Superman and Supergirl race to intercept Mongul, before he can deploy Warworld. Mongul had forcibly enlisted Superman's aid, by threatening the lives of Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane and Steve Lombard, to retrieve a crystal key. The key was under the protection of J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars. Superman battled against his old friend, eventually besting him. Once Superman had the key, Mongul appeared to take possession of it. The Martian Manhunter rescued Superman's friends, but Mongul was able to beat down Superman and escape with the key. Having returned his friends to Metropolis, Superman enlisted the aid of his cousin, Supergirl, in taking down Mongul. Superman and Supergirl arrive too late. Mongul has used the key to activate Warworld. The Kryptonians track Warworld to the Raydor Galaxy, by following a trail of subatomic particles left in Warworld's wake. Using his telescopic vision, Superman spies Warworld as it passes by a white dwarf star. Superman is stunned to see that Warworld dwarfs the star. Using their telescopic and x-ray vision powers in concert, Superman and Supergirl scan Warworld from afar. The Kryptonians, however, have breached Warworld's defense perimeter, activating automatics alarms that alert Mongul to their presence. Mongul enters Warworld's command console, where he psychically links himself to Warworld's computer core. As he prepares to fire on Superman and Supergirl, Mongul reflects on his past. He had been the absolute ruler of his world, until his rule was challenged by Arkymandryte, a holy man. Using the power of "the word", Arkymandryte stirred the populace to religious fervor, until they rose up and deposed Mongul.
Ironically, Arkymandryte proved to be a worse tyrant than Mongul had ever been. Now with the power of Warworld at his command, Mongul intends to extend his rule over the entire universe. Instructing Supergirl to get to a safe distance, Superman tests his invulnerability against Warworld's missiles. As the city-sized warhead closes on him, Superman loses his nerve and dodges at the last possible second. The explosion vaporizes small planetoids for miles in every direction. Despite avoiding a direct impact, Superman is stunned by the concussion wave, severely enough that he realizes that he would never survive a direct hit. Mongul ramps up the attack, launching several more missiles, along with macro-laser cannon platforms. Superman and Supergirl do their best to dodge the cannon fire, while detonating missiles at a safe distance with their heat vision. Pushed to his limits in directing Warworld's attack, Mongul suffers a cerebral hemorrhage from the massive psychic energy drain of the control helmet. It is the same fate that befell every member of the long dead Warzoon race, Warworld's builders. Unfortunately, even with Mongul incapacitated, Warworld's automatic defenses remain active. While Superman draws Warworld's fire, Supergirl flies into deep space. Once she has achieved a certain distance from Warworld, she turns back. Flying faster than the speed of light, Supergirl impacts Warworld, shooting straight through it's entire structure like a bullet. Superman flies into Warworld, and quickly reprograms it's defenses to target Warworld itself. Surprisingly, there seems to be no sign of Mongul. Superman exits Warworld, just before it self-destructs. The threat ended, Superman is left wondering just what happened to Supergirl, who is nowhere to be found.
Whatever Happened to: Johnny Thunder?
On the street, John Tane encounters Jeanne Walker. Each suspects the other of being Johnny Thunder and Madame .44, respectively. Suddenly, the unspoken tension between the two is broken by Silk Black, who has just robbed the town bank. Tane and Walker seek cover, intent on returning in their costumed guises. As Tane changes into Johnny Thunder, he reflects on the promise he made to his dying mother not to become a lawman like his father, but rather, a teacher. Tane adopted the Johnny Thunder identity so that he could be both. Astride his horse, Black Lightnin', Johnny Thunder confronts Silk Black, and his accomplice. Johnny Thunder guns down Silk Black's partner, but takes a slug in his shoulder from Silk Black. Madame .44 rides into the fray, only to be stopped by Sheirff Tane. Johnny Thunder attempts to intercede on Madame .44's behalf, but passes out from his bullet wound. Regaining consciousness, Johnny Thunder follows Silk Black's trail out of town. It is the same trail Madame .44 has followed. Johnny Thunder spies Silk Black preparing to ambush Madame .44, and fires a shot to alert her to Silk Black's presence.
The gunshot triggers a rockslide. Johnny Thunder and Madame .44 ride hard to escape the avalanche, driving their horses over the cliffside, and into the river. When Madame ,44 doesn't surface, Johnny Thunder dives under the rapids to retrieve her. Carrying her to shore, Johnny Thunder revives Madame .44 with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Despite her broken arm, Madame .44 is able to lay down cover fire with some left-handed shooting, allowing Johnny Thunder to get to his rifle. A flash of lightning reveals Silk Black's position. Johnny Thunder guns Silk Black down. With the rain washing away their hair dye, there's no longer any denying that Johnny Thunder and Madame .44 are, in fact, John Tane and Jeanne Walker. Riding back into town, Johnny Thunder turns Madame .44 over to his father, the sheriff. The elder lawman arranges a full pardon, from the governor, for Madame .44's "Robin Hood" style crimes. Shortly afterwards, Tane and Walker are married. Despite raising a family, they continue to protect the town as Johnny Thunder and Madame .44.
- "Warworld!" written by Len Wein, penciled by Jim Starlin, inked by Romeo Tanghal, colored by Jerry Serpe and lettered by Ben Oda.
- Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Steve Lombard and Martian Manhunter cameo flashback appearances.
- "Whatever Happened to: Johnny Thunder?" written by Mike Tiefenbacher, penciled and inked by Gil Kane, colored by Anthony Tollin and lettered by Gasper.
- This issue contains the Hostess Superhero Ad, Wonder Woman and "The Baron!".