Type Comic
Date None (1940-03)

Luthor's Undersea City

All the oil wells in the world have suddenly dried up, and Clark is sent to cover the story. As Superman, he races toward Oklahoma (why?) when he begins to be pursued by a torpedo-like projectile. He manages to disable it, when Luthor's face appears on it, warning Superman to keep clear of the oil well mystery.

Luthor is weird.

Lois arrives, and the two enter the office of the Oklahoma Bulletin, to hear that "the entire Pacific coast is inundated under two feet of water and the ocean is steadily rising". Clark knows a good story when he hears one, and he immediately drags Lois off for the West coast. When they leave the newspaper office, though, they are met by a pair of thugs--Luthor's thugs. Luthor has not forgotten the trouble Lois and Clark caused him, the first time they met (in Action Comics #23). Needing to act without Lois learning his secret, Clark "presses a certain nerve on Lois' neck so that she will be unconscious during the ensuing events." A predecessor of Mr. Spock's Vulcan nerve pinch?

Now able to act freely, Clark disables the steering and brakes on the car, knocks out the two thugs, grabs Lois, and jumps free, just as the car sails over a cliff. Now, that's pretty cold-blooded of him. "No need to hide my secret from you two, because I'm about to murder you!" Yikes.

When Lois awakens, they continue on their way to the West coast. They hire a plane for $1,000, and Clark spots something rising up out of the water--"a glass-enclosed city of ancient, weird design". The glass retracts, and out flies a pterodactyl, which attacks the plane. The pilot is killed, and Lois is once again knocked unconscious. Lois and Clark are seized by the pterodactyl, but Clark manages to overpower it. When they land, Lois begins to awaken, and Clark changes into his Superman costume, in case of future need. Lois is attacked by a giant rat, which Superman defeats, but while his back is turned she is kidnapped by Luthor.

Once again, Luthor holds Lois hostage to gain Superman's compliance. Luthor explains that the city they are in is the ruins of the sunken continent, Pacifo. It was this that caused the ocean to flood, and it was Luthor who stole the oil, as well. In this city, Luthor has "recreated biological monstrosities of the past", which he intends to loose on the world, to bring it under his control. He offers to be more lenient with the world if Superman will cooperate with him, but Superman refuses.

So, Luthor makes Superman an offer: best the opponent he chooses, and Superman and Lois can go free. Luthor's chosen champion--a large dinosaur. Superman triumphs over the beast, but Luthor is not as good as his word. He orders his men to shoot them, but at that moment American planes begin dropping lethal gas on the city. In the confusion, Superman escapes with Lois and changes his appearance once more to Clark Kent. Clark, takes Lois to a doctor, and it transpires that Lois will be fine, but has no memory of any event after the plane was attacked. Clark explains that the plane crashed near the shore, and he was able to get to the beach with Lois. And, of course, Clark once again got a great front-page story--"even Superman couldn't have done better", Clark quips.

Character Type
Lex Luthor Main
Superman Main
Lois Lane Sub
Name Role
Jerry Siegel Author
Joe Shuster Penciller
Paul H. Cassidy Inker


Relation Sources
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