Several decades before the main events of the comic, Jor-El placed the infant Kal-El in a small rocket, with his mother Lara giving him her pendent, to be sent to Earth after he discovered Krypton was doomed to explode and the Guardians of the Universe abandoned Krypton to its fate instead of attempting to help save the Kryptonian race. When his ship landed on Earth, the infant Kal-El was found and adopted by the Kents in Smallville.
As a small child, Clark carried with him a red blanket wherever he would go and loved it to the point of refusing to part with it. When the blanket was lost, Clark threw a tantrum and accidentally knocked over an 800 pound tractor, much to the shock of his parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, with this incident being the first time they would witness Clark's abilities and learn what he was capable of.
Six years before the events of the comic, Superman came across a young boy named James who had just fallen off his bike. Offering the stunned boy a hand, Superman attempted to fix the dented wheel of his bike with his super strength, but accidentally stretched it out beyond repair. Superman then offered James a lift home, and flew him over Metropolis back to his apartment building...and then around again at James' request.
Superman then picked up a crime about to occur with his super hearing and after James thanked him for the lift home, Superman flew off with a reply of, "Anytime." The Man of Steel found two men about to rob a bank, but when Superman sees they're not holding loaded guns, he tells them to leave and be better. They comply, apologizing as they go.
Later that evening, Superman meets Lois Lane atop the Daily Planet, both busy but making time to tell the other the events of their day before sharing a kiss. Superman then returns to James apartment, meeting his flabbergasted mother before offering to help fix the boy's bike.
Five years before the main events of the game, Superman awakens one night as he hears two heartbeats coming from inside Lois Lane. He realizes his wife is pregnant and becomes overjoyed, making plans for the child's education and upbringing. Lois brought him back down to Earth, telling him to enjoy the moment when she received a tip-off from the Daily Planet. Though Clark was hesitant to let her leave, Lois convinced him she'd be fine and gave him a kiss before telling him to "Go save the world."
Clark left for the city in costume, and found Batman heading for S.T.A.R. Labs to investigate the theft of a 'sensitive' item. Before he could tell Batman the good news, the Dark Knight correctly guessed Lois' pregnancy from his physical reactions. Superman then asked Batman if he'd become the child's Godfather, surprising his close friend, and went on about the baby's heartbeat to a smiling caped crusader.
The next morning he was horrified to discover Jimmy Olsen's body next to a bloody joker card. Lois was kidnapped during their scoop, so he asked Batman for assistance and the whole Justice League began the search for his missing wife. The Joker had indeed kidnapped her, and hijacked a submarine with Harley Quinn. Superman rushed to open waters and found the sub, lifted it out of the sea and onto dry land. He tore the hull open and entered to find the two clowns standing over an unconscious Lois.
Before he could reach his wife he was enveloped in a strange green gas, and was shocked to find himself confronted by Doomsday. He reacted quickly to protect his family, grabbed Doomsday and flew him into orbit as Joker and Harley watched on. He lifted Doomsday into orbit as the other League members arrived and subdued the clowns. The Joker had laced fear toxin - stolen from the murdered Scarecrow - with kryptonite he had taken from S.T.A.R. Labs. The Joker even attached a heart monitor to Lois Lane so that when her heart stopped beating, a nuclear warhead placed in Metropolis would be detonated. To Superman's horror, the gas wore off to reveal Lois Lane in Doomsday's place. Metropolis was destroyed the same moment his wife and child's hearts stopped.
Superman floats down from orbit, until he's kneeling in the shattered remains of Metropolis, cradling Lois' body in his arms. He is approached by Wonder Woman, who reassures him the disaster was not his doing. He takes a moment to think before asking her to safeguard Lois' body, and flies away. Green Lantern intercepts him and asks what he is doing, but he demands the Joker's location. Green Lantern let slip that the Joker was in Gotham Prison, then tried to reason with him. However, Superman easily breaks his construct, strips his ring and returns it before flying away.
Superman breaks into the prison and kills the Joker by ramming his entire arm through his chest, saying nothing as the clown died with a stifled laugh. He does not pursue Harley Quinn, who was placed into protective custody by the League later on. He instead returns to his Fortress of Solitude, to mourn the loss of Metropolis, the city's citizens, Lois Lane and his unborn child. Upon hearing reports of a situation in Bialya involving the deaths of thousands, Superman raises himself up and declares: "No more."
He then flies to Gared, the capital city of Bialya, and saves a boy from a mortar shell. He then destroys three more with his heat vision, while the extremely grateful citizens gather around him, thanking and praising him. Soon after Superman travels to the capital, unaffected by the attacks of the president's bodyguards. Superman plucks him from his throne and takes him into a street filled with bodies despite the man's protests that he has no right.
Superman replies "Yes I can. I realize this now." Wonder Woman suddenly arrives, pointing out the cameras some of the people have, though Superman declares he has a message for the world, though Diana tells him he needs to clean himself up while she calls a press conference at the United Nations. Soon after, Superman and Wonder Woman arrive before a gathered press. He apologizes for his and his fellow super humans failings and then reveals his secret identity as Clark Kent. Superman then declares he will no longer tolerate the deaths of innocent people or those who commit acts of violence. He says that all nations must declare a cease-fire or he will stop them. Superman declares "It's over."
Superman stops a missile that was launched at Gared, enforcing his ceasefire, which prompts retaliation from the United States government, outraged by Superman's interference after he murdered a man on their soil. Using several shell companies, they hire a team of mercenaries led by Mirror Master to kidnap Clark's parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, and trap them in his mirror dimension, and burn down their house in Smallville. Mirror Master tells Superman to stop interfering with politics or his parents die. Forced to remain on the sidelines, Superman is later informed by the Flash his parents are in Bolivia, specifically Salar De Uyuni, the world's largest natural mirror after Wonder Woman rallies several superhumans to track down Mirror Master by going after the Flash's rouges.
Superman uses Mirror Master's technology to enter the mirror dimension and rescue his parents.
Later, while still disarming Gared and ending the conflicts there, Superman arrives to Wonder Woman's aide as she is confronted by Ares, God of War, freeing her from the god's grasp and watching in shock as she slices his hand off and impales him with her sword. He asks her if it was necessary and if he'll live. Wonder Woman assures him gods cannot die, only 'fade'. The two leave, with Superman unaware of what Wonder Woman and Ares had been discussing.
Superman next appears in the Batcave, interrupting a spar between Robin and Nightwing by catching one of Robin's batons as he threw it at Nightwing. Superman chides Damian for not being sporting, while the flabbergasted teen demands to know how Superman just appeared. Superman asks Dick if Batman is in, and Nightwing tells him he's on his computer. Damian notes his father has been "Broodier than usual." As Superman heads off to talk to Batman, Damian thanks him for his execution of the Joker. Superman then asks Dick to leave with Damian, which concerns Nightwing but he does as asked.
