"Secret Origin": Earth-Prime. 1984. One year before the Crisis on Infinite Earths
Read beyond this point at your own risk!
Dark Nights: Death Metal The Secret Origin #1 is a one-shot with a cover date of February, 2021. It was published on December 22, 2020.
Synopsis for "Secret Origin"
Earth-Prime. 1984. One year before the Crisis on Infinite Earths
He was born Clark Kent. And he was adopted, that's why his parents decided to name him just like Superman, the great superhero of the comics from DC. He was a fan: he passed his time reading those comics, imagining himself as the last son of Krypton. He remembers reading the last published Superman issue at the time, inside the comic store. An idiot called Kenny Braverman picked on him, but he defended himself and his name, he defended Superman. And then Laurie, the daughter of the shop's owner, helped him out of the mess.
Laurie was everything to him: first his best friend, than the girl he loved. But one night, she lost her, just like everybody else: it was halloween, 1985, he went to a party together with Laurie, and then passed some time with her on the beach. They talked about their hopes and dreams, and of their future together. Then, to play a little bit with his costume, Superman's costume of course, he tried to fly. At first he fell, and they both laughed. After some time, something like a shooting star traversed the sky, and Clark could not believe it: he was flying for real. But he discovered that shooting star was the same Superman he knew from the comics: everything he read since he was little was true. He was part of a Multiverse of infinite Earths, and a crisis was happening, with every universe collapsing inside only one.
He lost Laurie then, and when he saw he could bring her back, he tried to. He just wanted his girl, and his people, back. For it, he turned into a monster.
Earth-0, about to collapse. The Metalverse
The heroes, and the villains, must destroy the Earth before the Darkest Knight uses it to create his final Multiverse, the Last 52. As he understood what was happening on the planet, the Darkest Knight threw all his 52 baby worlds at them, so that the nightmares he created inside them could fight the army on Earth and prevent the destruction of the planet.
Superboy-Prime stands among them: that's how they call him now. And they hate him, they do not trust him for what he did back then. Especially the Superman Family, with the exception of Krypto. As he pets the dog, who reached out to him, Superboy-Prime gets scolded by Conner, and so sends Krypto away. Thankfully, the battle is ready to start: Prime sees all this nightmare versions of Superman, and they are so lame. They think they matter,but they do not. And he doesn't care about the fact that many consider him a footnote, a guy who was relevant just once, during a former crisis. They are insignificant, and he will show them.
But as soon as he hits one of them, he feels and sees something: his world changing, becoming a place of happiness. Becoming something good. He realizes that maybe, if he's able to kill the Darkest Knight right now, all these worlds would stop being insignificant, gaining instead value and freedom. He can save other worlds from the doom he felt when they took his planet, and Laurie, away from him. He flies towards the Darkest Knight, and the heroes think he's escaping the battle, taunting him for that. But he does not care: he hits the Darkest Knight with all his might.
And as he hits him, he realizes that with his powers he could obtain all he ever wanted. That if he surrenders to him, he can give him a world where he will be loved, and accepted. But then Krypto comes to him again, and the hate he felt for all those heroes who keep on rejecting him disappeared. Any world the Darkest Knight could give him would not be his world. It wouldn't be the real Laurie, or his real parents. And so, he clenches his fist for the last time, and with all his dreams in his mind, he hits the Darkest Knight. And so, he destroys all the planets of the Last 52, dying in the proces, with no one but Krypto knowing it.
Somewhere else, outside the story
Clark is reading a story, about himself saving the Earth from the Last 52 Multiverse of the terrible Darkest Knight. But, shouldn't he be dead? Then, Laurie comes into his room, telling him if he wants to go outside, with her. Clark cannot understand: she looks, and feels, like the real Laurie. How could it be? The girl thinks he want to finish his comic book, so tells him she will leave him to his reading. But Clark does not want that: he knows how the story will end, with a to be continued. As he decides to go out, a dog comes to him. He never had one. He does have one now.
They go out, and the colors feel so different. Where is him? He's he dead, and living in a paradise? Well, he does not care. He asks Laurie if she remembers the day at the beach, and them talking of their plans. Also, if she remembers him flying through the sky. Laurie laughs: he should stop telling this story, he has no powers. And she likes him powerless. But then, a kid, trying to catch his ball, falls in the middle of the street, with a car almost colliding with him. Clark intervenes, lifting the car over his head, and saving the kid.
Stories are never over. But sometimes, it's good to get out for a walk: you never know what could happen...
