No. 167 – A Speeding Bullet

Megaman from prog 442’s (1985) Judge Dredd story written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and drawn by Ron Smith (1924–2019) v George Reeves (born George Keefer Brewer, 1914–1959) as Superman in Adventures of Superman (1952–1958) Complete First Season DVD cover

“Is it a bird…?”

There has been no shortage of superhero homages and lampoons in the prog over the years, so we’ll use this entry to somewhat randomly focus on an urban myth persisting from the 1950s that the above-mentioned actor came to a sticky end after launching himself from a skyscraper, under the delusion that he had acquired the Man of Steel’s powers and could fly. This is only slightly stranger than the circumstances of his death, which may have been his accidental shooting at the hands of his socialite fiancée Leonore Lemmon (1923–1989), murder by an unnamed hitman under orders from MGM vice president and fixer* Joseph Edgar “Eddie” Mannix (1891–1963), or plain old suicide due to depression caused by his inability to land desired roles because of the Clark Kent/Superman stereotype.

“… Or maybe I’ll just walk there.”

Despite many inconsistencies and unanswered questions, Reeves’ death was officially ruled a suicide, based on witness statements, physical evidence at the scene, and the autopsy report. Hollywood didn’t believe a word of it. Whatever the truth, at any rate a bullet found its mark.

*A person paid to disguise details of Hollywood stars’ often colourful private lives and maintain their public image

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