"The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman!": Lex Luthor secretly built an escape vehicle and breaks out of prison. He issues a challenge to Superman -- a fair fight on equal terms under a red sun. Superman forges a spacecraft and they fly to t
- It's strange... I never had a crowd cheer me before, and I rather like it.
Synopsis for "The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman!"
Lex Luthor secretly built an escape vehicle and breaks out of prison. He issues a challenge to Superman -- a fair fight on equal terms under a red sun. Superman forges a spacecraft and they fly to the barren, yet-unnamed, planet Lexor; where the two challengers set up a boxing ring. Though he took some punishment due to his tendency to pull a punch, Superman eventually knocked-out Luthor.
After a chase through cactii and a brutal sandstorm, Superman and Luthor find the dregs of Lexorian civilization. They both learn the language, but it is Luthor that restores their water and power, drives off the Dorulgs, and sets about digging a new well. Because they were helped by Luthor, the Lexorians regard him as a hero -- and Superman as a villain.
Luthor's digging machine finds no water, and Lex seems to be feeling his first pangs of shame. He and Superman have a gadget duel in the public arena with various old Lexor weapons before Luthor throws the fight, and pleads with Superman to take him away so that he doesn't have to let down the grateful Lexorians.
Once Superman's spacecraft returns to the light of a yellow sun, Lex asks Superman to stop and launch mountains of ice back at Lexor to create reservoirs of water. Superman was happy to do so and lets Luthor take the credit, while Lex is desperate to hide his compassion and return to jail. Back in his cell, Superman brings Lex a photograph from Lexor -- of a statue erected to honor Lex Luthor.
Appearing in "The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman!"
- Superman/Clark Kent (Flashback and main story)
- Lexorians (First appearance; unnamed)
- Kryptonians (Hallucination)
- Jor-El (Flashback only) (Hallucination)
- Lara (Hallucination)
- Dorulgs (Giant Birds)
- Krypton (Flashback only)
- Scarlet Jungle (Flashback only) (On a TV or computer screen)
- Mars (Mentioned only)
- Red Sun
- Lexor (First appearance; unnamed)
- Anti-Gravity Tornado
- Boxing Ring
- Dark Force Ring Projector
- Gravity Shoes
- Lesson Machine
- Radium Battery
- Shooting Suns
- Statue of Lex Luthor
- Thermal Detector
- All-Terrain Escape Vehicle
- Superman's Spacecraft
Synopsis for "The Fugitive From the Phantom Zone!"
Superman is called to stop the accidental detonation of a nuclear missile. He diverts it into space where Ras-Krom, a Phantom Zone villain, is freed by the force of the blast. Ras-Krom set out to cause a larger nuclear war to blast free the rest of the Phantom Zone criminals; but is deterred by Superman. When Ras draws a Kryptonian demon for luck, Superman not only knows that he is dealing with an escaped Phantom Zone inmate -- but he is a superstitious one.
As Ras-Krom continues to try to free his brothers from the Zone, Superman uses Kryptonian superstition against him. An artificial comet drives Ras-Krom into a magnetic cave that disables his belts' safety aura, and Jimmy Olsen sends him back in the Zone with a plastic Phantom Zone Projector.
Appearing in "The Fugitive From the Phantom Zone!"
- Kryptonians (Flashback only)
- Bor-Ak (Flashback only)
- Bor-Ak's Bride
- Lon-Ra (Dies in flashback)
- Winged Ones
- Krypton (Flashback only)
- Jewel Mountains (Flashback only)
- Phantom Zone
- Artificial Comet
- Kryptonian Demons
- One-Eyed Grompus
- Magnetic Lodestone
- Phantom Zone Projector
- Teletype Machine
- Jet Plane
- Jet-Sled (Flashback only)
- Polaris Submarine
- "The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman!" was reprinted in Superman #239, Superman: From the 30s to the 80s, Superman in the Sixties, Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told Vol. 1, Superman Vs. Lex Luthor and Lex Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- "The Fugitive from the Phantom Zone!" was reprinted in Superman #232.
- Both stories were reprinted in Showcase Presents: Superman Vol. 4.
- "The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman!" is a rare moment where Lex Luthor shows compassion for fellow human beings, after the people of Lexor celebrate him for helping them out of the (little) goodness of his heart. A statue is built in his honor, which Superman gifted him a picture of.
- 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)
- Superman (Volume 4)
- 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)