There were some major changes in the Superman line in 1970, although that was barely reflected in Action Comics. On the whole, this book simply saw an absence of the usual villains, but otherwise little change. Leo Dorfman and Curt Swan were joined by Murphy Anderson on the inks, though, which makes these stories visually exeptional.
The first of the two stories in this issue sees Superman take Jimmy to his Fortress of Solitude. Jimmy discovers a room that Superman has forbidden him entrance to.
The room contains the robes of a woman called Althera, whose story comprises the rest of this tale.
Early in his career, Superman encountered an alien matriarchal race. They use their advanced technology to enslave others, which puts Superman on the opposing side.
A romance almost blooms between Superman and their leader, Althera. She believes that they come from the same race, but she is wrong. Her people evolved from birds, and there is no chance of Superman being able to pass on his power of flight to them.
And apparently he spent years being upset about this. So much so that he kept her dress. Umm. Ok.
The back-up story, by the same creative team, is not much better. Superman has his fortune told, and is given a card for three wishes.
Superman finds his powers disappearing at inconvenient times, but wishing on the card restores them.
Absurdly, this is all a ruse by Supergirl, who wanted to see if Superman could be hypnotized into acting against his will. You likely think I am leaving a lot out in my summary, as it makes little sense. I’m not, not really. The only thing that makes this issue worthwhile is the art, not the stories.