|Real name:|| Kryptonian:|
Clark Joseph Kent
|First Appearance:||Action Comics #1 (June, 1938)|
|Created by:|| Jerry Siegel|
|Affiliations:|| Legion of Super-Heroes|
The Superman Family
White Lantern Corps
Black Lantern Corps
|Abilities:|| Master Combatant|
Genius Level Intellect
|Portrayed by:|| Bud Collyer|
Danny Dark (Voice)
Beau Weaver (Voice)
John Haymes Newton
Tim Daly (Voice)
George Newbern (Voice)
Christopher McDonald (Voice)
Michael Dangerfield (Voice)
Yuri Lowenthal (Voice)
Adam Baldwin (Voice)
Kyle McLachlan (Voice)
Mark Harmon (Voice)
James Denton (Voice)
Nolan North (Voice)
Superman is one of the most powerful beings on the planet Earth, an alien immigrant named Kal-El from the planet Krypton who was raised in Smallville, Kansas to become an American super-hero. Raised with high moral ideals, he uses his incredible strength, speed, flight and various other powers to fight evil and protect the innocent. In his civilian identity he is Clark Kent, a mild mannered reporter working for the Daily Planet in Metropolis. He is a founding member of the Justice League of America and a charter member of the Legion of Super Heroes in The 30th Century.
Man of Steel Origin
The planet Krypton was going to explode, and married scientists Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van determined to build a rocket that they could use to save their unborn son Kal-El in his gestation chamber. They sent him to the less highly advanced planet Earth, where exposure to the yellow sunlight would supercharge his cells into living solar batteries and give him incredible powers, wanting him to reclaim the fullness in life denied by the sterility of Kryptonian culture. He was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent in Smallville, Kansas; the kindly couple decided they would adopt and raise him, announcing the child as their own after months of seclusion during a blizzard and naming him Clark Kent. Clark's abilities increased steadily as he grew up, with super strength and invulnerability at an early age and the power of flight developing during high school. His adopted parents finally revealed the rocket and his foreign heritage when he was 18, leading Clark to decide that he would become a hero in secret and use his powers to protect innocents without ever revealing himself. During this time he pursued his education at Metropolis University while scratching out a living to put himself through school, losing his accent in the process. He operated this way for seven years until he was forced to save a space plane in front of crowds of people, then meeting the reporter Lois Lane for the first time at age 25. Deciding that it was time for him to become a public figure, Clark and Jonathan designed a symbol for him to wear while Martha created a costume. In his secret identity, he would drastically change his physical appearance and mannerisms while wearing spectacles so that nobody would suspect he led a double civilian life. During his first costumed adventures in Metropolis, he was given the name Superman by Lois Lane. Clark began his new career as a reporter for the Daily Planet working underneath chief editor Perry White alongside Lois and cub reporter Jimmy Olsen with Superman's first exclusive interview. The media coverage would eventually attract the attention of corrupt business mogul Lex Luthor, tests Superman and tries to get him on his payroll by withholding support during a terrorist attack. Mayor Frank Berkowitz deputizes Superman to arrest him, and Luthor swears his revenge. Repeated attempts to murder him eventually led to LexCorp developing an imperfect clone named Bizarro. Superman destroys the flawed creature, and his bizarre chemical structure is somehow able to heal Lois' sister Lucy Lane's blindness. Jimmy began using a signal watch of his own design to call Superman whenever he was in peril. Returning to Smallville after many years and sorting out childhood best friend Lana Lang's feelings for him, he is exposed to the rocket once again. This time he receives a message from his birth parents Jor-El and Lara, learning of Krypton for the first time when centuries of knowledge are implanted in his brain. Superman considers his dual heritage, and decides that no matter where he's from, his life on Earth has made him a Human and an American.
This origin was changed in the Superman: Birthright story, creating a new version of history. Kal-El was born on Krypton as the last son of the House of El, and his parents Jor-El and Lara sent him to Earth as a baby. He grows up in Smallville alongside his best friends Lana Lang and Lex Luthor. Lex and Clark have a falling out after Luthor Manor burns down with his father inside during an experiment to contact extra terrestrials. In addition to his regular powers he has the ability to see the colorful aura of any living creature's soul before it dies, explaining his aversion to death. Clark is inspired by the death of a West African revolutionary named Kobe Asuru he met during his time as a freelance reporter. Returning to Smallville at the age of 25 he decides that it's time for him to start really making a difference in the world, using the Kryptonian symbol of hope given to him by his parents as his heritage. Designing a costume after traditional Kryptonian clothing with no mask so that the public might trust him, Clark adopts a shyer bespectacled appearance to hide his dual identity and decides to move to Metropolis. Securing a job interview at the Daily Planet with Perry White, he meets Jimmy Olsen for the first time and immediately falls in love with Lois Lane. He is forced to make his first public appearance as Superman, saving both of them when the city is attacked by experimental military helicopters. Lex Luthor is revealed to be responsible in an act of corporate sabotage against Wayne Enterprises, meeting and coming into conflict with Superman for the first time. Luthor invites Lois and Clark for an interview, refusing to acknowledge his upbringing in Smallville, and announces to the media that he believes Superman is an alien. Testing this theory, he discovers his weakness by exposing him to Green Kryptonite. Luthor begins spreading paranoia by claiming to the public that Superman is an advance alien invader. This climaxes in a staged Kryptonian invasion of Metropolis using real troops and holograms to discredit him, led by a fictional warlord named Van-Gar. Lois inspires him to fight back through Kryptonite poisoning, and Jimmy rallies the populace to his side with pictures of his heroism during the war. Superman is ultimately able to end the attacks, exposing Luthor's fraud and proving himself as a hero to humanity.
Infinite Crisis rebooted the universe again, and the story was retold in Superman: Secret Origin. Growing up in Smallville, Clark's shared his secrets with Lana Lang and the beginnings of a relationship. He also became friends with Lex Luthor at a very young age. Martha Kent modeled a costume after traditional Kryptonian garb out of his baby blanket, and he began operating in his youth as Superboy. He is visited in this time by Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes from the 30th Century, an organization of super-powered teens inspired by his legacy; they take him to the future and show him a world where he isn't different than everyone else. His rocket is also followed by another one, containing Krypto The Superdog. Moving to Metropolis as an adult, he begins work as a reporter at the economically failing Daily Planet. His debut as Superman happens when he catches Lois Lane falling off of a LexCorp building in front of crowds of people. Luthor accidentally creates the super villain Parasite using Kryptonite by products, and then challenges Superman as an alien threat to humanity. The Planet is the only newspaper to portray him in a positive light, with his first recorded photograph taken by Jimmy Olsen. This public distrust leads to intervention by General Sam Lane of the United States Army, and they create the super-villain Metallo to stop him. The army takes over Daily Planet headquarters, but Superman regains popular approval by proving that he's only interested in saving lives while they're actively endangering them. The Daily Planet becomes the most popular newspaper in town because it's the only one with Superman exclusives.
Post FlashPoint Origin
FlashPoint rebooted the universe again, resulting in this new timeline, Clark once again didn't begin wearing a costume until early adulthood. Becoming Superman before his powers are developed to the point of flight, he wears a cape over jeans and a t-shirt with his emblem. Before working at the Daily Planet he starts out working for their competition underneath George Taylor at the Daily Star, although he develops a close friendship with Lois Lane's partner Jimmy Olsen. Despite heavy support from the people of Metropolis, he is initially considered a public enemy and hunted down in the streets by General Sam Lane and the army's genius consultant Lex Luthor.
Man of Steel Origin
Superman's first meeting with another super-hero is Batman in Gotham City. He tries to arrest him at first; when he is unable, they team up together despite their differences to end a trail of murders committed by Magpie. This first meeting would later be changed by Infinite Crisis into a conflict on a cruise ship involving the Crime Syndicate, Deathstroke and Mister Mxyzptlk. The JLA was formed by Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter after Applaxians attacked Earth. Superman became one of the first members of the team, along with Batman and Wonder Woman, after the team was first formed afterwards.
Post FlashPoint Origin
This origin story is later changed following The Event of FlashPoint, with Superman shown meeting Batman and Green Lantern significantly into his career. He initially believes them responsible for the existence of a Father Box, and The Flash assists them in fighting him, until a squadron of Parademons appears.
The Modern Adventures
Superman would have his first encounters with Darkseid, Arathaza, Bloodsport, the Circle, the Fearsome Five, Chemo, Rampage, Mister Mxyzptlk, and the Silver Banshee. In those first early adventures, Superman would often go against Lex Luthor, who had vowed to destroy the hated "alien" and reclaim his place as the First Son of Metropolis. Luthor also dismisses the suggestion that Clark Kent and Superman are one in the same, rationalizing that no one who had the power of Superman would ever pretend to be a mere human like Clark Kent. Superman also has his first encounter with the New God Darkseid, who teleported him to Apokolips. Superman remained on Apokolips for some time, eventually rallying the lowliest in a resistance against their despotic ruler, but the revolution is unsuccessful and Superman is returned to Earth. Superman and Wonder Woman met during the Legends event, and Superman was surprised to find that she was in his thoughts a lot. Eventually the two came together, discussing their mutual attraction, but after a crisis involving Darkseid and the Olympian gods was resolved, they decided they were not right for each other and would just remain friends. However, Superman did trust Diana enough to reveal his secret identity to her. Superman was shocked to meet a being calling herself Supergirl, someone who first appeared similar to Lana Lang. Supergirl explained that she was from the Time Trapper's Pocket Universe and pleaded with Superman to come back there with her. Superman agrees and meets the Lex Luthor of that universe, a benevolent scientist responsible for creating the Matrix Supergirl. He explains that ten years have passed since Superman's visit, and that the Pocket Universe exists solely so that the Legion of Super-Heroes could come there from the future. Superboy had already left for the 30th Century and Luthor accidentally released General Zod, Faora, and Quex-Ul, three Kryptonian criminals, from the Phantom Zone. The Kryptonians proceeded to destroy the atmosphere of the Pocket Earth, killing everyone on the planet, save for a handful that Lex protected in Smallville. Superman was unable to stop them from killing the rest and badly injuring Supergirl. Superman exposes the criminals to gold Kryptonite, taking away their powers, and then, taking on the role of judge, jury and executioner, decides that they must be punished for their crimes he exposes them to green Kryptonite, killing them. He then takes Supergirl and leaves the dead world.
The guilt of taking life weighs heavily upon Superman. He has a minor psychotic break, which manifests itself in the form of him blacking out and fighting crime in the guise of Gangbuster. Guardian discovers this after a brief fight. Superman decides after what he's done that he has to leave Earth after seeing to a few things and saying good-bye to his parents, Superman uses a breathing mask and a teleporter to begin a self-imposed exile into space. When Matrix fully recovers physically, she shapeshifts into Clark's image, briefly posing as him. After several adventures in outer space, Superman is captured by Warworld and confronts Mongul for the first time. He meets the Cleric and encounters the Eradicator for the first time. Superman is pitted against Draaga in Warwold's arena, and when he refuses to kill Draaga, Mongul attacks Superman. Superman is saved from Mongul by the Cleric, who teleports him away. Superman accepts the Eradicator device from the Cleric, who dies shortly thereafter, and deposes Mongul as the ruler of Warworld. Draaga becomes the leader of Warworld, but is humiliated by his defeat at Superman's hands. Having found peace over executing the three criminals in the Pocket Universe, Superman returns to Earth. He finds Matrix living in his apartment, still locked into the form of Clark Kent, and Jimmy takes a photo of the two of them. Still confused, the Matrix actually attacks Superman in Smallville before realizing what she has done. Still locked in Superman's shape, she takes off into space in an exile of her own.
Superman soon learns that the Eradicator, more sentient than he initially thought, has a mind link to him and is attempting to impose its own designs on Earth. He decides to bury it in the Antarctic, but a subsequent visit reveals that the artifact has built a vast underground fortress the Fortress of Solitude. Superman learns the whole history of Kem-L, his ancestor, and how he built the Eradicator and what its purpose truly is. The Eradicator begins to melt some of the polar ice cap, but after a communication with holographic forms of Jor-El, Lara, and Kem-L, Superman manages to shut it down. Clark, recently fired from the Daily Planet, accepts the Managing Editor position at Newstime from Collin Thornton. The Eradicator begins to exert its influence over him again, forcing him to change into the so-called Krypton Man. He battles Draaga again on the Moon, almost killing him in the process. Only an intervention by the Kents at the Fortress itself is enough to snap Superman out of the programming the Eradicator has him under. He takes the Eradicator artifact and his Krypton Man costume and hurls them into the sun. Luthor's Kryptonite ring is eventually stolen from him by a former employee, Amanda McCoy. With some help from Batman, Superman manages to recover the ring. He decides to entrust the ring to Batman for safe keeping, telling the Dark Knight to use it against him if he would ever lose control and need to be put down. Mister Mxyzptlk decided to have some fun with Superman through Lex Luthor for a change. He gave Lex a piece of red kryptonite, which removed Superman's powers. It would work so long as Luthor did not tell Superman about it. When Luthor told Clark Kent, he inadvertently broke the spell and restored Superman's powers. Clark proposed to Lois Lane at this time and she accepted. Dying of cancer, Lex Luthor decides to fake his death in a plane crash. On the day of Luthor's flight, Jimmy Olsen decides to throw Lois and Clark an engagement party at the Daily Planet. Clark ducks out so that Superman can investigate the remains of the crashed jets. He finds a mangled body, complete with Luthor's prosthetic hand, and it's enough to convince him (and the world) that Lex Luthor is dead.
Superman eventually discloses to Lois the secret of his double life. Immediately afterwards, Superman is swept away in an adventure across time Time and Time Again which takes him from the ancient past to the distant future. When he finally returns to the present, only a few hours have passed. Shortly thereafter, there was a strike at the Daily Planet. The Eradicator then reemerges, this time in a humanoid form. He sets out to remake the Earth into a new Krypton, but Superman battles against him yet again, seemingly destroying him for good. After a couple weeks of knowing his secret, Lois found that she was a little peeved to think that Clark had been using his role as Superman to gain an advantage over her as a reporter for all those years. After Clark beat her to the punch on a story involving the Parasite, Lois was determined to one up him. The strike organizer was a man named Jeb Friedman, a southern "good old' boy" who took a strong interest in Lois, despite her engagement to Clark. Lois was initially only interested in Jeb for any Intergang connections he might have. She then challenges Clark to scoop her on a story without using any of his powers. Lois went home to her parents, her mother almost completely recovered, where her father was attacked by Angstrom. Lois managed to hold him at bay until Superman, tipped off to Angstrom's escape and his intent by Emil Hamilton, could turn up and subdue him. Lois offered to call off the bet, but Clark insisted on keeping it. Lois promised to tell Angstrom's story, but the true facts were lost when he was cured at STAR and they sold the story to Newstime. Despite his obvious intentions, Lois and Jeb actually became friends, although it made Clark more than a little jealous. A young man named Lex Luthor II, the alleged son of the late Lex Luthor, turns up in Metropolis and lays claim to his father's empire. Superman helps investigate the man's claims and he appears to be the genuine article no one suspects that it is really the elder Luthor in a cloned new body!
From The Pit Below to Beyond The Stars
Superman's enemies would include both the supernatural and the science fictional. When Perry White's son, Jerry White, is shot, Superman is forced to literally go to Hell to try to rescue both Jerry and Jimmy from the demonic Blaze. Superman is able to rescue Jimmy but not Jerry, though Jerry's soul does escape hell through his sacrifice. Superman later joins forces with Blaze's brother, Lord Satanus, but she ultimately proves the victor in the war against her brother. In the aftermath, Superman meets the being Kismet, who tries to help Superman find some peace by going over the choices he's made and by offering him a glimpse at several possible futures (including one involving Lois and a child). Arguably Superman's greatest foe, however, apart from Lex Luthor is Brainiac. Brainiac was originally a Coluan scientist named Vril Dox whose body was destroyed and who sought refuge in the body of a human illusionist, Milton Fine "The Amazing Brainiac." He attacked Superman, but Fine was able to temporarily overcome Brainiac's control. Brainiac was subsequently captured by Luthor and experimented upon, resulting in his appearance changing to more closely match his original body, before he escapes and battles Superman again. Superman is unable to defeat him, and Brainiac escapes into space aboard a custom made "brain ship. Brainiac would eventually return to Earth at the helm of Warworld. Having recruited Maxima to his cause, Brainiac captured Metron and brainwashed Supergirl (Matrix) and Draaga into serving him as he prepared his invasion of Earth. Brainiac has his head ship come to earth as part of a punitive first engagement an arrogant boast of his impending invasion. Realizing that this is not an invasion that should be dealt with after it arrives, Superman rallies most of the world's heroes in Metropolis to plan a preemptive counter strike. With Dubbilex's help (using Metron's Mobius Chair), the heroes are able to reprogram Brainiac's headship and meet Warworld on its way to Earth. Superman leads the invasion of Warworld while Batman stays in charge of some heroes on Earth to deal with any other preemptive attacks. Superman manages to get Draaga and Supergirl to shake off their programming and join him in the fight. After some desperate fighting, Brainiac is defeated Maxima changed sides in the fighting and lobotomizes Brainiac, but Superman prevents her from killing him. The New Gods used a Boom Tube to transport the heroes from Warworld back to Earth, right into the middle of downtown Metropolis. Lex Luthor II was already organizing a victory parade. Superman then decided to join the newly reformed Justice League on a full time basis. Not only did Superman fight demons, but also vampires the vampire Ruthven to be specific. A group called the Sons of Liberty was busted up by Superman. In exchange for his protection, a Major Holcroft agreed to testify before a Senate hearing. Superman was on scene at the Capitol, making sure no one was trying to slip a weapon inside the chamber. He neglected to scan Senator Pete Ross, however, assuming that could trust him. Pete was being blackmailed, however, by the Sons of Liberty and did sneak a handgun inside to kill Holcroft. Pete couldn't go through with it, but unfortunately the Sons had backup. Another of their operatives grabbed Ross' gun and shot Holcroft. Superman had to let the assassin go and rush the Major to the hospital. Before he passed out, Holcroft told Superman that the Sons were responsible for the death of Senator Caldwell. Superman went to visit Pete in his jail cell, but Pete was too afraid to talk to him with Lana's life at stake. Pete was brought before Judge Kramer, who was actually a member of the Sons of Liberty. Agent Liberty was supposed to assassinate Pete in the courtroom, but he refused to do it, turning against the organization. While Superman took apart most of the rest of the unit, Liberty got leverage on the judge and sent it into Clark Kent. Lana was freed and Pete confessed to everything, which meant that the murder charges were dropped (but not the others).
Death and Return
Not long after the event commonly referred to as Panic in the Sky, a monstrous alien beast called Doomsday emerged in eastern Ohio and began to march towards Metropolis. The beast single handedly defeated the Justice League when the team rallied to stop it (the lineup consisted of Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Bloodwynd, Maxima, Fire, Ice, and Guy Gardner). Superman battled the creature across several states, eventually drawing the line in Metropolis itself. After a desperate battle, Superman managed to put down the monster but collapsed as he did so, dying in Lois's arms. All attempts to revive Superman fail, and he is pronounced dead--while Clark is discovered to be MIA as well (one of several hundred people missing and presumed dead in Doomsday's rampage). Superman was buried with full honors with hundreds of heads of state and several hundred thousand onlookers beneath a large statue in Centennial Park. The Justice League and other heroes marched behind the casket, following their leader (official or not) one last time. Lois, Lana, and the Kents were all devastated. The family decided to keep the secret that Superman and Clark Kent were one and the same while Cadmus steals the body from out of the tomb. Supergirl retrieves the body from Cadmus, prompting Lex Luthor to gloat that while he may not have killed Superman, by providing the tomb, he at least "buried him." Jonathan Kent, suffering from a heart attack, is rushed to the hospital in Smallville where he is remains in critical condition. Jonathan recovers after having a near-death experience where his soul, guided by Kismet, met with Superman's spirit (which was being plagued by demons) and convinced him to fight his way back to the land of the living. Even as Jonathan awakes and tells Lois and Martha Superman has returned, sightings of four different beings, all claiming to be Superman, emerge in Metropolis: "The Man of Tomorrow," "The Last Son of Krypton," "The Man of Steel," and "The Metropolis Kid." A trip to the tomb itself reveals it to be empty. While the first two actually claimed to be Superman (and provided circumstantial evidence that this was true), the latter two did not actually claim to be the original Superman. The young Superboy claimed to be a clone of the original Superman (in fact, he told it to everyone who would listen, soaking up the limelight as much as possible) and the Man of Steel was alleged (by a psychic named Rosie) to have Superman's soul.
Cults begin to spring up in Metropolis, worshiping any one of the new four (the visored Superman or the Cyborg primarily) as a messiah. President Clinton is saved by the Cyborg, and officially endorses him as the real Superman. Lois feels that of all of them, Steel is the closest to how Superman would have acted. It is eventually revealed that none of the four are the real deal. The Eradicator, rendered incorporeal after his last battle with Superman, went to the tomb to try to use Superman's body as a new vessel. Sensing Superman's soul was still lingering, he fashioned a new body from concrete in Superman's image and placed Kal-El's body in a regeneration matrix that was bombarded with sunlight. The Eradicator's body could not absorb sunlight the way Kal-El's could, so he used Kal-El's body to power his own until Superman was successfully revived. His memory had been hazy, however, and he briefly believed that he was actually Superman. He also struggled with the new, human emotions he felt in his new body. When Superman was finally revived in the Fortress, he was weak and powerless, so he used a Kryptonian battle suit to get to Metropolis. The war suit arrives in Metropolis and is met by Lex Luthor II, Lois, and others, who are shocked when a black-suited Superman emerges and tells them all that he is the real deal. Upon learning that Coast City has just been destroyed by the Cyborg Superman (and that he plans to obliterate Metropolis next), he joins with Superboy, Supergirl, and Steel and heads for the site, which is now the location of Engine City. Before they leave, he has a brief talk with Lois, who becomes mostly convinced that this man is the original one she fell in love with.
The assault on Engine City is hard, but Superman is soon joined first by Green Lantern, who manages to defeat Mongul after Superman and Supergirl could not, and then the Eradicator, who explains that it was he who was responsible for Superman's revival and that it cannot happen a second time. Superman also learns that the Cyborg is really Hank Henshaw, who was so desperate for revenge against Superman that he decided he would assume his identity and have the universe blame him when Earth was destroyed. During the fight, Superman's powers are restored through a self-sacrifice by the Eradicator and the Cyborg is stopped. Superman returns to Metropolis and to Lois, who no longer has any doubts he is the real thing. Superman gets right back into action, quickly convincing Lex Luthor and Maggie Sawyer that he is the genuine article as well. Unfortunately, he still has to "reacquire" the rights to the name and symbol "Superman," but after helping the young Superboy comes to terms with his origins and accept the "Superboy" name, the kid graciously returns the rights to the Man of Steel. Superman, with the help of the shapeshifting Supergirl, manages to come up with a plausible way of "resurrecting" Clark Kent, who had not been seen since Superman's death (one of several hundred people unaccounted for because of Doomsday's rampage). Supergirl takes Clark's form and Superman "finds" Clark in the rubble of a destroyed building. Jimmy gets another picture of Superman and Clark side-by-side. Doctor Occult visits Superman and Lois, explaining to them how his revival occurred before taking them to Kansas to see his overjoyed parents. Superman also learns that the Fortress of Solitude has been destroyed; he buries what is left of it in the ice and does his best to stop the cults that have sprung up worshiping him. He also discovers that the Eradicator has been healed, seemingly after his body was merged with the mind of a scientist named David Conner. Clark is welcomed back to a chorus of cheers at the Daily Planet and Superman is thrown a party by Lex Luthor II aboard a blimp (the party is thrown in his honor), but the scene gets ugly when Underworlders attack the blimp, trying to kill Paul Westfield. Fortunately, the Man of Steel saves the day (and both Westfield and Luthor). Superman leaps back into the good fight with renewed vigor he barely stops to rest in the first few weeks after his return. He fought a new team, Nuclear Waste, and said good-bye to John Henry Irons, who had decided to give up being a superhero (his armor being mostly destroyed in Engine City) and was relocating to Washington D.C. He also takes time to be with Lois which has some tragic results when the two decide to go to Paris and are therefore not present in Metropolis when the Toyman kidnaps Adam Grant and subsequently murders him. Superman is able to track down the Toyman and bring him in with minor trouble. Superman also has to deal with a new villain called Bloodthirst, who has a new Bloodsport, and a revamped Hi-Tech engage in a killing spree, known as "Spilled Blood," in Hob's Heights, all to create more chaos in the city. Bloodsport and Hi-Tech both attempt to murder Jimmy Olsen, but Superman is able to save his pal and finally stop the killing. Bloodthirst, before fleeing, hints that Luthor's presence in the city will truly lead to chaos. Shortly after the Toyman is brought in, Superman gets into a fight with Lobo which lands him stranded in outer space for a couple of weeks. While in space, he meets Auron (who at first did not believe he was the real Superman, since Auron had been created to protect Superman's legacy) and encounters Massacre for the first time. Massacre kills Auron and withdraws, promising to come after Superman sooner or later. Superman finally gets some help that sends him back to Earth. Superman got a rematch with Doomsday after the monster turned up alive and well on Apokolips(the Cyborg Superman was there as well). Superman had been troubled by nightmares about the creature, worried about what had happened to it, and Waverider tipped him off to go to Apokolips where the monster was alive and well. Not even Darkseid could stop the monster's rampage. After working with Darkseid to defeat the Cyborg, Superman pursued Doomsday to the planet Calaton and fought the beast to a standstill. Luckily, with some help from Waverider, Superman was able to teleport Doomsday into the distant future just before the universe came to an end. This allowed him to find a little piece of mind, although he regretted the creature's apparent death.
