This week, instead of writing up a review on Action Comics #7 (we all know I loved it anyway), I decided to devote some time writing up this investigation of one of the most intriguing characters from Grant Morrison’s Super-saga: The Little Man. We first saw “The Little Man” on the very first page of Action Comics #1. He was, apparently, closing a deal with Galaxy Inc. CEO and organized crime boss, Glen Glenmorgan. Later, “The Little Man” was seen coordinating the efforts of the Anti-Superman Army in their scheme to steal Kryptonite from the engine of the rocket that sent Superman to Earth. Though small in size, it’s obvious that “The Little Man” plays a big part in Morrison’s plans for the series so let’s take a closer look at who the character is and what he’s done thus far.
In the interview at the end of Action Comics #2, Morrison says of “The Little Man” that he was “thinking of the dwarf from Twin Peaks” when he was developing the character. I relished this comparison since Twin Peaks is my favorite television show of all-time. For those who haven’t seen the series, the dwarf that Morrison is referencing is this quasi-mystical figure from Twin Peaks who aids the show’s main character, Agent Cooper, in solving mysteries by giving the agent bizarre clues in his dreams. The dwarf seems to have vague mystical powers and knowledge beyond what the mortal characters in the series possess. “The Little Man” in Action Comics fits this bill perfectly. He also seems to have vast mystic abilities as evidenced by how he created a dimensional pocket in Superman’s brain and was able to shatter Kryptonite into shards simply by uttering unintelligible phrases in Action Comics #6. “The Little Man” also appears to know quite a bit about what’s going to happen in Superman’s life as he’s seen right before the train disaster in Action Comics #1 that allows the military to capture Superman and utters the phrase: “Now we can get started.” He also knows that the actions of the Anti-Superman Army will result in the creation of every Kryptonite isotope that will be used to make our hero’s life miserable. This suggests that “The Little Man” has knowledge of the future beyond that of mortal beings.
His diminutive stature, seemingly magical powers, and his knowledge of the future make me think that “The Little Man” could actually be a certain 5 dimensional imp who has always loved to cause Superman mischief. Mr. Mxyzptlk’s powers are magical and, as a resident of the 5 dimension, would be able to see the entirety of the linear time stream as time resides in the 4 dimension. Mr. Mxyzptlk seems the most likely identity for Action Comics little man. Another option is that “The Little Man” could have demonic origins. He seems to like making deals as he’s apparently done with Glen Glenmorgan and how he agreed to give the Anti-Superman Army a shard of Kryptonite each if they in turn agreed to do a deed in his name. Making evil bargains is definitely Satanic behavior and Superman has definitely had his fair share of demonic adversaries in the past (Lord Satanus, Blaze, Neron, Ghast, Rath, and Abnegazar). If he was from Hell, that would also explain the mystic powers and knowledge of the future. My money is still on Mxyzptlk, however, and time will tell us what his true identity is.
Beyond “The Little Man’s” identity, I’m very interested in the game he’s playing with Glen Glenmorgan. Action Comics #7 gave us a bizarre scene that only further piqued my interest in this situation. In issue #7, we see “The Little Man” working as the bartender at the Glenmorgan Hotel. There he interacts with Glen Glenmorgan for the first time since completing their deal at the beginning of Action Comics #1. Glenmorgan can’t seem to recall exactly who “The Little Man” is though he does recognize him. “The Little Man” claims to have been working at the hotel’s bar since Glenmorgan purchased it eight years ago. Then “The Little Man” shows Glenmorgan the silk tie that he made off with back in Action Comics #1 after Superman broke up their meeting to interrogate Glenmorgan. If we go back to the first page of Action Comics #1, we see that Glenmorgan was even adjusting this very same tie the entire time he’s talking to “The Little Man.” While showing Glenmorgan the tie in issue #7, “The Little Man” says: “You could even say we’re old friends, Mr. Glenmorgan. Don’t you remember the time? The time you forgot your lovely silk tie.” Notice the emphasis on the words “old,” “remember,” and “forgot.” Glenmorgan seems troubled by a stain on the tie that appears to have happened while in “The Little Man’s” care. The sight of it sends Glenmorgan into an existential defense of his own crimes. This scene is very odd. It’s so odd and seems to be in-synch with some strange moments from Action Comics #1 that it has to be significant. There’s obviously more importance to Glen Glenmorgan and the mysterious deal he made with “The Little Man” than initially met the eye. I already have a theory about what the whole thing really is that is so wild that I don’t dare make it public yet. Needless to say, I want you all to take another look at the tie incident from Action Comics #1 and #7. I promise you that it’s significant and will come up again. Crazy stuff Mr. Morrison. Cue that midget dance: