superman-Batman Split!"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #176.
Superman, in his civilian guise of Clark Kent, is going to interview actor Ronald Jason, however Jason suddenly splashes him with a chemical that burns off his clothes revealing that Kent is really Superman. Jason however, reveals that he is an alien named Dur from a planet in the Sirius system. He explains that on his world the Tontor-1 (equivalent of a president on Earth) was assassinated, and in order to protect himself he teleported himself to Earth, however he believes that he is being pursued by an enemy agent from his home world and sought out Superman for protection. Superman then flies Dur to his Fortress of Solitude where he'd be safe.
Meanwhile, in the Batcave, Batman is visited by another alien named Tiron, who tells Batman that Dur is a criminal who escaped to Earth. The two hop in the Batplane, but when Batman suggests that they seek out Superman, Tiron tells him that he is aware that Dur has tricked Superman into helping him. So instead, Batman seeks the help of Supergirl. The three fly to the Fortress of Solitude to apprehend Dur, but Superman returns to fight them off.
While Batman and Supergirl are otherwise preoccupied, Superman flies to Gotham City and recruits the help of Batgirl to help him protect Dur. Meanwhile, suspicious of what's going on, Jimmy Olsen and Robin team up to learn what they can about the aliens. When viewing their secret scanning devices, they learn the secret of the aliens, however before they can warn anybody they are hit with knock out gas.
Meanwhile, at a new hiding spot, Superman and Batgirl fend off the attacking Batman and Supergirl until suddenly Tiron collapses. Checking him out they find out that he is not an alien at all, but Ronald Jason in disguise. Jason explains that he was terminally ill and was playing both the parts with the help of his late brother, scientist Desmond Jason's inventions to facilitate the ruse. With his explanation complete, Jason dies knowing he had played his greatest role. Afterwards, the heroes insure that a statue is put up in a museum commemorating his memory.
Appearing in "Make Way for Captain Thunder!"
- Monster League of Evil (Flashback only)
- Merokee (Flashback only) (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Make Way for Captain Thunder!"
This story is reprinted from Superman #276.
Young boy Willie Fawcett materializes in a Metropolis alleyway in time to see Superman fly overhead and asks a passerby who he is. He finds that the bus costs more than he remembers and when he arrives where he expects his usual WHAM-TV to be, he sees Galaxy Communications instead. This leads him to speculate that he may have traveled forward in time. Superman flies by again, chasing what appears to be a giant lizard and Fawcett rubs his belt buckle and yells, "Thunder!" to transform into Captain Thunder. Superman quickly dispatches the lizard—which is actually a complex illusion meant to distract him while thieves in a helicopter try to rob an armored car. Thunder attempts to stop them but is interrupted by Superman and the two briefly come to blows. Thunder transforms back to Fawcett while Superman chases the criminals. The boy enters the Galaxy building and ends up in the office of Clark Kent where he tells him the story of Thunder's origin. While on a camping trip with fellow orphans, Fawcett saw a white owl fly by him and followed it into a cave where he met with Merokee, a great medicine man of the Mohegan tribe who tells him that a local legend foretold his arrival. Merokee gives him a belt that will empower him with seven spiritual powers:
- Tornado: power
- Hare: speed
- Uncas: bravery
- Nature: wisdom
- Diamond: toughness
- Eagle: flight
- Ram: tenacity
Merokee vanishes into the air, leaving Fawcett with the mission to use these powers to fight evil. During a recent battle against the Monster League of Evil (made up of a mummy, vampire, werewolf, and Frankenstein's monster-type villains), he crossed a space-and-time barrier to leave the monsters in a void but when he tried to return to his world, he somehow ended up in another world. Kent informs him that no one has any memory of Captain Thunder or the Monster League, so he offers to take the boy to police headquarters.
Lois Lane accompanies them to write a story on Willie. As they approach the station, Kent uses his X-ray vision to see that a jail break is in progress. In the commotion, Kent and Fawcett change into their superhero alter egos. Thunder is convinced that Superman is a villain and attempts to fight him, allowing the actual criminals to flee. The two heroes have a long fight using all of their powers to a stalemate until Superman tricks Thunder into saying the word "thunder" while pushing his hand against his belt buckle, thus transforming him back into Fawcett.
Superman explains to the child that Captain Thunder is under the influence of the Monster League. He convinces Willie to transform again while he is stuck in a headlock and Superman implores Thunder to use the wisdom of Nature to see through the mind control. He realizes that he took a slightly incorrect route to get back to his home universe and then disappears in a magical flash.
Clark meets up with Lois for dinner and tells her that Fawcett/Thunder managed to find his way home.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
- Write your own review of this comic!
- Discuss The Best of DC Vol 1 16 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the The Best of DC series
- 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)