Lex Luthor, whose cloned body is slowly decaying, attempts to clone Superman again using Dr. Teng's procedure, resulting in a second Bizarro Superman. Bizarro escapes from Luthor and kidnaps Lois Lane, thinking that he is actually the real Superman. Lois manages to escape from "Bizarro World," here a warehouse where Bizarro had attempted to recreate Metropolis in his own warped way. His memories fragmented, Bizarro flies to Smallville and tries kidnapping Lana Lang, not understanding why she resists him. Superman arrives and drives Bizarro back to Metropolis. After a battle in the city between Superman and his twisted clone, Luthor reclaims Bizarro. Superman and Lois fly to LexCorp Towers to free him, but Bizarro dies soon after they arrive but not before Lois Lane learns that Luthor is also dying of a strange malady. At this same time, Superman notices a distinct increase in his powers (and his mass as well). Superman is diagnosed by Dr. Hamilton as having his absorption rate being out of control he is absorbing far too much energy, and his size and powers begin to grow out of control. Cadmus Labs attempts to help him, but their efforts prove fruitless. After several failed attempts at controlling the situation, Superman is only cured after allowing the Parasite to purge him of the excess energy. Unfortunately, he is not able to defeat the Parasite, who knocks the Man of Steel out (and clear across Metropolis) before leaving to lay low. Superman, back in control of his powers, receives a clean bill of health from Dr. Hamilton. He flies off to LexCorp, where he has to stop an enraged and nearly out of control Supergirl from killing Luthor. Lex's depravity had finally been exposed to Supergirl after she discovered a plot to clone her. Supergirl leaves Luthor forever, but needs some time to herself to process what has happened.
Battle for Metropolis
Luthor, blaming Project Cadmus for his deteriorating condition, orchestrates an all-out war between the Project and the Underworlders (who are also dying from a mysterious plague). Luthor arms and equips the renegade clones. The Underworlders' fight spills out onto the streets of Metropolis and even Superman has trouble containing it. Luthor goes even further, detonating bombs all over the city, prompting an evacuation of most of the city. Luthor and the Underworlders suspect the flood caused by Cadmus is the source of their malady. Cadmus and Dr. Packard realize too late, however, that fallout from Engine City (and the missile that detonated over the city) is to blame. Using Guardian's DNA, Cadmus is able to create a cure, saving the lives of Superboy and the Newsboy Legion. Luthor orders his Team Luthor to try to steal the cure from the Project, resulting in the near destruction of the Project. Luthor's schemes are revealed to the whole world on live TV, thanks to the efforts of Lois Lane and Dr. Gertrude Kelly, who had finally betrayed Luthor. Kelly also reveals to Superman Luthor's location. Luthor threatens to launch missiles into the heart of Metropolis, but Superman talks him down. Happersen, however, launches them anyway, devastating most of the city, including destroying all of the major skyscrapers (including LexCorp Tower, the GBS Building, and the Daily Planet) save for the Newstime Building. Superman, working with Superboy and Supergirl manage to limit some of the damage. Luthor is finally taken into custody (although at this point, he is virtually catatonic). Metropolis would lay in ruins for several weeks, having to contend with several "safeguards" left in place by Lex Luthor (giant robots, hallucinogenic gases, etc) as well as Luthor himself wielding Superman's own war suit (which Luthor recovered from Metropolis Harbor when Superman and his allies had gone to Engine City). Luthor is taken into custody and his deterioration is halted, but cannot be reversed, leaving him a vegetable unable to even blink his eyes. In addition to Luthor's devices, Superman had to contend with appearances by Bloodsport II and Massacre (not to mention Rift, as part of Worlds Collide), until after Zero Hour, which itself caused a number of problems in Metropolis. It was revealed later that after Zero Hour, Superman lead a cadre of heroes back to Metropolis, and thanks to the magic of Zatanna, the subconscious of Superman, the power of the other heroes, and the soul of Perry White, Metropolis was restored to its former glory. When the Spectre seems to get even more out of control, having destroyed the entire nation of Vlatava, President Bill Clinton calls on Superman to confront The Spectre in Japan, wielding the Spear of Destiny, one of the few weapons that can harm the embodiment of God's Wrath. Unfortunately, the Spear is cursed with the taint of Adolf Hitler, and all who bear it are corrupted by it. Superman has a vision where he uses it conquer the world, but ultimately has the strength of will to reject the Spear. The Spectre hurls it into orbit and parts with Superman.
Dead Again, Death of Clark Kent, Trial in Space
Clark Kent is awarded a "Baldy" for his journalistic efforts, but is attacked at the awards. Superman quickly realizes someone is trying to kill him. The would-be assassin is a new villain, Conduit, and Superman is crushed to learn that Conduit is an old friend of his from Smallville, Kenny Braverman. Their fight ends up breaching Superman's tomb, and afterwards it is discovered that there is a dead body in the tomb that looks just like Superman. This causes the world to wonder if the Superman flying around is a fraud. Conduit quickly escapes custody and attacks Superman (not caring if he's real or not) as now he feels a greater hatred of the Man of Steel than for Clark Kent. Superman is able to bring him down again. Superman begins to track down his enemies who could pull off such a hoax one by one traveling across not only the country, but to New Genesis and Apokolips as well as Luthor, the Eradicator (at the time working with the Outsiders), Darkseid, and Mister Mxyzptlk are all eliminated as suspects. As time went on, Superman's grip on reality began to break down, causing his behavior to be even more erratic. All of this was because the real culprit was Brainiac, who had recovered from his vegetative state on New Genesis and was returning to Earth. When Superman finally learns what is going on, he confronts Brainiac in the streets of Metropolis, battling the villain until Brainiac is convinced he is about to lose, at which point the personality of Milton Fine reasserts itself and the villain is lead away. On Christmas Eve, while trying to find a "Date with Debbie" doll, Superman had to assist the S.C.U. and several others to stop the "Night of the Hundred Thieves," which included such second stringers as Royal Flush Gang, Captain Boomerang, Loophole, Punch and Jewelee, etc. The thieves were all caught and Superman got the doll. Thorn came out soon after, thinking that the 100 were responsible for the Night of the Hundred Thieves, but that turns out to be a dead end. Superman helps free Babe from the villainous vampire Ruthven with the help of Lock, and also enlists the aid of Mister Miracle when the villain Deathtrap comes after him. Deathtrap's attack comes after Superman meets a new character on the scene, a mercenary named Shadowdragon. Clark, Lois, and Jimmy went to Washington D.C. for a reporter's convention. While there, they were all three attacked by thugs hired by Arclight, who had a grudge against all reporters. Even working with Agent Liberty, Superman could not prevent Arclight from escaping. Arclight would turn up in Metropolis a few weeks later, however, and working with Jimmy, Superman was able to apprehend him. However, after Perry used Ron Troupe's story instead of Jimmy's, Olsen quits the Daily Planet. After a few weeks of light duty, Superman's life is turned upside down when Conduit learns the secret of his double life. Conduit blows up the Kent's farmhouse, kidnaps Jimmy Olsen, attacks Lana Lang, and confronts Superman himself. Even though he confronts Conduit in his own lair, Superman has to retreat to save his folks. He then goes on the run with his parents, trying to stay one step ahead of Conduit and his forces (who seem to have a nearly limitless cache of resources to track them down). After Conduit apparently kills Lois and the Kents, Clark in his rage decides that he will no longer be Superman, violently ripping his suit off and incinerating it with his heat vision. Luckily, both his parents and Lois are alive (although he doesn't learn that Lois is alive until after his final showdown with Conduit) and Superman prepares for the final showdown. The final fight with Conduit occurs in a mock Smallville that Conduit had built in a remote area of the Dakotas. He manages to capture Superman and drops him there. The entire town is populated by animatronics that resemble Smallville citizens from their high school days including an entire stadium full of robots that look like Braverman's father, cheering him on. Conduit challenges Superman to a one-on-one battle, but his rage during the fight results in him "self destructing." Superman destroys Conduit's base, defeating an entire army of Pipeline soldiers in the process. Thankfully, Conduit's arrogance kept him from revealing Superman's secret to anyone else. Superman and the Kents continue on the road for awhile, with Clark questioning whether he should resume his identity as Clark Kent since he has to be Superman, yet is afraid for the lives of his loved ones. A reunion with Lois helps him put things in perspective, and he realizes how much he would be giving up by not being Clark Kent. Superman and Lois then return to Metropolis. Superman is subsequently able to rescue Jimmy Olsen, who has been left within a trap prepared by Conduit. Superman reluctantly agrees to referee a boxing match between Bloodsport I and Bloodsport II at Stryker's Island, but as expected a riot breaks out and Superman has to stop it. The first Bloodsport is shot and killed by guards while Supes is dealing with the latter, who is later murdered in his cell. Shortly thereafter, Superman meets the Alpha Centurion for the "first" time, and the Centurion's presence makes Superman a little protective of Lois, as in an alternate timeline, Lois and Marcus were lovers. Superman gets on the trail of Luthor, trying to track him down, but only leads to dead ends (two of which literally blow up in Superman's face). Superman also meets the new CEO of LexCorp, the Contessa Erica Alexandra del Portenza. The Contessa hires the Alpha Centurion to be the new head of Team Luthor, which she renames the Centurions. Superman is approached by Kalibre, an assassin from Apokolips, who pleads Superman to save his daughter, who has been slated for execution by Darkseid. Superman agrees, and manages to convince Darkseid to spare her life on the condition that Superman will not remain on Apokolips. Darkseid then sends Superman home, and secretly releases the Cyborg Superman, his prisoner since Superman's battle with Doomsday on Apokolips. Back on Earth, Superman shortly thereafter has to contend with Psi-Phon and Dreadnaught, who are looking for revenge against him and Green Lantern (although they grabbed the wrong one) and perhaps something more a bounty on Superman... After a battle with the Parasite (who has been modified, and know has a split personality) leaves him near death, Superman is easily arrested by Brute at the behest of an intergalactic group known as the Tribunal. Superman manages to escape the ship and fall into the sun, which powers him up, but even then Brute is able to recapture him. Superman is put through a show trial for the destruction of Krypton (his guilt was already assumed). Their argument is that the Kryptonians need not have died if not for the actions of Superman's ancestor, and since they believe that the sins of the father shall be paid by their sons, Superman is guilty for the planet's destruction. The Alpha Centurion rallies together a Superman Rescue Squad while Superman manages a jail break with some fellow prisoners, including Mope. After several adventures in space including a stopover at Haven and encounters with Freelance and Tolos Superman and the Rescue Squad all end up on the Tribunal's home world, each captured by the Cyborg Superman. When the Cyborg betrays the Tribunal, Superman and his allies have to battle each group. Superman saves the Tribunal from the Cyborg's betrayal and the Tribunal decides to "commute his sentence," by sentencing him to never give up his "never-ending battle." Superman and the team return triumphant to Earth. Lois is happy to see Superman back safe and sound, but admits that lately she is missing Clark very much.
Heartache and Dark Times
Even though Lex Luthor (fully recovered thanks to a deal with Neron) was on the run, Superman's life is still troubled. After the return of Lori Lemaris, a near death because of the Joker, and Superman's extensive periods of being removed from her, Lois breaks off their engagement. Jeb Friedman, not wasting a single moment to try to hit on Lois, works with her to investigate mob involvement in the fish market and is shot and killed after killing someone to save Lois. This only widens the rift Lois now feels towards Clark, as she had been unsure of how to feel after Clark had refused to kill the Joker, even if it meant she would die. Clark is unable to reconcile with Lois, even after Mr. Mxyzpylk tries to patch them up (Mxy dropped by and decided he wanted to give everybody in Metropolis what they wanted with disastrous and hilarious results). Mxy's actions do let Lois reevaluate her recent feelings and after a talk at Mount Fuji interrupted when Superman has to save a NASA shuttle landing on Mars she decides that she simply cannot be with Superman. Superman reluctantly accepts that their relationship is over, although in frustration and despair he heads home to Smallville to talk to his parents. While there, he has to help save Smallville from a string of deadly tornadoes, although he gets some help from The Flash. Superman is later kept decoyed while Lex Luthor marries the Contessa. Superman also had to contend with the return of Brainiac, who switched his mind into Superman's and Superman's into the body of a young mental patient, Chas Cassidy, before briefly capturing all of Metropolis. He used the citizens of the city as a vast data storage unit until Superman in Chas's body was able to breach his fortress. With the help of the young boy himself (Chas), Superman is able to put everybody back in their right bodies and save the city. Lois, now frustrated, angry and still not ready to come back to Superman, now feels that he is "cramping her style" that she has grown too dependent on him and that she can no longer be the effective reporter she used to be. This situation is made too clear when he saves her again, this time from the Parasite. Lois decided to take a foreign correspondent position overseas and leaves Metropolis, although she and Clark part on good terms. Not long after Lois leaves, Perry reveals to Clark that he is taking a leave of absence because he has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Perry asks Clark to fill the position of acting editor while he is gone, and Clark reluctantly agrees. On the same night, Superman encounters Obsession, who goes on a rampage after Superman does not return her affection, causing him to wonder if he had been smothering Lois in the same way at the end. Tolos, the alien wizard Superman encountered while on the run from the Tribunal, arrives on Earth attempting to collect Superman in his bottle city of Kandor. Superman manages to defeat the wizard with the help of some of the denizens of the bottle city, but he is unable to free them from their prison. When the field around Kandor begins to destabilize, Superman and Emil Hamilton take the bottled city to the Fortress of Solitude hoping to find something in the rubble to save the city. Instead of debris, however, they discover that the Fortress has been completely rebuilt, thanks to a sole surviving Fortress robot. The robots initially do not recognize Superman, however, forcing a brief confrontation before the Fortress can be utilized to save Kandor. Just afterwards, the Final Night occurs. Without the sun, Superman's powers fade away. Superman does his best to keep hope alive, and is willing to sacrifice his own life if the need arose. Lex Luthor reemerged at this time and helped the worlds' heroes to come up with a solution to the Sun-Eater menace. Superman was fully prepared to sacrifice himself to come up with a stop-gap solution, but thankfully that sacrifice would not be necessary. Eventually, with the help of Parallax, the sun was reignited and the Earth was saved. But Superman was still powerless.
The Wedding and Beyond
Lois returns to Metropolis immediately after the Final Night (breaking up an international drug ring in the process) and reconciles with Clark. The two decide to get married quickly. Lucy Lane throws Lois a bridal shower and a bachelorette party, while Clark has a bachelor party thrown at the Ace O' Clubs. The marriage is arranged in short order, with Jimmy Olsen and Lucy Lane as best man and maid of honor. Clark is still powerless, but Batman arranges for a cadre of heroes to look over Metropolis for him. Batman also happened to own an apartment building where Lois found an ideal place, and so as a wedding gift he allowed for Clark and Lois to move into the home. Lois and Clark then went on a Honeymoon in Hawaii, where Clark was shot and kidnapped by terrorists and Lois had to come to his rescue which she did commando style (literally). After getting home from the honeymoon, Superman is determined to get his powers back. After several failed efforts involving the Legion of Super-Heroes, Cadmus, and a visit to the Fortress, it is an encounter with the New Gods that restores Superman to his old self. In the meantime, Lex Luthor, restored to celebrity status for his aid during the Final Night, voluntarily turns himself in to the authorities. Five of Superman's old foes Maxima, Barrage, Anomaly, Misa, and Riot form a Superman Revenge Squad and come after him. They do not present much of a challenge to Big Blue. After a long absence, Intergang finally makes a return, filled mostly with the clones of long dead members. After a menace from Know Man and an invasion by the White Martians, Superman is one of the seven new charter members of the new JLA. See the Justice League entry for more information of his adventures with the new team.
Superman Red and Blue
Something odd strikes Superman as his powers begin to fluctuate. A trip to Kandor only seemed to make things worse. Superman found himself as pure energy, needing a containment suit from Dr. Emil Hamilton (the material of which was mysteriously donated by LexCorp). Superman's new form was a blue and white energy being who could still fly (faster than ever) but who possessed far different abilities than those traditionally associated with the Man of Steel. Furthermore, when he changed back into Clark Kent, he was rendered powerless. Superman worked with his new powers and continued to be a hero. He found that he was considerably faster, intangible, and able to interact with computers in this energy form. However, he found that he was weaker to energy disruption, and needed to use his powers creatively to replace the super-strength he formerly had. Superman is able to make the most of his powers and stop a rampaging Metallo with a little help from Scorn, who recently arrived in Metropolis from Kandor. At this time, Perry White returns to the Daily Planet, his cancer now in remission. He resumes his old job, and Clark is relegated back to being a reporter. Superman and the Atom have to return to Kandor and save it from Tolos again. While they are gone, Ceritak (aka Scorn) dons Superman's classic costume and tries his luck as a superhero. He also befriends Ashbury Armstrong, the daughter of Daily Planet reporter Dirk Armstrong, who has been growing increasingly skeptical about Superman since his new form. Scorn teams up with Superman when he returns to battle Saviour, who almost gets the best of Superman because of Jimmy Olsen's newscasts (which prompt Bibbo to punch out Jimmy). With Lex Luthor's trial approaching, Superman is appealed to turn in the Kryptonite ring Luthor used to have (which Superman has entrusted to Batman). Batman reluctantly turns over the ring to Superman (and in the process, Superman learns that he is not vulnerable to Kryptonite in his new form) and Superman allows the ring to be tested by Luthor's defense attorneys. Luthor switches the real ring for a fake and returns the fake to Superman (who gives it back to Batman). Morgan Edge creates a new Superman Revenge Squad, one consisting of Rock, Barrage, Parasite, and Baud and sets them on Superman. Jimmy Olsen, meanwhile, thinks he's figured out Superman's secret identity and plans to announce it on television. Jimmy ends up chickening out, however, and falsely announces that Superman does not have a secret identity at all, which causes him to be fired from GBS (and Intergang to decide to come after him). Lex Luthor's trial begins: Luthor's defense is that he was really Lex Luthor I, totally innocent and in hiding for over a year, and that Lex Luthor II had been an evil clone created by his assistant. When a mad clone appears (specially created for the occasion), the judge has no choice but to dismiss the case. The Genesis Crisis then strikes, rendering superheroes across the globe powerless. Superman joins the world's heroes and the New Gods in a desperate battle against Darkseid and Ares that takes them to the Source Wall and beyond. While Superman was at the Source Wall, he encountered the Cyborg Superman, who unbeknownst to Superman, piggybacked in Superman's containment suit back to Earth. Back on Earth, Superman accidentally releases the Millennium Guards, three ancient, powerful beings who identify Superman as dangerous blight on Earth and attempt to eradicate him. While Superman battles the likes of the Ripper, Lex Luthor resumes his place at the top of the world he organizes the assassination of Mayor Berkowitz even as his daugher, Lena Luthor, is born to the Contessa. Luthor then has the Contessa drugged and kidnapped, not wanting to share his daughter even with her mother. The Cyborg Superman and the Toyman join forces in an attempt to destroy Superman's energy form, but instead Superman is split into the aggressive Superman Red and the calmer Superman Blue. The Millennium Guard reawaken, and discovering that Superman is not only still alive but now there are two of them, band together and summon the Millennium Giants, causing the crossover Behold! The Millennium Giants!. Superman Blue and Superman Red are not capable of handling the colossal giants on their own.The Giants begin to march over the world, causing havoc and destruction, obliterating the city of Thiena Na Oge and most of the nation of Markovia in their path. The JLA rallies to take up the fight, and the two Supermen are finally able to destroy the giants but the cost may be the earth itself! The two Supermen engage in one last, desperate gamble to save the Earth from total destruction even if it means losing their lives in the process. Fortunately, not only is the Earth saved, but Superman is restored to his old form and powers (and into a singular being once again) much to the happiness of everyone (especially Lois). He has to get right back into the thick of things, first by saving a passenger jet from crashing, then by working with the SCU to rescue a kidnapped Lena Luthor which features a brief appearance by a new Bizarro. Superman saves the baby and returns her to Lex. Superman had another rematch with Doomsday about this time. After a battle with Superman had ruined his body, Brainiac managed to retrieve Doomsday and download his mind into the brute's body. With his new power, he easily took down the Justice League this time consisting of Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, The Flash, Plastic Man, Orion, and Huntress all while Superman was distracted in Smallville. Superman had gone there because Lana Lang had given birth prematurely and needed Superman to fly the baby to the east coast. En route, Superman was attacked by Brainiac/Doomsday and the baby was kidnapped. Brainiac, who was being rejected from Doomsday's body, hoped to use the baby to grow a clone of Doomsday. Fortunately, Superman was able to stop this plan, save the baby, and eject Brainiac from Doomsday. While Brainiac was forced into a new robotic body, Brainiac 2.5, Doomsday was taken to the moon and trapped in four transport tubes on the moon, never more than 25% integrated in any one tube.
Alternate Realities and King of The World
A new, powerful villain named Dominus next emerges on the scene. Dominus has powerful reality alterating abilities and forces Superman to live through alternate realities (in four different time periods) as part of a plan to track down and capture Kismet. Three of the four time periods were homages to previous Superman eras: Superman: Man of Steel #80-83 focussed on the WWII era, with a lower powered Superman battling the Nazis; Adventures of Superman #558-560 was set in the Silver Age, with all its campiness; Action Comics #745-747 was set in the late 1970's; while Superman #136-137 was set in the distant future. Superman learns that he and Kismet have more of a history than he thought, and after a long series of struggles through time itself, Kismet is kept safe from Dominus and Superman returns to the proper reality. This adventure coincided with Superman's 60th anniversary.
