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Black Lightning intervenes in a train robbery. Though the two crooks are subdued very quickly, one of them manages to fire his weapon twice, before he goes down. The two stray gunshots kill a young woman, and disable the train's controls. Barreling out of control towards a curve, the train leaps the tracks, only to be caught by Superman. The dead woman, Trina, is cradled in the arms of Hugh Bryant, one of Black Lightning's students, in his civilian guise as teacher, Jefferson Pierce. Overcome with grief and rage, Bryant blames Black Lightning for Trina's death. Black Lightning, as Pierce, decides to call on Bryant, to offer his condolences. Arriving at Bryant's home, Pierce is surprisingly attacked by a neanderthal man. Even more astonishing, the neanderthal knows Pierce is Black Lightning. With no need to protect his secret identity, Pierce changes into his Black Lightning costume. Maneuvering the neanderthal into position, Black Lightning kicks him through a window in Bryant's apartment. By the time Black Lightning can get back downstairs and out into the yard, the neanderthal is gone. Black Lightning returns to Bryant's apartment. During the course of his investigation, he begins to suspect that the neanderthal was, in fact, Bryant. Black Lightning pays a visit to the Daily Planet, in the hopes of contacting Superman. While Black Lightning is distracted by Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, Clark Kent ducks out, to assume his guise as Superman. Before Black Lightning can explain why he's come, word of a Pterosaur attack in Suicide Slums reaches the bullpen. Superman and Black Lightning join forces to deal with the threat.

Black Lightning hangs back, while Superman punches the Pterosaur from the sky. Strangely, it melts into the ground on impact. Superman tunnels after it, but can find no trace of the creature. Black Lightning returns, with Superman, to Bryant's apartment. Based on Superman's discovery of an arrowhead, a piece of petrified wood, and an alien artifact, Superman surmises that Bryant is, in fact, a shapeshifting alien being who has inhabited the Earth for millennia. Furthermore, Bryant seems to be devolving into his past forms. As if on cue, an enormous energy creature erupts from the ground, outside Bryant's apartment. Once again, Black Lightning waits in the wings, while Superman leaps into the fray. Superman's strongest blow has no effect on the creature. It grabs Superman and begins vibrating his molecular structure. Black Lightning, too, falls into the creatures grasp. Both men suddenly hear Bryant's voice in their minds. Bryant explains that he has been in exile on Earth for millennia, taking on the dominant form of life, with each passing age. Bryant knew great loneliness, until he met, and fell in love, with Trina. Holding Black Lightning accountable for her death, Bryant sets about killing Black Lightning, and Superman. Realizing that Bryant's true form is that of a sentient magnetic field, Black Lightning uses his own electrical field to disrupt Bryant. Unable to sustain his true form, the creature becomes Bryant again. Superman flies Bryant into orbit. Free of Earth's gravitational pull, Bryant resumes his true form, and returns to his home world.

Notes:

  • Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen cameos.
  • This issue contains the Hostess Superhero Ad, the Flash in "The Stony-Eyed Medusa".
  • "The DC Feature Page" one page featuring "Ask the Answer Man!" and "DC Puzzle" by Bob Rozakis a word search containing characters who were featured in Action Comics throughout the years.
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