"Splendour Falls": At his toilet, Adolf Hilter is disturbed by one of his solders who has word that a weapon that could help Germany win the war has fallen to Earth from the stars in the Sudetenland. After finishi
Synopsis for "Splendour Falls"
At his toilet, Adolf Hilter is disturbed by one of his solders who has word that a weapon that could help Germany win the war has fallen to Earth from the stars in the Sudetenland. After finishing his business, Hitler learns from Hans von Hammer that the rocket is made of alloys not found on earth - and its pilot is merely an infant. What's more - the child is powerful and invulnerable. Amazed, Hitler comes to the conclusion that this boy comes from the future; that he is the fabled Übermensch. He would be the man of tomorrow - and the weapon to bring them victory.
Seventeen years later, that child has grown to become known as Overman, and uses his super-human abilities in the service of the Nazis, while being idolized as the Nietszchean ideal. With him at the lead, the German war-machine achieved conquest over the United States of America by April 20th, 1956. With the Germans defiling every symbol and monument of American patriotism, it was said that Uncle Sam died on that day.
Sixty years later, Overman had been suffering from nightmares of himself surrounded by the corpses of his friends in a collapsing world - a broken house - haunted by the sound of a creaking door. He wakes suddenly from that dream, and his paramour Lena attempts to comfort him on this, the anniversary of Overgirl's death on a distant world. She reminds that the memorial for her is being dedicated on the morrow, and that he must stay strong.
At the memorial, attended by Overman's friends, including the New Reichman and Jürgen Olsen, Overman remembered aloud the contributions that his young protégé had made to the cause, and the sacrifice she'd made. Her memory would endure as long as the eternal flame at the foot of her memorial, which would never go out. However, as he kneels before the flame, a gust of wind extinguishes it, as the glass of the skylights shatters above the assembled. Enraged, Overman demands to know who would dare - and Uncle Sam responded, in the forbidden American English, that it was he and the people who dared. Soon, a Human Bomb leapt down from the roof, and caused an explosion that destroyed the monument. As he watched, reporter Jürgen Olsen could not help but think that this was his chance at the ultimate headline.
Afterward, the New Reichman convene at the Eagle's Nest to discuss what happened, and Overman suggests that despite having typically been resolute in the righteousness of their actions, now comes a threat who rises from the shame of their past. Leatherwing, though, feels that there is no need to feel remorse for the actions of their forebears. The threat is real - and it is Uncle Sam, speaking English as a badge of his resistance. Brünhilde explains that the terrorists used weapons acquired from a parallel universe. They had learned this much from a prisoner - the human bomb - who had also revealed that in addition to having access to these weapons, Uncle Sam had created a homemade Superhuman Program.
After getting nothing out of the prisoner himself, Overman allows Leatherwing to beat him senseless again - though he feels uncomfortable about what's happening. Brünhilde reminds him that their companions are worried about him. He responds that he is aware - but he can't help but feel that the past that he escaped; the legacy of the millions of dead whose blood are on his hands, is beginning to catch up to him. Grimly, Brünhilde warns that he must not let their enemies know how he's changed - because they can smell weakness.
Elsewhere, on the ruins of Ellis Island, Uncle Sam welcomes a group of refugees from the oppression of Germanica, and is eagerly greeted by his friends Darrel Dane and Martha Roberts, who have successfully undergone an experiment that has shrunk them down and given them super-powers. Though their religion prohibits them from fighting in Uncle Sam's war, they are eager to help those who are in trouble as Doll Man and Doll Woman.
The benefactor who has provided Uncle Sam with the weapons and resources to create super-humans is, in fact, Doktor Sivana, of the League of Sivanas, and though he has been of great help to his cause, Uncle Sam is sure that he has an ulterior motive. Grinning, the former Nazi scientist explains that he has created these super-humans from representatives of the precious few who survived the Nazi purges of the 50s and 60s. And he has assembled them into a team he calls the Freedom Fighters.