Hard times had fallen on the Daily Planet, and the owners reluctantly sell the great newspaper to Lex Luthor who promptly closes the doors of the great old paper, firing nearly everyone. The employees gather together to toast the Planet as the building is closed down. After the globe on top of the Planet is taken down, Superman has to go back into Kandor with Scorn.He meets Ceritak's father and sister, but his powers begin to fade without access to a yellow sun. He is even framed for the murder of Cerimul, Ceritak's father. He soon learns that the Cyborg Superman is there and is attempting to usurp control of the city. Superman manages to defeat him again, banishing him into the dimensional portal around the city. Luthor opens a new media business, called LexCom, in Hypersector. Lois is given a job there (although she hates it), but Clark is not. Out of work, Clark decides to resume his book writing career. He flies around to get some ideas, only to discover to his horror that his nightmare about a nuclear disaster has come true in Markovia. Convinced he is having prophetic dreams (and that the disasters being foreseen were getting worse), Superman's behavior begins to get increasingly erratic. He stays on patrol nearly constantly. Lois, the Kents, Superboy, Supergirl, Steel... all try talking to him, but no one can get through. As he steps things up, he decides to bring Superboy to the Fortress of Solitude and share with him some of Krypton's history. Afterwards, he offers the Kid the Kryptonian name of a distant relative of his, "Kon-El," saying he feels like they are family. Superboy gratefully accepts. His increased duties allow him to help Aquaman defeat Shrapnel, check in on the new Titans that was starting up, and help Flash and Robin stop a series of bombs in Central City. He also learns that Supergirl (Matrix) has bonded with Linda Danvers after visiting her in Leesburg. Superman decides to take up a patrol of the Earth 24/7, essentially abandoning his life as Clark Kent and taking up residence in the Fortress of Solitude, building monitors that allow him to watch over the whole globe. Deciding this is not enough, he then proceeds to build an army of Superman Robots to help him keep peace and order. Believing that Lex Luthor is creating synthetic Kryptonite, Superman slices the LexCorp Tower in half, casting the top half into outer space. The SCU tries to arrest him, but he will not allow them to do so, prompting the JLA to agree that he has crossed the line and must be stopped. The JLA are unable to defeat his army or breach through the defenses of his new and improved Fortress of Solitude. During the battle, the truth of his recent behavior is made clear he has been manipulated by Dominus all along! While the U.N. declares war on Superman, Lois Lane manages to enter the Fortress and free Superman from the spell Dominus has on him. Dominus quickly regains control, and while a horde of Superman Robots attack the U.N. Building, Luthor causes the orbiting half of his old tower (laced with the synthetic Kryptonite) to come crashing down on the Fortress, shattering its defenses and reducing it to ruins. Dominus soon emerges, disguised as Superman, and convinces the world that he is the real thing and that they must band together with him to locate Dominus, all as part of a ruse to track down Kismet. Luckily, the real Superman manages to win the day, banishing the supervillain to the Phantom Zone once and for all. Superman is back to normal all but one of the Superman Robots have been destroyed, but the world is still uneasy. Many people no longer trust him, some questioning if he is indeed the real Superman while others fearing that he may lose control again. Superman realizes that he will have to win back people's trust one day at a time. An alien named Cognito captures Superman, taking him into space and running simulations of what might have happened had Kal-El's rocket ship landed on Oa, Rann, or Thanagar and he had become the respective champions of those worlds instead of Earth. The JLA rescues Superman, and they learn that Cognito needed help on his homeworld, but did not think Superman would agree to do it. Naturally, Superman decides to help them anyway before returning to Earth. A woman named Strange Visitor next turns up in Metropolis, an energy being similar to Superman Blue (who even wears the same costume he did while in that state). Superman is dumbfounded as to who this being is, not suspecting her true origins are intimately connected with his own. Shortly before Day of Judgment, where Superman had to help save the Earth from a possessed Spectre, Brainiac 2.5 returns to Earth, planning on destroying the planet, but Superman saves the day and firmly regains the trust of the world in doing so. When the rogue angel Asmodel seizes the Spectre Force and literally freezes Hell over, unleashing a horde of demons onto the Earth, Superman flies to New York City to help in the stand against the demons. He leads a team of heroes into Hell to reignite the fires. While in Hell, Superman's soul was seized by the demon Neron, who inhabited his body in his own attempt to merge with the Spectre Force. Superman's soul was tormented, along with the soul of Lois, who was being held by the Silver Banshee. Their indestructible bond helped them survive and overcome Hell itself. Escaping Hell, Superman's soul forced Neron out of his body, and the soul of Hal Jordan became the new Spectre instead of Neron.
A New Direction for The New Millennium
The new direction began with a return of the Daily Planet. Lex Luthor sold the planet to Bruce Wayne for $1, but did not publicly disclose the reason for doing so. The real reason was that Lois Lane made a deal with him, promising to bury one story no matter what it was in exchange for him allowing the Planet to return. Lois kept this secret even from Clark. Everyone is hired back: Jimmy came back on as a photographer, Lois had her city beat back, and Clark was assigned as a foreign correspondent. That same day, Mongul Jr. arrives on Earth, seeking help from Superman to deal with a threat facing the entire galaxy the threat of Imperiex. Superman begins special training with Mongul while Jimmy discovers a photograph of Superman wearing a wedding band. Superman confides in Jimmy that he is actually married (though he does not say to whom) before going off into space with Mongul to battle Imperiex near Jupiter. The two succeed in destroying the construct Imperiex was building to destroy the Sol system. Predictably, Mongul then turns on Superman, but he had expected this and had a contingency in place. Superman turns Mongul over to Lobo before flying home to Lois but unknown to him, the being defeated was not the true Imperiex, but merely one of his thousands of drones. As Clark Kent begins his job as a foreign correspondent, a beautiful new villain named La Encantadora leads Superman on an around the world chase as she sells fake Kryptonite to villains all over the globe. Superman manages to capture her, but not before she delivers a kiss that is more than a simple sign of affection. La Encantadora escapes and encounters Superman again in Metropolis on Christmas Eve when the Demon, Etrigan steals her power. After Superman helps her, she expresses regret over their last encounter before escaping again. Superman and Wonder Woman are transported to an alternate dimension, forced to fight in a battle with the Norse gods against an army of demons for one thousand years. Even after a thousand years, when they were facing certain death and had no idea if they would ever get home, Superman remained faithful to Lois (fortunately, after the war was won, Superman was transported to the same day he left). Despite being estranged from his Kryptonian heritage, Superman cannot seem to escape its legacy. The Fortress still lay in ruins, but some of the alien technology was causing strange effect in the Antarctic. The last surviving Superman Robot alerts Superman to the disturbances, and Superman is able to contain the situation, but not solve it. While there, Lois recovers a Kryptonian artifact that secretly housed a smaller "copy" of the Eradicator software. The program activates in their apartment, recreating a form of Kem-L who attacks Superman. Fortunately, Lois is able to help him destroy the artifact, and the program with it. The Eradicator's original programming is not completely dead, however, and attempts to reassert control of the actual Eradicator body (still housing the mind of David Conner). Conner actually loses control briefly and attacks Superman in Metropolis, but is able to regain control. On New Year's Eve 1999, Lex Luthor plans a spectacular party in Metropolis to usher in the New Year. Clark, Lois, and the Kents all attend. Unfortunately, Y2K actually occurs all because of the arrival of Brainiac 2.5, who unleashes a computer virus that cripples the world's computers, leading all the world's heroes to desperately try to keep the peace as a worldwide blackout ensues. Superman and Green Lantern have to go into orbit to stop thousands of nuclear missiles launched when the blackout hits. Brainiac is nearly destroyed when a future version of himself arrives, Brainiac 13. Brainiac 13 begins to upgrade the entire world into a distant futuristic version of itself while Brainiac 2.5 survives by placing his consciousness into Lena Luthor. Superman is joined by the Metal Men in fighting Metallo before starting a desperate struggle with Brainiac 13. The Eradicator arrives to help Superman, warning him that if the virus reaches the Fortress of Solitude, the remnants of the Eradicator's programming may be able to utilize it. Flying to the South Pole, Superman and the Eradicator encounter a monstrous, alternate version of the Eradicator program using the ruins of Superman's Fortress as a body. The Eradicator (David Conner) merges with the other and flies off into space. Superman realizes Kryptonian technology is the key to defeating B-13. Superman is only able to stop B13 by utilizing a Kryptonian battlesuit--however, while his plan had been to trap B13 in the suit, Lex Luthor made a deal with the supervillain to hand over his daughter (still housing Brainiac 2.5's essence), allowing B13 to escape into space, in exchange for keeping Metropolis upgraded as the very real City of Tomorrow. Only Superman is aware of what happens, and angrily confronts Luthor, but Lex merely brushes him off. Superman vows to find Lena and rescue her and to make Luthor pay. After the crisis, Superman works with Steel to build a brand new Fortress of Solitude, this one inside a tesserect, a pocket dimension. Superman spends some time in Smallville with his folks, trying to hide the fact that Lois has been acting very cold lately. No matter what he does, Lois continues to grow distant and even hostile towards him. Even a vacation to an alien planet where the depth of his love for her is manifested does not help the situation. A confrontation at home causes Lois to attack him knocking him clear out of a window. Superman realizes then that it is not the real Lois. A running battle reveals that it is actually the Parasite, whose powers have been altered. He touched Lois during Y2K, finding out the truth, and had been disguised as her ever since. He had to keep her alive in order to keep up the disguise, however. During the battle, Parasite collapses, having contracted through Superman whatever malady had recently been affecting Big Blue. He dies before he can reveal where Lois is located. Superman, who had in fact been ill since just after Y2K, begins to grow steadily worse. He had barely been able to fight when the Joker dropped by trying to kill Lex Luthor. As he literally begins to glow green from his illness, Superman turns to Batman to track down his missing wife. Batman is successful, but the weakened Superman collapses just as they find her trapped in a cave. Superman is dying of a kind of Kryptonite-based cancer. The Atom shrinks Steel, Superboy, and Supergirl down and they enter Superman's body to try to remove the tumor. Unfortunately, "Steel" turns out to be the Prankster in disguise, but the real John Henry arrives and is able to unmask the fraud. La Encantadora reveals she was paid to infect Superman with the virus, which she administered through her kiss during their first encounter. She will not say who paid her, however. Deathstroke has been hired to eliminate her before she could reveal this, but he is unsuccessful (although he nearly kills Lois while he's at it). The operation is successful and Superman is revived and restored to health. Superman decides to take a trip around the solar system with Green Lantern to ensure that he's back up to full health--near Pluto, they discover Maxima and her people meeting up with Grayven, all of whom are fleeing the coming of Imperiex. Mister Mxyzptlk makes his return shortly thereafter, causing his greatest disaster ever when he decides to visit the Joker at the Slab and is tricked into giving Joker 99.9% of his power. The Joker uses the awesome power of Mxy to remake the entire universe in his own twisted image. Superman tries to rally the JLA and his other allies in a desperate struggle against the Joker, who is committed to first torturing all of creation and then hoping to destroy it. He brutally kills Superman's friends and loved ones before his eyes. A surreal battle ensues before Superman manages to discover the "rule" that lets him defeat the Joker the Joker cannot exist without Batman. Everything is put back as it was, with no one really remembering what had happened (save for Superman). Batman (who had been horribly tortured by Joker over and over) still remembers every minute of it at first, but Superman asks the Spectre to transfer the memories... into the Joker. Clark Kent manages to attend the wedding of Lucy Lane and Ron Troupe. Lucy gives birth to their baby shortly thereafter, with Lois at her side. Superman, unfortunately, gets drawn into an encounter with Lord Satanus, who is trying to steal the soul of Metropolis itself. Thorn and Rampage join with Superman to fight Satanus and rescue the soul of a boy named Cary. They are aided by a mysterious figure named Night Owl. Superman offers himself as a sacrifice, and Satanus takes him into Hell. This proves to be a trick, however, as Satanus corrupts the "soul" of the city, making all the citizens hostile and bitter towards one another. Satanus uses Cary to control the Adversary, tormenting Superman's soul. When Cary turns on Satanus and Superman realizes what has happened, they both manage to break out of Hell, returning to Metropolis and restoring it to normal.
Lex Luthor, regarded as a national hero for his perceived role in the Final Night, Y2K and No Man's Land was elected President of the United States, with Pete Ross as his Vice President. Superman was very upset over the news. Batman confronted the President-elect and demanded the return of the Kryptonite ring, but Luthor called his bluff and did not turn it over. Lana vowed to keep Superman's secret no matter what, and Batman promised Superman that Luthor would be taken down in due time. Superman brooded over the turn of events all the way through the end of the year, although by Christmas Lois and he tried to make the best of the situation. After giving gifts to the members of the JLA, Clark and Lois decided to take a few days off to visit Kandor, just the two of them.Superman, still angry with Batman over the events of Tower of Babel (see JLA), did not seek his aid when Talia Head arrived in Metropolis. Talia was estranged from her father, Ra's al Ghul, who was weak and sickly beyond any help from the Lazarus Pits. Ra's had kidnapped La Encantadora's younger brother to force her to use her powers. Ra's al Ghul was planning on ascending to godhood by merging with an aspect of Gaia, but she rejected him. Superman was offered godhood, but easily rejected it. Superman encounters a rocket ship in the field near his parents' house. The rocket contains a message from Jor-El a bizarre message that presents a totally different history of Krypton (one much closer to the Silver Age version), with Jor-El explaining that he made up the harsh, brutal history because he wanted his son to fully embrace his new world. Superman has trouble reconciling this with everything he knows of Krypton, but Dr. Hamilton tells him that it may be possible to travel through the Phantom Zone back in time to Krypton and find out. Lois decides to accompany Superman on this adventure. Meanwhile, President Luthor names most of his new team: Lois's father, Sam Lane, is appointed Secretary of Defense; Black Lightning is named Secretary of Education; Cat Grant is appointed Press Secretary; and Amanda Waller is appointed Secretary of Meta-Human affairs. Superman encounters a very different Krypton than the one he ever imagined, but gets along wonderfully with his parents and their pet, Krypto, until all is wrecked by the fanatical General Zod. Superman and Lois flee back to Earth, accompanied by Krypto, who develops superpowers under Earth's sun. Krypto proves a little too much for life in Metropolis, however, and after a fight with Mongul where he almost kills the alien villain, Superman decides to take the dog to the Fortress and have a Super-Robot look after him. Superman encounters an ultra violent team of "heroes" called the Elite, led by Manchester Black, who believe that the best way to stop the bad guys is to terminate them. Superman, vastly underpowered compared to their team, forces a confrontation on one of Jupiter's moons where he is able to defeat them without killing anyone, proving his way is the better way. Black is taken into custody but swears he'll have vengeance. A creature called Kancer goes on a killing spree, revealing itself to have been grown from the Kryptonite tumor extracted from Superman's body. Superman's investigation points to a figure in Pokolistan as being responsible for having La Encantadora poison him and then creating Kancer, so Superman and some allies head there for some answers. During a pitched battle with Kancer, Faora, and Ignition, Superman is sucker punched by a being known as the "General" he is hit so hard that his jaw is actually broken.
Our Worlds at War
All signs point to an impending war: a distraught Eradicator returns to Earth ranting of a coming disaster (and is subdued when Superman fills his head with visions of the "other" Krypton); an alien armada shows up at Earth, preparing to make their last stand against Imperiex. Apokolips itself warps into earth space. President Luthor orders Superman not to attack Darkseid, claiming that they are working together to save the universe. Superman flies off, back to Pokolistan, for a chat with the General. A fight occurs between the two, during which the General identifies himself as Zod. Superman, having flashbacks to his time in the Pocket Universe, refuses to believe that this can be Zod. Their fight is cut short when a massive energy beam levels Topeka, Kansas. Superman discovers an Imperiex probe in Kansas and manages to destroy it... but finds his childhood home destroyed and his parents missing. The JLA alert him that he is needed in orbit and he takes off. The Justice League rallies in space, but are taken down one by one by the onslaught of Imperiex probes. Superman watches several of his friends fall and also witnesses the apparent destruction of Atlantis. As a desperate battle is joined (where every team from the JSA to Young Justice takes up the fight) Superman travels to the Watchtower where he learns that Luthor sent Steel and the Suicide Squad to revive Doomsday. They were successful, although Doomsday trashed the team and seemingly killed Steel. After finding the ruins of the Watchtower and convincing Black Racer to spare John Henry, Superman then fights side by side with Doomsday, each destroying dozens of probes before the real Imperiex Prime arrives. With battles raging across the Earth, Superman witnesses what he thinks is Wonder Woman falling to the deadly onslaught. Going to her side, he is unavailable to fight off one of the probes at the White House, which results in the death of Sam Lane. Wonder Woman did not die, but rather it was her mother, Hippolyta, who was struck down after donning Diana's armor. Luthor and the Allies come up with one desperate plan: to merge a specially prepared Strange Visitor with Superman and assault Imperiex Prime himself. The plan is successful Imperiex is seemingly destroyed (although Strange Visitor sacrifices herself in the effort), but just then Warworld under the command of Brainiac 13 arrives and absorbs the energy of Imperiex. He then causes LexCorp tower to fire on Apokolips, causing Darkseid to believe that Earth has betrayed him. He orders an invasion of his own. Superman, distraught over all the death and destruction, flies into the sun, becoming super-charged. He attacks Warworld itself, and learns that Imperiex is still alive, his energy being contained in Warworld and if it is released, the universe will be destroyed. Superman formulates a plan: using Darkseid, Wonder Woman, Tempest, Steel, and others, the Allies are able to boom tube Warworld to the beginning of time. The war is won, but at a high price with so many missing or dead, and so much destruction all over the world. (See Our Worlds At War! for more details about the conflict). Superman adopts a modified costume, one with a black background on his S-shield (instead of a yellow one) and a black S on the cape. Thankfully, his parents turn up alive and well, first his mother and then his father, although his father seemed to be suffering some memory lapses. Superman is put through a trial for his part in the Imperiex War a trial with the Quintessence as the judges, the Linear Men prosecuting, and Hal Jordan representing Superman. The Linear Men say that Superman is too disruptive having upset the intended "rebirth" of the universe, time will now progress completely unpredictably. The judges declare that is how it should be, that the true age of mortals has begun, and dismiss Superman from the hearing over the Linear Men's strongest objections. The world slowly begins to rebuild, with Superman taking a minor role, though the rebuilding is soon interrupted by the Joker's Last Laugh, an even bigger crossover that ran through virtually every DC title for December 2001. Among other threats, Superman would have to battle "Jokerized" versions of the Eradicator, Green Lantern, and Doomsday, the latter of which had now evolved to sentience. Superman defeated Doomsday again, this time on the grounds of the White House, telling the self-aware monster that he would never again be afraid of him.
Never Ending Battle
On the advice of the Martian Manhunter, Superman begins to have some therapy sessions with Dr. Claire Foster. The new Zod is weighing heavily on his mind, and he is concerned about his parents and Lois. Zod is weighing heavily on his mind. Superman is afraid of him not just his power, but he is afraid of Zod's cunning. When Clark Kent is assigned to Pokolistan, he is afraid to go. He is afraid that Zod will recognize him and then Lois and his parents will be in danger. Nevertheless, when he finds Zod using Bizarro Superman as his punching bag, he is forced to intervene. Superman helps his parents open up a new general store in downtown Smallville. Meanwhile, President Luthor deduces that Clark Kent is Superman. Bizarro nearly exposes the truth as well, when Manchester Black uses his powers to temporarily switch the minds of Superman and Bizarro into the other's bodies. J'onn J'onnz learns that this Bizarro, like Gorgeous Gilly and Scorch, was saved by Mxyzptlk from the Joker universe. J'onn also learns that Ignition also survived the trip, although he was apparently not created by Emperor Joker, and Bizarro has been used by Zod these past months to prepare for a fight against Superman. After Bizarro and Superman are switched back, Bizarro hints that Zod may look like Superman himself. Luthor is not the only one to learn his identity the creature Kancer does as well, but thankfully he sacrifices himself before he can alert General Zod as to what he knows. During this adventure, Superman learns that Guy Gardner was not killed in the war as was previously thought, and manages to rescue him from some trouble. Lois Lane uncovers proof that Luthor knew about the impending Imperiex invasion long before anyone else (which means he could have called for evacuations and saved more lives) but Luthor, per their deal, orders her to bury the story. Instead, Lois gives the story to Clark and he writes it. Luthor denies the allegations, and a mind scan by Martian Manhunter seems to prove his innocence. Clark is apparently fired over the incident, but secretly Perry keeps him on staff in order to secretly investigate Luthor.
Superman is approached by a pantheon of ancient gods who want Superman to bolster their ranks. Not surprisingly, Superman refuses, but on the other side of Metropolis, Lois is transformed into a goddess by the same group, hoping this will convince Superman to join. Lois is tempted to use her new power to raise her dad from the dead, but a heartfelt talk with Wonder Woman helps her decide against it and surrender her power. Superman defeats the evil gods with some help from Zeus, who demands Superman never bring up the name Rao (a Kryptonian god) in his presence. A strange baby with super powers is born in Metropolis. Superman, upon getting ahold of the baby, takes him to the Fortress of Solitude for some testing. Unfortunately, he is attacked there by Ultraman, Superwoman, and Owlman, who have come to destroy the baby. During the fight, it quickly becomes apparent (mostly when the baby speaks) that he is the new host for Brainiac. While Superman and Kelex fight the others, Brainiac manages to take control of the Fortress itself. He brings the entire Fortress to the skies of Metropolis and begins expanding it to huge proportions, threatening the world itself. Owlman manages to trick Brainiac into fleeing to the Phantom Zone, however, and Superwoman goes after and smothers the baby, stopping Brainiac. The three villains return to their own time and Superman returns the Fortress to its proper place. Superman also makes a return trip to "Krypton" via the Phantom Zone, only know he learns the truth it is merely an illusion created by Brainiac 13 intended to trap Superman there. Nevertheless, Superman felt a real connection with his father and mother in a way that he really hadn't before. The phantom Krypton had been based on a historical era that Jor-El had admired. Superman felt better about Krypton as a whole, too, as he had previously been feeling more estranged from it than ever. Also, Krypto was still present on the Earth.
When Green Arrow returns to life, Superman meets him on the Watchtower with the rest of the JLA. Afterwards, Ollie has Clark meet him at a secluded spot in the wilderness where his grave had been. Clark tells Ollie that Perry White managed to buy all the photos someone managed to take of Ollie's funeral. He hands them over to Queen, who can account for everyone in the pictures except one face. Superman does not know who it is either, and he parts with Ollie to help with an earthquake. After a disastrous stint as the super of Calvin Gardens in Metropolis leaves Superboy homeless, Superman offers to let his "cousin" stay with the Kents in Smallville for a time. Manchester Black then returns, orchestrating an event known as Ending Battle. Using his vast mind powers, Black manages to control/convince an entire legion of super-villains to attack Superman starting with everyone he cares about. Before it's over, Superman has to engage virtually every enemy he has, all while desperately trying to save all his friends and family. Superman has Lois rally most of his friends and family at Steelworks, but she herself slips out and is cornered by Black at their apartment. Superman also learns that Lex Luthor knows his secret identity. In the end, Black makes Superman think that Lois has been murdered in an attempt to force Superman to kill Black (and thereby prove Superman is no better than he is). Black fails, however, for even in his grief, Superman refuses to kill him (although he is seriously tempted). Black's ruse is then up, revealing Lois is alive. Before Black kills himself, he removes the knowledge that Clark Kent is Superman from Luthor's mind and files. Superman restores his original, red-and-yellow S-shield. While Clark's investigation of Luthor begins to border on obsession, Steel dons the Entropy Aegis from Our Worlds at War! and disappears. Recruiting a team of all Kryptonian heroes (including the pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El, who has arrived from the past for a brief visit, Superman leads an assault on Apokolips. He challenges Darkseid to a one-on-one battle for the life of John Henry Irons. While they fight, the rest of the team battle Darkseid's forces on Apokolips. Doomsday, handed over to Darkseid after the events of Last Laugh, joins the fray as well, but he is stopped by Steel. Superman defeats Darkseid and everyone returns home alive and well.
War with Zod and The Battle for The Future
Clark Kent has an interview with a famous novelist, Ben Conrad. Somehow, a character from Conrad's stories (a nod to the Golden Age Superman) has come to life and is running amok. Conrad erases the character by deleting his story... but he has another manuscript entitled The Hollow Men. Shortly thereafter, Batman alerted Superman to an old government experiment that had apparently been running for the past fifty years in Columbus, Ohio. Superman found a tesserect and inside, Heroville, a community of all super beings that had been developed in the wake of WWII. When the JSA resigned, however, the director of the project, Christopher Camel, destroyed all records of its existence and hid the project. For the next half century, it remained hidden. While Superman was investigating, someone was attacking several heroes (the Ray, the Elongated Man, etc.) leaving them as still as statues and black and white. When Superman returned and discovered them this way, he traced the problem back to Heroville. In the mere hours he had been gone, someone had attacked the village too. The culprits were a trio of colorless men in suits who surrounded a victim and reduced them to their vegetative state. Camel saved Superman from suffering the same fate as Ray and Ralph. Superman realized that the three were characters from Conrad's book--they were the Hollow Men, dedicated to preserving the perfect 50's era exactly as it was, and in the story, they succeeded! Superman sent one of the children to Conrad to alert him of what was happening, and Conrad wrote a new ending where the the Hollow Men destroyed themselves, realizing they had outlived their usefulness.
