Devil – The
on an original script by Peter Dixon/1953)
small party of six people wound their way through a narrow trail
in the otherwise dense Zinayan jungle, located in the middle of
the small country situated in the heart of Central America.
of the party included Clark Kent and Lois Lane, reporters for the
newspaper located back in the United States. They were followed
by Jimmy Olsen, a young cub reporter also on staff. The other
three people include Dr. Ralph Harper, his wife Gloria, and their
Mexican-born guide, Alberto. The latter three, having come into
the Zinayan jungle to locate a plant that could be a possible
source for a new miracle drug, had been captured by a group of
local natives after accidentally losing the diamond eye of their
tribal idol. The three Planet
had managed to rescue them. In the process (unknown to Lois and
Jimmy) Kent, as Superman, had won the good graces of the natives
after chasing away a local jungle god (who had turned out to be a
large, albino gorilla), and recovering the idol’s eye. Now they
were all on their way back to the clearing where the Planet
reporters had left the small, six-seater airplane and its pilot
that had brought them to Zinaya.
Soon they all
approached that clearing. Bill Hurd, the plane’s pilot, was
sitting on a small wooden box in front of a campfire he had
built, drinking from a cup. A steaming coffee pot sat on top of a
metal grill positioned over the fire. Hurd stood up as the jungle
sojourners approached him.
goodness!” he exclaimed. “I was wondering where you
Kent went over to him. “We, uh, had a
little trouble,” he said. He gestured at the Harpers. “But as
you can see,” he added, “we found the Harpers!”
trouble?” Jimmy exclaimed sarcastically. “Yeah, if you define
us being captured by hostile natives and Mr. Kent almost being
sacrificed as a little
After the Harpers and their guide had been
introduced to Hurd (and vice versa), explanations were then made
to fill in the details as to why they had been delayed so long in
getting back to the airplane.
quite a story,” Hurd finally responded. “It sounds like
you’re all lucky to have come out without a scratch. But I’m
afraid I have some news. Some good, some bad.”
looked at him. “Uh oh. What’s the bad news?”
gestured at the airplane. “Both the plane’s engines are shot.
I can’t repair them with the few tools I have with me
the good news?” Lois piped in.
managed to get a radio message back to the airport at Costa
I gave them our approximate position as best I could, and they
said they would send a rescue plane out for us.”
this, Hurd looked a bit downcast.
it’s probably going to take them a while to find us -- just as
it took us
a while to get here. It could be up to a couple days before they
great!” Jimmy exclaimed. “So that means we’re all still
stuck in this hot jungle for a while yet.” As he said this he
took a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped the sweat off the
back of his neck with it.
afraid so,” Hurd replied. “We should be all right, though,
til we’re found. Fortunately we brought enough provisions along
for all of us. And in the meantime, since it’s relatively
undamaged we can make the plane our headquarters. I think I even
have a tent and some sleeping bags stashed somewhere in the
baggage hold, if someone would rather sleep outside than inside
all the bugs and snakes and other assorted critters crawling
around out here?” Lois snorted. “Not me! I’ll sleep in the
plane in a comfortable reclining seat, thank you very
Kent smiled to himself. They would all be
safe enough with him there, he thought. But knowing that they
were all still going to be in the area for a while longer, he was
a little worried about the so-called Jungle Devil. That gorilla
that he had encountered, a large and ferocious beast, was still
out there somewhere. And he had not been in a very good mood when
he had finally lumbered away from his unsuccessful encounter with
Superman. Kent hoped that his encounter with the ape would at
least serve to encourage it to stay away from that particular
native village in the future.
Kent wondered how such a
beast had come to be in a South American jungle in the first
place, as such gorillas were not native to that area. He was
actually surprised that the somewhat lame explanation he had
given earlier back at the native village as to how he had
survived an encounter with the beast -- that it had been nothing
more than “some poor gorilla that had escaped from a circus”
-- had been accepted so easily. As bad as it was, at the time it
was the only explanation he could think of to offer. But perhaps
the stress of the entire situation -- and the fact that he had
just escaped being sacrificed by the natives -- had been enough
to encourage the others to overlook his superficial
As the sun began to set the party
helped Hurd to break out a tent, cooking utensils and food stores
stashed aboard the airplane in order to set up a makeshift camp,
where they proceeded to cook themselves a relatively decent
dinner consisting of some meat, a couple vegetables, and rice
cakes for dessert.
After their meal was finished, the
jungle wayfarers had coffee, sitting in a circle around the
campfire on wooden crates from the plane’s baggage hold.
