Welcome back to My Hero, where we explain to you just exactly who the heck the characters in our Custom Figure collection are and why you should be letting our eBay store guide your comic reading. Today, we’re looking at DC’s literally short-lived Supremo from the pages of 1966’s Superboy #132!
“The Hero Who Was Braver Than Superboy!”
That was the story that the cover of Superboy #132 promised, and it delivered…sort of. Allan Vale is a classmate of Clark Kent and a total Superboy fanboy…and he’s dying. He picked up a terminal illness during a childhood trip to Hong Kong and, despite his scientist uncle Jason’s best efforts, there is no cure. Although Allan doesn’t know it, he’s got just days left and his uncle has hatched a plan that will give the boy one heckuva make-a-wish experience before he goes.
Stage one of the plan involves Uncle Jason developing a formula that replicates Superboy’s powers, which proves easier than curing an Earth-borne disease because this story takes place in the Silver Age DC Universe. This lets Jason fly around town as Supremo, performing some minor heroics (such as rescuing Clark Kent from some bullies) and figuring out his new abilities. Then, Superboy tees him up for the experience of a lifetime.
Outshining the Boy of Steel
Superboy recruits Supremo for a mission to investigate an underwater cave opened by an earthquake, freeing a fearsome dragon from his underwater tomb. Superboy, being the more experienced hero, heads in first but gets his butt kicked by the powerful beast and his indestructible costume torn to shreds by the its venomous talons. Supremo, seeing a chance to live up to his heroic potential, opts to take on the creature alone while the Boy of Steel retreats. He succeeds in re-entombing it, but the creature’s deadly venom gets into his system and takes his life within the day.
At least, that’s what Allan dies believing. In reality, the monster was Superboy himself in a costume and the boy was never in any more than deadly danger than that posed by his rapidly worsening illness. Thanks to the efforts of his uncle and his hero, Supremo got to die thinking he’d stood up when it counted and sacrificed his life for the good of the world.
While a touch insensitive to modern eyes, the story of Supremo is an uncommonly touching story in the annals of Silver Age Superboy wannabes. It carries more emotional weight than most DC tales from 1966 and deserves a bit more recognition than it gets as a result – and being immortalized as a custom action figure? That’s a pretty good start.
Come back here next week for another obscure wonder from our Custom Figure Collection in My Hero!