The final conflict with General Zod finally occurs. After meta-humans begin to pop up all over the country, General Zod approaches in a feigned gesture of peace, implicating a foreign nation as responsible. He reveals himself at last he looks just like Superman. He announces a plot to change the sun from yellow to red a plot that seemingly succeeds, which of course he is really responsible for, as his suit really transfered yellow sunlight to red and made him as strong as Superman. With the sun red, he no longer requires the suit, and after taking down a depowered Superman, he masquerades as Big Blue and seizes control of a secret U.S. facility, forcing President Luthor to flee. As most of the Justice League and other heroes are rounded up (as Zod's plan also involved a way of inhibiting the powers of most of Earth's heroes), Superman and Luthor join together with an army of villains from the orbiting prison facility. Luthor makes it clear to Superman that he blames Big Blue for his recent mind wipe and that it served to only reaffirm his hatred for the Man of Steel. While Superman takes on Zod, Luthor manages to work with Metallo and return the sun to its proper color. Zod tries to get Superman to kill him, but Superman refuses. As the sun turns yellow, restoring Superman to full power, Zod charges full on. His powers fade as he connects, so he is fatally injured and dies shortly thereafter. The day is won, but with his dying breath, Zod is unrepentant, mocking Superman about how they share the same face. A new Supergirl named Cir-El, who claims to be the daughter of Superman and Lois from the future, arrives and helps Superman battle a nuclear powered villain called Radion. She claims to have been sent back in time by a group called the Futuresmiths. Lois is already feeling conflicted over the possibility of Cir-El being her daughter, but she is angry when she learns that Clark has secretly been working with Perry for months to try to bring down Luthor. Superman breaks into LexCorp, where he finds Hope, a prisoner (and having been badly tortured) and rescues her. Perry openly hired him back, just as Lois announces she is quitting to work for Channel 3 News.
Superman is nearly killed by Gaki, now Byakko a vengeful wraith-like being who stabs Superman in the chest. Barely conscious, he escapes and encounters Girl 13, who takes him to Lana Lang's new apartment in Metropolis. Girl 13 is under the impression Lana is Superman's girlfriend. They are quickly joined by Natasha Irons, controlling a giant robotic body (a la the "new" Steel, although it can change sizes), and Cir-El. Byakko and her gang of ninjas attack the group, but Girl 13 and Natasha are able to briefly hold them at bay. Byakko wants revenge against Superman for the death of her husband, Gunshin, who was murdered by Kojiro. The girls get Superman to the Fortress of Solitude, but Byakko follows them there. She maintains the upper hand until she stumbles across a room in the Fortress where thousands of letters sent to Superman are kept--many loving him, many hating him. She leaves voluntarily. Superman is completely healed and thanks the girls for their help. Cir-El turns out to be a ploy of the Futuresmiths. They also infect Superman with a Kryptonian virus which nearly kills him. Cured of the virus, he must take the fight into the future, which involves a battle with Brainiac 12 (the precursor to Brainiac 13) and the Futuresmiths), resulting in Metropolis being restored to its former, present day condition. Also, when Superman returns through the time stream, he ends up in a different timeline, one based on Superman: Birthright.
Godfall and Hidden Enemies
Superman befriends a priest named Daniel and explains a story of his own pride. One day, after being called out into space to help Green Lantern, Superman returns to find one million people missing from Earth including Lois. Superman refers to this event as the "Vanishing" and says that it originated in the Middle East. Flying there, Superman found a city in the midst of a civil war. A man named General Nox and his henchman, Equus, are responsible for the civil war. Superman battles Equus and discovers the machine responsible for the Vanishing. Equus activates the machine, and along with himself, General Nox and another three thousand people disappear. A man claiming to work for the government, Mr. Orr, demands that Superman turn over the device, but refuses. After a short chat with the Justice League, Superman heads back to Metropolis to fight off a giant water based monster. The water monster is soon joined by three others (each based upon an element) and attempt to get Superman to leave the planet. After bluffing that he will destroy the planet if they carry through their threat to wipe out all human life, the elementals disband. Superman takes Fr. Daniel to the Fortress of Solitude, even as Wonder Woman heads there to stop Superman. Wonder Woman seeks to prevent Superman from activating the Vanishing machine, thinking it will be the equivalent of suicide. As Fr. Daniel is taken back by Orr and treated for cancer, Superman activates the machine and disappears. Superman realizes that the Vanishing was caused by a device he originally created should anything ever happen to Earth it created a "perfect" city inside a pocket of the Phantom Zone and would teleport some people there (including Lois). Superman finds Lois and the others living in a city there but the city is under siege by Equus and his new master, an all new General Zod. Zod had managed to activate the device to draw Superman there. After a battle with Zod involving Fr. Daniel (who has been turned into a Borg thanks to Orr), Superman manages to return everyone lost in the Vanishing back to Earth. Superman builds a new Fortress of Solitude in the Amazon Jungle.
Clark resumed his job at the Daily Planet but had suffered a demotion. Jack Ryder was his replacement. Clark was angry at Lois, for she had known about it beforehand and did not tell him. Trouble was brewing for Superman, however. Darkseid dropped by Metropolis, announcing that Doomsday had escaped his custody and was presumably back on Earth. Over in Smallville, Gog shows up and attacks Superboy and some of his friends, hoping to draw Superman's attention. It worked, and Superman showed up to battle Gog (and seemingly did not recognize him). After a massive brawl, Gog manages to inject Superman with some liquid Kryptonite, nearly killing him. Superboy manages to take him to STAR Labs for treatment. When word of his injuries gets out, STAR is attacked by several villains, causing Wonder Woman, Superboy, and other heroes to defend the injured Superman. Superman is cured but still weak, so he is promptly injured again by Weapons Master. He and his allies manage to turn the tide, however, before he collapses again from his injuries. Lana helped him as he slowly recovered (Lois being overseas at this time) and she told him she was divorcing Pete because she had settled for him and that Lois settled for Clark, but really loved Superman. Clark is visiting his parents in Smallville when he learns Sue Dibny, wife of the Elongated Man, has been murdered. Superman attends her funeral in Central City before getting to work at helping tracking down her killer. Like most of the other superheroes, he is shaken at the murder. Sue was killed in her home, a place covered with Justice League-certified alarm systems. When one group goes after Doctor Light and is taken down by him and Deathstroke, Superman arrives afterwards, wondering what prompted the team to go after Light in the first place (though they do not disclose everything they know). When the Atom's wife, Jean Loring, is nearly hanged, Superman is the first on the scene and identifies the knot used, though it ends up being a red herring. After the attack on Loring, someone sends a note to Lois hinting she will be next (and that the killer knows who her husband is). No attack comes, however, as it was merely a ruse while Jack Drake ends up being the real next victim. Superman's role in tracking down the killer is minor, though he does assist in bringing down Deadshot and some other thugs. See Identity Crisis for more details on this event.
Fractures and Ruin
Per his demotion, Clark is assigned to "the Shack," working a graveyard shift covering the Special Crimes Unit. He meets the new S.C.U. team leader, Lupe, who makes it clear that she thinks of Superman as one of her deputies. On his first night out Superman has to turn up and battle Replikon, who does not seem totally in control of himself, and once defeated, Replikon self-destructs. Meanwhile, Lois gets herself assigned to cover a U.S. led invasion of Umec. She and Clark spend a last night together before she goes overseas (and before she goes, she asks Wonder Woman to check on Clark if she ends up being gone too long). With the help of Green Lantern, Superman investigates Replikon and finds one of his children murdered and another missing. The child turns up as a new Replikon, being controlled by an unknown party, and although Superman manages to defeat him, Replikon's weapons are shown to interfere with Superman's powers. Going over to Lupe's house to discuss the situation, the lieutenant unabashedly tries to hit on him. Replikon then turns up with the villain manipulating him, Ruin, as they take hostages and force a confrontation with Superman. During the battle, Clark is teleported to the 5th dimension by Mister Mxyzptlk, who warns him about an impending doom and that he should be sure to look after Lois. Mxy then teleports Superman back to the exact instant he left, where Ruin's beam manages to drain Superman's power. Superman manages to free Replikon from Ruin's control, and subsequently manages to capture Ruin, who is turned over to the S.C.U. (although he escapes, murdering several officers, before his identity can be revealed). In Umec, Lois and the squad she is assigned to cover get trapped in a war zone and a sniper shoots her in the chest. Superman is there a moment later to catch her as she falls from the injury. He flies her to the nearest medical encampment, where he waits while she undergoes hours of surgery. Luckily, the Justice League becomes aware of the situation, and Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter get to work. Once Lois is stabilized, the JLA teleport her to the Watchtower where Doctor Mid-nite works on her further. Clark stays at his wife's side after the surgery. Lois recovers at home for a couple of months, surrounded by friends and family. Ruin, meanwhile, has transformed a brother and sister whom he had held as hostage into new versions of the Parasite. The twins attack Lois at home, where Mxyzptlk tries to intervene, but is unsuccessful. Superman borrows a suit of armor from Steel to confront the pair, who are recklessly endangering lives. Lupe is desperate to stop them, and find Ruin, who murdered some of her crew. Superman learns Ruin's location and flies off alone to face him. Ruin manages to best Superman with lamps that use red sunlight and escapes for a meeting with Lex Luthor, who tells him to start spilling blood.
Tension had been growing between Lois and Lana, which nearly boils over while Clark and Lois visit the Kent farm. A fight breaks out when a Repo Man (literally, a man who is there to repossess Pa's truck, despite his protests that he made every payment) suddenly grows super-strong and attacks Superman and Superboy. Repo Man's powers suddenly fade away, and Superman knocks him out. Repo had made comments about getting his powers from a "strange white haired guy" who also apparently gave him a chunk of kryptonite. Superman, apparently aging somehow, heads to the local S.T.A.R. to have himself checked out. He was apparently poisoned by the liquid K injected in him by Gog. After going to the Watchtower, a visibly aged Superman has to battle Preus, who has captured J'onn J'onzz and Jimmy Olsen. Superman is able to defeat him, but collapses from the effort. Gog arrives--not just a single Gog, but many of them. Gog explains that he was a young boy whose family and home was destroyed when Imperiex leveled Topeka (making him similar, yet distinct from The Kingdom's Gog. Becoming a master of time, he had tried for two centuries to save his family, but when that failed, he decided to kill Superman for letting it happen. Realizing that he could not do it himself, he recruited an army of himself from different points in time. The dozens of Gogs overwhelm Superman, but then Doomsday arrives and declares that no one will kill Superman but him. Gog successfully fights off Doomsday and apparently kills Superman. Cut to the future, where for centuries, Gog has Superman in chains, while a reformed Doomsday lead a League of Supermen (heroes inspired by the Man of Steel) in a neverending battle against Gog. In the end, Superman's nobility wins over Gog, and he travels back in time with the future Doomsday to set things to right, stopping the battle before he can win it and healing Superman. Before the future Gog and Doomsday disappear, they warn Superman about an upcoming crisis.
Superman flies to the Fortress of Solitude for a meeting with Batman and Wonder Woman, where he confesses that he knew what the League had done to Doctor Light (per Identity Crisis) and Diana speculates that the only way to stop Ruin may be to kill him. Batman theorizes that Ruin must be someone who knows Superman's identity and hates him very much. Lois, meanwhile, believes that she was not in Umec just to get Superman to come and stop the war and begins to investigate who would be behind such manipulation. Ruin shows up at the Shack and attacks Jimmy Olsen and the S.C.U., but Superman manages to save them however, Ruin teleports away before he can be unmasked. Clark gets two surprises that same day: the first is from Pete Ross, who wants him to talk to Lana and the other is from Lois, who announces she thinks they should have a baby. While they are discussing it, Mxy shows up and shows them a possible future involving a child, before repeating his warning about an upcoming crisis. Clark tries to talk to Lana about stopping her divorce, but she is not interested in listening to it. Ruin then shows up at Steelworks and attacks both John Henry and Natasha, but Superman again is on scene and this time manages to unmask the villain the world is shocked to find it is none other than Pete Ross! Thrown in jail, Pete is beaten by Lupe, who lies to Superman when he shows up and says that he was trying to escape. Talking to Pete alone, Superman learns that Pete knows Superman's secret identity (having learned from Lex while he was president and before he "forgot") and that he has been set up. Superman vows to prove Pete's innocence. The prison then suffers a power outage, resulting in the twin Parasites being freed but then they are attacked by an Omac Unit. When the dust clears, one of the twins is dead and the other missing and so is Pete Ross. As a tie-in with the OMAC Project, there was a four-part storyline entitled "Sacrifice." Superman discovers Brainiac manipulating Lois or so he thinks. After a battle with Brainiac in the Fortress of Solitude, Superman discovers blood on his hands; then the JLA and the JSA turn up, ordering him to surrender himself for what he has done. Superman tries to remember what happened, but instead of a battle with Brainiac, this time he recalls a fight with Darkseid. The JLA concede that it seems like Superman is being manipulated. When he asks whose blood is on his hands, the team takes him to the Watchtower and show him the badly beaten body of Batman. The League determines that Maxwell Lord is responsible for manipulating Superman with the false memories, but before they can put Superman in a transporter tube, Max begins his manipulations anew and compels Superman to flee the Watchtower, with Wonder Woman hot on his heels. Superman, believing that he has just seen Doomsday murder his wife, attacks Diana with all his might. Diana puts up a good defense, and proves to be a match for Superman, pulling out all the stops. She manages to stun and even injure him, and then proceeds to wrap Lord up in her Lasso of Truth, demanding to know how to free the Man of Steel from his control. Max replies the only way to do so is to kill him (Lord). Diana snaps Max's neck an event recorded by the Brother Eye satellite and broadcast around the world. Superman is freed but at a terrible price. Superman is called away from the scene to deal with a nuclear missile. After pitching it into space, he has to fight off two OMACs and discovers that they are really people inside the metal suits. He flies to the Batcave to talk to Batman about what has happened, but Batman is not interested. Superman returns to Metropolis, where even Lois agrees with what Diana did. Superman can't help but think of everything that's happened, particularly the events of "Crisis of Conscience" in JLA, so he goes to see Zatanna. She tells him that she altered the Toyman, and together they find him, locked in his own fantasy world. Zatanna clears his delusion just before he apparently dies in a collapsing building. In Metropolis, the world is unsure of how to react to the tape of Wonder Woman killing Lord. Lois goes to Umec to figure out who was behind the hit on her and deduces that it must have been Lord himself. Lex Luthor shows up at the Daily Planet, trying to get information on Ruin. Ruin himself then shows up for a fight, teleporting all throughout the battle. Superman realizes he is using the Phantom Zone to teleport. Before he can unmask Ruin again, the villain flees. Superman responds to his JLA alert, flying to the Watchtower only to find it in ruins.
Shifting through the ruins of the Watchtower, Superman can find no trace of J'onn J'onzz. Wonder Woman and Batman both turn up. Batman coldly tells Diana to leave, that she has no business there after killing Lord. They are interrupted by Mongul, and they are so fractured that they barely are able to take him down. Afterwards, Batman tells Superman how the whole world is afraid of them because of Wonder Woman, and that the last time he truly inspired anyone is when he died. All three go their separate ways. Coming back to Metropolis, Superman finds Mister Mxyzptlk in the form of an old man lying in the gutter. Mxy's magic is not working right (presumably because of the crisis) and Clark takes him to a diner to talk. With some cues from Mxy, Clark begins to piece together who Ruin could really be: a scientist, access to the Phantom Zone, knowledge of red sunlight it must by Emil Hamilton. With Mxy's help, Superman finds his lair. It is well guarded, however, and Superman has to contend with red solar lamps. Mxy sacrifices himself, taking a Kryptonite arrow meant for the Man of Steel. He whispers his name backwards and disappears. Superman confronts Ruin who is indeed Prof. Hamilton. Ruin taunts Superman, showing him a scene playing out across town: he has Pete Ross tied up in one of his suits, standing over a machine that will kill Lana Lang and her baby son. Det. Lupe is at the scene and has a gun aimed at the back of Pete's head, thinking he is the real Ruin. Though weakened, Superman tears across town to stop it but he arrives too late to stop the bullet. Lupe did not aim for Ross, however, knowing that she was being set up. Pete and Lana are freed and escape, although Lupe is injured saving them in the process. Ruin arrives and battles Superman for the last time. Superman forces him outside, destroying his teleporter and his weapons. Hamilton reveals that his suit has a bomb that will take out half the city. Superman rips the suit off him and lets it detonate high in the air. After Hamilton is taken in, Clark Kent has a talk with Lana and Pete (now they both know his secret), and promises Pete he will clear his name.
Alexander Luthor continues with his machinations to find "the perfect Earth." In order to keep most of the world distracted, he orders the Secret Society of Super-Villains to drop Chemo over Blüdhaven. Chemo detonates, killing over 100,000 people instantly, and leaving the city irradiated with poisonous clouds. Superman arrives, leading a cadre of heroes who can withstand the toxicity to try to rescue who they could. Chemo began to reform, and Superman engaged, knowing that he would reform quicker, sucking the poison back into himself. Once it was all gone, Superman hurled Chemo into space. As the Crisis continued, Earth-Two was brought back into existence. Superman heard a scream from that world, and flying there found Kal-L from Earth-Two, standing over the body of Earth-Two Lois Lane, who had just died. Kal-L blamed Kal-El for her death and attacked her, leading to a brutal fight across the Earth-Two Metropolis. As they battled, their lives flashed before each other's eyes in an instant and they would change it. Due to this, Superman would realize that Earth-Two was too "soft" for Earth-One's actions. The fight was finally stopped when Wonder Woman arrived, grabbing Kal-L in her Lasso. She and Kal-El helped him see the truth--that Alexander Luthor was really manipulating the strings. Alexander Luthor is stopped from creating his "perfect universe" when his tower is destroyed by Kon-El during a battle with Superboy-Prime. Unfortunately, Kon-El dies of his injuries just before Superman, Kal-L, Wonder Woman, and Batman arrive. Superman is deeply affected by the loss, but is determined to put an end to the madness that Luthor has created. Alexander's machinations have disrupted history, causing some changes to Superman's history (see Kal-El (New Earth) for details). Nearly every super-villain on the planet converges on Metropolis, desiring to conquer Superman's home city. Kal-El and Kal-L lead the charge with the other heroes in their wake. The first villain they take down is Doomsday himself. Kal-L confronts Alexander, but he is unrepentant. Superboy-Prime, driven totally insane by this point, decides the only solution is to destroy this universe completely by flying straight through Oa at lightspeed. J'onn J'onzz, aware of his plan, alerts everyone who can fly to try to stop the insane Prime, but he is too fast. In deep space, Guy Gardner and a coalition of Green Lanterns manage to stop him long enough for Kal-El and Kal-L to grab him. Not fast enough to take him back to the speedforce, the two Supermen fly him to Krypton's solar system--and straight through its red sun. After they fly through it, they crash on Mogo. Prime's suit was destroyed and his powers were failing, but he still managed to beat Kal-L, fatally injuring him. Kal-El tore the S-shield off Prime's chest, and managed to knock him out before collapsing (there was Kryptonite all around them). The Green Lanterns swoop down, destroying the kryptonite fragments and incarcerating Prime. Kal-L dies in Power Girl's arms, and a powerless Superman is taken back to Earth. Batman and Wonder Woman decide to take some time off. Superman is not discouraged, however, knowing that his powers will return in time, and in the meanwhile, the Earth is in good hands.
One Year Later
After living a normal human life as Clark Kent for a year, they suddenly came back. When he returned to action as the Man of Steel, there was much public speculation as to whether or not he was an imposter. However, his daring actions, broadcast across the globe, while driving the Auctioneer from Earth, convinced the world that he was the real deal. The sorcerer Arion came to Metropolis to implore Superman to stop fighting for the benefit of mankind, saying that he was disrupting the proper course of human history by pushing back an inevitable devastating event, and in the process, causing that event to be much worse, resulting in the end of civilization. This revelation troubled the Man of Steel, and caused him to consider his place in the world. Arion gave Superman two weeks to consider stop being a Superman, and prevent that disaster from occurring. In those two weeks, Superman helped Lightray and Fastbak to control a group of teenage New Gods during a field trip on Earth. The teenage gods had begun causing trouble in Metropolis, and Superman discovered that Arion was the one who set the teenage gods in a rampage in the first place. After the two-week period ended, Superman informed Arion of his choice to continue being a Superman. However, Arion cast a mind control spell on Superman, planning to use him as a weapon against other alien heroes. But Superman managed to resist the spell, and went after Arion, who began unleashing a massive disaster on the world. Phantom Stranger told Superman that Arion had unleashed the very disaster he was trying to prevent. Superman and Phantom Stranger went to the future, where they saw the disaster had wiped out humanity. Phantom Stranger told Superman that if he were to accept Arion's suggestion, humanity would survive the disaster, but at the cost of a significant amount of wisdom. So, Phantom Stranger told Superman that he had to find another way. Superman and Phantom Stranger returned to the present, and Phantom Stranger gave Superman a magic shield to protect himself from Arion's attacks. Superman found Arion's lair in the Atlantic Ocean. After a lengthy fight, Superman defeated Arion and handed him to the authorities. Unknown to Superman, the Arion that the police arrested was an impostor, while the real Arion escaped. A young boy, seemingly from Krypton, landed in Metropolis in a ship. Although initially the government worked with Superman on studying him, they later moved the boy without informing the Man of Steel. Angered, Clark hijacked the truck transporting the child and took him. Lois and Clark decided to take the boy in as their son, naming him Christopher. When General Zod and numerous other Kryptonian criminals broke free from the Phantom Zone, he sent Superman there. Zod was defeated when Superman was able to break free of the Zone. Zod was stunned to find that his own biological son Lor-Zod rejected him, preferring Kal-El and his wife as his parents. Confronted with this betrayal, Kal-El decided to accept the boy as his own and along with his wife Lois are raising the boy on Earth as their own. Later, Chris sealed himself in the Phantom Zone to prevent Zod from conquering Earth. Superman was recently reunited with some of the members of the Legion of Super-Heroes during the Lightning Saga event. Some time later, Superman battled a Brainiac robot, until it showed to contain a message from Brainiac 5 of the Legion, that Superman should go to the 31st century again. While Superman went there, he discovered that the sun had turned red, thus he lost his powers. Earth had also become a place that did not welcome aliens at all, due to a warped version of Superman's origin was spread out (in which Superman was not from Krypton, but from Earth) and the origin's messengers, the Justice League of Earth, led by Earth-Man.
The Daily Planet is having a meeting, introducing the new members of the Daily Planet, including Cat Grant, Steve Lombard and Ron Troupe. Clark hears a mysterious noise with his super hearing and goes to investigate as Superman. He discovers the noise was a Brainiac drone, sent to try to locate Superman. Superman promptly defeats the drone and takes it back to the Fortress of Solitude. With help from Supergirl, it is revealed that Superman has never truly fought Brainiac before, and all earlier encounters Superman has ever had with Brainiac has been with one of his probes. It is also revealed that Kara was on Krypton when Brainiac stole Kandor, and because of this is terrified of Brainiac. After visiting the Kents, Superman then goes flying all through the galaxy in an attempt to track down Brainiac. He discovers his probes on one planet, and witnesses Brainiac capture a city like he did with Kandor. Brainiac also fires a missile into that planet's sun, causing the sun to explode and destroy the planet. The explosion knocks Superman unconscious and he is brought upon Brainiac’s ship. When Superman awakens, he escapes and makes his way around Brainiac's ship. There, he discovers a room full of thousands of bottled cities, including Kandor. At this point, the true Brainiac reveals himself. It is revealed that Brainiac has been collecting information of all the planets he has been destroying and the next planet he decides to attack is Earth, including capturing Superman and Supergirl as the last remnants of Krypton. The Brainiac ship arrives over Metropolis and sends out probes to attack Metropolis, while everyone, including Supergirl, does their best to fend them off. Meanwhile Superman fights with Brainiac. After knocking him out, Superman hears a voice that sounds distinctly like his father; it turns out it is the voice of Zor-El, Supergirl's father, who is alive inside the bottled city of Kandor. As Superman and Zor-El talk, Brainiac attacks Superman from behind.Supergirl is also caught at this point and brought upon Brainiac’s ship just as Metropolis is encased in a bottle and a solar-aggressor missile is fired towards the sun. Superman is unconscious and held captive by the ship, being hooked up to all the bottled cities, hearing their cry for help. Superman escapes and attacks Brainiac, before taking the bottled Metropolis and Kandor, he then frees Supergirl and convinces her to stop the solar-aggressor from hitting the sun, which would cause it to go supernova. Superman then attacks Brainiac and knocks him out of the ship, forcing Brainiac to land on Earth. Brainiac is overwhelmed by Earth bacteria and micro-organisms. As a result, he can not control anything on Earth and is promptly defeated by Superman. However, Brainiac reveals that the cities cannot be sustained outside of the ship, and Superman flies off and returns Metropolis before flying to the Arctic and releasing Kandor to its normal size. Supergirl also manages to stop the Sun from being destroyed. However, Brainiac has one final trick left. After reading Superman’s mind while he was kidnapped, he knows where Superman’s parents live, and he promptly fires a missile which explodes on the Kent farm. Although no one is hurt by the explosion itself, Jonathan Kent suffers a fatal heart attack and dies, just as Clark arrives. The Epilogue begins with Jonanthan Kent's funeral. Clark looks over and sees Bruce Wayne and Alfred are standing under a tree near by.
