Like the rest of editor Mort Weisinger’s Superman line-up of titles in the 1960s, SUPERBOY was a top seller. Though not appreciated all that much by the fan community of the next two decades due to the fact that Weisinger aimed his material squarely ad a younger audience than most, these books had a range that would make other titles envious. SUPERBOY was a Top-5 title, regularly in the Top-3. And so the number of copies on the market plus the indifference of most hardcore fans meant that these books were plentiful on the back issue market–which explains why so many of them were among the box of Windfall Comics I purchased in 1988.

Even as late as 1965, while the world changed around him. Weisinger stuck to his tried-and-true format. Most issues of SUPERBOY featured three self-contained adventures of the Boy of Steel, often involving elements of the overarching mythology that Weisinger and his writers and artists were crafting for Superman and his world. And this issue was no different. It kicks off with a Superbaby story written by Ed Hamilton and drawn by George Papp. As his name suggests, Superbaby concerned the exploits of an even younger Clark Kent, before he could speak in complete sentences but who still possessed a full flight of super-powers. Somebody must have really liked these stories, because Mort produced a lot of them.

In this particular story, Superbaby accidentally propels himself into the far future while attempting to chase down a shooting star. There, he winds up getting involved in a war between humanity and the Zarians, who are attempting the conquer the Earth. The Zarians want to use Superbaby as a weapon to insure their victory, and one of them befriends him. But the Earth soldiers recover Superbaby–but they kind of want the same thing from him. Ultimately, Superbaby brings the war to a halt all by himself, destroying everybody’s weapons, and then locates a suitable planet for the homeless Zarians to emigrate to via his telescopic vision. The future scientists instruct Superbaby how he can return to his own time, and when he gets back, Ma and Pa Kent think that the story he tells them about his adventures in the future was all a dream.

Next is a cool full page ad for the 80 Page Giant that many fans had been asking for. The first SECRET ORIGINS ANNUAL had been incredibly popular, assembling the origin stories of a bunch of DC’s most popular characters in a single place. So it’s a little bit surprising that this follow-up took four years to materialize. Then again, there were likely only so many such stories that could be culled together for the book.

The second story was also drawn by George Papp, but this one was written by Leo Dorfman. it involves a rich uncle of the Kent family who wants to cure his loneliness by adopting Clark. Naturally, neither Clark nor his parents are down to accept this offer. But when Uncle Kendall is almost in a car accident on the way home–an accident that is averted by Superboy–his mind goes into shock and he awakens believing that Clark has accented to his request. Because of his uncle’s delicate condition, his doctor tells the Kents that in order to save Kendall’s sanity, they must humor Kendall in every way possible–including pretending that the adoption is something that Clark wants.

So Clark goes along with the deception, but it proves to be no bed of roses to be a millionaire’s son. He’s doted over by servants all the time, he’s forced to dress in the finest clothes, his friends at school think he’s high-hatting them, and it’s almost impossible to get away to become Superboy when the need arises. Kendall’s doctor tells Clark that it’s possible that another similar shock will restore his uncle’s mentality, and so Superboy arranges such a thing. And of course it works! The end! It’s a nice enough little low-stakes story, though employing the sort of psychology used in situation comedies.

The Smallville Mailsack is scaled back a bit this time out to make space for a 1/3 page ad for Silly Putty, which no doubt brought DC/National in a few dollars. It’s still skewed to answering the questions of Mort’s young audience, and he’s clearly trained them over time as to what sorts of questions and letters are likely to make it into print.

The final story in the issue was the cover story, and it too was drawn by George Papp. But here, the writer was Superman and Superboy’s co-creator Jerry Siegel. Siegel was getting to the end of the line of his time writing the character–not long after this, he’d renew his attempts to legally recapture the rights to his famous creation and once again become persona non grata up at DC. but for now, Mort kept him constantly at work, and considered him to be the best emotional writer in his stable of talent. Of course, being Weisinger, he never told siegel this directly, preferring instead to belittle the writer, as he did all of his talent.

The story involved evil Dr. Diablo’s attempt to create a Superboy android that will siphon the powers away from the true Boy of steel and destroy him. But the Transfer Ray shorts out after only half of Superboy’s abilities have been stolen, leaving each Superboy with an assortment of half his normal abilities. The android, though, is powered by Kryptonite, and so it’s able to defeat Superboy–but it stops at the last second, unable to go through with it. Relieved, Superboy brings the android back to live with Ma and Pa Kent and himself while he can figure out how to get his lost powers back. when Dr. Diablo strikes back at the pair, the android of course gives his life to protect his “brother” the true Superboy–and the Boy of Steel regains his powers once the android has perished.

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