Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ten million in 1974 dollars, roughly like demanding the entire state of Wisconsin...

Is there anything better than finding an old comic from your childhood? How about a dollar-bin copy! From 1974, Action Comics #442, "The Midnight Murder Show!" 'Teleplay' by Cary Bates, 'art design' by Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger, 'directed' by Julius Schwartz.

Thirty million people tune in every night for the Midnight Show, hosted by Johnny Carson, Johnny Nevada. Except tonight's show has a special guest host, Steve Lombard. His guests assume Nevada is merely on vacation again, but Clark Kent knows better: Nevada has been kidnapped by gangster Touch McCoy! Superman heard the gunshot fired as a warning, but only caught McCoy's men. Now, Lombard hosts the show live as part of McCoy's ransom demands, airing a specified cereal commercial at 12:31 AM to show that the network, GBS, would pay the ransom. McCoy has no intention of letting Nevada live, and Superman is stymied with false leads and red herrings.

Lombard bumps Clark Kent as a guest, when a better one arrives: Superman himself! Who's there to reveal his secret identity, live on the air...Johnny Nevada? Actually, Nevada explains, at Superman's behest, he traded identities with the Man of Steel for a day; meaning McCoy's 'victim' is really Superman! An elaborate ruse, that McCoy doesn't buy, and he shoots Nevada--which was precisely Superman's plan, as he used his super-hearing to find them! And of course, Superman is faster than a speeding bullet!

Meanwhile, back on the Midnight Show, Superman has just disappeared...and so has Clark Kent, leaving Lombard scrambling to fill eight minutes of air-time.

It may have been almost forty years since I've read this issue, so I was thrilled to find it.


SallyP said...

Now that's a comic book!

Dale Bagwell said...

Interesting. I like the cool way Shaffenberg illustrates "Supes" rotating the mask around an around.
Solid stuff.