Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / War World

Go To
Cover of British edition. Art by Brian Bolland.

They soar through the infinite vastness of space as if it were their natural element — and, perhaps, in a way, it is! For their home was a planet light-years distant from our own — a world destroyed in a shattering paroxysm of pure primal fury. And now the galaxy's two greatest defenders hurtle across the void to prevent their adopted planet Earth — and untold other worlds as well — from suffering a similar terrible fate! Somewhere in the darkness, it is waiting — the most devastating weapon ever conceived... Warworld!

Warworld is a Superman 1980 story arc published in DC Comics Presents vol 1 issues #27-29, written by Len Wein and illustrated by Jim Starlin. Guest-starring Martian Manhunter, Supergirl and The Spectre, it introduced Mongul and Warworld to the DC Universe.

In The Key That Unlocked Chaos Mongul, an interplanetary conqueror, forces Superman to battle J’onn J’onzz for a Crystal Key that will give him control of Warworld, an artificial weapon-planet.

In "Warworld!", Superman and Supergirl must find and destroy Warworld, a gigantic war machine equipped with weapons which have the power to kill even two Kryptonians.

In Where No Superman Has Gone Before, Supergirl has gone missing after the battle, and Superman has to track her down, wherever she has gone. In order to find his lost cousin, he will have to fly faster and farther than ever before, which will prompt the Spectre's intervention.

This Story Arc was packaged as an Annual in UK, featuring a cover by Brian Bolland. The storyline was reprinted in Showcase Presents: DC Comics Presents Superman Team-Ups Vol. 2.

This three-part story was reviewed jointly in Martian Manhunter: The Idol-Head of Diabolu, Supergirl: Comic Box Commentary and DC Bloodlines blogs.

Warworld provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Superman needs a capable ally to stop a formidable machine of relentless destruction. So who is he going to call? His cousin. Supergirl is instrumental to destroy Warworld. Kal observes that Kara has nerve enough for an army".
  • Always Save the Girl: Played with. Mongul threatens with killing Lois, Jimmy and Steve if Superman does not bring him the Crystal Key. Superman plays along, waiting for a chance to save his friends and thwart Mongul, even though J'onn warns him that he is putting countless lives on the line for three persons. Unfortunately Superman cannot trick Mongul and has to choose between giving the Key to the galactic despot and letting his friends die. He decides he cannot bring himself to hand over the key.
  • Always Someone Better: Superman is one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy. However, The Spectre is inconceivably more powerful. Clark cannot outfight him and definitely cannot outrun him.
  • Apologetic Attacker:
    • Kal-El pleads with J'onn not to force him to fight back.
    • At the same time, J'onn regrets fighting him.
      J'onn: Your approach was monitored long before you ever reached this planet — and certain precautions were taken! But I regret with all my heart that you've forced me to use them!
    • After winning, Kal keeps saying he's sorry:
      Superman: I'm sorry about this, J'onn — you'll never really know how sorry! Now please -for both our sakes — just lie there till I'm gone!
  • The Atoner: After unwillingly helping Mongul appropriate Warworld, Superman sets to bring him down.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Superman was so worried about his friends and so certain that he could thwart Mongul that he fought Martian Manhunter rather than explaining his plight so both heroes could come up with a plan (although, to be fair, J’onn didn’t ask either).
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Both cousins find the way to beat Mongul after observing a mass graveyard.
    Superman: Do you remember that mountain of graves we noticed on Warworld? That's what gave me the answer! The Warzoons weren't buried in a mass grave as there'd be if the race was destroyed by some great illness!
    Supergirl: You're right! The Warzoons must've died one by one! They buried each other — except for the last one buried by the peace-loving Largas!
    Superman: Precisely! And there's only one thing on that entire satellite capable of killing the Warzoon one at a time — the control helmet in the command console!
    Supergirl: The massive energy-drain must've proven too much for their minds to endure!
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Superman and Supergirl fight Warworld together.
  • Badass Boast:
    • The Spectre does not boast. He states facts.
      The Spectre: (to Superman) You are powerful, my friend — but The Spectre is power — incarnate!
