SUPERMAN ROBOTS

Membership: Friday, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, No. 6

Alias: Superboy Robots

Base of Operations: Metropolis, formerly Smallville

First Appearance: World's Finest Comics I #42 (September, 1949)

History (Adventure Comics I #251 (fb)) - Clark started a mineral collection for his geology class, and Pa went to the site where his rocket landed on Earth, and picked up a radioactive rock from the area. Clark soon fell deathly ill, not realizing the rock was responsible. He had Pa operate his newly constructed Superboy Robot to keep Smallville safe while he was sick, though it took a while for Pa to control the robot properly. Clark felt better at intervals before relapsing, not realizing his recovery coincided with his lead robot standing in front of the rock and blocking its radiation. The Kents feared the worst, and Pa vowed to keep his memory alive with the Superboy Robot. The clues finally clicked for Pa and Clark, and Clark was saved when the rock was stored inside the Superboy Robot. Clark realized the rock was a radioactive remnant from the exploded Krypton, and named it Kryptonite. Pa felt horrible about putting his son's life in jeopardy, but Clark was glad he'd learned of his vulnerability to kryptonite before any criminals did.

(Adventure Comics I #251) - The Kents did some spring cleaning, and Clark realized how crowded his secret storeroom had gotten. His Superboy Robots, used to pinch-hit for Superboy as need be, took up a lot of space, but they were invaluable. Pa said Superboy Robot no. 1 was obsolete, built of heavy lead instead of lighter alloys, but Clark couldn't let "Friday" go for sentimental reasons, remembering how the robot saved his life when he first encountered kryptonite. He sent No. 1out on patrol for old-times sake.

(Adventure Comics I #304) - Superboy volunteered to help the army test a new type of artillery by offering himself as a living target. After the test an adult version of Superboy, a Superman flew down from the sky. He showed Superboy that the artillery had cracked open a nearby mountainside, exposing red kryptonite, and it’s effect was to create the adult duplicate. Superboy introduced the Kents to Superman, and they were thrilled to now have two children. For the Kents’ wedding anniversary Superboy crafted a new line of Superman robots, and Superman concocted a potion that gave the Kents temporary superpowers. Superman told Superboy that his super-intellect had figured out that the two of them coexisting would cause spacetime disruptions that would destroy the solar system unless one of them left Earth in the next 48 hours. They were going to flip a coin to decide who staid, but as it was coming down Superman melted it with his heat vision, claiming it was an accident. They agreed to have the Kents decide, but Superboy used a dream projector on his sleeping parents, saw them dreaming about being superheroes once Superman made the effects of his potion permanent, so the next morning Superboy announced that he’d leave Earth after one last stroll around Smallville. Clark and Superman, posing as his uncle “Charles,” visited Lana Lang who wanted to show off her violin-playing skills, telling them she had an upcoming recital. Her high pitched playing caused the glass around her to break, but she thought her playing was pretty good. Krypto returned from one of his space jaunts in time to say goodbye to Superboy before Superman had him enter a space capsule and hurled him beyond the atmosphere towards a planet with a red sun. The Kents realized Superman was an imposter when the civilian glasses he used as Charles proved to be cracked from Lana’s music, which could never happen to Superboy’s glasses, which were made from unbreakable Kryptonian plastoid from the window of the ship that brought him to Earth. “Superman” revealed that he was actually the Kryptonian criminal Roz-Em, who’d paid a plastic surgeon to make him look like Kal-El’s uncle Nim-El in an attempt to raid the armory of forbidden weapons that Nim-El guarded. His plot was uncovered by Jor-El and Nim-el, and he was put into suspended animation inside a space capsule until it drifted near a yellow sun, giving him superpowers. He’d seen Krypton explode and baby Kal-El rocketed to Earth, so he was determined to avenge himself for his imprisonment by targeting Jor-El’s son, fabricating fake red-K and concocting his spacetime in danger story. Pa Kent had gotten Krypto to fly into space to warn Superboy that they were in danger, and Superboy returned to Earth and used the Phantom Zone Projector to exile Roz-Em.

