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An evil duplicate of Kal-El of Earth-1. He plagued Kal at several different stages of his life.
He was created when baby Kal-El's rocket accidentally struck a passing alien vessel. This collision triggered a device within the rocket to create a duplicate of itself. Both rockets then landed on Earth, with one arriving near Smallville, and one . . . elsewhere.
The "duplicate Superbaby" ended up under the care of gangster "Wolf" Derek and his wife, Bonnie. They did not provide the most loving of homes, and instead instilled in him rather more sinister values.
As an adult, he was never out of his costume, suggesting that his parents always intended him as a kind of pawn in their own criminal plans. In the end, Superman's example teaches him to rebel against the Dereks, and, in a suicidal rage, he kills them as he destroys himself. Superman (1939)
Superman claims that Super-Menace is "an unearthly force manifested in human form". What this means, exactly, is unclear. Is he therefore not real? That's what the story is intending, apparently, but it's not terribly easy to see how this could be. One can almost infer from the one story in which he appears that Super-Menace is a large part of the reason Superman of Earth-1 is so pure. If Super-Menace is the literal extraction of Superman's dark impulses, then what would be left in Kal-El would be overwhelmingly good.
First Appearance: Superman (1939) #137
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80 Page Giant (1964)
- 'The Two Faces Of Superman!'
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