Sally Selwyn

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Selwyn, Sally.


A lovely blond-haired young woman, the daughter of the immensely wealthy farmowner Digby Selwyn, and who shares a passionate romance with Clark Kent, the man who is secretly Superman, when his amnesiac and powerless due to the effects of red Kryptonite and going under the name Jim White in November 1963 (S No. 165/2: "The Sweetheart Superman Forgot!"). Sally briefly renews the relationship in May 1964 (S No. 169/2: "The Man Who Stole Superman's Secret Life!").

In November 1963, after exposure to Red Kryptonite has temporarily robbed him of his super-powers and afflicted him with total amnesia concerning even his own identity, Superman wanders onto the vast Selwyn estate—clad in the clothing and eyeglasses he customarily wears as Clark Kent—and, suffering from sunstroke as the result of having walked all afternoon in the hot sun, collapses in a faint at Sally Selwyn's feet.

Sometime later, when Superman finally regains consciousness, he finds himself lying in a bed in the Selwyn mansion, with Sally and her father, Digby Selwyn, standing concernedly over him. Asked his name, which he cannot remember, Superman blurts out the name Jim White, a pseudonym formed by the unconscious coupling of the first name and last name, respectively, of two of his closest friends: Jimmy Olsen and Perry White.

In the days following his recovery, "Jim White" begins working as a lumberjack on the Selwyn timberlands while embarking on a passionate romance with Sally Selwyn. Deeply in love with Sally and determined to marry her, the amnesic Superman even goes so far as to present his beloved with an engagement ring, yet balks at the idea of actually marrying her until he has proven that he can support her alone, without being dependent on her father's millions. In an effort to raise the money he feels he needs, "Jim White" enters the bronc-riding competition in a local rodeo, where a prize of $5,000 is being offered to the man who can stay aboard Black Terror , a wild-eyed bucking stallion, the longest.

In the course of romancing Sally Selwyn, however, "Jim White" has aroused the enmity of Bart Benson (1963), the brutal foreman of the Selwyn lumber camp, who had hoped to marry Sally himself in order to get his hands on her money. By slipping locoweed into Black Terror's feed, Benson transforms the bucking horse into a raging, snorting terror, and although "Jim White" gamely attempts to ride the fearsome stallion, he is, within moments, hurled to the ground, both his legs paralyzed by the violent impact of his fall.

Sally Selwyn truly loves "Jim White" and wants desperately to marry him despite his paralysis, but the amnesic, crippled Superman, still with no inkling whatever as to his true identity, now feels that if Sally were to marry him it would be solely out of pity. Torn by self-pity and indecision, "Jim White" wheels his wheelchair out to a secluded spot atop a high cliff to be alone with his thoughts. As he sits there, however , looking down at the raging river swirling beneath the cliff, Bart Benson, intending only to frighten "Jim White," sends a large boulder hurtling in the direction of "White's" wheelchair, only to have it take an odd, unexpected bounce and crash into the back of the wheelchair, sending the paralyzed Superman plummeting off the cliff into the raging river below. His last sensations are of drowning and then of blacking out. When Sally Selwyn and her father arrive at the cliff's edge, they find the wheelchair overturned and "Jim White" gone.

"He's dead!" sobs Sally. "Jim's dead! He--must have thrown himself into the river, th-thinking I only wanted to marry him out of pity...."

"Did you?" asks Digby Selwyn.

"I loved him," replies Sally mournfully, "...with all my heart!"

One week later, however, Superman awakens in a transparent air-filled chamber in the subsea realm of Atlantis, with his friend Lori Lemaris watching over him. Aquaman, explains Lori, had found the drowning Superman and had rushed him to Atlantis, where "a new form of artificial respiration" had been used to bring him back to life. For a week, Lori continues, Superman has been in a delirium, lacking his super-powers, unaware of his true identity. Now, however, the effects of Superman's exposure to red kryptonite have faded and vanished. His super-powers have returned to him, and his memory—except for the period of his romance with Sally Selwyn, which remains a complete blank—has been restored.

And so Superman leaves Atlantis and, in his Clark Kent identity, returns to his job at the Daily Planet. "I'm too busy handling great emergencies ever to fall in love!" he muses at one point, silently pondering the question of whether he will ever marry. "Anyway, I'm always afraid girls don't love me for myself--are merely dazzled by my fame and super-powers. I wonder how it would feel to be really loved for--myself??! I guess...I'll never know...."

