"The Curse of Superman": After defeating Lex Luthor, Superman of Earth 23 determines that the need for the protection of a Warsuit suggests that his foe was working on something big. Investigating, he discovers a red and gre
- Brother. You just picked on the wrong parallel universe. My intention is to beat you right down, right here, right now.
Synopsis for "The Curse of Superman"
After defeating Lex Luthor, Superman of Earth 23 determines that the need for the protection of a Warsuit suggests that his foe was working on something big. Investigating, he discovers a red and green tesseract object. The object seems to be producing music, "ringing out at impossibly oblique frequencies".
An armed woman with an eye-patch leaps through the tesseract. Disoriented, she considers Superman a possible threat and fires her weapon at him, only to discover that he is immune to her K-Laser – a weapon from Earth 36 which generates a beam of concentrated hate. Looking behind her, the woman realizes that her two companions Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen have been severely burnt; Jimmy is dead. She explains that by passing through the tesseract, they have proved that there are multiple earths, each bearing its own watered down version of Superman. She wonders what makes this one so special.
Kalel explains that he came from a world called Krypton, which was doomed to destruction. His parents Jorel and Lara had placed their infant son into a prototype rocket, and sent him to Earth. He was found by a caring family, and grew to become known as Calvin Ellis — the President of the United States of America, and Superman.
The woman is Lois Lane, and she explains that there will be no time to save her dying companion Clark, as something is pursuing them. She mourns that their entire calamity was born of Clark's dream to change the world. It was he who had travelled in the east and returned with knowledge of the Tulpa — the concept of creating a living thought with its own independent existence. Lois and Jimmy were drawn in by their curiosity, and together the three of them created a device that could make their thoughts realities — until they took it too far.
Together, they had decided to use the device to imagine a messiah, powered by thought, and capable of saving the world. They named this creation Superman. Over the course of his 25 minutes of existence, he outlined a code of ethics so profound and pure that the trio wept — but they were unable to retain his words after his departure. Realizing that they needed a way to make him more real, they shopped their idea around for funding in order to perfect their device, and approached Overcorp and it's mysterious CEO. However, they soured on the idea of allowing a corporation to control their device — but the idea of a Superman was too compelling, and eventually, they sold out.
Overcorp created something completely different from what Lois, Jimmy and Clark had intended — with the company's executives dreaming in unison to conceive of a figure capable of achieving maximum appeal, what was once a Superman was transformed into a violent and troubled, faceless anti-hero. This new Superman would become a globally recognized brand, used by Overcorp as a stepping stone to practical planetary domination.
Meanwhile, Clark discovered that the device could tap into the sounds coming from what had to have been other universes. They managed to jump between worlds, but the Superman that they had helped to create would pursue them and cause devastation in each new world. Lois had witnessed this Superman kill and devour a Superman analogue from another Earth known as Optiman, and destroy the Li'l League. Soon, Lois' Superman begins to emerge from the tesseract and announces its intention to kill its pretenders; Calvin promises to put an end to Superdoom here and now.
Asking Brainiac to cover for him at the White House, Superman proceeds to attack the monstrous creature that followed Lois, but is beaten back. However, there is one man on this Earth who is perfectly equipped to fight a fascistic reflection of Superman: Lex Luthor. Using the specialized K-Laser, Luthor blasts the imposing Superman in the face. Kalel recovers and offers his help. He knocks the Superman into the Transmitter Array tessaract, and traps him there between frequencies.
In the aftermath, the Justice League arrives to help clean up the mess and investigate the mysteries of the Transmatter Symphonic Array, as Luthor called it. Superman offers Lois shelter in his home and vows to help heal Clark, who may yet survive. Lois remarks Kalel might just be Superman done right.
Appearing in "The Curse of Superman"
- Superman (Calvin Ellis) (Flashback and main story)
- Lois Lane (First appearance)
- Clark Kent (Earth 45) (First appearance)
- Jimmy Olsen (First appearance; dies)
- Jorel (Dies in flashback) (First appearance)
- Lara (Dies in flashback) (First appearance)
- Optiman (Mentioned only)
- Flashlight (Mentioned only)
- Iron Knight (Mentioned only)
- Red Racer (Mentioned only)
- Justice League (First appearance)
- Little League
- Earth 23
- Earth 42
- Transmatter Symphonic Array (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Executive Power"
At the White House, a meeting is in progress. Qurac — a Middle Eastern rogue nation — is on the brink of developing nuclear weapons, and the US Government needs to decide what to do next. It is hoped that over the course of his talks with the Quraci President, US President Calvin Ellis will be able to come to an agreement that would halt weapons development.
President-for-Life Harrat is expecting to be amused by Ellis' call, but he is soon confused by Ellis' intent to update him on the status of his own nuclear program. As it happens, Calvin is on a blue-tooth device, and — as Superman — has rendered all five of Harrat's underground Firestorm Labs non-functional. Two have caved in, one is filled with lava, one has suffered a core-breach, and the other simply doesn't work anymore.
Harrat declares the attack on his labs an act of war, but Ellis points out that having denied the existence of the plants, Harrat cannot openly admit that they were destroyed. He also points out that in the event of a war, Ellis' Alliance of Nations — which includes Atlantis, Markovia and Themyscira — certainly assure a regime-change in Qurac. Ellis offers peace and a place in the Alliance, whose medical technology and free trade would be of benefit to Harrat's people.
Hanging up from his phone call, Superman gets back to work at the fifth plant. Wonder Woman marvels at the contradiction: Calvin Ellis, a man of integrity, is secretly Superman, also a man of integrity, but is hiding this fact from everyone else and using his gifts to bend international law and cross borders at will. Superman argues that his actions, though shocking, are ultimately good. Wonder Woman points out that one day, even if his intentions are good, not everyone will necessarily agree.
Appearing in "Executive Power"
- White House Staff
- Wonder Woman (Nubia)
- Batman (Mentioned only)
- President Harrat (First appearance)
- President Rickard (Mentioned only)
- The green-and-red color scheme on the Transmatter Array marks it as a 4-D object.
- The abandoned building that Lex Luthor's lab is in has a sign outside it saying "Giordano's".
- Qurac's "underground Firestorm labs" may be a reference to Earth 23's version of the Firestorm Protocols.
- Superman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 2)
- Adventures of Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- DC Comics Presents (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 3)
- Superman (Volume 4)
- Superman (Volume 5)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- Superman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Steel (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Tomorrow (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)