"Superman and the Manhunter from Mars: "The Key That Unlocked Chaos!"": Superman is lounging in his apartment when a holographic face shows up in the middle of his living room. The intruder identifies himself as Mongul, transmitting his message from
Appearing in Superman and the Manhunter from Mars: "The Key That Unlocked Chaos!"
- Mongul (First appearance)
- Largas (alien race) (Flashback only)
- Warzoon (alien race) (Flashback only)
- Supergirl (Mentioned only)
- Green Kryptonite
- Crystal Key
- Mongul's Spaceship
Synopsis for Superman and the Manhunter from Mars: "The Key That Unlocked Chaos!"
Superman is lounging in his apartment when a holographic face shows up in the middle of his living room. The intruder identifies himself as Mongul, transmitting his message from his starship via scrambled signal, and he wants Superman to retrieve a specific item. When Superman asnwers he isn't his errand boy, Mongul retorts he isn't asking him-- he's ordering him. In order to ensure Superman's cooperation he has kidnapped and miniaturized Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane and Steve Lombard, who are trapped in a transparent energy cube. Superman doesn't want to believe it, but a quick super-vision sweep reveals his three co-workers aren't in Metropolis.
Mongul claims if Superman retrieves a crystal key locked away in an isolated crypt, his friends will be returned to him unharmed. Otherwise they'll be returned in pieces. Seeing no option but to play along with Mongul for the moment, Superman agrees to retrieve the key. Mongul reveals it's hidden on the fifth planet of the Cygnus system. Superman angrily points out the fourth planet is New Mars, where Martian Manhunter currently resides, and he isn't surprised at all that Mongul is well aware of it.
Superman angrily takes off for New Mars, closely followed by a Mongul's probe. He knows he can't let Mongul have that key, regardless what he wants him for, but he'll have to play his game until he can find a way to free his friends.
As Superman approaches his destination, his arrival is noted by Martian Manhunter.
Superman scours the planet, which is completely empty, except for a solitary and apparently unguarded crypt. Superman touches down, wondering why Mongul doesn't claim that key himself, when J'onn J'onzz arrives to stand in his way. J'onn warns that planet is off-limits to everyone. Superman apologises for trespassing and explains he just wants to collect the crystal key and leave. J'onn replies the entire universe depends on it remaining there.
Several centuries ago, existed a savage, war-mongering race called the Warzoon that devastated the half of the known universe. At one point, the Warzoon built a giant mobile weaponized satellite equipped with weapons capable of obliterating entire worlds, and called it Warworld. Notheless, the Warzoon race died mysteriously before they could put WarWorld to use. Later the artificial planetoid was found by a peaceful race called the Largas. Since they couldn't bring themselves to destroy it for unknown reasons, they reprogrammed its defenses to prevent anyone from setting foot on the satellite. Wielding the crystal key is the only way to penetrate Warworld's defenses because its defensive systems are nullified by the key's sonic vibrations.
Though, the Largas were a dying race. Thus, several centuries later, the last Largas entrusted the Martians with keeping the key before dying. And Martian Manhunter's sworn to protect the key.
Superman understands J'onn's position, but he reiterates he needs the key and is sure he can handle the situation. J'onn disagrees and attacks him. Much to his regret, Superman knocks him out after a hard fight. Superman enters the crypt and retrieves the key, wondering whether he'll be able to protect it. He walks back outside to find Mongul is already waiting for him, his vessel orbiting the planet. He has brought the prison-cube containing Superman's friends and demands the key in exchange for it. Superman, though, refuses to hand the item over to him. Mongul tries to force him by shrinking the cube progressively, but Superman doesn't yield.
Suddenly, the Mongul's cube controls get shattered and the energy prison dissolves, freeing Lois, Jimmy and Steve. Mongul blames Superman, even though Kal-El is so surprised as him, and blasts him away. Right then Martian Manhunter, who had just broken the cube's controls, becomes visible again and lunges at Mongul. J'onn already stopped him from stealing the key once in the past and he intends to drive him back again, but Mongul shakes both Martian Manhunter and Superman off and teleports away.
J'onn is furious and berates a seriously contrite Superman for being too arrogant and overconfident to listen. J'onn then demands to know what Superman intends to do about Mongul seizing the crystal key. Superman replies first of all he'll fly his friends back to Earth. Then he intends to recruit help, track Mongul down and recover the key... or die trying.
Appearing in "Whatever Happened to Congorilla?"
- Fred Cantrell
Synopsis for "Whatever Happened to Congorilla?"
- "The Key That Unlocked Chaos!" was reprinted in Superman Vs. Mongul and Showcase Presents: DC Comics Presents Superman Team-Ups Vol. 2.
- No trivia.
- Discuss DC Comics Presents Vol 1 27 on the forums
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- Superman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 2)
- Adventures of Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- DC Comics Presents (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 3)
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- Superman (Volume 5)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- Superman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Steel (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Tomorrow (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
- Martian Manhunter Recommended Reading
- Detective Comics (Volume 1): Detective Comics #225– #326
- House of Mystery (Volume 1): House of Mystery #143– #173
- Martian Manhunter (Volume 1)
- Martian Manhunter (Volume 2)
- Martian Manhunter (Volume 3)
- Martian Manhunter (Volume 4)
- Martian Manhunter: American Secrets (Volume 1)
- Martian Manhunter Special #1
- Justice League Task Force (Volume 1)