Superman 242 – Superman vs the Sand Superman

O’Neil, Swan and Anderson conclude the Sand Superman storyline in issue 242 (Sept. 71).


The Chinese war-demon, brought to life by the entity from Quarrm, is joined by two bums as he beats on Superman in a junk yard.  The entity has no comprehension of this world as yet, and the bums become its partners.


Jimmy Olsen, Diana Prince and I Ching find Superman, and bring him to the hospital.  His invulnerability is gone, to they are able to operate on him, and he did sustain brain damage when attacked with I Ching.

The Sand Superman winds up fighting the War-Demon, although he is surprised to find himself doing so, and wonders if he has also acquired the values, as well as the powers, of Superman.


The bums find out that convincing a Chinese war-demon that he is an unstoppable force of destruction can wind up having a downside, when the creature feels it no longer needs any guides to tell it what to do.


The entity can sense the two Supermen, and wants their energy.  He bursts into the hospital, and brushes past both Wonder Woman and I Ching.


Together, the two Superman are able to overcome the war-demon, and the entity abandons that form and drifts away.  Then its down to the two major players, and a fight to the death, with I Ching as referee.  Their match winds up devastating the area that they are fighting in.


I Ching wakes them both – their fight occurred only in their minds, in a trance state he put them in, in order to see how damaging a battle would be.  The Sand Superman decides to return to Quarrm, and simply vanishes.

While overall this was a good storyline, and it was great to see Superman vulnerable, the ending felt a little weak.

Though the Sand Superman never returns, this story is retold, in a way, in a Superman special in the early 90s.  And, as I just discovered, the Sand Superman DOES return, in the Superman vs Shazam special a few years later.  Always sincerely love it when someone draws attention to something I missed (or in this case, have not yet read).


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3 thoughts on “Superman 242 – Superman vs the Sand Superman

  1. netministrator July 8, 2015 at 2:09 am Reply

    “Though the Sand Superman never returns”. Actually it does return in the Superman vs Shazam special, when an evil Martian enlists it and Black Adam to imitate their foes in battling the other caped crusader.


  2. Netministrator July 8, 2015 at 1:15 pm Reply


  3. ultraboy8888 July 8, 2015 at 2:25 pm Reply

    Oh wow! Cool! I haven’t read that (obviously). Thanks!


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