Dr. Harper,” Kent asked the explorer, “what are your plans
now going forward?”
my original plan was to spend a week or two exploring in the
jungle searching for the rare plant I was hoping to find, then
radio the plane and pilot that had brought us here to come pick
us up,” he explained. “Unfortunately, we came across the
small village where you found us, and ended up running afoul of
the natives by losing the eye of their idol.”
mean by my
losing the eye of their idol,” Mrs. Harper chimed in.
husband patted his wife’s hand. “Who
lost it isn’t important, Gloria. It was an accident. It could
have happened to any of us.”
what happened to all the supplies you must have had with you, and
your bearers?” Lois asked.
village natives confiscated all our supplies after the idol’s
eye was lost,” Dr. Harper continued. “The weeks we were held
captive they pretty much consumed all of the food we had brought.
They destroyed our radio too, so we couldn’t message for help.
They thought it was some kind of a demon box because of the
noises it made. Then they set all our bearers free. They all left
the area pretty quickly, afraid that if they stayed the villagers
would end up changing their minds and sacrificing them to their
idol -- or to the Jungle Devil. To his credit, Alberto was the
only one who was willing to stick with us.”
still wonder how many of our bearers actually made it out of the
jungle to safety,” Mrs. Harper remarked. “After all, it’s a
long way to civilization from here.”
were all pretty jungle-savvy,” her husband replied. “And they
were all familiar with this area. They probably knew where the
next closest native village was, and headed there.”
turned to the Harper’s guide. “Alberto, you seem to know a
lot about this area too. Where are you from?” he
City, originally,” he said. “But I’ve been living in Costa
for a number of years. I make my living guiding safaris through
the back country of Zinaya. I’m very familiar with this area,
and the people who live here.”
do you think those natives we encountered
at the village originally came from?”
his coffee. “They’re probably descendants of the people that
were indigenous to this area,” he explained. “That would be
mostly the ancient Mayans. About forty-two percent of the modern
inhabitants of the area are of Mayan descent. Yet there really is
no common sense of identity or political unity among the local
populations, because they each have their own particular cultures
and historical identities. At different points in their history
there have been numerous breakups of the local population. The
tribe we encountered, the Ketchi, is one of them, that at some
point in the past broke off from some larger group and decided to
make their home far back in the jungle, away from other people,
who probably persecuted them to some extent -- possibly for their
belief in the idol that got the Harpers in so much
it be worthwhile to try to encourage the tribe to migrate back to
some more civilized area?”
doubt it. I’m only passingly familiar with that particular
tribe. That’s how I know something of their language. But from
what little I know of them, they have no interest in ever
returning to what we call ‘civilization’. They prefer to
continue to live as they do, reducing life to its simple
Kent nodded. “I see,” he
Jimmy interjected, “What do you make of this so-called ‘Jungle
Devil’?” Jimmy asked.
didn’t really know anything about it until we were captured,”
Alberto replied. “The natives in that village we were in seem
to be great believers in it. They also believe that their idol
protects them from it. I don’t know their idol’s name, since
out of reverence for it they don’t speak it. But I think he’s
related to Maximon, an ancient Mayan god of mischief.”
what can you tell us about this gorilla that you observed?” Dr.
Harper inquired. “I’m very curious about that.”
much. He appeared to be an ordinary gorilla, of a fair size.”
Kent thought for a moment, measuring how much he wanted to
reveal. “I will tell you one thing that I thought was very
curious—he was an albino. His fur was white.”
shook his head. “That’s very strange,” he replied. “First
of all, there are only supposed to be a few species of small
monkeys known to inhabit this area. I never heard of any gorillas
being in this part of the world.” He looked at Kent. “And as
for your observation that it could be a semi-tame gorilla escaped
from a circus, that’s highly unlikely. As far as I know they
don’t have any circuses in this area. And very little
civilization. The closest approximation of a civilized town in
this part of Zinaya is hundreds of miles from here. At least.
ceased speaking for a moment, as if he was weighing his next
thing that also bothers me is, if this gorilla is an albino, that
could indicate that it is some kind of genetic freak,” he
continued. “That could mean that it may have other, uh, unusual
characteristics other than its albinoism.”
as?” Kent asked.
it could mean anything from its having a particularly bad
temperament, to its overall body growth being affected.”
mean, it could eventually grow bigger than it already is --
bigger than would be considered normal for a typical gorilla of
that’s what I’m saying,” Harper responded.
I wish Superman was here,” Jimmy lamented.
there was a frightened outcry from Mrs. Harper. She jerked
upright and pointed to the outskirts of the camp that was
shrouded in darkness by the surrounding trees. The flickering
light from the campfire revealed that a good-sized jaguar was
standing on the very rim of the firelight, looking at the
assembled band of humans. For a moment it stood there and snarled
angrily. Then it started to slowly advance closer to the
Normally a jungle cat would not approach a
burning fire, but this particular specimen was extremely hungry,
not having eaten for days. Thus it was now willing to risk the
presence of the fire for a possible meal.
carefully began to reach for his rifle that was lying on the
ground next to him. Clark quickly assessed the situation. He knew
that in a moment the jaguar would be dead once Hurd had the
chance to bring his rifle to bear. Not wanting the animal to be
killed, Kent focused his heat vision on one of the cat’s front
paws. This caused the cat to suddenly jump up into the air in
surprise, startled by the sudden pain in its foot.
nerve broken, the cat wheeled and quickly bounded back into the
all right,” Hurd announced. “Cats don’t like camp fires.