Lois and Perry are caught in an explosion triggered by Clayface, destroying the Daily Planet and apparently Lois is seriously injured or possibly even dead. In the third issue, it is revealed that only Clark's heat vision is keeping her heart beating. Clark is visited by a mysterious phantom who insists that he must depart Earth immediately if he is to save his wife's life. The story is continued in the 3D tie-in comic Superman Beyond, where the female Monitor Zillo Valla stops time around Lois, allowing Superman to leave her side for a while, recruiting him and several of his multiversal doppelgangers in a mission to save the entire Multiverse, promising immediate care for Lois. After facing off against the dark Monitor Mandrakk, Superman brought back a distilled drop of The Bleed, and administered it through a kiss, restoring her to full health. After saving Lois, Superman is transported to the 31st century by the Legion of Super-Heroes. As he arrives in the Legion clubhouse, the Legionnaires show him an image of Takron-Galtos with an S shield burning in its surface, explaining that a riot caused every prisoner to be released. Cosmic Boy tells Superman that a similar incident happened in Smallville. Then, Phantom Girl shows him an image of the culprit, and Superman realizes that it is Superboy-Prime. Superman explains to the Legion about Prime's origins, saying that he is from a parallel universe. To combat this new threat, Brainiac 5 suggest contacting the Legions from two parallel worlds. Mon-El supports the plan, but Superman believes that the only way to stop Prime is by redeeming him.
Some of the Legionnaires, including Lightning Lad, disagree with this idea. Lightning Lad suggests breaking the Legion code and killing Prime, but Cosmic Boy disagrees. The discussion between the two then becomes a fight, until Cosmic Boy says that the reason he became the leader of the Legion is because he wanted everyone but him to have a life outside the team. Then, White Witch, Blok, Wildfire and Dawnstar appear right before everyone's eyes. Blok and Dawnstar explain that White Witch teleported them from Sorcerer's World, except for Rond Vidar, who is fighting Prime and the Legion of Super-Villains. Mon-El suggests going to Sorcerer's World but Lightning Lad replies that they won't make it in time if they use their ship. Cosmic Boy asks White Witch if she can teleport them, and she says she can. Suddenly, White Witch feels the death of Vidar. Dawnstar then senses that the Legion of Super-Villains, along with Earth-Man and the Justice League, are headed for Earth. Brainiac takes a team to find an artifact in the Justice League's headquarters in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island, while Superman and the rest of the Legion faces off against the Legion of Super-Villains. As the fight continues, Superman tries to reason with Prime, reminding him of his life in Earth-Prime before the First Crisis, but Prime burns a hole in his hand with his heat vision and continues attacking him. Suddenly, Brainiac 5 appears with the Post-Zero Hour Legion and the Earth-Prime Legion. turning the tide. M'Onel and Andromeda help Superman in the fight against Prime. However, Prime escapes them.
Superman wraps the injury in his hand with a piece of his cape. With Prime's temporary retreat from the battle, Superman fights Mordru. Suddenly, Superman sees an explosion coming from the clubhouse and goes to help. Then, he realizes that Brainiac 5 brought Kid Flash back to life. Suddenly, a portal opens behind Superman and a giant hand grabs him along with Lighting Lad, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl, taking them to the end of time. There, they encounter the Time Trapper, who reveals that since the First Crisis, he wanted to destroy Superman, and although he attempted to erase any true memory of Superboy from the Legion, he still could not erase him. So he decided to replace him, and he has brought the three founders of the Legion to witness the end of the Superman dynasty. Suddenly, the Time Trapper blasts them with an energy burst. Superman then witnesses Superboy's return to life and encourages the Legionnaires to fight the Time Trapper. After the four attack the Time Trapper, Superman rips his hood and the four heroes discover that the Trapper is in fact an aged Superboy-Prime. Superman and the Time Trapper fight, and Superman tells him that he won't gain anything by holding onto hate. In the 31st century, Superboy blasts Prime in the chest, causing a burn to appear in the Time Trapper's chest. Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy bring the three Legions to the end of time, and they all knock the Time Trapper out. Superman and the founding Legionnaires then return to the 31st century with the Time Trapper. As soon as he sees the Time Trapper, Prime becomes repulsed by what he will become, so he punches the Trapper, causing both to cease to exist. Superman and Superboy reunite and the two Legions return to their respective universes. Superman, Superboy and Kid Flash return to the present, where they are reunited with their teammates.
In his stay in the 31st century, Superman is given access to the reality-altering Miracle Machine by Brainiac 5. When he returns to the present, Superman finds that Darkseid has taken over Earth. In a fit of desperate rage, Superman attacks Darkseid's bunker, finding Batman's charred corpse within. After being mocked by Darkseid, Superman nearly kills him, but hesitates when he realizes that Darkseid is possessing Dan Turpin, allowing the Anti-Life slaves to surround him. Superman then witnesses Darkseid fire the radion bullet that kills Orion through time, and also Darkseid's defeat when Barry Allen and Wally West lead the Black Racer to him. As reality breaks down around him and the universe slowly dies, Superman, with the help of the rest of the superheroes and humanity left alive, completes construction of a copy of the Miracle Machine. Darkseid's essence attempts to claim the Miracle Machine in a last ditch effort to defeat Superman. However, Superman sings a note at a frequency that counters Darkseid's own vibrational frequency, shattering his essence. At this point, Mandrakk the Dark Monitor arrives to consume Superman, the last and greatest Protector of Life at his weakest. He taunts Superman, saying he has nothing to start the Miracle Machine with, so Superman should come to Mandrakk and embrace the death of everything. Superman counters this, and uses the solar energy in his body to power the Miracle Machine. Then, Hal Jordan arrives to Superman’ side, leading an army of heroes ready to fight Mandrakk. The Green Lanterns kill Mandrakk with a spear created from their rings. The Miracle Machine is fully charged and Superman wishes for a “happy ending.” Superman’s wish causes the Miracle Machine to recreate the Multiverse as it was before Darkseid’s ascension, ending the Final Crisis.
The entire city of Kandor now resides near the Fortress of Solitude in the North Pole, populated by 100,000 Kryptonians. Although distracted by the recent death of his adoptive father, Jonathan Kent, Superman attempts to aid the Kryptonians in their assimilation with the rest of the Earth, something very few Kryptonians seem interested in, including the city’s leaders, Zor-El and Alura, Supergirl’s parents. After the first televised meeting between the President of the United States and a delegation from Kandor is interrupted by a rampaging Doomsday, Zor-El and Alura form a task force determined to preemptively end any future threat to Kandor by capturing Superman’s worst villains and trapping them in the Phantom Zone. However, several human police officers are killed when they refuse to hand over the Parasite, enraging Superman. At the same time, Lex Luthor, who has been recruited by General Sam Lane to halt the Kryptonian “invasion,” gains control of Brainiac and unleashes his robot army from within the depths of the alien’s spaceship, currently being held in Kandor. During the fight, Metallo and Reactron, who are working for Luthor and General Lane, are brought into Kandor as Trojan horses containing Kryptonite. Reactron manages to kill Supergirl’s father, Zor-El. Alura’s anger causes her to denounce humanity. Members of the Justice League and Justice Society arrive in Kandor, lead by the Guardian, demanding the city turn over those who murdered the police officers, and a large-scale battle erupts, with Superman in the middle. It only ends when Kryptonian scientists manage to use Brainiac’s technology to lift Kandor off the Earth and grow an entirely new planet underneath it, called “New Krypton,” on the other side of the solar system, directly opposite the Earth, and therefore hidden by the sun. Alura tells Superman that he is not welcome on New Krypton, although Supergirl takes up residence there with her mother. In the end, Alura frees General Zod from the Phantom Zone to help her lead their people.
World of New Krypton
Superman accepts his aunt Alura In-Ze's offer to begin a new life on New Krypton in exchange for renouncing his life on Earth, and places a Labor Guild member named Tyr-Van as his guide. Because of his superior mastery over their special abilities, he is drafted into the Kryptonian Military Guild as a Commander working directly underneath General Zod. Kal is placed in charge of the Red Shard tactical response unit, and Asha Del-Nar is appointed as his XO. Placed under his command are Jeq-Vay, Kir-Ta, Non and Sem-Re. Following his successful handling of a hostage situation involving the Labor Guild demanding equality led by Tam-Or, he is forced to duel his fellow officer Commander Gor over a tactical humiliation and wins through superior technique. The Green Lantern Corps is sent to New Krypton on a fact-finding mission; Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Sodam Yat assist the Red Shard in taking down Kryptonian serial killer Greyline who has escaped from the Phantom Zone. Kal and Asha are charged with treason for refusing to put the man to death and ceding him to the Lanterns' authority. Dyn-Xe of the Artists Guild is appointed their defense counsel, and they are sentenced to death. Zod convinces the Religious Guild to grant him a pardon when he realizes that Kal is more than willing to die for his ideals if it will make the army stronger. Zod is shot through the chest during an assassination attempt. The shooter is identified as a patriotic soldier named Ral-Dar, although he escapes custody and travels to Earth; this forces Kal to become Superman again so he can pursue him with Supergirl during Codename: Patriot. Superman and Mon-El meet Guardian and the Science Police to explain Ral-Dar's plot and the attempted assassination of Zod. Lois explains to Clark that Chris Kent has returned to Earth. Superman and the Guardian brief the Science Police about Ral-Dar. Superman pursues Ral-Dar all the way to Markovia, where the United States President is meeting with the Markovian president. Superman stops Ral-Dar, only to be confronted by General Lane with members of Squad K and his own troops, with kryptonite-infused weapons and Kryptonian battlesuits. Lane orders them to open fire, and the hail of bullets kills Ral-Dar. Superman demands answers, but is called away by Alura. Superman takes Ral-Dar's body and returns to New Krypton. Kal-El is temporarily promoted to General with Zod out of commission, and the council discusses going to war based on revelations that Ral-Dar's weapon was Earth-made. There is a massive military conflict involving a Thanagarian attack during a Kryptonian operation to take one of Jupiter's moons for their terra-forming. General El mediates the conflict by opening diplomatic channels with wing-master Vetalla Dae, personally leading the Red Shard on a mission to save her ship. Jemm, Son of Saturn is outraged at their rearranging of the solar system, and is barely convinced not to declare war on Krypton. Adam Strange is found in the home of a murdered councilor. Strange explains that he arrived via Zeta Beam to protest New Krypton's charter with Thanagar on behalf of Rann, but he agrees to help General El solve the murder to prove his innocence. Tam-Or is their main suspect, although Kal and Strange believe him to be framed. Zod recovers and returns to active duty; Gor charges them with aiding and abetting a fugitive, and attempts to execute them as traitors on the spot. They escape death using another Zeta Beam, although Tam-Or is killed in the shooting. Zod demotes Gor and allows Strange to leave, initiating a deeper internal investigation. Commander El discovers that the murders were caused by Wri-Qin, part of a cabal attempting to weaken Krypton internally on behalf of General Lane and Superwoman; they were led to believe that this would end the inevitable war sooner, and ultimately preserve Kryptonian lives. They had been promised power in the new order, and Qin had begun eliminating the other conspirators to secure more of it for himself. Kal's efforts to institute governmental change from within Kryptonian society finally have a positive effect, with Tyr-Van elected to become the first Labor Guild council representative.
The Blackest Night
Clark temporarily leaves New Krypton to spend Thanksgiving with Martha, Conner and Krypto in Smallville. While Clark, Conner and Martha talk in the table, Krypto hears something outside. Superman and Superboy go to investigate, telling Krypto to stay in the farm and protect Martha. The two heroes go to the graveyard and find Kal-L, who has been transformed into a Black Lantern, taking Jonathan Kent's coffin out of the grave. Kal-L attacks them, but Superman and Superboy fight back. As Superman and Superboy fight Kal-L, Martha is held hostage by Earth-Two Lois Lane, who is also a Black Lantern. Superman tells Superboy to save Martha while he fights Kal-L. Superman tries to reason to Kal-L, but he refuses to listen. Suddenly, Psycho-Pirate, also a Black Lantern, appears and brainwashes Superboy, telling him to attack Superman. Superman is forced to fight Conner while defending himself from Kal-L. Superman tries to reason with Conner, but he simply keeps fighting. However, just when Kal-L is about to kill Superman, Superboy breaks free of Psycho-Pirate's control and attacks Kal-L with his tactile-telekinesis. Then, Krypto meets up with Superman and Superboy, after having defeated Earth-Two Lois. Superman and Krypto fight Kal-L while Superboy takes Psycho-Pirate's mask and uses it to disentengrate Kal-L. Although Kal-L is destroyed, the mask is destroyed as well. Superman believes that what happened in Smallville is happening across the world, so he, Superboy and Krypto decide to investigate. Things, however, take a turn for the worse for Superman and Superboy when Nekron, the leader of the Black Lantern Corps, arrives at Earth. Nekron reveals himself as the one behind all resurrections across the universe, including Superman's return to life after his death at the hands of Doomsday. Then, Nekron transforms Superman into a Black Lantern, inducting him into his Corps. Fortunately, Hal Jordan finds the White Entity of Life and merges with it, gaining the necessary power to defeat Nekron. Hal resurrects Superman and inducts him into the new White Lantern Corps. With their combined power, the White Lanterns resurrect Black Hand, Nekron's link to the world of the living. Having lost his herald, Nekron is banished from the world of the living and the Blackest Night ends. The White Entity then disappears and Superman is returned to normal.
Last Stand of New Krypton
As Brainiac's warship flies overhead, the Kryptonians remember Brainiac's attack on old Krypton years ago. Zod ruminates about that first Brainiac attack, and how the knowledge from that defeat will make him more prepared this time around. He also acknowledges that their yellow-sun-induced powers will make the Kandorians much more formidable than last time. Zod vows to lead his people to victory over Brainiac. The Kandorians' initial shock turns to determination, and the citizens rise up and use their powers against Brainiac's robotic "probes". Commander El takes time out to rescue Lan-Drom, a young teenage boy who is under attack from several of the probe bots. A couple of his Red Shard team members are there to help out. Zod gives orders for the Red Shard to stay away from Brainiac's ship, so as not to interfere with Zod's plan. Kal-El, watching from a distance using his telescopic vision, is horrified to see Zod giving the order to arm his Global Defense Canons; horrified because so many soldiers in the vicinity will likely be killed if that WMD is fired. Well Zod does fire the weapon without hesitation, looking very self-satisfied. But when the smoke clears, the soldiers have become the victims of collateral damage, but Brainiac's ship does not even have a scratch. Zod's reckless behavior sets Kal-El into a bit of a rage. Without hesitation, Kal-El flies to Zod and unleashes a verbal assault, scolding Zod for his recklessness and murderous actions. Kal-El holds nothing back. Zod chides Commander El for his "insubordinate" remarks. But Kal-El, still furious, resigns his military post; tossing his military insignia on the ground. Then, Kal-El rip off his military uniform in defiance, to reveal a familiar outfit underneath. Gone for good is Commander El, replaced by the famous hero, Superman. Superman explains to Nar his plan to get past the force field on Brainiac's ship, using a technique based on his knowledge from past encounters with Brainiac's technology. Alura speaks to Zod in an attempt to get military protection for the members of the Council that are still alive. Supergirl, wondering why her battle with the bots is not easier, discovers that the probe bots are using red sunlight in battle to weaken the Kryptonians. Help arrives for Supergirl in the nick of time, in the form of Superboy, Mon-El, and the Legion of Super-Heroes. But when Zod shows up, he sends Kara off to help elsewhere, and Mon-El tags along. With them out of the way, Zod orders the arrest of Superboy and the Legionnaires, calling them "maniacs". Superman breaches Brainiac's ship and is inside doing considerable damage until he gets slowed down by a burst of kryptonite radiation. Superman looks up and gets a very unpleasant surprise in the form of Brainiac standing alongside Lex Luthor, who is holding the smoking kryptonite weapon. Superman and Mon-El continue to try and free the trapped cities and break out. Brainiac however re-energizes and fights Superman. During the brawl, Superman is able to get hold of the telepathic Lanthian's but Brainiac teleports away with all the others. The Legion manages to enter Brainiac's ship thanks to Brainiac 5's help. But even this does not seem to help and New Krypton is put back into a bottle. Superman is pummeled by Brainiac's weapon's system and is declared dead. But Zod says that Brainiac has lost. Superman recovers and tries to fight Brainiac again. During the fight, Brainiac's ship is damaged and begins falling towards New Krypton. Eventually, with the help of several Kandorians, the ship is destroyed before hitting the ground. However, Luthor has begun growing one of Brainiac's bottled cities. Superman is also mortally wounded by pieces of Brainiac's ship, but manages to fully recover with the help of Brainiac 5. The attack on New Krypton ends when Zod defeats Brainiac and steps on to kill him, but Brainiac 5 appears and teleports Brainiac and himself away. Later, Zod gathers the entire Kryptonian army to finally attack Earth.
War of The Supermen
Superman has come to stop Zod, after he just told 100,000 Kryptonians to declare war on Earth. Zod tells him that his opinion doesn't matter to him, since he gave up his position in the Kryptonian Military Guild. Superman punches Zod, but other Kryptonians come and help him up. Zod then has his wife Ursa attack him. She uses a Kryptonite knife and slashes Superman in the chest. She reveals to him that even though it hurts, it gives her a lot of satisfaction. Superman shatters the knife by using his heat vision. Just as Superman is about to continue his attack on Zod, Non crashes through the roof on top of Superman, and manages to hold him down, with Ursa putting the Kryptonite knife right by his neck. Zod tells Kal-El that he is no longer a superman anymore, now that there is a whole planet full of people with the same abilities as him, which has leveled the playing field between him and New Krypton. He reveals to Superman that when he first came to New Krypton and renounced Earth, he allowed Kal-El to join the Military Guild, so that he could keep an eye on him, which was exactly what Superman was trying to do, get close to Zod so that he can spy on him. He also tells Superman that he is going to level Earth and kill everyone on the planet, especially the one he loves the most. Kal-El tells Zod that he was wrong on one thing, he never renounced Earth and breaks free and attacks Zod, but Ursa and Non hold him down again. He tells Zod that a war between Earth and New Krypton would spell the destruction of both worlds, and that he will stop him from attacking Earth. However, Zod asks Superman how he's going to stop him from attacking Earth, when he has already sent the order to attack, the Kryptonian military descends on Earth.
Superman frees himself from Ursa and Non's hands and goes into space to fight them. Meanwhile, in Zor-El's tomb, where Alura is torturing Reactron for information about what Earth is planning against New Krypton. Her daughter Supergirl walks in on her actions, realizing what her father's last words meant about her mother. Both discuss the current actions. Then Reactron then tells both of them that it was planned that he be brought to New Krypton, also telling them that they could have killed Supergirl in Los Angeles, but did not do it so that she captured him and bring him to their planet. Also during the battle against Brainiac, Lex Luthor went to find him and left a present to him, which he tells that it already feels it is about to go off. Alura quickly puts her daugther into a safe room to protect her while she tries to stop this. But it is too late, and the explosion not only destroys the city of Kandor, it destroys New Krypton completely along with the Kryptonians on the planet, all of this being watched by a stunned Superman, Zod, Ursa and Non. Superman searches in the debris of New Krypton, managing to find a sad Supergirl, devastated by the destruction. She grieves with Superman as she holds up a piece of Alura's shield. Alura perished along with the rest of New Krypton. After finding the weapon that Luthor brought to the planet drifting in space in the form of a gold skull, enraged Kara grabs the Kryptonian flag, heading for war. Meanwhile in the Kryptonian fleet, carrying the remaining members of New Krypton, are filled with grief about what has happend. Zod comes forth and declares that even thought their planet is lost, they are still there and the war against Earth shall continue and they will win it. Up in space Supergirl and Superman tussle through the field of kryptonite meteors until they crash into Callisto, New Krypton's moon. Kara cries it's her fault, and Superman sadly reveals she's the Last Daughter of New Krypton. They realize they are the only two that stand between Earth and the Zod's forces and decide they will do whatever it takes to save them both.
Sam flips a switch to see Lex on a video screen. Luthor reveals he's harnessed the power from Jax-Ur's botched Rao corpse and the government's time pool technology to launch their counter attack. He then launches a missile housing a huge store of red kryptonite to the sky through the black hole/time pool tech directly into the sun making it a huge red sun. This strips the Kryptonians of their powers. Flamebird turns the sun yellow again. This gives Superman and Supergirl their powers back, but several Kryptonians die in space. Zod and his army attack Earth, but Superman begins to fight him above the Daily Planet. As Superman and Zod clash, Superman refuses to allow Zod to destroy humanity while Zod has resolved to turn "Earth" into a new Krypton. Superboy manages to recover the Phantom Zone projector from the Fortress of Solitude, stating that the Phantom Zone "got better" in response to Zod's claims of having destroyed it, using it to send Non to the Zone as he attacks the Justice League. After narrowly defeating Ursa, Supergirl flies into the military base to confront General Lane, willing to kill him in revenge for the death of her people, much to Lane's satisfaction as it would prove him right about the Kryptonians, only for Lois to talk Supergirl down. Refusing to face judgement for his crimes, Lane commits suicide. As Superboy arrives at Superman's fight with Zod, Superman attempts to drag Zod into the Zone with him, willing to sacrifice himself to ensure that Zod is imprisoned for good, only for Nightwing to interrupt his efforts, sending his adopted father back to Earth so that he can continue to defend it while remaining behind to ensure that his biological father remains trapped. Chris reverts to a young boy, encounters Mon-El, and the two journey off together within the Zone. In the aftermath, Clark and Lois reflect sadly on how New Krypton's appearance resulted in such a pointless war, Clark expressing his uncertainty about whether any Kryptonians are left in hiding on Earth while Lois promises to write the truth about her father's actions despite the media portraying him as a hero for his 'defensive action', hoping that someday humanity will be ready for interaction with other alien races.
Superman returns from a meeting with Congress about the situation with New Krypton. As he's answering questions from reporters, a woman slaps him. She berates him for spending time on New Krypton, because in the time Superman was gone, her husband died of a brain tumor. She tried to reach him, but Superman was off doing something "important." Superman looks at the man's picture, and others tell the woman that Superman can't be everywhere at once. Superman flies off without answering any more questions. Superman and Batman look down on Earth from a satellite, where Batman indicates they can now see through cloud cover. Superman ponders this, and leaves suddenly. Superman stands under a tree as the Flash goes by. He asks Flash what it's like to see the world around him at superspeed, and Flash indicates that it's a blur unless he slows down to look. Superman goes into space and examines the photograph of the man he couldn't save. He recalls Pa Kent telling him that crops have to be rotated, and that you have to do things differently to bring things back to where they belong. Superman lands next to a game of baseball being played by kids, picks up some dirt, examines it, and starts to walk. Superman's first stop is Philadelphia and the media are following him every step of the way. Among the journalists and bewildered public is Clark Kent's wife Lois Lane. She asks Clark for his cover story at the Daily Planet, after all he's been on 18 months bereavement leave. They decide he'll also be 'on the road' covering Superman's soul search. Clark does a few good deeds; with the past few years of cosmic level threats he hasn't really paid attention to the more 'mortal level' threats since he first put on the cape many years ago. He helps a messy diner clean up, kicks a drugs gang out of town, urges a sick man to seek medical attention and talks a woman down from a suicide drop. Then Superman leaves town for his next destination.
Superman walks through a neighborhood, and a man nods off on his porch and completely misses him. Some kids playing basketball are bagging on one of their friends, Markey G. Superman arrives and starts to play without using his powers. Markey G gets a basket on Superman, and earns the approval of his friends. Superman then hears a vibration and approaches a seemingly normal looking man at his house. The man is revealed to be an alien, and when he leads Superman into the house a large, black creature attacks Superman. Superman defeats the creature, and theplead with Superman not to reveal them to the public, given how hard their life is back home. They point out that he too was an alien. Superman points out that it's a bad time to immigrate illegally in the United States. The alien points out that they're self-sufficient, and have enough gold to not make an impact on Earth. Superman asks them what they're giving back to their community. He decides to think for a while before making his decision. Superman encounters an old shut down factory, and meets an elderly man who provides security. He describes the plant as it used to be, and asks to see Superman fly. Superman obliges, then as he's leaving, the man collapses. Superman takes him to the aliens, who heal him, and then he has them open up the factory again with the technology to kill two birds with one stone, employing all of the workers who were formerly at the plant. Clark Kent, on assignment to cover Superman's walk, writes an article on the whole thing. Lois talks with Superman on the phone about this as he keeps walking. Unknown to Superman, he is being watched by Batman. Superman holds an ex-convict at mid-air, forcing him to stop stalking a waitress. Later, Batman meets Superman and the two talk in a rooftop. Batman believes Superman is endangering innocent lives in his journey. The two go separate ways. Later, Superman flies to Cincinnati to investiage a piece of debris from New Krypton that fell nearby, thanks to information recieved from Lois. Superman talks to a police officer about the debris, but he is attacked by Willy Trask, a town drunk that obtained superpowers. After a short fight, Superman subdues him, and Trask's powers dissapear. However, the city has been left devastated during their fight. Although Superman rebuilds it, this leads the public to make negative comments against him. Superman finds Lois as she walks across Rushmark, waiting for his arrival. There, she admits that she has been having doubts about her choices in life and asks if he needs her. Superman replies that one of the things that makes him human is her. With her spirit rekindled, Lois kisses Superman and he takes her to Chicago.
