"Siege": From within the Phantom Zone, Xa-Du laments having lost the ability to leave and take revenge on Superman. However, he can still reach out and create an impulse within others, outside of the zone. Around the world, he implants th
- I saw Kent save you. He's full of sentiment. It would break him to know you've betrayed him. But it would hurt him even more to know you died doing it.
- — Bane
Synopsis for "Siege"
From within the Phantom Zone, Xa-Du laments having lost the ability to leave and take revenge on Superman. However, he can still reach out and create an impulse within others, outside of the zone. Around the world, he implants the irresistible desire to kill Clark Kent into the minds of psychopaths and assassins.
Meanwhile, Clark is acting as a reporter near the Honeymoon Islands in the Bahamas. He believes that another outbreak of the Doomsday Virus could occur there, and he is proved right when the portentous black cloud begins approaching. Batman explains that he'd been tracking reports that the military might be experimenting with residue from the initial Doomsday outbreak - which means that this is a job for Superman - not Clark Kent. In order to contain the outbreak, Superman does the only thing he can think of. Against Batman's warnings, he uses his new-found solar flare ability to release all of the solar energy built up inside him, and incinerate the infectious cloud. The price of that act, though, is that he is powerless for a day - and his comm link with Batman is fried.
Clark begins tracking the cloud's progress backward, following the heavy footprints of Doomsday. He admits to himself that threats like Doomsday are oddly comforting, because despite the increased threat, he always knows exactly what he has to do to stop them. Now, though, things are a little more complicated.
As he approaches the burning containment unit that he suspects the virus came from, Clark spots some civilians stealing medical supplies, and realizes that they will perceive him as a threat. Without warning, though, a Man-Bat swoops down and nearly skewers Clark. In his attempt to protect a civilian, Clark forgets he is vulnerable, and takes a shuriken in the shoulder. A brave woman leaps out and thrusts a knife into the creature's back, and though Clark is impressed, he knows she has signed her own death warrant. Fortunately for her and Clark, Batman arrives to help them - though he thinks they're foolish for even being there. Distracting the Man-Bat, he leaps down into a manhole, and as the creature grasps for him, its head suddenly explodes, shot down by Bane.
Taking refuge in a nearby building, Clark, Batman, and the survivors listen as Bane promises to kill him. Along with Cheshire, Killer Croc and an army of more Man-Bats, Bane has the building surrounded. The civilians suggest that if they only want Clark Kent, they should simply surrender, but Batman warns that they cannot trust the people outside to let them go. Batman knows that it will be his responsibility alone to face the assassins, warning Clark to stay away. They are, after all, more than street thugs. In the meantime, they will have to find whatever weapons and protection they can find within the building's stock rooms. Batman then abandons them to prepare themselves. Clark attempts to go with him, but ends up tied to a pillar for his effort.
While stuck there, Clark begins to feel the building shaking, and is filled with fear for the first time in a long time as Killer Croc bears down on him. He smashes the pillar, and Clark gets free. Smashing the pillar, though, causes half the building to come down on Croc's head - and it takes Batman with it. Watching, Bane is impressed, but he calls out that despite his efforts, Clark has made his hiding place smaller.
In the meantime, Clark apologizes to the woman who had helped him earlier, whose name is Janice. She warns him to be quiet, as the Man-Bats burst through the door. Fortunately, they prepared well, and they burn the bats with molotov cocktails. As they run from the Man-Bats, Clark and company find themselves cornered, and use a combination of ammonia and bleach to make Chloramine - a gas strong enough to knockout the man-bats. Cheshire, though, is immune, and threatens to come for them. To her surprise, though, Clark clubs her in the back of the head with a pipe, and renders her unconscious - unfortunately, one of their number went missing in the meantime.
Robbie has gone outside to surrender to Bane, promising to help him catch Clark Kent. In return, he asks only that the innocent people be let go. Grimly, Bane points out that Clark is full of sentiment, and it would break him to know that he had been betrayed. He thrusts a knife into Robbie's chest and adds that it would hurt Clark more to know that Robbie died betraying him. He admits that he should have at least taken the information Robbie had before killing him, but the stink of Clark Kent is so strong on him that he needs to kill the man.
Seeing what Bane did, Clark warns the other civilians to run for it, just as Batman stumbles out of the bushes, riding a blinded Killer Croc's back. Unable to see, Croc bowls right over Bane, and the pair of them fall off a cliff into the ocean. Afterwards, Batman leaves Clark to finish helping the civilians as he drags Cheshire and the man-bats away. After helping to get the civilians to safety with supplies, Clark asks Janice if there's anything more he can do for her. She responds that he can die - stabbing him in the gut.
Xa-Du has finally learned Superman's greatest weakness. It is that he believes in humanity. He influenced Janice's actions, but her fear was real, and it lives in every human. Next time, he won't even have to push. They'll just kill him.
Appearing in "Siege"
- Robbie (Dies)
- Brainiac (Flashback only)
- Darkseid (Flashback only)
- Doomsday (Flashback only)
- Mongul (Flashback only)
- Zod (Flashback only)
- Cover gallery for the Batman/Superman Annual series
- Images from Batman/Superman Annual Vol 1 2