That cat finally learned its lesson, and I doubt very much
whether it will come back again tonight.”
over, everyone started to settle back down.
on that cheery note, I think I’ll say goodnight,” Hurd
announced, standing up. “As for the sleeping arrangements, I
think the men should sleep outside in the tent. The women can
sleep aboard the airplane.
sounds just ducky,” Lois commented lamely.
also think we should also appoint a couple sentries for the
night, to keep the fire going and keep a general eye on things,”
Hurd added. He came over to Kent. “How about if I take the
first watch,” he said to him. “You can take the second.”
no, Bill,” Kent replied, shaking his head. “I’LL take the
first watch. You’ve had a long day, working on the airplane.
Get some sleep.”
you sure?” Hurd answered.
Go,” Kent admonished him, pushing him toward the tent set up
under the left wing of the plane.
Hurd shrugged his
shoulders. “Well, if that’s what you want,” he said. He
turned and went into the tent. A moment later he came back out
with a rifle in his hands.
You’ll need this,” he said, offering the weapon.
thanks,” Kent replied. Kent took the rifle, but as soon as Hurd
reentered the tent he propped the weapon against the trunk of a
he whispered quietly to himself.
At this everyone
stood up and made for their accommodation for the night. But as
Lois passed by Clark, she took hold of his sleeve. Kent stopped
and looked at her.
else you need, Lois?” Kent asked.
Lois replied. “I just wanted to tell you, that was a really
brave thing you did back at the village, going off into the
jungle with those natives when you had no idea what they were
going to do to you, just to keep the rest of us safe.”
touched his glasses in a gesture of modesty.
Lois, all I can say is, I didn’t have much choice in the
matter,” he replied with a smile. “It was either one of us,
or eventually all of us.”
But you took the whole situation like a man. And I just wanted to
tell you I really respect you for that.”
Lois,” Kent responded. “That means a lot.”
Lois walked away Kent got himself another cup of coffee from the
pot over the fire, and then settled back down on the wooden box
he had been using as a seat.
However, it wasn’t long
before his acute hearing picked up some sounds coming from the
jungle. It sounded like something moving through the underbrush.
And it was getting closer.
jaguar, or similar denizen of the jungle?
then a native man plunged out of the forest and fell face down
just inside the rim of the firelight. Kent jumped up and quickly
ran over to him. He turned the native over and propped him
semi-upright against his knee.
It was one of the
natives from the Ketchi tribe! The man was panting heavily and
severely out of breath. He had obviously been running at a
breakneck pace through the jungle for some time.
Devil!” he blurted, looking into Kent’s eyes with a
frightened stare. He pointed back in the direction of his
village. “Jungle Devil!” he repeated.
had apparently heard the Harpers use that English term, referring
to the gorilla that the Ketchis feared.
passed out from exhaustion and shock. Kent deliberated. It
sounded like the albino gorilla had in fact returned to the
Ketchi village. He gently laid the native back onto the ground.
Then he got up and stepped into a dark area among the trees.
moment later he reappeared as Superman. Effortlessly he lifted
the unconscious native up into his arms.
slightly bending his knees, he shot straight up into the darkness
with his burden.
thing this native is still out
he thought to himself, or
he’d probably be more afraid of this method of travel then he
was of the Jungle Devil!
soared through the night sky over the Zinayan jungle, the
unconscious native draped over one shoulder. Before long he came
within sighting distance of the village he, Jimmy, Lois, and the
Harpers had just recently left.
He came down on the
outskirts of the small settlement, close to the same spot near
the village idol where he, Lois and Jimmy had first found the
Harpers. Once on the ground he laid the still-unconscious native
down next to a nearby hut. Then he stopped for a moment to
listen. Something was happening toward the center of the village,
as he could hear various sounds that indicated that some kind of
commotion was in progress.
He moved toward the source
of the disturbance. Momentarily he approached a small clearing
that served as the center of the village.
there were running in every direction. The Jungle Devil was there
too, pounding angrily on the wall of a native hut. Looking at
him, Superman could swear that he was a full foot taller than he
had been the last time they had met.
native woman ran out of the dwelling the ape was assaulting. The
gorilla grabbed her.
