Superman has come to the grim realization that he is dying. His exposure to the fire pits of Apokolips, the A.R.G.U.S. Kryptonite vault and Rao's energies have all caused irreparable damage to his cellular structure. Angry he will not be able to protect the world, on his own or with the League, Supe
Superman: The Final Days of Superman is the final arc of Superman (Volume 3), which features the last days of the Superman of the New 52. Immediately following this story, the character was rebooted as part of Rebirth, where elements of the Prime Earth and New Earth continuity were merged for Superman: Reborn.
Superman has come to the grim realization that he is dying. His exposure to the fire pits of Apokolips, the A.R.G.U.S. Kryptonite vault and Rao's energies have all caused irreparable damage to his cellular structure. Angry he will not be able to protect the world, on his own or with the League, Superman comes to see the statues of Jonathan and Martha he placed alongside those of Jor-El and Lara.
Meanwhile in China, scientist Dr. Omen has breached the Fortress' digital defenses and is in the process of extracting data from its archives. Superman is quick to detect and seal the breach, but is unable to identify the intruder. In the meantime, Superman goes out to do what he does best: save the world. Afterwards, he visits Lana at her house in Smallville.
After playing in her swing and reminiscing of their youth, Clark and Lana visit the Smallville cemetery, where he breaks the news to her. Brought to tears, Lana urges Clark to find a cure, but Clark merely says there is nothing that can be done. Instead, he asks her to bury him next to his parents. Then, he hugs Lana as a sign of comfort.
Back in China, Dr. Omen enters a special chamber containing a mysterious subject, intending to release him.
At a gas station in Minnesota, an ex-con is interrogated by a cop for missing his check-in after being released on parole. The ex-con attempts to flee on a truck but is then intercepted by a mysterious light that causes his truck to fall into the river. A passerby couple goes to check if he is okay. The stranger begins shining with solar energy, declaring himself to be Superman.
Later at night, Superman goes to Metropolis and visits Lois at her apartment. Both missed each other's company and value their friendship. He then takes her up for a flight and asks her to tell the world about the life of Clark Kent and Superman.
Next, Superman visits Batman in Gotham and reveals he's dying. Batman is beyond himself with grief and wants to find a way to cure his friend. But Superman has resigned himself to his death, and he isn't looking for hope or sympathy. He needs Batman to find his cousin Supergirl, who has been missing for weeks. He needs to know Kara is safe and can carry on after he's gone. After saying goodbye to Bruce and Alfred, Kal-El heads off to save more people.
In Metropolis, Denny Swan turns up. He still believes himself to be Superman, and he swings from helping people to endanger them uncaringly at the drop of a hat.
Before Superman can take off for National City, he and Batman are assailed by the Four Pillars, superpowered creatures representing the Chinese Zodiac. Superman and Batman beat them down, but they glow and implode upon defeat. And one of them manages to wound Superman before teleporting away.
Superman is worried. His wound is healing... slowly, but he never had blood drawn so easily before. He's running out of time and has to get to National City.
Somewhere else, Supergirl is hooked to a weird machine, and apparently unconscious.
After discovering his cousin Kara is located at the Department of Extranormal Operations, Superman flies to the DEO headquarters at National City. He breaks through the compound's defenses, reaches Supergirl and takes her to the sky.
Supergirl awakens and tells Superman she was not in trouble; in fact, she went to the D.E.O. by her own choice. As it turns out, Vandal Savage's actions with his comet also affected her powers. She did her best to help people in need, but she gradually lost most of her abilities. A D.E.O. agent called Cameron Chase offered to help her replenish her powers in exchange for her occasional service to the D.E.O.. Unfortunately, her power renewals were only temporary and she needed constant recharge. The D.E.O. was in the process of another recharge when Superman showed up. Supergirl wants to the return to the D.E.O. and sort things out, but Superman abruptly faints and falls down. His cousin catches him and asks what's wrong. He explains she will soon be the last survivor of the House of El on Earth.
Meanwhile, one of the dragons that earlier attacked Superman and Batman returns to his base in China, where Dr. Omen is waiting for him. The dragon carries a sample of Superman's blood on his claw, so Omen severs the claw off, on the account she can grow a new one for him.
