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1982. Superman flies into the time-barrier to investigate the nomadic routes of Neanderthal tribes at the request of Professor Lewis Lang.


Quote1 As far-out as it sounds, somehow my mind alone was catapulted forward through time into my own future! I can only guess-- but I somehow switched minds with myself-- meaning Superman's mind is now in the Superboy body I left behind in Smallville thirteen years ago! Quote2
-- Superboy src

Synopsis

1982. Superman flies into the time-barrier to investigate the nomadic routes of Neanderthal tribes at the request of Professor Lewis Lang.

Thursday, November 27th 1969. Superboy is flying towards Smallville Soames Reform School. Every year he spends Thanksgiving with the residents, in hopes of helping set them straight. And as every year, he offers a plate of roasted turkey to Lex Luthor as encouraging him to turn over a new leaf, only for getting his kindness thrown back in his face. After Lex has been taken back to his room, an upset Superboy wonders why he can't reach out to Lex. Mr. Soames, though, is certain Lex can be helped and nobody is beyond rehabilitation.

Superboy takes off, stating he will never give up on helping Lex, even though he has the feeling Lex will never want to reform. Superboy heads towards the Kent Farm for Thanksgiving dinner when he remembers he had planned a little trip into the future for the monthly meeting of the Legion of Super-Heroes, so he changes course and streaks into the time-barrier.

As streaking across the time-barrier, both present and past Clark selves come across a massive tear disrupting the time-stream. Seeing the gap is impossible to avoid, both Clarks decide to plow right through it as fast as possible, and collide with each other. Unfortunately, because no physical entity can simultaneously co-exist with itself at the same time, both Clarks turn intangible, merge for a fraction of second and repel each other with such a brutal, owerwhelming recoil effect they're hurled backwards and out of the time-stream. Superman lands on Metropolis and a barely conscious Superboy goes back to Smallville.

1969. Adult Clark Kent hovers downwards unsteadily, wondering what knocked him back all the way to Smallville. Superman heads towards a nearby lake to rest up for a bit by the lakeshore, and he gets shocked when he sees his own thirteen-years-younger reflection in the water. Trying to pull himself through, Superman heads towards the Kent Farm in order to mull over his problem quietly.

On the Farm, Jonathan and Martha Kent are waiting for their son when they hear noises coming from the basement. Pa goes to check the basement trapdoor right when Superboy crawls out of his secret tunnel and gets the surprise of his life when he sees his parents still alive. Seeing their son seems exhausted and shaken, Pa and Ma help him to the couch.

Clark is utterly flabbergasted and he starts suspecting he was thrown back in time or his mind has swapped places with his sixteen-year's self.

The doorbell's ring interrupts his reflections. As his parents go to welcome their guests, Superman changes clothes, thinking he can't tell his parents anything about him being their adult son or theirs deaths. The Kents have dinner with Lana Lang and Pete Ross as Clark does his best to not let anything on.

The next day, Lex Luthor takes a stroll around Smallville after breaking out of reform school, feeling confident that Superboy will never bother him again. He doesn't even get concerned when he is spotted by Chief Parker.

For his part, Superman wakes up, and it's again Thanksgiving Day. Clark gets forced to relive the events of the last day, and realizes is trapped in some kind of time loop. He knows he can't escape by travelling into the future, so he comes up the idea of going back further into the past.

The next day, Luthor gets rid of Chief Parker with an electric force-field and is about to walk into a jewelry shop, sure that Superboy is trapped in the day before, when he sees the Teen of Steel rocketing towards him. Lex doesn't understand how his latest device can have failed, and Superman reveals he escaped by flinging himself into the past. Since Albert Einstein postulated time is an unending circle, he travelled the whole circle backwards until reaching today.

Luthor isn't willing to give up yet and he pulls out a magnetic repellent device. Nevertheless, Clark Kent isn't in the mood to let Luthor believe he has a fighting chance. Knowing Lex will never change but he'll spend over one decade trying to kill him and ruining lives, Superman gets mad and simply lays a beatdown on him, and actually considers to kill him to protect the future.

Superman is stopped by Chief Parker. Clark calms down, feeling guilty for want to kill someone and reminds himself his attempt would be futile anyway because he can't change the past. Superman apologizes for losing his temper and flies away. Finally he has conceived a way to get his mind back into his adult body.

1982. Young Clark Kent arrives in Metropolis. He finds the city strangely different, and he is shocked when he sees his own adult reflection in a window.

Across the city, some bystanders spot a man intending to jump off a building. Most of them are horrified, except for one guy who encourages the man to jump and get over it. He's promptly punched by Jimmy Olsen, who is witnessing the scene. All of sudden, a stranger lassoes the would-be suicide. As the stranger talks, his rope glows and the man feels his pain lessening and his relief increasing.

