Appearing in "The End of the Beginning"
Synopsis for "The End of the Beginning"
Continuing directly from the reveal of Darkseid and his apparent invasion of Metropolis in Superman: Man of Steel #115, Superman and the Justice League stand in the way of the Apokoliptan force ready to fight. Darkseid, however, just laughs at them, saying if this were a true invasion, Metropolis would be littered with corpses and Superman and the Justice League would be nothing but vapor. He implies that he has come to Earth because of Imperiex, but Superman demands more of an answer from him. When he grabs at Darkseid's shoulder to force him to answer, Darkseid has had enough and blasts him away with his Omega Beams. Plastic Man and Green Lantern catch Superman from being thrown too far, and the Justice League ready to fight with only Martian Manhunter holding them back.
The League finally does stand back when President Luthor and is staff arrive and exchanges pleasantries with Darkseid. Superman is furious at Luthor for knowing that Darkseid and his forces were coming to Earth, but Lex ignores him and talks with Darkseid. Darkseid claims that nothing has occurred on Earth and that they have days at least before anything happens. Luthor finally addresses the League telling them they must prepare quickly and they had much to discuss. He tells Superman, however, that he is needed in Berlin, as the "General" from Pokolistan is trying to start a war. Although Superman at first refuses to leave, Luthor claims he is the only one who can keep America out of a conflict for now. With Martian Manhunter's assurance that they will keep Superman advised of everything that happens, Superman leaves.
In Berlin, Luthor and Superman are conversing by radio while Superman is fighting the invaders. Although Lex keeps talking about how this move by Zod is to have more of a psychological effect than to be an actual invasion, Superman keeps it personal, continually claiming that "He broke my jaw" (in Action Comics #779). The conversation continues with interjections from Martian Manhunter, the Suicide Squad and Darkseid all while Superman continues his fight. He finally finds Zod and his Lieutenants and says he wants a word with the general. They begin a fight which eventually carries them high into the atmosphere and out into space. During the fight, Superman questions why Zod wants to fight Superman. Zod finally subdues him and says that he has spent his entire life waiting for the moment where Superman will "Kneel Before Zod". Superman recognizes this phrase and flashes back to Superman #22 where he killed General Zod with Kryptonite. Thinking it impossible that this General Zod could be the same as the Zod which he killed Superman continues the battle. Zod, however proves that he knows of what Superman did to the other Zod continuing to claim that he is the same.
Their battle is cut short, though, as something rockets to Earth and explodes. Zod tells Superman that whatever it was didn't come from him and that perhaps their battle could be postponed. He muses about the interesting times to come as Superman flies off back towards Earth.
In the White House, Mercy Graves walks into the Oval Office and tells Luthor that "It begins". Soon after, Vice-President Pete Ross rushes in to tell Lex that something catastrophic has happened to Kansas. The story ends with Superman flying above a cloud of destruction in Kansas and with a quote from Clark Kent that appeared in the Daily Planet.
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Our Worlds at War Crossover