    • Superman's reply was impressive-sounding, if powerless:
      Superman: You're still standing between me and my cousin — and unless you let me by you... I swear I'll go right through you!
  • Badass Cape: All heroes in this story wear a long, flowing cape: Superman, Supergirl, Martian Manhunter and The Spectre.
  • The Bait: Superman volunteers to test how powerful Warworld's missiles are. Later on, he keeps the satellite's defense systems occupied while Kara gets ready to attack.
  • Bash Brothers: Superman resorts to his cousin to help him bring Mongul and Warworld down. The two of them fight together and manage destroy the massive war machine.
    Superman: Now there isn't a thing in all the universe that can stop him!
    Supergirl: Well, I know two "things" who are certainly gonna try!
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space:
    • Clark and Linda don't need to breathe due to her Kryptonian physiology. They can talk each other, though, thanks to their Super Ventriloquism (whatever it is).
    • Neither does J'onn, and The Spectre is... well, a spirit.
  • Batman Gambit: Superman's plan was goading Mongul into firing at his cousin and him until overloading Warworld's circuits.
    Supergirl: Uh-Oh! Something tells me Mongul isn't kidding anymore!
    Superman: Perfect! He's reacting exactly as I'd hoped he would!
  • Beyond the Impossible:
    • Clark is astonished when he sees Warworld is bigger than a star. He can hardly believe something artificial can be so big. (While due to their density white dwarf stars are (in terms of diameter, not mass) very small compared other stars, they're still similar in diameter to Earth. Meaning that Warworld is much larger than Earth. Clark has good reason to be shocked.)
      Kal: It's Warworld! I've spotted it — only a couple of light-years away! It's about to pass in front of that white dwarf star and... and... Great Rao — It's not possible! Nothing artificial could be that huge! Warworld didn't pass in front of the star — It passed behind it! And the dwarf star's overwhelming gravitational pull had absolutely no effect on it!
    • Supergirl goes missing, and Superman is determined to find her. He pours on the speed... to the point he shatters the barriers of the reality. Again, he cannot believe it.
      Kal: In sanity's name, what have I done? Supergirl couldn't have traveled this far — It's impossible!
  • Big Brother Instinct: Superman gets mad and doesn’t listen to reason if his younger cousin is in danger.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mongul is about to crush Superman's friends when Martian Manhunter turns up and frees them.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Mongul's eyes are black with red pupils.
  • Blackmail: Mongul kidnaps three friends of Superman to force him to do his bidding:
    Superman: And assuming I can find this crystal key for you — What then?
    Mongul: Then your three friends shall be restored to their normal size — and returned to you unharmed! Refuse to help me — and they shall be returned to you in pieces!
  • Breath Weapon: Superman deflected a cluster of K-tipped missiles with a tight-focus blast of his hurricane breath.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Mongul displays a huge, smug, supercilious grin when he implies he is leading Superman to a battle against Martian Manhunter.
  • Conveniently Close Planet: Brought up when Superman prepares to look for his cousin, who has become lost in space after helping destroy Mongul's star-sized super-weapon. Superman reminds himself he must calculate her trajectory carefully before tracking her down or he'll never find her, no matter how long he searches.
    Superman: But first, I'd better be certain just where she went! If I start out even a fraction of a degree off-course, I could search for centuries without finding a trace of her!
  • Cool Starship: Mogul's green spaceship is the size of a small city.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Superman pursues his cousin but The Spectre forbids him from going past the limits of the universe. Superman tries to yell at him, punch him and outrun him but it is useless. Then Superman asks him for help in finding Supergirl, and The Spectre teleports her in his arms.
  • Crystal Prison: Mongul puts Lois, Jimmy and Steve inside a crystal cube after kidnapping them.
  • Determinator: Both cousins are the kind of people who never quits, but Supergirl is a bigger determinator. As Superman is wondering whether they have possibilities, Supergirl encourages him to fight, declaring that they will definitely try.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Superman intended to play along and retrieve the Key before try to thwart Mongul. Unfortunately he had no a plan ready to handle the tyrant.
    • Superman decides to become a bait to test Warworld's missiles' power. Right before being hit by one of them, Superman realizes that massive thing can kill him.