Superman walks across Chicago, and he sees that people are uneasy about his stay in the city, due to the incident in Ohio. He is also aware that Jennings is spying on him. Superman then meets with Lois in a park, and they go to an apartment to spend the night together. He then dreams about aa three-headed creature destroying Chicago, and of Jennings taunting him with his failure to protect the people. Superman wakes up and sees that his face has real injuries from his fight against the three-headed creature in his dreams. Lois covers his injuries and Superman leaves the apartment without being seen. Later, Superman walks across a neighborhood and sees a boy and his mother being brutally beaten by his father. Superman captures the father and takes him to the police station. There, he is informed that mother and son will be taken by child protective services to a safe places and the police will file charges against the father. Superman gives a phone number to the boy, telling him to call him everyday. Superman then leaves Chicago, but not before telling the police that the only thing needed to stop the violence was "someone, anyone, with a pair of eyes, a voice, a phone and ten cents' worth of compassion." Superman later hears about the Daily Planet's recent problems with the blog Urbanitis and decides to help. Meeting Perry White in the Planet's rooftop, Superman asks him if there is anything he can do to help. Perry declines his offer, saying that Superman's involvement would only make things worse. Superman accepts this and flies away. Perry would later solve things with Jack Hoffman, the creator of Urbanitis, and offer him a job at the Planet. Superman arrives to Des Moines, Iowa, and does several heroic deeds. However, the people still distrust him. He calls Lois to and confides in her his doubts about what he is truly fighting for. When she replies that he is fighting for "Truth, Justice and American Way," Superman replies that things are not as simple as they used to be. Suddenly, Lois hears an explosion, and she sees that a chemical plant is burning. Superman quickly saves the workers and puts out the fire. As he goes to see if the workers are injured, Superman sees that Manuel, Lois's friend, arguing with one of the plant's owners. Lois explains that Manuel used to work at the plant, but he was fired when he started raising a stink about the lax environmental standards. Manuel says that the plant is polluting the environment, and its environment protections have been used since the 1950s. Whenever new standards are put in place, the plant owners bribe the inspectors into letting them use the old ones rather than make any changes. However, the workers claim that the plant is the only major employer in town, since Lexcorp shut down the aircraft factory and shipped the jobs overseas. While Superman and the others are talking, they are being watched by the mysterious Lisa Jennings. Superman say that not everything is all black and white as it seems. Even though he is not happy about the environment, Superman does not want to put an entire town out of work either. He promises to leave the workers alone if they make a better job at cleaning up after themselves. He also says that he will be checking in on them. Lois and Manuel are surprised by Superman's decision. The workers also say that if Lois publishes her story, the authorities will shut the plant down. Superman tells Lois that she cannot publish her story. Angry, Lois and Manuel walk away, while the workers praise Superman. Later, Superman tries to call Lois, but she doesn't answer. Superman decides to continue his journey, when he is suddenly met by a mysterious group of people dressed like him, calling themsleves the "Superman Squad." The Superman Squad take Superman to their homebase, the Fortress of Solidarity, in the future. There, they explain that the Superman Squad is formed of several superpowered beings inspired by Superman's heroic acts. Some members include Superman's own descendants, either through blood-relation or adopted; beings that share his Kryptonian heritage, and unrelated beings who all decided to fight for justice. Some of them include non-human or non-Kryptonian members, such as Titano, protector of the Gorilla Galaxy; Superstar, a sentient star system, and Superego, a "good idea" who protects the realm of the collective unconscious.
A red-hooded female member of the Superman Squad explain Superman that his recent emotional crisis is not just a matter of indecision, he is actually in danger of losing himself. During the events of New Krypton, Superman recovered his people and lost it again. In the aftermath, he suffered a depression and began doubting his own ideals and principles. Making matters worse, an outside influence is reinforcing that depression. The red-hooded woman tells Superman that the Superman Squad are confident that Superman will move past his doubts and be the hero he was. The red-hooded woman then leaves Superman in Lincoln, Nebraska, in the present, where Superman will have an encounter with a woman who will be inspired by his heroic actions. Superman then flies to Lincoln, where a devastating storm is happening. Superman saves a school bus full of children, as he is being watched by Wonder Woman. Then, Superman notices that the storm is creating a flood. Also, a tornado is coming to town, forcing Superman to choose between stopping the tornado or saving the people from the flood. Fortunately, Diana appears and Superman asks her to save the people while he goes to stop the tornado. Although confused, Diana agrees. Superman uses a powerful clap to create a supersonic boom that dissipates the tornado. After the people is safe, Superman thanks Diana for helping him. Although Diana admits she wasn't here to help since she is on a quest for vengeance, she was inspired by him to act like a hero. Diana then flies away, but not before warning Superman of a woman in black. Superman thinks that the woman in black may be the one she saw on his dream on Chicago. However, Superman puts those feelings aside so that he can help the panicked citizens. He is watched by Jennings, who says that Superman's descent is only beginning. As Superman reaches Boulder, Colorado, he helps Saganowahna catch two criminals. After delivering the two criminals to the police, the two part ways, but not before Saganowahna tells Superman that the Manitou Stone may be Kryptonian in origin. Superman then reaches the city and a blur suddenly puts a Kryptonian armor on him. Superman takes the Kryptonian armor off and watches as the blur establishes Kryptonian structures across the city. Using his superhuman senses, Superman discover that the one behind all of this is the Flash, who is wearing a Kryptonian headband. Apparently, the headband is making Flash put Kryptonian structures over the city. Superman reaches the Flash and manages to take the headband off him. With the Flash free of the headband's influence, the two get the city back to normal. The two go to a restaurant, where they see the race between Superboy and Kid Flash. Superman explains to the Flash that the headband he was wearing contains a Kryptonian sunstone. During his time in New Krypton, Superman saw an interrogation device that could extract memories directly from a prisoner's mind. The Flash believes that the device was not meant to be worn by anyone other than a Kryptonian. The Flash explains to Superman the he found the headband in a crater in Central City. As he put the headband on, his mind was overwhelmed by Kryptonian knowledge.
The Flash knew that Superman was the only one who could help him, so he made several references to the House of El while he was in Colorado. As the Flash finishes his explanation, Superman remarks that the Kryptonians believe morality to be a natural law. He tells Flash about something his adoptive father and a classmate of his told him during high school. Clark was grounded for skipping classes. He actually skipped classes to put out a fire in a neighboring county, but he did not tell anyone because he knew no one would believe him. As he was in detention, another kid was sent to detention: Lex Luthor. Clark would later figure out that Lex was sent to detention for trying to steal forty cakes from the school's bake sale. Lex had done this in revenge for not being allowed to enter a fission-powered toaster in the science fair. As Clark and Lex talked, Clark said that his father told him that "There is right and wrong in the universe, and the distinction isn't hard to make." However, Lex replied that the real distinction was between what works and what doesn't. Lex then left the detention room, but not before telling Clark that he didn't want to be punished for something he did. Clark would later learn that Lex was talking about pragmatism, about what's expedient instead of what's true. As Superman and Flash leave the restaurant, Superman asks the Flash if he has wondered if he is doing the right thing by leaving a legacy behind. Flash admits that it was a little overwhelming at first, but now he is comfortable with the fact that if something happens to him, there will always be a Flash. He also says that Superman will also leave a legacy. Before the Flash leaves, Superman reminds him of what he said earlier, that he only saw a blur when he ran. Flash admits that he was joking. When he runs, he actually sees everything and everyone. Superman admits his recent feelings of self-doubt to Flash, who tells him that everything will be alright. The Flash then leaves, but not before telling Superman that he let Superman catch him and that he is still the Fastest Man Alive.
Superman saves Helen Phelps, an archeologist, from being hit by a truck in Ogden, Utah. He takes her to her trailer near Mt. Krowak. There, she and her crew had begun a dig on the mountain to find artifacts left by a civilization that established itself in the mountain before Paleo-Indians had. However, their research is being hampered by Centum Industries, a company that recently bought the montain, wanting to use it as a radioactive waste site. Suddenly, Superman sees an S-signal in the sky, only visible to those who can see the ultraviolet end of the spectrum. Superman flies to the source of the signal and finds Batman, who says that they haven't had the chance to talk after his return. They remember the time when they met in Bhutran. There, Clark and Bruce met with Terri, Clark's friend. After her father's death, Terri had become the new Rhana Bhutran. She had asked for Clark and Bruce's help to defend Bhutran from a group of Chinese soldiers led by Vandal Savage. Vandal Savage had recieved information from Hassan-I-Sabbah, another immortal. Vandal believed that the inhabitants of Bhutran knew the location of Nanda Parbat, and he also believed that the monks of Rama Kushna could cure him from his cancer. To stop Vandal, Clark used rocks to block the pathway to Bhutran while Bruce used hypersonic speakers to summon a group of bats and attack the soldiers. After defeating the soldiers, Clark and Bruce expressed hope in working together again. Superman and Batman then discuss about Superman's recent emotional crisis. Batman believes that Superman can get past his doubts. Also, Batman says that he just bought Mt. Krowak, allowing Dr. Phelps and her crew to continue their research. Superman compliments Batman for creating Batman Incorporated, and Batman replies that Superman can also create his own squad of supermen. Batman then says that he will work in the shadows while Superman works in the light. The two then part ways.
The mayor of Provo, Utah, gives Superman the key to the city. Suddenly, Superman hears a frequency emitted by Jimmy Olsen's watch. Superman goes to Las Vegas, where Jimmy is, and sees that Livewire has trapped hostages within an electric field. Among the hostages are Iron Munro and Lisa Jennings. Superman gives Jimmy the key he recieved from the mayor and goes to stop Livewire. Superman is confused on why is Livewire has returned to open villainy when she decided to begin a new honest life after helping Superman defeating the Auctioneer. Superman tries to reason with her, but Livewire attacks him with lightning bolts. Also, she transforms into pure energy and moves through the city's power grid to escape from Superman. To help Superman, Jimmy calls Dr. Serling Roquette of S.T.A.R. Labs and asks her for a way to stop Livewire. Dr. Roquette tells Jimmy that Livewire's increased power is affecting her mind and that the only way to stop her is using a containment suit to dissipate Livewire's excessive power. Superman interecepts the call with his super-hearing and goes to the Fortress of Solitude. There, he finds the suit he used when he was an energy being. He takes the suit to S.T.A.R. Labs, and Dr. Roquette modifies to suit to contain Livewire. Livewire attacks Jimmy, but he straps the key to a wire and throws it to her. This weakens Livewire and dissipates the electric field, allowing the hostages to escape. Jennings escapes in the confusion. Livewire tries to attack the hostages, but Iron Munro protects them with his invulnerabilty. Superman then puts the modified suit on Livewire, which returns her power levels to normal. Livewire is arrested, but she may not recieve a hard sentence since she was only damaged property and there were not wounded people, and also Superman spoke in her favor. Iron Munroe also chooses to use his influence in the justice department to help Livewire. Jimmy asks Superman why is he helping Livewire, and Superman answers that in America, everyone deserves a second chance.
Superman meets with Supergirl and Superboy in the outskirts of Newsberg, Oregon. There, he informs them of his decision of stopping being Superman. Shocked, Kara and Conner try to talk Clark out of it, but Clark stands by his choice. Clark says that he will still help people, but in secret, just like he did on Smallville. Later, on a coffee shop on Portland, Clark calls Perry and recieves news that Lois will be on Seattle tonight. Then, he begins writing an article called "Must There Be a Superman?." The clerk introduces Clark to a Superman fan. The fan believes that Clark's article is a joke, since he, after years of writing about Superman, must have an understanding of him. The fan takes Clark for a walk across Portland to ask people about Superman. The fan asks a boy if he fears Superman, and the boy says no, reminiscing about the time when Superman stopped an invasion of robots. Clark says that some people distrust Superman, so the fan asks a woman if she distrusts Superman. The woman says no, because one time, he stopped an anti-alien campaign led by an alien. Then, the fan asks a man if he believes that Superman kills villains, and the man says no. The man recalls one time when Superman captured a gunman who threatened to kill everyone in a school. Instead of harming the gunman, Superman handed him to the police. Still, Clark believes that some people resent Superman for having superpowers. The fan asks an Asian-American family if they resent him for that reason, and the family says no, recalling a time when he saved their daughter's cat. Clark says that Superman can help people in secret. The fan agrees, but he also says that Superman is an aspirational figure and that allows him to help people become heroes in their own right. Then, they listen to a news report that says that Lisa Jennings has taken Lois Lane hostage, saying that she will kill her if Superman does not appear. Clark leaves to confront her.
Superman arrives at Seattle and saves Lois from Jennings. He takes her to Redmond to keep her safe and the two promise to talk after the ordeal with Jennings is over. Superman fights Jennings across Seattle and asks her about her intentions. Jennings replies that she wants to make Superman suffer. To prevent their fight from causing destruction Superman activates the Lightning Door, an inter-dimensional portal that takes Superman and Jennings to the Still Zone. There, Superman asks about Jennings why has she being following him through his journey. Jennings shows him the Sunstone her students found, saying that when Superman passed by the school she worked at, the Sunstone filled her with all of Superman's feelings of sadness and doubt. This established a mental link between her and Superman, effectively transforming Jennings into the living embodiment of his depression. The Sunstone not only gave her Kryptonian powers, but it also gave Jennings the power to alter Superman's dreams and affect the things he saw and heard. Superman, feeling sorry for her, says that he will not let the destruction of New Krypton claim another victim. Jennings says that the Sunstone, being Kryptonian, cannot be destroyed. However, Superman says that his journey finally reminded him of why he became Superman in the first place. He touches the Sunstone and begins to fill it with his feelings of hope, destroying the Sunstone and rendering Jennings unconscious. Superman takes her out of the Still Zone and returns to normal space and time. After delivering Jennings to a hospital, Superman returns to Lois and apologizes for making her cancel the article about the factory, but Lois replies that she wrote it anyway. With their love rekindled, the two kiss and return home. Later, Superman gives signal watches to Super-Chief, Steel, Iron Munro, Livewire, Superboy and Supergirl, forming the Supermen of America.
Reign of The Doomsdays
Quickly speeding towards Metropolis, Superman arrives and quickly asks for Doomsday's whereabouts. Lois confronts Superman and tells him of Doomsday's fight with Steel. Though Lois worries about the fact that Doomsday killed Superman before, he reassures everyone he'll win this fight. Then, Luthor brings Superman to space for a final fight. Superman notices that where they are has very little in terms of civilization and that Luthor's infused with Phantom Zone energies. Realizing that last bit, he finds a portal and attempts to enter it (possibly to save Chris Kent), only for Luthor to pull him back. Asking where Luthor got this power, Luthor revealed his power comes from the Zone Child, a creature that was harmed by negative emotion and was freed by Lex, intending on purging that emotion. Luthor shows his displeasure at Superman still "ignoring him" and roars that he should not turn his back on him. Binding him, Luthor decides to finally bring justice to Superman, inflicting him with human emotion (which he believes Superman does not possess, being an alien). Luthor brings Superman back to the day he died and shows him Lois' grief. Superman snaps at him and tells him he knows how that feels. Luthor brushes it off and tries the destruction of Krypton, thinking that this reasoning for doing what he does is nothing. Superman yells out in anguish at that scene and starts breaking down as Luthor shows him scenes of Chris sacrificing himself to put away Zod and New Krypton exploding. In anger, Superman tells him that if he looks deep inside enough, he'll see what causes him the most pain. Luthor starts to brush it off as another world exploding, only to find out it's the death of Jonathan Kent. As he realizes who he's seeing, Luthor finally puts it together: Superman is Clark Kent. When Superman tells him that they're both similar, Luthor snaps, vowing to finally break Superman for apparently mocking him all these years. When Superman dares him, Luthor lashes out to strike him, only to find out Superman isn't dead. Mister Mind, in control of the Lois robot, warns Luthor that the Zone Child has woken and is limiting the power Luthor has. Luthor brushes it off and declares he's going to get back that power and use it to kill Superman.
In space, Luthor battles the Zone Child. The Zone Child tells Luthor he came to eradicate negative emotions, but learns it's much more different here. He tells Luthor he can have his power, but only do with it as he would. With that full power, Luthor creates eternal bliss. Mister Mind explains to Luthor that to keep the power, Luthor cannot do anything negative, like destroy Superman. Sadly, Luthor's ego refuses to listen to that train of thought. Even as Superman apologizes for everything he's done to him, Luthor still wants Superman dead. With the Zone Child dead, Mister Mind is free and he bails on Luthor. When Superman realizes Luthor is getting weaker as he gets angrier, he allows him to keep attacking, draining him of his power. When Superman refuses to fight back, Luthor attempts to provoke him to do so. Superman, in turn, tells Luthor that the way he does things will never work and that he had the power to do good and heal, but he didn't have the courage to change. Superman's fight with Luthor finally causes the man to lose the power forever. Even worse, Luthor had lost his memories, unable to remember who he was. As Luthor starts coming to, his ramblings cause Superman to realize he was behind the Doomsday attacks. However, before Superman can pull him away, Luthor falls into one of the Phantom Zone holes, seemingly forever. Superman confronts the Lois bot and asks if he wants to return with him, but she declines. Taking Luthor's ship, Superman makes it to where the others are captured and busts in, only for the lair's strange effect to take hold. He reunites with Kara, Conner, Steel and the Cyborg Superman. The Cyborg Superman reveals his findings: another Doomsday. The Cyborg deduces that they thought they were all attacked by one singular Doomsday, but when Superman reveals that this was all Luthor's doing and that he could have had access to him during his time with General Lane, the Cyborg surmises, as three Doomsdays arrive, that Luthor had put into place the "Reign of the Doomsdays."
Cyborg Superman wants to fight the Doomsdays, but Superman, knowing that they would not survive a confrontation with them, rips his node off. The heroes then fly across the ship in an attempt to escape the Doomsdays. They also take the original Doomsday with them. Reaching an observation area, the heroes begin rearraging the internal structure to reach Earth. However, they encounter a new foe, the Doomslayer. The Eradicator, against Superman's suggestion, tries to fight the Doomslayer, but the Doomslayer destroys him. Superman and his allies are shocked by the Eradicator's murder, and the Doomslayer expresses remorse for what he did. He explains that his mission is to erase Doomsdays and all knowledge of them from the universe, and attacks the original Doomsday with his laser vision. However, Superman defends him, saying that while Doomsday may be a mass murderer, the fact that the Doomslayer achieved sentience proves that Doomsday has the potential for redemption. The Doomslayer refuses to listen and continues his plan to crash the ship into Earth and destroy it, considering it "ground zero" for Doomsday's infection. Superman and his allies escape from the ship and attempt to slow its fall. The Doomslayer reverses the ship's engines to merely destroy North America instead of the entire planet, by aiming for Metropolis. Superman orders Superboy, Supergirl and Steel to return to Metropolis and help in the relief effort when the ship leaves. He manages to angle the station to land in the bay, creating a tidal wave. Steel's gravitron source, Supergirl's super breath, and Superboy's tactile-telekinesis dissipate the tidal wave, while Superman returns to Metropolis. Suddenly, the Doomslayer attacks the city with the four Doomsday clones. The Doomsday clones spread across the world, wreaking havoc. Supergirl fights attacks Cyborg Doomsday in a nuclear lab, Steel fights Superboy Doomsday in Moscow, and Superboy fights Steel Doomsday in Haiti.
In S.T.A.R. Labs, Superman, Lois and Dr. Kimiyo Hoshi use the original Doomsday's body to try and find a way to stop the Doomsday clones. Suddenly, Doomsday awakens, but the Eradicator speaks through him. The Eradicator says that, as a being of pure information, he leapt into the technology Luthor used to clone Doomsday so that he could control the original Doomsday. Also, the Eradicator says that he can help Superman against the Doomsdays. The Eradicator, controlling Doomsday's body, helps Earth's heroes fighting the Doomsday while Superman an accelerator to reach the Doomslayer's tower before its defenses detect him. Meanwhile, Earth's heroes begin fighting the Doomsdays. Reaching the Doomslayer's tower, Superman flies through a tunnel that leads to the ship's core. To stop him from foiling his plan, the Doomslayers powers up the ship's informational engines. As Superman reaches the ship's core, Superman finds information about the Doomsday Supergirl threw into a tunnel. The Doomsday spent years trapped inside the tunnel, conscious and fueled by rage. Suddenly, the Doomslayer blasts Superman with the ship's informational engines. The blast from the ship's informational engines does not destroy Superman, instead it converts him into data and transfers him into the ship's informational engines, where he meets the ship's artificial intelligence. The AI reveals that the ship is actually a sentient creature from another universe that got injured during a journey. When it was healing itself, Luthor attacked it and modified it to suit his needs. When Supergirl threw the Doomsday clone through the creature's tunnels, it was infused with the creature's knowledge, becoming the Doomslayer. Superman tells the creature that it can help, so the creature shows its internal schematics, teaching Superman how to repair it. When Superman learns everything he needs, the creature returns him to solid form. The Eradicator, meanwhile, defeats Superboy Doomsday in Moscow, and Zatanna teleports him to the ship and the heroes to Kansas, where they help Supergirl defeat Cyborg Doomsday. With the clones defeated, the heroes throw them way down into the pit the tower is located in, since the tower will also teleport things that are close to it. Reaching the tower's bridge, Superman manages to activate a sequence that will teleport the tower to its home before it reaches Earth's core. Suddenly, the Doomslayer attacks him but the Eradicator appears to help Superman. The Eradicator, telling Superman that it was an honor fighting alongside him, throws Superman out of the tower, seconds before it teleports away. With the battle over, Superman and Supergirl return to Metropolis. Later, Clark and Lois eat dinner in a restaurant. There, Clark admits to Lois about the Eradicator's sacrifice and that Luthor found out about his double life. He also says that maybe he should reveal his secret identity, but Lois says that it is not necessary, since the people will always trust Superman no matter what happens. Lois tells Clark that it was Jonathan and Martha Kent, not his coming from Krypton, that made him Superman. Clark and Lois then return home.
