Superman 169 – Mr. Mxyzptlk gets lockjaw, Sally Selwyn returns, and the Bizarros invade

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The cover of Superman 169 (May 1964) announces “The Bizarro Invasion of Earth,” as well as “The Great DC Contest.”  But guess what, the two are really one and the same!

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But first, Siegel, Swan and Klein open this issue with a Mr. Mxyzptlk story, in which the imp comes down with a case of lockjaw.  Unable to speak, he figures this is the perfect time to head to Earth and pester Superman.

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But there is nothing much to this tale.  Simply Superman’s attempts to overcome the lockjaw.  Eventually Superman resorts to a disc that makes thoughts audible, a pretty extreme way to get out of the situation.

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Siegel also brings back Sally Selwyn in this issue, with art by Al Plastino.  The story recaps the romance she had with Superman while under a red kryptonite spell of amnesia, but also introduces a new character into the mix, a man who has hated Superman since they were teens, and who got plastic surgery in order to resemble him, so he could impersonate Superman for criminal benefit.

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Since this man looks like Superman, he also looks like Clark Kent, and Jim White, the name he adopted under the red kryptonite spell.

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So Sally runs into the criminal, and thinks he is really Jim.  The guy is confused, but Sally is rich, and his mob cronies are hunting him, so he goes along with her assumptions.  But he acts nothing like Jim did, and Sally begins to get concerned.

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Then she runs into a really confused Clark Kent, and also assumes him to be Jim.  Her kisses prove extremely potent, as they restore Superman’s memory of their time together.

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Finally Clark has a woman who loves him for himself, and he decides to ditch Lois and Lana and marry Sally.

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But then the bad guys attack him, thinking he is the criminal guy.  Lots of confused fighting, but the bad guy dies, extracting a promise from Superman to tell Sally that he really was Jim White.  So Superman, being too noble for his own good, goes along with it, and tells Sally that Jim White has died.

While the narration at the end of the story hints that more is to come with this star-crossed couple, as it turned out, this was Sally Selwyn’s final appearance.

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Siegel and Plastino close out the issue with the Bizarro story, which is also the big contest.

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The story itself is pretty bland for a Bizarro tale, as he and some others come to Earth to “fix” things.

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The beginning and end of the story insist that something is unique about this tale, but frankly, it’s all but impossible to spot that the story avoids using the letters “d” and “c.”  The contest element is explained on the letters page, that there are one of each letter that did make it into the story, and readers are meant to write in when they find it, with prizes drawn from the entrants.

 

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