FANDOM


Superman travels to the Fortress of Solitude to confer with the artificial likeness of his late father, Jor-El. Jor-El reminds his son that although he may look like an Earthling, he is not truly one of them.


Quote1 You and Lois already gave me so much. A home. Family and friends. I even got to meet Robin. I can close the Zone. Quote2
-- Christopher Kent src

Synopsis

Superman travels to the Fortress of Solitude to confer with the artificial likeness of his late father, Jor-El. Jor-El reminds his son that although he may look like an Earthling, he is not truly one of them.

Later at the Daily Planet, Perry White tears into Jimmy Olsen for his sub-par photograph work during an incident involving Superman and Gorilla Grodd. Clark is present and tries to defend Jimmy, but Perry sends the boy out of the office to get him some coffee.

Suddenly, a strange meteor plummets through the sky towards downtown Metropolis. Clark races off to change into Superman, and stops the meteor before it can cause any widespread damage. With the danger averted, Superman realizes that the meteor is actually a space-ship. Inside the vessel, a young boy emerges.

The boy is taken to the Metropolis lab of the Department of Metahuman Affairs, where Sarge Steel coordinates a series of examinations. The child begins speaking in an alien language, which Superman immediately recognizes as Kryptonian. To further demonstrate his origins, the child effortlessly lifts a three-hundred pound entertainment center above his head. Superman takes a personal interest in the child's well-being and wants to make sure that the government doesn't decide to turn him into a lab rat.

Sarge Steel transfers the boy to the Department's headquarters in Washington, but neglects to inform Superman. Enraged, Superman speeds down the transfer route and extricates the child. He brings him back to Smallville, Kansas, where he asks his parents how to go about adopting a child.

Superman brings the Kryptonian child to his Fortress of Solitude in the hopes of finding answers to explain his sudden arrival on Earth. He consults with the disembodied Jor-El, who knows nothing of the boy's true origins. Afterwards, he flies him back to Smallville, and talks with Lois about adoption. Lois is uncomfortable with the idea, and is concerned whether Clark and she could really be ideal parents to a Kryptonian child.

Meanwhile, Lex Luthor secretly monitors broadcasts of the Department of Metahuman Affairs and learns about the Kryptonian's existence. Having somewhat domesticated the backwards being known as Bizarro, he sends him out to retrieve this "Super-Boy".

Later, Superman attends a full press conference on the steps of the Daily Bugle, and publicly announces that he is leaving the child in the care of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Sarge Steel is present and asks Superman why he created such a media circus around the affair, to which Superman replies, "It'll keep you and your scientists honest, Steel".

Suddenly, Bizarro arrives and pummels Superman through the pavement. They fight briefly underground, and just as abruptly burst upwards to continue their fight in the sky. Bizarro swoops down and snatches up a child, whom he mistakenly believes is the Kryptonian. He quickly realizes his error when the boy's arm snaps in his grasp. Discarding him like a broken toy, Bizarro continues tearing up the city street in the hopes of finding the Kryptonian. Superman catches the child, and brings him safely to the ground before resuming his fight with the mad, backwards creature. During the carnage, Bizarro hurls a school bus which plummets down, landing directly on top of the Kryptonian's head. Fortunately, his invulnerability proves to be just as strong as Superman's and he emerges without a scratch. Superman finally defeats Bizarro with several strong gusts of Arctic Breath.

Later, after everything has settled down, Clark and Lois walk the boy through the park and discuss their future. Lois decides that they should give the child a proper Earth name, and chooses Christopher.

In the Arctic North near the Fortress of Solitude, three meteor pods land on Earth. Emerging from them are former Phantom Zone criminals, General Zod, Ursa and Non. Zod embraces his newfound freedom and tells Ursa that it is now time to locate their son.

General Zod, Ursa and Non enter the empty Fortress of Solitude. Zod activates a Sunstone crystal, which projects a holographic image of Superman's father, Jor-El. Upon request, Jor-El reveals the history of General Zod, and the events that led to his exile in the Phantom Zone.

In Metropolis, Clark and Lois bring Christopher Kent to the Daily Planet to introduce him to the staff. They go over their cover story with one another, and Clark fumbles to find the forged paperback showing that Chris is his cousin's son. Just as they formally introduce Christopher to Jimmy Olsen, multiple bolts of heat vision streak through the Daily Planet windows, smashing glass and starting fires. Jimmy activates his Superman signal watch.

