"Forever Strong": Twenty-Five years ago, on the planet Krypton, Jor-Il and his wife Lara fought tooth and nail to get their infant son Kal to a rocket which could see him saved from the destruction being visited upon their
- I don't break so easy.
- — Ultraman
Synopsis for "Forever Strong"
Twenty-Five years ago, on the planet Krypton, Jor-Il and his wife Lara fought tooth and nail to get their infant son Kal to a rocket which could see him saved from the destruction being visited upon their planet. He would be their last hope for revenge against the being who was their destruction. As the child was sent away from its doom, Jor-Il warned his son to be "the strongest there is", or be "nothing at all".
Traveling toward the planet Earth, little Kal was inundated with ideology and moralizing, warning him to be the strongest possible being - eschewing all weakness both in himself and in others. His rocket came to a crash in Smallville, Kansas, right through the roof of the home of Jonathan Kent. In the wreckage, he and his drug-addicted wife Martha discovered the boy, eating chunks of Kryptonite rock. The child's first act was to blast away Jonathan's hand using heat vision, and then warn that they would be his parents from that point on. He stayed with them until he was seven years old, at which point he killed them and burned their farm to the ground.
Over the following years, he murdered the President of the United States, manipulated the coward Hal Jordan into becoming Power Ring, a member of the Crime Syndicate, and was in turn manipulated by Lois Lane. Unfortunately, the Crime Syndicate's stranglehold over the planet was pried loose by a being who "destroyed" the Earth, just as he had destroyed Krypton.
Having escaped to another world, Ultraman is now sickened by how it has let its weak "thrive" by "coddling" them. He is most worried, though, that this world is so diseased with weakness that it cannot possibly survive an attack like the one his planet faced. In the meantime, he is supposed to be scattering a Khandaqi military incursion, while Deathstorm and Power Ring have been sent to confront the rebellious Rogues. Atomica and Johnny Quick are on a seemingly random path of murder and mayhem against any superhuman who would oppose the Syndicate. Owlman is en route to disrupt the criminal empires of the unpowered. Superwoman is watching over the Syndicate's hooded prisoner, though Grid is concerned about the value such a dangerous prisoner might hold.
On his way to Khandaq, Ultraman makes an unscheduled stop at the Daily Planet, where Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane are among a scant few believers that Superman is still alive. Regardless, the staff is being evacuated, lest their building be attacked as LexCorp Tower was, earlier. Unfortunately, Ultraman's arrival demonstrates that the others were right to evacuate, and Jimmy and Lois are cornered. In order to gauge just how weak this planet is, Ultraman demands to know what position at the Planet that Jimmy holds. Meekly, Jimmy responds that he is a photographer. The fact that he doesn't use those photos to extort anyone is a disappointment to Ultraman, and in anger, he crushes the hand Jimmy uses to take his photos. Lois and the others spring to Jimmy's defense, but they are all knocked aside.
As Jimmy's signal watch rings out, Ultraman grabs him up by the ankle, and Jimmy pleads with his tormentor to let his friends go in exchange for him. Ultraman is more disappointed to learn that even with his hand crushed, Jimmy's first concern is for others. Realizing the significance of the signal watch, Ultraman warns that no one is coming to save them. Again, Lois tries to defend Jimmy, but only succeeds in drawing Ultraman's attention onto her. Fortunately for her, Grid interrupts with news that the problem in Khandaq has heard Jimmy's watch, and is headed right for him. That problem is Black Adam.
Finally, Ultraman is glad at the chance to see an example of this world's strongest, and kill it, too.
Appearing in "Forever Strong"
- Crime Syndicate
- Kryptonians (Flashback only)
- Martha Kent (Dies in flashback)
- Johnny Kent (Dies in flashback)
- President Lee Oswald (First appearance) (Dies)
- Abin Sur (Cameo)
- Hawk (Cameo)
- Dove (Cameo)
- Nightwing (Cameo)
- Doom Patrol (On a TV or computer screen)
- Mazahs (On a TV or computer screen)
- Earth 3 (Flashback only)
- Prime Earth
- Boom Tube (Flashback only)
- Green Kryptonite (Flashback only)
- Lasso of Submission (Flashback only)
- Jimmy Olsen's Signal Watch
- Ring of Volthoom (Flashback and main story)
- This issue is reprinted in Justice League: Forever Heroes.
- The story continues in Forever Evil Vol 1 3.
- This issue gives the New 52 Origin of Ultraman.
- The president whom Ultraman murdered was Lee Harvey Oswald, the man thought to have assassinated John F. Kennedy. This is in reference to Justice League of America #29, where John Wilkes Booth was president.