"Last Sun: Chapter 4 - Evolutions": At the Fortress of Solitude, Lana Lang is disturbed to see that her parents in Smallville are suffering from heart attacks - presumably, the Brainiac Mothership is killing them. [[Batman (Bruce Wayne)|
- I killed Doomsday. Ripped it right in half. I'll have to live with that for the rest of my life. But I'm not going to hurt other people trying to turn back the clock. I'll live with it, and learn from it. And do my damnedest to do better next time.
- — Superman
Synopsis for "Last Sun: Chapter 4 - Evolutions"
At the Fortress of Solitude, Lana Lang is disturbed to see that her parents in Smallville are suffering from heart attacks - presumably, the Brainiac Mothership is killing them. Batman assumes that the minds of the people in Smallville have already been assimilated, and their bodies will all be dying soon. Then, the world's larger cities will fall, and so on. Martian Manhunter assures Lana that Superman is on his way to the mothership right now - though he is not exactly himself.
Lois Lane confirms that Superman has completely given himself over to the Doomsday Infection. While this was the only way he'd be strong enough to destroy the ship, it has also reduced Superman's mind to a vortex of rage. Batman and Steel have been working on generating a map of the mothership, which they hope J'onn will be able to relay to Superman. In the mean time, Lois and Lana telepathically connect to Superman in the hopes of reaching the Clark Kent they know is inside him. Lois tries to appeal to his gentler side, but Lana pushes him to let Doomsday remain in control, and kill Brainiac.
Inside Superman's mind, Perry White reaches out and connects with Clark, who is weak from nearly letting himself get lost. Perry begs Clark to stop Doomsay from getting to the core of the ship, which may destroy all of the minds that were absorbed by it. Clark is savvy, though, knowing Brainiac wouldn't allow other minds to reach out to him. Found out, Brainiac admits that he was deceiving Clark as far as the medium of his message, but the message itself was true. The minds on the ship will die. He explains that his intent has never been to kill humanity. The universe is created by conscious minds, but without perceptions to shape things, there would be no things. He believes that by collecting enough minds and unifying them in perceiving a specific thing, he could make the universe whatever he wants it to be. By adding the minds of the planet Earth to his collection, he will have enough to re-imagine the universe, and no one will have to die - they'll all come back better than before.
Clark disbelieves these claims, but Brainiac offers a demonstration of his power. He can, at least offer something of a gift, if he's not powerful enough yet to make a universe. He projects an image of another reality into Clark's head, one where his friend Lana and Steel are the twin protectors of Metropolis in a world so strong that Superman isn't needed. If Doomsday continues, this world cannot be. Clark responds that it was never real in the first place, reminding that it was Lana herself who told him to kill Brainiac. The Collector concedes that if Clark doesn't want to give them a better world, he will simply absorb them, like the others.
Allowing Brainiac to get knowledge about Steel and Lana by connecting with his brain has further allowed him the ability to get through the Fortress' defences and take control of their bodies. Additionally, the Cyborg Superman has been given the location of the Fortress, and he breaks through the ceiling to kill those who would defy his master. Fortunately, Supergirl has followed him, and comes to the survivors' defence.
Brainiac comments that Kara is strong, but he suspects Superman doesn't want her to defeat the Cyborg. If Clark and his friends keep fighting, billions will die for nothing. To further his point, he shows Clark what happens if they do keep fighting. Kara will kill her own father, and learning that will break her heart. But when the Doomsday Infected Clark kills him, he will also wipe out the human race. Kara will then be forced to fulfil the Kryptonian prophecy of the Knight of El, who will destroy the Great Monster - and then become the monster herself.
Smirking, Superman responds that Brainiac doesn't understand the House of El. Kara can beat the Cyborg, but she won't kill him. When Kara does in fact defeat the Cyborg Superman, Lois uses her telepathy to break into his mind. Annoyed, Brainiac prevents the truth from coming out by taking control of Kara and Zor-El's bodies. Grinning, Brainiac responds that if Superman is about reconciliation and peace, he has another world to show him.
