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In Metropolis, The Mole burrows a tunnel below the city and starts to dig through the steel beams supporting the Daily Planet. Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White sense the building


Quote1 You see, I was caught in a mystic war between two sorcerers-- Lord Satanis and his wife, Syrene... It was a battle that split me into two Supermen, each possessing only some of my powers. Quote2
Superman src

Two for the Death of One is a Silver Age Superman storyline by Cary Bates. He faces two villains, the magical couple Satanis and Syrene, who are in conflict with each other.

Synopsis

In Metropolis, The Mole burrows a tunnel below the city and starts to dig through the steel beams supporting the Daily Planet. Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White sense the building shaking and realize the Mole is carrying out his threats. Clark Kent instantly slips away, changes to Superman and flies off to stop the Mole, but all of sudden his body starts fading.

Superman gets pulled in the time-stream and tossed out over a mountain where hundreds of people are slaving around a strange disk-like construction which he's being drawn towards. Superman finally crashes into the ground, and listening to the villagers' talk he gleans he's landed in 14th Century England, and Satanis is ruling over that people. Superman is trying to reason with the villagers when Satanis shows up and states he brought Superman there because he needs his invulnerable body to gain ultimate power. Superman fights him off, but Satanis casts a spell after another until Superman is captured, knocked unconscious and brought to his' castle.

Superman is brought to Satanis presence. The sorcerer still intends to rule all time, even though he is still weakened after their last meeting when his wife Syrene plunged the Runestone of Merlin into the past.[1] Satanis and Syrene chased each other through time, but Syrene cast a spell which got Satanis trapped by his namesake. The Devil was willing to strike a bargain, though, and sent Satanis further into the past. Satanis landed on that village, nearly dead. He was nursed back to health by the villagers, and annoyed because they had seen his weakened state, he killed them.

Superman feels incensed, but he's held in place by Satanis' paralyzing spell. Then Satanis points out at the disk-shaped tower where the Runestone is being drawn to right now. When the gem is caught, Satanis casts a spell to make its powers filter through Superman. Superman feels its power pulling his body apart, but Satanis expects Superman's body to withstand the gem's power long enough for him absorbing it. Though, when he is going to touch Superman, he's repelled backwards by a force-shield.

Syrene appears and declares she isn't relinquishing her father's gem without a fight. Satanis and Syrene magic-duel over power-charged Superman's body, and they accidentally pull him apart into two separate Supermen, each possessing only some of their powers and having their abilities halved. Syrene instantly makes off with the invulnerable twin, and Satanis flings the other Superman back to his own time.

Superman reappears in the same second he left, right when the Daily Planet is toppling down. Although he has lost his invulnerability as well as his heat vision, Superman manages to shore up the building thanks to the creative use of his remaining powers. Unfortunately he is struck by a falling boulder and plummets down, but he is caught and flown to safety by a gargoyle-like alien.

Superman is introduced to the Omega Men, who are looking for Green Lantern. Superman warns Hal Jordan isn't on Earth nowadays, but he'll not mind lending a hand. Primus tells him of their struggle against the Citadel. They were saved by Green Lantern, but they still need help, and Hal told him Superman is the Earth's greatest champion.

Superman explains all about his split, but Nimbus interrupts his tale to warn the Daily Planet is still shaking. Superman asks the Omega Men help him out first, and they reluctantly accept. The group saves the Planet, but then the Mole sinks the Federal Reserve Bank building. Superman and the Omega Men attack the Mole and his minions, and they have the upper hand until Superman gets shot while shielding Primus. The Mole and his crooks run away, and the Omega Men take Superman to the nearest hospital.

As a doctor examines Superman, he stammers out the names of Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane. Primus decides to bring Lois to the hospital as the doctors prepare to operate him. At the same time, the Mole has made it to his underground lair and decides it's his lifetime opportunity to kill Superman off. Moments later, he and his men ride two Diggers upwards.

As Superman is being operated, Kalista does her best to comfort Lois. Suddenly, the Omega Men sense the Mole's machines are attacking another building. Feeling they owe it to Superman, they head out to capture him. They have barely bolted out of the door, though, when the Mole's second vehicle bursts through the hospital's floor and kidnaps Superman, taking him to his hideout-- an abandoned underground city. His men right away want to beat Superman to death, but the Mole has other plans and orders them to tie him up and lock him up.

Meanwhile, the Omega Men return to Metropolis General Hospital and learn the Mole has kidnapped Superman in spite of Lois' efforts to save him. The team decides to save Superman, but the Mole has collapsed his getaway tunnel, and they can't drill through it fast enough. Lois, though, knows of someone who can help.

In the meantime, Mole has chained Superman to a pillar and summoned a gathering of super-villains, every one of them wielding a weapon. Mole will let the one with the greatest weapon kill Superman in exchange for his weapon.

Meanwhile, Lois and the Mole Men make their way to S.T.A.R. Labs. At the beginning, Cave Carson wants nothing to do with their problems until Lois tells him Superman is in danger. As digging their way to their destination, Carson says he suspects where they're heading to. Long ago, he and his friends found an underground ciy. He also suspects the Mole is a former assistant of his who made off with an old model of the Mighty Mole and several underground charts, the first of several incidents which led Carson to stop trusting people.

Far below, a villain named the Hunter shows off his Omni-wave blaster, claiming it can kill even a full-powered Superman. Hunter wins the chance to kill Superman, but the Omega Men turn up before he can shoot his weapon. Superman takes advantage of the chaos caused by his arrival and breaks his chains. Superman and the Omega Men join forces and take down the gathered villains easily. Lois shoots Hunter in the shoulder before he can fire his blaster at Superman, and Superman smashes the Mole into a wall. Superman thanks all of them, but Carson states what he only did what was necessary and walks away.

