- You'll do nothing, Officer! None of you will! This is my fight to finish! This is a job for Superman!
- -- Superman
Appearing in "The Measure of a Superman"
- Brainiac (Flashback only)
- Perry White
- Cat Grant
- Izzy Izquierdo
- Mayor Bob Morrisroe
- Heather Kelley
- Lisa Bishop
- Lieutenant Casey
- Agent Mills
- Dough Hubler
- Rick Stafford
- Wayne Manuel
- Colonel Ray
- Jazuur (Flashback only)
- Skywatch III
Synopsis for "The Measure of a Superman"
After getting McCoy to safety, Kara is appalled that her cousin would apparently kill an innocent human after saying that he considered himself a member of the human race. After adjusting its speech to be able to communicate in Kryptonese with her, the duplicate blasts her with heat vision that, surprisingly, seems to hurt Kara very much. Lois' news chopper crew records the battle, hoping that this new super girl will save the city from its former hero gone mad.
Their fight rages across Metropolis, and despite some valiant efforts on Kara's part, the Superman duplicate gains the upper hand, and beats her mercilessly. Horrified, Lois calls out for him to stop. The duplicate seems to hear her, but it's not just the duplicate who hears her. In space, a discorporated Superman hears Lois' voice, and calls out. Lois hears his voice through her headset, and believes that she's hearing from Clark Kent, who has been missing for days. Suddenly, Superman's body is filled with a shock of pain, which seems to transfer to the duplicate on earth.
Kara takes the opportunity to fight back, and it weakens the duplicate enough for Superman to communicate with the imposter psychically. Superman has heard Lois' voice through the phone hidden in his costume, because the psychic link between he and the duplicate allows him to hear it as the duplicate hears it. Realizing that the duplicate has accessed his memories, Superman understands that he can access it's memories too.
The duplicate came from a planet called Jazuur, which was set upon by the Collector of Worlds. The people of Jazuur had created a matrix of nanotechnology which would keep the planet in continuous ecological, environmental, technological, and anthropological balance. Despite the nanobots' attempts to keep the planet functioning during the Collector's attack, the imperial city was captured and placed in a glass jar.
The Collector of Worlds was interested in the nanotechnology because of its ability to reconstruct, believing it to be the secret to immortality and indestructibility. He wanted to incorporate it to his own biotechnical system. However, the Jazuur’s nanotechnology proved to be incompatible with the Collector’s own nanotechnology, causing Jazuur’s imperial city to explode and he destroyed its remains. However, a small Jazuur nanite survived.
Later, Superman boarded the Collector's ship in the hope of rescuing the city of Metropolis from its own jar. To do this, he broke into a jar containing a Kryptonian suit. As it happened, the single nanite had affixed itself to that suit. Superman realizes, then, that the reason that the aliens who attacked Metropolis could not be traced was because they had come to Earth with him five years ago.
The duplicate suddenly regains its composure and returns to mercilessly beating Kara until she loses the will to fight back, and just takes the pummeling. The staff of the Daily Planet watches in horror, and they begin to wonder if maybe Billy McCoy's sensationalist propaganda against Superman might have been right.
Elsewhere, General Sam Lane prepares to send an air-strike to Metropolis, believing that the time has finally come to end the threat that the alien super man poses. First, he calls Lois to give her warning of the attack and the evacuation.
Meanwhile, the duplicate prepares to deliver the killing blow to Kara, but unexpectedly, a red and blue blur swoops down from space and plucks the duplicate off of the ground. It is Superman, returned at last. The people of Metropolis are surprised and relieved to see that they were wrong to distrust Superman as he explains that the recent alien attacks on Metropolis were the responsibility of this imposter. The duplicate begins speaking in the strange language the other three aliens have been speaking, confirming Superman’s story.
The military jets approach, preparing to engage the duplicate, but Superman will not give them the opportunity to cause more damage to the city, and drags the duplicate to the frozen wastes of the Arctic. Meanwhile, Billy McCoy begins a news broadcast in which he apologizes to Superman for trying to find fault in his actions.
In the snowy tundra, Superman explains that he now knows what the nanites' purpose with him was. Since they were created to establish and maintain a symbiotic partnership to Jazuur, they are now trying to recreate that symbiotic relationship using Earth and Superman. But, they made several mistakes.
When Superman used his heat vision to stop the tank full of terrorists, the nanites assimilated the power of his optic fire and merged with a host body to create the fire monster. Superman believes that the destruction of Jazuur aboard the Collector’s ship must have warped the nanites’s primary directive and analytical functions. That is why the nanites thought that a being of fire could meld with a city created in what they thought was Superman’s image, and that is why the nanites cannot accept that they are flawed.
The second mistake was when Superman had used his optic and auditory powers to save some people trapped in the subway station, and the nanites had assimilated those powers to create a monster that everyone - except him - could see and hear. They had then copied his cold-breath when he put out a fire, and had used Superman’s friend Heather to host an ice monster.
Finally, they created a Superman whose powers cause fear and hate - something Superman never wants to see again. That said, he destroys the duplicate. Soon, Kara finds him and asks for an explanation. He promises to tell her after his Kryptonian improves, and then the two of them decide to dispose of the duplicate's remains in the sun.
Later, Clark visits Heather Kelley in the hospital. He apologizes for putting her in danger, but she tells him not to worry about it. She has come to realize that she is not the girl that Clark really wants to be with, and admits that she is fine with that. She expresses hope that Clark will one day find the right girl for him. As Clark and Heather talk, Lois stands outside the room, listening.
Elsewhere, the Stormwatch satellite is destroyed by an unknown entity, who then makes its way to Daemonite Outpost Sol-3: Earth.
- This book was first published on February 22, 2012.
- Supergirl's encounter with Superman's clone occurred in Superboy (Volume 6) #6.
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