"Judgment Night": The Phantom Stranger has focused his attention toward Pete Ross, Superman's old friend, who has been turned over to a mental institution since going insane, sensing occult forces at work. The doctors examining Ross find it shocking that Ross has not gotten any better, but inste
Appearing in "Judgment Night"
- Dawnstar (Flashback only)
- Madame Benita
Synopsis for "Judgment Night"
The Phantom Stranger has focused his attention toward Pete Ross, Superman's old friend, who has been turned over to a mental institution since going insane, sensing occult forces at work. The doctors examining Ross find it shocking that Ross has not gotten any better, but instead has grown more insane, and his hatred toward Superman has increased.
At Superman's Fortress of Solitude, the Man of Steel is spending his downtime housekeeping when he is suddenly struck by sudden pain, causing him to drop a number of volatile chemicals. Preventing them from smashing against the ground, Superman suddenly notices that the Phantom Stranger is present in his Fortress. The Stranger explains to Superman that while he was drawn by the pain caused to Superman by magical sources, he doesn't know it's source but finds it linked to one of the Man of Steel's personal failures and then vanishes, leaving Superman to ponder over this revelation.
The Phantom Stranger finds himself drawn to the carnival tent of Madam Benita, who is casting a spell that involves one of Superman's finger nails and lock of hair. He attempts to stop her, warning her that she is damning herself but fails to do so. The spell is complete and Tala appears and explains that she has come to claim Superman's soul. When Phantom Stranger tries to protect Madam Benita from having her soul collected as well, Tala confines him in a ring of fire.
Meanwhile, Superman wanders his Fortress of Solitude wondering what it could be that he would consider his greatest failure. He then realizes that it must be how he failed Pete Ross in rescuing his boy Jon from an alien race because the Legion of Super-Heroes had told him it would alter history and doom the human race. He is lost on these thoughts all the way back to Metropolis where he resumes his guise of Clark Kent. They continue to preoccupy him when Lois is trying to explain a lead she is following in a mayoral corruption scam. When Lois realizes that Clark isn't listening, she gets mad and wishes he could be more like Superman and storms out. This inspires Superman to do something about his plight and he rushes off into space.
Phantom Stranger and Madam Benita have found themselves transported to Tala's realm of the dead, where she tortures both Benita and Pete Ross before the Phantom Stranger. She gloats about how she will soon also capture Superman's soul, however the Phantom Stranger is determined to stop her and free all the souls she seeks to keep. Much to her surprise, Phantom Stranger manages to break out of the bonds that hold him and destroy the demons that she commands. The two then lock in magical combat with each other.
While in deep space, Superman stops the ships carrying his Superman robots that have been prolonging alien war games so that he can travel to the world where Jon Ross is being trained to be a soldier. Rescuing the boy and fashioning him a space suit, he then speeds back to Earth to reunite him with his father. Back in Tala's realm, Tala manages to overpower the Phantom Stranger and asks him to surrender and pledge his allegiance to her by kissing her ring. Finding new strength, the Phantom Stranger refuses and fights back once more. This is due to the fact that Superman has brought Jon back to his father Pete, breaking the spell and curing his madness. With the spell broken, Tala loses her hold on the souls in her realm and the Phantom Stranger is able to teleport away with them.
Later, back in his identity of Clark Kent, Superman makes amends with Lois by bringing her a flower. Clark's thoughtfulness and apology comes to a surprise to the girl reporter.
Appearing in "Whatever Happened To Hourman?"
Synopsis for "Whatever Happened To Hourman?"
- Synopsis not yet written.
- "Judgment Night" was reprinted in Showcase Presents: DC Comics Presents Superman Team-Ups Vol. 1.
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