  • Doomsday Device: Warworld, a satellite packed with enough firepower to incinerate entire worlds. Martian Manhunter even calls it "a Doomsday weapon".
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom:
    • During the battle between the Supercousins and Mongul, a large number of planetoids explode due to the powers unleashed.
    • Warworld itself explodes when Superman reprograms its computers.
  • Enemy Within: Superman's final test is confronting his dark side, an uncontrolled Superman that is the embodiment of his capacity for violence.
    The Spectre: I trust you recognize him, Superman — for he is the dark side of your own spirit! He is that capacity for violence that dwells within all beings, given sum and form! Feel his terrible touch, my friend — and know him for what he is... pure, unadulterated power, without rein, without restriction... without conscience or remorse... power that can ultimately destroy you... if you allow it to run amok!
  • Energy Weapon: Warworld is equipped with macro-laser beams.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Mongul is pretty hammy.
    Mongul: We had a deal, Kryptonian, and you will honor it — or I will crush your three hapless friends with a single gesture!
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Mongul appropiated a star-sized weapon-satellite built by a race of warmongers who passed away right after building it. It never occurred to Mongul that both events could be linked and Warworld might bring death to its owner.
  • Evil Plan: Mongul seizes a star-sized mobile weapon with which he looks to conquer the galaxy.
  • Eye Beams:
    • Superman used his heat vision to defeat J'onn.
    • Mongul also has red optic beams.
    • Superman and Supergirl use their optic beams to destroy Warworld's weapons from a safe distance.
      Superman: Try to evade the macro-laser beams as best you can, Kara — and use your heat vision to trigger the missiles from a safe distance!
      Supergirl: Whatever you say, cousin! I'll follow your instructions to the letter.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Mongul blackmails the Man of Steel into stealing a key protected by his buddy Justice Leaguer Martian Manhunter. Kal-El manages to defeat J'onn, but feels awful about it.
  • Fight Off the Kryptonite: Martian Manhunter tries to fight off his weakness to fire when Superman ignites the ground around them.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Mongul kidnaps Superman's three friends to blackmail him into doing his bidding.
  • Flight, Strength, Heart: Clark and Linda use the power of Super Ventriloquism because being able to literally throw their voices gives them a way to communicate in the vacuum of space.
  • Flying Brick: Clark and Linda fly faster than light and withstand the impact of explosions which obliterate planets.
  • Flying Firepower: And they have heat vision, too.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Mongul. He comes out of nowhere, but he can fight toe-to-toe with Earth-One Superman.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: J'onn points at Superman as he explains that he is sworn to protect the Warworld’s key.
  • God: When Superman beats his trial, The Presence talks to him. Yes, really.
  • Gotta Get Your Head Together: Mongul clutches his head when Warworld's control helmet nearly fries his brain.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: Before entering the command console, Mongul pays a visit to the grave of the last Warzoon.
  • Green and Mean: Mongul's vessel is dark-green.
  • Heel Realization: Superman realizes that his behavior has been less than ideal when The Spectre forces him to confront his dark side:
    Superman: I've been thinking with my heart instead of my head! Forgive me, Spectre — I've been acting like a fool!
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Warzoons built Warworld for the purpose of conquering the universe. However, their super-weapon was the cause of their destruction.
    Superman: Do you remember that mountain of graves we noticed on Warworld? That's what gave me the answer! The Warzoons weren't buried in a mass grave as there'd be if the race was destroyed by some great illness!
    Supergirl: You're right! The Warzoons must've died one by one! They buried each other — except for the last one buried by the peace-loving Largas!
    Superman: Precisely! And there's only one thing on that entire satellite capable of killing the Warzoon one at a time — the control helmet in the command console!
    Supergirl: The massive energy-drain must've proven too much for their minds to endure! One by one they were destroyed by the very weapon their warlike race had spent untold centuries creating — one by one, they died — victims of massive cerebral hemorrhage — and their own insatiable lust for power!
  • Hope Spot: When Clark and Linda manage to overload Mongul's brain, they think they have won. It turns out that upon activation, Warworld's weapon systems operate automatically.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Mongul kidnaps three Superman's friends and threatens to kill them if the Kryptonian hero doesn't retrieve a device called the Crystal Key -which allows activate a planet-buster super-weapon- and hands over it to him.
