Woolfolk and Plastino bring Mr.Mxyztplk back for another round of zaniness in Action 208 (Sept. 55).
The story introduces the notion that others can move from one dimension to another by saying their name backwards, as long as they are in Mr. Mxyztplk’s presence. In most stories, this will result in them heading to the 5th Dimension, but in this story, Lois Lane gets transported to the 8th Dimension.
The imp then spends the rest of the tale trying to get Superman to say his name backwards, while Superman outwits him, and eventually tricks him into doing it himself, which brings Lois back.
The appearance of Mr. Mxyztplk has begun to change as well, and in this story he has progressed towards his Silver Age look.
Superman faces his first big villain team-up in Action 151 (Dec. 50), as Edmond Hamilton, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye bring together Luthor, the Prankster and Mr. Mxyztplk.
The imp’s 5th Dimensional magic brings the other two villains to him. Luthor has developed a way of creating “proxy”s, which can be designed to look like anyone, and Prankster contributes the overall theme – to make everyone laugh at Superman. You might think Luthor would step in and insist that they actually try to kill him, but perhaps he is just a bit too freaked out by the situation to think clearly.
Mr. Mxyztplk uses a proxy of Lois Lane in his ploy, making it look like Lois has given Superman the brush off, and is now in love with Mxyztplk. Again, one is left to wonder why the villain reveal their involvement so openly. And especially with Mxyztplk making the first move, Superman should know not to trust anything he sees.
Luthor makes the most effective use of his proxy, creating a duplicate of himself, so that he can rob banks and yet maintain a perfect alibi. Superman tries to bring him in for theft, but gets laughed out of court.
The Prankster makes use of a proxy Superman, which will stand around and let himself be made an ass of.
Superman wins at the end by creating proxies of the three bad guys, and using them in a carnival routine. It’s pretty clear to see what Superman’s plans are, particularly with the microphone that repeats everything backwards, but the villains egos are so delicate that they climb up onstage to interfere with Superman’s comedy routine, and wind up doing themselves in.
It’s certainly not the best villain team-up, but it is a functional one.
John Sikela does the art as Mr. Mxyztplk returns, in Action 112 (Sept. 47).
The 5th Dimensional imp comes back to Metrolpolis, but finds his usual mayhem not as interesting. Superman attempts to reason with him, suggesting he do something less destructive to occupy his mind, like playing chess. This spurs Mxyztplk into creating a life sized chess game.
One of the most entertaining bits of this story deals with two men inside the castle that Mxyztplk takes for his set. Although they get flown across the ocean, the men continue having tea, unconcerned and unaware of what is going on.
Lots of good art, and a fun story, ending with a special piece that Superman adds to his side of the board. A Klptzyxm!
Don Cameron, Ira Yarborough and Stan Kaye bring Mr. Mxyztplk back in Action 102 (Nov. 46), as the imp learns about the legend of Aladdin’s lamp, and decides to create one himself.
Mr. Mxyztplk gives people their wishes, but in his fashion. When people discover their wishes have become nightmares, they beg for things to return to normal, but Mxyztplk refuses.
It’s Lois Lane who outwits the imp, rather than Superman. She asks for three wishes, and then uses them to remove Mxyztplk’s powers, and have him encased in steel. With no way to escape, the imp has little choice but to say his name backwards, and return to the 5th Dimension.
Don Cameron and Ira Yarborough bring back Mr. Mxyztplk, the 5th dimensional sprite introduced a few months earlier in the pages of Superman, for his second appearance, in Action 80 (Jan. 45).
Mr. Mxyztplk is fully aware of Superman’s secret identity as Clark, but has no interest in exposing him. He really just wants to play. It’s just that his way of “playing” involves tormenting and annoying people.
Lois Lane makes the mistake of insisting that the previous encounter with Mr Mxyztplk did not really happen, and the imp toys with her until she admits he exists.
Because the imp’s other-dimensional “magic” can do pretty much anything, the character is never made truly evil or malevolent. And his stories are always visually dynamic.
Superman tricks him into saying his own name backwards, and uses a simple but effective ruse in this one, pretending to have forgotten the name.
Congo Bill goes on vacation in this story by Frederic Ellsworth and John Daly. One has to wonder what a world-traveller does while on vacation, or where they go. The answer turns out to be Hubb City, an otherwise unremarkable location in the US.
Bill goes to the park, and sees the reservoir being drained. This puts him on the trail of criminals trying to retrieve evidence hidden there earlier. So a “vacation”for Congo Bill just means solving crime in a city instead of in the wild.