In an effort to save his mother's life from the Reverse-Flash, Barry Allen unknowingly changes reality, creating a new world in which his friends's lives, Superman included, are drastically different. In this new world, Kal-El's rocket crashes directly in Metropolis, causing several deaths. The government takes custody of Kal-El and initiates Project Superman, a military project with the sole purpose of creating a supersoldier that could be used against America's enemies. Kal is designated as Subject One. In the cold and harsh environment of the project's labs, Kal grows to become a solitary and very thin boy who has difficulty getting close to people. Kal's only sources of love and companionship are General Sam Lane, who loves him as the son he never had, and Krypto, who is designated as Subject Two. Kal is then contacted by Subject Zero, the very first person inducted into Project Superman. Having obtained superpowers from the experiments, Zero talks to Kal in a volume only he can hear. Zero trains Kal in the use of his powers, including x-ray vision, as three years pass. Kal witnesses as Lionel Luthor and his son Lex visit the project labs. However, Zero unleashes Two on the Luthors, forcing the soldiers to kill him, much to Kal's grief. However, Kal manages to reach Zero's chamber and destroys the lock with his heat vision, unleashing Zero. As Zero wreaks havoc across the base, Kal returns to General Lane's office, where he meets Lois, General Lane's daughter. Kal and Lois, intrigued by each other, try to reach for the other's hands when Zero comes in. Zero tries to kill Lois as revenge for the experiments her father conducted on him, but Kal defends her. Zero, thanking Kal for letting him escape, tries to kill them both, but General Lane appears with a harness that seals them both in the Phantom Zone. Later, General Nathaniel Adam takes over Project Superman, imposing a more strict schedule on Kal. Returning to his cell, Kal uses his heat vision to draw a picture of Lois in the glass. Kal would reach maturity in his time in Project Superman. The Flash, Batman and Cyborg planned to free Kal from his cell so that he could join them in their mission to stop the war between the Amazons and the Atlanteans and return the timestream to normal. They manage to free Kal, exposing him to yellow sunlight. However, Kal, remembering Lois, flies away from the three heroes and goes to England. Also, Kal's release from the project labs had also destroyed the power source that kept Zero in the Phantom Zone, allowing Zero to break free. As Kal reaches England, he finds that Lois is being attacked by the Amazons. He quickly saves her and tells her that they must go somewhere safe from Subject Zero. Lois tells him she can't leave, as she must stay and end the war. Suddenly, Zero reaches England and attacks them. Kal and Zero fight with Lois standing in the middle. A group of Amazons try to intervene, but Zero kills them. Lois tells Kal that he must escape from Zero, but Kal refuses, remembering that General Lane told them that they must protect people from monsters like Zero. Kal continues the battle with Zero, noticing that the energy Zero absorbed from his dead opponents is causing his body to overload. Taking advantage of this, Kal punches Zero in the torso and destroys him in a massive explosion. Unfortunately, Lois is injured in the blast and Kal cradles her in his arms. Lois dies of her injuries, but not before telling Kal to save the people. Mourning her death, Kal decides to be a Superman. In the final battle of the Amazon-Atlantean war, Kal crushes the Enchantress, and then he fights Wonder Woman and Emperor Aquaman. However, the Flash manages to change reality again, creating a new world and allowing his friends to live their lives once again, but in a new way.
After The Event of FlashPoint in this new timeline, details of Superman's Origins have changed and he is shown to have never married or developed a relationship with Lois Lane. Instead, Superman is in a relationship with Wonder Woman.
After the Justice League's debut, Superman would have new enemies in his early years as a hero. Superman met the Legion of Super-Heroes and they travelled to Superman's past in order to save his younger self from the Anti-Superman Army. This group of villains attempted to steal a piece of Kryptonite from Superman's rocket in order to kill Superman, but the heroes were able to stop them. Superman would find himself pitted against Maxim Zarov, a hunter who had suspicions that Superman and Clark were the same person. Also, Superman was forced to retire his Clark Kent identity and get a new identity as "Johnny Clark", a Metropolis firefighter. During his time as Johnny Clark, Superman came across Captain Comet, a telepath who wanted to take Susie Thompkins, Lois' niece, with him, as she had telepathic powers as well. With Susie's help, Superman is able to hold Captain Comet off. Also, with the help of Batman, Superman brings his Clark identity back from the dead. Clark has a conversation with Mrs. Nyxly, who reveals herself to ba fifth-dimension person called Nyxlygsptlnz. She tells him that a man from the fifth dimension, Vyndktvx is planning to ruin his life and Superman must stop him. With Susie's help, Superman is able to hold Captain Comet off. Also, with the help of Batman, Superman brings his Clark identity back from the dead. Clark has a conversation with Mrs. Nyxly, who reveals herself to be a fifth-dimension person called Nyxlygsptlnz. She tells him that a man from the fifth dimension, Vyndktvx is planning to ruin his life and Superman must stop him. Later, Superman saves a Mars colonization program from an entity called the Multitude, but Vyndktvx kills the colonists. Vyndktvx organizes the Anti-Superman Army to destroy Superman once and for all. As Superman confronts the Anti-Superman Army, Lois and Jimmy join forces with the legion of Super-Heroes to get help from Mxyzptlk, Nyxlygsptlnz's husband. With the help from his allies, Superman banishes Vyndktvx back to the fifth dimension. Nyxlygsptlnz thanks Superman for saving their worlds and Superman asks her to bring the Mars colonists back to life. As Mxyzptlk and Nyxlygsptlnz return to their dimension, Superman is free to live his life without interference. Superman was then afflicted by some sort of infection, causing him to collapse. Under the care of Dr. Shay Veritas, Superman begins to heal, but the infection separates itself from his body and becomes a creature of its own. With Dr. Veritas' help, Superman destroys the creature, but its virus spreads over to Metropolis, infecting several people. Superman manages to cure the people, but he is then attacked by the virus' creator, Lex Luthor. After a lengthy fight, Superman defeats Luthor, who is arrested. Superman also meets Kara Zor-El, his biological cousin and another surviving Kryptonian. Their first meeting becomes a fight and Superman explains Krypton's fate to her. Although Superman offers to help her, Kara decides to go her way. The Daily Planet is bought out by Morgan Edge under Galaxy Communications, renaming his news media the Planet Global Network and demolishing the old Planet building. This caused Clark to develop differences with Lois, who had become head of Edge's media divison. As Superman saves a fire monster from destroying Metropolis, Clark and Lois make peace. He also meets Jonathan Carroll, Lois' new boyfriend. Later, Superman is forced to fight a creature he cannot detect with his super-senses. With the help of the people of Metropolis, Superman defeats the new enemy. Clark begins working with Heather Kelley, who then becomes an ice entity. Although Superman stops the ramapage, Heather disappears. The three creatures that attacked Metropolis earlier confront Superman at his old apartment and throw him into outer space, assuming his shape and causing trouble across Metropolis. With Supergirl's help, Superman stops the creatures' attack. Later, Clark visits Heather at the hospital. While on patrol, Superman battles a mysterious robotic drone. During the fight, the drone teleports Superman to the Himalayas, where Superman meets the drone’s creator Helspont, lord of the Daemonites. Having watched Earth’s metahumans for a long time, Helspont wants Superman to help him take over Earth, but Superman refuses, causing Helspont to attack him. Although Helspont outclasses him in power, Superman refuses to surrender and manages to pin Helspont to a mountain where his base is located. However, Helspont disappears without a trace. Days later, Superman meets Helspont again in Earth’s orbit. Helspont effortlessly hurls Superman into the moon, causing him to collapse. He regains consciousness the ship of Grifter, but they don't have long to talk before the ship's hull is breached by a creature named Biomass. Superman knocks the creature out into space, sealing the breach behind them with his heat vision. Superman punches Biomass through the hull of Helspont's ship, and ends up on the bridge, facing down the captain once again. Helspont mocks Superman's sympathy for the millions who will be killed. Helspont reveals his origins and rise to power. His plan is to harvest humanity’s genetic property to develop metahuman powers and use it to restore his race’s genetic purity. Before disappearing, Helspont makes tantalizing mention of Jor-El. Superman's interest is piqued, but he receives no answers. Alone again, in space, Superman realizes that he has no idea what he should do in the face of Helspont's threat.
H'El On Earth
After his fight with Helspont, Superman asks Dr. Shay Veritas for help in making a training regime to increase his power in case Helspont returns. After a few weeks of exercises in the Block, Dr. Veritas' scientific complex, Superman returns to Metropolis, knowing that he has ignored his life as Clark Kent. At the Daily Planet, Clark finds out that Lois is planning to move out with her boyfriend. He also grows dissatisfied with his work, knowing that Morgan Edge is manipulating the Daily Planet's articles, so he quits the Daily Planet. Later, Superman discovers a mysterious alien dragon attacking Metropolis. After a lengthy brawl that leads to Ireland, Superman kills the dragon in an explosion. But in that moment, Kara appears to Superman, telling him that the creature he killed was a Kryptonian animal. She says that if a Kryptonian animal is on Earth, then that means Krypton must still be alive. Later, Lois visits Clark at his apartment, where they talk about Clark's recent departure from the Daily Planet and Lois' moving with Jonathan. In that moment, Clark receives a visit from Supergirl. To avoid an awkward moment, Clark gets Lois out of the apartment. Later, Superman and Supergirl go to the Metropolis Centennial Park. Superman is surprised by Supergirl's new ability to speak English; they have only spoken to each other in Kryptonian earlier. Supergirl reveals he has found another Kryptonian, H'El, who introduces himself to Superman. H'El recognizes Superman as the son of Jor-El and reveals that he was a test subject of the pod that brought Kal-El to Earth. However, he encountered many dangers in his journey and only arrived at Earth twenty-seven years after Kal-El had arrived. H'El expresses his plan to save Krypton and shows Superman the unconscious body of his clone, Superboy. H'El tries to kill Superboy, but Superman stops him, and the two engage in a fight. Superboy and Supergirl attempt to intervene, but H'El brutally knocks them out. After defeating Superman, H'El leaves Metropolis, but not before stating that he will save Krypton with Kara's help, no matter what price Earth has to pay.
Superman brings the wounded Superboy to the Fortress of Solitude in order to help him recover from his injuries. With the help of Cyborg and Dr. Veritas, Superman devises a way to cure Superboy. Detaching his Kryptonian armor, Superman places it on Superboy. Both realize that the armor is the only thing keeping Superboy alive, as H’el caused serious damage to Superboy’s cellular structure. Suddenly, H’El appears and kicks Superman and Superboy out of the Fortress. After being expelled from the Fortress, Superman tells Superboy that they will need help in recovering it. They travel to a special prison designed to hold only one person: Lex Luthor. There, Superman questions Luthor about H'El's plans. Superman believes that H'El wants to go back in time to prevent Krypton's destruction, and Luthor says that it can be done, but to do so, H'El will create an explosion that will destroy the entire solar system. To stop H'El, Superman calls the Justice League and prepares to attack the Fortress.
In the Block, Superman and his allies formulate a plan to stop H'El. Given that H'El has powers beyond Superman's, the Man of Steel that a shard of Kryptonite hidden in the Fortress might give the Justice League an advantage. When the team assaults the Fortress, however, H'El has already taken the shard to power the machine he is building to facilitate his journey through time. H'El also activates an alien device that traps Superman into perpetual pocket dimensions. Superboy goes into one of the device's portals in order to save him. After a journey through several bizarre dimensions, Superman and Superboy return to the Fortress and reunite withe Justice League continue the attack. Eventually, Superman and Superboy reach H'El and Supergirl (who had decided to help H'El complete his plan), but H'El moves the Fortress someplace else, leaving the heroes in the outside. Suddenly, H'El activates his machine, unleashing a large golden beam into the sky. H'El's star-chamber begins draining the Sun's energy. Superman, Superboy and Wonder Woman rally to destroy the machine, but H'El attacks them, ripping the Kryptonian armor off Superboy and reattaching it to Superman, saying that if Superman is going to die, he should with his Kryptonian honor intact. Superman clashes with H'El, telling Wonder Woman to help Superboy destroy the star chamber. Superman takes a hit from H'El and is launched into outer space. There, he meets the mysterious Oracle, who fills Superman's mind with memories of Krypton. When Superman attempts to talk to the Oracle, the Oracle simply disappears. Superman returns to Earth to stop H'El. Although Superboy destroys the star chamber, H'El already has enough solar energy to power his ship and travel to the past. However, Supergirl (who had discovered the true extent of H'El's plan) stabs H'El with a Kryptonite shard. Poisoned by the shard, H'El disappears into a time portal. With the crisis over, Superman takes Supergirl to the Fortress so he can cure her Kryptonite poisoning.
After the battle with H'El, Superman was called to a U.S. Senate hearing to discuss the existence of the Fortress of Solitude. The Senate representatives want to investigate the Fortress in order to secure or remove anything that might be considered a threat to the world. However, Superman refuses, appealing to his right to privacy and the fact that the Fortress contains technology beyond humanity's control. Clark also becomes a blogger to make ends meet. Later, Superman is attacked by the New God Orion, who believes him to be a threat to the universe. Fortunately, Wonder Woman stops the confrontation and discovers the reason behind Orion's attack. Hector Hammond, after falling into a coma, used his telepathy to hide his consciousness within Superman's memories. Wonder Woman and Orion banish Hammond back to his own body and Orion departs, apologizing for his earlier attack. He also uses his Mother Box to grant Superman protection from telepathic assaults. Continuing his investigative work, Clark goes to Gotham City, where a mysterious Chinese woman gives him a folder containing info about an urban myth called "the Twenty". Returning to Metropolis, Superman finds Lois, Jimmy and Perry to act irrationally and display aspects of his own personality, which causes Superman to believe someone is trying to attack him mentally. During this series of events, Superman discovers Lois has fallen into a coma and brings her to the hospital. Later, Clark tells Cat about his findings on the Twenty, believing that a story that big could help bring ClarkCatropolis on the map. An earthquake hits Metropolis and Superman discovers the destruction is being caused by metallic tentacles derived from Brainiac's technology. Before Superman can do anything, however, he is incapacitated by a psychic attack caused by the H.I.V.E. Queen, one of the Twenty. Recovering from the psychic attack, Superman attempts to stop the Queen, but she has the upper hand. In that moment, Hammond enters the fray and engages the Queen in a mental struggle, using the people of Metropolis as soldiers. As Metropolis is engulfed in chaos, Superman goes to the H.I.V.E. headquarters to directly stop the disaster. Upon arriving, he finds the building in ruins. Superman finds the heavily injured Hammond, who says that the Queen is dead. In that moment, a new villain arrives: the Psycho Pirate, a telepath who knows about Superman’s secret identity. The Psycho Pirate leads Superman to the Swarm, a prison for psionic people, explaining that he is also one of the Twenty. The Queen created the Swarm in order to prepare the world for Brainiac's return. With the Queen dead, the Psycho Pirate wants to release the people trapped in the Swarm, so he traps Superman in a illusionary world in order to absorb his energy. Lois, having developed psychic powers of her own, frees Superman from the illusions. Knowing they are outmatched against the Psycho Pirate, Superman and Lois join forces with Hammond and the H.I.V.E. Queen, who barely survived the Pirate's attack. They work together and defeat the Pirate, with Superman destroying his Medusa Mask with his heat vision. During the battle, however, Lois learns of Superman's secret identity and loses her powers and falls back into a coma. Afterwards, Superman brings Lois' comatose body back to the hospital, but then, a mysterious force pulls him into outer space.
As he travels in outer space, Superman meets up with Superboy and Supergirl. The three meet the Oracle, who explains them that H'El, who survived their earlier encounter, has managed to bring Krypton back to life. However, H'El also altered the timeline and they must stop him from destroying the universe. With the help of Faora, the Oracle's servant, the three heroes travel to different points of Krypton's history to stop H'El's plans. Superman travels to Kryptonopolis a few months before Krypton's destruction, where he meets his mother Lara. At first, Lara confuses Superman for an intruder and attacks him but stops after seeing the symbol of El in his armor. She also detects yellow sun radiation in his body and says he should wait for Jor-El. Superman watches Lara tell Jor-El that she is pregnant, but then his armor changes back to its usual colors. In that moment, Superman confronts a mysterious person who is aware about his travel in time. This stranger is in fact Jor-El, who came from one of the alternate futures created by H'El. Realizing he was the one who created H'El, Jor-El has come to the past to stop H'El from conquering Krypton. Superman and Jor-El travel to Krypton's core and fight H'El. At first, Jor-El wants to kill H'El but Superman instead uses H'El's own chronal powers against him and freezes him with his super-breath, locking H'El in a state of eternal limbo. As Superman and Supergirl are reunited in the present, the Oracle informs them that Superboy sacrificed his life to stop H'El. Mourning the loss of their friend, Superman and Supergirl return to Earth.
Days later, Clark has dinner with Wonder Woman, but they are interrupted by Lois Lane, manifested as an astral projection. Ever since she fell back into a coma, Lois's telepathy has grown exponentially. Clark visits her at the hospital and listens to her father, General Sam Lane, talk about something called "the Tower." Later, the Parasite attacks the hospital. As Superman goes to confront him, he realizes the Parasite has come for Lois. Superman attempts to protect Lois from the Parasite, but after seeing him absorb both his and Lois' powers, he considers the idea of Parasite curing Lois. Superman allows Parasite to absorb Lois' energy. Superman's plan works and the power overwhelms Parasite, causing him to collapse. Lois awakens from her coma, but she does not seem to remember Superman's identity. Although Lois is safe, Superman is conflicted about the fact that he risked her life to protect his secret identity. Superman finds a doorway in space and, under Dr. Veritas' instruction, leaves it under surveillance. Clark goes to his apartment, only to find Jimmy there. Even though Jimmy had previously earned a large inheritance from his parents, he wanted to feel normal again; so Clark allows him to be his roommate once more. Shortly afterwards, Cat visits Clark and informs him that Morgan Edge offered to buy their website, but Clark persuades Cat to turn down the offer. Later, Superman goes to the police precinct to interrogate a member of a criminal group who had previously ambushed Lois. In that moment, Starfire appears on the precinct, warning Superman of a threat coming to Earth. The suspect Superman was interrogating earlier transforms into an inhuman creature. Starfire kills the creature and informs Superman the Daemonites have created weapons that transform humans into Daemonites. Superman and Starfire confiscate the weapons and track the Daemonites down to an abandoned fairground, where they find a Daemonite. Before Superman and Starfire confront him, however, the creature commits suicide.
After delivering Despero to Belle Reve Prison, Superman and Wonder Woman talk about their relationship. Suddenly, a mysterious woman named Pandora appears and asks for Superman's help in opening her box, saying that his purity of heart can eradicate the evils she unknowingly set free. However, when Superman touches the box, the evil forces within it begin to cause him pain. Pandora is shocked that Superman was affected, saying that he is more human than she realized. She shoots him with her guns, but Wonder Woman protects him. As soon as Superman lets go of the box, Pandora disappears, taking the box with her. As Superman recovers, Batman informs that a new superhuman called Shazam has entered Kahndaq. Superman flies to Kahndaq as Shazam is attacked by the military. As soon Superman attempts to reason with the new superhero, Shazam attacks him. In that moment, the Justice League and the Justice League of America arrive at Kahndaq to defuse the situation. Suddenly, Dr. Light loses control of his powers and begins absorbing Superman's solar energy, unleashing an energy beam at Wonder Woman. In a fit of anger, Superman vaporizes Dr. Light with his heat vision, killing him. Superman becomes horrified at his actions as a fight breaks out between the two Leagues. Superman stops the League fight, asking to be locked up for murder. Later, he is placed on a cell and asks Batman about the man he killed. Batman proceeds to tell him about Doctor Light and his family, and that Cyborg and J'onn are doing an autopsy to prove his death was not Superman's fault. Wonder Woman enters the cell, and tells Batman about what happened with Pandora and her box. Later, Superman, who is getting visibly sick, is visited by a mysterious stranger who asks him if he wants to find out who really killed Dr. Light. As the Question releases Superman, he also gives him a newspaper clipping that states that Doctor Psycho, a supervillain who can control minds, was present on Kahndaq when Doctor Light was killed. Superman leaves his cell and encounters Cyborg, showing him the newspaper piece. Cyborg is convinced by this, but Director Amanda Waller orders the supeheroes under her command to take Superman into custody. However, the heroes are also convinced by Superman's innocence that they stage an escape. Superman, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg, Element Woman, Green Arrow, the Question and Firestorm decide to track Doctor Psycho down and get answers.
Superman, the Question and the others, arrive in Pittsburgh to confront Doctor Psycho. Martian Manhunter looks into his mind and learns that he was sent to Kahndaq by the Secret Society, but did not do anything to control Superman's mind. Overcome with guilt, the Atom tells Cyborg, Superman, Element Woman and Firestorm the true purpose of the creation of the Justice League of America, and that she was spying on the Justice League, so that is how the JLA end up in Kahndaq. Superman, questioning Waller's involvement, requests that the group head back to A.R.G.U.S. Upon returning, the A.R.G.U.S. facilities explode. Element Woman protects the group from the explosion using the strongest materials she could find. Amidst the rubble, the group accuses Director Waller, who also survived the explosion, of framing Superman into killing Dr. Light. She denies the accusations but Firestorm admits Waller made him create Kryptonite as a fail safe. Superman, still growing weaker from touching the box, requests the group to find survivors among the destroyed building and the heroes agree. Superman and his group arrives at the Temple of Hephaestus, where the box is located. Suddenly, the box infects the assembled heroes with evil thoughts, causing them to fight among each other. Batman acquires the box in the fight, but is attacked by Superman, who feels if he dies, Wonder Woman would become attracted to him. Wonder Woman, hoping to stop Superman from attacking Batman, hits him, causing Batman be knocked back and lose the box. With the box dormant, Wonder Woman sees that Superman is still sick, and wonders why the box is physically affecting him and not others. Firestorm approaches and tells everyone that Superman is emitting Kryptonite. Element Woman goes inside Superman's blood stream and finds a small sliver in his brain. Atom then tells everyone that she put it there and was the mole. In Kahndaq, she traveled into his brain and planted the Kryptonite, which hit a nerve and triggered his heat vision attack on Dr. Light. In that moment, the Secret Society leader grabs the box and opens a portal to his universe, allowing the Crime Syndicate to enter the Justice League's world.
The Crime Syndicate imprisons the Justice Leagues inside the Firestorm Matrix, which psychologically places them in situations that depict their greatest failures. Superman is placed in a situation in which he attempts to stop Doctor Light's accidental murder over and over again. Martian Manhunter attempts to break him out but Superman ignores him. Superman and the other heroes are finally released from the Firestorm Matrix when Batman uses Wonder Woman's lasso of truth on Firestorm. However, Superman is still infected with the Kryptonite shard inside his nervous system, but Luthor is able to extract it, saving Superman's life. At the same time, Luthor had assembled a group of villains that had defeated Crime Syndicate. Later, at the Batcave, Superman and the Justice League talk about the enemy that destroyed the Crime Syndicate's world, realizing Darkseid will return.
The Underground World
While having lunch, Clark hears a sound coming from Venezuela. As Superman goes to investigate, he finds a gigantic underground creature attacking Lana Lang and her crew. While Superman attempts to stop the creature, he realizes the creature is sentient. Military forces attempt to intervene and when Superman attempts to stop them, a mysterious soldier known only as the Ghost Soldier attacks him. Superman temporarily incapacitates the soldier and takes the creature to the Fortress of Solitude. There, Clark watches the creature transform into a humanoid child. Clark and the child, named Baka, become friends until Clark recieves a call from Lana, who shows him pictures of an underground structure she found while drilling on Venezuela. Superman and Baka return to Venezuela to make sure Lana is safe and find her at the mercy of a group of underground beasts, led by the warrior Ukur. Before Superman and Ukur come to blows, Baka causes a cave-in. As Superman saves Lana, Ukur brings them to an underground land named Imperial Subterranea. Superman and Lana meet Kokya, Queen of Subterranea, and agree to vist her palace. However, they discover a group of small underground creatures being tortured to power the light orbs that power the city. Superman and Lana save the creatures with help of Baka and the Ghost Soldier, who reveals his identity to Superman. The four escape to the surface but as the underground creatures are not used to sunlight, they are transformed into large monsters. The Ghost Soldier stabs Superman in the back, berating him from bringing monsters to the surface. While Superman recovers from his wound, the Ghost Soldier kills the creatures he brought to the surface. Angry at the Soldier's cruelty, Superman freezes him. Also, Ukur gets to the surace, demanding Baka comes with him. Seeing that the military is intending to purge the area, Superman reluctantly agrees. As Ukur and Baka return to Subterranea, Superman seals the entrance with a boulder and takes down the military's drones. He then goes to find the Soldier's commanding officers. Arriving at the Tower's headquarters, Superman confronts the Tower's commander, Harrow, who claims her actions are meant to protect the world and destroy Superman, who she sees as a threat. Harrow summons an army of ghosts to fight Superman, but he is able to turn them against her, forcing Harrow to release them into the afterlife. Although Harrow has been defeated, she disappears and claims Superman and her will meet again.
All of Smallville's inhabitants inexplicably fall into a coma. Superman, thinking Doomsday is involved to the event, investigates and comes across the Eradiactor, a living embodiment of entropy, who warns that Superman will destroy Earth. Later, as Superman continues his investigation in the Fortress of Solitude, Cyborg tells him an island in the Bahamas has been destroyed. The one responsible for the destruction of the island is Doomsday, whose blood now contains a toxin capable of instantaneously killing anyone within a hundred yards, meaning Superman is now the only one who can survive a direct confrontation with him. As Superman discusses Doomsday's threat with the Justice League, Luthor informs them Doomsday is absorbing the life-force from its victims to gain enough power to destroy Superman. Luthor suggests Superman should leave Earth and perhaps Doomsday will leave as well. Superman agrees and confronts Doomsday in outer space. The confrontation ends in Smallville, where Superman rips Doomsday in half. To prevent Doomsday's toxin from spreading into the atmosphere, Superman inhales it all from Doomsday's corpse and falls unconscious.