Meanwhile, in Metropolis, Overman gives a televised interview to Jürgen Olsen, in which he explains that the terrorist situation is completely under control. Jürgen accepts the answer, but presses him to explain prior statements in which he expressed regrets about the ethnic and ideological purges of the Hitler era - and whether that means he holds any sympathy for Uncle Sam's rhetoric. Germanica seems a virtual paradise, so what is there to regret? Overman is drawn back to memories of the past, when he abandoned the war effort for three years, and returned to find that the German army had resorted to genocide in his absence. Jürgen senses that he does not wish to answer and returns to the topic of terrorism, suggesting that New Beyreuth might be a possible next target, due to the annual performance of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle of operas. Overman assures him that the performance will go on as planned - as it has every year since 1876. After the interview, Overman admits that it went well, and offers Jürgen an invitation to the opera.
As they prepare to attend the third night of the long-running opera, Lena complains that the ten days of mourning that Overman is enduring for Overgirl betrays his weakness - especially since she was merely a clone. He does not answer her, but she is distracted by the realization that a bottle collected from his dead planet is nearly empty. Without the properties of the bottles contents - of which there was ever a limited supply - she will begin to age like anyone else. He warns that he can't get any more for her, and angrily, she retorts that while he'll save the world, he won't save her. While he will go on forever, she and all other humans will die - they must just appear as ghosts to him. Coldly, he responds that he doesn't feel that way.
Before leaving, Overman looks in on the Eagle's Nest, where Leatherwing and Underwaterman are concerned about the danger that their prisoner could pose to them. Leatherwing worries that Overman might have lied to them about any unusual qualities of the man's physiology. Before he can outright suggest that Overman betrayed them, the prisoner explodes, knocking them off their feet. He steps out of his bonds and warns that all of the energy spent on torturing him was absorbed. He didn't merely survive the explosion he caused - he is the explosion. He then blows a hole in the side of the satellite.
The opera is interrupted by a projection of Uncle Sam, warning of impending attacks, promising that victory would belong to the Freedom Fighters who have the benefit of something to believe in. In responds, Overman leaps up and flies into space to stop the satellite from colliding with the Earth - but he could not prevent it from destroying Metropolis.
In retrospect, Jürgen Olsen would suppose that Overman had to have known what would happen that day. He had to have known where the satellite would fall. His weakness had allowed him to seek an end to his guilt, his loveless relationship, and his bloated thousand-year empire. But for him, it would not be the end, and what he did would see Jürgen and the New Reichman turn on him, one day. The destruction of Metropolis was only the beginning.
Appearing in "Splendour Falls"
- New Reichsmen
- Lord Broken (In dream sequence only)
- Nazi Party
- Herr Doktor Sivana
- American Crusader (Comic Book)
- Brunhilde (Earth-10) (In dream sequence only)
- Flash (Earth-10) (In dream sequence only)
- Green Lantern (Earth-10) (In dream sequence only)
- Hawkman (Earth-10) (In dream sequence only)
- Jürgen Olsen
- Leatherwing (Earth-10) (In dream sequence only)
- Overgirl (First appearance; dies) (In dream sequence only)
- Kanjar Ro (Mentioned only)
- Konstrukt (Mentioned only)
- Luthor League (Mentioned only)
- Superman (Comic Book)
- Star Conqueror (Mentioned only)
- Earth 10
- The costume of war-time American Crusader resembles that of the Nedor Comics character American Crusader (who is now in the public domain). The Nedor version never carried a shield, while this war-time Crusader did (to tie-in with the Earth 8 Crusader).
- Overgirl's death on "a distant world" references her death during Final Crisis, and Overman's nightmare of holding her corpse in his arms is an homage to the cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7.
- Overman's nightmare also shows the bodies of other members of the New Reichsmen, including Nazi versions of Hawkman and Flash (whose costume closely resembles the traditional Barry Allen version), and different versions of Leatherwing and Brunhilde. Since Hawkman's helmet was shown among the displays at the Eagle's Nest, and Blitzen's uniform resembles the Jay Garrick costume instead, it's possible the bodies shown were predecessors to the current New Reichsmen.
- The Aaron Kudar cover is a homage to New Teen Titans #1
- Cover gallery for the The Multiversity: Mastermen series
- Images from The Multiversity: Mastermen Vol 1 1