  • Hot-Blooded: Kara is enthusiastic, strong-willed, determined and eager to jump right into the fray.
  • Human Aliens: Kryptonians look exactly like humans.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Spectre is humanoid, but he is the embodiment of God's Wrath and he is unimaginably powerful.
  • Humanoid Aliens: The Largas were tall, human-like aliens with white-silvery skin, long fingers and faceless heads.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Mongul kidnapped Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Steve Lombard, shrank them and trapped them into a crystalline energy cube.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Superman and Supergirl have blue eyes and are the ultimate nice persons.
    As one, two smooth brows knit in concentration — and two pairs of piercing blue eyes pierce the infinite miles —
  • Intangibility: One of the powers of The Spectre. Superman tries to punch him and his fist goes right through him.
  • Invisibility: J'onn turns invisible to catch Mongul by surprise.
  • It's a Long Story: When Supergirl comes around after her "trip", she asks her cousin what happened to her.
    Superman: Welcome back, Kara — I hope your trip was a pleasant one!
    Supergirl: Trip? What trip? What in blazes happened to me anyway?
    Superman: That, as they say, is a long story!
    Supergirl: So? Tell me about it! I've got all the time in the universe!
  • Kill It with Fire: Stopping him with fire in this instance. Superman's heat vision ignited the ground around J'onn to weaken him, and then he knocked him out.
  • Kill Sat: War world is a weaponized, star-sized satellite.
  • Kirby Dots: Masses of black dots are frequently used to represent nebulas and the space void.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Martian Manhunter tries to stop Superman using Kryptonite-tipped missiles.
  • Kryptonite Ring: The Martians prepared a cluster of miniature missiles armed with Kryptonite in case that Superman tried to seize the Crystal Key.
  • Leeroy Jenkins:
    • Discussed when Kara wants to find Warworld and smash it and Kal warns her against being overconfident, insisting that "It's better to be safe than slaughtered".
    • The Spectre's test concludes when Superman realizes his acting without thinking has made things worse for many people.
      Superman: See what? A mindless, rampaging monster? A creature who acts without thinking or... or... Oh. Of course. I... See. I've been thinking with my heart instead of my head! Forgive me, Spectre — I've been acting like a fool!
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When both Kryptonians try a frontal attack, Mongul decides he has had it and shoots his whole arsenal.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Mongul manipulates Superman into fighting Martian Manhunter.
  • Lost Superweapon: Warworld, a weapon-satellite, was built several centuries ago.
  • Ludicrous Speed: Supergirl rams through Warworld at such a high speed that she passes into higher planes of existence — while still unconscious from the impact!
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Mongul tries this tactic to destroy both Kryptonian cousins.
    The merest thought crosses Mongul's jaundiced brow, and a savage swarm of missiles streaks skyward at his command — even as floating macro-laser cannons cross the star-swept heavens with devastating beams of fire...
  • Manipulative Bastard: Before approaching Superman, Mongul kidnapped three of his friends to guarantee his cooperation.
  • Mr. Exposition: In the beginning of the second issue, Kara recaps the story so far.
  • Must Make Amends: Superman is determined to bring Mongul down to atone for his failure and earn J'onn's forgiveness.
    J'onn: Now, because of you, Mongul has the key that can unlock chaos — and I demand to know what you intend to do about it!
    Kal: First, J'onn — I'm going to construct a protective bubble, and return my three friends to Earth!
    J'onn: Is that all-?
    Kal: That's just the beginning! Next, I intend hunt up some heavy duty super-help! And then, I'm going to take down Mongul, no matter where in the universe he may be hiding — and recover the Crystal Key... of die trying!
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Superman gets this reaction when Mongul makes off with the Crystal Key.
  • My Greatest Failure: Superman blames himself because not all his power could save Krypton or his foster parents.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In order to save his friends from Mongul, Superman fights Martian Manhunter and retrieves the Key from the crypt. Although he refuses to hand over the key, Mongul manages to get his hands on the Crystal Key and start Warworld.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Kryptonians are nearly invulnerable. However, Superman is concerned about Warworld's offensive capabilities when Supergirl points it out:
    Kara: What's there to be afraid of? We're invulnerable, aren't we?
