Rust Unto Rust

updated 09/21/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/21/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

QUICK, SOMEONE ACTIVATE THE BAT Signal! Call Captain America! Get Thor at home! And Wonder Woman! Get Spiderman out of bed! Call all the superheroes, wherever in the universe they may be! Something dastardly is afoot in Metropolis, something vile, something unimaginably evil. They're plotting to bump off Superman!

Yes, the daddy of all superheroes is on the way out in the November issue of the comic bearing his name. The fiendish plan—hatched by his corporate masters at DC Comics, calls for him to die—in Lois Lane's arms (sob!), right in front of the Daily Planet Building—after a fight to the death with a seriously depraved individual named Doomsday, an escapee from a cosmic lunatic asylum who apparently hasn't been taking his medication.

Of course, what's really happening here is the axing of a 54-year-old Man of Steel who can't make it anymore in the world of silicon chips and miracle alloys. Sales of Superman have stagnated as kids turn to Ninja Turtles and X-Men for their comic-book thrills. DC thinks that killing him off will pump up sales. "My guess," says New York City comic-book distributor Ronald Forman, "is that sales will increase at least tenfold—based on the calls I've had so far." But if Superman is killed, that's the end of Superman, right? Well, not necessarily. Remember, Superman is a Kryptonian and their rules of life and death may not be the same as for us mere mortals. Indeed, as these exclusive photos show, death for our ex-superhero resembles a temporary layoff due to recessionary times. So, print the obit, Mr. White—but hold the front page.

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