"Superman: "Luthor Unleashed!"": Lex Luthor rises from the rubble following his most recent confrontation with Superman. He hobbles to one of his safe houses and meets his robotic servant RX99. RX99 helps Luthor to a rocket ship whereupon he b
Synopsis for Superman: "Luthor Unleashed!"
Lex Luthor rises from the rubble following his most recent confrontation with Superman. He hobbles to one of his safe houses and meets his robotic servant RX99. RX99 helps Luthor to a rocket ship whereupon he blasts off from the planet Earth, seemingly forever.
Thoughts of hatred for the Man of Steel continue to fill his mind, however. He flies to the planet Lexor where his wife Ardora comes out to greet him. Ardora tells Luthor that during the time that he has been gone, she has given birth to his son Lex, Jr.
Luthor is elated and feels that he now has a chance to start over with a new life. Addressing the citizens of Lexor, he announces his plans to stay on the planet permanently to raise his son. The townspeople still regard Luthor as their personal savior. Lex tells Ardora of his lifelong battle against Superman, and vows that he is no longer interested in pursuing a life of crime. He throws himself into the role of Lexor's champion and uses his super-science to create a Neutrarod – a giant mechanical antenna that will help stabilize Lexor's planetary core. Now the citizens of Lexor need no longer fear the geological upheaval that has plagued their world as of late.
Back on Earth, the robot RX99 develops partial sentience. Feeling a need to fulfill his master's desires of revenge, the robot activates one of Luthor's many doomsday devices. A satellite from space produces a force field that completely envelops the city of Metropolis. Superman investigates the matter and finds the satellite with the stylized "L" engraved on the side. After destroying the satellite, Superman flies off to track down Luthor and bring him to justice. He has no idea that Luthor is actually innocent of this most recent attack against the Kryptonian's adopted city.
Meanwhile, Luthor is still obsessed with Superman. Putting his new reputation at great risk, he develops an elaborate war-suit and secretly tests the suit's weapons systems on a nearby transport flyer. News of this mysterious "Marauder" begins to circulate, and Lex publicly vows that he will find and stop whoever is using this destructive armor.
Superman eventually arrives on Lexor as Luthor suspected, and he can no longer remain in hiding. Donning the Warsuit, he flies off to face the Man of Steel for what he believes will be their final battle. The fight is evenly matched as Lexor's red sun slowly saps away at Superman's strength. Superman's body is coated with a special sunscreen to protect him, but eventually this begins to wear off.
During the battle, Lex fires an Energy Meld blast at Superman from his chestplate. The energy richochets off of Superman, striking the Neutrarod. This causes a severe power surge that channels deep into the planet's core, starting a chain reaction. Lex desperately rockets to his home and just as Ardora and Lex, Jr. are within reach, the planet's core explodes, killing millions of Lexorians. The blast hurls Superman backwards, and he believes that Luthor has died in the explosion.
Turning, Superman flies back towards Earth, confident that he has seen the last of his archenemy. Lex survives in his Warsuit, however, and clings to floating chunk of rock. His hatred for Superman has reached new heights, and he swears that he will soon have his revenge.
Appearing in Superman: "Luthor Unleashed!"
- RX99 (Single appearance) (Destroyed)
- Lexorians (Unnamed) (Final appearance; dies)
- Nogu (Only appearance; dies)
- Nyhad (Only appearance; dies)
- Sheeba (Mentioned only)
- Two Alien Pilots (Unnamed) (Single appearance)
- Tontalas (Mentioned only)
- Rao (Mentioned only)
- Lexor's Twin Moons (Unnamed)
- Lexor (Final appearance) (Destroyed)
- Luthors' Residence
- Abandoned Laboratory
- Commcon (Mentioned only) (Destroyed) (by Lex Luthor's Warsuit)
- Convocation Center (Mentioned only) (Destroyed) (by Lex Luthor's Warsuit)
- Krypton (Mentioned only)
- Zonic Beam
- Lex Luthor's Satellite
- Energy Barrier
- Tele-Pulse Scanner
- Lex Luthor's Battle Array
- Lex Luthor's Warsuit (First appearance)
- Neutrarod (Destroyed)
- Lex Luthor's Starship
- Transport Flyer (In ruins) (caused by Lex Luthor's Warsuit)
- Skytram (Mentioned only) (Destroyed) (by Lex Luthor's Warsuit)
Synopsis for "The New Luthor"
A one page pin-up by George Perez.