In Metropolis, the stranger with Superman's powers arrives at the Daily Planet and claims to be Clark Kent. A security guard is not convinced and requests an ID but the stranger punches him in the neck. Then, he goes to the desk Clark used to work on, only to find a new employee already there. The stranger assaults the new employee and a trio of security guards until Lois pulls out an electric gun and knocks the stranger out, while Perry calls A.R.G.U.S..
Superman and Supergirl fly to the Fortress of Solitude, where he shows her the results of his tests, confirming he will die soon. He asks her to take his place as Earth's protector, but she is unsure after the mistrust he endured after his identity got out. Still, Superman believes Supergirl can move past her doubts and step up to the plate. He even gives her a new key to the Fortress, one that will unlock all of the Fortress' secrets.
As Superman and Supergirl leave the Fortress, so that Superman can continue putting his affairs in order, they come across Wonder Woman, who intends to know if the rumors of Superman's impending death are true.
Supergirl feels she needs to give them some space and takes off after assuring her cousin he can count on her whenever he needs her.
Superman confirms he's dying. He also says he hadn't told Diana about his illness yet because it would be hardest to tell her. Diana wants to search for some cure or even beg for divine intervention, but Kal is sure his death is inevitable and tries to talk her out of it before kissing her.
Their kiss is interrupted by two calls of Lois Lane and Steve Trevor. Both heroes head to Stryker's Island Penitentiary and Superman learns someone claiming to be him has murdered several persons. That person is locked up, screaming he can't help people if he's being kept in that cell. Superman and Wonder Woman note his body is glowing like Superman's when he used his Solar Flare power against Ulysses. Superman wonders if Ulysses has something to do with this and visits him. Ulysses is still trapped in his power-draining cell, and still angry with Superman, but he doesn't say if he was altered by the flare.
Meanwhile, Denny Swan, the man who claims to be Superman, grows angrier every passing second, claiming he's being impersonated by an imposter, Wonder Woman has betrayed him, and he's needed outside. He punches his cell's energy walls before finally dissolving them with a Solar Flare, and he pounces on Diana.
His outburst causes a power failure, and Ulysses takes advantage of it to attack Superman.
Wonder Woman and Dennis Swan, the Energy Superman, trade blows until Dennis manages to shake her off and escape. Meanwhile Ulysses stops fighting Superman when he realizes Kal is dying.
Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman track down the energy trail of the Superman imposter. The trail leads the Trinity to China, where a Waynetech satellite has picked up Superman's Solar Flare energy signature. Crossing Chinese borders, the three heroes are met by The Great Ten. The Chinese super-team wants them out of their country. After a short and brutal fight, they agree to listen to the trio. Superman explains they're tracking down an energy being may have originated in China and has murdered people. Batman states the trail leads to the Loess Plateau.
The Great Ten escort the trio to Dr. Omen's secret lab. Wonder Woman accuses Omen from collecting and manipulating residual streams of Superman's solar flare and giving it some kind of sentience. Dr. Omen denies this, but the heroes discover Omen has indeed been collecting Superman's energies and using them to create a new Superman. However her experiment hasn't left her lab and it isn't the Energy Superman.
All of sudden, Dr. Omen frees her experiment and he breaks out. The Great Ten insist they'll handle it, and the Trinity agrees to leave the country immediately. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman continue tracking down the Energy Superman. On-flight, Superman briefly collapses and falls before Wonder Woman brings him to the Batwing so he can rest for a while.
The Energy Superman has flown to Metropolis to see Lois, who is understandably nervous. He says he never meant to scare anyone, but Lois replies anyone who wears the S must help people, not scare them. The Energy Superman only insists he was defending himself from those who wanted to lock him up forever and now, he came to Lois because she is the only one who makes him feel safe. Then, he offers to show her a secret.
Meanwhile on Salinas, California, Clark White and his son Jon are about to have dinner until the Energy Superman arrives at their home, having brought Lois with him. As confused as Clark is, he invites the Energy Superman to their table. The Energy Superman tells Lois that the Clark standing in front of them is a Superman as well, attacking him to prove his point. Clark defends himself and berates the energy being for attacking him on his home. Lois and Jon are forced to leave the house before it crumbles on them. As they watch the two Supermen fight, Jon comments on Lois' resemblance to his mother.