Clark turns to change into Superman, but doesn't get the chance as Non smashes into him, driving him out the window of the building. They land on the ground, and Clark sheds the torn remains of his civilian attire. He punches Non across the jaw, breaking one of his teeth, which Non then proceeds to spit out. Zod arrives and punts Superman across the street with a super-kick.

Ursa flies into the Daily Planet in search of Chris Kent. Lois tries to escape with him down the stairwell, but Ursa blocks her path with several shots of heat vision. She then knocks Lois over with a flick of her finger.

Outside, Zod and Superman continue to battle one another over the skies of Metropolis. Suddenly, dozens of stasis pods rain down from the sky, smashing into the ground. Each pod contains another Kryptonian exile from the Phantom Zone. One of them, a scientist named Jax-Ur, emerges from his pod with a Phantom Zone Projector. He directs it at Superman and transports him into the Zone.

Though trapped in the Phantom Zone, Superman witnesses the Kryptonian invasion taking place on Earth. He sees other known heroes attempting and failing to stop the Phantom Zone criminals. Suddenly, Mon-El appears before him. Superman was forced to exile Mon-El to the Phantom Zone to save his life many years ago. Mon-El brings Superman to Fort Rozz, a former Kryptonian prison that had been physically displaced into the Phantom Zone. He tells him that he will be able to use one of the ships inside to escape the zone and return home.

Waiting for Superman inside is Kryptonian prisoner Dev-Em. Dev-Em elected to stay behind at Fort Rozz to take care of Superman should he try to escape. The two fight and Dev-Em nearly kills Superman with his blade. Fortunately for the Man of Steel, Mon-El enters the old fort to give Superman a hand. He slams Dev-Em against a wall, knocking him out. Superman takes the Kryptonian ship and leaves the Phantom Zone for Earth.

Arriving back in Metropolis, he sees that the Kryptonians have practically enslaved the city. They are slowly transforming the city into a Sunstone structure, and have defeated heroes such as Supergirl, Power Girl and Green Lantern. Lor-Zod, son of General Zod, turns against his father and burns his hand with heat vision. When Zod asks him what he thinks he is doing, Lor-Zod responds, "What Superman would do".

Superman knows that he does not have the power to take on multiple Kryptonians simultaneously. He needs help. He finds Lex Luthor, knowing that Luthor likely has a cache of weaponry designed to defeat Kryptonians. Lex has put together a new team of villains however - the Superman Revenge Squad, which consists of Bizarro, Parasite and Metallo.

The escaped Phantom Zone Criminals observe the city of Metropolis in ruins. The only thing that can possibly stand against them is the Superman Revenge Squad. Oddly, Superman needs their assistance in stopping the renegade Kryptonians. They are all armed with Kryptonite weaponry and firearms that project red solar radiation. Superman and Lex Luthor argue with one another, but both understand that they must put aside their differences if they are to defeat the common threat.

The U.S. military mobilize in the streets of Metropolis, but there is nothing they can do against the Kryptonians. General Zod is willing to kill his own son to show that he will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. Superman speeds onto the scene and barrels into Zod. The rest of the Superman Revenge Squad take positions throughout the city and begin selecting targets. Metallo and the Parasite begin picking off targets from a rooftop while Bizarro embroils in a slugfest with the brutish Non. Managing to slip away from his fight with Zod and Ursa, Superman is able to free the other heroes held inside the Kryptonians' base. Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Alan Scott, Power Girl and more join the battle.

Luthor meanwhile, sneaks into the criminals' Sunstone hive. A Zoner attacks him, but Luthor is able to kill him with his specialized arsenal. Afterward he muses, "So this is what it feels like to kill a Kryptonian. Feels good". Lois Lane enters the hive and finds Luthor fast at work on one of Zod's rocket pods. He explains that the Zoners (and everyone connected to them including Clark) are connected to the zone by an invisible tether. By reversing the rocket's warp drive, he seeks to snap the tether like a rubber band, instantly transporting everyone back to the Zone. He coyly confesses that he neglected to tell Superman exactly how his plan works.

