Loading Up On Karb, Part 1: Introduction
I know what many of you are thinking: Who?
Well, Karb-Brak is the name of an alien from the Andromeda Galaxy living on earth disguised as a human construction worker with the oh-so-clever alias of Andrew Meda.
Why is he stuck living on Earth? Because of a unique medical condition.
In this case, what they call "super-powers" are essentially Kryptonian-level strength, speed, flight, and invulnerability, with a side order of J'onn J'onnzian pulling-powers-out-of-one's-ass.
Anyway, the Andromedan doctors send Karb to Earth to rest and recuperate, but there's a super-fly in the ointment.
You see, Karb's malady is one of those wacky Cary Bates-concocted afflictions in which the sufferer exhibits increasingly crazy-ass symptoms as the disease progresses. Besides the fever and the glowing, Karb's symptoms here include transmitting his high fever to Clark...
...followed by energy waves which distort everything in the general area...
...and finally, this.
(Thanks for the visual, Curt Swan!)
I'd like to say Karb-Brak handles this adversity with heroic stoicism, but....not so much.
First, after narrowing down Supes' secret identity between Clark and Steve Lombard, he starts out by trying to kill the latter.
(Nice dodge there, Steve! You'll probably be hurting in the morning, though.)
After Supes saves Steve, thus eliminating Lombard from the suspect list, Karb turns his attentions to Clark. And here he gets...creative. He has some assistance, though.
Allow me to introduce: The Psi-Machine.
The Psi-Machine is a device Karb brought from Andromeda. Its true function is to serve as our story's resident deus ex machina plot device, allowing Karb to implenent a series of Rube Goldbergian schemes to rid him of our Man Of Steel.
First, Karb uses the device to brainwash the entire Metropolis population to love and worship Clark Kent "Everybody Loves Xander" style in the hopes that Clark will hold back against a Brak attack for fear of endangering the adoring throngs following him.