Maggin, Bates, Swan and Oskner continue with the Mr. Xavier storyline in Superman 297 (March 1976).
I likely ought to have mentioned that the previous issue brought back Inter-Gang, the criminal organization that once had ties to Darkseid and Apokolips. Those days have passed, but the mob is back, and proud enough of themselves to have a big sign with their name on it at their headquarters.
Clark has decided to live his life as a normal human in this issue. But with no other identity to hide, he now feels no need to act all meek and humble, and is more than capable of standing up to Steve Lombard when he tries to muscle in on his date with Lois Lane.
Lois is quite taken with this new, self-assured Clark Kent, and after almost 50 years, things actually get hot and heavy between them.
As a side note, this issue also has the first time that Clark Kent tries Beef Bourguinon, which will, (with ketchup) become his favourite dish.
The absence of Superman has emboldened the criminal element in Metropolis. Actor Gregory Reed has a small role in this story, dressing up in his Superman costume to bluff some felons into surrendering. Clark feels somewhat ashamed of this, and decides that there is no reason he cannot put his years of experience to use as Clark.
And so, with the help of an anti-gravity device, Clark bursts in on an Inter-Gang meeting, and takes down the entire group by himself. He may not be able to fly, but he knows how to maneuver in zero gravity, unlike the gang members.
As for Mr. Xavier, he gets new instructions. Kill Superman.
The story continues in the next issue.