"Must There Be a Superman?": Superman deflects a pod of space creatures that with a trajectory that would make them land on Earth and infect the planet with their species by using asteroids to assemble a make-shift planet where the creatures can live. Unfortunately, th
- Let's get something straight! Sure-- I rebuilt your homes, but that's because an earthquake is something you can't handle-- Something you can't safeguard yourselves against-- But you must not count on a Superman to patch up your lives every time you have a crisis-- or disaster-- Young Manuel here-- has the right idea! When the rest of you backed down to Harley, Manuel refused to knuckle under... You don't need a Superman! What you really need is a super-will to be guardians of your own destiny!
- — Superman
Appearing in "Must There Be a Superman?"
- Guardians of the Universe
- Jose (First appearance)
- Manuel (First appearance)
- Mr. Harley (First appearance)
- Hal Jordan (Mentioned only)
- Jor-El (Flashback only) (Cameo)
- Justice League (Mentioned only)
- Katma Tui (Cameo)
- Kalyarna (On a TV or computer screen)
- Korugar (Mentioned only)
- Krypton (Flashback only) (Cameo)
- Kryptonian Rocket (Flashback only) (Cameo)
Synopsis for "Must There Be a Superman?"
Superman deflects a pod of space creatures that with a trajectory that would make them land on Earth and infect the planet with their species by using asteroids to assemble a make-shift planet where the creatures can live. Unfortunately, this part of the galaxy has a red sun that saps him of his solar-powered strength and he collapses exhausted on a ring around the new planet. The Guardians of the Universe are monitoring him and use their powers to drag his unconscious body to Oa. As he recuperates in a bath of concentrated solar rays in the Central Power Battery of Oa, the Guardians confront him with the idea that his presence on Earth has held back humanity's natural progress.
He's stunned and confused until a Guardian shows him a recording they have of the Justice League's adventure in Kalyarna. After the League intervened on that planet, they explained that they cannot take control of that people's affairs and they must be good stewards of their homeworld after the superheroes leave.
He flies back to Earth and finds some striking agricultural workers in California being verbally and physically abused by their boss. A teen who was being assaulted tells his story of moving from Mexico to find better opportunities. Superman briefly chastises Manuel's fellow workers for not supporting him and asks the boy to show him his home. They go to Mexico where an adoring crowd begs him to stop the labor abuses of Señor Harley back in California and he starts to give them a speech to encourage them to take matters into their own hands when an earthquake strikes. Superman blunts the effects of the tremors in the Earth's core and quickly reassembles the destroyed homes nearby but he tells the crowd that while he can solve problems too big for them like natural disasters, they must be responsible for the things they can control.
As he flies away to WGBS, he hears a news story about a ship battered by the waves at sea and jets off to save them. Back on Oa, the Guardians watch his actions on a large screen and are convinced that they have succeeded in making him reassess his role in humanity's development.
Appearing in "The Private Life of Clark Kent: When on Earth"
- Mr. Harley (First appearance)
- Amy (First appearance)
- Bick (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Private Life of Clark Kent: When on Earth"
Clark Kent learns that a WGBS receptionist's kid brother is running with a teenage gang. He confronts the youths without changing into Superman, to give young Bick a chance to change his course, and succeeds.
Appearing in "Muto--Monarch of Menace!"
- Jay L-3388/Jay Senohl (future descendant of Jimmy Olsen)
- Lyra 3916 (future descendant of Lois Lane)
- Muto (First appearance)
- Yann (Muto's lieutenant) (Single appearance)
- Thargo (Muto's lieutenant) (Single appearance)
- Von-Don (Muto's lieutenant) (First appearance)
- Three Android Children
- Superman (Cameo)
- Lois Lane (Cameo)
- Lex Luthor (Cameo)
- Superman IV (Flashback only)
- Superman V (in a film)
- Superman VII (Flashback only)
- Superman VII's son (Flashback only)
- Vyldan (in a film)
- Superman XX's father (Flashback only)
- Computer Newspaper Editor (Computer PW-5598)
- Micro-Reel Player
- Green Kryptonite
- Deadly Space Fungus
- Suspended Mono-Rail Train
- Space transport (on which Muto was born) (Flashback only)
- Various futuristic vehicles
- Muto's escape rocket
Synopsis for "Muto--Monarch of Menace!"
This story is reprinted from Action Comics #338.
Muto returns with a plan to kill his greatest enemy, the Superman of 2966. Muto raids a planet containing the greatest weapons in the universe. Superman falls for a decoy which lures him away, allowing Muto to escape. Superman tracks Muto and spots him starting a flood. The rushing water endangers three children. Superman tries to rescue the children, only to discover that they are androids. The flood waters engulf Superman exposing him to his only weakness, atomic fallout in the sea water.
- Must There Be a Superman? is reprinted in The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told and Superman: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- The title of this story also appears as the title of a Newstime article appearing on its cover, that a news vendor is seen selling during Magog's flashback scene in Kingdom Come #2. It would seem by the use of that title for the article that the people of Metropolis and the world in general during the time of the flashback were questioning whether Superman should continue as a superhero in the light of the growing atmosphere of distrust with Superman's generation of superheroes.
- 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)