Superman then confronts Batman at his computer and demands to know why Bruce wasn't there to help find his parents. Superman is shocked when Batman tells him to stop doing what he's doing. Superman justifies his actions by saying he's stopping dictators and saving innocent lives. When Batman says Superman is scaring everyone, Superman lashes out and rips off his cowl. He begins to say, "They should be scared. They should be too scared to press the button. They should be too scared to pull the trigger. They should be too scared to hurt each other." Clark tells Bruce, "You taught me that."
But Bruce is unconvinced and reminds Clark that he killed a man. Superman admits he did and reminds Batman of every time he let the Joker live and if he ever felt the guilt or took responsibility for the Joker's actions. Bruce sorrowfully admits he did, but goes on to say that superheroes don't get to decide who lives and who dies. Superman once more justifies his actions: "One death. Millions of lives."
But Batman is still unconvinced. Superman suddenly accuses Bruce of mourning over the Joker and not the millions of lives lost in Metropolis and goes as far as to suggest Batman is angry at Clark for "Taking the Joker away from you." Batman denies this but Superman goes on, accusing Batman that the only reason he let the Joker live was to continue their game of cat and mouse, and allowed people to die because of it.
Bruce denies this but Superman persists, demanding to know, "Why did you let him do this to me, Bruce??" Superman's fury is barely restrained, his eyes burning red with held back heat vision. Superman goes on, saying Bruce could never understand what the Joker took from him, saying he lost the new life he and Lois were about to take part in, and that what's more, by robbing Superman of his child, Clark is now more alone than ever as the true last Kryptonian. Superman goes even farther, telling Batman that he has no excuse to sit in the dark and not console his ward Dick and his son Damian, saying they must have lost friends in Metropolis. Superman goes too far, asking Batman, "What's your excuse for not being a father?"
An outraged Batman strikes Superman across the jaw, giving himself a hairline fracture in his hand. Superman advises him to not punch anything for a few weeks when an alarm goes off from the computer, alerting the two of the situation of the battle between Aquaman and the forces of Atlantis against several Justice League members.
Superman begins to leave when Batman stops him. Batman reaches out to Superman, reminding him that he can't put himself above others, though admits he would not act any differently if he were in Clark's position. Batman reminds Clark that he is a better person. Clark asks Bruce to come with him, but Batman refuses, apologizing.
Superman doesn't respond. He simply turns, and walks away. Alfred offers him tea as he leaves, but Superman declines, while telling Alfred he no longer has to call him master. Alfred cryptically replies, "Good. Let's remember that."
After leaving the Batcave, Superman quickly flies to the Pacific Ocean to end the battle between the League and Atlantis. Hurt over Batman's refusal to join his cause and angry that Aquaman would attack their friends in the League, Superman arrives on the scene, instantly setting his sights on Arthur as he flies through a tentacle belonging to the Kraken he has summoned, the Man of Steel lifts the King of the Seas by his neck, demanding Arthur to call the beast off and completely ignoring Arthur's protest that the League struck first.
Superman makes it clear that while he doesn't want to further injure the creature, he will if Arthur doesn't call it off. Aquaman suddenly complies, and the Kraken retreats, releasing the ensnared League members and sailors. Superman reminds Aquaman he has called for a ceasefire but Aquaman responds that even Superman's voice doesn't reach down into the deep, and starts to say something about Superman desiring to rule the surface world when Clark interrupts, retorting, "I do not seek to rule, only to protect."
Aquaman goes on, saying he understands what Superman is going through having lost "His kingdom", but that he cannot have his. Superman tries to convince Aquaman that he doesn't seek to rule, but Arthur interrupts again, telling Clark his "Reign" is coming whether he sees it or not. But Arthur stresses that the seas are his.
Wonder Woman suddenly flies over, telling Superman to turn on his communicator. When he asks why, Wonder Woman reveals Atlantean armies are rising all over the world at various ocean ports and harbors. When Superman demands to know what is going on, Arthur replies: "A reminder." Arthur then goes on to explain that the surface world truly lives in his world, the oceans. He calls the show of his armies rising across the world a "Show of strength," before demanding the League to leave his ocean. Superman seems to comply, suddenly flying off with Wonder Woman in pursuit, demanding to know where he is going and why he is apparently backing down.
Superman makes it clear: "I'm not backing down." He orders Hawkgirl to stay and help the sailors while calling Green Lantern and Shazam to himself and Wonder Woman. When Billy asks where they are going, Superman responds, "Aquaman is showing us his strength. It's time we showed him our strength. It's time we showed everyone who would threaten the world just how much power they're dealing with. No more holding back." With the combined strength of Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Shazam, the four lift Atlantis out of the seas and move it into the Sahara desert.
As Superman gazes down on the city, Batman contacts him, but just as he starts to tell him he can't do this, Superman cuts him off, revealing he heard every "Poisonous word" he told Arthur. He then has Cyborg cut off the link and officially ousts the Dark Knight from the League despite Bruce's protest but Clark refuses to listen. Just then Wonder Woman approaches him, telling him Arthur is ready to speak to him, but Superman refuses, saying, "I've achieved nothing by talking today." He tells Diana to speak to Arthur in his stead, using her role as a diplomat.
Superman continues to watch over Atlantis deep into the night when Wonder Woman returns from her meeting with Aquaman. She confirms Arthur will pull his armies back into the seas. Superman is pleased, saying he can let Green Lantern and Shazam place Atlantis back in the sea, commenting, "This action didn't sit well with either of them."
Diana tells Clark not to worry about what they think, and assures him he did what needed to be done. Superman replies solemnly, "So you've said." Clark suddenly asks Diana if Arthur said anything else. Wonder Woman hesitates a moment before turning away from Superman and replying Aquaman hadn't. Superman looks back at her but remains silent.
Some time later, Superman is next seen in Melbourne, Australia, alongside Wonder Woman and the Flash, attempting to end a protest demanding their removal from the country. The Man of Steel and Amazon Princess are confronted by a new hero, Galaxor, who demands they leave instead. Galaxor attacks them, but he is quickly and easily overwhelmed by Clark and Diana's combined might, resulting in Galaxor's defeat and shattering of his spine. Superman is silent, observing the unconscious Galaxor as Wonder Woman orders the protestors to leave and the horrified Flash leaves to get Galaxor medical attention.
Superman appears Gotham as Two-Face attacks a news station. The Man of Steel uses his Heat Vision to destroy Two-Face's coveted coin, leaving the villain in shock and easily be captured by the station's security guards. Superman checks on the anchors who are grateful for his intervention. Superman attempts to leave but one of the anchor's stops him, having several questions to ask him. This anchor reveals that she had met Clark before at the Pulitizer's, reminding him that he was nominated, having lost to his wife. The anchor admits Lois was a better writer than him. Clark smiles and agrees.
