But, in a bit of twist, what will be covered here is how the alien was the good guy, and it was the cowboy who was evil. The time was 1972, and Superman (that alien son of Krypton) was fighting his most devastating foe….lagging sales. In an effort to spice up sales, Superman was to fight new villains, very loosely based on popular movie series, and in this case it was Clint Eastwood’s the “Man with No Name” (from movies “A Fist Full of Dollars”, “For A Few Dollars More” and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”).
Now, Terra-Man’s story really started in the Old West (and in the back up tale, “The Origin of Terra-Man”, written by Cary Bates, with art by Dick Dillin and Neal Adams) of the 1880s, with a ten-year old Tobias Manning stealing gold from a stagecoach. As his father, Jess, praises his thievery, an alien ship steals the Manning’s ill-gotten golden booty. This blue skinned alien currency collector is shot by Russ Manning, and returns fire, killing the man in front of his boy. Not having planned to kill the man, and thanks to a telepathic link formed with Jess at this death, the spaceman decides to adopt the boy, wiping Toby’s mind of how he killed his father and instead telling the lad “The law what done it, boy!”.
The wizard of the west attacks Superman with a strangling scarf, which Superman easily defeats. But Terra-Man has a special six-gun to absorb the lunar particles…which Superman easily takes from the outlaw.
Turns out Superman was to trigger an explosion by holding Terra-Man’s gun…and figures it out in time, disposing of the gun-bomb.
Good for Superman!
The Dead Pool
Terra-Man teams with the Prankster and the Toyman, and was the first villain team to be defeated in a plan by a master manipulator that involved using Superman’s own abilities to trigger the end of the Earth (strangely similar to Tobias’ own plan from not so long ago...and about as successful here!).
Still, at least Tobias was a part of a bigger group for a time!