Superman comes face to face with Mongul for the first time!
The Key That Unlocked Chaos!
While in his apartment, Clark Kent is changing into his Superman costume when he starts receiving a mysterious message from a being known as Mongul. Mongul tells Superman that the message is scrambled so not even he could track it, and then tells him that he is to obtain an object which he claims rightfully belongs to him and shows Superman that he has kidnapped Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Steve Lombard and trapped them in a miniature cube. Superman scans all of Metropolis and doesn't find a trace of any of them and so he asks Mongul what he wants, and he tells him he wants a crystal key locked in an isolated crypt, and he will free his friends if he gets is but will destroy them if he refuses. Mongul then tells Superman where the crypt is, and Superman realizes that it's the neighboring planet to New Mars, home of J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter. Superman speeds towards the planet, planning on keeping the key from Mongul, but at the same time, doesn't realize he's being tracked by a space probe. When Superman arrives, he scans the planet and finds it's completely barren and finds that even the crypt has no defenses and wonders why someone like Mongul can't just get the key himself. The Martian Manhunter then arrives and tells Superman that he is not allowed on this planet, and Superman tells him he didn't mean to trespass and he'll just get what he came for and leave.Superman then tells him that his friends lives are at stake and depend on him getting the key, but J'onn tells him that the lives of countless worlds depend on it staying here.
Superman asks what the key is about, and J'onn begins to narrate to him about how centuries ago, there lived a race known as the Warzoons who wished to conquer the universe, and despite all the devastation they caused, they wanted more and so they built a giant satellite covered with giant nuclear missiles and macro-laser cannons capable of incinerating entire planets and installed powerful engines to move the giant satellite, named Warworld, at incredible speeds. But before the Warzoons were able to conquer the universe with Warworld, they all died out mysteriously. Then the Largas, peaceful race who were the complete opposite of the Warzoons, came to Warworld and found the last Warzoon dead at the command chair. Though the Largas could not bring themselves to destroy Warworld, they programmed its defenses to keep anyone else from ever setting foot on Warworld ever again, and made it so that only the vibrations of a certain crystal key will allow anyone to penetrate Warworld's protective screen and they safeguarded the key. Why the Largas didn't destroy Warworld was unknown, it may have been to keep it as a last resort weapon, but whatever it was would never be known for they were an ancient dying race and soon only one was left and he desperately searched the universe for a race to guard it and found the Martians and gave it to them, for they were war-torn and knew that only those who have experienced the horrors of war will truly value peace, before he died off. J'onn hopes Superman now understands why he cannot have the key, but Superman believes he knows what he's doing and goes towards the crypt, so J'onn has no choice but to attack him, telling him he gave him warning because he is a friend.
Superman easily takes J'onn down and tells him to stay down because he's no match for him, but then J'onn reveals that his approach was monitored long before he reached the planet and certain precautions were taken and he regrets he has to use them. He activates a switch and missiles with kryptonite tips fire towards Superman, who uses his breath to keep them away, but then J'onn attacks him once again, telling him he'll keep fighting as long as he wants the key. Regretfully, Superman then uses his heat vision to start a fire and then strikes a blow and takes J'onn down. He then heads towards the crypt and gets the key while thinking about everything that's happened. He believes he'll be able to handle whatever happens, but as he leaves the crypt, he sees a city-sized ship appear, and Mongul comes out from it and demands the key. But Superman has decided not to give him the key, even at the cost of his friends' lives. Just as Mongul is about to kill his friends, they are freed mysteriously, but then Mongul attacks Superman and takes the key. J'onn appears, revealing he freed his friends, but as he tries to stop Mongul as he once did before, Mongul takes him down, and then teleports away before Superman can do anything. Superman then asks J'onn to forgive him for failing him, but J'onn tells him he has not failed him but the entire universe. Superman says he thought he could handle it because he's Superman, but J'onn tells him he's still a man and is not perfect and demands to know what Superman will do about Mongul having the key. Superman responds by saying he'll first build a protective bubble and return his friends to Earth, and then he's going to get help and track down Mongul, wherever he is and get the crystal key back or die trying.
Whatever Happened to Congorilla?
A fireball in the sky stirs up superstitious musings in the tribal populace. The story going around is that the fireball heralds the arrival of a silver gorilla, who will bestow wealth and power on all who offer it diamonds. Congo Bill attempts to sway his workers with reason, but when news of the silver gorilla reaches the plant, they race out to greet it. Congo Bill watches from afar as his factory workers begin showering the silver gorilla with diamonds. Realizing a confidence game is afoot, Congo Bill locks himself within a special room, places a ring upon his finger, and switches minds with a legendary golden gorilla, known to the world as Congorilla. Watching from afar, Congorilla sees the silver gorilla remove it's head... really a mask...revealing the face of Fred Cantrell, an infamous swindler. As Cantrell returns to the stage to receive tributes, Congorilla launches fireworks to herald his own arrival. Congorilla takes on the "silver gorilla", easily defeating Cantrell, before unmasking him. Realizing they've been tricked, the townsfolk rise up against Cantrell and his accomplice. Congorilla takes the diamonds to the proper authorities before transferring his mind back into Congo Bill.
- "The Key that Unlocked Chaos!" written by Len Wein, penciled by Jim Starlin, inked by "Quickdraw", colored by Jerry Serpe and lettered by Todd Klein.
- "Whatever Happened to Congorilla?" written by Bob Rozakis, penciled by Romeo Tanghal, inked by Frank Chiaramonte, colored by Jerry Serpe and lettered by Gasper.
- This issue contains the Hostess Superhero Ad, Batman vs. "The League of Assassins".