"Superman Beyond": On a red-horizoned higher world, a man with a Monitor's haircut is defeating a colossus styled on Superman. The Monitor-creature gloats that he can hear "her final heartbeat" - the sound of Superman failing.
- But she was right: there's only one way to process what I'm seeing. 4-D vision upgrade. Great Krypton!
- — Superman, on his first encounter with the Bleed
Synopsis for "Superman Beyond"
On a red-horizoned higher world, a man with a Monitor's haircut is defeating a colossus styled on Superman. The Monitor-creature gloats that he can hear "her final heartbeat" - the sound of Superman failing.
In Metropolis Memorial Hospital, Clark Kent is at his wife's bedside. As he remarks that he would give "anything" to save her, time stops and he is visited by the Monitor Zillo Valla who offers him a pact - if Superman will help her, she will save Lois Lane's life; if he refuses, all of existence will be destroyed. However, he must choose quickly - she is being stalked by the destroyer Echo of Midnight. As they leave, Superman notes that Earth without time is in perpetual twilight - a shadow has fallen across creation from outside.
In Zillo Valla's ship, the Ultima Thule, Superman meets Overman (of Earth-10), Captain Marvel (of Earth-5) and Captain Adam (of Earth-4). As the Ultima Thule is attacked, Superman scans for attackers in the visible and visible spectra, but finds himself shifting to a higher awareness - 4-D vision. Thus equipped, he sees The Bleed and the arteries between the universes.
As they fly, Superman sees Echo of Midnight, a colossal ship with death-ray eyes. However, it is suffering - it has been attacked by the last of Zillo Valla's recruits: Ultraman (of the Anti-Matter Universe). As they enter the reality of Earth-6, Echo of Midnight dies and begins to crash. Desperate to save lives, Zillo Valla directs the heroes to lead the destroyer to the Graveyard Earth of Universe-51. As Overman rushes Zillo Valla to the infirmary and Captain Adam interfaces with the navigational computer, Superman, Ultraman and Captain Marvel struggle to keep the monster aloft.
As the Ultima Thule falls through the Multiverse, it crashes on an unknown world of ruined cities and epical craters. There, Ultraman begins to argue with the other heroes, especially Captain Adam, who must take drugs to supress his quantum-senses to have a normal conversation. They discover that the world is not empty - it is rather home to a diverse and bizarre court of forgotten heroes, led by Merryman, the King of Limbo. Nothing happens in Limbo, and if they remain here long enough, they will lose their memories and be forgotten in turn by their worlds. However, Superman feels an urge to explore, and finds the "Library of Limbo", which contains one unreadable book with an infinite number of pages. Realizing that it should contain information on how to get them out of here, Superman and Captain Marvel try to move it to the ship. Instead, it tells a story in their head...
In the beginning, there was only Monitor. This Monitor discovered an infinitesimal coalescence called the Multiverse on itself. Investigating the Multiverse, the Monitor sent a probe, discovering that finite beings create meaning, conflicts and events - stories. Unprepared for this new concept, the Monitor's probe split in two. One half became the Orrery of Worlds, while the other became a colossal representation of the greatest hero - a massive golden Superman.
The Monitor created a progeny around himself, the Monitors of the 52 Universes of the Multiverse. They made their home in a vast city around the golden statue, which began to rust. The legend grew among the Monitors that the statue was a doomsday weapon intended to protect them from their ultimate enemy. It becomes attached to the story of Monitor Dax Novu the Radiant, first son of the original Monitor, who first explored the Multiverse, brought knowledge of the Bleed, and eventually gave his life to contain the entity called Mandrakk, who is prophesied to someday rise against all of creation.
Back in Limbo, the end of the story strikes the two heroes, turning Captain Marvel back into Billy Batson. All Billy can access is a fragment of the Wisdom of Solomon, which tells him the "the thing most despised will save the most beloved". Taking him back to the ship, he runs into the Court of Limbo, who have come to the conclusion that if something can happen, anything can happen, and are trying to escape Limbo using the Ultima Thule. However, they are trapped, and Superman is forced to leave them behind as they hammer on the entrance portal. Aside from Billy being depowered, Captain Adam's quantum-senses are kicking in, making him incomprehensible. As they enter Zillo Valla's chamber, they discover she has revived... by draining Overman's blood. However, this act is in vain, for Mandrakk the Dark Monitor controlled Echo of Midnight, and has a greater weapon at his command. Looking outside, they see the arrival of the colossal machine which shatters the sky of Limbo - and Ultraman, who is holding the infinite book and shouting that Evil will ultimately win.
Appearing in "Superman Beyond"
- Superman (New Earth)
- Overman (Earth-10) (Apparent Death)
- Captain Marvel (Earth-5)
- Captain Adam (Earth-4) (First appearance)
- Ultraman (Anti-Matter Universe)
- Monitor Zillo Valla
- Mandrakk the Dark Monitor (Behind the scenes)
- various superheroes
- Hal Jordan (Flashback only)
- Obsidian (Flashback only)
- Firestorm (Flashback only)
- Dawnstar (Flashback only)
- Monitors (Flashback only)
- Comic Book Limbo
- Overvoid (Flashback and main story)
- The 3-D portions of the issue were courtesy of Ray Zone
- The credits also thank Shawn Moll
- Overman speaks some phrases in German: "Wir werden verluste hinnehmen müssen! Diese maschine wird gleich explodieren!", "Alle diese universen die in verschiedenen frequenzen vibrieren", "Was ist das? Ich kann mich nicht daran erinnern wieso ich das mache; die ganze technik ist für den hund" which means, respectively: "We will have to accept losses! This machine is about to explode!", "All of these universes that vibrate in different frequencies" and "What's this? I can't remember why I'm doing this; all the technology is for the dog".
- This issue came with cardboard 3-D glasses, which purport to be made from fragments of Superman's cosmic armour
- The Crisis of Earth-6 seems to involve heroes fighting one another while a race of aliens attacks Earth. This is most likely a reference to Marvel Comics, whose universe is designated Earth-616, and whose two most recent events, Civil War and Secret Invasion, both share something with these events.
- Cover gallery for the Final Crisis: Superman Beyond series
- Images from Final Crisis: Superman Beyond Vol 1 1
- Crisis Recommended Reading
Links and References
|Final Crisis Crossover |