As Superman wakes up, he finds himself covered in Doomsday's blood. The Justice League arrives to assist him but Superman, still weakened after the battle, flies off and goes to sleep in a forest in Alaska alongside Krypto. As soon as he awakens, Superman watches a group of hunters kill a wolf. In a fit of rage, Superman knocks the hunters unconscious. He later attempts to enter the Fortress of Solitude but its security systems no longer recognize his DNA. After seeing grey spikes grow on his knuckles, Clark returns to Metropolis. As he returns to his apartment, Clark slowly undergoes a mutation that transforms him into a Doomsday-like creature, with grey rock-like skin and red eyes. Diana visits Clark to make sure he is alright, but Clark becomes aggressive towards her, as the virus is beginning to affect his mind. Diana urges Clark to fight the virus' influence. Clark returns to normal but laments the fact his inner beast is still waiting to get out. To avoid causing damage, he decides to turn himself in to the authorities.
Superman is held in the same facility Lex Luthor had been previously imprisoned at, while the Justice League works to find a cure. As his mutation worsens, Superman requests a visit from Lois Lane. Superman has a vision of the Teen Titans in danger. Wanting to help, Superman leaves the facility and finds the Titans, effortlessly defeating their enemy. The Titans are unnerved by Superman's condition, causing Superman to leave. The military declares Superman an enemy of the state and Superman escapes to Chile to avoid causing more trouble. There, he meets Steel but their conversation is short, as they are both attacked by Metallo and Atomic Skull, who have both been authorized by the army to take Superman down. Steel subdues Atomic Skull while Superman discovers Metallo has been equipped with Kryptonite explosives for a suicide attack. Metallo triggers the bombs, releasing a large Kryptonite cloud that covers the entire world. Although the blast kills Metallo, Superman survives, but the Kryptonite explosion has weakened his state of mind and accelerated his transformation.
While a mutated Superman causes destruction in the jungles of Brazil, Clark has a mental confrontation with his inner monster, dubbed "Superdoom", to retain control of his body. Wonder Woman calls her friend Hessia, an Amazon healer, to help Superman keep his mutation in check. Hessia believes Superman is beyond saving and attempts to kill him. During the fight, Hessia reveals she was the one who revealed Superman's relationship with Wonder Woman to the world because she wanted to see if they were right for each other. Wonder Woman intervenes and takes Superman to Earth's orbit, where the Kryptonite has no effect. Superman momentarily regains control and decides to leave Earth. As soon as he leaves, however, Superman is attacked by Red Lanterns Guy Gardner, Zillius Zox. Among them is Supergirl, who has become a Red Lantern as well. Before things can escalate, Wonder Woman stops the fighting and convinces the Red Lanterns to let Superman leave.
After two days, Superman goes to the asteroid belt and smashes as many asteroids as he can in order to vent his anger. Then, Supergirl comes to Superman and takes him to the other side of the galaxy. There, they find an alien colony established on a moon is about to be destroyed by an alien criminal known as Hakar. Superman reluctantly confronts Hakar, while the moon's inhabitants attempt to escape. Hakar explains he has a condition that causes him to consume all sorts of energy, including that of the moon's core. He gave the colonists enough time to evacuate the moon before he lost control of his hunger and destroyed the moon. Superman, exerting enough control over his new Doomsday powers, manages to stop the moon's debris from destroying the escape fleet. Hakar attempts to make peace with Superman, but Superdoom takes control of Superman again and brutally attacks Hakar. Superdoom hears a signal emitted by Lana and flies to Jupiter's orbit, finding Lana and Steel under attack by Brainiac's forces. After Superdoom takes down Brainiac's ships, Steel explains him that more ships will attack Earth. Superdoom reaches the invasion fleet and confronts its commander, a cyborg with Superman's appearance.
After ripping Cyborg Superman's right arm off, SuperDoom goes to Earth and begins fighting Brainiac's forces alongside the Justice League. SuperDoom also burns the nanites inside Lois' body, freeing her from Brainiac's control. When SuperDoom attempts to destroy a village, Wonder Woman confronts him while Clark attempts to regain control of his body. The Justice League is able to purge all the Kryptonite from Earth's atmosphere and SuperDoom transforms back into Superman. The Justice League also takes down Brainiac's army. However, the Cyborg Superman reveals he constructed a portal in the moon, which allows Brainiac's mothership to arrive at Earth. As Brainiac begins absorbing every mind on the planet, Superman creates a new plan: use the Phantom Zone projector to seal both Earth and Brainiac's mothership in the Phantom Zone to give the heroes enough time to defeat Brainiac. Discovering the heroes' strategy, Brainiac disables the Phantom Zone projector, destroys the Justice League satellite and attempts to crash his mothership into the planet, but Superman and Martian Manhunter manage to push the mothership away.
Shortly afterwards, Superman and Martian Manhunter rescue Lana and Steel from the remains of the Justice League satellite and takes them to the Fortress of Solitude. There, the heroes realize Brainiac targeted Metropolis and Smallville before any other city because he knew how much those cities meant to Superman. In other words, he wants to get back at Superman for foiling his first invasion five years back. As he goes to face Brainiac's army, Superman releases SuperDoom from his mental prison. Then, SuperDoom assumes control of Superman's body, apparently killing Superman.
The Man of Tomorrow
Clark goes to the Daily Planet, where Perry attempts to convince him to return to his old job. Later, a large spacecraft attacks Metropolis and Superman confronts one of its soldiers. With the help of a stranger called Ulysses, Superman defeats the enemy soldier. Superman explains Ulysses that he is on Earth; and Ulysses, who believed himself to be the last son of Earth, is surprised Earth has survived. After the battle with Klerik, Clark asks Perry for information about the Ulysses Research Lab, until Ulysses goes to the Daily Planet looking for Superman, recognizing him as Clark Kent. To prevent Ulysses from revealing his secret identity, Clark takes him to his apartment and tells him to stay there while he goes to the ruins of the Ulysses lab. As he searches through the debris, Metropolis is attacked by robot soldiers. Superman and Ulysses quickly defeat them and Superman tells Ulysses that he discovered his parents, Peter and Bridget Quinn, were scientists who worked in the Ulysses Lab and survived the accident that almost destroyed the lab. Superman takes Ulysses to his parents' home. Ulysses is reunited with his parents and his real name is revealed to be Neil.
Superman helps Neil to get acquainted to his parents while Ulysses is able to trace the enemy robots' energy signature and trace it back to the place where they were created, a factory hidden in Metropolis' scrap yard. As they investigate the factory, Superman and Ulysses encounter the Machinist, the creator of the robots. He has been making those robots to make a fortune out of weapons that can harm Superman. The Machinist attempts to brainwash the duo with mind control devices but Ulysses kills him. However, the Machinist the duo had faced was just a brainwashed decoy: the real Machinist is somewhere else and Ulysses had just killed an innocent man.
Powers and Abilities
Kryptonian Physiology: Superman's cellular structure is more dense, resilient and biologically more effective than human tissue. Strangely enough, he does not seem to possess superhuman strength levels despite his enhanced cellular ability without his cellular structure charged with yellow solar energy. Without such charging, his strength seems on par for a human of his height and weight who engages in regular physical activity. As an alien he possesses several organs whose functions are not yet disclosed or understood but are believed to be part of and perhaps even the source of his biomatrix force field and reclamation aura. Superman's body also stores energy actively within his bio-cellular matrix as an energy pattern that is linked to his body's electromagnetic field. This energy powers most of Superman's electromagnetic capabilities such as flight and heat vision. It also supplements his physical strength by a factor of 12,000 times or so.
- Solar Energy Absorption: Technically, this is the main source of Superman's powers. Because Superman's powers are greatly due to exposure to Earth's yellow sun, his powers have been affected by extreme absorptions of solar power, whether voluntary or involuntary. However, Superman has used this to his advantage in battle in many instances, and to his detriment at certain times.
- Superhuman Strength: The exact magnitude of Superman's strength is unknown. This is because Superman's strength, like his other powers, has fluctuated over time, however, his strength should effortlessly range into the multi-megaton level at the very least. While the exact magnitude of Superman's strength is unknown, it is generally accepted that his strength easily surpasses the capacity to lift 1,000,000 tons, but how much more is not known exactly. Arguably the strongest being on the planet and one of the strongest beings in the Universe. Superman has shown feats of strength such as: being seen lifting an enormous pyramid and flying it to Mars without any strain (which can weigh millions and millions of tons depending on their size), being so strong that he is capable of ripping off the arm of the likes of Darkseid and physically defeating him in combat, and moving the planet Earth away from the Sun while a powerful Cosmic Entity was pushing it toward the Sun. He is so strong, he possesses the strength necessary shatter entire worlds. Superman has been chained to the endless wheels of the Mageddon machinery and his strength was used to move the gears of a weapon whose size dwarfed the entire Earth/Moon system itself. He can become "supercharged" and exceed his "normal" power levels, as evident when his power absorption ability ran amok which needed the Parasite to drain off his excessive power levels.
- Invulnerability: Superman's body is nigh-invulnerable. This ability's levels have changed over time. He has taken a blast equivalent to a million nuclear war heads point blank and remained conscious. Currently he is even more durable than in the past. He has entered the Sun and emerged completely unharmed, he has even traveled through Krypton's Red Sun and survived physically unharmed, even though Red Solar Radiation depowers and weakens him. He has been seen to skirt the photosphere of the sun (100,000,000 degrees F). Superman has even been shown withstanding Darkseid's Omega Beams, a feat that was previously considered impossible. Superman was able to survive the nuclear destruction of the entire moon in the year 2995 when he was stuck in the future. The moon had been lined with sufficient nuclear devices to disintegrate it in one shot and Superman was in the center and survived without being hurt at all. Superman has withstood 3 particle beams, each powered by the core of a planet, fired at him. One of these planet-powered beams was a plasma beam capable of leveling a huge city a few times over entirely with a single blast. Most likely his greatest feat of durability recently, is that he was recently able to withstand the destructive power of a Sun exploding and going Nova (A result of Brainiac’s technology.) at point blank range to the planet he was on (Which was eradicated by the force of the explosion with the rest of the surrounding system.) and survived without any visible physical damage although the explosion did knock him out. In addition, his immune system protects him from all toxins and diseases. The most common explanations for his invulnerability are Superman having a super-dense molecular structure and/or a supercharged bio electric "aura" which acts as an invisible "force field" around his body within a few millimeters from his skin, and presumably within his body as well. The proximity of this field to his skin means that loose clothes, for example, may be burned off of him, while cloth that is close to his body is protected by the "aura;" This phenomenon is sometimes cited as Superman's reason for wearing a skin-tight bodysuit. It is sometimes implied that he can unconsciously extend this field to an undetermined extent to protect a greater area, allowing him to carry huge objects within the Earth's atmosphere and without gravity or inertia tearing them apart around his human-sized hands.
- Longevity: Superman can live almost indefinitely.
- Superhuman Stamina: Superman has the ability to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an undefined period. Theoretically, most incarnations of the character has unlimited stamina as his enhanced nourishment is produced from the solar energy his cells process. Superman like other Kryptonians does not get tired and does not need to eat or sleep and can be sustained on Solar energy alone.He can also hold his breath for an undefined duration.
- Flight: Under one Earth gravity Superman is capable of flying at faster than light speeds. He tends to fly at speeds of Mach 10 in the atmosphere. His control of his flight is perfect and he can perform aerobatic feats such as hovering, flying backwards and even lifting great weights while flying. Superman can fly at speeds many times faster than light. Superman has the ability to fly in outer space. He has been seen to fly to the moon in minutes so it can be assumed that he can fly faster than that outside of atmospheric interference.
- Superhuman Speed: Superman is capable of enhanced reflex action and the ability to move at incredible speeds by sheer force of will. While not nearly as fast as the Flash (Wally West), Superman can move at speeds much faster than light and is one of the fastest beings in the Universe. Superman can match most other speedsters in their ability to perform super fast movements, reactions, and processes. He can use this power to disarm opponents with or without heightened reflexes, catch bullets or shrapnel or cross vast distances in seconds. Superman can also run at incredible speeds and even keep up with most speedsters; he was seen running steadily alongside the flash at a speed of 2000 miles per second (mach 9350) He has been seen flying from the Moon to the Earth in less than 2 minutes. Superman is so fast that he is even able to vibrate through blows akin to what the Flash can do as seen in his fight with Doomsday.
- Superhuman Hearing: The ability to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. The only Earth creature who can detect sounds at the frequency he can is a blue whale (0.01-200,000 Hz). He has shown enough control to block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source/frequency. He can hear every single heartbeat, as well as the blood pumping through everyone's veins, hear every foot step, every cell phone signal as it lances through the air and more. He can identify a person by their heartbeat, or pick out a single voice in an entire world.
- Super Smell: On various occasions, Superman has demonstrated that his sense of smell is significantly enhanced to the point he can smell odours across the entire planet without any problem.
- Super Scream: In one instance, Superman was shown to have the ability to project a "super scream" from his vocal cords. He used this ability to cancel out the impending threat of an already exploding nuclear detonation.
- Self-Sufficiency: Doesn't need to eat and sleep so long as he's under the effects of yellow sun radiation. His body stores the energy necessary to negate eating and sleeping for an indefinite period.
- Healing Factor: In the extreme event that Superman is harmed, either by an alien matching his own strength or other occurence, he has been shown to have the ability to heal almost instantaneously from any wound, assuming that the process is not impeded from some outside factor i.e. Kryptonite. This "healing factor" is supplemented by his stores of solar energy and also seems to be an unconscious ability, as Superman does not seem to have the ability to control when he heals and when he doesn't. Much like a human has no control over their immune system.
- Super Breath: The ability to create hurricane force winds by blowing, and to chill his breath in order to freeze a target (this latter ability has also been called "freeze breath" and "arctic breath"). The ability to chill inhaled air is a function of Superman's great strength and invulnerability. When Superman takes air into his lungs they compress the incoming gas. When this gas expands upon exhalation, in a fashion analogous to the operation of an air conditioners compressor, the sudden increase in volume of the gas causes its temperature to drop proportionally to the size of this expansion. Superman can also breathe in large amounts of air, an ability used when dealing with and disposing things like clouds of poison gas.
- Heat Vision: The ability to fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it with the conscious act of activating this power. Visually, the power is typically depicted as two beams of red light firing from his eyes. These beams can be made invisible, allowing Superman to work undetected. His heat vision is so powerful that they are able to power up the giant ion planet moving engines with his heat vision alone, annihilate an entire army of Doomsday clones in one blast, and has even been stated to rival the heat of a Star. The area of effect can be consciously determined by Superman, down to the microscopic level. Recent stories imply the precision is so exact it can bypass a target's outer shell (not causing damage to a person's skull for surgical purposes)
- Super Vision: He also possess a superior sensory arrangement of microscopic, telescopic, infrared and ultraviolet visual capabilities. He is able to see the entire spectrum. STAR Laboratories has not been able to complete define how Superman has been able to utilize his powerful senses, part of the mechanism is physical, part of it is believed to be psionic in nature. Abilities include:
- Electro-magnetic Spectrum Vision:Superman can see into all of the EM Spectrum. He can see and identify radio/television and any and all broadcast/transmitted frequencies, allowing him to avoid detection through radar or satellite monitoring methods. Superman can see the aura that every living thing generates.
- Super Vision: He also possess a superior sensory arrangement of microscopic, telescopic, infrared and ultraviolet visual capabilities. He is able to see the entire spectrum. STAR Laboratories has not been able to complete define how Superman has been able to utilize his powerful senses, part of the mechanism is physical, part of it is believed to be psionic in nature. Abilities include:
- Telescopic Vision: The ability to focus his vision to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics.
- Microscopic Vision: The ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the sub atomic level.
- X-Ray Vision: The ability to see through anything except lead. Opponents sometimes used lead-lined constructs in an attempt to hide things from Superman. He can see things behind a wall as if the wall were not there, or can "peel back" layer after layer of matter in his mind. Kal-El is able to focus his vision past layers of matter, literally seeing "through" them -- possibly perceiving x-rays, cosmic rays or other forms of energy invisible to normal human vision which pass through Earth's atmosphere (and solid objects) after emission from stars. Since it is passive, this ability would not generate harmful radiation in the same manner as a focused projection of hard X-rays.
Energy Matrix: The radical mutation that had taken over Kal-El had turned him into an energy based life form that didn't normally exist wholly within this plane of reality.
- Energy Form: Superman loses his traditional powers and transforms into a being of electromagnetic energy. In order to maintain physical cohesion in this form, he needs to wear a containment suit.
- Lightning Bolt Travel: ability to travel as a bolt of lightning landing with a jolt when ever he landed.
- Alter Density: In this form Superman can become intangible allowing him to phase through solid objects or down to the point where he is a normal human, but in this state he possessed no powers and was no more powerful that the average human male.
- Electromagnetic Spectrum Manipulation: allows him the ability to influence all forms of energy allowing him to control magnetism, gravitational forces, radiation and electricity.
- Electromagnetic Spectrum Sight: see in vastly expanded and different radiation spectra frequencies of energy.
- Electrical Absorption: draw power from electrical sources.
- Electrical Blasts
- 'Solid Field': ability to produce a solid field that allowed him to physical interact with objects, he was also able to control the shape and size of his field.
- Electronic Link: ability to link with electronic systems such as computers
- Electronic Teleportation: travel through systems much like electric current.
Master Combatant: He has been trained by both Wildcat (in Boxing), and Mongul in the fighting arts. Superman has fought and learned from Wonder Woman. He has also learned more advanced martial arts techniques from Batman.
Genius-Level Intellect: Superman has shown incredible intelligence and computational abilities; his mind works sharply and with extreme speed relative to earth-humans. His analytical powers are impressive he is able to use his senses to read information directly from machines (and, with careful usage of his heat vision, he can even reprogram machines). Recently after he regained his powers in the "One Year Later" arc, his brain's intelligence has increased and it operates with much greater speed, procession, and analytical prowess, to the point he can recall things in such detail that he knows the ballistic of every shot by Bloodshot before, the vector and mass of each and every one of Riot's bodies, he can see into one of the most advanced Kryptonian Sun Stone Battle Ship and watch energy patterns shift and change, trace command signals at light speed down branching, maze-like pathways whilst, at the same time, finding one small knot of circuitry
Indomitable Will: Superman has shown to have a powerful Force of Will, completely free of evil or temptation. Having been raised by a kindly Kansas farmer and his wife, Superman was taught to protect life and help others. He is very optimistic and never gives up, even when things look bad.
Torquasm Vo: Torquasm Vo is a Kryptonian discipline that Superman uses sometimes. It is basically a means of focusing ones mental discipline to help fight adverse effects such as mental domination. It can be used to manipulate someone's mind. Superman used that ability during his fight against the Eradicator. It was used to create an illusion to let Superman enter inside the Eradicator.
Torquasm Rao: Allows him to tap into his instints and seperate himself from his body.
Leadership: Superman has proven many times over his ability to command respect and inspire others with his charisma, ardor, and idealism. He often serves as the primus inter pares of the Justice League.
Limiters: Over the course of his life and acquisition of power under a yellow sun, Superman has learned how to place mental inhibitors on his own power. These "limiters" as he calls them, are used to keep his power in check so that he doesn't accidentally "flex and cause the tectonic plates to shift". Though it is known that he has placed several of these limiters within his own mind, it is unknown how many and just how powerful he would be if he decided to release them all. To him, they are the barriers that allow him to be human enough to live a normal life, and he only ever releases one of them when fighting a particularly powerful opponent or performing a predominately difficult task.
- Class 100+; the exact magnitude of Superman's strength is unknown but he has demonstrated that his strength is so vast, that he is capable of even moving an object as large as a planet. This ability to move large objects suggests that his apparent strength may be partially psionic in nature due to the laws of physics which place clear limits on a human-sized object moving a planetary-sized one. (Superman would tend to go-through such a body before he could impart a motion to it because of his small size relative to such a body and the essential 'granular' nature of a planets composition. Also, when Superman is shown lifting an object such as a large building, if native strength was all that he employed in the effort, the building would crumble under its own weight.)
- Magic: Superman's biomatrix is his most powerful asset, but the strength of this field is also its greatest weakness. It's permeability to certain wavelengths makes Superman vulnerable to certain radiations, particularly magical energies whose chaotic electromagnetic or extradimensional signatures disrupt this forcefield. Superman's vulnerability to magic varies on the special effects of the magic. No magic seems to be able to directly destroy him unless it comes from a semi-divine or divine source. He can be injured and worn down by magical entities. Magic can have powerful and unpredictable effects on Superman and his magical enemies have often proven to be the most dangerous. Recently, Superman has learned more about magic with the help of Zatanna and he is able to counter almost every spell. Magic has unknown effect on him. He was able to survive when he had a magical sword in the chest and a magical arrow in his back. It was during a fight against four Elder Gods. A fight that Superman won. He was able to withstand a magical blast that managed to knockout the entire JLA and both Wonder Woman (magic being) and Zauriel (Angel). He went after the enemy in question and stopped him.
- Kryptonite: Since the destruction of Krypton, its remains (rendered radioactive by the explosion) have been spreading throughout the universe as Kryptonite, a crystalline substance whose specific radiation is lethal to Kryptonians native to this reality. The most common form of Kryptonite is Green Kryptonite, and its effect is directly poisonous. Kyrptonite from other realities does not necessarily have the same effects on all Kryptonians. For example, Kryptonite from the Pocket Universe is not as lethal to Superman as Kryptonite that comes from his native reality. Superman was able to survive inside a Red Sun that was surrounded by Kryptonite.
- Kryptonians: On the rare occasions where he has battled other Kryptonians, they seem more easily able to harm one another as well. A noticeable observation is that other Kryptonians appear to develop superhuman abilities immediately upon entering a yellow star system, whereas it took Kal-El many years living under a yellow sun for his powers to develop. (This may be because he arrived on Earth as a toddler. Had he been an adult or perhaps adolescent his powers would likely have manifested themselves much more readily.)
- Lead: Superman cannot see through lead with his vision powers.
- Solar Energy: Superman abilities will eventually weaken without replenishing his energy reserves with normal (yellow) sun radiation. When exposed to the same red solar radiation as Krypton's red sun Rao, it causes Superman to lose his powers within a large amount of exposure until the exposure to yellow sunlight will reverse this effect.
- Superman has built Superman Robots, which can act as security for the Fortress of Solitude as well as stand in for him temporarily
- Superman's Origin Story has been Rewritten many times over the years, each time heavily changing which stories may be considered in continuity based on the interpretation. John Byrne wrote his definitive Mini-Series The Man of Steel in 1986 following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, part of sweeping changes in the Post-Crisis DC Universe to make stories more accessible. It was later updated and retold again by Mark Waid in his 2003 Mini-Series Superman: Birthright, which brought back many older plot points that had been non-canon during the Byrne-Era. Geoff Johns Rebooted the DCU during Infinite Crisis in 2006, although Superman's New Origins wouldn't be completely explored until his 2009 Mini-Series Superman: Secret Origin. Following the birth of the DCnU when the Timeline was altered during Flashpoint in 2011, Grant Morrison was tasked to write an updated Origin Story in his run on Action Comics.
Superman is commonly seen as a brave and kind-hearted hero with a strong sense of justice, morality and righteousness. He adheres to a strict moral code often attributed to the Midwestern values with which he was raised. His commitment to operating within the law has been an example to many other heroes but has stirred resentment among others, who refer to him as the "big blue boy scout." Superman can be rather rigid in this trait, causing tensions in the superhero community, notably with Wonder Woman (one of his closest friends) after she killed Maxwell Lord. To protect his secret identity, Superman has constructed a persona in his civillian identity as Clark Kent. To the world at large, Clark is a mild-mannered and clumsy person. Only Lois Lane, his wife, knows that this attitude is just an act. Having lost his home world of Krypton, Superman is very protective of Earth, and especially of Clark Kent’s family and friends. This same loss, combined with the pressure of using his powers responsibly, has caused Superman to feel lonely on Earth, despite his many friends, his wife and his parents. Previous encounters with people he thought to be fellow Kryptonians, Power Girl (who is, in fact from the Krypton of the Earth-Two universe) and Mon-El, have led to disappointment. The arrival of Supergirl, who has been confirmed to be not only from Krypton but also his cousin, has relieved this loneliness somewhat.
- Superman's birthday is February 28th.
- Superman does not drink alcohol.
- Superman was a vegetarian at one point in his life.
In Other Media
- Smallville (TV Series)
- Superman: The Movie
- Superman II
- Superman III
- Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
- Superman Returns
- Man of Steel (Film)