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Batman/Superman Vol 1 3

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"Split Screen": From Lois Lane's prone body springs Kaiyo, who is up to the challenge of battling with Wonder Woman. Meanwhile, young Superman reacts with utter confusion. He has only ju

Quote1 We grew up on different worlds in different ways. But I know you, Bruce. And I definitely know you, Clark. You're wearing those capes because you want to help people. And that's exactly what we're going to do. Quote2
-- Superman (Earth 2)

Appearing in "Split Screen"

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Synopsis for "Split Screen"

From Lois Lane's prone body springs Kaiyo, who is up to the challenge of battling with Wonder Woman. Meanwhile, young Superman reacts with utter confusion. He has only just learned that he is in a parallel world, in which another, older version of himself already exists. While the Amazon battles the trickster, Clark marvels at his older double's ability to perform cellular reconstruction on Lois' wounds using his heat-vision - a skill that he did not learn until he was 29, while this younger Clark is merely 22.

Wonder Woman manages to get her Lasso of Truth around Kaiyo, who projects an image of Darkseid for them all to see. Neither Superman has ever encountered the monster before, and both are frightened by his appearance. Refusing to answer questions about the vision, Kaiyo instead reveals that this earth's Batman has a secret. He has been hiding the world's most dangerous weapon. Young Clark already distrusts both Batmen, and Kaiyo plays on this, disappearing before anymore questions can be asked of her. Clark had seen the weapon - the crystal that Batman had used against him - in Smallville. To his amazement, his double can see the crystal from Metropolis. Feeling betrayed by his best friend, the elder Clark flies off without another word.

On his way to question Bruce, Superman remembers how he first met his old friend. Twenty-five years ago, he had been playing baseball with his friend Pete Ross when Pete's mother called him away for dinner. On Clark's way home, he had been surprised to see a large Rolls-Royce pulled over on the side of the road. A young Alfred Pennyworth was changing the tire, but he assured the boy that he didn't need help. Through the car's window, Clark could see that the boy inside was profoundly sad, and before he knew it, he was asking the rich boy if he wanted to play.

Eventually, Jonathan Kent came to help Alfred while their boys attempted with little success to play baseball together. When Clark asked Bruce what he was good at, Bruce revealed that his skill lay in fighting. Initially, Jonathan meant to put a stop to it, knowing that Clark's strength could do some serious damage, but Alfred pressed him to allow it. Clark was taken by surprise when Bruce slammed him into the ground.

Young Clark and Wonder Woman catch up to Superman eventually, and he has already found the crystal not far from the Kent Farm. He assures them that while it is not Kryptonite, it appears to be some kind of amplifier for radiation - and he has never seen the likes of it before. He pushes his younger double to try to pinpoint their next destination, knowing that the crystal is like nothing else on the planet. If Clark can filter out everything else, he should be able to find out what his older double already has: the US Government is trying to hide a much larger version of this crystal; a weapon. And Batman is not to blame.

Clark, unhurt by Bruce's move, had begged to be taught how to do it himself, and Jonathan and Alfred were amused at how well the boys got along. That night, Alfred and Bruce joined the Kents for dinner. Afterwards, the boys went out with flashlights and bedrolls to sleep under the stars. Over drinks, Alfred explained to Jonathan that he obviously could have fixed the car by then, but he had been swept up by the chance to see Bruce playing for once. Jonathan admitted that his own boy was lonely too, though he may not have seemed it. Nearby, Bruce revealed that he knew Clark was stronger than he looked, and Clark explained that he was afraid people would fear him if they knew. Bruce thought that was cool, and the two had been best friends ever since.

Suddenly, Superman is hit by Kryptonite rockets from the Batplane, and brashly, young Clark leaps up and tears his world's Batman from his seat in the plane. As the pair prepare to fight each other, Superman recovers enough to knock them both down, sidelining them while the adults talk. The elder Bruce explains that the military has rigged up the larger crystal to a weapons system activated by an S-Level event. He had to stop Superman with his Kryptonite rockets in order to prevent them from killing him. He promises that he knew nothing about the larger crystal. Superman forgives him immediately, but the younger pair warn not to trust him. Calmly, Superman explains that he and his Bruce led very different lives from their younger doubles. Even so, he can see that they both want to help people, and if they are willing, they should help him destroy this crystal.

Suddenly, Kaiyo escapes Wonder Woman's hold, warning that the survival of both of their worlds hangs in the balance, and the crystal is the only weapon that can save them. The monster she had shown them before was Darkseid of Apokolips, and he comes soon to destroy both of their worlds, and they must decide who will save the world, who will die, who will destroy the weapon, and who will seize it.


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