The anchor asks if Lois would approve of Superman's sudden course of actions, and Clark admits he is doing this for her, and when the anchor asks if the rumors of his murder of the Joker is true, Clark admits they are. When the anchor says there isn't a soul in Gotham who wouldn't think wrong of his actions, Superman reveals he knows of people who would continue to defend the sick individuals who continue to attack Gotham again and again. Superman looks towards the cameras and announces to all of Gotham his intentions of removing the insane and dangerous inhabitants of Arkham Asylum so that they will no longer threaten Gotham and allow the citizens to feel truly safe.
Clark is next seen alongside Wonder Woman and Cyborg at the Asylum where they are confronted by Batman and Nightwing, Bruce having decided Clark does not have the right to do what he pleases with the inmates of Arkham. But Superman was already informed of Bruce's interference by his own son, Damian, who has sided with him and Wonder Woman.
Superman silently listens and observes Batman's argument with his son while the inmates of Arkham jeer them. Superman tells Batman that he understands that he won't stand down but reminds him that he cannot stop them. When Batman tells him he cannot be here, the psychotic killer Zsasz taunts Superman, asking him if he understands the release of murder. When Cyborg attains control of the Asylum's security systems, he opens Zsasz's cell only for the killer to vanish a split second later, courtesy of the Flash. After Mad Hatter is taken Batman demands to know where the inmates are being taken and Superman replies that is it a secure facility far away, where the inmates will never be able to harm anyone ever again.
When Cyborg attempts to open Riddler's cell next, he is suddenly shocked internally as Batman activates a virus he had uploaded into Cyborg. Superman demands an explanation from Batman, Nightwing quickly defuses the situation and attempts to calm everyone down. When Cyborg attempts to attack Batman, Green Arrow announces his presence with a warning arrow. Before anything else can happen, Harley Quinn is heard over the speakers, and shortly releases the inmates to attack the heroes. To make matters worse, Solomon Grundy rises from the floor and snatches Robin, dragging him under the Asylum. Superman follows after the undead monster with Wonder Woman and Nightwing in tow.
Superman is next seen calling after Wonder Woman when she is backhanded aside by Solomon Grundy as she tries to rescue Robin. As the Man of Steel and Nightwing charge the monster, Nightwing reminds him that Grundy is already dead and despite any damage they inflict on him, will regenerate, and that Superman doesn't need to hold back. Nightwing tells him he will get Robin and urges Superman to "Release some of that tension."
Superman follows Dick's advice and brutally slices off the hand holding Robin in place with a blast of heat vision before bursting through the confused zombie's chest with a smirk on his face. Superman then observes the Bat Family's argument before complimenting Batman's take down of Grundy, after the Dark Knight decapitated the monster with some explosives.
Superman is next seen rising from the hole made by Grundy and ordering the inmates back to their cells. After Robin is found to have accidentally murdered Nightwing, Superman offers the boy a comforting hand and a gentle, "I know son," when he protests his sorrows and pain from having murdered his older brother. Superman solemnly watches Batman carry his oldest ward from the Asylum and into the rainy night.
Superman appears before Catwoman as she robs a penthouse safe full of cash and jewels. Catwoman manages to escape briefly by using the appearance of the homeowner as a distraction to leap out the window. Superman easily follows after her and catches her, landing both of them safely in the streets, but is weakened as one of her earrings is revealed to be kryptonite.
She attempts to flee in the sewers but Superman is already there and forces her to remove her kryptonite earring after heating it up with his heat vision. Though she thinks Superman is there to murder her, Clark protests that he just wants to talk. When Selina lets him, he reveals Nightwing's death, which shocks her to tears.
Clark asks her to speak with Bruce, which angers Selina, as he is supposed to be his best friend. When he tries to explain that too much has happened, she goes off about neither one of them is comfortable talking to the other before agreeing to go comfort Bruce. Before she leaves, Catwoman reminds Superman that while supervillains and corrupt governments may be his primary concern, there are still greater evils, such as the corporations ruining lives in America. Superman is silent throughout her explanation, though his dark, angered expression is seen briefly as Catwoman leaves.
Superman is next seen in space along with Green Lantern, the two working together to stop two falling satellites from hitting Russia, the Man of Steel unaware of a meeting between the President of the United States and Batman. The President also reveals that Superman earlier forced a peace negotiations between the leaders of Palestine and Israel. He told them they had three hours to agree to terms of peace before they would announce the end of the feud between their countries. When one of them asked, "Or?" Superman's eyes burn red with restrained heat vision and he replied darkly, "Or they will be agreed for you."
Superman rises out of a pile of rubble, crackles of lightning traveling over his body as he informs Wonder Woman "He got away." 'He' is quickly revealed to be Black Adam who dispatches Green Lantern and then Cyborg in rapid fashion before being stunned by Wonder Woman, allowing Superman to deliver a powerful drop-kick to Adam's jaw. Both Superman and Wonder Woman then pin Adam down as Shazam arrives.
Though Shazam attempts to calm Adam down, Wonder Woman binds her Lasso of Truth around Adam's neck, and after Adam makes it clear he will never stop, she forces him to say the magic word "SHAZAM", thus stripping Adam of his power and blasting all three back in an explosion of lightning.
One month after the destruction of Metropolis, Superman is next seen in the Watchtower as Cyborg confirms the source of a distress signal to be emitting from the ruins of Superman's city. Superman immediately decides to head down into the city and find the survivor. Wonder Woman and Green Lantern advise him against this, with Hal suggesting it to be a trap and Wonder Woman calling it a perfect lure.
Superman doesn't care, saying, "If a citizen of Metropolis has survived, I'm not ignoring them." Cyborg then advises him to not go alone and Green Lantern and Wonder Woman decide to accompany him to Metropolis, despite Superman's worry if it is a trap that they may be put in danger. Cyborg then teleports them to the city below and the three fly over Metropolis's ruins.
When Superman asks if they can see anything, he quickly amends himself as he scans the ruins with his X-Ray vision, and upon seeing dozens of bodies, murmurs, "There's no threat here. Only death."
The three then search the city's ruins and locate the source of the radio signal under a collapsed building. The three move it together and Green Lantern stays outside the tunnel to cover Clark and Diana. The two float down deeper into the tunnel and land in front of a massive bunker. Superman can't see inside it but discovers the radio signal is emitting from the door itself, amazed it still works. A wary Wonder Woman still thinks it could be a trap when she suddenly looks over shoulder.
When Superman asks what's wrong, Diana responds that she feels like they're being watched. She asks him if he's sure they're alone and Superman scans the room, pointing out again that there is nothing alive down here with them. Hal then advises them to pull back, very uneasy with the tension of the situation.