    Kal: Invulnerability is a relative term, Kara! Aside from Kryptonite and magic, we've never come across anything that could really do us physical harm — but then, we've never come up against anything quite like Warworld! I've got the uncomfortable feelings that this time we may have met our match!
    Kara: Point well taken — I'll remember that!
  • No One Could Survive That!: Mongul apparently dies when War World blows up, but he shows up some time after in Prince Gavyn's Throneworld (as narrated in DC Comics Presents #36), with no explanation as to how he survived.
  • Noodle Incident: Martian Manhunter and Mongul mention an earlier battle between both.
  • No-Sell: Superman -someone who can push a planet out of its orbit- punches The Spectre in the stomach. The Spectre doesn't care. Superman hits him with his full might. The sheer force of the blow makes the nearby cliffs tremble and demolishes the ground beneath his feet. The Spectre doesn't even flinch.
    Superman: I dislike doing this, Spectre — We're supposed to be on the same side — but you've left me no — Huh? You didn't even flinch!
    The Spectre: Why should I — when I felt nothing? To me, your angriest blows are no more than the whisper of snowflakes!
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Superman has two moments when he and Kara defy Warworld: first he stands still to test the power of a missile, and realizes it can kill him; and second...
      Superman: We could never survive a collision with two of those — [looks up and sees two of them. Incoming.] Oh... My... God...
    • Supergirl has this reaction when she notices Warworld is still working and attacking them even though they knocked Mongul out.
  • Oh, My Gods!: Superman uses exclamations such like "Great Krypton!" or "Great Galaxies!"
    • Also averted. See "Oh Crap" above.
  • One-Man Army: Superman and Supergirl manage to destroy a Kill Sat bigger than a star.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Superman acts way out of character, like during his fight with Martian Manhunter. Lampshaded when The Spectre calls Superman on his unusually brash behavior in the previous few issues.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Superman and Supergirl face up to a star-sized satellite armed with weapons capable of blowing up entire solar systems. Kara breaks it down by colliding with it, and Kal detonates it.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Superman did this to Supergirl long before the Crisis in issue #29. A reviewer made the next quip: "Again with the anticipation. Superman cradling a Supergirl literally at death’s door. All they need now is copious amounts of blood and a sweatband."
  • Planet Destroyer: Mongul seizes a mobile star-sized weapon-satellite capable of turning planets to dust. Yet still, it's destroyed by two Kryptonians.
  • A Planet Named Zok: After appropriating Warworld, Mongul headed straight for the Raydor galaxy.
  • Planet Spaceship: Warworld is a mobile, star-sized weapon-planet which Mongul intends to use to travel around the galaxy and conquer everything.
  • Power Floats: The Spectre floats most of time.
  • Powers Do the Fighting: The Spectre defeats Superman by not doing anything. He stands still while Superman punches him uselessly, and when Superman tries to outrun him, The Spectre teleports in front of him.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Said by both cousins:
    Superman: Kara, I think I know how to defeat Warworld — but we'll have to face everything that satellite can throw at us to prove it! Are you game?
    Supergirl: Are you kidding? Who wants to live forever anyway?
  • Primary-Color Champion: Superman, Supergirl and Martian Manhunter wear blue and red.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Warzoons were an alien race to who fight and conquest was as important as breathing. They built Warworld, a huge war satellite.
  • Punch Catch: Kal catches J'onn fist when they fight.
  • Punched Across the Room: Martian Manhunter sends Superman flying when Supes to refuses to back off.
  • Ramming Always Works: Kara hurls herself at Warworld at incalculable speed and collides with it, breaking it down.
    Then, at a speed that defies the imagination, the Girl of Steel strikes the gargantuan satellite — punches through it like a bullet through a snowball — and her velocity undiminished, hurtles onward, to be swiftly swallowed once more by the void!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: J'onn chews Kal-El out for being too arrogant and impulsive.
    Kal: Forgive me, J'onn... Looks like I failed you!
