A couple issues earlier, and the cover of Superman 45 (March/April 1947) might have mildly fit the story with Luthor tunnelling through the Earth.
Hocus and Pocus, the wanna-be magicians who had appeared a couple of times in Action Comics, make their only appearance in Superman in this issue.
The story, by Schwartz, Sikela and Roussos, opens as Perry White has an apparent breakdown. First he rails about all the negative news that the Planet covers, and then sends Lois and Clark out to do a story promoting Hocus and Pocus, despite Clark telling him that they are fakes.
While interviewing them, Lois falls off of a roof, the kind of thing she does without provocation. The magicians use their “magic” to turn Clark Kent into Superman, and he is relieved to be able to rescue her, identity intact.
But then Lois pays Hocus and Pocus to give her Superman’s powers, and Superman winds up spending the rest of the story following her around at super-speed, making her super-actions “real.” Hocus and Pocus pretty much get dropped from the tale at this point.
Superman is getting exhausted, spending all his time chasing Lois. When a party is thrown, to celebrate her new status as Superwoman, he uses his speed to make the men she dances with think she is injuring them. Rejected, and feeling like a wallflower, she gets Hocus and Pocus to “remove” her powers.
This is the last appearance of Hocus and Pocus until the 80s, when they return in the Mr. and Mrs. Superman series in Superman Family.
This story, by Siegel, Sikela and Roussos, takes Superman’s powers to a further extent than they have ever been – and ever will be. It’s kind of a surprise that Jerry Siegel wrote this, as it is far outside continuity.
The story deals with an alien, also described as being from another dimension, who is collecting human as trophies. It’s a good, solid, science-fiction story, but that’s not why I included it.
This story gives Superman new and dramatic powers, though it treats them as if there is nothing odd going on. He demonstrates telepathic mind control on his alien opponent.
Then he changes his form completely, in order to look like one of them.
But this was all just too much. Superman was already so powerful that few characters could challenge him, there was just no need to bump him up even further.