When One of Superman's Recurring Foes Was...an Annoying Little Girl?

This is the debut of a new feature called "You Act Like We Never Have Met," which is about one-time popular comic book characters that have fallen by the wayside in the years since. Some of these are characters who would appear in comics routinely read by hundreds of thousands of people but are now effectively mysteries.

We start the feature by spotlighting Susie Thompkins.

Susie made her debut in an odd story by Jerry Siegel, John Sikela and Ed Dobrotka in Action Comics #59, where Clark Kent goes to take Lois Lane out on a date but finds that she is stuck babysitting her obnoxious niece, Susie (the Thompkins part might have been revealed many years later actually. I don't recall offhand). Despite being there for a date, Clark bizarrely falls asleep as soon as he starts reading Susie a story about Cinderella. Was he just super-exhausted before he walked in the door? Why was he even going out on a date if he was about to pass out at any moment? But that's not even the weirdest part about this story...

No, the weirdest part is that after he's finished dreaming this extremely elaborate story about Superman mixed into the story of Cinderella, a story that ONLY WORKS if he knows the story of Cinderella, Clark wakes up and...borrows Susie's book so he can find out the story of Cinderella?

Cute story, with great art, but that really doesn't make any sense.

Okay, but that was just a basic appearance of Susie. She wasn't really a REAL character yet. However, a year later, writer Don Cameron and artists Ira Yarbrough and Stan Kaye collaborated on a Susie story that established her as a regular "villain" over the next few years. The concept, as introduced in Action Comics #68, is that Susie is constantly making up tall tales. Lois Lane is harsh on her niece over this behavior, but Clark Kent, he of no nieces, thinks that he knows better and he decides to use his powers as Superman to make Susie's tall tale come true, just to teach Lois a lesson of not being too strict on her niece...

Funny stuff. However, this causes a problem as this has now totally validated Susie and she quickly goes off and tries to find a newspaper "scoop." She overhears two guys talking and she spins it into a criminal conspiracy. Then, because the Daily Planet is run by morons, Susie actually calls her story in as her aunt and they publish it! Two stevedores talking about "killing it" at a talent show has now been translated into a gangster committing a murder. Lois is about to look like a moron. Clark, meanwhile, is moping and he hilariously even thinks to himself about how he would love to frame the crook for murder but that would be wrong. However, as it turns out, Susie accidentally stumbled into an actual conspiracy! Superman then stops the plans of the crooks and then hands the story over to Lois Lane (as, apparently, you can just file whatever story you want in Lois' name at the Daily Planet) and she's happy, but still irked at Susie and Superman.

Okay, so they're kind of stuck now, right? How do you keep "little girl whose tall tales come true" going as a bit? Well...

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