Action Comics vol.1 #74 - Cover date July 1944
As this blog takes pains to emphasize, there are trends and motifs which repeat themselves throughout the early years of Superman’s debut; frequently, Superman has had the opportunity to play Guardian Angel to some lovelorn and lackluster poor soul who has, for whatever reason, lost his confidence. It’s not unusual in these circumstances for Superman to adopt the likeness and identity of the underdog in question, performing super-feats disguised as exceptional competence.
However, lovelorn inventor and cool customer Adelbert Dribble turns the tables on the Man of Steel and takes his lovelorn situation into his own hands by not only capturing Superman but taking his place!
Helium-filled muscles and an under-the-cape propeller fill out Adelbert’s ersatz Superman uniform, and honey-trap worthy of Luthor or Ultra - impact-absorbing rubber walls suspended by shock-resistant springs - keep Superman out of sight while Adelbert woos his once dismissive lady love.
In upcoming years, stories where Superman’s recurring themes are reversed become more common - he’ll lose his powers while someone else will gain them, one of his supporting cast might undertake a secret identity which Clark Kent will pursue to uncover, and so on. Adelbert Dribble reverses Superman’s own do-goodery, however, which is a notable oddity in the overall scheme.