Once the messenger exited and his office was empty, Clark Kent quickly transformed into the powerful Man of Steel and took to the air for his mission. Within minutes he entered the basement of Central Bank...alone...searching for the explosive device predicted by the governor. In the center of the room was a large cylindrical container.
Its lead shielding prevented x-ray examination---necessitating a closer inspection by the powerful superhero. As he peeled off the layers of shielding, Superman was struck by radiation---but not from the expected radioactive waste used in dirty bomb construction. It was kryptonite-and a stronger more potent form than what Superman had experienced in the past. The intensity knocked the Man of Steel to his knees. He tried to rise but the intense pain flattened him.
As he once again struggled to rise, a heavy boot against his neck, brutally pushed his face into the rough cement floor. A third attempt was met with a more violent thrust of the boot, plus a second boot in the small of the back to insure that the superhero would stay down.
A familiar voice barked in Superman's ear," You just couldn't resist the opportunity to rescue the world again, could you? That's exactly what I was counting on. And...now, you are mine! After all these years, I finally have you exactly where I want."
With the press of a button on a small remote control device the second figure in the room activated small doors on the large bomb-like device, allowing full exposure to the kryptonite radiation. The room glowed bright green. Superman's anguished grimaces were clear indication of the unbearable pain he was experiencing. Within seconds, the powerful man was unconscious. His last whispered thought before becoming comatose was: