"Rocket Song": On Krypton, with their world coming down around them, Jor-El bemoans the fact that the council wouldn't even hear out his plan for evacuating the planet before it meets its destruction. Carefully wrapping their baby in Jor-El's father's cloak, he and [
- We must be brave. At least as brave as he will have to be.
- -- Lara Lor-Van
Appearing in "Rocket Song"
- Superman (Flashback and main story)
- Jonathan Kent (Flashback only)
- Jor-El (Dies in flashback)
- Krypto (Flashback only)
- Lara Lor-Van (Dies in flashback)
- Legion of Superheroes (Adult Legion)
- Martha Kent (Flashback only)
- Anti-Superman Army (First appearance)
- Phantom Zoners
- Zod (First appearance; unnamed. Appears only in flashback)
- Xa-Du (First appearance; unnamed. Appears only in flashback)
- Ursa (First appearance; unnamed. Appears only in flashback)
- Non (First appearance; unnamed. Appears only in flashback)
- Jax-Ur (First appearance; unnamed. Appears only in flashback)
- Ras-Krom (First appearance; unnamed. Appears only in flashback)
- Ak-Var (First appearance; unnamed. Appears only in flashback)
- Vak-Ox (First appearance; unnamed. Appears only in flashback)
- Fortress of Solitude
- Krypton (Flashback only) (Destroyed)
- Smallville, Kansas
- Phantom Zone (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Rocket Song"
On Krypton, with their world coming down around them, Jor-El bemoans the fact that the council wouldn't even hear out his plan for evacuating the planet before it meets its destruction. Carefully wrapping their baby in Jor-El's father's cloak, he and Lara decide to attempt to escape through the Phantom Zone.
However, as they open the portal, it becomes clear that the super-criminals imprisoned there are waiting with anticipation for the opportunity to torture their captor and his family as soon as they cross into the Zone. Xa-Du poses a particular threat, reaching through the portal to grasp at the young Kal-El. Fortunately, Krypto, the family dog, leaps forward and bites at Du's hand, allowing the family to escape. Unfortunately, the dog is lost in the Zone. Unseen by Jor-El and Lara, a red streak shoots out of the Zone as they escape.
Lara suggests that they can save Kal-El, at least, by placing him in the prototype rocket meant to demonstrate Jor-El's plans for evacuation. The prototype is large enough for only one passenger, and as such, only their infant son can be saved. Jor-El activates the Brainiac intelligence inside it, and asks it to seek out a planet with a younger sun and weaker gravity in order to make his son seem much stronger. The pair send Kal-El off just moments before their lives are lost in the ultimate destruction of Krypton.
Eventually, the rocket finds Earth, but upon entering its atmosphere its systems fail, and it comes crashing down in a field in Smallville, Kansas. Nearby, Jonathan and Martha Kent, having just been to see the adoption agency, have got their truck stuck in the snow, and Martha begins to despair that this is one more slight against them after she had recently miscarried.
Drawn by the light of the rocket's crash, Jonathan and Martha find their way to the wreckage, and are surprised to find an infant inside. Impulsively, they take the child as their own, thinking it a sign from God. They worry, though, that the military personnel converging on the crash site as they drive away may trace the missing child back to them, so Jonathan comes up with a plan to throw them off the scent. After dropping Martha and the baby off, he drives back through the cordon, offering to show the soldiers the alien creature he has found. His alien is actually a miscarried calf, but at least the child is safe with Martha.
The military collects the rocket, and conducts numerous tests on it, and years later, Kal-El rediscovers the rocket in a military facility, and instructs the intelligence inside it to protect itself, promising to return for it. Then, with the coming of the collector of worlds, came the age of super-heroes.
In an attempt to find a means of harming Superman, the Anti-Superman Army travels back in time to a moment when Superman's Fortress of Solitude - housed at this time in the ruins of Brainiac's Skull Ship - could not defend itself from time-travellers. With Xa-Du's help, they break through the Sunstone casing around the rocket and steal its Kryptonite engine. They realize, though, that they are being pursued, and escape to the hiding place that their mysterious benefactor created for them, just as Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes make yet another failed attempt to prevent the theft of the engine. Without that engine, the Earth is doomed to die.
Appearing in "Baby Steps"
- Erica Strommen (adoption services)
- Jonas Hausler (doctor)
- Kent Family (at wedding)
- First Light Baptist Church
Synopsis for "Baby Steps"
However, after two years of trying, it becomes clear that the two of them have fertility issues, as Martha has several negative pregnancy tests to prove it. After some deliberation, they decide to see Doctor Hausler. Doctor Hausler sadly reveals that with Jonathan's low motility and Martha's affliction with endometriosis, the likelihood that they will conceive is very low. He advises them that the cost of In vitro fertilization is very high, and as such, they should first try hormonal therapy.
However, after a year of hormone treatment, the pair become frustrated and visit their pastor. He reminds them of the Books of Samuel in which the prophet Samuel was born of Hannah, who struggled with infertility. Meanwhile, Sarah was 90 years old when she and Abraham conceived Isaac. He explains that with people as fine as the Kents, God's plan must mean that while they have no luck right now, something wonderful is in store for them.
Though the Kents saved for years to pay for In vitro fertilization, the end result was miscarriage, and so they decided, finally, to investigate adoption. However, the cost will likely exceed the amount that the failed fertilization cost them. Despite the cost, the Kents agree to save their money again.
On the way home, Jonathan suggests that they mortgage his family farm, despite the risk. Though Martha is apprehensive about the idea, she is ultimately happy that her husband would give up his legacy for her dream of having a child.
Moments later, the truck becomes stuck in a snowbank, and the Kryptonian Rocket crashes into the field nearby.
- This book was first published on January 4, 2012
- The backup story plays out in parallel with the main story.
- Everything in the story beyond the appearance of Lex Luthor trying to escape the Collector of Worlds (as seen in the previous issue) occurs in the future of the story seen to date - after Superman's inevitable encounter with the Collector of Worlds.
- The calf used as a fake alien distraction is the same calf shown to Superman in Action Comics (Volume 2) #2.
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