Superman #242 had this cover, which promised big stuff:
And it is an awesome cover, if not rather misleading on many levels. First, that's Superman fighting the sand Superman thingie, but I don't see a grain of sand on either of 'em.
But the first half of the issue deals with a statue possessed by a creature from another dimension, because this is what Superman comics had come to:
Denny O'Neill quoted many different books, so the Bible quote didn't really catch my attention. At first.
I was distracted by Useless Silver Age Wonder Woman:
When you don't look more formidable than Jimmy Olsen, you have lost some street cred.
Yeah. That was the Silver Age Wonder Woman. These weren't exactly her glory days.
Superman finally confronts the sand Superman because... well, we can only show Wonder Woman getting smacked around by a statue possessed by a creature from another dimension for so long:
That's a valid point. Over the years, any time Superman ran into someone whose power came even close to his they ended up dying, sent to another planet/dimension, received amnesia, or went on tour with REO Speedwagon. It really didn't matter. If you had powers that might put you in the ballpark with Superman, you had best not sign a long-term apartment lease in Metropolis.
Anyway, the two trade a few punches and realize that isn't getting them anywhere, so Superman decides to burrow deep under the Earth's crust:
And, since it was the 1970's, there were all kinds of natural disasters that ended life on the planet:
See? That's the second Biblical reference in a single 20-something page story. Was Denny O'Neill writing this story during Sunday School or something?
The ANGST! The ANGST!
Of course, it was all just an illusion because... well, once you've written yourself into that corner, it either has to be an illusion or a dream. If not, someone is going back in time. You can take that to the bank, my friend.:
I first encountered Quarrmer in the Superman vs. Shazam! Collector's Edition. I won't spoil that story for you, but Superman totally cheats.
And then this happens:
So, Superman's power level supposedly goes down. I'm not sure how long that's gonna last, but if it's anything like other DC titles back in the day where they gave everyone a power lobotomy, it won't exactly make for great reading. But you'll ride it out with me, because I must share my pain! YOU SHALL SHARE MY PAIN!
See you Monday!