Superman ignores his plea and instead rips the bunker's door off completely. Superman is shocked when he sees Lex Luthor inside the bunker, both wide-eyed and disbelieving before both grin and Superman pulls his friend into a tight hug, overjoyed he's alive. While Clark calls his survival a miracle, Luthor only calls it a "Well-executed contingency plan," before asking Superman to let him down before his "Over-exuberant hug" crushes him.
When Lex asks what has happened, Superman promises to tell him later after they've gotten him out of the ruins of the city and away from the lingering radiation. On the Watchtower, Lex reveals he knows what the Justice League is trying to do and wants to help. To Superman and the League's shock, Lex then reveals he was aware of their secret identities for years and has been protecting them, before again asking to join their cause.
When Wonder Woman returns to the Watchtower, Superman questions her absence and points out that her communicator was turned off, seemingly unaware of her recent actions in Mogadishu. Clark listens to Lex's revelation of Batman's involvement in Hawkgirl's kidnapping before Shiera mysteriously returns.
Hawkgirl gives the League Batman's message, suggesting they work with the world instead of for it. This causes tensions to rise between Flash, Shazam and Wonder Woman and Superman. Both Flash and Shazam are frustrated from following Superman's lead without having a chance to discuss among themselves. When the Flash reminds him of his crippling of Galaxor, Superman simply writes it off as, "Unpleasant" but counters that they have saved more lives than ever before.
When Shazam questions Superman's choices as leader and points out that he hasn't allowed them to question him, Superman is silent until Damian Wayne points out his father tactics of dividing the League by using Hawkgirl to sow rifts between them all. Lex agrees and suggests that he address both his friends and the people's concerns and asks to help Superman shape his message and issue a press conference. Superman agrees and also agrees that everyone from the League should have a say in this message.
Later in Paris, Luthor eases Superman's worry over speaking to the people. Clark begins his speech, explaining his recent actions and reminds everyone of the morals he stands for, as well admitting that while some of his actions may have been 'extreme', more lives have been saved in the progress. Superman ends his speech with a smile while saying, "We just want you to be safe."
Suddenly, a Boom Tube opens and hundreds of Parademons emerge, attacking the civilians. Superman orders Wonder Woman and Shazam to protect the people but is blasted out of the air by Kalibak, who has come to test Superman's enforced peace. Clark is infuriated by Kalibak's attack, his rage shocking the son of Darkseid.
Ignoring Kalibak's demands for him to speak, Superman instead charges the god at full speed, uppercutting him into the air, straight through the wing of a passing jet. Clark calls for Wonder Woman to catch the plane while he flies after Kalibak, hitting him again with enough force to create a deafening sonic boom. Superman follows after Kalibak as he crashes to the ground, landing atop the god and ordering him to call off his attack. Kalibak refuses, and mocks Superman, saying he has not changed and still cares more about the lives of his enemies than the lives of the innocents he protects.
Kalibak then activates a Mother Box, Boom Tubing more Parademons that attack Superman, with Kalibak getting him in a choke hold and further mocking him as knows Clark can hear the cries of the people as they die all over the world. Overwhelmed, Superman briefly closes his eyes and whispers, "No..." Clark's eyes then snap open, heat vision glaring, as he declares, "Not again." With a furious scream, Clark unleashes a mighty blast of heat vision so intense that it vaporizes the Parademons and throws Kalibak to the ground.
Superman advances on a stunned Kalibak, grabbing him and ordering him up and to face him. Kalibak pleads his surrender but Superman refuses to accept it and punches Kalibak, demanding he fight back. Kalibak does but Superman is unaffected. The Man of Steel tells Kalibak that he will answer for his crimes for attacking Earth and tells Kalibak "Daddy isn't here for you to hide behind, Kalibak." Kalibak throws a punch but Superman catches it, breaking Kalibak's hand while explaining that in the past he has let creatures like Kalibak live before, but for hurting his world, he will not anymore, before grabbing Kalibak by the neck. Kalibak chokes that he is a god and immortal, but Superman unleashes a sudden salvo of powerful blows, punctuating each punch with an exclamation of "I. DON'T. CARE!" and crushes Kalibak's entire head with a massive axe-handle punch, killing him.
Moments later, Superman appears in front of Flash at superspeed, with time slowed to a crawl around them. Clark tells him they need to talk, and while Barry wants to wait, Superman says it can't as thousands will die if he tries to talk to anyone else. He explains to Barry what Kalibak told him and while Flash tries to convince him not to give credence to his words, Superman disagrees and thinks need to change. Superman says they need to stop holding back and that they cannot let innocent people die because they are treating monsters with kid gloves. Flash is shocked at what Superman is suggesting, and Superman goes to say that while he doesn't want to, he wants to worry more about innocent lives and not the ones taking their lives. Flash quickly understands why Superman came to him, but says he cannot give him the permission he wants to kill.
Clark asks Barry if he can think of any other way to save the world, and Barry sadly can't. Clark flies into the sky and arrives in the outer atmosphere. He looks at the planet pleadingly before diving back down onto the planet, his eyes burning.
In a stunning and awe-inspiring display of power, Superman flies across the planet, arriving at every invaded city and destroying each Parademon with multiple bursts of heat vision, leaving only ash to rain down on the stunned survivors, civilians and heroes alike. Returning to Paris, Superman drops down next to Lex, with his friend presenting him to the cheering masses who chant their saviors name.
Some time later on the Watchtower, Superman is observing the Earth as Wonder Woman approaches him, telling him that the people are celebrating for all the lives he saved. Superman can only focus on the lives he failed to save, and while Diana calls his actions incredible he still thinks they weren't enough. She reminds him that he cannot be everywhere at once and Kal-El agrees, saying that they need to recruit more like themselves to enforce the peace. When Wonder Woman reminds him there aren't anymore like them, Lex Luthor approaches them and says there will be.
Sometime later, Kal-El goes with Wonder Woman and Green Lantern to Gotham City to disperse the battle between Batman's team and the cult that now worships Superman. Superman never says a word during this, only glaring down on Batman who stares back defiantly and watches them retreat.
Kal-El is confronted by an irate Flash on the Watchtower, who is in disbelief over the fact that he and Luthor are on their way to creating an army of supersoldiers through use of a drug. Superman explains that Lex was already on his way to making such a drug while he was in his bunker in Metropolis's ruins, Superman only gave him access to Kryptonian technology in the Fortress of Solitude.
When Barry calls this mad scientist territory, Superman diffuses the situation by asking him if he can play chess. Flash quickly learns and as he and Superman have several matches at superspeed, Superman tells him that he wants to take the people's guns from them next. As he lands several checkmates, he tells Flash that together they could do it in maybe two days.