(Adventure Comics I #305) - The school boxing champ Joe bullied Clark and Lana was disappointed in him for not standing up for himself. Clark got tired of staying under the radar by pretending to be a pushover and a below-average athlete, and the final straw for Clark came when he saw Lana and Pete Ross attending Bud Cowin’s party; realizing he was never invited to anything. Pa Kent was frustrated that he never had anything to brag to the other parents of Smallville about, and the other parents seemed to take pity on him for having such an average son. When Clark embarrassed him pretending to be a coward on a father / son hunting trip Pa couldn’t take it anymore came up with a plan,. Clark and the Kents moved to Rail City as the Dentons. Clark ditched his glasses, and as “Mark Denton” became an outstanding athlete and popular student. When he went on patrol as Superboy he wore a mask so no one would suspect his secret identity. For all of Clark’s achievements Pa was given an award by the Rail City fathers’ committee and made honorary mayor at a parade. Mark waited tables at the Denton’s drive-in diner, and when the city dam burst he couldn’t get away so he used super-ventriloquism to call a Superboy Robot from Smallville to save the day. Mark’s newfound popularity made it extremely difficult to get away from his admirers when Superboy needed to fly into action, and since Pa was always entertaining guests he couldn’t activate his Superboy Robot, which was hidden in the dining room closet, without exposing his identity. When a gorilla escaped a circus and went on a rampage Chameleon Boy, who was on a mission in the past, had to shapeshift into Superboy and fill in. Superboy realized his charade was hampering his superhero career and decided to return to Smallville as meek and mild Clark Kent.

(New Adventures of Superboy #17) - Superboy Robot X-3 relieved the pressure of a magma flow in the southwestern desert, but burned up in the process. Superboy mused that he’d have to find a way to construct more durable robots, and after using a Kryptonian mind-prober he watched his own infant self observe Joe-El construct a highly advanced robot. Armed with his new knowledge he had the Superboy Robots construct Kator, a robot with different powers than Superboy and far more durable.

(Action Comics I #378) - Superman constructed a space station in orbit, saving on the tremendous costs to rocket the building materials into space, and advancing the space program by a decade. As soon as he completed construction a bolt of energy destroyed the space station, and Superman was confronted by a being claiming to be Satan. Satan threatened to destroy Superman unless he agreed to become evil and work with him. Superman refused, and they clashed until Superman made a tactical retreat, flying to his Fortress of Solitude. Satan followed close behind, and transported Superman to a hellish cave, telling him he planned to use Superman to lead an army that would conquer the world, creating a satanic empire. “Superman” collapsed and fell to pieces, turning out to be a Superman Robot that the hero sent to distract Satan so he could get a jump on the villain. Satan turned his trident on Superman, blasting him with energy, but he couldn’t bring himself to finish off Superman. Satan was actually Rol-Nac, who’d been kidnapped by the Marauder, a criminal Superman once sent to space jail years ago. The Marauder brainwashed Rol-Nac into believing he was Satan, and equipped him with his fantastic weaponry to destroy him. Rol-Nac revealed that he was Superman’s godfather. He was a space refuge fleeing the tyranny of his own planet who’d visited Krypton and saved Jor-El from one of his early experimental rockets that almost crashed on his lab. Rol-Nac said Jor-El and Lara were two of the finest people he ever met, and Superman reminded him of them. Superman invited him to stay in the Fortress of Solitude and tell him all about his memories of his parents.

(Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #130) - Jimmy showed Superman the mini-computer he built, the J.O. and it predicted that something important was going to happen in the Fortress of Solitude. Superman took Jimmy to his base before he had to leave for a space mission, but while he was gone the J.O., actually Brainiac’s reassembled computer-circuits, made his move. Brainiac used the tele-mento ray to take over one of Superman's robots, who flew to the fortress and feigned death throes, claiming to have been hit by a kryptonite meteor. Jimmy implanted the J.O. inside his 'friend' to save him. The robot, now calling himself Computer-Man pretended to rage at Jimmy for turning him into a freak, and was prepared to destroy Kandor. Brainiac wanted to break Jimmy's spirit and ruin Superman’s reputation at the same time. Jimmy tried to appeal to him by playing the Kryptonian national anthem, and realized there was something wrong when he didn't recognize it. The Superman Emergency Squad took down Computer-Man and disassembled Brainiac's computer circuits.

(DC Comics Presents #81) - Ambush Bug found a piece of red kryptonite, and had the stone set, presenting it to Superman as a gift, and hoping he'd stop being angry at him. The red-K switched their minds, and Superman, now in Ambush Bug's body, was furious, telling him he had to start taking responsibility for his actions. Ambush Bug took this to mean he should start saving the world as Supes, and flew off. Superman Robots caught Supes / Ambush bug and locked him up. Superman finally figured out how to use Ambush Bug's suit to teleport when the red-K wore off, and Superman was in the middle of a blaze on Coney Island, caused by Ambush Bug's inexperience with Superman's powers. Ambush Bug had been battling Kobra, but Superman had to let him get away to put out the fire using a tidal wave. The wave soaked ambush Bug, and he yelled at Superman for being perfect all the time. Superman couldn't help but laugh at him, and a miffed Ambush Bug teleported away.

Comments: Created by Al Plastino.

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