Synopsis for “The Oldest Man in Metropolis”
Clark Kent has been sent on assignment to the the Metropolis Research Center to interview a scientist trying to invent a serum that will increase a humans life span, but is afraid to test it on a person to see what will happen. Clark brazenly consumes the serum figuring that his Kryptonian biology would prove immune to the serums effects, and keeps a small sample to analyze at his Fortress of Solitude. The scientist is commends Kent on his bravery and hopes nothing goes wrong. However, after Clark leaves the scientist checks on one of the guinea pigs he experimented on previously, and finds that it has rapidly aged.
Changing into Superman and going to his Fortress of Solitude, Superman examines the serum and finds that it has isotopes in it that resemble Kryptonite, making him worry if it will nullify his immunity and have an effect on him. Waking up the next day, Superman finds that he has been rapidly aged into an old man. Rushing to the scientists lab as Clark Kent, Superman learns that the serum will wear off in 72 hours time. Rushing into work, Clark’s taxi is caught in a traffic jam, and so he decides to go the rest of the way as Superman to save time, but finds that using his super-powers is very exhausting to his elderly body, and that they are slowly fading. Reporting to the Daily Planet, he shows Perry and Lois his condition, Perry decides to only send Clark on easy assignment until the effect of the serum wears off, telling him that he will assign him to a charity event that Superman is intended to appear at.
When the wannabe pirate criminal Captain Cutlass attacks the S.S. Opal, Clark breaks his walking stick as an excuse to get out of work. He then returns to his apartment and tries to send out one of his Superman robots to do the job, but finds that his elderly voice is too foreign to the robot to understand his commands. Trying to cut his beard, he finds it’s just as super strong as his hair. Superman instead comes up with a new idea: traveling out to sea with his fleeting flight powers, he disguises himself as the Old Man of the Sea and manages to trick the superstitious Cutlass and his crew into surrendering to the authorities.
Later put on assignment at a retirement home, Clark’s x-ray vision detects some crooks hiding out in a department store. Taking a job as Santa Claus in the store, he uses his wits and remaining powers to capture the crooks, who had dismissed him as a crazy old man in a Superman costume. After helping a 100 year old man blow out his birthday cake candles, Clark returns to the Daily Planet and learns of a lead on the criminal known as the Clock. Tracking the clock aficionado’s hideout, Superman disguises himself as Father Time and uses his fleeting powers to once more convince the Clock that he’s the genuine article, just like Captain Cutlass, as soon as The Clock is convinced that Superman is Father Time, he surrenders to the police.
Having to preform being shot out of a cannon for the charity as Superman, the Old Man of Steel decides to wear a helmet to conceal his face but fears that he will be killed because in his advanced age his super-strength is nearly all gone. However, he realizes that he drank the serum 71 hours previous, and stalls for time. Naturally enough, after being shot out of the cannon an hour later, Superman finds that his youth and powers had been restored. Later, as Clark Kent again, he bemoans the idea of Lois taking him to go see a musical based on Rip Van Winkle.