Action Comics # 522 (August 1981).

This issue’s main story, ‘The Time-Tornado of the Clockwork Man’, written by Gerry Conway, begins with Abner, a computer engineer at S.T.A.R. Laboratories’ Kansas facility, showing a device he has invented to a colleague called Harry. The new invention is the world’s first fully functioning clockwork man. Harry berates Abner for wasting his time with such toys and always making himself late for meetings. The activated robot overhears this remark. Being programmed to serve his master, the robot proceeds to make itself more complex so that it is able to devise the means to alter the speed of time. As a result of this action, the robot’s master will never be late again.

A day or so later, when Lois Lane moves to avoid a waiter carrying flaming skewers in a luxury top floor restaurant, she falls out of a window. Superman is in the vicinity but fails to catch Lois because he is moving too slowly. Instead, he has to cushion Lois’ fall using super-breath. Over the following hours, Superman’s control of his powers becomes more erratic as he fails to perform various actions at the correct speed. Ultimately, he traces the source of the problem to Abner’s laboratory and disposes of the robot responsible for the disruption by hurling it into the sun.

A close call for Lois!



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