Conway, Swan and Chiaramonte conclude the vanishing classmates story from the previous issue in Superman 352 (Sept. 80), as the comic expands, gaining eight extra pages.
Professor Tolkein explains to Lana Lang that the mysterious box is a sham. He had secretly hypnotized ten students many years earlier, and is drawing off their brain power to create his matter teleporter. But it has gone out of control, and is not working at all like the professor intended.
One of the students has taken control of the other minds, although unintentionally so, and the mind link is making his wishes come true. Superman learns that the tenth student was Clark Kent, but that for some reason the hypnosis did not work on him. Of course it didn’t, he’s Superman. But knowing that is the key to solving the situation. All he has to do is join the circle, which shorts out the entire effect.
Conway and Garcia-Lopez execute a beautiful, if simple, story with Mr. Mxyzptlk as the first of the new back-up tale, as the imp prevents a circus from coming to town. So as not to disappoint the kids, Superman takes all the roles himself at super-speed, from ringmaster to acrobat to lion tamer.
Because he’s so busy with that, it takes him a while to notice Mr. Mxyzptlk in the audience tormenting the kids. Fortunately, one boy has a tape recorder he is playing with, and by playing the tale backwards, reverses the pronouciation of Mxyzptlk’s name, sending him back home, although he returns immediately in the pages of Action Comics.