"Lex Luthor, Hero!": This story is reprinted from Superman #149.
Appearing in "Lex Luthor, Hero!"
- Superman (Dies)
- Lex Luthor
- Al Mantz (Single appearance)
- Duke Garner (Single appearance)
- Bizarro (Flashback only)
- Sykes (Single appearance)
- Lana Lang
- Lori Lemaris
- Lucy Lane
- Sylvia DeWitt
- Lili Van-Zee
- Justice League of America
- Legion of Super-Heroes
- Attila statue (Destroyed)
- Al Capone statue (Destroyed)
- Genghis Khan statue (Destroyed)
- Captain Kidd statue (Destroyed)
- Julius Caesar statue
- Green Kryptonite
Synopsis for "Lex Luthor, Hero!"
This story is reprinted from Superman #149.
This is an imaginary tale....
While serving time in prison, Lex Luthor sees a strangely glowing rock mixed in the rock-breaking boulders and suddenly strikes one of the guards, which lands him doing rock-breaking duty, his intention all along. While out toiling on the rocks, Luthor examines what prompted him to break rocks: Element Z, a rare element with special properties. Going before the Warden, Luthor asks permission to have access to the prisons hospital laboratory for 24 hours. When asked why, Luthor explains that he has found a means to cure cancer. Despite their misgivings, the warden decides to grant this request based on Luthor's apparent desire to atone for his years of wrong doing. Surprisingly, Luthor succeeds and becomes a national hero.
Wishing to help out, Superman goes out into space and collects a large sum of Element Z so that they can come up with a supply to eradicate cancer once and for all. With cancer cured, Luthor is put before a parole board, and with Superman's blessings, Luthor is allowed to leave prison and a fresh start. The two become unlikely friends, and Luthor takes Superman to his secret Luthor's Lair and allows Superman to destroy it, while the two reminisces on some of their old clashes.
Set up as a legitimate scientist, Luthor is confronted by mobsters Duke Garner and Al Mantz who threaten him to stop his good deeds or suffer an "accident". When the two crooks attempt to have Luthor shot, Superman comes to his rescue and gives him a signal watch to summon the Man of Steel whenever there is trouble. The assassination attempts continue, prompting Superman to consult Supergirl in secret and figure out a way to protect Luthor from all the potential mob hits that have been put out on him. The two deduce to build a satellite out in space for Luthor to work in with a special signal system to call Superman for help.
One day the Man of Steel gets a distress from Luthor's satellite and goes to see what the trouble is. He walks blindly into a trap set by Luthor, who had not reformed at all but only pretended to long enough to trick Superman into a death trap. Luthor then bombards the Man of Steel with Kryptonite rays, and as Perry White, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen are forced to watch, Luthor pumps Superman with a lethal dose of Kryptonite, killing the Man of Steel.
With Superman dead, Luthor gathers a gang of criminals and they celebrate his victory, while mourners from all over the universe (including the Justice League of America and the Legion of Super-Heroes) come to pay their final respects to the Man of Steel. Just as Luthor begins planning his first series of crimes, the meeting is crashed by what appears to be Superman. However, this is merely Supergirl in disguise, who reveals her identity to them all before taking Luthor away. She brings him to the Bottle City of Kandor where he is shrunk down to size and put on trail for the murder of Superman. Found guilty, Luthor attempts to appeal to the people by offering a way to restore Kandor back to its original size. Refusing to make a deal with a murderer, the Kandorians banish Luthor to the Phantom Zone for all eternity.
With justice served, Supergirl and Krypto go out into the world to carry on Superman's heroic legacy, Supergirl thankful that she can now reveal herself to the public but has remorse that her cousin had to die in order for her to do so.
Appearing in "Superman's Lost Parents!"
- Cedric Carson
- Millicent Carson
- Green Kryptonite
- Statue of Jonathan Kent
- Statue of Jor-El
- Statue of Lara Lor-Van
- Statue of Martha Kent
- Cedric and Millicent's fake time machine
Synopsis for "Superman's Lost Parents!"
This story is reprinted from Action Comics #247.
One day while reading in his apartment, Clark Kent is alerted to some commotion outside of his home. Going outside he is astonished to see a time machine piloted by Ma and Pa Kent, who apparently have come from the future to visit their grown-up adopted son. Happy to see the Kents, who have been dead for years, Superman takes them to the Fortress of Solitude where he shows off his many devices, wonders and displays, including statues in tribute to his biological and adopted parents.
