Silver Age Tech Support: If Super-Strength Lasts For Four Hours, Consult Your Doctor



Hello, and thank you for contacting the Will Magnus Institute of Super-Science, where we’re solving the death ray and robot-related problems of tomorrow… today! We at the Institute are dedicated to ironing out the minor difficulties that can arise in our fast-paced world of atomic spacemen and gorillas with laser-vision, and while we understand that every situation is different, our troubleshooters are always glad to offer assistance. Please keep in mind that if you have requested your solution to be delivered remotely via Zeta Beam, there may be an additional charge.


PROBLEM: Hi Will, it’s me again.

Listen, like most grown men, I’ve struck up a strong friendship with a younger colleague (I’ll call him “Jim”) that I spend a lot of time with when I’m dodging the woman who is desperately in love with me. Our relationship’s usually great, but recently, my pal’s gotten his hands on your Hyperon™ Strength Formula, and ever since, he’s gotten a little…



…well, the word Pa always used was “uppity.”

Just to be clear, it’s not that I’m jealous or worried that he’s going to get more attention than me anything–not like the time I gained the ability to shoot a tiny version of myself out of my hand and people started to like it more than me–but is there any way I can get rid of his powers? For his own good, I mean. Not because I’m jealous.

Mild-Mannered in Metroplis

PS: Not jealous at all. Honest.


SOLUTION: Fortunately for you, M.M., the Hyperon™ Strength Formula is designed with the repeat customer in mind, which means that its effects should be wearing off in the next few days, with or without your intervention.

If I may be allowed to play amateur psychologist, however, it would seem that your problem stems not from the strength provided by the formula (which has now met FDA approval for sale in over eight states!), but rather, the irresponsible way in which “Jim” chooses to use it. Clearly, you need to teach your friend a lesson.

You might balk at this responsibility, but keep in mind that this is a bold Silver Age in which we live, full of new technologies and complex problems that can only be solved by being a massive tool to your best friends. And you, with all your power, have a responsibility to be the biggest jackass of them all, for their own good.

Here’s what I suggest, and keep in mind: I am a doctor:

Simply dress up as the man’s employer and make him believe that he has committed murder.



Then, once he’s thoroughly convinced that he’s taken the life of one of his closest friends, have him thrown in jail, preferably with criminals that he’s had a hand in locking it up:



After a few days on Death Row being bought and sold by other inmates for a handful of cigarettes and a crumpled-up picture of his stewardess girlfriend, your friend will learn the value of leaving the super-strength to those who came by it honestly: By being born with it.

And even if he later discovers your ruse…



…he’s sure to recognize that you had his best interests in mind and forgive you.

And even if he doesn’t, why bother with human friends at all, when we here at the institute can build one for you out of the element of your choice, such as noble gold, trustworthy iron, or even platinum!

Sweet, obedient platinum…

Dr. Will Magnus

24 thoughts on “Silver Age Tech Support: If Super-Strength Lasts For Four Hours, Consult Your Doctor

  1. While Jimmy was in jail, he was sent to a psychiatrist. At first, his only response to the inkblot tests was that he saw “Some nice flowers”.
    Later, after coming clean with his grisly history…
    “It was Olsen who closed his eyes. It was Elastic Lad who opened them again.”

  2. I always wondered why Magnus built a sexy robot out of platinum and then pretended he didn’t program it to fall in love with him. If he could make more sexy robots who fall in love with you and think they’re human the price of platinum would skyrocket.

  3. Damn. I can’t imagine how somebody like “Uncle Cheeks” would’ve handled it. Actually, his essay on that issue would’ve had six sodomy jokes and a “Why Is There A Club Dedicated To A Brown-Noser?” crack.

    That looks like an Olsen bitch-slap on “Perry.” Aside from the hippie issue (“KISS THE RINGS, CHIEF!!!”), has Jimmy ever taken a swing at Perry White?

  4. “That kook slugged his old boss, Perry White! Call a doctor!”

    Slugging the old boss, Jimmy Olson lives the dream for us.

  5. Doc Magnus doesn’t count robots as “monsters”. Not even giant-sized ones that fire rocket-propelled penguins in a variety of colors for all the hues of the rainbow. Each color linked to a different explosive effect…

    So yeah, six days since a “monster” attack indeed…

  6. That last panel makes much more sense if you read Jimmy’s line in the voice of a terrified young man standing next to an omnipotent alien being who has demonstrated his willingness to frame the young man for murder.

    You know what I just realized? Silver Age Superman is the Mr. Mxyzptlk for his dimension.

  7. Having just acquired my doctorate in Science! (with an emphasis on silver age engineering) I have to say that it was Dr. Will Magnus is an inspiration to us all.

    Now to complete my subservient female elemental robot… Radium is a good one to use, right? And I’ll design her to look just like Marie Curie…

  8. Chris, this was great. In fact, I almost prefer this format to your basic summaries of ludicrous silver age stories. So I guess what I’m saying is, put in even more work and creativity every time so I can read it and laugh for free.

    Looks like someone needs to frame me for murder to teach me a lesson.

  9. Heck, I don’t know why you couldn’t use Radium. Platinum is toxic in high enough concentrations and if she’s pure then she’s toxic, so maybe Radium could control her decay.

    Far as the robot/Magnus connection— Or in Marvel, his daughters being in love with robots. Polaris was moped over by Machinesmith -who amped up her powers to crazy cool levels- and the Scarlet Witch was married to the Vision (and still should be!!!!).

  10. How did Superman know that Jimmy wouldn’t have committed suicide in prison from the guilt of what he did before the ruse was revealed, not to mention the less than pleasant surroundings he was placed in?

    The Good Old Days have always been represented as a happier and more innocent time, but what I really think went down was major cases of insensitivities to the feelings of others, even those who have hyper superpowers temporarily.

    And Jimmy just forgives Superman after all that? Well, he probably realized he didn’t have much of a choice when you have a “friend” who could crumple you up like tinfoil with one hand if he felt like it.

    But Superman wouldn’t do that. He’d just psychologically torture you into behaving
    like a good citizen.

    I’m thinking the Justice Lords here.

  11. Please, please consider making this a recurring feature on your blog.

    Um. This is a recurring feature on my blog. Click on the category link “Silver Age Tech Support” at the bottom of the post to see more.