"Superman at the End of Days": On the night of the senior prom, Clark Kent waited behind while his father helped a salesman with his engine. In the meantime, Ma Kent encouraged young Clark's relationship wi
- Here's to the triumph of good over evil.
Appearing in "Superman at the End of Days"
- Superman (Flashback and main story)
- Vyndktvx (Flashback and main story)
- Anti-Superman Army
- King-Thing Brpzx of Zrrrf (Dies in flashback)
- Lana Lang (Flashback only)
- Pa Kent (Dies in flashback)
- Ma Kent (Dies in flashback)
- Tur-Tel (Cameo)
- Vartox (Cameo)
- The Nothing Coat (First appearance)
- The Imaginator (First appearance)
- The Million-Pointed Multispear (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Superman at the End of Days"
On the night of the senior prom, Clark Kent waited behind while his father helped a salesman with his engine. In the meantime, Ma Kent encouraged young Clark's relationship with their young neighbour Lana Lang, who had gone to the dance ahead of them. Soon, Pa finished helping the salesman with his car - but that salesman was Lord Vyndktvx. Later, as Lana and Clark danced together happily, they were interrupted by the police, who came to inform them that Clark's parents had been killed in a car accident.
Now, Clark wonders if things might have been different for him today if that night had gone differently - if Vyndktvx hadn't changed things. He is also troubled by false memories of things that haven't happened - or haven't happened yet. Mrs. Nxly explains that many things were changed because of Vndktvx's manipulations. He disturbs time when he closes in for the kill, which makes it hard to prepare for his attacks, as they can come at any moment in one's life. Each of these disturbances has been engineered to make the battle between Superman and Vyndktvx tip in the Fifth Dimensioner's favour.
Several years into his future, Superman is on the run from the Anti-Superman Army on a ruined Earth lit by a red sun, reducing his power. He is discovered by Lois' niece Susie Tompkins, whose neo-sapien powers allow her to track his thoughts. Even so, Nimrod the Hunter suggests that they let him run, given the numerous tesseract mines he has laid around the ruins of Metropolis which release a predatory environment whenever they are triggered. It is not long before Superman does trigger one of these, and a group of giant man-eating plants are released on him. Desperately, he sneaks into the sewers to escape, and comes face to face with Erik Drekken, the Evolver. Angry that Drekken abused his chance to change his ways, Superman uses his heat vision to super-heat the boilers in the buildings beneath them, catching Drekken in the explosion. He runs as the Anti-Superman Army catches up, even as Vyndktvx warns that there is nowhere left to hide. Though the Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic Circle was gutted, Superman's Yucatan fortress remains intact, and from there, he calls out to the Legion of Super-Heroes, Comet and the Wanderers, and Krypto for help.
In the present, Mrs. Nyxly urges Clark to join her in a toast before telling a story of the Fifth Dimension. It is the story of King-Thing Brpxz of Zrff - her own father - who had been depressed since losing his queen. That depression spread to his entire court, and not one of his subjects could bring a smile to his face. In particular, the court magician, Lord Vyndktvx was ineffective in pleasing the king. One day, though, a man named Mxyzptlk came to the kingdom, and promised that he could make the king smile.
Unlike Vyndktvx's dull attempts to please the king with numbers and consonants, Mxyzptlk conjured whole worlds of three dimensions, and on each one, he would juggle space and time in order to tease the champions of 333 worlds. Try as they might, they could not get him to say his name backwards, and the games continued. This did indeed please the king. Naturally, the princess Nyxlygsptlnz fell in love with Mxyzptlk, and he confessed his own feelings for her by giving her three wishes to wear, which drove Vyndktvx mad with envy.
Superman wonders what he could have done to have garnered Vyndktvx's ire. Mrs. Nyxly explains that Superman was always both Mxyzptlk and the king's favourite champion to tease; the one who managed to outsmart Mxyzptlk every time. Superman has no memory of ever meeting a Mister Mxyzptlk. Mrs. Nyxly notes that for her the story she told is the past, but for him, it is the future. He will one day meet Mxyzptlk. In any case, that favour Mxyzptlk had garnered drove Vyndktvx to further distraction, and he stole a cache of weapons in order to kill Mxyzptlk and take Nyxlygsptlnz for himself.
Having seen only Mxyzptlk's silhouette behind a curtain, Vyndktvx struck out with his multispear, and inadvertently killed the king himself, who had been playfully trying on Mxy's iconic bowler hat. The act killed 230 worlds instantly. Two of those worlds, though, provided unexpected resistance to the Multitude. Those two worlds were Krypton and Earth, where Jor-El and his son Kal-El fought off the Multitude in two different times and places, without knowing of the other's success. Because of Superman's role in that, Vyndktvx is now taking his revenge by attacking moments throughout Superman's entire life.
The feedback caused by the the resistance to the multispear nearly killed everyone in the room. It drove Vyndktvx insane and burned his arm to a crisp. He barely noticed, though, because he was so angry that he had failed to kill his rival - and the punishment for regicide, which he had just unwittingly committed, was eternal torment. All he could do to prevent that would be to frame Mxyzptlk. When Vyndktvx turned on him, Mxyzptlk warned Nyxlygsptlnz to run for her life - and she did. She ran through dimensions until she reached Earth, and took refuge in a human infant's form.
After 25 years of waiting, Mrs. Nyxly used her first wish to bring she and Mxy together again on Earth. This was a short-lived reunion. Her second wish was to erase Clark Kent's apparent death from history. The third wish, Clark supposes, could save them both - if she has a chance to use it. She knows, already, though, that she will die. Revealing herself to him alerted Vyndktvx to her presence there, and soon, she will die without getting the chance to make her wish. Even now, she is in the sights of Nimrod the Hunter.
Clark watches with horror as a bullet causes Mrs. Nyxly's head to explode. Moments later, Vyndktvx makes his move. Across three different times, he finds Superman, and prepares to take his revenge.
Appearing in "For My Next Trick..."
- King-Thing Brpzx of Zrrrf
- Princess Nyxlygsptlnz
Synopsis for "For My Next Trick..."
At the time when Mxyzptlk was entertaining the King-Thing of Zrrrf, he knew that none of the fantastic feats he performed could possibly be his greatest trick of all. He had fallen in love with Princess Nyxlygsptlnz, and despite the many suitors she had had, she chose him because he would treat her like the person she was, and not merely royalty. Even so, having her fall for him couldn't have been his greatest trick.
At the same time, his rival Vyndtkvx had seemed so pompous that Mxyzptlk couldn't resist teasing him now and again - but that teasing led the Vyndtkvx to try to take everything from him. He took the King - though it was an accident. He took the princess, making her run away to another dimension. He took his freedom, trapping him in a tesseract. He took the Superman, thought to be Mxyzptlk's greatest trick, but he was mistaken. Superman was merely his favourite trick.
Some time later, Mxy and Nyxly were reunited on Earth, thanks to her first wish, and they married. They had a child, and named him Ferlin. Compared to all of his other feats, their son was surely his greatest trick.
After he was long gone, though, Nxly hoped that his greatest trick was yet to come; that he would one day escape his Fifth Dimensional trap - and his coma on Earth.
- This book was first published on December 5, 2012.
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