Superman 165 – Circe’s revenge, and Superman’s forgotten love

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There is a lot more deception taking place on the cover of Superman 165 (Nov. 63) than is apparent, thanks to a well-crafted story by Bernstein, Swan and Klein.

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Lana Lang is broadcasting an archeological dig, which uncovers and opens the tomb of Circe.  She claims to have been spurned in the past by Superman, and is seeking vengeance.

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Her magic is effective on Superman, giving him the head of a lion, and then a mouse.  She commands him to perform silly tasks, which he does, although he still manages to fight crime at the same time.

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But this is another of those stories in which nothing is as it seems.  Superman had actually been the victim of a successful attack by the Superman Revenge Squad, which prevented him from using his powers.  He discovered that they would work so long as he was upside down – a position which Circe’s tasks kept putting him in.  Of course, Circe wasn’t really the mythological Greek woman, it was Saturn Girl, aided by Proty II, who did the animal heads.

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Siegel and Plastino add another ill-fated romantic interest in this story, which sees Superman fall victim to red kryptonite, removing both his memory and his powers.

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With no idea who he is, Superman adopts the name Jim White, and gets a job as a lumberjack, and winds up falling in love with Sally Selwyn, the boss’ daughter.

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Things get hot between the two pretty fast, to the annoyance of another lumberjack, also interested in Sally.  When Jim proposes, this prompts the other man to attack him, leaving Jim paralyzed from the waist down.  Sally still intends to go through with the marriage, but Jim falls into the river, and is carried out to sea.

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Sally believes him to be dead, and he would be, if not for Aquaman and Lori Lemaris.  Lori uses her telepathic powers to help Superman’s memory, and the red kryptonite effect wears off under her care.  But now Superman has no memory of his time with Sally.

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So as Clark ends the story wishing there was a way to know if a woman would fall in love with him, instead of just his powered identity, he has no clue that Sally has done just that.

Sally Selwyn returns in a few months.

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