A split cover for Action 339 (July 1966), as the Superman of 2966 faces Muto, in a story by Hamilton, Swan and Klein, while Supergirl is caged by Brainiac, thanks to Jim Shooter and Jim Mooney.
The Superman of 2966 escapes from Muto’s trap, using the androids to bring him to safety. He has to struggle to deal with Muto, who keeps his base in the toxic waters.
Muto makes use of an enlarging ray. His plans are never very precise, but the art is fun.
It really looks like Superman is killing Muto, not just sending him back to his home dimension. But Muto does return, along with this Superman, in World’s Finest Comics the following year.
Sueprgirl has her first solo outing against Brainiac in this story. Superman leaves Earth in her care as he goes into space with the Justice League of America.
Brainiac has a trap all specially prepared for Superman, and comes to challenge him. He refuses to take Sueprgirl seriously.
But Supergirl will not give up, and keeps attacking over and over. Finally, Brainiac considers her enough of a nuisance to use his special kryptonite cage on her.
But the cage was built for Superman’s size, and Supergirl slips through the bars. It’s painful, but possible, and she defeats the unwary Brainiac and sends him running.
The Superman of 2966 appears in Action 338 (June 1966), in a story by Hamilton, Swan and Klein, which sees the debut of his arch-enemy, Muto.
Swan’s art is just great as the future Superman, introduced a few months earlier in his own book, returns. As with many of these tales, everything is as close as possible, with a Clark Kent-based name, and a job as a journalist. He maintains a secret identity despite the problems it causes him. He no longer has a problem with kryptonite, but has issues with ocean water, now contaminated beyond his physiology’s ability to deal with it.
Kind of like the weakness in the movie Unbreakable. Which at one point shows a similar comic book cover, complete with checkerboard pattern. Just saying.
We get some more of the family history of the future Superman, including stupid ways his ancestor’s identities were revealed. The fact that they just kept on re-establishing new ones, generation after generation, says something about obsessiveness in this bloodline.
Anyway, on to Muto. His mutations were caused as a very indirect result of a heroic action by this Superman’s father. So he wants to kill him. Aside from a big yellow head, he has very strong mental abilities, as one might expect.
Muto captures the future Superman by making it look like innocent children are endangered by a flood. But the kids are just androids, and Muto has the Superman of 2966 in a death trap!