"Superman's Last Stand": The day of the final battle between Superman and Lord Vyndktvx is one of blood and thunder; a war of angels and devils. While Superman was nearly killed in Metropolis by Superdoom, he was s
Synopsis for "Superman's Last Stand"
The day of the final battle between Superman and Lord Vyndktvx is one of blood and thunder; a war of angels and devils. While Superman was nearly killed in Metropolis by Superdoom, he was saved at the last moment by Lex Luthor, who is adamant that no one be allowed to kill the man of steel but he. Superdoom retaliates against Luthor by tearing apart his Warsuit, only to find that it is empty, and Luthor had been controlling it telepathically from his prison cell.
The pause gives Superman the time he needs to strike back, but the creature calls on the Anti-Superman Army to aid him. While the other Kryptonite Men hold Superman down, the Red Kryptonite woman uses her powers to give him hallucinations that result in an allegorical battle with Vyndktvx, in which the Fifth Dimensional being taunts Superman with his seemingly boundless power.
Meanwhile, at Metropolis General Hospital, Jimmy Olsen recognizes the strange visitors he and Lois Lane have received as members of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Without much ado, Saturn Woman uses her telepathy to contact the comatose Mr. Mxyzptlk, warning him of the doom Superman faces without his help. With that, the man wakes, and realizes that the stage is set for the grand finale.
They are interrupted by the arrival of Ferlin Nyxly, the magician's son, who blames him for the death of his mother, some years back. Angrily, he presents his father with a Superman t-shirt, stained with Mrs. Nyxly's blood. Disappointed, Mxyzptlk explains how he had taught Nyxly to use her blood as an escape pod to the 2nd Dimension, as Saturn Woman realizes that Ferlin shares some kind of connection with Vyndktvx. The old man goes on that Mrs. Nyxly isn't dead, she is just hiding within the red of Superman's costume.
As he says this, Mxyzptlk suddenly goes into cardiac arrest, and Lightning Man is forced to save him. Saturn Woman and Cosmic Man, meanwhile, decide to arrest Ferlin due to the fact that Ferlin is actually one of Vyndktvx's interdimensional limbs with which the madman is and has been attacking Superman throughout spacetime. Lightning Man promises that he will let Mxyzptlk die after he tells them how to prevent Superman's death. Before fading away, he tells them that the only way to stop the villain is with a trick - but the best tricks work because everyone is in on them. Cosmic Man suggests that they slam the Time Bubble into Vyndktvx's face at a velocity faster than the speed of light, like a pie in the face, buying Superman the time he needs.
Superman, meanwhile is still battling his hallucinations, with Superdoom on the receiving end of the physical aspect of his attacks. Lois' young niece Susie Tompkins watches this with a sense of despair, because while her neo-sapianism affords her the knowledge of the multi-dimensional nature of the battle, she is out of her depth. Fortunately, she is joined by her mentor Captain Comet, who has returned with the rest of the Cometeers to check on her.
For their first move, the Cometeers take out the Kryptonite Men, and rescue the dog Krypto from his chains. Captain Comet exorcises Xa-Du's spirit, leaving only Erik Drekken behind. In order to spare himself, Drekken evolves into a super-mind, which gives him the insight he needs to understand the need to end the conflict.
While Lois challenges the Legion's decision to arrest Ferlin without trial, Vyndktvx's attack continues, filling Superman's mind with propaganda while Superdoom attempts to crush him within in his massive fist. Vyndktvx boasts of how he is assured of victory by his ability to attack all at once, across time. As Superman feels the pain of those who died in this pandemonium, Vyndktvx connects his mind to all others, in order that he will feel all of the pain at once, and despair. With this, though, Superman finally realizes the truth: while Vyndktvx experiences time as a whole, by virtue of his Fifth Dimensional nature, Superman has experienced it all in sequence. Though Vyndktvx has been attacking him at different moments throughout his entire life, if he has survived to this moment, then all of the previous attacks were failures, and surely he can learn from each to win out now.
Vyndktvx has lost against Superman numerous times already. He lost against Jor-El when he attacked Krypton. He lost to Superman on Mars. He lost against the Legion of Super-Heroes. Every time Vyndktvx lost, it was because he did not understand the basic rules of the trick: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In this case, the reaction to Vyndktvx is Superman's indomitable will, and with the power of the entire world's minds at his back, he will win. While he cannot make Vyndktvx say his name backwards, he can make everyone in the world say their own names backwards at once - and with the power that Fifth Dimensional words hold, the result will be quite damaging. And, after all, they only have to do the impossible once.
All together, the people of the world say their own names backwards, and with a flash of light, Vyndktxv retreats. Surprised, Superman is given little time to recover, when Superdoom's armour automatically enters self-destruct mode. Worriedly, a bystander warns that from their connection to his mind, they know that Superman doesn't have the strength to carry the beast out of range. Determinedly, Superman accepts the challenge anyway, launching it into space while Vyndktvx watches from the Fifth Dimension in horror.