Superman shot forward. A second
later he was standing right behind the crazed gorilla. He reached
around the ape’s body and grabbed both of his arms, which were
holding the woman. With nothing but brute strength Superman
forced the gorilla’s huge, hairy arms apart, releasing the
The woman fell to the ground. Immediately she
began to scramble away from the ape. Once she was able to regain
her feet she ran away as fast as she could.
released the ape’s arms and stepped back. The gorilla whirled
about and tried to grab the Man of Steel. But Superman brought
his own powerful arms up and knocked the ape’s arms apart.
their previous encounter, Superman had done everything he could
to keep from hurting the animal; he simply wanted to scare it
away, not injure it. But this time he knew that would not work.
This time the ape was too crazed to be scared off.
that in mind Superman cocked back his right fist and fired a
potent haymaker right to the point of the huge ape’s chin. The
blow was so powerful it threw the ape backwards more than three
yards, where the beast fell flat onto its back on the ground.
did not get up.
The surrounding natives who were still
close by ceased running when they saw that the Jungle Devil had
miraculously been overcome. They stopped in their tracks and
stared at the costumed figure who had just done the impossible:
he had knocked out the fearsome Jungle Devil with a single
The natives watched as Superman strode over to
his vanquished foe. They watched as the caped man bent down and
slipped both his hands underneath the ape’s body. With a mighty
heave the superhuman man lifted the 400-pound Jungle Devil up
over his head.
Then, with his mammoth burden held
high, Superman bent at the knees and then -- to the utter
astonishment of the natives watching -- leaped up into the air.
soared through the air with the Jungle Devil held up over his
head. He remembered from the plane flight from Metropolis over
the jungle a few days before that there was a medium-sized
mountain range not too far away to the east. He headed in the
direction of that range.
Soon he was plummeting
downward, approaching the ground below at the base of one of the
mountains. A moment later he landed with his burden, planting his
feet onto the soft earth there.
Carefully he lowered
the Jungle Devil onto the ground. The ape was still unconscious,
but not seriously hurt. Knowing that the ape was of the mountain
gorilla subspecies, he was sure that the creature could survive
-- and probably thrive -- in the mountainous area where he was
being deposited. This fairly remote area was quite a distance
away from the nearest human outpost, guaranteeing that the ape
would likely not encounter or endanger any more humans during the
remainder of its lifetime.
Superman waited until the
gorilla regained consciousness, in order to make sure that the
beast would be all right. As he waited he noticed, for the first
time, that there was something attached to the ape’s right ear.
He bent down and examined the object.
It was a tag. A
tag of the sort that zoos and naturalists attached to animals in
order to categorize and/or identify them. And there was a
strange, stylish “X”-shaped symbol stamped onto the tag that
Superman had never seen before. It appeared to be some kind of
The ape started to awaken, and it
began to attempt to struggle back to its feet. Superman quickly
moved away from it and leaped back up into the air.
returned to the camp where Lois, Jimmy, Bill Hurd, Alberto, and
the Harpers were. He retrieved his safari outfit from the brush
where he had hidden it and resumed his Clark Kent disguise. He
was just in time, for only a few minutes later Hurd approached to
relieve him from his watch period.
After he had
settled down on a cot inside the tent that had been set up next
to the airplane for the men, Clark mulled over the situation
concerning the Jungle Devil. He believed that he now knew how the
ape had gotten into the Central American jungle: apparently he
had been brought there by some mysterious corporation that
identified themselves with the X-shaped symbol that he had seen
on the ear tag of the gorilla. At some point he had apparently
escaped his captors and wandered off into the jungle. But exactly
who was this corporation? Where was the facility that the Jungle
Devil had originally escaped from? Clark reasoned that it was a
good bet that it was in the Zinayan jungle somewhere, not far
from the native village that the gorilla had been
If he was going to find that facility, he
would need some time away from the safari camp. But how to
achieve that, without arousing any suspicions?
an idea struck him.
next morning Clark came out of the men’s tent after everyone
else had already been up a while. As he made his way over to the
morning campfire, he made a point of holding his lower back, and
walking a bit unsteadily. Jimmy, Lois, the Harpers, and Alberto
were already sitting around the fire, eating their breakfast.
Hurd hovered over the fire, where he had set up a metal grille
and was cooking some ham and bacon on it.
up from his food plate. “Gee, Mr. Kent, don’t you feel well?”
he commented, noticing Kent’s unsteady gait.
Jimmy, not very,” Kent responded. As he sat down Kent rubbed
his forehead, as if he was suffering from a headache as
you go, Kent,” Hurd said, holding out a plate of ham and
thank you,” Kent replied, pushing the plate away. “My
stomach’s a bit unsettled. I don’t want anything to eat right
Hurd put the plate back on the grille and
stood up, staring at Kent.
about some nice hot coffee?” Lois offered, holding a cup out to
him. She had the coffee pot in her other hand.
thank you,” Kent responded. For a moment his whole body seemed
to shudder a bit.