Returning to Metropolis and resuming his civilian guise, the Kents are visited by Lois Lane, however when Clark spots trouble he asks them to cover for him while he goes to the rescue as Superman. While Superman is gone, what he doesn't know is that "Ma and Pa Kent" are really impostors, Cedric and Millicent Carson, who criminals who narrowed down who could have possibly been Superboy's parents in Smallville and correctly deduced that Clark Kent was really Superman. Superman returns again, and after showing off his Superman robots, "Pa" then "remembers" that the scientist who gave them the time machine may be onto a cure for Kryptonite and asks Superman to find a sample. Still falling for the Carson's ruse, Superman complies, and the "Kents" return to the past.
Suddenly, Superman realizes that he's been tricked when he considers that matter cannot occupy the same space, and that it would be impossible for the Kents to have been from the past and be able to take Kryptonite with them because they previously told Clark that they could not bring anything back with them. Realizing it was all a hoax, Clark finds the faux time machine stashed behind his house. He soon gets a phone call from the Carson's who blackmail Superman into collecting five million dollars worth of valuables. Superman complies and has to give in to their demands because they can not only black mail him but keep him at bay with the Kryptonite he willingly gave them.
Superman waits for the Carson's to split up and then sends in robots based on them to go into the home and hypnotize them one by one and make them forget Superman's true identity and collect the Kryptonite and the various objects of value he unearthed for them.
Appearing in "The Stolen 'S' Shirts"
- Stanley Stark (S-Collector)
- Swifty Smith (shortstop)
- The Sultan (wrestler)
Synopsis for "The Stolen 'S' Shirts"
This story is reprinted from Action Comics #197.
Stanley Stark gets two crooks to steal Superman's shirt for him in an attempt to analyze and duplicate the invulnerable material composing it. But Superman regains his shirt and nabs Stark and his stooges.
Appearing in "The First Superman of Krypton"
- House of El (Flashback only)
- Kryptonian Rockets (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "The First Superman of Krypton"
This story is reprinted from Action Comics #223.
Superman discovers a lead box in space containing another journal of Jor-El's and some films which he made. When he reads the journal and views the films, he learns how Jor-El first discovered evidence of Krypton's coming destruction shortly before Kal-El's birth on the 10,000th year of Krypton's civilization. Since the ruling Science Council of Krypton failed to heed his warning, Jor-El began a search for a suitable planet on which to relocate. He chose Earth as a possibility, and created an artificial site which duplicated Earth's gravity and yellow-sun environiment to learn what effect they would have on Kryptonians. To his astonishment, he gained super-powers in the simulated Earth-site. However, the Science Council again rejected his findings, save for two members named Val-Arn and Khai-Zor. After they learned for themselves how they would become "supermen" on Earth, the two scientists captured Jor-El, Lara, and their newborn son Kal-El, and announced their plans to build a rocket which would take them to Earth, which they would tyrannize with their great powers. Jor-El tricked them into taking him to the Earth-simulation site, where he broke free of his bonds, shut off the gravity and yellow-sun machines, and captured them. After delivering them to the authorities, Jor-El made another trip to Krypton's core in a mole machine and found the chain reaction was building. When he returned, he inserted a warning sequence depicting Krypton's possible destruction in a film presented during the 10,000th anniversary celebration, and was denounced as a crackpot. The journal goes on to describe how Jor-El sent his son Kal-El to Earth in a rocket, and ends with a note to Kal-El, if he finds it, to remember his heritage as a Kryptonian and to do only good with his powers. Superman realizes his father was the first "superman" of Krypton, and silently promises to use his powers only in the cause of righteousness.
Appearing in "The Guilty Bizarro!, or, It's Nice to Be Wanted!"
Synopsis for "The Guilty Bizarro!, or, It's Nice to Be Wanted!"
This story is reprinted from Adventure Comics #286.
When Bizarro No. 1 needs a job, he becomes a private detective, and discovers Bizarro-Klyptzyxm, an imperfect duplicate of Mr. Mxyzptlk, is committing the terrible crime of making perfect buildings on the Bizarro World.
- "Lex Luthor, Hero!" was originally published as an imaginary story, a story outside of regular continuity. In Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Compendium, it was retconned as having happened on another Earth, (Earth-149).
- "The Guilty Bizarro!, or, It's Nice to Be Wanted!" was originally titled "Bizarro, Private Detective!" One page has been cut from the original story in this reprinted version.
- No trivia.
- 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)