Lex Luthor is affected by the recent death of his biological son Jerry White and the news that he is slowly dying from cancer inflicted by the Kryptonite Ring he used to wear. Determined to die as the most powerful man on Earth in Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite was a storyline spanning several Superman titles in 1990, written by Jerry Ordway and Dan Jurgens for their respective series.
Lex Luthor is affected by the recent death of his biological son Jerry White and the news that he is slowly dying from cancer inflicted by the Kryptonite Ring he used to wear. Determined to die as the most powerful man on Earth instead of the second, Lex's new goal is to kill Superman once and for all. After 90 days passed from his last visit, Mister Mxyzptlk appears to Luthor and gifts him with a Krimson Kryptonite he created. He assures this Kryptonite is not radioactive, but it will help Luthor to defeat Superman.
Lex takes the stone to the LexCorp building and orders his staff to analyze it for any traces of radioactivity it might have, but all his doubts disappear, as this rock is harmless to him. Mxy tells him to make a wish on this stone, and Lex wishes for Lex Luthor and Superman to be equals. Instead of granting him with Superman's powers as he expected, this wish rids the man of steel of all his superpowers, turning him into an ordinary human. Lex takes advantage of it and beats Superman and then kicks him off the LexCorp building so the people on the street can see the defeated hero.
Confused and worried by this sudden loss of powers, Superman goes to Emil Hamilton's lab, who can't find any explanation for his condition. Suddenly, Mammoth assaults a jewelry store, and Superman, equipped with a force-field belt and a bullet-proof vest, goes to the scene and stops the criminal. But the former man of steel barely defeats Mammoth by convincing him to give up.
Realizing he needs help and that this last victory was merely a stroke of luck, Superman calls Starman for his help. Starman arrives at Metropolis, and, using Hamilton's machines, they try to recharge Superman with his solar energy. But the experiment is unsuccessful, and they stop before Superman gets killed. To avoid the rumors of Superman's loss of powers, Starman uses his alteration powers to imitate Superman's features and confront Lex Luthor, taking away his Krimson Kryptonite. Unfortunately, the Kryptonite has no traces of radioactivity either, and they make no progress in their investigation.
Shortly after, a mutiny breaks out in Stryker's Island Penitentiary, and Starman, still posing as Superman, goes to help. But Starman is not as powerful as the Kryptonian, and he falls right into Killgrave's trap, seemingly defeating him. Meanwhile, Superman asks for Hamilton's help, who gives him an armored suit to protect him and then calls Gangbuster and Guardian to help him stop the breakout at Stryker's. They avert the prison break, but Killgrave manages to escape, and Superman feels guilty for it.
Clark Kent tries to fool Lex Luthor into confessing what he's done by proposing an exchange: he says the Krimson Kryptonite is in his possession and will return it if Lex gives him a story to publish. Lex falls into his play, but before kicking the reporter from the building, he says Mister Mxyzptlk gave the Kryptonite to him. However, Lex is not aware that, by telling the truth to Clark Kent, he broke the one rule the Imp imposed on him: not telling the truth to Superman. Right afterward, Superman recovers his powers. The Imp confesses his scheme to Superman and says that if he punches Luthor, he'll leave their dimension. Superman refuses and flies away, but Mxyz transforms into a big creature made from a bit of Lex's skin, so Superman punches him, and the Imp returns to his dimension.
With the Imp gone and Superman back in business, Lex Luthor's doctor attends the businessman on his decaying state of health.
- Superman (Volume 2) #49
- Adventures of Superman #472
- Starman #28
- Action Comics #659
- Superman (Volume 2) #50
Links and References
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