On June 1962, Lex Luthor
devised a diabolical weapon designed to â€œre-arrange [Supermanâ€™s] molecules so that he has no more substance than a shadow! Superman,â€ gloats Luthor, â€œwill become a living ghost!â€ Hair-raising complications arise, however, when a freak accident, the result of Superman
â€™s simultaneous exposure to two bizarre rays, the first emitted by Luthorâ€™s weapon and the second by an experimental ray-device undergoing development in a nearby laboratory, has the totally unanticipated effect of bringing into existence a so-called Negative Superman
, a black-and-white super-powered being with all the strength and powers of Superman but with a personality that is â€œnegativeâ€ where Supermanâ€™s is â€œpositive,â€ so that whereas Superman uses his powers for good, the Negative Superman is determined to use his powers for evil.
For a time the Negative Superman wreaks havoc in Metropolis, sheltering Luthor and his henchmen whenever Superman tries to apprehend them and deliberately aggravating catastrophes whenever Superman tries to ameliorate their effects. Batman and Robin ultimately devise a means of destroying the Negative Superman, however, thus enabling them to apprehend Luthor and his henchmen (WF No. 126: â€œThe Negative Superman!â€)(TGSB).