"Return to Krypton II, Part Two: Culture Shock": A dead Kryptonian lies on a table, a fiery saber pierced through his chest. Jor-El is shocked. He tried to properly calibrate the Phantom Zone transit for the right time, but it seems like he has been gone for months. Superman is only worried
Appearing in "Return to Krypton II, Part Two: Culture Shock"
Synopsis for "Return to Krypton II, Part Two: Culture Shock"
A dead Kryptonian lies on a table, a fiery saber pierced through his chest. Jor-El is shocked. He tried to properly calibrate the Phantom Zone transit for the right time, but it seems like he has been gone for months. Superman is only worried about his mother. Jor-El says that they must have taken her, and killed the council while doing it. Superman asks who "they" are, and his father explains that while he was president he ushered in a new age of scientific advancement. To combat this, a faction called the Holy Order of Rao was formed, calling for the return to a Rao-dependent Krypton. The conflict turned personal.
Jor-El was moving Krypton away from the spiritual and into the scientific. The basis of the conflict is Jor-El's newest creation. He has modified the incubation chambers that were used to assist in birthing, and has used them for the basis into his research into cloning. The Order of Rao have spoken against this, and yet hypocritically have stolen the technology and are using it to create a clone army. They see Jor-El as the destroyer of Kryptonian values, and believe that he will stop at nothing. Superman questions whether this is true, but Jor-El merely says that his commitment is to Krypton. Superman then asks where they have taken Lara. Jor-eE thinks he knows, and the two quickly depart before their powers vanish any further.
Father and son leap across the Kryptonian landscape until they reach the fire falls. The zealots have temples hidden across the planet. Lara is in this one though, because Jor-El can hear her heartbeat. Slipping down into the tunnels, the two men look around, and then decide to make their own passageway. Bursting through the wall, the two fly forward and are met with hordes of troops. Superman gets hit square in the stomach with an energy mace and is struck back. The two men quickly subdue the enemy forces. As they fly on, Superman warns his father that their weapons are powered with red solar energy, and that they will only deplete their powers quicker.
Lara slumps, chained to an altar. Jor-El suddenly bursts through the floor and rushes to her side, tearing her out of her bonds. Troops suddenly descend toward them. Blowing them away, Superman rushes to his mother and wraps her in his cape. Gathering the last of their strength, they leap out of the temple and through the fire falls.
Leaping back to Kryptonopolis, they land in Jor-El's home. Gently letting his mother into Jor-El's arms, Superman turns and looks out into the Krypton night. He calls Jor-El, and asks about the Zealot's plan to create an army. As his father turns to look, Superman tells him that he thinks they have done it. Outside, hundreds of troops wait to attack the home. Jor-El identifies their leader as Xon-Ur.
Xon-Ur rises up and orders his forces to destroy them. As they tear into the troops, Jor-El shouts that he is out of power. Kal-El still has some power left, but he's weakening as well. They are force to fall back inside. Jor-El says that it is time to bring in their own forces. The zealots look skyward as dozens upon dozens of attack robots descend upon them.
Superman orders his father to retreat with Lara, and then takes off and soars toward Xon-Ur. He catches the zealot and hurls him backward with a mighty punch. Superman is then hurled backward as he is struck with two red sun swords. Clashing the two swords together, Xon-Ur creates an energy blast that hurls Superman backward. Weakened and dazed, Superman can only lie on the ground helpless as Xon-Ur prepares to deliver the final blow.
- This book was first published on July 17, 2002.
- The previous issue of the Return to Krypton II arc is Superman (Volume 2) #184 and the next issue is Superman: The Man of Steel #128
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