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Superman and Starman team up to battle Mongul and rescue Starman's beloved Merria in "Whatever Happened to Starman?"

Lord Emperor Gavyn attends the funeral of his sister, the empress Clryssa. The ceremony prompts Gavyn to reflect on his past. To prevent Gavyn from potentially making a claim on the throne, he was jettisoned into space. Amazingly, he discovered that he could survive in the airless void, at least long enough to be rescued by the alien, Mn'Torr. Given gauntlets that harnessed the power of the sun, and trained in their use by Mn"Torr, Gavyn adopted the identity of Starman. With the aid of Jediah Rikane, a court security officer, and the Lady Merria, Starman thwarted numerous plots against his sister, culminating in a final battle with their architect, Lord Protector Oswin. For interfering in alien affairs, Mn"Torr was condemned to death by his own race. Though Starman rescued Mn'Torr from execution, he chose to accept the sentence against him, casting his atoms across the wind, leaving only his mystic staff behind. Upon his return to Throneworld, Starman found his sister, the Empress Clyrssa murdered. His identity revealed by Lady Merria, Prince Gavyn was quickly crowned, becoming the Lord Emperor of the empire. Departing the funeral. Lord Emperor Gavyn returns to Throneworld. Rikane informs him that a powerful alien destroyed much of the city, before abducting the Lady Merrria. As Starman, Lord Emperor Gavyn tracks the lady Merria to the garden world of Diplantha. The image of Mn'Torr appears to Starman. Mn'Torr prophecies the end of the empire. His last act is to fire a beacon into space, to draw aid to Starman's side.

Starman quickly locates the Lady Merria, who begs him to run. Mongul makes his presence known. Starman hits Mongul with everything he's got, to no avail, before being quickly subdued. Starman awakens to find himself shrunk down, trapped inside an energy cube. With the life of Starman for leverage, Mongul forces the Lady Merria to accept him as her consort. Mongul departs, with the Lady Merria, to begin his rule over Throneworld. Drawn by Mn'Torr's beacon, Superman arrives and frees Starman from Mongol's energy cube. Starman brings Superman up to speed, then reveals the real power behind the throne. Generations ago, Starman's ancestor, Emperor Rilsom, The First, one day declared himself ruler of known space. Placing a crown upon his head, Emperor Rilsom visited each of the worlds in his would-be empire and issued an ultimatum... accept Rilsom as emperor, or die. The first world leader he approached was a man named Beldar. Quite logically, Beldar refused such a ludicrous demand. Rilsom destroyed Beldar's world. The empire grew quickly after that. The doomsday weapon that has kept the empire in check for centuries is controlled through the Imperial Crown. With the crown now attuned to Mongul, he can destroy countless worlds with a single thought. Superman journeys to Throneworld to provide Mongul with a distraction, while Starman locates the doomsday weapon and destroys it.

Superman arrives on Throneworld, and challenges Mongul, bluffing his way close enough to land the first blow. Superman offers no quarter in the combat, landing one devastating blow after another, desperately keeping Mongul off-balance long enough for Starman to complete his mission. Starman locates the doomsday weapon, hidden inside Throneworld's sun. It's crystalline engineering marks it as having been created by Mn'Torr's race. Mongul rallies, forcing Superman to pull out all the stops to take Mongul down. A brutal fight ensues, but though Superman holds nothing back, Mongul is triumphant, mercilessly beating the Man of Steel over, and over again. In the process, the throne room is destroyed. Mongul addresses the planets in his empire, ordering them to gather their forces and make ready for an assault on Mongul's home world. To a world, Mongul is refused. Starman has destroyed the doomsday weapon. No longer under the casual threat of destruction, the world's of the empire depart for the depths of space, each world having been fitted with planet moving engines. His newfound empire dissolved, Mongul opts not to carry on the fight against Superman, newly revived, and Starman. Mongul, instead, threatens a terrible vengeance, before he teleports away. Starman realizes that destroying the doomsday weapon, and bringing about the dissolution of the empire, had been his destiny, and the reason that Mn"Torr took him under his wing. No longer charged with leading an empire, Starman looks forward to a simpler, happier life with his love, the Lady Merria. With that, Superman starts back for Earth.

Notes:

  • This issue contains the Hostess Superhero Ad, Aquaman and Aqualad in "Pirates' Gold".
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