Flash tells him that just because they can doesn't mean they should and tries to explain that unless the people consent, they will be resented for such an action and rise against them. Superman only says that they would be alive to resent them and that even if they did rise up, without their guns they would have to come at them with sticks.
When Superman asks Flash what else he knows that kills people as much as guns do, Flash counters that next they will take their cigarettes from them, and if that's how he wants to save the world, they should arrests someone who speeds in their car, then someone who leaves a dangerous dog unchained and ultimately kill anyone who doesn't recycle, all the while landing several checkmates on Superman, leaving the Man of Steel frustrated as he ponders his next move.
Superman arrives in the ruins of Metropolis to confront his old foe Lobo. Demanding to know why he is on Earth, with Lobo explaining someone from Apokolips put a bounty on his head for killing Kalibak. Lobo reveals he has come to Earth to see if Superman is worth the trouble. Annoyed, Superman attempts to leave, but Lobo chucks a building at him. Angered, Superman grabs Lobo and drags him into outer space as close to the sun as possible, with the Man of Steel grinning darkly as Lobo struggles.
Satisfied that he's made his point, Superman returns himself and Lobo to Earth, reminding him that while he can regenerate from a drop of blood, there wouldn't be even that if he was thrown into the sun. Lobo declares Kal-El's bounty not worth the effort and after a moment of contemplation, Superman decides give Lobo the task of tracking down Harley Quinn.
When Lobo tells Superman he'll need something with her scent, the Man of Steel leads him to the Hall of Justice to give Lobo the mask of Harley's old costume. They are joined by Lex Luthor, who Superman saves from Lobo's wrath after the scientist makes the mistake of mocking him. When Lobo spots one of the kryptonian nanotech pills on Lex and decides he wants it as his payment for capturing Quinn, Superman is reluctant to hand one over but gives in after Lex assures him the pill will most likely not work on Lobo. After telling Lobo to head to Gotham after he acquires her scent, the Main Man heads off, and Superman assures a worried Lex he has the bounty hunter under control.
Superman is the first to speak after Lex is done presenting the completed Kryptonian nanotech enhancement pill, saying there are ordinary people that they can trust to give the pills to help further their cause. Superman insists if they had such forces before, less lives would have been lost during Apokolips attack. When Hawkgirl suggests there will be governments that are not comfortable with such technology and suggests the pills may fall in the wrong hands, Superman insists that it will not and that it's not just about protecting the world but all of them by making them stronger.
Superman looks down on the Earth from the Watchtower as Wonder Woman reveals what Damian told her to the rest of the League: That Batman had not returned Hawkgirl but in fact sent the Martian Manhunter in her place to spy and undermine them. Kal-El is quiet and contemplative as his allies discuss among themselves, with Lex approaching him and suggesting they call all their allies back to the Watchtower but Superman disagrees with this, saying that's exactly what Batman wants. Deciding to strike before Batman can, Superman orders Cyborg to begin broadcasting on all devices everywhere on Earth.
Superman appears on all media devices from televisions to phones, declaring Batman has betrayed them and reveals his kidnapping of Hawkgirl and the Dark Knight's spying on the League. Saying that Batman has lied and kidnapped to get what he wanted, in response to taking one his allies, Superman will now take his anonymity.
But before he can reveal Bruce's identity, the broadcasts are interrupted and the Watchtower is suddenly knocked out of orbit. While Lex tries to convince them they need to stabilize the satellite, Superman insists that they need to finish revealing Batman's identity and Luthor and Cyborg reveal Batman's identity by posting it on the internet. Superman then works with Wonder Woman to successfully land the Watchtower safely on Earth.
Superman leads Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash to Gotham City, reminding them they are only going to secure Hawkgirl's release from Batman, not pick a fight with him. When they arrive outside the waterfall entrance of the Batcave, Wonder Woman volunteers to 'knock' but Superman sees Batman approaching and tells her not to. Superman is silent as Wonder Woman argues with Batman, though soon they discover Hawkgirl has already been released and the Batman in front of them is actually Martian Manhunter.
When Manhunter takes to the sky above and knocks Green Lantern out, forcing Wonder Woman to help him, Kal-El calmly greets J'onn by his first name, with the Martian responding by calling his Earth name. Superman then demands to know why J'onn decided to side with Batman and work against Superman. J'onn's reasoning is that he wants to protect the world from what Superman could potentially become and shows the Man of Steel images from his own past when the Green Martians were oppressed by the White Martians.
As J'onn shows Kal-El the White Martians taking his daughter away and tells him he has felt a helplessness like this before, with an image of Lois's death, the telepathic exchange is interrupted by Wonder Woman, who attempts to crush J'onn's head only for J'onn to shapeshift his body into a liquid like form and despite Superman trying to grab him, enters Diana's body and begins to cut off the oxygen to her brain.
Diana pleads to Kal to burn her, and after a moment's hesitation, Superman complies and unleashes a powerful blast of fire from his eyes, igniting Diana's body and killing J'onn. While Wonder Woman was shocked J'onn would go so far, Superman only watches his ashes fall to the waters below before the two leave.
In response to U.S. Warships invading Korean waters, Superman goes directly to the White House to confront the President himself. When the President steps out, Superman tells him to call the ships back himself so that he doesn't have to waste time forcing them back himself. Seeing the President's nervous demeanor, Superman quickly realizes the warships are merely a distraction. Turning away from the President, Superman scans the world with his enhanced vision, and instantly understands what is going on.
Flying off to the North Pole, Superman sees Batman infiltrating his Fortress with a small strike team of other heroes. Enraged at not only the violation of his home and the danger his parents are in, Superman charges down and grabs Captain Atom by the neck, glaring with red eyes of barely restrained heat vision.
Superman refuses to listen as his parents try to calm him down, prompting Captain Atom to attack him, knocking him into the upper section of the Fortress's entrance, causing it to collapse. The Man of Steel and the atomic soldier take their duel to the North Pole's icy fields, with Captain Atom successfully bringing the Man of Tomorrow to his knees. As Atom prepares to deliver the final blow after explaining how the U.S. Government authorized him to take him out if he ever received a chance, Wonder Woman comes to Kal-El's aid, cutting Atom's throat open with her sword.
Atom, realizing he will self-destruct and take the entire frozen continent with him, tries to remind Superman of making the right choices. Refusing to listen, Superman tries to crush Atom's hand that holds him by the neck. Chiding Superman and reminding him that he's already as good as dead, Atom flies into the upper atmosphere with a struggling Superman in tow, Wonder Woman hot on their heels. Despite trying to force Captain Atom off with an intense blast of heat vision, Superman is caught in Atom's detonation, the force of the blast destroying several satellites and sending Wonder Woman falling back down to the arctic below, badly wounded.