I’m a little concerned about you,” Hurd told him. “If I’m
not mistaken, you’re showing some of the classic symptoms of
Kent didn’t reply. At this Hurd
turned and walked over to the airplane and entered it. He came
out a moment later with a First Aid kit in his hand, and strode
over to Kent.
me check your temperature,” Hurd said, pulling a thermometer
out of the kit. He placed it in Kent’s mouth.
to the others, while the thermometer was in his mouth Kent
focused his heat vision on it for a moment.
finally retrieved the thermometer, his eyes went wide.
Gosh, Kent,” Hurd exclaimed. “Your temperature is a little
over 104 degrees! You’ve definitely got the fever!”
exactly does that mean?” Jimmy asked, concern in his voice.
“What can we do to help him?”
Fever is not too terribly dangerous, but he’ll need rest. Lots
of it. And plenty of water. And we’ll have to isolate him by
himself in the tent for a while -- at least 24 hours. Jungle
Fever is very contagious!”
Hurd put his arm around
Kent and helped him up. Kent acted as if he was totally
put him to bed,” Hurd continued. “I had the fever not too
long ago, so I’ve probably got more resistance to it right now
than the rest of you do. Kent is young and strong. He’ll
probably be able to sleep it off and recover on his own within a
day or so, and be fine.”
Hurd carefully helped Kent
back into the tent. A moment later he came out and picked up a
jug of water, and went back into the tent with it. Then he
we’ll just have to wait,” he announced. “Hopefully he’ll
be able to recover by the time the rescue plane finds
Inside the tent Kent waited until he was sure
no one else would come back in to him. Then he jumped up and
started to strip off his safari outfit. Using a blanket from
another cot he stuffed it into the clothing and arranged it on
the cot under his own blanket, so it looked as if he was still
there fast asleep.
Then, dressed as Superman, he
pulled up the back flap of the tent and slipped out.
hadn’t been flying over the jungle for long before Superman’s
super hearing picked up an odd whirring sound that was foreign to
the normal sounds of the jungle. Using his telescopic vision he
was able to spot the source of the sound: a helicopter, traveling
over the jungle a few miles in the distance ahead of him.
focused his vision in on the craft. He immediately noticed that
it had the same strange “X”-shaped symbol painted on its side
that was on the Jungle Devil’s tag.
slightly and headed toward the aircraft. By the time he got
somewhat close to it it was banking downward toward the top of
the jungle foliage. It steadily slowed its descent, until it
suddenly dropped into a small break in the trees.
followed it down. After he had penetrated the upper tier of the
jungle’s foliage he was able to land on the ground below
amongst the thick undergrowth. Once there he could see sitting
nearby a medium-sized, single-story building that was much too
modern-looking to belong in the depths of the Zinayan jungle. The
building looked to be prefabricated; it had probably been
airlifted into the jungle in pieces, and then been quickly
No doubt this out-of-the-way location had
been chosen, Superman surmised, because whatever was going on
within its walls was probably illegal.
landed on the building’s roof where there was a helipad
constructed for its use. There appeared to be no one else about
on the ground around the building, so Superman boldly strode up
to it. The inhabitants of the building apparently felt that there
was no need for perimeter guards, due to the fact that they were
located deep in the jungle far away from any human observation.
There was only one door located on the side of the building, and
when he tried it Superman found that it was locked.
since when was a locked door an impediment for the Man of Steel?
With a powerful shove Superman pushed the door inward, breaking
whatever lock had secured it.
Inside the building the
Man of Steel found himself in what looked to be a large storage
room. Though the room was unlit Superman could clearly see,
thanks to his amazing superhuman eyesight. He noticed that along
one wall there was a long clothes rack, and there were dozens of
outfits hanging on it, all alike, that seemed to be some kind of
worker’s jumpsuits. They all had the stylized “X” symbol on
them as well as a number, and were light gray in color. Matching
caps sat on the shelf above them.
Superman moved over
to an inner door and stared at it. Using his x-ray vision, he was
able to see a long corridor located on the other side. Along this
corridor were many other rooms, each one marked with a nameplate
identifying them. Many of them consisted of numbered
laboratories. A few appeared to be other kinds of offices.
were a number of inhabitants of the building walking up and down
the main corridor. They all wore the same jumpsuits that were
hanging in the storage room, but there were different-colored
ones. The different colors seemed to designate various rankings
within the building’s internal hierarchy. As far as Superman
could tell, the jumpsuits in the storage room seemed to designate
the building’s lowest rank, a basic worker. All the other
jumpsuits were either red or blue, designating higher officials.
And those officials wore no caps.
about and walked over to the clothes rack, where he put on one of
the jumpsuits over top of his uniform. Fortunately it fit
loosely, making that possible. He grabbed a cap too. He also
noticed there were boxes of surgical-type face masks on a nearby
table -- so he put on one of those as well. The only part of his
costume that now showed was the very bottom of his red boots. He
hoped no one would notice this, realizing that most people rarely
looked down at other people’s feet.
disguised, he opened the storage room door and stepped out into
the corridor. Once there he noticed one other difference between
his outfit and what everyone else was wearing -- everyone else
had a military-style belt on with a holstered pistol. He hoped no
one would notice that he didn’t have one.
proceeded to explore the building, with the help of his x-ray
vision finding numerous laboratories and caged animal subjects
within its walls -- making it clear to him that the purpose of
the facility was to perform genetic experiments on those animals
(probably illegal in the outside world). By using his x-ray
vision to read various papers and documents in some of the
offices he passed, he was also able to learn that the corporation
financing this operation was simply referred to as “X”, so as
to maintain as much anonymity as possible. He also found out that
the company had originally been located in a small European
country, but had been outlawed there because of their experiments
that had defied that country’s laws. That was when they had
relocated their unethical work to the middle of the Zinayan
do I know you?” a senior official (judging from his blue
jumpsuit and name tag) exclaimed from behind Superman. The Man of
Steel stopped and turned around.
your clearance code?” the officer questioned
Apparently, Superman thought, this particular
officer DID occasionally look at other people’s feet! Superman
had no answer for the man, so he just stood there, nonchalantly
shrugging his shoulders.
The officer then reached out
and yanked the surgical mask off of Superman’s face.
Seize this man!” the officer immediately shouted to an armed
man with a red jumpsuit standing nearby, having instantly
recognized that Superman was not an authorized member of the
The red-suited guard rushed
forward and grabbed Superman by the arm. Within moments another
pair of guards came running from down the hallway and did the
him to the detention room!” the senior officer ordered. The
three guards pushed Superman roughly down the hallway to a room
that had bars on the entrance instead of a traditional door.
Superman did not resist. The guards quickly unlocked the barred
door and shoved Superman inside.
calmly while another official was summoned via a small radio unit
and microphone that was attached to the shoulder of the
blue-suited officer. Momentarily the summoned official appeared.
He was wearing a yellow jumpsuit. This was the first yellow
jumpsuit that Superman had seen. And the officer had the number
“1” on his suit. This suggested that he was the senior
official of the facility.
The man stared at Superman
through the barred doorway.
is this man?” the officer demanded.
definitely not one of us,” the blue-suited officer replied. “He
must be an intruder.”
are you?” Officer One said, this question now directed at
Superman. “How did you get in here? Where did you come
Superman did not reply. Once again he just
can’t take any chances,” Number One continued. “Shoot him.
Then have his body buried out in the jungle somewhere in an
Number One watched as the three
guards all pulled their side arms and aimed them at the Man of
Steel through the barred door. Without any further ceremony all
three fired their weapons.
Superman calmly put his
hands on his hips and just stood there as the pistol fire filled
the front of his jumpsuit full of holes. Completely unharmed, he
shrugged at the guards again, smiling at them.
is he wearing, a bulletproof vest?” Number One yelled. “Shoot
him! Shoot him again!”
Puzzled at this, the guards
nevertheless opened fire again. This time their repeated firing
completely ripped apart Superman’s jumpsuit, revealing the bold
red and yellow “S” on his chest.
Once the guards
had completely emptied their weapons at him they just stood there
in shock, not knowing what else to do. At that point Superman
came to life. He ripped off the remnants of his gray jumpsuit,
completely exposing his costume. Then he threw off his gray cap
and grabbed hold of the barred door. With a surge of
super-strength he ripped the heavy door off its metal hinges, and
then threw it aside. He stepped out into the corridor.
this the blue-suited officer turned and bolted. One of the guards
who had a rifle (which was now empty of bullets) grabbed it by
the barrel and swung it at Superman’s head like a club, but
Superman caught the weapon in mid-swing and ripped it out of the
guard’s hand. Then he brought his knee up and broke the rifle
in half over it. The guard, now totally nonplussed and as an act
of utter desperation, threw a punch at the Man of Steel. But
Superman immediately blocked the blow with his left arm and swung
his own right-handed haymaker at the guard’s jaw. The man
crumpled, going down like a rock.
Another right and
the second guard went down. Superman hit the third guard square
in the stomach with his left fist, doubling him over. Then he
belted him with a right uppercut that sent him flying halfway
across the corridor.