    J'onn: No, not me, Superman —It's the entire universe that will have to pay the price of your failure! I warned you that you were dealing with forces beyond your comprehension — but you were just too overconfident — too egotistical — to listen!
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Superman's dark side's eyes are permanently red.
  • Reverse Polarity: Superman destroys Warworld by reprograming its computers and redirecting its defense-systems in on itself.
    Superman: Despite all our much-vaunted power, Kara and I wouldn't stand a chance of defeating Warworld in a head-on confrontation — so I've done the only other thing possible: I redirected the satellite's defense-systems in on itself!
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens:
    • The Warzoon were red-skinned, fanged humanoid aliens with ape-like flat faces, huge, bulging, blank yellow eyes and four-fingered hands.
    • Martians are bald and green-skinned.
    • Mongul's race are yellow skinned and have a bald, bony head and a huge forehead.
  • The Ruins I Caused: Superman spends a short while observing the floating space debris of Mongul's star-sized weapon-planet destroyed by himself and Supergirl.
  • Rule of Perception: Superman and Supergirl's microscopic and telescopic vision are depicted as a white streak coming from their eyes.
  • Sadistic Choice: Mongul forces Superman to choose between giving Mongul the Warworld’s key and seeing his friends dying.
    J'onn: You don't mean the key—?
    Superman: What else? The lives of my friends depend on my getting it!
    J'onn: And the lives of worlds beyond numbering depend on it remaining here!
  • Saving the World: Clark and Linda fight a planet-buster, star-sized killing satellite to save the whole universe.
    Superman: It seems the only thing capable of destroying Warworld... was Warworld itself! The universe has been saved — at least from this menace!
  • Secondary Color Nemesis: Mongul is yellow-skinned and wears a purple-and-violet costume.
  • Shout-Out: Warworld - a star-sized weapon-satellite with firewpower enough to obliterate a planet - is a Death Star Expy. Note that this storyline was published three years after the premiere of A New Hope.
  • Sizeshifter: As he talks, The Spectre grows until he is bigger than a mountain.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: As Clark reflected on his newly-learned lesson, The Spectre faded quietly when he was not looking.
    Superman: Thank you again, Spectre. Spectre? He's gone.
  • Super-Breath: Superman deflects a cluster of K-tipped missiles with a tight-focus blast of his hurricane breath.
  • Super-Senses:
    • As soon as Superman sees his friends kidnapped he scans all of Metropolis with his telescopic vision.
    • Supergirl uses her microscopic vision to find the trail of Warworld, locating a stream of sub-atomic particles left behind by the satellite's exhaust.
  • Super-Speed:
    • Clark and Linda can fly several times faster than light.
    • Kara flies at incalculable speed when she hurls herself at Warworld.
      Supergirl: If this plan this going to work, I've really got to pour on the speed — move as I've never moved before! I have to push myself — harder — until I reach the speed of light itself — and exceed it!
    • When Superman goes after his cousin he pours on speed until he breaks all barriers of speed, space and time.
      With a speed that all but beggars description, Superman flashes through the limitless darkness — pushing himself harder, faster — until he surpasses the speed of light itself!
  • Super-Strength: Kryptonians and Martians are strong enough to pulverize rocks without trying.
  • Super-Toughness:
    • J'onn hits Clark with strength enough to shatter rocks, but Superman endures their blows.
    • Shortly later, Superman and Supergirl endure the impacts of Warworld’s planet-killing weapons.
    • Supergirl rams through Warworld at inconceivable speed. She knocks herself out but she doesn't suffer further harm.
    • And Superman flies so fast that he bursts through the barriers of reality. The narration notes that strain would reduce other beings to shapeless paste.
  • Superhero Sobriquets: Superman is called "the Metropolis Marvel" and "the Action Ace". Supergirl is "the Girl of Steel".
  • That's No Moon: When both cousins first encounter Mongul's War World, they use their telescopic vision to examine a city on its surface. They think that there's a very high wall behind the city, so high that it extends above their field of vision, but when they "zoom out", the wall turns out to be the side of a VERY large missile.
