"Spear of Destiny, Part 4: Conclusion": The President gives Superman the Spear of Destiny. Superman says he will do whatever it takes to stop the Spectre.
- I took responsibility for my own acts; humanity should do the same.
- — Spectre
Synopsis for "Spear of Destiny, Part 4: Conclusion"
The President gives Superman the Spear of Destiny. Superman says he will do whatever it takes to stop the Spectre.
In the Earth's soul, the Spectre argues with Gaea. He claims that Naiad has abused her power by killing innocent souls. Gaea points out that the Spectre purged a country with fire and blew the top off a volcano, which caused tons of debris to fly into the air. She says that Naiad is merely her servant, and Nature is not always kind. However, Gaea acknowledges that Naiad is out of balance. She asks the Spectre to help Naiad find her way to a balance—and to bring himself to one as well.
In the Dreaming, Nicodemus Hazzard speaks to Lucien, who tells him of the curse that contaminates anyone who wields the Spear of Destiny. Hazzard awakens and bursts into the Oval Office to tell the President that they've made a big mistake in giving the Spear to Superman.
In Tokyo, Superman pierces Naiad with the Spear. She is surprised that he was able to injure her. Within the Earth's soul, Gaea tells the Spectre that Naiad is a part of the Earth—so the Earth itself may die if Naiad is killed. The Spectre leaves the Earth's soul to confront Naiad's attacker.
Meanwhile, the Spear tempts Superman to kill Naiad. The Spectre arrives and demands that Superman stop. This convinces Superman that Naiad and the Spectre are working together to destroy Tokyo. The Spectre explains that Naiad is a force of nature, and her actions are beyond Superman's judgment; indeed, they are beyond the Spectre's. Superman says it's not so: "The will of the strongest can be imposed even on the forces of nature—even on you, Spectre!" The Spectre tells Superman that the Spear is corrupting him and demands that he give it up.
Superman refuses to listen. He claims the Spear as his own and pierces the Spectre, which destroys him. Next he pierces Naiad, destroying her as well. Superman shows momentary grief for his actions, but then the Spear convinces him that he did what was necessary. The Spear then tells him to assume his rightful role.
Superman returns to Washington but refuses to give the Spear back to the President. He says, "From this moment, this government—every government—operates at my sufferance." Knowing that others will oppose his action, Superman decides to strike first: he attacks members of the Justice League. Jonathan and Martha Kent are distraught by their son's actions.
In the rubble that was once downtown Metropolis, Superman defeats the last of the metahumans who opposed him (including the Flash, Hawkman, and Martian Manhunter). But then Batman appears, armed with a Kryptonite gun. Superman breaks down, admitting that he has betrayed everything he has ever believed in. He tells Batman that he deserves to be shot. At that moment, the Spectre appears and tells Superman that he is free again. Everything Superman had experienced was a vision—the consequence of not giving up the Spear of Destiny.
Superman and the Spectre are back in Tokyo, and Naiad reminds them that the Earth is still out of balance. The Spectre takes responsibility for his own actions and cleans up the pollution he has caused. He encases the Spear inside all of the debris and casts it into space. Naiad is satisfied, and she disappears.
Superman asks the Spectre why he only withdrew some of the pollutants endangering the Earth. The Spectre says that he took responsibility for his own actions; humanity should do the same. He then assures Superman that there will be no repeats of Vlatava. He will now confront evil on a personal basis—one by one.
Later, at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jim Corrigan talks to Father Craemer. Jim says he is impressed that Superman made the right choice. He showed that power doesn't have to be corrupt. You can choose to do what's right. But there's always the temptation...
Appearing in "Spear of Destiny, Part 4: Conclusion"
- Bill Clinton
- Nicodemus Hazzard
- Justice League of America (In a vision)
- Doctor Fate (In a vision)
- Robin (Tim Drake) (In a vision)
- Hawkman (In a vision)
- Jonathan Kent (In a vision)
- Lois Lane (In a vision)
- Martha Kent (In a vision)
- This story takes place between the return of the JSA in Armageddon: Inferno Vol 1 and Zero Hour.
- In this point of time, Power Girl wore a blue and white costume, and Barry Allen was dead (the Flash seen during Superman's vision is Wally West).