Although Lois renders him unconscious on the head with a Sunstone, Luthor's plan works and suddenly a giant vortex opens up in Metropolis, sucking the Zoners back into it. As he is sucked in, General Zod screams that there is something lurking inside the Phantom Zone, and when he next escapes, he will unleash that upon Earth. Superman grabs a hold of Chris, but the boy believes that he is the only one who can close the portal. Unfortunately, it also means that he must return to the Phantom Zone with the others. Superman is unwilling to sacrifice Chris to such a life, but the boy is adamant. He is doing what Superman would do. With an "Up, up and away", Chris flies into the vortex and the portal closes behind him.

In the following days, life returns to normal across Metropolis. Clark and Lois discuss the events with Jimmy Olsen and Perry White, saying that Lor-Zod was just a good kid with bad parents. Perry asks when the two of them will have children, and Clark sadly says that it looks like children aren't in their future. Although it was Lex Luthor who truly saved the city, the newspapers only acknowledge Lor-Zod's heroic sacrifice, and Luthor can only rage in prison. Metallo and Parasite are recaptured in Gotham City, but there is no sign of Bizarro. Saddened over the loss of Chris, Superman retreats to the Fortress of Solitude to consult with Jor-El. Jor-El tells him that a Kryptonian and a human are genetically incompatible, and cannot reproduce. Kal-El is the last of the House of El.

Superman then contacts Mon-El who is still trapped in the Phantom Zone. Mon-El says that Zod and his forces have retreated back to Fort Razz, but there is no sign that Chris is with them. Mon-El promises Superman that he will never give up searching for Chris.

Issues

Paraphernalia Appearing

Items:

Vehicles:

Weapons:



Notes

  • This storyline takes place concurrently with the "City of Tomorrow" storyline, which begins in Superman #657, but after "The Enemies Among Us" storyline, which began in Superman/Batman #28.
  • This storyline marks the first canonical appearance of General Zod, Ursa and Non. There have been two previous incarnations of General Zod to exist in Post-Crisis continuity. The first General Zod was indigenous to a pocket-universe dimension, and was killed in Superman (Volume 2) #22. The second Zod was actually an Earth human from the nation of Pokolistan. He appeared last in Action Comics #790. Admiral Zod, a possible ancestor of the the current Zod was referenced in flashback by Lex Luthor during the "Up, Up, and Away" storyline. Ursa and Non however, are characters who were originally germane to the continuity of the Superman movies. Played (respectively) by Sarah Douglas and Jack O'Halloran, they made a brief appearance in the 1978 film, Superman, and became feature villains in the sequel, Superman II. An alternate reality version of Ursa made a cameo appearance in JSA Classified #3. This issue is the first appearance of the mute, Non, in any incarnation.

Trivia

  • Writer Richard Donner is more popularly known for his film work, notably, the 1978 Superman movie, which he directed, and his contributions to the sequel, Superman II. A special re-edited version of Superman II (known as the Donner Cut) was released on DVD in 2006, and was included in the Superman: Ultimate DVD collection. Donner is not the first movie director to try his hand at writing comics. Comedy director Kevin Smith has also contributed material to both Marvel and DC Comics. He authored the first major story-arc from Green Arrow (Volume 3) entitled "Quiver". Not only is Donner not the first movie director to write for DC Comics, he is not even the first Superman director to contribute material directly to a title. Superman Returns director, Bryan Singer, as well as screenwriters Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris helmed the four-issue limited series Superman Returns: Prequel.
  • Lois Lane provides the Kryptonian child with the first name, Christopher. This is likely an homage to Christopher Reeve, who played the role of Superman in four feature films, and made guest appearances on Smallville playing the part of Professor Virgil Swan.
  • Christopher Kent is an analog to Jason White, the son of Superman and Lois Lane as seen in the 2006 Bryan Singer film, Superman Returns.
  • The fight between Superman and Bizarro is reminiscent of the fight between Superman and Non in Superman II.
  • In Pre-Crisis continuity, Fort Rozz was a military command center located in the city of Kandor on the planet, Krypton. General Pir-El operated from this fort during the waning days of the Last War.[1]

Recommended Reading


Links and References

Superman Our Worlds At War Book One
Superman Family Storyline
DC Rebirth Logo

This event or storyline is specifically related to Superman, or to members of the Superman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Superman Storylines category.