Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics
DC Comics Presents #14Cover date: October 1979
Writer: Paul Levitz
Penciller: Dick Dillin
Inker: Dick Giordano
Cover: Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano
"Judge, Jury... and No Justice!"
Reviewed by: Rafael Magat
At the Metropolis Court House, a prosecutor is about to prove the defendant's guilt. As he does so, Lois Lane gets bored as Clark Kent watches on. Lois tells Clark that she's going to go and have lunch, Clark tells her that he's not sure and that he thinks that this could be important. Lois mocks his lack of journalistic instinct and asks him how he became a top reporter, Clark says that he's just lucky. As Lois walks away, Clark then gets up and tells her that he will join her, when... Superboy comes bursting in throught the door! The entire room becomes chaotic as Superboy punches Clark and debris falls, Clark uses this opportunity to change into Superman. Superman then flies out and confronts Superboy. Lois asks what's going on, Superman tells her that he's not sure but he will find out. Superman and Superboy fly towards each other. Superman asks who he is, Superboy tells him that he really is Superboy and that he's also his doom! Superboy punches Superman and then punches him again, saying that he brought this upon himself, Superman tells him to stop, he doesn't want to hurt him. Superboy tells him not to worry, he won't! And with that, Superboy throws Superman into the floor. Lois then goes to help Superman. Superboy tells him that he'll need the help and that she's given him a very important idea and Superboy flies off vowing to return to settle their account. Lois asks if Superman's going to chase after him. Superman says that it's more vital that he find out who that was and Superman flies off. Superman then drills beneath the rubble to change back into Clark. Clark then reappears under the rubble. Lois asks if he's alright, Clark tells her that he could use a hand.
Later that night, Superman flies over the city in search of "Superboy". As Superman ponders things such as why he wasn't hurled back to another time after meeting himself, Superman then stops two boats from colliding. Superman then thinks to himself that the case is as stalled as the car on the road. Superman lifts up the car and delivers it to a gas station, telling the driver to check his gas gauge next time. As he flies the car down the attendant at the gas station is shocked by Superman's appearance. Superman then flies off as the driver says thanks for bringing his car to the station and sorry for the trouble. Superman then hears the supersonic signal from Jimmy Olsen's signal watch and rushes to his rescue, which leads Superman into the Grand Canyon. As Superman goes into the canyon he is hit by a missile and is knocked out.
Superman wakes up to find "Superboy" with a bazooka and that he has been chained to the canyon wall with Kryptonite chains and shackles! Superman asks why he was chained. "Superboy" responds by telling him that this is simply the beginning. Superboy announces that his sins have come back to haunt him! Superboy then presents the jury which shall condemn him, ("Superboy" then brings in a flying saucer), his closest friends! Lana Lang, Lois Lane, Perry White, Jimmy Olsen and Steve Lombard! Superboy announces that they'll make him, his executioner! The jurors protest Superboy. Superboy then aims the bazooka at them, saying that if they don't keep quiet he'll kill them all! Superman then says that it can't be Superboy, saying that there's nothing that evil or mad within him. Superboy then tells Superman that he's simply inside Superboy's body!
We are then treated to a flashback showing a blonde man entering one of Luthor's hidden lairs beneath Smallville, Superboy explains that his real self is a rich man with contacts on both sides of the law. "Superboy" says that he used his contacts to find Luthor's hidden lair where he found two weapons, a time-travel device and a mind-transfer machine. The blonde man is then shown pulling Superboy out of the past and switching minds with him. "Superboy" says that the real Superboy is stuck inside a helpless human body, the body of PETE ROSS! Superman is shocked by this. "Superboy" turns towards the jurors, saying that Superman allowed aliens to kidnap his son and then abandoned him on their planet. Lois defends Superman telling him that Superman told her what really happened, that Pete's son was destined to be the warlord of that planet and lead their space-fleet to save Earth. The jurors side with Lois and Superman. Perry says that he isn't guilty and that it'll be the only verdict they'll get from them. "Superboy" then aims the bazooka at them again and tells them to reconsider their verdict or he'll kill them.
In Luthor's hidden lair beneath Smallville, "Pete Ross" is tied to a chair. He kicks the chair and breaks free. He uses a bunsen burner to burn his binds and begins to think of a way to stop "Superboy". "Pete" exits the lair and realizes that he's in Smallville. "Pete" then runs towards his old house and goes into his hidden lab to find... nothing but a few books, a whistle and a lamp. "Pete" then realizes that they maybe all he needs.