Appearing in "The New Luthor"
Synopsis for "Happy 45th Anniversary, Superman!"
A two page history on the concept and the creation of Superman from Superman's co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
Appearing in "Happy 45th Anniversary, Superman!"
- Appearances not yet listed
Synopsis for "Superman"
A one page pin-up by Superman's co-creator Joe Shuster in honor of Superman's 45th anniversary.
Appearing in "Superman"
Synopsis for Superman: "Rebirth!"
As Superman patrols Metropolis, he begins to experience feelings of alienation. Although he calls himself human, he still feels like an alien outsider. He flies off into outer space to investigate a potential problem with the computerized planet where he last fought Brainiac.
The planet's sun Epsilon 4 goes supernova, and Superman is caught in the solar winds. What Superman doesn't realize is that the comatose form of Brainiac trapped inside the core of the prison planet has stimulated the star's unstable core forcing Epsilon 4 to nova. The energy released from the explosion causes a reaction in the prison world's electrical systems, and Brainiac begins to lose physical cohesion. His consciousness becomes a data stream that travels across the galaxy absorbing massive amounts of information.
The electron trail returns to the prison world where it interfaces with the planet's computer systems. A new body is formed to house Brainiac's conscious. The villain is reborn and constructs for himself a ship in the shape of a giant skull. Interfacing directly with the ship, Brainiac flies to the planet Systus 2 and begins turning its population into his personal slave force.
The leader of Systus 2, Skora, manages to escape and flies to Earth where he warns Superman of Brainiac's actions. Superman flies to Systus 2 only to find its once majestic cities have been leveled. Brainiac fires missiles at Superman that robs him of his powers.
Appearing in Superman: "Rebirth!"
- Brainiac (Origin)
- Carriage Driver (Unnamed) (Single appearance)
- Carriage Passengers (Unnamed) (Single appearance)
- Carriage Horse (Cameo)
- Blind Girl (Unnamed) (Single appearance)
- Rao (Mentioned only)
- Dinosaurs (Cameo) (Flashback only)
- Omega Men (Cameo) (Flashback only) (from Action Comics #535)
- The Mole (Cameo) (Flashback only) (from Action Comics #535)
- The Mole's Two Gang Members (Unnamed) (Cameo) (Flashback only) (from Action Comics #535)
- Lord Satanis (Cameo) (Flashback only) (from Action Comics #541)
- Aliens of Systus 2 (Unnamed) (Dies) (First appearance)
- Skora (Only appearance; dies)
- Kra (Mentioned only)
- Planet-Eater (Final appearance)
- The Mole's Laser Guns (Cameo) (Flashback only) (from Action Comics #535)
- Systus 2 Rockets
- Fortress of Solitude Key
- Systus Star-Flyers (Destroyed)
- Red Sun Missile
- Brainiac's Skull Ship (First appearance)
- Brainiac's Shuttleship
Synopsis for "The New Brainiac"
A one page pin-up by Ed Hannigan and George Perez.
Appearing in "The New Brainiac"
- "Luthor Unleashed!" was reprinted in Superman Vs. Lex Luthor and Lex Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- "Rebirth!" was reprinted in Superman Vs. Brainiac and Superman: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- 64 page 45th Anniversary special.
- This issue revamps the characters of Lex Luthor and Brainiac. They will remain under these current incarnations until the collapse of the Multiverse in Crisis on Infinite Earths (Volume 1).
- First appearance of Lex Luthor's Warsuit.
- First appearance of the robotic Brainiac and his Skull-ship.
- The The New Luthor a pin-up of Lex Luthor designed by George Perez.
- The The New Brainiac a pin-up of Brainiac designed by Ed Hannigan and inked by George Pérez.
- This issue includes a two-page letter from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel.
- This issue includes a one page pin-up of Superman by co-creator Joe Shuster.
- Lex Luthor appears next in Superman #385.
- The "Brainiac Saga" continues in the next issue.
- Super Powers #1 cites events in this issue.
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman Family (Volume 1)
- Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane (Volume 1)
- Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)