Synopsis for Superman: “The Hand of Morpheus”
Clark Kent drives Lois Lane to Brentville for her vacation. As they drive through town, they find that it’s quite literally a sleepy little burg. Every single person Clark can see is sleeping, and when he looks over at Lois, he finds that she has fallen asleep as well. A car with a sleeping driver dangles precariously over the rail of a bridge, so Clark uses his super strength to pull it back onto the road. Whatever was affecting the town hasn’t worked on Clark, perhaps due to his superhuman abilities. Placing some gas masks he found at a fire station over his and Lois face, Clark continues to drive until he comes to a house on the town’s outskirts. The man inside, Professor Hunter lets him in to use the phone so Clark can call the sheriff of a nearby town. But when another man, Kolb, hears him on the phone, he rushes Clark, grabbing the receiver out of his hand and slamming it down. Clark’s kicked out of the house after Kolb calls him a liar, all the while the Professor seemed very confused.
The sheriff had sent some of his officers in a patrol car to investigate Clark’s call. But as soon as they enter Brentville, the cops fall asleep behind the wheel, and their patrol car careens toward a sleeping child in the road! Luckily, Clark is nearby to see the impending disaster. He pinches a nerve in Lois’ neck to knock her out, then rushes to tackle the speeding auto, exerting his super-strength to halt the vehicle a mere inch away from the child. Just as Clark returns to the car and revives Lois, a loud explosion is heard. With his telescopic X-Ray vision, Clark sees a group of men robbing Brentville’s bank. Lois runs toward the action before Clark can stop her. One of the bank robbers grab her as she nears the entrance and pulls her gas mask off, causing Lois to lose consciousness. Clark changes to his Superman identity and rushes to Lois’ rescue. The bandits are knocked out with ease. Superman removes their gas masks to ensure they stay out for awhile.
Meanwhile, others from the neighboring town are alerted by the sound of the bandits safe-blasting. Each of them immediately fall asleep soon after they enter Brentville. Soon, news of the phenomenon in Brentville reaches the desk of another town’s sheriff. He goes along with his men, making sure to put on gas masks, to get to the bottom of the strange happenings.
Clark and Lois are arrested by investigating officers because they were wearing gas masks just like the bandits. Clark protests, explaining that he was the one who made the call to them earlier, from Professor Hunter’s house. This can easily be verified, so the police take them to the Hunter residence and knock on the door. The man who threw Clark out before, Kolb, answers, acting as housekeeper. The police ask him if Professor Hunter allowed Clark to make a call on his phone. Kolb replies that his master has been away for at least a week, denying ever having seen Clark before. Clark and Lois know he’s lying, but they can’t do anything right now. The sheriff has them handcuffed and locked in a room while he and his men finish questioning the bank robbers.
Locked in the basement of a house the police are using as temporary HQ, Lois and Clark believe that Professor Hunter was in trouble. With super-speed, Clark snaps his bonds and renders Lois unconscious by pinching a nerve. After resuming his Superman identity, he notices a needle poking it’s way through the keyhole. A seeping liquid-gas begins to emit from the tip, filling the room with deadly hydrocyanic acid. In order to save Lois, Superman pulls the bars from the window and, grabbing her in his arms, leaps outside. Placing Lois on the second floor of a garage where she’ll be safe, Superman returns to Hunter’s home. His telescopic vision lets him see into the attic window, where Kolb and another man were examining a map of Brentville. Superman hung outside the window so he could hear what they were discussing. The other man turned out to be a foreign Baron by name of Munsdorf. Kolb was supposed to find Hunter’s secret formula, and the Baron was not pleased with his lack of progress. Kolb allowing his thugs to rob a bank has now brought the police down on them, so the Baron orders Kolb to go to the cellar and make the Professor talk.
Hearing enough, the Man of Steel burrows his way underground to the cellar, where Professor Hunter is tied. The Professor explains that he had created a new anesthetic gas formula for the United States. Baron Munsdorf and Kolb were part of a foreign spy ring that wanted the formula for their own country’s use. One of Kolb’s men stole a sample and spread it across the town, putting people to sleep while they staged a bank robbery. Superman breaks through the cellar wall carrying Hunter to safety outside, then makes a turn-around to deal with Munsdorf and Kolb. As he re-enters the house, he witnesses Munsdorf gun down Kolb in cold blood for letting the Professor escape. Munsdorf turns the gun on Superman to find that it has no effect. Searching Hunter’s lab, the Baron grabs another weapon, a death ray, and aims it at the hero. Superman only feels a minor effect from the ray, nothing that will slow him down. Changing tactics, Munsdorf aims the ray out the window at the garage where Lois was still unconscious! The building bursts into flames and Superman moves fast to get Lois out and clear of the danger. In those few minutes, Baron Munsdorf has found Professor Hunter and prepares to destroy him with the beam. But Superman streaks down from above, blocking the beam of death with his hand. The lethal force bounces back and hits Munsdorf himself, killing him instantly!
After the Professor corroborates Clark’s story to the sheriff, he and Lois are set free. The rest of the bandits are put under arrest. The people of Brentville should be coming out of their induced sleep any moment now. And Lois is free to enjoy the rest of her vacation. Or she would if she wasn’t so determined to get back to Metropolis and write up the story before Clark!