Action Comics vol.1 #49 - Cover date June 1942
The Puzzler, who debuts in this issue, remains one of the Golden Age Superman’s most well-remembered foes, despite having only made a handful of appearances, often only in cameo – very possibly his inclusion in the character catalog Who’s Who In The DC Universe helped, particularly as repeat villains were so few and far between.
A serious and callous gamesman who plays for mortal stakes and rigs his victories, the Puzzler is one of a pair of villains who will debut this year and who use bald-faced trickery to battle the Man of Steel, despite their lack of super-powers. Unlike his more ambitious peers, like Luthor or Ultra, the Puzzler’s goals falls far short of world-beating and are simply matters of personal pride.
What makes Superman’s underpowered villains work so well against him are these otherwise modest goals – the tremendous power wielded by the Man of Tomorrow arms him well against would-be world conquerors, but he’s comically overqualified to stop a puzzle, prank, toy or magic trick.