Superman is likewise horribly wounded, a greater portion of his costume destroyed, with blood all over him. But though the blast was extremely powerful, Superman survives, quickly reviving from temporary unconsciousness and flies back down the Earth, quickly rushing over to the wounded Diana. Kal-El contacts Cyborg at the downed Watchtower, requesting immediate medical assistance for Diana, but declines any backup for himself.
Moments later, the Flash arrives, asking what happens. Superman tells the Flash that both the U.S. Government and Batman are trying to kill him, shocking the scarlet speedster. Before Barry leaves with Diana, he suggests Superman also be looked at but Kal-El refuses until he knows his parents are safe. He then orders Flash to go before heading for his Fortress.
Smashing his way inside into the main chamber, Superman confronts Green Arrow, who was trapped inside, alongside his parents. Though his mother is concerned by his bloodied appearance, Kal-El brushes her concern off and demands to know from Ollie why the U.S. Government has ordered his death. Arrow tries to joke and distract the furious Man of Steel as he reaches for one of the nanotech enhancement pills, but Superman easily sees through his ploy and burns away the pill with his heat vision, warning Ollie not to touch them.
Green Arrow draws his bow and fires a shaft, which harmlessly bounces off Superman's invulnerable frame...and impales his father in the shoulder. Enraged, Superman backhands Ollie through a nearby crystal, and as he stalks towards the wounded human, he rants, "You come into my home. Try to kill me. You hurt Diana. You hurt my father!" Green Arrow manages to shoot one last arrow that seems to miss the Man of Steel entirely. Superman finally snaps and charges at Ollie, screaming in fury while his mother cries out for him to stop.
Superman mercilessly bludgeons Ollie to death and stands over his body with his heat vision glaring, his mother still pleading for him to stop.
Still furious, Superman continues to pulverize Ollie's corpse when he suddenly finds himself stopped by his mother. Confused, he suddenly realizes she took one of the pills and glances over to the table where they lay and his eyes widen as he realizes, "Wait. There's another one missing. He's taken one of the pills!"
Realizing what Batman intends to do, Kal-El reveals he's leaving, shocking his still injured father. Superman tries to explain the dangers of Batman synthesizing the pill but Jonathan is incredulous, demanding to know what's wrong with him. Annoyed, Kal-El declares he doesn't have time for this, with his adoptive father insisting otherwise when the program of Jor-El appears, calling to Kal-El, shocked that he has committed murder in the Fortress of Solitude.
Superman tries to rationalize to his father that Ollie had tried to not only kill him but hurt Diana and that he had no choice. Jor-El reminds him that there is always a choice. Jonathan leans over Ollie's body, asking Kal-El if he had been his friend. Surprised, Superman brokenly tries to explain that hadn't meant to and that Ollie had hurt Jonathan. His adoptive father tells him it wasn't Ollie's fault and Superman agrees suddenly.
Eyes full of enraged tears, he realizes Batman is to blame for working against him. Furious, he whispers, "He let Lois die." Martha tries to convince him that Bruce didn't but Kal-El rants that Bruce let the Joker live and escape time and time again and that Bruce would see all the wars and death prevented stop and go back to the way things were before. Superman declares so long as Bruce lives he would stand against him.
Jor-El tells his son that Bruce is only trying to let humanity decide its own path and that he's in the right. Martha tries to remind Kal-El that Bruce is his friend and pleads with him not to take his life. Though his parents plead with him to listen, Superman flies out of the Fortress, a determined expression on his face as he goes to end Batman's interference once and for all.
Superman arrives in the Batcave just as the Dark Knight has begun to analyze the pill with the Batcomputer. The Man of Steel tells his former friend, "I took away all the madmen of Gotham. But I left the original. And like them, like all your insane reflections you'd see this world burn." Batman turns his back on Kal-El, calling him delusional.
Infuriated, Superman snatches Batman by the front of his cape and lifts him into the air, flames licking the corners of his eyes as he snarls, "Be careful how you speak to me." Batman then asks him why he is there and Superman tells him he has come to put an end to their feud, but the Dark Knight disagrees, telling him if he really wanted that all he would have had to do was use his heat vision to lobotomize him from outer space.
Bruce suddenly asks Kal-El if it's Ollie's blood he's covered in. Looking away, Superman tries to explain himself but Bruce reminds him that Ollie was their most compassionate and ethical friend they had and dares him to justify his death to Dinah. Batman then tells Superman the real reason he thinks he has come to the cave: Clark thinks Bruce can stop him and somewhere deep down, he wants him to.
Enraged, Superman throws Batman across the cave, screaming, "STOP TALKING!" Batman rises back up, telling him while it would be easier to hurt him with a "giant metal suit" or expose him to Kryptonite, but Batman refuses to fight him, acknowledging that the only way to stop Kal-El would be to kill him and he refuses to become a murderer like him. The Dark Knight suddenly turns on a recording of Clark and Lois's wedding, right as Clark is speaking his vows to Lois.
Despondent, Kal-El tells him to turn it off, when he sees that Bruce has vanished into the shadows. Superman warns him that he can't hide from him and that he refuses to play his games, but Batman ignores his words and tells Clark he failed to protect Lois, with Kal-El shouting back, "I failed? You failed. You failed everyone!" But Batman only further tells him that he is not honoring Lois by going down this path.
Superman screams, "I'm doing this for her!" but Batman counters that when Lois died and Metropolis was destroyed, he lost his connection to humanity along with his own. Superman looks up into the rafters of the cave, glaring at Batman as he tells him, "I'm done with being lectured, Bruce. It's time to stop hiding in the shadows." Batman agrees, and decides to give Clark what he wants, before dropping a sonic device that greatly pains Superman, causing him to scream in agony as bats swarm around him.
In the confusion, Batman races towards the pill on the computer, while Kal-El incinerates the bats with his heat vision. Batman lunges out for the pill, but Clark reaches him in a moment and catches his wrist, telling him, "No."
Ripping off his shocked friend's cowl, Clark tells Batman, "You're right. I'm not here to kill you, Bruce. But I can't have you in a position where you can hurt me or the world any more." Clark then lifts Bruce into the air with both hands. His best friend pleads with him to stop, calling out to him, but Kal-El ignores his pleas and slams the Dark Knight down onto his knee, the sounds of the mortal's spine breaking drowned out by his screams of agony.
Superman then drops Bruce onto the floor of the cave, walking away as he says, "I'm sorry. You're just too dangerous, Bruce." The broken Dark Knight struggles to rise up, and Superman tells him not, explaining where his spine is damaged, though he is impressed Bruce is even conscious. He then tells his former friend, "I'm putting you away with the rest of the monsters from Gotham. Accept it." When Bruce still struggles to rise, Superman places his boot on his damaged back and presses him down with a firm warning, "Stay down."
