"The Double-Or-Nothing Life Of Superman!": Xviar reports his progress' mission to his superiors, who have been hired by the Galactic Spaceways Company to destroy Earth, so clearing the path for their planned intergalactic teleportation route.
- I tried to decide whether Clark or Superman is more important... and realized what to do away with one would be to kill half of myself-- whoever I really am!
- — Superman
Appearing in "The Double-Or-Nothing Life Of Superman!"
- Superman (Flashback and main story)
- Jimmy Olsen (Flashback only)
- Lois Lane (Flashback and main story)
- Morgan Edge
- Steve Lombard (Flashback and main story)
- Kryptonite Man
- Lex Luthor
- Mr. Mxyzptlk
- Xviar (Flashback and main story)
- The Parasite
- The Prankster
- Solarman (Flashback only)
- Terra Man
- The Toyman (Jack Nimball)
- Max Danner
- Sol system
- Galactic prison compound
- unnamed planet
- Quasar bazooka
- Space jewels
- Brainiac's Space Saucer
Synopsis for "The Double-Or-Nothing Life Of Superman!"
Xviar sneaks into the Clark Kent's apartment again and sets his trap. He has turned the jewels he stole from Clark's apartment into teleporting bacons to transport Superman's nine worst enemies in his apartment. Xviar activates the jewels and trips Clark's burglar alarm.
Superman hears the alarm and checks his apartment with his X-Ray vision immediately. He sees Lex Luthor, Amalak, Brainiac, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Parasite, The Prankster, Toyman (Jack Nimball), Terra Man and Kryptonite Man hanging around in his apartment. Superman flies back to his apartment within seconds, but he is surprised to find it empty. As he looks around, searching his villains, his body is bathed by invisible rays coming from behind his bookcase.
Suddenly, Superman just knows three of them are lurking around the Pyramid of Giza. Feeling more confused than ever, Superman heads off. He doesn't know Xviar planted the mental suggestion to seek out his villains in Egypt, or Xviar teleported his enemies just so Superman would bring them back. Xviar's devices hidden in his apartment have transformed Superman into a living bomb that will detonate when he spends enough energy, destroying both Superman and Earth.
Superman arrives at the Valley of the Kings and quickly takes Terra Man, Toyman and Pransker down. As he flies back to Metropolis, Xviar sends telepathically his next battle's location. Unexpectedly, Superman doesn't change his route. Xviar wonders why.
Superman has ascertained Clark Kent must appear in court right now or Inter-Gang boss Max Danner will escape justice. In a flash he picks up a spare suit from Galaxy Communications's wardrobe room, changes clothes and goes to deliver his testimony. Afterwards, he's accosted by a mob of reporters. Superman wants to bolt out and uses his super-speed by accident. He realizes whatever was making him powerless as Clark is gone, but he can't dwell on the why now. He keeps getting a mental tug towards the Rocky Mountains.
Superman streaks across the country and battles Luthor, Parasite and Mxyzptlk. He manages to trick Luthor and Parasite into taking each other out and then knocks Mxyzptlk out cold. Superman turns them over to the authorities and returns to his apartment.
Following a hunch, Superman scans his closet. Every suit in his closet has been treated with some kind of alien chemical which counteracts yellow sunlight. Since he kept his spare suit in the WGBS wardrobe, he didn't lose his powers when he put it on. Superman is pondering who could know his secret identity and access to his apartment when another mental image reveals Brainiac and Amalak's location, and he is off.
Meanwhile, Xviar is still monitoring him. He's just transmitted Brainiac and Amalak's location, which will bring Superman's energy up to a critical level. As soon as he battles Kryptonite Man, Superman and Earth will explode. All that remains for him is to escape back to his homeworld.
Superman takes Amalak and Brainiac down, builds a protective bubble for them and takes them to a galactic prison compound located in the outer rim of the solar system. Superman is returning to Metropolis when another mental image alerts him of Kryptonite Man's location. Superman realizes that entire set-up is too convenient, and a quick scan confirms someone was sending brain beams in his head. Superman traces the beam back to its source: the apartment next door. He finds Mr. Xavier lying asleep on a kind of floating bed, and alien tools scattered around his apartment. He figures out his neighbor is responsible for his recent woes and feels tempted to look around his apartment, but he decides that putting Kryptonite-Man down is more urgent.
Superman finally confronts Kryptonite-Man. He knocks his old enemy out, but nothing happens. When Superman found out his wardrobe had been tampered with, he x-rayed the rest of his apartment and found the devices that turned him into a walking bomb. He didn't dare to use his powers until the explosive effect wore off, but he still had to fight a Kryptonite-powered enemy, so he solved both problems by wearing his sun-screened clothes under his Superman suit.
Hours later, Superman confronts Amalak in his cell. He reveals he knows he isn't Amalak but Xviar, who swapped bodies with Amalak right after the latter's defeat, expecting Superman would take him to a space prison where he'd be freed from by his superiors. Superman points out, though, that his superiors won't bother freeing a failure.
Far in the space, Xviar's superiors are both angry and shaken. Now their contract will be forfeit; even worse, sooner or later Superman will track them down.
Meanwhile, Clark Kent behaves again as a mild-mannered pushover in work to Lois Lane's despair. Superman can't help it, though. His power problems showed him he can't give up neither of his identities.
- Conclusion of the four-part story begun in Superman #296.
- No trivia.
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- Cover gallery for the Superman series
- 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)