Superman’s friends have a big secret in issue 152 (April 1962), in a story by Siegel, Swan and Klein.
Clark Kent comes to the Daily Planet one day, only to find that Lois Lane is writing an article exposing his identity as Superman. Lois acts disdainfully towards him, as does Jimmy Olsen, who is preparing to expose Supergirl as well.
After Perry White joins in on the lynch mob, Superman uses his x-ray vision (as per the cover image) and discovers that his friends have been replaced by robots. He calls on Supergirl for help, and they bring the robots to the Fortress to study them. They are under the control of someone called the Robot Master, but the robots act of their own accord as well. In the Fortress, they each check out the room dedicated to the person they based on.
The Clark Kent robot joins them, as they begin fighting amongst themselves over which one Superman likes best. The robots wind up ripping each other apart. Superman and Supergirl do not notice that the Clark Kent robot starts removing pieces of the damaged ones.
In a somewhat nonsensical ending, the Robot Master is revealed to be the Legion of Super-Heroes. This story comes just before they begin their own series in Adventure Comics, the next place Cosmic Boy, Lighting Lad, Saturn Girl, Chameleon Boy and Sun Boy appear. Brainiac 5 gets a cameo in a Supergirl story between the two.
The reason for this bizarre hoax was to commemorate Supergirl’s arrival on Earth. Of course it was. It’s all so clear now.
Inside the robots were tiny figures of the Legion, and the super cousins. They get displayed on a very large shelf, making them look even smaller.
Tagged: Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Clark Kent, Cosmic Boy, Curt Swan, DC Comics, Fortress of Solitude, George Klein, Jerry Siegel, Legion of Super-Heroes, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Supergirl, Superman