On my old Martian Manhunter: The Rock of the JLA blog, I spent a lot of time griping about how often Superman beat up J'Onn J'Onzz, especially in "Imaginary Stories." When Siskoid recently covered one such story under the heading of Superman of 2001, featuring art I could steal from a comic I no longer own, I thought I'd revisit one of those old posts with limited rewriting...
Sure, Superman was obviously being manipulated in Red Glass, but he's still treated as a power without equal. That same year, we were "treated" to an Armageddon 2001 story, featuring a possible future for Superman from Dan Jurgens and Dusty Abell. Supes writers just love to kill off Lois Lane as an excuse to have Clark act completely out of character, and this was no exception. Superman sets himself up as the global enforcer of his own laws, which doesn't sit well with the people he's supposed to be protecting. He sinks a U.S. Nuclear Submarine, killing seven crewmen, and bringing on the JLI. In his megalomania, Superman decides that their "limited mind" won't allow them to see that he's right, After slapping Booster Gold and Fire around, MM jumps in. "You know I am your physical equal. Can you not see we will eventually defeat you?" Supes shoots back,"Strength has nothing to do with it, Manhunter! It's the conviction that what you're doing is right!"
No, it isn't. The point of the story seems to be that Superman is strongest one there is. He uses Martian Manhunter as a bum shield against Fire and Booster's blasts, then drops his unconscious form into a blazing building. Using his telescopic vision, he sees J'Onn clutching his chest in pain, but ignores him. The Manhunter is claimed by his greatest weakness, and Superman tries to make excuses to relieve himself of guilt. When Superman is finally beaten, it's through the use of Kryptonite... not another hero proving his righteousness, or just plain overpowering him.
"Execution 2001" was by Dan Jurgens, because of course it was, since he's always writing stories of the type I gripe about at length. He was aided and abetted by Dusty Abell with Terry Austin, John Beatty, Dick Giordano & Dennis Janke.