The yellow-suited officer finally
recovered himself from this turn of events and took off down the
corridor. Superman went after him. As he pursued Officer Number
One down the corridor other red-suited guards tried to engage him
along the way, but Superman easily knocked them aside.
distance down the corridor Number One yanked open a side door and
entered a room marked “Building Management”. Inside the room
a crew member dressed in gray (who was sitting in front of a
panel that covered one entire wall) immediately stood up and
got to release Specimen #105!” Number One yelled at him.
panel operator looked shocked. “But sir,” he replied, “that
particular specimen is extremely dangerous! We’re not supposed
to let him loose in the building under any circumstances!”
higher officer impatiently pushed the other man aside, then
twisted a couple of dials on the control board that were marked
“Specimen #105 Enclosure” and “Release Cage Lock.” As
soon as he had done this he turned and bolted out of the room,
back into the outside corridor. He scurried down the hallway as
fast as he could run.
Seconds later Superman came upon
the same Building Management room. He had seen Number One make a
detour into it, so he paused a moment and stepped into it to
When the gray-suited crew member manning
the station saw the costumed Man of Steel, he jumped up from his
seat and pulled out his sidearm. But before he could use it
Superman grabbed the weapon away from him. He casually squeezed
the pistol into a shapeless mass of metal, and then disdainfully
tossed it aside. Grabbing the crewman by the chest of his uniform
with one hand he lifted the surprised man up off his feet, where
he effortlessly held him a foot up off the ground.
did that man do who just came in here?” Superman said in a tone
that demanded an answer.
-- he released one of our animal specimens from its cage,” the
crewman replied in a shaky voice.
Not certain why that
was important, Superman threw the man hard against one wall of
the room, where he collapsed in an unconscious heap onto the
floor. Superman pivoted and exited the room, to resume his
pursuit of the facility’s leader.
Superman stopped in his tracks. He heard a strange, guttural
snarl emanate from around a bend of the corridor that was just
ahead of him.
sound quickly got louder, accompanied by a strange scraping,
shuffling noise. Something that was not yet in sight was
approaching from the other end of the corridor.
big. Very big.
Abruptly that something appeared
from around the corner. An involuntary expression of both
surprise and revulsion crossed Superman’s face.
had never seen such a repulsive creature before in his life.
animal that was now standing in front of him blocking the
corridor was (or at least at one time had been) a gorilla. But
because of some kind of tampering with its genetic makeup, it was
currently what one would (very kindly) refer to as a monster.
It was a head or two taller than a conventional ape, making it
close to eight feet tall, and its face was a twisted distortion
of what it should be. The creature had only one large eye in the
center of its forehead. Its snarling mouth was full of crooked,
irregularly placed teeth. And instead of a uniform covering of
fur over its body it had numerous large bald spots, with
occasional tufts of scraggly reddish hair. Its legs were crooked
and of unequal length -- this caused it to awkwardly lurch side
to side back and forth across the hallway floor rather than
But the weirdest part of the
misshapen creature’s physical makeup was the fact that it had
not two but three arms. There was an extra arm underneath its
right one. And all three were huge, muscular, and extremely
This ape-like giant resembled a
“devil” far more than the simple albino ape that Superman had
encountered before in the Zinayan Ketchi village.
huge monstrosity shambled toward the Man of Steel, its three huge
paws outstretched in an effort to grab hold of him. Superman
countered this move with his heat vision, directing it in a beam
aimed at one of the gorilla’s three paws.
ape stopped abruptly and howled in pain. It grabbed its injured
paw with the other two, trying to soothe it. As it did so it bent
over slightly. This action brought its head down far enough so
that it was momentarily within Superman’s reach.
Man of Steel then let loose with a powerful uppercut that caught
the gorilla right on the point of its chin. There was a loud
“thwack” as the mighty blow connected. The
genetically-altered monster fell over backwards onto the floor
with a thud.
It did not get up.
approached the pathetic creature and stared down at it. Despite
its horrificly distorted body, he felt sorry for the poor animal.
It hadn’t asked to be experimented on by amoral, irresponsible
human scientists, any more than the Jungle Devil ape back in the
Ketchi’s village had.
This kind of immoral,
illegal experimenting has to stop Superman thought angrily to
himself. He turned and headed back toward the Building Management
room that he had just been in. When he got there, he found the
crew member he had just fought still lying unconscious on the
floor. Looking around he observed a shortwave radio hookup in one
corner of the room. He went over to it and activated it. Using it
he notified military authorities in Costa Arena about the illegal
activity going on there, and supplied them with the approximate
location of the facility.