Up in the sky, Batman has already detected the Energy Superman's radiation, just as Superman's condition worsens. The Superhero Trinity arrives just in time to watch the two Supermen duke it out. As surprised the Prime Earth Superman is to see him, the New Earth Superman says there is no time to explain. The New Earth Lois has gotten home and is worried sick for her family. Fortunately, the New Earth Superman gathers his family and takes them to safety.
Meanwhile, the Superhero Trinity prepare to face the Energy Superman. Denny Swan's sanity is completely gone. He truly believes he's Superman and he wants to kill the real Superman, his family and friends. Superman tells Batman take Lois somewhere safe, and he and Wonder Woman engage the false Superman.
Pre-Flashpoint Superman takes his family to his secret Fortress.
Batman dumps Lois in the first gas station he meets and flies back to the battlefield. Undeterred, Lois whips her cell phone out and rents a chopper.
Kal and Diana fight the Energy Superman, but he's too powerful. He knocks Wonder Woman down, grabs Superman and takes off.
On National City, Supergirl is undergoing solar treatment to restore her full powers when she hears Superman is in danger. Her adoptive parents warn her that she's still weak, but she tells them to open the ceiling portal and streaks off.
Denny Swan, the Energy Superman, wants to become the one and only Superman by killing the original Superman. Clark refuses to give in to Denny's demands and attempts to remind him of who he really is. Denny's energy aura becomes more unstable by the minute and he resumes his attack until Batman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl arrive to help. Superman uses the opportunity to grab Denny and attempts to take him to the upper atmosphere, where he plans to use his solar flare to counter Denny's unstable energy, but his power gives out before he can reach orbit.
Fortunately, help arrives in the form of the New Earth Superman, who takes them outside Earth's orbit. The Prime Earth Superman, thanking his alternate self for his help, asks him to continue protecting Earth in his place, right before throwing him back to Earth. Then, he uses his solar flare just as Denny explodes. The plan works and both explosions cancel each other out. Denny is incinerated while Clark falls back to Earth. The New Earth Superman catches him before he hits the ground.
Unfortunately, Superman's Kryptonite poisoning has already reached its final stage and the gathered heroes share their final moments with the Man of Steel. He thanks them for the friendship and love: he says goodbye to Lois and Lana, asks Supergirl to carry on his legacy, thanks Steel for having his back, Batman for being his comrade and friend, and Wonder Woman for everything. He lets himself go, and his body is reduced to dust, with only his cape remaining. The New Earth Superman takes his leave, but not before promising to stay in touch with the other heroes. Lois, Kara, Lana, Bruce, Diana and Steel mourn him.
Later, the world mourns the loss of Superman. During that time, Luthor has created a new armor based on Superman's uniform and Lois has begun writing a new article: "Superman: A Hero's Life."
- Superman (Volume 3) #51 (The Final Days of Superman, Part 1: This Mortal Coil)
- Batman/Superman #31 (The Final Days of Superman, Part 2: Dark Discovery)
- Action Comics (Volume 2) #51 (The Final Days of Superman, Part 3: Dazed and Confused)
- Superman/Wonder Woman #28 (The Final Days of Superman, Part 4: Last Kiss)
- Batman/Superman #32 (The Final Days of Superman, Part 5: Omen of Death)
- Action Comics (Volume 2) #52 (The Final Days of Superman, Part 6: The Great Pretender)
- Superman/Wonder Woman #29 (The Final Days of Superman, Part 7: Fire Line)
- Superman (Volume 3) #52 (The Final Days of Superman, Part 8: Do or Die)
- Superman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 2)
- Adventures of Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest (Volume 1)
- DC Comics Presents (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 3)
- Superman (Volume 4)
- Superman (Volume 5)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- Superman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Superman: Son of Kal-El (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Steel (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Tomorrow (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
Links and References
|Superman Family Storyline|
This event or storyline is specifically related to Superman, or to members of the Superman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Superman Storylines category.