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Superman returns home to find a strange, elderly man in his apartment. Superman swiftly and stealthily changes clothes and knocks the man out. As Clark Kent leaves to get smelling salts, a blurry, female-looking phantom appears over the man.

Quote1 A criminal with all my super-powers... who's found a way to slip in and out of the Phantom Zone at will! If she's as cunning and sinister as she seems to be-- this master plan of hers is bound to be a killer! Quote2
Superman src

The Great Phantom Peril is a Silver Age Superman storyline by Cary Bates. It pits the man of steel against the Phantom Zoner Faora.


Superman returns home to find a strange, elderly man in his apartment. Superman swiftly and stealthily changes clothes and knocks the man out. As Clark Kent leaves to get smelling salts, a blurry, female-looking phantom appears over the man.

Clark gets the man come to. He explains he is his new neighbor Jackson Porter and claims he came over to borrow a hammer and found the door open, but Clark grows suspicious. No one of his locks have been forced, but he is sure he locked up before leaving his apartment. After an awkward conversation, Porter returns to his apartment, adding his wife Kathleen is a big fan of news anchor Clark Kent.

Later, a strange phantom is seen terrorizing the streets of Metropolis. Morgan Edge is angry that the phantom was seen floating near the apartment of his "star reporter" Clark Kent, and Kent failed to put together a story on the incident. Clark decides to investigate the matter on his own as Superman. Later, when Clark Kent returns home, he finds out that Mr. Porter's wife passed away fifteen years ago, long before he started out his anchorman career, which contradicts Potter's earlier statement.

Meanwhile, Mr. Potter is talking with a phantom he believes to be his wife. Suddenly, the ghost vanishes when she feels someone is coming. Mr. Potter welcomes Clark Kent at the same time the ghost reappears floating several blocks away.

Clark is talking to Mr. Potter, who tells his deceased wife's spirit still keeps him company and in fact she was the one wanted him to move there, when he hears screams and runs off. Superman finds the ghost wreaking havoc and attacks, but the phantom is not only strong but also invulnerable. Then the blurry mist surrounding the mysterious phantom vanishes, and she reveals to be Faora Hu-Ul, an escaped criminal from the Phantom Zone. She has figured out a way to slip and out of the Zone at will and has spent several days testing her new powers, wrapping himself in Phantom Zone mists to conceal herself from Superman. However, she's now ready to put her master plan in motion. Before Superman can stop her, she fades back into the Zone.

As Superman ponders about his newest enemy, Faora flies to the apartment of Jackson Porter, where she has been masquerading as his wife's ghost since Mr. Porter unknowingly holds the key which allows her to leave the Zone.

Superman streaks towards his Fortress of Solitude to look up information about Faora Hu-Ul in his database. He learns she was convicted to 300 years in the Phantom Zone for murdering twenty-three men. Superman heads back to Metropolis as wondering how she did get out.

Meanwhile in the apartment next Clark Kent's in 344 Clinton Street, Jackson Porter has dinner with Faora, who has tricked him into stealing a glowing figurine from Clark's apartment.

Clark Kent returns to his apartment and notices someone has taken his Renzilian trophy from one of his secret drawers. Clark guesses Faora is somehow connected to the thief and decides to pay Mr. Porter another visit.

In the next door apartment, Faora gets Jackson rub the statuette while thinking about her as hard as possible. Faora manages Mr. Porter to bring her totally out of the Zone and challenges Superman loudly. Superman answers the challenge and soon discovers she's a formidable, ruthless fighter who has mastered Horu-Kanu, the deadliest Kryptonian art of combat.

As Faora beats up Superman savagely, she reveals she emerged out of the Zone thanks to Mr. Porter: she read his mind and created the delusion she was Kathleen Porter. Their mind-link was so strong it opened up a channel between them through the dimensional barrier. She knew she only needed an energy source to propel her physically out of the Zone, such like the paskorium space element that Superman's Renzil trophy was made from, so she got Mr. Porter steal it.

Faora is about to use "Dyr-Ynn", the called "Phantom Touch of Death" on Superman, but Superman exploits an opening to kick her away, and then he flees. Faora feels groggy but she doesn't bother chasing him. There will be no safe place for anybody when she implements her master plan.

Superman heads into his Fortress. Since it's impossible to overcome Faora combat skills he needs a different plan, so he turns his Phantom Zone Projector on and casts himself into the Zone.

On the Daily Planet, Morgan Edge, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane and Steve Lombard are examining the video of the fight between Superman and Faora Hu-Ul. Lombard asks how Superman lost, but due to being a Klurkor adept,[1] Lois recognizes Faora uses some other style of Kryptonian fighting art and overwhelmed Superman with precise blows and pressure points. Whatever the case may be, Superman ran off and hasn't been seen since.

At the same time, Supergirl heads into the Fortress in search of her cousin. After checking the whole place she finds the Phantom Zone Projector with a note attached and addressed to her, written in Kryptonese. Her cousin narrates the circumstances which led him to exile himself into the Phantom Zone. Kal-El likewise asks her to not contact him and assures she'll soon understand the why of his actions. Kara can't help but feel troubled, nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Faora wreaks havoc all over Metropolis without a care. Suddenly she hears Steve Lombard badmouthing her and decides to kill him. Before her blow connects, though, Steve and Jimmy are sent into the Zone together with everyone in Metropolis. Somehow, the people of Earth has exchanged places with the Phantom Zoners, who run rampant over Metropolis.

In the meantime, Faora has broken into the Fortress and smashed the Projector to bits to prevent Superman from finding his way back out. A Superman Robot tries to stop her but she destroys the android easily and heads out to inform her Zoner fellows she's their new leader. Supergirl has observed the scene from the Zone, and ponders her cousin was in the Zone when he switch was made. Kara wonders if it all was part of Superman's plan.

In Metropolis, the Zoners are leveling the city. They notice an inmate who was thrown into the Zone right before their release and are about to approach him when Faora returns and takes them down with several well-placed psychic bolts. However, her bolts haven't affected the unknown Zoner. The man rips his disguise off and reveals he is Superman.

The Phantom Zoners mass-attack him. Superman fights back, but he's severely outnumbered. His friends watch the fight from the Zone, fearing it's only a matter of time before Superman is defeated. Nevertheless, Batman and Green Lantern come near from them and tell them they previously saw Superman searching for and reprogramming Faora's dimensional-phaser which performed the switch. Right now Superman is stalling for time and trying to stay alive until the device switches everyone back.

After a long battle, the Zoners have managed to seize him. Before killing him, Faora demands to know how he knew about her plan, and Superman answers the Zone must have increased her telepaty without her realizing it because she was broadcasting her thoughts during their first battle. Faora is about to kill him, when all Zoners plus Superman are sent back to the Phantom Zone and the Earth people returns to their own planet.

Several hours later, Supergirl has built a new Projector in the Fortress and brings her cousin back. Superman is greeted by Lois, Jimmy and Batman, and he sees Batman has brought Mr. Porter along. Jackson Porter is still deluded into believing Faora is his deceased wife, and requests to be sent into the Zone with her. After of careful deliberation, Superman, Supergirl and Batman agree the man feels so lonely it'll make him happy... and Faora deservedly miserable.

Inside the Zone, Faora swears to make Superman pay.


Recommended Reading

Links and References

Superman Our Worlds at War Vol 1 TP
Superman Family Storyline
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This event or storyline is specifically related to Superman, or to members of the Superman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Superman Storylines category.