That done, he studied the
huge control panel that covered one entire wall. He quickly
figured out how to release the locks on all the animal enclosures
located in the building. After he had done this, he noticed a
special red panel under a plastic cover that was labeled
“Building Self-Destruct”. Apparently the owners of the
facility had included this function in the construction of the
building as an emergency last resort to be used if the building
ever happened to be discovered by the wrong people, so that in
such a case all traces of what they were doing there in the
depths of the Zinayan jungle could be completely
Superman flipped open the plastic cover and
activated the panel. He set the timer on the device for thirty
minutes, figuring that that would be enough time for everyone
(animals included) to safely evacuate the building.
immediately a mechanical-sounding voice boomed throughout the
intercom system in the building, stating that the destruct
mechanism had been activated, and that all personnel had thirty
minutes in which to vacate the building. This initiated an
immediate and well-trained exodus of the building’s inhabitants
through the main corridor of the building toward all the exits.
Once outside the facility’s crew quickly scattered throughout
the surrounding woods, as they also had been trained to
After about fifteen minutes had passed, all the
animals in the building were released from their cages, and they
came scurrying out of the building as well.
did not take very long for the building to be completely
stayed behind inside the structure to make sure that everyone was
out of the building. The thirty minutes went by quickly.
the thirty-minute mark was finally reached there was a gigantic
explosion from somewhere deep inside the lab building. As a
result of this the building quickly imploded in on itself, just
as it was designed to do -- and a huge mushroom cloud of black
smoke rose up over the jungle foliage.
people, who were hiding behind some trees but still close enough
to witness the destruction of the building, were astonished to
see a human figure casually stride out of the twisted, burning
wreckage. A red cape flapped wildly in the super-hot air churning
around him. He seemed to be totally unharmed by the flames and
the collapsed debris he had just quit.
the sight of this superhuman demigod nonchalantly strolling out
of the burning conflagration that was all that was left of the
destroyed lab facility, the lab’s crew people all turned and
quickly ran off into the dense jungle.
next morning Lois Lane, back at the safari campsite, got up from
where she had been sitting in front of the campfire.
been about 24 hours,” she announced in a determined voice. “I’m
going in to see how Clark is doing.”
wouldn’t,” Bill Hurd warned her. “To be safe I’d wait
until he’s well enough to come out of the tent on his
been long enough,” Lois replied. “I’m going in.”
stopped at a nearby basin of water and soaked a cloth in it,
intending to use it to cool Clark’s forehead if necessary. Then
she boldly strode into Kent’s tent.
the tent she found Kent sitting up on the side of his
she cried in amazement. “You’re up!”
Kent replied. “Actually, I feel pretty well now.”
got up from his cot. Slowly he started to head out of the
Lois followed him. “Look who’s back from the
dead!” Lois announced, once they were outside.
Hurd exclaimed. “You’re up!” He looked Kent over. “You
look pretty normal too!”
Everyone crowded around
Kent and took turns expressing their relief at what seemed to be
his complete recovery.
Jimmy suddenly interrupted. “What’s that sound I
Everyone looked up. In the distance they
could see a military helicopter coming right toward them.
the military authorities from Costa Arena!”
Hurd proclaimed. “They finally found us!”
helicopter came closer and closer, until finally it settled down
to a landing in the clearing right next to the group’s disabled
airplane. Once on the ground a number of soldiers jumped out of
the copter and strode over to the jungle wayfarers.
were happily exchanged, and the soldiers assured everyone that
another helicopter with half a dozen mechanics was also on its
way, to help repair their stranded airplane.
everyone in the safari group hurriedly scrambled to get their
belongings together for the trip back to Costa Arena
Kent approached the copter pilot.
understand from reports over our radio that you also just
discovered a building in the jungle not far from here where they
were conducting some kind of illegal experimental activity,”
Kent told him.
the pilot replied. “We got an anonymous tip about it just a
little while ago. The building was blown up, and the people that
had built it had scattered throughout the jungle. But we’re
searching for them now. We expect to have them all corralled
before too long.”
Kent nodded his approval.
was beginning to settle over the jungle as the officer known as
Number One stumbled along through the jungle undergrowth. Many of
his colleagues had already been rounded up by soldiers from Costa
Arena, but so far he had been able to elude them. He was sure
that the lab people that had already been caught would no doubt
tell the authorities everything they knew in order to save their
own skins. As a result, if he was captured, he would no
doubt go to prison for a very long time. Thus he simply could not
afford to be taken into police custody. He had to
Determinedly, he moved on through the
But before long he stopped. What was that
strange sound that he could now hear that was coming from
somewhere nearby? Somehow it sounded strangely familiar.
moment later he realized what the source was. To his utter horror
the genetically-altered three-armed ape that he had been
experimenting on back at the lab facility was now standing right
in the center of the trail in front of him.
pulled the pistol from his belt and began firing desperately at
the hulking creature, who was now advancing on him, snarling
viciously. But either the beast simply did not feel the bullets,
or he was so enraged that he did not care that he had been
repeatedly wounded. He kept coming.
Then Number One’s
pistol ran out of bullets.
The last thing Number One
saw was his creation’s huge head and slavering jaws hovering
right over him.