Back at the Grand Canyon, "Superboy" asks the jury if they've changed their minds. They stick with their verdict. "Superboy" then tells them that they're going to be witnesses, to Superman's murder! "Superboy" fires a Kryptonite shell from his bazooka, but just as he does so, Superman breaks free of his chains and crash lands below as the missile explodes! "Superboy" goes up into the upper atmosphere to get more Kryptonite. Superman lies on the ground helpless.
In the upper atmosphere of Earth, "Superboy" plays a game of billiards with Kryptonite and asteroids! He plots the trajectories, then uses his bazooka to push them into place, when... Krypto arrives. Krypto attacks "Superboy", who realizes that the dog knows that it's not really his master. Krypto pushes "Superboy" back down to the Grand Canyon where he crashes. Krypto helps the jurors get out. Superman is aided by Jimmy and Lois. Krypto happily returns to his master as "Superboy" staggers toward them. Superman tells him that he wouldn't stand a chance and "Superboy" sits down and cries.
Later, in Luthor's lair, "Pete" and Superman talk while "Superboy" is strapped to a chair. Superman then switches their minds and the real Superboy returns home to find Krypto the biggest steak he can find, even though he won't earn it for years.
In 1979, Superman vows, that he'll find a way to cure his friend.
Story - 3: Boy, that was a tough issue to summarize. Anyway, the story is good, but like Infinite Crisis #7, riddled with inconcistencies, such as, how exactly does "Superboy" tie Superman up in Kryptonite chains and not get harmed? How does Pete break into Luthor's lair anyway, isn't there some secret code or defense system for the lair? And look at the panel where "Superboy" is playing billiards with the K. He's about five feet from the meteors which are kinda big and there are seven of them! And he doesn't pass out! Ughhhh! But anyway, the good parts of the story, Pete tries to kill Superman, given the reason (son gets left on planet to grow up to save earth) it makes a lot of sense. Lois and Clark's banter is good. There's a lot of action and Superboy uses his head, I just like that part.
Art - 2: "Great Scott Krypto, your ears are huge!", and they are under the hands of Dick Dillin. The art here is okay, average, but the inking pushes it from a three to a two. It looks so rushed and at times I can't tell Superman from Superboy and every time a woman looks straigth at us, they look like they're dazed and confused. And apparently you can see the Grand Canyon from the upper atmosphere, in fairly good detail.
Cover Art - 5: It happened, and the art here puts the interiors to shame.
Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews
- Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
- Action Comics #2 (July 1938)
- Action Comics #3 (August 1938)
- Action Comics #4 (September 1938)
- Action Comics #5 (October 1938)
- Action Comics #6 (November 1938)
- Action Comics #7 (December 1938)
- Superman Archives: Volume 1 (1939)
- Superman #1 (Summer 1939)
- Action Comics #8 (January 1939)
- Action Comics #9 (February 1939)
- Action Comics #10 (March 1939)
- Superman #13 (November/December 1941) - The Archer
- Superman #19 (November/December 1942) - Case of the Funny Paper Crimes
- Action Comics #60 (May 1943) - Lois Lane - Superwoman
- Superman #30 (September/October 1944) - The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk
- Action Comics #80 (January 1945) - Mr. Mxyztplk Returns
- Superman #38 (January/February 1946) - The Battle of the Atoms
- Superman #42 (September/October 1946) - The Death of Clark Kent
- Superman #45 (March/April 1947) - Lois Lane, Superwoman
- Superman #53 (July 1948) - The Origin of Superman
- Action Comics #124 (September 1948) - A Superman of Doom
- Superman #60 (December 1949/January 1950) - The Two Identities of Superman & Superman Fights the Super-Brain
- Superman #76 (May/June 1952) - The Mightiest Team in the World
- Superman #80 (January/February 1953) - Superman's Lost Brother
- Superman 3D (1953) - The Man Who Stole the Sun, Origin of Superman and The Man Who Bossed Superman
- Superman #87 (February 1954) - The Prankster's Greatest Role
- Superman #88 (March 1954) - The Terrible Trio
- Superman #89 (May 1954) - Captain Kent the Terrible, Superman of Skid Row, and One Hour to Doom!
- Superman #91 (August 1954) - The Superman Stamp and Great Caesar's Ghost
- World's Finest #88 (May/June 1957) - Superman and Batman's Greatest Foes
- Superman #115 (August 1957) - The Midget Superman!