Sally Selwyn, meanwhile, fights to choke back the tears as she gazes at her only memento of her tragically shattered love affair—a photograph taken of "Jim White" and herself at a local barn dance. "I'll never love anyone else," she sobs, "'til the day I die!" (S No. 165/2: "The Sweetheart Superman Forgot!").

In May 1964 Sally Selwyn is deceived into believing that she has found her long-lost love again when she makes the chance acquaintance of fugitive criminal Ned Barnes, a Superman look-alike who, having disguised himself in a business suit and a pair of eyeglasses in an effort to elude the police, is now an exact double for Sally's beloved "Jim White." Sally assumes that the traumatic fall into the river must have somehow cured "White" of his paralysis. Barnes, for his part, decides to turn this incidence of mistaken identity to his own advantage by hiding out for a time at the Selwyn mansion.

The situation is confused even further when Barnes quarrels with Sally and stalks angrily away from the Selwyn mansion, and Sally, searching desperately for her sweetheart in hopes of patching things up with him, stumbles upon Superman in his Clark Kent identity—in other words, the real "Jim White"—who has been scouring the area for the fugitive Barnes as well as covering the Barnes story for the Daily Planet. Up until now, Superman has had no recollection whatever of his romance with Sally, but as she takes him in her arms and kisses him passionately, "Suddenly, by an inexplicable trick of the mind, Sally's ardent kiss causes forgotten memories deep within Clark's subconscious to flow back into his consciousness...."

"Great Scott!" thinks Clark Kent with a start. "I remember everything now --everything!! I'm Jim White!!"

Indeed, "with Sally in his arms, Clark recalls his lost love for her...." He takes her in his arms and kisses her again. "Jim's kissing me again!" thinks Sally euphorically, her senses swimming. "I love him so--!"

"Sally--Sally!" thinks Clark Kent. "To think that all along I've had the love of a beautiful girl who loves me for myself alone--not just for my fame as Superman! And amazingly, I didn't know it until now!"

When Sally makes a brief allusion to their recent quarrel, Kent realizes that Ned Barnes has been impersonating him. Retiring alone to a hotel room to think things through, he decides to confront the impostor "Jim White" as Superman and then to ask Sally Selwyn to marry him. "Why not?" he muses. "I love her and she loves me--and I may never again find a girl who truly loves me for myself!"

But by the time Superman arrives at the Selwyn estate, Barnes lies dying at the base of a cliff, having plummeted to his doom during a vicious struggle with underworld assassins bent on murdering Sally. With his last breaths, Barnes—who had fallen in love with Sally during the brief time he knew her—begs Superman not to betray his impersonation.

As Ned Barnes gasps his last, Superman realizes that he is now completely free to reveal to Sally that he, Superman, is her long-lost "Jim White," to tell her "that I love her with all my heart, and want her to become my bride!" Barnes's struggle with the gangsters intent on killing Sally, however, has also reminded Superman that any woman he married would inevitably become the target of gangland retribution. He fantasizes returning home one evening to find his lovely wife slain by underworld assassins. And so, when Sally Selwyn finally appears on the scene, Superman tells her that "Jim White" is dead, that he heroically gave his life protecting her home from armed intruders.

"Oh, no! No!!" cries Sally, stunned to the point of disbelief. "Jim--dead? It can't be true! I won't believe it! This must be some cruel joke! He couldn't have entered my life again, after, after I thought him dead...! Just to die suddenly, like this!"

"Goodbye, Sally!" thinks Superman sadly. "I... wish I could tell you the truth! I-I'd give anything if I were free to marry you--a girl who loves me for myself--"

And so, "Off into the universe flashes Superman, seeking solace amidst the enigmatic vastness of the cosmos...." "Got to get away from Earth for a while," he muses silently, "--and try to forget the irony that I, the most envied man on Earth, can't marry the woman I love because I'm Superman!--Perhaps it won't always be like this!

"I'll keep fighting for justice! I'll help others! How ironic! Mighty Superman can help everyone...but when it comes to my own happiness--I can't help--myself!" (S No. 169/2: "The Man Who Stole Superman's Secret Life!"). (See also Ned Barnes; Superman [section 11.5, the relationship with Sally Selwyn].)

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