Later, Superman and the Omega Men are in the Fortress of Solitude. Superman has ascertained the elements the Omega Men need to fuel their trip back home don't exist in Earth, but he can obtain anyway thanks to Justice League Satellite's technology.

Later, Superman takes Lois to her apartment and tells her about her split. After heading out of Lois' place Superman attempts to streak into the time-barrier, but he is unable to without his invulnerability and with his speed halved. Superman heads towards his Fortress of Solitude and tries to start a Time Bubble, but it shatters. Then a vision of Satanis appears and warns he's shut down to the past every door to the past Superman knows about. Superman wonders how he can fight back.

The morning after his failed attempts on time-travel, Clark Kent heads towards his workplace and finds out the Mole has gotten the word out regarding his invulnerability's loss. Clark gets worried about his enemies mass-attacking him, and soon he is challenged by a crook wearing powered armor who calls himself Jackhammer. Jachammer manages to hurt Superman to the point Superman gets afraid to face him again, but summoning his courage, Superman challenges him again and manages to stop him.

Afterwards, Superman tries to go back to the past via the Atom's Time Pool, but he discovers Satanis has also blocked that access. He also tries the Flash's Cosmic Treadmill to not avail.

Meanwhile in the past his other self remains trapped in Syrene's infinite castle. Syrene is starting to filter the Runestone of Merlin's energies through his body and in hers when she notices Satanis storming her castle. Satanis and Syrene begin their magic duel as the latter absorbs the gem's magic.

In the present, Superman makes it to the Daily Planet, changes clothes and walks in, but he has barely greeted his friends when he passes out. Lois Lane calls the doctor in the staff, who examines Clark Kent before declaring him dead.

In the past, Syrene has just absorbed the sum of the Runestone's powers, killing Superman in the process. She sets to kill Satanis in revenge for her father's death. Feeling the need to show off her powers before killing him painfully, Syrene shatters a faraway planet and tosses the fragments at her husband. Satanis swiftly leapts inside Superman's inert body, which shields him from the avalanche of meteorites. Now possessing Superman's powers as well as his own magic, Satanis is ready to fight his wife.

In the present, Clark Kent's body has been taken to a hospital for an autopsy while the Daily Planet staff mourns him. All of sudden, he comes back to life on the autopsy table due to his past-half being reanimated by Satanis. Neither the coroners nor his co-workers can understand his return, but Clark talks his friends into getting him out of the hospital and back home.

In the 14th Century, Satanis and Syrene continue their battle. Satanis expects Syrene's lack of experience wielding the powers of the Runestone to give him an edge, but even so she's too powerful. Growing larger than any planet, Syrene turns the world they're standing on into a snake that swallows Satanis, and then molds it into a ball. Seeing Syrene is about to swallowing him whole, Satanis begs Superman's spirit for help.

In the present, Clark Kent wakes up after having dreamed the whole event. Superman just knows his dream was real and his self trapped in the past is about to be destroyed. He needs to get to the past, but Satanis has blocked every time-travelling method he knows of. Clark Kent goes to the Daily Planet with the aim of requesting a vacation when he overheards Perry White and Lois arguing about her piece on Forgotten Heroes. Lois brings Rip Hunter, the Time Master up, piquing Clark's interest. Clark discreetly x-rays Lois' notes. He had never heard or Rip Hunter until Lois mentioned him, so maybe Satanis hasn't shut down that opening to the past. Superman streaks towards Rip Hunter's Time Lab, meets Rip and explains his predicanment.

In the past, Syrene is about to kill Satanis, but the mudball where he has been emprisoned explodes. Superman has agreed to work with Satanis to defeat Syrene. However, Satanis doesn't want to stop her but kill her. After apparently destroying Syrene Satanis intends to claim her power and become the ruler of all eternity. He thinks Superman can't get his body's control back and stop him, but suddenly a Time Sphere appears and the Superman previously trapped in the 20th Century steps out of it.

Superman engages Satanis, determined to recover his duplicate body. He fights fiercely, but he only possesses half of his powers whereas Satanis posseses the remainder half as well as his magic skills. Satanis is going to rip him apart until the Superman whom he is possessing starts to resist Satanis' control and turn his own magic on him. Satanis can't use his full power cause of Superman, so he frees a Superman and expels the one he is possessing out.

Both Supermen combine their powers to take Satanis out, but they're weakened and he can use his full power to throw all kind of spells at them. At one point, one Superman takes his fallen twin's hand and helps him up while they are being bathed with magical power. Satanis' residual energies merge into a malevolent energy Superman who attacks Satanis. Satanis blasts his own accidental creation to atoms, but in a last ditch rebellious act, the energy Superman merges both Superman back together.

Superman decides it's time to end their battle. He's vulnerable to Satanis' magic, but his foe is tired. As struggling to dodge or phase through Satanis' blasts, Superman manages to send him into the time-stream and back in his time, where Satanis will no doubt find Syrene waiting for him thanks to Superman altering his spell back when they were merged.

Superman flies back to present-day Metropolis, changes into his civilian clothes and heads towards the Daily Planet.

Issues


Trivia

During their battle in the past, Satanis smashes Superman into the Great Sphinx of Giza's face, which would humorously explain its notorious missing nose.

Recommended Reading

Links and References


Superman Our Worlds at War Vol 1 TP
Superman Family Storyline
DC Rebirth Logo

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.

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