"The Most Dangerous Man On Earth!": Clark Kent reports from a NASA space shuttle that is positioning the Large Space Telescope (LST) in a fixed orbit over Metropolis. Meanwhile Moe Malloy, a two-bit crook down on his luck, is fishing in Metropolis River trying to find dinn
- Gosh, Lois. I feel like a complete fool in this zoot suit.
- -- Superman
Appearing in "The Most Dangerous Man On Earth!"
- Moe Malloy
- Vincent Appleton
Synopsis for "The Most Dangerous Man On Earth!"
Clark Kent reports from a NASA space shuttle that is positioning the Large Space Telescope (LST) in a fixed orbit over Metropolis. Meanwhile Moe Malloy, a two-bit crook down on his luck, is fishing in Metropolis River trying to find dinner. Instead he finds a pair of football cleats and a rusty gun all of which are contaminated by a golden glow. Malloy’s old shoes are torn open so he decides to put on the football cleats. As he does, he gets a weird sensation coursing through his body, and the odd desire to fire the gun even though he knows it can’t work. A stream of light shoots out of the gun and destroys a Metropolis Electric Company building across the pier.
Meanwhile, Clark Kent’s shuttle lands at the NASA space-port in Metropolis. At the very instant Clark’s foot touches the ground, hundreds of solid, white spheres bubble up out of the earth. The bubbles quickly begin bursting, each with the force of a grenade. Clark, pretending to be a panicky civilian, takes the rocket gantry lift all the way up. Once out of sight, Clark changes into Superman. Superman uses his super-cold breath to “starch” his reporter clothes to make it appear that Clark is still in the lift. Superman begins the rescue when abruptly the bubbles disappear. Suspecting a connection with his feet touching the ground, Superman flies off with the Clark Kent decoy. Superman tests his theory on a deserted knoll outside the city. As soon as his feet touch the ground, the explosive spheres bubble out of the earth. Superman deduces something happened while he was in orbit earlier that day and decides that he must not touch the ground as Superman or Clark Kent.
Later than day Lois Lane and Clark Kent are shopping at Mr. Norman’s Costume Shoppe for the Nostalgia Night Dance hosted by their boss, Morgan Edge. While Clark is trying on a zoot suit, reports of Malloy robbing the Metro Savings Back with his new found firepower are heard on the evening news. Elsewhere, Malloy has decided that robbing banks is too dangerous and instead sets his sights on private citizen. His first target is Vincent Appleton – amateur astronomer, collector of priceless meteorites, and upstairs neighbor of Clark Kent. Malloy subdues Appleton and shoots the lock off of his safe which accidentally pierces through the floor below alerting Superman of the robbery. Superman busts his way through Appleton’s door while Malloy fires at point blank range. Superman’s invulnerable body absorbs the energy blast but discharges it in another direction. Superman uses his super breath to knock Malloy over. When Malloy’s feet leave the ground Superman notices that his shoes stops glowing and the gun has no power. Superman concludes that the cleats act as conductors drawing energy out of the ground. To rectify the situation, Superman throws two of Appleton’s space rocks into the floorboards acting as a lever to catapult Malloy into the air. Before Malloy can hit the ground, Superman throws a fireplace poker through his coat pinning him to the wall and unable to touch the floor. Malloy is easily subdued without the power of his gun. Superman checks on Appleton who was knocked unconscious by his telescope. After seeing the telescope and learning that Malloy was using the ground as a power source, Superman realizes that it was not his body that was altered in orbit but that the ground had been altered by the LST. The bubbles were a deflection of Superman’s power in the same way that Superman’s invulnerable body deflected the energy blast from Malloy’s gun. Superman follows a trail with his infra-red vision directly to the LST in geosynchronous orbit above Metropolis. Superman discovers that the lens LST had been covered in a cosmic dust from its transportation into orbit. Superman uses his heat vision to cleans the lens of the LST.
Back on earth, Clark Kent and Lois Lane dance the night away at the Nostalgia Night Dance. Lois complains to Clark about dragging his feet. Clark apologies but secretly is thinking how good it is to finally be able to stand on solid ground again.
Appearing in "The Assassin-Express Contract!"
- Human Target (First appearance)
- Luigi (First appearance)
- Professional Killer (Only appearance; dies)
- Harry Cheever (Single appearance)
- Mister Smithers (Single appearance)
- T.C. Newman (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Assassin-Express Contract!"
Christopher Chance practices his skills on a private sound-proofed shooting range inside his Boston apartment. His close friend Luigi brings in a Mr. Smithers who wants to hire the Human Target for a case. Smithers works for Horizon Chemical Corporation and has accidentally hired a killer to murder his boss T.C. Newman, although he only intended to engage in some industrial espionage. He is hiring the Human Target to get the murder off his conscience. Chance takes the executives place on a train to California where he knows the assassin will strike, and figures out that his assailant is posing as the conductor. After dealing with a bomb in his compartment, he gives chase to the man and they end up fighting on the top of the car. Chance activates the emergency break with a gadget in his cufflink, and the hitman goes flying off to his death. Later, Smithers is relieved that they were successful, but he also loses his job when his boss discovers what happened.
- The Assassin-Express Contract is reprinted in Best of DC #30.
- This is the first appearance of Christopher Chance, the Human Target. He appears next in Action Comics #420.
- This is not the first time the concept has been used. There was also a Human Target back in Gang Busters #61.
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- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 3)
- Superman (Volume 4)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- Superman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Superman: Man of Steel (Volume 1)
- Superman: Man of Tomorrow (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
Links and References
- Superman at Wikipedia.org
- Superman at DC Comics
- Superman at TV Tropes
- Human Target at Wikipedia.org
- Human Target at the Comic Book Database