Some days you’re leading the Justice League and saving the world from Brainiac. Others you’re wishing Sherlock Holmes into existence and officiating gorilla weddings.
We’re less than one week away from getting our hands on issue #1000 of ACTION COMICS. Let’s think about that for a minute. One thousand. One followed by three zeroes. That’s a whole lot of comics. And as you might expect, with that many issues and eighty years of history, our good friend Superman has no shortage of stories to look back on. Sure, some of them are exciting, dramatic, high flying…even romantic. I’d even go so far as to say that most of them are.
But some of them?
Ooooh, boy… Let’s just say that with a long life comes plenty of opportunities for things to get weird. And nobody does weird quite like Superman. This is a guy who has a whole planet of villains with the word “bizarre” in their name, after all. For all that we say Superman is all about small towns and wholesome values and apple pie and all that, the dude knows how to get freaky.
So, with that in mind (particularly the apple pie…remind me not to write listicles at lunchtime), let’s take a look at some of the silliest, some of the most out-there, most utterly bonkers Superman stories ever told.
Introducing Super-Menace! – SUPERMAN #137
In this very special (and very ’60s) issue of Superman, we learn that Kal-El was actually not the only Kryptonian infant sent to Earth in an escape pod. Turns out he was actually one of two, the other being a…replica made by some sort of…alien…craft…
Listen, just go with it, okay? There were two babies hurtling through space is the point here.
So, our little Kal crash lands in Smallville, like normal, and the other Kal crash lands conveniently right by the hideout of infamous husband and wife gangsters, “Wolf” and Bonnie Derek.
You can probably see where this is going.
The gangsters raise the second Kal-El into a Super-Brat who then grows up to be a domino mask wearing Super-Menace, the mightiest villain in the whole universe!
This entire issue was later written off as an “Imaginary Story,” which was the Silver Age go-to for retconning things when they got too out of hand. So tragically, Super-Menace no longer exists anywhere, but in our hearts.