Friday Night Fights: Assassin - Round One: Floaters!
Welcome to the first round of out new Friday Night Fights bout, FNF: Assassin. Tonight's fight comes to us from Superman#297 from back in 1976. I'm classifying this one in the Lightweight Division, and after you see it, you'll know why.
Synopsis: Thanks to the manipulations of his alien neighbor Mr. Xavier (no relation to a certain dickish, recently-deceased X-mentor), Superman's powers have taken on a rather...schizoid.... turn. If he's wearing any of his Clark Kent clothing, he loses all his powers and becomes an ordinary man. But once he completely removes his Clark clothes, he reverts to his super-self.
Our Man of Steel thinks this power-schism may be caused by the psychological toll of having a double-identity, so he tries going a week each of using only one identity exclusively. For his Clark week, he decides to try to bring down Inter-Gang. First, he ascertains their secret hideout location from an informant, as seen below.
Wait, "Acme"? You mean Inter-Gang also sells Road Runner traps to Wile E. Coyote?
Anyway, Clark takes a leaf from Batman's book and utilizes his prep time.
Here he is, armed with a blowtorch and a mysterious red gizmo invented by Professor Pepperwinkle.
Wait, Inter-Gang has a sign that says "Inter-Gang" in bold red letters inside their own secret headquarters?
Anyway, a powerless Clark busts in on Intergang's hideout armed with only the Red Mystery Gizmo. But what does the Red Mystery Gizmo do?
Wait, "anti-gravity switch"? This should be interesting.
And it is.
Nice trick, but how will this possibly help the powerless Clark?
Well. it turns out he has a special advantage.
Cary Bates, Elliot S! Maggin, Curt Swan, and Bob Oksner give us this lesson in aerial combat in Superman#297.
Tonight's fight music is this little lighter-than-air tune by Modest Mouse.
BONUS: Interesting note -- Superman #297 is also famous for being the first time Pre-Crisis Clark Kent and Lois Lane had sex.
You'll notice how Lois has remained physically intact in those last two panels. Super-powered Kryptonian Clark and non-powered Earthling Lois have managed to consummate their relationship, yet there was absolutely no physical damage involved. Except perhaps for JMS' brain exploding.
Ah, you say, but he was Clark when he was with Lois that evening. If this is the same story arc, wouldn't he still only be as strong as an Earthling?
To which I answer: Reread the first paragraph in the "Synopsis" above. Note how it says he was only powerless as long as he was WEARING his Clark Kent CLOTHING.
(Yes, this is actually an important plot point.)
See where I'm going here???
For more anti-gravity altercations, click here. And don't forget to vote!
(Special thanks to the Superman Through The Ages website, and also Natasha at the Brought To You By The Letter "S" tumblr.)