  • There Was a Door: Superman bursts through thousands of walls and ceilings when he hurriedly flies inside Warworld.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Superman has to catch Supergirl, who at the end of the battle had been hurtling unconscious through the dimensions. The Spectre tried to stop him from pursuing; naturally he fights back; and naturally he can't even budge the Spectre physically or otherwise. Eventually the Spectre convinces Superman that following Supergirl would lead him into realms that no mortal should witness (implied to be Heaven. Supergirl was unconscious, so it wasn't a problem for her.) When Superman asks for the Spectre's help, he responds "Of course; you only had to ask," and simply teleports Supergirl to them.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Superman thinks that J'onn is not match for him... although a Martian is definitely a match for a Kryptonian.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: As he is presented with a vision of his adoptive father, Superman states that his Earth parents taught him honor, morality and a sense of justice.
  • Up, Up and Away!: Superman and Supergirl stretch one or two arms forward when they fly across the galaxy, searching Warworld.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Mongul thinks sincerely that a good ruler must have an iron hand.
  • Ventriloquism: Kal and Kara use super-ventriloquism to communicate with each other through the void of space.
  • Villain Teleportation: Mongul teleports away, making off with the Key before Superman and Martian Manhunter can stop him.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Martians are weak to fire. Superman ignites the ground around J'onn and him to finish their brawl.
    Superman: My heat vision will ignite the carbon-laden ground around us, creating a ring of fire — the greatest weakness of all Martians!
  • We Need a Distraction: Superman keeps Warworld's weapon systems distracted and focused on him while Supergirl gets ready to strike the satellite.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Martian Manhunter warned Superman that if he took another step closer to the crypt it might mean the end of their friendship. Superman didn’t listen and J'onn attacked him. Later Clark endeavored to retrieve the Crystal Key in hopes of being forgiven by J'onn.
    Martian Manhunter: I gave you fair warning, Superman — a good deal more warning than I would have given anyone else! I did so because you were my friend — but the bonds of friendship can only be stretched so far before they break!
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Martian Manhunter scolded Superman angrily when Mongul made off with the key.
    J'onn: Is this how you intended to "handle" Mongul, my friend?
    Kal: Forgive me, J'onn... Looks like I failed you!
    J'onn: No, not me, Superman —It's the entire universe that will have to pay the price of your failure! I warned you that you were dealing with forces beyond your comprehension — but you were just too overconfident — too egotistical — to listen!
    Kal: I — I thought I could deal with it! After all, I'm Superman... aren't I?
    J'onn: Super or not, you're still a man — and men are fallible! Now, because of you, Mongul has the key that can unlock chaos — and I demand to know what you intend to do about it!
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: The Spectre remembers Kal that power must be used responsibly.
    Superman: Thank you, Spectre. You have taught me a great lesson here — and I won't forget it! Fate has granted us great power — But power for power's sake is utterly worthless! Power is meaningless... until it is tempered with conscience!
  • You Are Too Late: Superman and Supergirl travel across the galaxy to find Warworld before Mongul can appropiate it. Mongul seizes Warworld before they can stop him, though. Kal states that they are too late, and his cousin reasons that they will have to break Mongul's new toy, then.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: The Spectre tries to show this to Superman, so he gives him a chance to save Krypton and prevent his foster parents' deaths. Superman fails both times.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Superman has this reaction when Mongul reveals where the key is:
    Mongul: Why, of course — It is hidden on the fifth planet from the sun of the star-system Cygnus! Are you at all familiar with the system?
    Superman: Mongul, you've got to be kidding! The fourth planet from the sun in that system is New Mars — the home of my former Justice League buddy, J'onn J'onzz!
    Mongul: Yes... I know.
    Superman: (thinking) Yeah... I'll just bet you do!
  • You Shall Not Pass!:
    • Martian Manhunter was tasked with guarding and defending the crypt in which the Crystal Key was locked away. He was determined not to let Superman pass, but he failed.
    • The Spectre blocks Superman's path and declares he cannot go past that point. This time Superman cannot push him away.
      The Spectre: I'm sorry, my friend — but I can permit you to go no further!

Superman: You have taught me a great lesson here — and I won't forget it! Fate has granted us great power — but power for power's sake is utterly worthless! Power is meaningless... until it is tempered with conscience!