The Riddle of Little Earth Lost last edited by pikahyper on 11/15/18 09:19PM View full history

When Earth and Rann switch places, Superman and Adam Strange must handle disasters on each other’s planet and try to get their home worlds back where they belong.

After a mission in deep space, Superman returns to Earth, only to find the planet Rann in it's space. Superman immediately comes under attack from a flying patrol. Dodging laser fire, Superman uses his super-breath to create a powerful vacuum beneath their sky sleds, grounding them. Superman then flies at super-speed across a nearby lake, drawing the waters out over his alien attackers. Their sky sleds now mired in the mud, Superman uses his heat vision to bake the ground solid, locking their equipment in place. The aliens flee, as Sardath and Alanna Strange greet the Man of Steel. Returning to Ranagar, Sardath reveals that he was running an experiment to stabilize the Zeta radiation within Adam Strange's cells. As a test, Strange was to teleport himself across Sardath's laboratory. Strange teleports out, but never reappears. At the same moment, Rann and Earth exchanged places in space. As Sardath finishes his explanation, Alanna is suddenly overwhelmed by the Mists of Insalla. The mists are microscopic organisms that inhabit the Lake of Insalla. Under the triple suns of Rann, the organisms lie dormant. Under Earth's single sun, however, they have become animated, and begun drawing out the moisture from Ranagar's populace. Superman attempts to burn the mists away with his heat vision, to no avail. Changing tactics, Superman tears the crystalline domes off several buildings, and carries them into orbit. Using the domes to magnify the rays of Earth's sun, Superman is able to raise the temperature in Ranagar enough to convert the mists into harmless rain. Using his super-vision, Superman follows a trail of Zeta energy to a set of ruins, discovering a fantastic laboratory, and the mastermind behind the planet switch, Kaskor. Superman lunges at Kaskor, only to discover that the criminal scientist is merely a hologram, concealing a trap. A cage lowers over Superman, outfitted with a red sun radiation projector, that leaves the Man of Steel powerless.

Adam Strange finds himself re-materialized on Earth. The emerald hue of the sky immediately clues him into the planet switch. Drawn to nearby screams, Strange investigates, and finds an enormous, writhing, floral growth atop the S.T.A.R. Labs building. Strange uses his laser weapon to evaporate the waters of a nearby pool into steam, cutting the mutant algae off from the rays of Rann's triple suns. Returning to the street, Strange is mobbed by well-wishers and autograph hounds, one of whom turns out to be Lois Lane. Strange flies Lane back to the Daily Planet building. Strange gathers information. The triple suns of Rann are playing havoc with the Earth's ecosystem, but one story in particular catches Strange's attention. Strange flies to the Gibson Desert, in the western part of Australia, to investigate an ice crater. Upon arrival, Strange encounters a robot sentry, which he destroys. It, however, is only a distraction for the real robot guard, which captures Strange. Kaskor reveals himself, and his presence on Earth. Kaskor boasts that he sabotaged Sardath's experiment so that Earth and Rann exchanged places when Strange teleported. Worse, Kaskor has installed a Zeta Booster on Earth, which keeps the planet in Rann's space. When Strange's zeta charge wears off, Rann will return to it's proper place in the Alpha Centauri galaxy, materializing in the same space the Earth now inhabits, destroying both worlds.

Superman arrives back on Earth, and destroys Kaskor's robot guardian. Imprisoned on Rann, Superman merely stretched his cape across the red sun projector in his cell, blocking it's power draining rays. Once his strength returned, Superman easily escaped the cage. Superman moves in to destroy the Zeta Booster, but it's protected by multi-bots. As fast as Superman destroys them, their individual pieces form new robots. Strange uses his laser weapon to fuse the surrounding sand into an enormous glass ramp. Superman then uses his super-breath to launch the multi-bots, along the ramp, into orbit. The multi-bots, however, delayed Superman just long enough for the Zeta Booster to enter into it's final cycle. The teleportation effect is now permanent, and cannot be reversed. Kaskor levels his Zeta Gun at himself, to teleport off-world before Rann and Earth collide. Superman, however, disabled Kaskor's gun, upon arrival, with his heat vision. Strange beats down Kaskor, then brainstorms with the Man of Steel to resolve the crisis. Using the same space warp that Superman flew through to get back to Earth so quickly, Strange determines a way of shunting the Earth back into it's proper orbit. The only problem is the space warp is miles outside of Earth's orbit. Strange and Superman hastily build a rocket ship, loaded down with explosives. Superman hurls the craft at the space warp. Strange pilots the javelin into the space warp. Just as the zeta effect wears off of Strange, teleporting hims back to Rann, he triggers the explosives. The space warp's location shifts just enough for Superman to push the Earth through the warp, returning it to it's original orbit, just as Rann takes it's rightful place in the Alpha Centauri system. Superman, in his guise as Clark Kent, goes on the air to report the news, and issue a blanket thank you, from the people of Earth, to Adam Strange. In Ranagar, Adam Strange has a long overdue reunion with his wife, Alanna.

Notes

  • Jack C. Harris Adam Strange consultant.
  • S.T.A.R. Labs cameo appearance.
  • Chapter 1 "Superman... Champion of Rann!"
  • Chapter 2 "Adam Strange... Superman for a Day!"
  • Chapter 3 "Kaskor's Double D'oom"
  • Epilogue I: "Metropolis Hours Later..."
  • Epilogue II: "Ranagar Hours Later..."
  • "The DC Feature Page" 1 page text piece featuring "Ask the Answer Man!" and "DC Profiles Number 42: Robert Kanigher".
  • This issue contains the Hostess Superhero Ad, Batman, Robin and Commissioner Gordon and the "Corsair of Crime".
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