"The Price": The third and final part of "The Supergirl Saga", Superman along with Supergirl, Lex Luthor, and his resistance team confront the three Phantom Zone criminals as they engage in a battle that
Synopsis for "The Price"
The third and final part of "The Supergirl Saga", Superman along with Supergirl, Lex Luthor, and his resistance team confront the three Phantom Zone criminals as they engage in a battle that results in great disaster: the Smallville citadel is destroyed, all of Luthor's team members are killed, and Supergirl is surprisingly melted. Lex Luthor secretly tells Superman to head towards Superboy's underground lab while he tends to distracting the Phantom Zone criminals.
As the Man of Steel heads there, Quex-Ul goes after him and pummels him into the ground, his strength obviously greater than Superman's. Upon reaching the underground lab where there is still air to breathe, Superman finds a hidden lead canister that contains the Gold Kryptonite and exposes Quex-Ul to it.
Turning the underground lab into a prison and hiding the Gold Kryptonite sample in his cape, Superman also depowers General Zod and Zaora and captures them, letting them languish while he goes to find Lex Luthor, who is now mortally injured.
Before passing away, Luthor reveals to Superman two things: (1) that Supergirl was really a protoplasmic matrix that he brought to life, given powers and the memories of Lana Lang who was killed, and (2) he failed to use the Gold Kryptonite due to the same kind of pride issue that his New Earth universe counterpart has with Superman: he wanted the destruction of the Phantom Zone criminals to be by his own hand. Luthor makes Superman swear that he will not let the same disaster that befell his world take place on his own, and so faced with a difficult decision of what to do with three depowered evil Kryptonians who committed genocide on a global scale, he chooses to execute them by fatal exposure to Green Kryptonite, watching sadly as all three of them fall.
After burying their bodies, Superman brings the melted Supergirl back to his own universe to be put in the care of his adoptive parents while he goes off to contemplate over what he has done.
Appearing in "The Price"
- Bruce Wayne (Pocket Universe) (Dies)
- Hal Jordan (Pocket Universe) (Dies)
- Lex Luthor (Pocket Universe) (Final appearance; dies)
- Oliver Queen (Pocket Universe) (Dies)
- Pete Ross (Pocket Universe) (Dies)
- Supergirl (Pocket Universe)
- Phantom Zoners (Pocket Universe)
- Although this is the third and final part of The Supergirl Saga, it is not bannered as such, unlike Superman (vol. 2) #21 and Adventures of Superman #444.
- Superman's execution of the three Phantom Zone criminals would continue to affect him even years later when he was haunted by three immaterial energy beings posing as "ghosts" that took their forms.
- In the pre-Crisis Earth-One reality, Green Kryptonite would have no effect on any Kryptonian that was previously exposed to Gold Kryptonite.
- 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)