Superman 242 (September 1971)

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The Pseudo-Superman story comes to its close with Superman choosing to be de-powered. It’s a strange move, since he’s still really, really powerful. Maybe not Silver Age powerful, but he hadn’t really been doing those feats during the rest of the issues… it’s a little confusing. It’s an effective scene, but it doesn’t hold up under much scrutiny.

Similarly, Superman’s decision to fight Pseudo-Superman to the death… again, shouldn’t he have tried to work something out with him.

It’s a good close though. O’Neil fits tons of story in–most of the issue focuses on these two bums slash crooks who “kidnap” an inter-dimensional being and use it to beat up Superman and terrorize the world in general. Some great art on those pages.

The beating up Superman scene is particularly rough to read, since it’s all so vicious.

The final scene’s a little anticlimactic though.

CREDITS

The Ultimate Battle!; writer, Denny O’Neil; penciller, Curt Swan; inker, Murphy Anderson. The Girl Who Didn’t Believe in Superman!; writer, Bill Finger; penciller, Wayne Boring; inker, Stan Kaye. The World’s Mightiest Weakling!; writer, Otto Binder; penciller, Carmine Infantino; inker, Bernard Sachs. Editor, Julius Schwartz; publisher, DC Comics.

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