- Superboy #65 (May/June 1958) - The Amazing Adventures of Krypto Mouse
- Action Comics #242 (July 1958) - The Super-Duel in Space
- Superman #123 (August 1958) - The Girl of Steel
- Superman #127 (February 1959) - Titano the Super Ape
- Action Comics #252 (May 1959) - The Menace of Metallo and The Supergirl From Krypton
- Superman #129 (May 1959) - The Girl in Superman's Past
- Superman #130 (July 1959) - The Curse of Kryptonite!, The Super-Servant of Crime!, and The Town that Hated Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #40 (October 1959) - Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl's Pal
- Superman #134 (January 1960) - The Super-Menace of Metropolis
- Jimmy Olsen #42 (January 1960) - The Big Superman Movie!, Perry White, Cub Reporter!, and Jimmy the Genie!
- Jimmy Olsen #44 (April 1960) - The Wolf-Man of Metropolis
- Adventure Comics #271 (April 1960) - How Luthor Met Superboy
- Jimmy Olsen #46 (July 1960) - Jimmy Olsen, Orphan
- Superman #141 (November 1960) - Superman's Return To Krypton
- Superboy #85 (December 1960) - The Impossible Mission
- Jimmy Olsen #51 (March 1961) - The Girl with Green Hair
- Jimmy Olsen #52 (April 1961) - Jimmy Olsen, Wolf-Man
- Superboy #89 (June 1961) - Superboy's Big Brother!
- Action Comics #279 (August 1961) - The Super-Rivals
- Superman #147 (August 1961) - The Legion of Super Villains
- Superman #149 (November 1961) - The Death of Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #57 (December 1961) - Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl
- Superman #155 (August 1962) - Superman Under the Green Sun and The Downfall of Superman
- Justice League of America #13 (August 1962) - Riddle of the Robot Justice League
- World's Finest #129 (November 1962) - Joker-Luthor, Incorporated
- Superman #158 (January 1963) - Superman in Kandor
- Superman #160 (April 1963) - The Mortal Superman
- Superman #161 (May 1963) - The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent
- Superman #162 (July 1963) - The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue
- Superman #163 (August 1963) - Wonder-Man, the New Hero of Metropolis and The Goofy Superman
- Justice League of America #21 & #22 (August/September 1963) - Crisis on Earth-One! and Crisis on Earth-Two!
- Superman #164 (October 1963) - The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman
- Superman #165 (November 1963) - The Sweetheart Superman Forgot
- Superman #166 (January 1964) - The Fantastic Story of Superman's Sons
- Superman #167 (February 1964) - The Team of Luthor and Brainiac
- Superman #168 (April 1964) - Luthor - Super Hero and Lex Luthor, Daily Planet Editor
- Superman #169 (May 1964) - The Man Who Stole Superman's Secret Life
- Action Comics #314 (July 1964) - The Day Superman Became The Flash
- Justice League of America #29 & #30 (August/September 1964) - Crisis on Earth-Three! and The Most Dangerous Earth of All!
- Superman #173 (November 1964) - The Triumph of Luthor and Brainiac
- Action Comics #318 (November 1964) - The Death of Luthor
- Action Comics #319 (December 1964) - The Condemned Superman
- Superman #175 (February 1965) - Clark Kent's Brother
- Superman #181 (November 1965) - The Superman of 2965
- The Legion of Super-Heroes - Archives Volume 4 (1965)
- Superman #184 (February 1966) - The Demon Under the Red Sun
- Action Comics #338 (June 1966) - Muto - Monarch of Menace
- Action Comics #339 (July 1966) - Muto versus The Man of Tomorrow
- Superman #189 (August 1966) - Krypton Lives Again
- Action Comics #346 (February 1967) - The Man Who Sold Insurance to Superman and The Case of the Superman Imposter
- Superman #194 (February 1967) - The Death of Lois Lane
- Superman #196 (May 1967) - The Star of Steel
- Superman #199 (January 1967) - Superman's Race With The Flash
- Superman #200 (October 1967) - Super-Brother Against Super-Brother
- The Flash #175 (December 1967) - Race to the End of the Universe
- Justice League of America #63 (June 1968) - Time Signs a Death Warrant for the Justice League
- Superman #211 (November 1968) - The Name of the Game is Superman!
- Superman #215 (April 1969) - Lois LaneŠ DeadŠ Yet Alive
- Superman #224 (February 1970) - Beware the Super-Genius Baby
- Action Comics #393 (October 1970) - Superman Meets Super-Houdini! and The Day Superboy Became Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #133 (October 1970) - The Newsboy Legion
- Action Comics #394 (November 1970) - Midas of Metropolis and Requiem for a Hot Rod!
