"Superman Meets...The Collector of Worlds": Watching from the miniaturized New Troy district of Metropolis, Lex Luthor insists that he does not want to be saved by Superman. He believes that, comparatively, the [[Vril D
- I'm here to stand up for people when they can't stand up for themselves, and I'm here to help out and make things better any way I can. I'm here to stay.
- — Superman
Synopsis for "Superman Meets...The Collector of Worlds"
Watching from the miniaturized New Troy district of Metropolis, Lex Luthor insists that he does not want to be saved by Superman. He believes that, comparatively, the Collector of Worlds is the lesser of two alien evils, and that by capturing them in a jar, it has actually saved them from the doom that awaits the rest of the planet Earth.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the glass, Superman has armed himself with a Kryptonian suit of indestructible armour that has taken on the iconic emblem of his House of El, since coming in contact with his skin. He battles with the Collector of Worlds, which has merged itself with the robotic suit in which John Corben was placed moments before the invasion. From within the suit, John calls out to Lois Lane that it was his influence that caused her to be saved, and it will be Superman's fault if they die.
In the bar in New Troy, Glen Glenmorgan begins to lose his composure. He starts to realize that it was the little man who got him into this mess, and abandoned him to this fate. Meanwhile, Lois decides to dub this Brain Interactive System to whom Luthor pledged allegiance - the Collector of Worlds - as "Brainiac".
Corben's emotions are beginning to have an effect on the Collector's functions, and it begins to interpret him as a threat. It has no time to deal with it, as Superman is relentless in his desire to protect the citizens of the miniaturized worlds, and there are just five minutes until the micro-stasis that New Troy has undergone is irreversible. He is suddenly distracted, though, by the call of the Kryptonian Rocket housed within a military truck in New Troy. At the same time, Corben struggles to free himself of the Collector's influence, managing to gain control long enough to rip the creature's electronics from the Metal-Zero suit. With some degree of conscience remaining, he tells Superman to save the people of New Troy if he can.
Superman reaches through the broken glass bottle, and picks up the military truck, but within moments, the Collector has begun to take control over Corben again. The Collector announces that Earth is the 205th of 333 worlds which must be collected from before their inevitable destruction by an entity called the Multitude. This clues Superman in to the fact that the Collector values the bottled cities. He threatens that he will destroy the bottled cities if he has to, in order to spare them.
The Collector warns that the Multitude is on its way, and that failure to join the collection will mean destruction at the Multitude's hands. Furthermore, the Collector knows that Krypton's Moral Imprint prevents Superman from harming the bottled cities - or it. Even so, Superman believes that he can put the Collector to work for him, explaining that the Kryptonian Rocket in his hand is programmed with a crystal computer system, and is invulnerable. He flicks the rocket into the collector's brain, and with only thirty seconds until irreversible micro-stasis, the rocket encases the Collector within a Sunstone matrix. Suddenly, Superman begins to feel faint. Resisting collapse, he at least manages to command the ship's AI to reverse the micro-stasis process and reinstate Metropolis in its place on Earth. Within moments, New Troy is returned, and the people inside are reunited with their loved ones. Lois embraces her father, Jimmy wonders if Dr. Irons has plans to become a superhero, Mr. Glenmorgan demands to speak to the press, and Lex Luthor decides to get out of the city to regroup. The world is going to be a very different place now that Superman has saved them.
Later, at the Daily Star, Editor-in-Chief George Taylor tells of how he once met Clark Kent's parents when he was reporting on the Smallville Sentinel. He believes that Clark's parents would be proud of him - as he himself is proud of Clark's perseverance in taking down the Glenmorgan empire with his hard-hitting articles. Taylor feels that their work is done, and urges Clark to take the job offer he got from the Daily Planet.
After returning to his apartment building, Clark bumps into Mrs. Nyxly on the stairs, who asks if she can speak with him. He asks to have five minutes to himself first, taking a call from Icarus, his mysterious informant, who had tipped him off to the booby-trap on the EL Train and the Factory for Tomorrow. Playing into his role, Clark nervously asks whether Icarus is secretly Superman. The voice on the other end of the line responds that he is just a concerned citizen, but in fact, Icarus is none other than Lex Luthor.
Elsewhere, General Lane discovers that John Corben cannot be separated from the Metal-Zero suit. He has no heart, but the suit is keeping him alive, though they don't know for how long. The General asks that Corben get the best possible care, as he believes that Corben's actions helped to save the world.
That night, Clark at last meets with Mrs. Nyxly, to talk about the fact that she knows his true identity. He warns that if she tries to reveal his secret, he will simply take on another identity elsewhere. She believes that he could use his abilities to make it big in show business, but Clark has no great desire for fame or money. Regardless, she promises to keep his secret.
The next day, Superman receives the key to the city from the mayor. Before the assembled press, he explains that the suit he now wears is from his home planet of Krypton, and that he is a real alien. He was sent from his planet when he was just a baby, but the most important thing to take from his arrival is that humans are not alone in the universe. He promises that he is still there to help those who can't help themselves, and to make things better. He is there to stay. Lois Lane calls out from the crowd to ask him whether he has a place to go when he wants to be alone, and Superman is taken aback.
Clark returns to Smallville, to visit the graves of his parents. He explains that he now realizes that there is a place for him in this world after all. He fills a need with his special powers - and now, there are others like him waking up in the world. It seems like it was all meant to be. Happily, he dons his new suit, and flies off into space. He arrives on the Collector's ship, which he now uses as a base, since his Kryptonian technology took control of the Brainiac system. From there, he can watch over the whole world.
On Dinosaur Island, the mysterious dwarf tries to convince a hunter - Maxim Zarov - that there is one thing left that he hasn't killed: a bullet-proof man. Shooting a Tyrannosaurus through the head, Zarov comments that there is no such thing as bullet-proof.
Appearing in "Superman Meets...The Collector of Worlds"
- The comment that there is no bartender in the Glenmorgan Hotel calls back to the previous issue, in which there was a bartender - who happened to be Vyndtkvx.
- The "zee zee zee" of Jimmy's phone vibrating is a reference to the sound of his signal watch.