Ultra-Humanite

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A fiendish "mad scientist" (Act No. 17, Oct 1939), hopelessly paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair, whose "great goal" is the "domination of the Earth" (Act No. 14, Jul 1939; and others). Portrayed as nearly bald in two texts (Act No. 13, Jun 1939; Act No. 19, Dec 1939), and as completely bald in two others (Act No. 14, Jul 1939; Act No. 17, Oct 1939), he is a "mental giant" -- the "head of a vast ring of evil enterprises" -- whose fiery eyes burn with terrible hatred and sinister intelligence.

His real name is never stated in the chronicles, but he has been known as the Ultra-Humanite -- Ultra, for short -- ever since "a scientific experiment resulted in [his] possessing the most agile and learned brain on Earth!"

"--Unfortunately for mankind," proclaims the villain in June 1939, "I prefer to use this great intellect for crime. My goal? DOMINATION OF THE WORLD!!" (Act No. 13)

In June 1939 Superman sets out to smash the so-called Cab Protective League, an underworld organization, headed by a racketeer named Reynolds, which is attempting to seize control of the city's lucrative taxi trade by launching a reign of terror against the independent cab companies, murdering their drivers and demolishing their taxicabs in an effort to coerce the independents into joining the League. Finally defeated and apprehended by Superman, Reynolds is convicted of his crimes and sentenced to a term in the Sing Sing penitentiary. However, while en route to the prison by automobile, under police guard, Reynolds asks for, and recieves, permission to smoke a cigarette, and within moments, he has knocked his police escort unconscious by exhaling smoke from a specially prepared cigarette containing "a mysterious gas," hurled from the unconscious policemen from the speeding car, and made good his escape. Superman finally corners Reynolds at his secluded cabin hideout and is about to take him into custody when his attention is called to a second figure in the cabin, a "paralysed cripple" whose "fiery eyes...burn with a terrible hatred and sinister intelligence." "So we meet at last, eh?" smiles the sinister paralytic. "It was inevitable that we should clash!" "Who are you?" asks Superman. "The head of a vast ring of evil enterprises," replies the paralytic, "--men like Reynolds are but my henchmen. You have interfered frequently with my plans, and it is time for you to be removed!" "If what you say is true," retorts Superman, "the thanks for giving me the opportunity to capture you!" "You may not find that task as simple as it appears on the surface," remarks the paralytic confidently. "You may possess unbelievable strength--but you are pitting yourself against a mental giant! I am known as 'the Ultra-Humanite.'" As Superman lunges forward to grab him, the villian unleashes a barrage of electricity sufficient "to kill five-hundred men," and Superman, trapped "amidst a sheet of flame" produced by the high-voltage current running through the electrified floor, lapses into unconsciousness. With Superman now helpless, Reynolds and the Ultra-Humanite attempt to annihilate him with a buzz saw, but as "the mighty saw" makes contact with Superman's invulnerable skin, there is "a great rasping--the sound of cracking metal--and the saw explodes into a thousand fragments-!" "Reynolds dies a horrible death," notes the text, "as one of the steely fragments pierces his throat---!" Leaving Superman behind to perish in the blazing cabin, the villian's henchmen carry their crippled leader outside to a waiting aircraft, but Superman regains consciousness in the nick of time and leaps upward into the sky "out of reach of the hungry blaze." "I'll bet that strange ship belongs to 'the Ultra-Humanite'!" cries Superman as he spies the wierd aircraft carrying the villian and his henchmen. "--His fiendish deviltry is going to end RIGHT NOW!" "Delibrately," observes the textual narrative, "Superman crashes into the planes propellor---down toward the distant Earth hurtle both doomed plane and Man of Steel---'the Ultra-Humanite's' vessel crumples sickeningly as it strikes the ground with a thunderous crash---" but Superman remains unharmed. "Strange," muses Superman grimly, as he searches painstakingly through the wreckage of the aircraft, "I can't find any trace of 'the Ultra-Humanite'! Well that finishes his plan to control the Earth---or does it?" (Act No. 13).

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