Here’s a cover image chosen at random from my collection.
Writers: Cary Bates, Len Wein, Elliot Maggin, Gerry Conway, & Martin Pasko.
Art: Curt Swan, Wayne Boring, Neal Adams, Murphy Anderson, Tex Blaisdell, Bob Oksner, & Frank Chiaramonte.
While this is in my collection, I hadn’t read it until the randomizer picked this issue. I have always loved the DC digests–I could read so much DC history for not a lot of money. This collection gives us eight Superman stories having to do with various youngsters. Among these, there are a couple curious plot repetitions.
1. The TV Show That Menaced Metropolis: This was a weird story involving a boy who had a bizarre affliction–if his blood was exposed to air, it would mutate into a giant white blood cell and devour anything in its path, including a would-be murderer.
2. The Baby who Walked Through Walls: It was interesting to see Neal Adams do a short story featuring Clark Kent as a very bad baby sitter.
3. The Girl who Didn’t Believe in Superman: An extremely rational blind girl refutes Superman’s existence. While trying to prove to her that he is real (for some reason), Superman discovers that a sliver of glass is what is blinding the girl; he then uses his superbrain to be able to perform surgery and restore the girl’s sight. Then she believes him.
4. World Beneath the North Pole: Lois is pretty cute in a black bikini.
5. Superman, You’re not Clark Kent–and I Can Prove It: Pete Ross’s son’s dying wish is that the son, Jon, can know Superman’s secret identity. The one problem with it? Jon doesn’t believe Superman when he does reveal himself to be Clark Kent. And who could blame the kid? Superman is such a liar to begin with. Anyway, as Superman tries to prove to Jon that he is indeed the Metropolis Milquetoast, he runs afoul of superlame villain, Whirlicane, and gets exposed in front of his Daily Planet colleagues, who also don’t believe, for some reason, that Clark and Superman are one and the same.
6. The Story of Superman, Junior: Superman briefly adopts an orphan, and dresses him in a costume similar in colors to Lightning Lad’s, but with an S symbol with “Jr” written in the middle! Ahh, the Silver Age…. As Superman’s powers are fading, Jr. takes on most of the heavy lifting. all while Superman sets up a new identity for himself and his new son in Smallville. In fact, Superman’s new identity includes a mustache and a paunch! After Supes regains his powers and Jr loses his, thanks to Jr’s machinations, Superman leaves Jr on a street vowing never to forget him. What?! What about the adoption, Superman? I didn’t realize that Dead-Beat Dad was a superpower.
7. The Kid with the Million Dollar Smile: A spoiled child actor wants nothing more than to play baseball, read comic books, and meet Superman. Well, duh!
8. Superman’s Command Performance: Superman seemingly comes under the strange telepathic commands of some Superman fan boys. It turns out, however, that an extradimensional alien boy is using his own powers to affect the Man of Steel. In the process, Superman tells one of the boys that he can walk again if Superman guides the hands of a skilled surgeon to remove a, you guessed it, sliver of glass from his spinal cord. I guess Superman hung up his surgical gown after curing that blind girl.