Somewhere else, Clark Kent is busy saving people. He has already guessed he and his adult self have somehow switched bodies. Suddenly his body instinctively gets drawn to adult Clark's apartment in 344 Clinton Street.

Meanwhile, Lana Lang is interviewing the man who nearly jumped off a building but is now feeling invigorated and eager to turn over a new leaf. The mysterious man who talked him out of suicide slipped away, unnoticed, but was intercepted by Jimmy Olsen.

Superboy has gone over adult Clark's scrapbooks and learned many details about his adult life, his job, his current sweetheart Lois Lane, his friend Jimmy Olsen, his bosses Perry White and Morgan Edge, his cousin Kara... and the fact Lana Lang is his co-anchor.

Meanwhile, Lana is talking to Perry White about her disappointing personal life. Perry, whose pet terrier was ran over the last week, is commiserating with her when Jimmy Olsen barges in Perry's office and ushers the mystery man in. The man introduces himself as Euphor and tells he has the ability to leech away people's unhappiness.

Euphor uses his powers on Lana and Perry, who feel happier right away. Perry asks for an interview right now, but Euphor is only interested in making a tv appearance.

Feeling delighted for first time in months, Lana decides to call Clark and have a chat over dinner, but Clark is away, stopping bank robbers. Superboy runs into Lois Lane after she's dealt with a would-be purse-snatcher and he tries to not let on, but Lois realizes something is amiss.

Later, Superboy heads towards Galaxy Communications, feeling his curiosity piqued, and slips in his office. Clark changes clothes and is having a poke around his office when Lana comes in to drop off his mail and remind him he owes her a dinner. Clark tries to hide his jittery reaction and goes along with her.

Somewhere else, Euphor is absorbing more people's bad feelings, eager for his interview the next day when he will turn the whole Metropolis' unhappiness into power.

Later Superboy pays a visit to present day Smallville and goes to the Kent Farm, hoping to talk to his parents. But Clark unexpectedly finds the house is empty and Chief Parker is its caretaker. Mr. Parker brings tears to Clark's eyes when he says he would like to think Jonathan and Martha would be happy with their house's state if they were alive today.

Meanwhile on Metropolis, a biker vandalizes a Superman poster, resentful because the Man of Steel captured all of his gang partners. Harboring revengeful thoughts, the man starts his bike and merges into the traffic. At the same time, a cab is chauffeuring Euphor to the WGBS-TV studios. When the biker passes by the cab, he absorbs some kind of energy given off by Euphor. He is suddenly donning a futuristic armor set, and his vehicle has transformed into a flying bike.

Over Galaxy Communications building, Jimmy and Lois are arguing about Superman's recent unusually cold behavior which makes Lois feel forgotten. Euphor turns up suddenly and offers to take Lois' unhappiness away, but Lois refuses, thinking that isn't the right way to overcome grief, and walks away. Moments later, Euphor is interviewed by Lana, and he absorbs all viewers' unhappiness.

On 344 Clinton Street, though, young Clark Kent isn't watching the news. He's engrossed in mourning his parents when he listens to an emergency. The disgruntled biker is going on a rampage in the Metropolis Park and blasting every Superman statue to rubble. He's shouting he just wishes the real Superman was there, when Superboy turns up. The biker shoots his bike's laser beam and it bounces off Superboy's chest harmlessly. Superboy captures him, but the man and his bike revert to normal all of sudden. Superboy believes the man when he says he doesn't know why he was turned into a futuristic rider right when he was wishing for a super-bike. Superboy wonders what caused that transformation.

Later, at the Galaxy building, Lois is telling Lana about Superman's behavior. Lana thinks Lois is just overreacting when Clark Kent shows up. Lana and Clark leave together and report to make-up for tonight's six o'clock news.

Euphor learns about the transformed biker while watching the news, and guesses the man came near from him not long ago. Euphor is aware that his power is quickly increasing since he arrived in Metropolis thanks to the large numbers of unhappy people, and decides it's time to throw Superman out and become Metropolis' new hero.

The next morning, a recruitment ad for people who has a gripe against Superman is published in the Daily Planet's classified page. Perry assigns the story to Lois.

After helping fix a space shuttle, Superboy goes to meet Lana and flirts with her, ignoring he and Lana killed their love relationship several years ago and he is supposed to be dating Lois nowadays. Lana slaps him, and Superboy leaves, ashamed.

Some while later, a crowd is gathered around Euphor in the Metropolis Park. Euphor draws negative energy from everyone and then uses that energy to transform three crooks who hate Superman into two armored warriors and a human-headed dragon.

Alerted by the energy flare, Superboy approaches the place and is accosted by the three misfits. Euphor goads them into keep fighting as Superboy holds them back until their bodies are consumed by the very energy which transformed them. Superboy gets upset, unlike Euphor.