- World's Finest #198 (November 1970) - Race to Save the Universe!
- Action Comics #395 (December 1970) - The Secrets of Superman's Fortress and The Credit Card of Catastrophe
- Jimmy Olsen #134 (December 1970) - The Mountain of Judgement!
- World's Finest #199 (December 1970) - A Race to Save Time!
- Superman #233 (January 1971) - Superman Breaks Loose!
- Jimmy Olsen #135 (January 1971) - The Evil Factory!
- Superman #234 (February 1971) - How to Tame a Wild Volcano
- Jimmy Olsen #136 (February 1971) - The Saga of the D.N.Aliens
- Superman #235 (March 1971) - The Sinister Scream of the Devil's Harp
- Superman #236 (April 1971) - Planet of the Angels and The Doomsayer
- Jimmy Olsen #137 (April 1971) - The Four-Armed Terror!
- Superman #237 (May 1971) - The Enemy of Earth
- Superman #238 (June 1971) - Menace at 1000 Degrees
- Jimmy Olsen #138 (June 1971) - The Big Boom!!
- Superman #240 (July 1971) - To Save a Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #139 (July 1971) - The Guardian Fights Again!!!
- Superman #241 (August 1971) - The Shape of Fear
- Superman #242 (September 1971) - The Ultimate Battle
- Jimmy Olsen #141 (September 1971) - Will the Real Don Rickles Panic?!?
- Jimmy Olsen #142 (October 1971) - The Man from Transilvane!
- Jimmy Olsen #143 (November 1971) - Genocide Spray
- Jimmy Olsen #144 (December 1971) - A Big Thing in a Deep Scottish Lake!
- Superman #247 (January 1972) - Must There Be A Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #145 (January 1972) - Brigadoom!
- Jimmy Olsen #146 (February 1972) - Homo-Disastrous!
- Jimmy Olsen #147 (March 1972) - A Superman in Super-Town!
- Jimmy Olsen #148 (April 1972) - Monarch of All He Subdues!
- Superman #292 (October 1975) - The Luthor Nobody Knows!
- Action Comics #458 (April 1976) - Make Me a Super-Hero! and Masquerade of the Nutty Kid!
- Superman vs. Muhammad Ali (Spring 1978)
- Action Comics #484 (June 1978) - Superman Takes a Wife!
- Superman #328 (October 1978) - Attack of the Kryptonoid
- Action Comics #489 (November 1978) - Krypton Dies Again and Where There's a Will... There's a Fray
- Superman #329 (November 1978) - I Have Met The Enemy... And He Is Me! and The Secret of the Talking Car
- Superman #330 (December 1978) - The Master Mesmerizer of Metropolis!
- Action Comics #490 (December 1978) - No Tomorrow For Superman
- Action Comics #491 (January 1979) - A Matter of Light and Death
- Superman #331 (January 1979) - Lockup at 20,000 Feet
- Action Comics #492 (February 1979) - Superman's Secret Afterlife
- Superman #332 (February 1979) - The Eternity Cage
- Action Comics #493 (March 1979) - The Metropolis UFO Connection
- Action Comics #494 (April 1979) - The Secret of the Super S
- Action Comics #495 (May 1979) - Attack of the Ultimate Warrior
- DC Comics Presents #14 (October 1979) - Judge, Jury... and No Justice!
- The Superman Story (1979) - The Life Story of Superman
- DC Comics Presents #57 (May 1983) - Days of Future Past
- DC Comics Presents #67 (March 1984) - 'Twas the Fright Before Christmas
- DC Comics Presents Annual #3 (1984) - With One Magic Word
- Superman: The Secret Years #1 (February 1985) - Dreams and Schemes and Feeling Proud!
- Superman: The Secret Years #2 (March 1985) - Reach Out and Touch
- Superman: The Secret Years #3 (April 1985) - Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #80 (April 1985) - A World Full of Supermen!
- Superman: The Secret Years #4 (May 1985) - Beyond Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #85 (September 1985) - The Jungle Line
- Superman Annual #11 (1985) - For The Man Who Has Everything
- World's Finest #323 (January 1986) - Afraid of the Dark
- DC Comics Presents #97 (September 1986) - Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter
- Superman #423 & Action Comics #583 (September 1986) - Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow?
- Showcase Presents: Superman Family - Volume 1 (October 2005)
- Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons (December 2007)
- Not Brand ECHH #7 (April 1967) - The Origin of Stuporman
Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.