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At the behest of an evil force,Superman incinerates Jimmy Olsen, Lana Lang, Lois Lane, and Perry White with his heat vision. He then goes on to destroy the Galaxy Broadcasting Building. As he moves to slay his final enemy, Clark Kent, Superman cries out and awakens from his nightmare. Natalie Simons and Robert Haley are drawn into the abode of Madame Xanadu. Simons and Haley have also been plagued by nightmares, horrific dreams where they, too, were compelled to slaughter their loved ones. Madame Xanadu offers what comfort she can, while she bides them to wait for one other to join them. Morgan Edge escorts Kent and Lang to a broadcasters' convention, in New York City. During a panel discussion on network news ratings, Kent's mind wanders. Once more he feels the compulsion to murder. Kent is just about to incinerate Lang with his heat vision, when he snaps out of it, averting his glance so that Edge's cigarette is the only thing that catches fire. Shaken, Kent dons his Superman costume, and takes to the skies to clear his head. After effecting cable repairs on the Brooklyn Bridge, Superman is overwhelmed by the demon inside his mind. Against his will, Superman flies through the bridge, creating worse damage then he repaired. Horrified by his actions, Superman flees.

Madame Xanadu has a hard time calming her two charges, particularly Simons, who seems on the verge of a complete breakdown. Superman resumes his civilian identity. At this point, Kent, too, is drawn to Madame Xanadu's shop. Madame Xanadu reads Kent's fortune, using tarot cards. Though the initial reading seems grim, Madame Xanadu insists that hope lies within the cards' message. Kent meets with Simons and Haley. Madame Xanadu reveals that the evil that torments them is primarily focused on Kent. It only found Simons and Haley due to certain similarities they share on a psychic level. Madame Xanadu sense the presence of the malevolent entity, just before they are all dragged into another dimension. Kent, revealed as Superman, recognizes their tormentor as Maaldor the Darklord. Maaldor had drawn Superman, and Power Girl, into his dimensional plane once before. The results of that conflict had rendered Maaldor into pure consciousness. Superman attacks the essence of Maaldor, only to be struck down. Superman collapses, completely drained of energy, and immobilized with fear. Madame Xanadu does her best to sooth the tortured Man of Steel. Empathically, Madame Xanadu draws out the poison of Maaldor's evil from Superman's body, leaving her weakened and in pain.

Greatly recovered, Superman again confronts Maaldor. Superman is first tormented by a vision of Lex Luthor murdering Lane. Next, Superman's adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent berate the Man of Steel for his failure to save their lives. Finally, his true parents, Jor-El and Lara, appear, to condemn Superman for abandoning them to Krypton's destruction. Superman rejects his parent' condemnation, pressing the attack against Maaldor. The Dark Lord fills Simons and Haley with his evil, transforming them into nightmarish creatures. One with Maaldor, their combined power overwhelms the Man of Steel. Madame Xanadu is able to reach Simons and Haley with her words, convincing them to turn Maaldor's power back against him. Simons goes berserk in her desire to destroy Maaldor, but Superman intervenes, and does the deed himself. As Maaldor's consciousness dissipates, all reappear in Madame Xanadu's shop, as if they never left. A great weight has been lifted from Kent, Simons, and Haley. Simons and Haley return to their lives with no real memory of what has transpired. Kent finds that he is not worried over Madame Xanadu's knowledge of his dual identity. He too bids her farewell, and returns to his life.

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