Bates, Swan and Anderson give Luthor one of his most inventive attacks on Superman in Action 423 (April 1973).


The story opens on a humourous note, as Morgan Edge orders Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen to take acting classes, to improve their ability to emote on camera.


Luthor has realized that his obsessive hate is actually a detriment, that it stops him acting rationally as he tries to kill the man he blames for causing his hair loss as a child.  So he invents a hammer, which absorbs all his hatred for Superman.


And he shoots Superman with the hammer.  It looks silly and harmless.  But it isn’t.  It transfers the insane hatred to Superman, which makes him act violent and impulsive.


He even has an outburst on television as Clark, to Morgan Edge’s dismay.


Superman transfers the hate into a robotic hand. Luthor is so mad about this he acts impulsively, and is caught.


Len Wein and Dick Giordano conclude the origin of the Human Target in this story.


Disguised as the bookkeeper with a contract on him, he follows the trail backwards, to get to the man who killed his father, and who tried to kill the bookkeeper.


He finds and confronts the man, now quite old, who collapses as a whimpering shadow of himself.  It’s a strong ending, as Christopher Chance consoles the desperate man, rather than killing him.



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