However, returned to his own dimension shortly after having murdered King-Thing Brpzx of Zrrrf, Vyndktvx is shortly thereafter captured by the royal guard. With rage, he realizes that the whole ordeal was a trick arranged by Mxyzptlk to prove that Superman always wins in the end.
A tale told to the infant Kal-El in the latter days of Krypton by his mother Lara was that of Princess Nyxlygsptlnz and the fool Mxyzptlk whom she married. As king and queen, they ruled happily for a time, until the day came that Queen Nyxlygsptlnz died giving birth to two baby sons and a girl. Devastated, Mxyzptlk had the boys sent away because they reminded him of his divided self. The daughter, he kept near him because she reminded him of the mother he named her for. He vowed to protect her from people like Vyndktvx, knowing that he would always fail.
Floating in space in the wake of Superdoom's explosion, Superman realizes that he is still hallucinating images of the Fifth Dimension, where he is visited by Mrs. Nyxly, who thanks him on behalf of her dimension for his efforts. She has one of the three wishes she was given remaining - but it has to involve the colour red. She warns that unless he wishes for the life he might have had, Superman will never know just what that life could have been like if Vyndktvx had not broken it. With no desire to revisit his life's losses, Superman votes to keep his current life, and suggest that instead, she save the people of the terraforming colony who were murdered during the attack on Mars - the red planet.
In Metropolis, 24 hours have gone by since the mass mind event, and everyone is wondering just what happened to Superman. Lois, worried for her friend, makes a phone call to Clark Kent. After a long wait, he picks up the phone, and explains that he was just wrapped up chasing a story.
Appearing in "Superman's Last Stand"
- Lex Luthor
- Legion of Super-Heroes (Adult Legion)
- Mister Mxyzptlk
- Mrs. Nyxly
- Cometeers (First appearance)
- Superdoom (Dies)
- Anti-Superman Army
- Ferlin Nyxly
- Jimmy Olsen
- Lois Lane
- Lara Lor-Van
- Mars Terraforming Team
- Noah Random
- Dr. Chandra
- Sam Random
- Donna Random
- Corey Breen (Cameo)
- Ernie Casey (Cameo)
- Julia Meador (Cameo)
- Dezi Sienty (Cameo)
- Pat Brosseau (Cameo)
- Steve Wands (Cameo)
- Pete Hamboussi (Cameo)
- Chris Burns (Cameo)
- Taylor Esposito (Cameo)
- Arlene Lo (Cameo)
- Sholly Fisch (Cameo)
- Grant Morrison (Cameo)
- Kristan Morrison (Cameo)
- Ralph Morales (Cameo)
Synopsis for "Never-Ending Battle"
In the 23rd century, a Museum of Terran Heritage has been named for the first boy in space, Noah D. Random, who was a member of the terraforming colony on Mars. There, a young boy with glasses is picked on by a trio of bullies, and when another boy tries to help him, they stare down all of the bystanders into walking away.
Another boy witnesses the attack and sneaks into a closed exhibit, tripping a motion sensor. The exhibit is a monument to Superman's memory, with several audiovisual displays highlighting important moments from throughout the man's career. With amazement, he becomes entranced with all of the things he sees.
Nearby, the other children outside are drawn to the sounds coming from within the exhibit, and become excited by it all as well. When he hears the inspiring words that Superman spoke in his time, the boy returns to the corridor to face the bullies. At first, the bullies are derisive, and intend to beat him up as well, but his determination, and the encouragement of the other children makes them think twice. Gleefully, the children celebrate their victory, and part ways. But this is not the end for them.
Appearing in "Never-Ending Battle"
- Superman (On a TV or computer screen)
- 23rd Century
- Noah D. Random Museum of Terran Heritage
- The credits for the issue are written backwards.
- Superman Red and Superman Blue are referenced in this issue.
- The lion-headed Superman is a reference to Action Comics #243's story "The Lady and the Lion."
- Several creators involved with the creation of the book, superman in general, and friends of the creative team are among those who say their names backwards during the finale of this issue. Among these are:
- Corey Breen - Senior Pre-Press Artist and letterer at DC Comics
- Chris Burns - Assistant Production Manager at DC Comics
- Dezi Sienty, Pat Brosseau, Steve Wands, Taylor Esposito - Letterers
- Peter Hamboussi - Manager of collected editions at DC Comics
- Arlene Lo - Proofreader at DC Comics
- Kristan Morrison - Grant Morrison's wife.
- Captain Comet's team is called "the Wanderers" in the issue's original release. This was changed to "the Cometeers" in Action Comics: At the End of Days.