He presents Clark a world in the future, where Bruce Wayne has long retired from being Batman - exactly twenty-five years, in fact. All it took was a ten percent reduction in crime to bring an exponential decrease with every generation. The example that the pair of them made was part of that. Clark's influence in particular, though, gave Bruce the chance to give it up at last, and have a real life. Clark comments that Bruce will have to say all of that again when Diana arrives - but Bruce doesn't know who he's talking about.
Clark snaps out of the reverie, reminding that he doesn't want a future without Diana. Brainiac responds that he doesn't care. He gained control over Batman by accessing those thoughts from Clark's mind. Clark muses that Brainiac must not be able to find Diana - or she would have been in that vision. And if Brainiac can't find Diana, she must be attacking him.
Diana is, in fact, in the Phantom Zone, using the weapons of War World to attack through the Phantom Zone Projector - just enough to break through the last defences and allow Superman's physical body into the core of the mothership. This leaves Brainiac vulnerable, and Lois decides to try and take control of him long enough to release all of the minds he collected, but she collapses before she can do anything. Her mind, though, enters Clark's own mind, where he remains in conflict with Vril Dox. He introduces her, and she can see every crime he's committed in looking at him; how he made her is slave. Though she wants to see him dead, Clark insists there is another way. She holds Brainiac's mind in her hands.
She uses this power to see into Brainiac's own mind, where she learns that he was once a scientist with a wife and son, but he made a terrible mistake. He had thought he was doing the right thing, when he was working on experiments that he thought would save the world from an ongoing attack. He failed, though, and lost everything. He collected and bottled those things he could salvage, but he didn't have the skill or power to give them life again - until today, when he gained the power to create universes with collective minds.
Clark explains that all Brainiac wants is for a universe to exist where his family can live again, but Lois is unconvinced, reminding that he can't reward someone trying to kill off the entire planet Earth. Clark admits that it isn't fair - but do they really want punishment, or peace?
Rebelling against her, Brainiac suddenly grabs Lois, killing the visions of his family that she conjured for him. He doesn't care, reminding that he can remake them, once he takes back his power. Lois collapses, knowing she will not survive if he takes her again, and begs Clark to do the right thing. Instead of letting Brainiac have his power back, Lois puts it into Clark.
With the cumulative power of the entire planet's minds inside him, Superman admits that he doesn't want to kill anyone, even having killed Doomsday, which he regrets. He won't kill others to turn back the clock, though, he'll live with it. Just like he'll have to live with what he's about to do.
On Earth, Lois returns to her normal self, and the others confirm that the mothership is gone, and the billions of minds it stole have been returned to the bodies they belonged to.
Superman, meanwhile, is dragging Brainiac straight into a black hole. Clark admits that he is willing to sacrifice himself to ensure that everyone else is saved. After crossing the event-horizon, Brainiac finds his body being stretched and compressed infinitely, and spat out into a realm of shards, in which are reflected visions of other universes, beyond his understanding.
Appearing in "Last Sun: Chapter 4 - Evolutions"
- Lana Lang
- Lois Lane
- Martian Manhunter
- Perry White (As an illusion only)
- Wonder Woman
- Aquaman (Flashpoint) (In a vision)
- Batman (Earth-43) (In a vision)
- Blue Beetle (New Earth) (In a vision)
- Captain Marvel (Earth-5) (In a vision)
- Freedom Fighters (Earth-10)
- Harley Quinn (In a vision)
- Jax-Ur (Possessed)
- Jimmy Olsen (Cameo)
- Justice Society of America (Earth-2)
- Lady Quark (In a vision)
- Laura Lang
- Lewis Lang
- Lord Volt (In a vision)
- Mongul (Possessed)
- OMAC (In a vision)
- Superman (New Earth) (In a vision)
- Teen Titans
- Wife and Child of Vril Dox
- Wonder Woman (Flashpoint) (In a vision)
- Story continues from Superman/Wonder Woman #11.
- The prophecy of the "Great Monster" is told in Batman/Superman #3.1: Doomsday.