Appearing in "Secret Origin"
- Laurie Lemmon (Flashback and main story) (Also in a vision)
- Superman Family (Prime Earth)
- The Darkest Knight
- Kenny Braverman (Earth-Prime) (First appearance) (Flashback only)
- Anti-Monitor (Antimatter Universe) (Flashback only)
- Arnold Schwarzenegger (In a photograph only)
- The Atom (Earth-One) (In picture only)
- Burt Reynlods (In a photograph only)
- Baron Blitzkrieg (Earth-Two) (In picture only)
- Batman (In a vision)
- Batwoman (Prime Earth)
- Black Bison (Earth-One) (In picture only)
- Black Manta (Prime Earth)
- Blackstarr (Earth-One) (In a photograph only)
- Booster Gold (Prime Earth)
- Captain Atom (Earth-Four) (Flashback only)
- Cyborg Superman (Prime Earth)
- Demolition Team (Earth-One) (In picture only)
- Doll Man (Earth-Two) (In picture only)
- Emissaries of Doom (In picture only)
- Firestorm (Earth-One) (Flashback only)
- The Flash (Barry Allen; Prime Earth) (In a vision)
- Flash Family (New Earth) (In dream sequence only)
- Gorilla Grodd (Earth-One) (In picture only)
- Green Lantern Corps (New Earth) (In dream sequence only)
- Harley Quinn (Prime Earth) (In a vision)
- Hellgrammite (Prime Earth) (First appearance)
- Jade (Earth-Two) (Flashback only)
- Jimmy Olsen (Earth-One) (In picture only)
- Jonah Hex (Prime Earth) (In a vision)
- Jor-El II (Earth-One) (In picture only)
- Justice League of America (Earth-One) (In a vision)
- JSA (New Earth) (Flashback only)
- Kryptonite Man (Earth-One) (In picture only)
- Lady Quark (Earth-Six) (Flashback only)
- Princess Laethwen (In picture only)
- Lara Lor-Van (Earth-One) (In picture only)
- Lex Luthor (Prime Earth)
- Lex Luthor (Super Friends) (In picture only)
- Martian Manhunter (Earth-One) (Flashback only)
- Metallo (Prime Earth)
- Naomi Kent (Flashback only)
- Negative Man (New Earth) (Flashback only)
- Neutron (Prime Earth)
- Orphan (Prime Earth) (In a vision)
- Outsiders (Earth-One) (In picture only)
- Parasite (Rudy Jones; Prime Earth) (First appearance)
- Power Girl (Earth-Two) (Flashback only)
- Reactron (Prime Earth) (First appearance)
- Robin (Prime Earth)
- Robin King (In a vision)
- Ronald Reagan (In a photograph only)
- Sally Field (In a photograph only)
- Scarecrow (Earth-One) (In picture only)
- Sgt. Rock (Earth-One) (In picture only)
- Supergirl (Earth-One) (In picture only)
- Superman (Earth-Two) (Flashback and dream)
- Swamp Thing (Prime Earth) (In a vision)
- Teen Titans (New Earth) (Flashback only)
- Cyborg (In dream sequence only)
- Joto (Flashback only)
- Raven (In dream sequence only)
- Red Star (Flashback only)
- Risk (Flashback only)
- Robin (Dick Grayson) (In dream sequence only)
- Robin (Tim Drake) (Flashback only)
- Starfire (In dream sequence only)
- Superboy (Flashback only)
- Terra (Flashback only)
- Wildebeest (Flashback only)
- Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark) (Flashback only)
- Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) (Flashback only)
- The Ray (Earth-Two) (Flashback only)
- Toyman (Prime Earth)
- Toyman (Jack Nimball; Earth-One)
- Toyman (Winslow Schott; Earth-One)
- Wonder Woman (Earth-One) (Flashback only)
- Wonder Woman (Prime Earth) (In a vision)
- Bizarro (Earth-One) (Mentioned only)
- Easy Company (Earth-One) (Mentioned only)
- Jerome Kent (Mentioned only)
- Joker (Prime Earth) (Mentioned only)
- Jonathan Samuel Kent of Saint's world (Mentioned only)
- Lex Luthor of Saint's world (Mentioned only)
- Lori Lemaris (Earth-One) (Mentioned only)
- Superboy Prime of Saint's world (Mentioned only)
- Supergirl of Saint's world (Mentioned only)
- Unknown Soldier (Earth-One) (Mentioned only)
- Antimatter Universe (Flashback only)
- Earth-One (In a vision)
- Earth-Prime (Flashback and main story) (Restored)
- Earth-Thirty-Two (In picture only)
- Earth-X (In picture only)
- Last 52 Multiverse (Destroyed)
- New Earth (Flashback only)
- Prime Earth
- Hell (Also in a vision)
- Washington, D.C. (In dream sequence only)
- Cosmic Staff (Flashback only)
- Green Lantern Ring (In a vision)
- Lasso of Lightning (Flashback only)
- Lex Luthor's Warsuit
- Green Kryptonite (Mentioned only)
- Kryptonian Rocket (In picture only)
- The comics shown in the beginning in a comic-book store are All-Star Squadron #35, Batman #373, Batman and the Outsiders #13, DC Comics Presents #71, The Flash #335, Green Lantern (Volume 2) #178, Firestorm (Volume 2) #26, Justice League of America #229, Sgt. Rock #390, Super Powers #2, Superman #397 and Sword of the Atom Special #1.
- In addition, the young Superboy-Prime is shown owning The Best of DC #54, DC Comics Presents #86 and Superman #400. This very comic is shown being owned by him at the end, which means Earth-Prime's timeline has shifted by decades. However its back cover is the black-and-white cover of Dark Nights: Death Metal #4.
- The variant cover was originally made for the "Generations" event, before the story got reworked.