Superman 131 – Mr. Mxyzptlk debuts, Superman’s future wife, and past deeds for present friends

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Gee, it’s so hard to figure out who is being implied as Superman’s wife on the cover of issue 131 (Aug. 59).

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The lead story of the issue, by Coleman and Plastino, is the first time a 5th dimensional imp has plagued Superman in over three years.  But by accident or design, the name was altered from Mxyztplk to Mxyzptlk, just at the right time for this to count as the first appearance of the Earth-1 Mr. Mxyzptlk.

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The story does not treat him as a new character, Superman knows exactly who he is, and even has a number of flashbacks, though not to real stories.  This story gives a very scientific reason for the backwards speaking to send Mxyzptlk back to his home turf.

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The imp has a warning alarm in his hat in this tale, preventing Superman’s usual tricks from working on him.

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So Superman has a tape of Mxyzptlk speaking rigged to play his name backwards.  This works, although only because of the scientific basis for the transfer.

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The cover story has some very nice art by Kurt Schaffenberger, but Robert Bernstein’s story does Lois no favours.

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She visits an enchanted cottage, where a chair will give her a vision of the future. She wants to see who Superman will marry, and is treated to a series of scenes of his married life, but the woman can never be clearly identified.  Lois watches all this with increasing jealousy of the unknown woman, who might well be her.  The vision over, she subjects a mystified Superman to a jealous tirade.

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Binder and Plastino share the final story in the issue, another Untold Tale of a day in Superboy’s life.

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Clark has, in his mind, a fairly uneventful day. He helps a toddler, saves the briefcase of a reporter, and comes to the assistance of a girl stuck in a mask at a party.

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The end of the story reveals to the reader that Superboy had spent the day helping Jimmy Olsen, Perry White and Lois Lane.  It’s not that much of a surprise, but a decent enough tale.

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