"After Doomed": The last time Superman saw the planet Earth, he was possessed by the Doomsday Virus, and fighting Brainiac. He had saved the Earth by dragging Brainiac into a black hole with him - but still he worries that the planet he ha
- Every one of us has the capacity to do the worst things imaginable. And sometimes we do. But the astounding thing is how often we humans do the very opposite. I don't know where Superman is. But he better get his butt back home. Because he needs to see this.
- -- Lois Lane
Appearing in "After Doomed"
- Jimmy Olsen
- Martian Manhunter
- Morris Santiago
- Ghost Soldier
- Shay Veritas (Mentioned only)
- Phantom Zone Projector (In ruins)
Synopsis for "After Doomed"
The last time Superman saw the planet Earth, he was possessed by the Doomsday Virus, and fighting Brainiac. He had saved the Earth by dragging Brainiac into a black hole with him - but still he worries that the planet he has called home has been ravaged in his absence. As he enters the planet's orbit, finally, he passes by a WayneTech satellite, and is surprised when it emits a Kryptonite pulse that sends him plummeting through the atmosphere. Fortunately, his cousin Kara spots him, glad to see that he is alive - though, wondering where he's been all this time. She explains that though seven billion people were attacked by Brainiac, only 13,612 of them were killed. While that is still a great weight to bear, billions were saved. For now, they should focus on what can be fixed.
At the ruined Fortress of Solitude, Kara explains that the Phantom Zone Projector imploded, and though it likely took its escaped prisoners with it - it also took the menagerie and Shay Veritas. the projector is now broken, but Harrow and Ghost Soldier are seeking another way in. There's more, though: Kandor is missing. Kara hopes that it is in the Phantom Zone as well, where there is no time, and it cannot be harmed - even by the other prisoners. Clark, meanwhile, begins rebooting the Fortress' systems so that it can repair itself - a process that will take forty days. In the meantime, he seeks to find out if any danger remains to ravage the Earth.
He begins by searching Smallville, where people seem to be doing well, considering. Despite the dread pitting in his stomach, seeing Smallville doing alright helps him calm himself with nostalgia. As he reminisces about the day his father had told him that he was a gift and not a curse, Clark is interrupted by Lana Lang, who gleefully confirms that he's alive. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about her parents, who were killed by their experience with Brainiac. Clark admits that he feels guilty for failing to save them, and though she smiles as she says it, Lana agrees that he should have been able to.
Turning away from their gravestones, Lana comments that she wants to introduce Clark to her new boyfriend - John Henry Irons. As they shake hands, Clark notes that Lana is still keeping his identity secret for him, even from John, despite how angry she is that he failed. Clark jokes that he'd like to write the story on how the pair got into a relationship, but Lana comments that Lois Lane beat him to that scoop - as usual. Lana and John Henry had set up in Smallville to ensure that everyone in Smallville was doing alright, and as such, Clark realizes that maybe his help would be better given elsewhere.
He next pays a visit to Wayne Manor, where Bruce apologizes for the Kryptonite attack earlier - which was meant to test to ensure that the Doomsday virus was gone. Given that Clark's abilities are weakened from his experiences, Bruce suggests that he lay low for a while. The world is eager to blame Superman for what happened. Clark's civilian identity, though, has an alibi, thanks to Bruce - which means it's okay to be himself for a while.
Returning to his apartment in Metropolis, Clark begins work on an article that questions just what role Superman has in a post-Doomsday world. Upon posting the article, he is harassed at his door by Lois Lane, who upon seeing him immediately mocks his beard, and complains of his anti-superman sentiments. Lois seems to Clark to have returned to her old self completely - including the loss of all memories of his secret identity. Thousands of people have read his piece, including Lex Luthor. She warns that he clearly doesn't understand Superman at all, based on what he wrote. He smirks, given the irony of that statement, and she takes it as a declaration of war. She will counter his anti-superman campaign with her own article.
When Lois goes to print, she writes of how in Superman's absence, other heroes came to fill his role, saving the day and the city. And while Metropolis - and the world - may not need Superman right now, he may need them. While he inspires people, the people show him the way. Despite a capacity for evil, humans do the right thing more often than not, and he needs to come home to see the example that the people of Metropolis are setting now, in his absence.
In Smallville, Lana stands at her parents' graves and speaks quietly to Clark, hoping he can hear her even from Metropolis. She comments that Lois is wrong. Superman might be too much for this world, and people can't keep expecting to be saved. If they do, they will become weak. Not even Superman can live up to the hype of being Superman. She is interrupted in her message by a rustling that she thinks is Clark - but when she sees the decayed arms clawing their way up from the grave plots, she screams with horror.
- This book was first published on October 1, 2014.
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