Action 249 – Luthor becomes Kryptonite Man, Congorilla takes the dynamite, and Tommy Tomorrow gambles
Binder and Plastino offer the first version of the Kryptonite Man in Action 249 (Feb. 59).
Luthor has developed a way of ingesting kryptonite, which turns him green and allows him to emit the deadly radiation, with no ill effects himself.
Luthor seeks out Superman, who flees when he gets exposed to his radiation. Superman attempts a number of ways to overcome Luthor’s power, but with little success.
Eventually he develops a kryptonite-proof suit, which is cool enough to warrant a cutaway diagram.
Luthor does manage to force him to remove the suit, but with Jimmy Olsen’s help, he tricks Luthor into thinking the radiation has worn off, and Luthor takes the antidote to the serum, making himself normal, and easy to catch.
Later versions of the Kryptonite Man, the first of which being a Kryptonite Kid, who shows up in Superboy, would be permanently endowed with the green skin and radioactivity, unable to change “back.”
Congorilla returns, once again without Janu, in a story by Bernstein and Sherman.
A small airplane crashes high in the mountains, and Congo Bill becomes Congorilla in order to climb where no human can, and get dynamite up to a point where he can blast an easy route for rescue.
Tommy Tomorrow and Brent Wood head to a gambling asteroid in this story by Binder and Mooney. I was half expecting this to be, arguably, Ventura, the gambling planet that would be featured in later Superman and Legion of Super-Heroes stories. But it is not. It is clearly an asteroid, and the games are not nearly as cool as those on Ventura.
Tommy tries his luck on a couple of the unusual games, losing Planeteer money his is supposed to be transporting, to the dismay of Brent. The story climaxes during a space bingo game, as Tommy proves how the games on the asteroid are rigged, and shuts them down.
Considering that Ventura is shown to be a gambling planet both in the present, and in the future, it seems the gambling asteroid was a shady knock-off from the start.