Euphor turns Lois into some kind of flaming broom-riding witch and commands her to attack Superman. Mind-controlled and super-charged by Euphor's weird energy, Lois strikes Superboy with strong energy blasts. Superboy doesn't know what to do: even if he refuses to fight back, she'll eventually self-destruct. His adult self would know what to do, but he isn't experienced enough yet. Superboy flies away, Lois hot on his trail. Delighted, Euphor hopes Superman stays ous of Metropolis from now on.

However, Superboy isn't running away. He's afraid that Euphor's energy will burn Lois up, so he's leading Lois away from Euphor, where he can take her out quickly.

Boasting about chasing Superman out, Euphor declares before his supporters he has spent days collecting negative emotions and turning them into energy as leaving his donors in a state of bliss, which is something Superman was never able to do.

Meanwhile, Superboy has brought Lois to the Fortress of Solitude after getting her fall asleep with a nerve-pinch. As she is unconscious, Euphor's energy and influence is wearing off.

Lois comes to, and remembering their earlier fight, she apologizes for letting her resentment turn her into Euphor's attack puppet. Superboy apologizes in turn and explains he's in reality sixteen-year-old Superboy in his adult self's body, and narrates the accident which caused he and Superman to switch minds. Lois suddenly realizes "Superman" was cold and distant to her for several days because his teen self barely knows her and still has a crush on Lana Lang.

Their conversation is cut short by the ringing of Superman's crisis alarm.

Few minutes earlier, on Galaxy Communications Morgan Edge isn't happy to hear Lana and Steve Lombard have changed the schedule abruptly in order to make a special broadcast. When Morgan angrily stomps into the Studio, though, his employees are about make another guest-spot with Euphor. Morgan Edge wants him out of the premises at once, until Euphor uses his power on him.

The special broadcast begins, and Euphor starts to tell his story. Many years ago, Euphor's ten-year-old self was visiting a fair when he happened upon an elderly mentalist who billed himself as "Mr. Hypno". Mr. Hypno sensed Euphor was endowed with a psychic power that dwarfed his, and he set out to train the kid so he could help mankind one day.

Euphor declares that day has come. He has absorbed and turned into power all kind of negative emotions, and now he asks people to let him absorb their pain and unhappiness. Euphor sucks negative emotions from nearly a million of people and declares he'll cleanse Metropolis of negative feelings and then he will proceed to cleanse the entire world.

Superboy and Lois watch the broadcast from the Fortress. Lois thinks Euphor has gone nuts, corrupted by his own power without even realizing it, and Superboy has to stop him before he turns Metropolis into a city of drones.

However, Superboy is still inexperienced and doesn't know how to. His adult self would know how to stop him, but they can't switch places because it's impossible to co-exist with yourself at the same time. Lois suggests since Superman is more experienced, he's already figured that out and is waiting on his side of the temporal storm for Superboy to show up so they can duplicate the mind-switching accident.

Back on Metropolis, Euphor's powers have been boosted to such a degree he is able to transmute matter and fly.

Superboy darts out of his Fortress and streaks into the time-barrier. A quick X-Ray scan confirms his other self is waiting for him on the other side of the time storm. Once again, both Clarks fly towards each other and merge briefly before being repelled backwards. Superboy is hurtled out of the time-stream into past Smallville. His mind is back in his proper body again, but the shock of the collision has left him stunned and with no recollection of the mind-switch.

Superman goes back to his own time and sees Lois pacing back and forth in his Fortress. Superman heads in there, and after a quick kiss, is filled in by Lois.

Superman flies to Metropolis and confronts Euphor. Unfortunately, Euphor is way more powerful than before. Superman challenges Euphor to follow him, and flies off. Euphor darts after him, proclaiming Superman will surrender his negative emotions to him or annihilate himself trying to resist him.

Superman goads Euphor into following him into the time-stream and flies back to the time of Krypton's destruction. Euphor rushes into absorbing Superman's overwhelming grief but it's too much for him and gets paralyzed inside a energy cocoon. Superman quickly grabs him and pushes him out of the time-barrier. All negative energy absorbed by Euphor bursts out of his body, and people starts to turn back to normal.

Euphor falls down, depowered and unconscious, but Superman catches him. As Superman takes his adversary away, he thinks maybe Euphor meant well, but he failed to realize no person can take on everybody's troubles without paying a heavy price, and every person must learn how to deal with their inner demons.

Issues

Paraphernalia Appearing

Items: None known.
Vehicles: None known.
Weapons: None known.

Notes

  • No special notes.

Trivia

  • This story arc establishes Superman's age at twenty-nine.

Recommended Reading


Links and References

Superman Our Worlds At War Book One
Superman Family Storyline
DC Rebirth Logo

This event or storyline is specifically related to Superman, or to members of the Superman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Superman Storylines category.