"Superman: "The Super-Duel in Space"": Clark Kent and Lois Lane are guest passengers aboard the Columbus – Earth's first manned space vessel. Shortly after breaking the planet's atmosphere, they encounter a strange, alien flying saucer. Th
- You're only wearing yourself out, Punyman! Even if you threw the Earth itself, it would only bounce off my Ultra-Force Shield! Ha, Ha!
- — Brainiac
Synopsis for Superman: "The Super-Duel in Space"
Clark Kent and Lois Lane are guest passengers aboard the Columbus – Earth's first manned space vessel. Shortly after breaking the planet's atmosphere, they encounter a strange, alien flying saucer. The ship belongs to Brainiac, a self-styled Master of Science. Clark dons a pressure suit and pretends to space-walk back to Earth (supposedly out of fear). However, when he is outside of Lois' view, he changes into Superman and pushes the Columbus back towards Earth, out of harm's way.
Superman flies towards Brainiac's ship, but even his super-strength is not enough to penetrate the villain's Ultra-Force Shield. From inside the craft, Brainiac uses his Hyper-Ray to steal several Earth cities, including Paris, Rome and New York City. He shrinks them down to miniature size and places them inside of special bottles on his craft.
Superman comes up with a plan and flies back to Earth. He arrives in Metropolis, just as the city is hit by Brainiac's Hyper-Ray. Metropolis shrinks in size, and Brainiac places it amongst his collection. Now barely an inch-tall, Superman flies upward pushing the cork out of the top of Metropolis' bottle. Having eluded the Ultra-Force Shield, he is now safely inside his foe's ship.
Superman flies around the laboratory analyzing Brainiac's collection of stolen cities. He learns that he plans on bringing them back to his homeworld, where he will then repopulate his lifeless planet.
Superman finds one bottle without its stopper and flies inside. Surprisingly, the city inside the bottle is Kandor – once the capital city of the dead planet, Krypton. As Kandor synthetic environment is powered by an artificial red sun, Superman loses all of his powers. Brainiac finds the bottle and replaces the stopper.
Inside the shrunken city, Superman meets a scientist named Kimda. Kimda provides Superman with a one-man rocket and a pet animal to help him escape from the city. As he blasts through the bottle's stopper, he learns that Brainiac has now placed himself in suspended animation for the long voyage home. Superman takes control of Brainiac's Hyper-Ray and restores all of Earth's cities back to their normal size and geographic location. He is then prepared to use the ray's final charge on Kandor, but Kimda exits the bottle and activates the Hyper-Ray on Superman. Superman returns to his normal size, and Kimda explains that he could not sacrifice Earth's greatest hero to remain shrunken for the rest of his life.
Superman gathers together the bottle city of Kandor and leaves Brainiac's ship. He returns to Earth, where he places the bottle inside of a special vault in his Fortress of Solitude.
Appearing in Superman: "The Super-Duel in Space"
- Kandorians (First appearance)
- Professor Kimda (First appearance)
- Jonathan Kent (Flashback only)
- Martha Kent (Flashback only)
- Superbaby (Flashback only)
- Superboy (Flashback only)
- Jor-El (Mentioned only)
- Krypton (Flashback only)
- Kandor (First appearance)
- Hyper-Ray (First appearance)
- Ultra-Force Shield (First appearance)
- Brainiac's space saucer (First appearance)
- Kryptonian Rocket (Flashback only)
- The Columbus (Single appearance)
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- Space bandits
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Appearing in Congo Bill" Safari from Space"
- Xov (Single appearance)
- "The Super-Duel in Space" was reprinted in Superman Annual #2, Superman #217, Superman: From the '30s to the '80s, Superman in the Fifties, Superman: The Man of Tomorrow Archives Vol. 1, Showcase Presents: Superman Vol. 1, Superman: The Bottle City of Kandor, Superman vs. Brainiac, Superman: A Celebration of 75 Years, and Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman: The Deluxe Edition.
- Superman appeared last in World's Finest (Volume 1) #95. He appears next in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #30.
- Brainiac's earliest chronological appearance takes place in Superboy (Volume 1) #106. He appears next in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #17.
- Despite the cover, Brainiac is depicted as a bald scientist without any headgear in the actual story.
- Lois Lane appeared last in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #3. She appears next in Superman (Volume 1) #123.
- This issue contains flashbacks to Superman's origin - first revealed in Action Comics #1.
- Brainiac's Hyper-Ray was powered by some form of rare charge, and bore a close resemblance to Zak-Kul's Enlarging Ray powered by Illium 349, first seen 3 issues later in Action Comics #245.
- Brainiac must use a suspended animation chamber to make the one-hundred light year trip from Earth to Colu without aging, but a machine would not need such a chamber. This means that this is not an Earth-One story but that of an alternate reality. For indexing purposes it will be assumed Earth-One events were very similar.
- Congo Bill
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane
- Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen
- World's Finest (Volume 1)