Kal-El tells Bruce to stop fighting him, but the Dark Knight suddenly reveals he wasn't trying to fight him, but distract him. Shocked, Superman looks up and sees the pill has been on the scanner of the Batcomputer the whole time. He demands to know what Bruce has done, and the broken but grinning mortal reveals he has given his allies a fighting chance against him now.
Infuriated, Superman applies more pressure to Batman's broken back, demanding to know who has access to the pill's chemical makeup and where it was uploaded too. He roars at Bruce to tell him, but the Dark Knight refuses to buckle under the torture, and stuns Superman when he tells him to remember that he resorted to these acts for the greater good.
Shocked, Kal-El stumbles back, trying to justify himself, but Bruce refuses to hear any of it, and denounces him as "Just another thug." The shocked Man of Steel is unprepared as a voice suddenly calls him by name. Turning around, Superman is shocked to see Alfred...and fails to notice that the pill is missing.
Alfred then headbutts Kal-El, shattering his nose with a single blow in a spray of gore, knocking him flat on his back, before proceeding to pummel the fallen Kryptonian with punches and kicks. Alfred then carries his master to the teleporter, with both escaping just as the stunned Superman manages to stagger back up.
The next day, a still bruised Superman and the Justice League stand before the United Nations. He announces that their way of life is being threatened, before revealing that the 'terrorist' Bruce Wayne has stolen a powerful weapon and that he intends to use it against them. Superman tells the gathered world leaders that he and the League will stand against Batman and that they do not need to fear him as they will be watching and ever vigilant.
Superman reveals that his wife believed that evil and injustice could ultimately rooted out. He announces that he and the League are gathering their forces, just as the first of the Regime soldiers march in, and he promises he will bring Batman to justice. Superman says, "The last thing Lois ever said to me was 'Save the world'." Looking on with grim determination, he swears, "I intend to. Whatever it takes."
Superman appears at Oliver Queen's funeral after everyone else has left, approaching Ollie's lover, Dinah Lance and asking to talk. Superman tries to explain to her that Ollie's death was an accident and that he didn't mean to hurt Green Arrow. Superman touches Dinah's shoulder, pleading with her to say something.
In response to his words, Dinah unleashes a powerful Canary Cry, the intensity of the attack leaving Superman's ears bleeding. Enraged, Superman grabs her by the mouth, silencing her cry. Dinah, unafraid, goads Kal-El, daring him to show her what Ollie saw before he died before telling him she had him fooled like the rest: she thought he was human once, but knows he is not. Dinah further taunts the Man of Steel by saying that while he sees humanity as something to be coddled, she assures him they will bring him down.
Superman warns Dinah, "I would watch your words, Dinah." When she suddenly tells him to look more closely at her. Superman takes a moment to thoroughly study Dinah and is shocked to discover she is pregnant. At this revelation, Superman leaves.
Superman goes to Gotham and turns on the Bat-Signal, luring Commissioner Gordon to the roof of the GCPD building before demanding from him the location of Batman. Gordon happily tells the Man of Steel that he doesn't know where the Dark Knight is, and while Superman at first believes he is lying, Gordon tells him to scan him with his senses to see if he truly is lying. Superman is disappointed when he realizes the commissioner indeed has no idea where Batman is, but advises him to tell him if he ever does learn, telling him not to aid a fugitive, but Gordon retorts that Batman isn't a fugitive from any justice he serves.
Superman suddenly asks Gordon, "You have a daughter, don't you?" Gordon takes this as a threat but Superman suddenly informs him of several cancerous growths he spotted on his lungs, advising him to seek medical treatment before warning him that the cancer has already spread very far. Superman then flies away while saying to a reeling Gordon, "I'm sorry, commissioner."
Superman is sitting in the Watchtower medical wing when he contacts Hal Jordan to inform him of Congress preparing to shut down the government. When Hal asks what he wants him to do, Superman tells him to "Convince them not to." Though Hal expresses reluctance at such a level of interference, Superman argues that it is his duty as the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 and that it is not interference, but protection. Hal finds that hard to argue and asks about Diana.
Superman looks at Diana's comatose body laying on an examination table as he sadly informs Hal that her condition has not changed. Superman reveals to Hal that the doctors examining her have no idea how long her coma will last before Hal asks if he will join him at Congress. Superman clenches his fist at his side, telling Hal that he recognizes his anger and that he doesn't want to face them yet, still convinced they had attempted to kill him with Captain Atom. He tells Hal Flash will join him and Hal ends the conversation by telling him Diana will be alright.
Superman meets with Wonder Woman's mother, Hippolyta on the Watchtower, thanking her for coming. He explains her condition is because she was trying to protect him, though Hippolyta tells him not to blame himself. Superman tells her his doctors can't help her but Hippolyta is confidant that the gods of Amazon Island can restore her to full health.
Suddenly, a proximity alarm goes off and Superman rushes out, asking Robin what is happening. The Boy Wonder simply points to the observation window where Sinestro floats outside. Superman tells Hippolyta to take Diana to the teleporter before flying outside in less than half a second. He tackles into Sinestro, shattering his shield construct and ignoring all his others as he flies the alien into the moon, cracking the satellite on impact and badly injuring Sinestro. Superman draws his fist back, but Sinestro manages to choke out a warning that 'they' are coming for him and that they would see the Earth returned to the chaos that had been consuming it. Superman glares down on Sinestro silently, eyes contemplative.
Superman is called to the Hall of Justice by the Guardian of the Universe Ganthet, who is accompanied by Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner. Before the meeting between the two begins, Superman takes a moment to study a necklace his mother once wore before asking Ganthet what he can do for him. Ganthet explains that he has come to Earth as a friend and ambassador, seeking to give advice.
When Superman asks what his advice is, Ganthet tells him to stop what he is doing. Superman says he is protecting the people but Ganthet counters that he is controlling them. When Superman insists he is one of them, Ganthet reminds him that he is not truly from Earth and Superman agrees before saying that his planet was destroyed by arrogant leaders who refused to act when needed, and that he will not allow that to happen again.
After Ganthet explains the Guardians great power and laments how the hardest choice is sometimes not using that power and insists that the people of Earth must follow their own path without interference, Superman is suddenly urged by a voice via his earpiece to ask 'the question'. Superman suddenly asks, "Were you watching Krypton in its final moments? Did you choose, in your infinite wisdom, not to use your power that day?" Ganthet's silence is enough of an answer.
Enraged at being lectured, Superman calls Ganthet out for dooming his planet and his people, smashing his fists into the table and cracking it. Ganthet rises into the air, claiming that the people of Krypton doomed themselves. Superman also rises up, claiming that Ganthet wants the monsters of the world to run free, but Ganthet insists that they will not let him rule the people of Earth. Infuriated, Superman's eyes burn red as he asks if that was a threat. Ganthet calls it a warning, his own body glowing with the emerald light of will. Guy tries to calm the two down but Superman orders Ganthet to, "Get the hell off my planet."
Disappointed, Ganthet complies, calling Guy and Hal after him. Hal reluctantly follows, and after the three have left, Sinestro approaches him, telling the Man of Steel that he now realizes what he learned long ago: The Guardians are in name only. He apologizes for Krypton and its people but Superman makes it clear he does not trust Sinestro at all. Sinestro still insists that they are not so different and makes it clear that while he may not trust him, he will need him when the Guardians come.
Superman accompanies Lex to Gotham where they are placing the first of their newly created soldiers into the city to help bring order to it. The mayor points out how Commissioner Gordon will react but Superman rather harshly reminds the mayor that Gordon has been the commissioner of the city with the worst crime rate in the country, and has failed in his duties.
Superman is with the Flash and Luthor, having imprisoned Sinestro in the Hall of Justice. Flash calls this "the worst idea ever" with Kal-El saying that it may appear 'unwise' but Barry is adamant that this is past unwise and just stupid. Lex agrees and Kal-El tells his friend that Sinestro came here to warn him and that they may need him. Lex calls Sinestro dangerous, with the alien agreeing, listening to the conversation from his containment cell close by.
Sinestro tells Kal-El that his 'pets' are wise to fear him but says that he and the Kryptonian are one and the same. This infuriates the Flash, but Sinestro insists upon this, saying he sees the similarities between themselves. Sinestro then relates his origins to Superman, appealing to him of their similar pasts as the greatest of what their worlds had to offer, the loss of their families and how they just wanted what was best for their planets.
Superman sympathizes, much to the Flash and Lex's disbelief, both insisting that they cannot trust him. Sinestro surprisingly agrees but makes it clear that he has no intentions of destruction and that he only wants Superman's help in defeating the Guardians. When Flash suggests they leave him in his cell, Sinestro easily walks out, shocking all three, but further shocks the heroes when he simply hands over his ring and returns to his cell, but not before warning Kal-El that the time will come when he will need him and that together they will end the Guardians.
The Watchtower's instruments pick several signals approaching Earth at a rapid pace. Realizing the Green Lanterns have come for him just as Sinestro warned him they would, Superman attempts to contact Billy Batson for backup, but the boy doesn't answer his communicator, forcing Superman to go to his school in Fawcett City and ask Billy's teacher if he may speak to him and then have him out of class for the rest of the day. The teacher readily agrees, before asking Superman if he has any words for the class. The Man of Steel glances over his shoulder at the shocked students and tells them, "Be good."
Superman then carries Billy and they fly out of the classroom's window. Though Billy makes it clear how embarrassed he is, Superman apologizes and explains the situation before saying that he needs his help. Billy then asks Superman to let him go and stay back, though Superman is hesitant, Billy insists he drop him.
Letting Billy go, Superman pulls his cape over himself as extra shielding as the boy cries out his magic word and calls down the lightning to become Shazam. The two continue flying, with Shazam asking just what it is he thinks they're dealing with. Before Superman can answer, Hawkgirl does for him, already waiting for the two, telling Billy it is Green Lanterns he thinks they're dealing with.
When Superman asks how she knows, Hawkgirl reveals she spoke to Sinestro at the Hall of Justice, before asking if she's right. Superman looks up into the sky and uses his enhanced vision to spot the Green Lanterns fast approaching, confirming it is them. When Hawkgirl asks how many, he simply replies, "Too many."
Shazam asks what they want and Superman only whispers, "Me." Moments later, over two dozen Green Lanterns land in front of the three, with Kilowog peacefully greeting the Man of Steel before telling him that the Guardians want to talk to him on Oa. Superman refuses, stating that he is doing important work and refuses to leave.
Kilowog tells him that he has orders to bring him in and that he wants to do it without trouble. Hawkgirl suddenly asks to know where Hal Jordan is, and when Kilowog doesn't reply, Superman demands to know what they've done with him before contacting Cyborg on the Watchtower. Cyborg confirms he has them in his sights and after Superman tells him the ground under the Lanterns is clear, he gives Cyborg the ok to take the shot. Superman unflinchingly watches as a massive beam fires down, completely engulfing the Green Lanterns.
Cyborg asks for confirmation that the beam attack took down all the Green Lanterns. Superman replies, "No." as Kilowog rises back up, before charging the Man of Steel head on, the rest of his Green Lanterns going after Hawkgirl and Shazam. Kilowog attacks Superman with a hammer construct, but Superman easily dodges, and gets Kilowog in a chokehold.
Kal-El tells him, "You can't touch me with a thought-based weapon. I can move faster than thought." Kilowog retorts that they already thought of, and a split-second later a thin beam strikes Superman in the head, causing him to let go of Kilowog and plummet back down to the ground below, landing hard. Superman than sees the Green Lantern Ch'p floating over him and chokes out, "S...Squirrel...?"
Both Kilowog and Ch'p chide Superman for underestimating him as Ch'p reveals he is using his ring to stop the synapses in his brain from firing, incapacitating the Man of Steel. Superman can do nothing as his allies are defeated and captured, but before the Green Lanterns can cart them off to Oa, Sinestro arrives, killing Ch'p, and freeing Superman from his control.
Superman recovers and his allies free themselves, leading into an intense battle with the Green Lanterns. Kal-El is bombarded on all sides by Arisia Rrab, Larvox and Isamot Kol and he is held by the neck by Kilowog, but he forces the drill sergeant back with an intense blast of heat vision. Before Superman and Kilowog's battle can intensify, Hal Jordan arrives and intervenes, holding Kilowog back and ordering him to stand down. Suddenly, legions of Sinestro Corps members arrive, and though Sinestro assures Superman they are not against him, the Man of Steel still demands to know what is going on.
Kilowog suddenly orders his squad to stop fighting before telling Superman that they give up and request to leave with their wounded and dead and return to Oa. Sinestro refuses this, and while Hal says that's not his decision to make, Sinestro tells Superman that if they leave they will only return with the rest of the Corps. Superman admits Sinestro is right and allows them to be surrounded by the Sinestro Corps.
The Green Lanterns are captured, and Sinestro is telling Superman that they must be exterminated less they challenge his rule again. Both Hal Jordan and Shazam protest this, though when Arkillo starts to torture Kilowog for speaking out, Superman quickly intervenes and warns Arkillo to stop. Sinestro eventually convinces Superman that if won't kill them, he should at least keep them as prisoners of war.
Agreeing, Superman orders the Green Lanterns to remove their rings, though Kilowog quickly belays that. Superman promises Kilowog if they remove their rings that they will be humanely detained with no harm done to them. Superman ultimately manages to convince Kilowog by telling him, "I don't control the Sinestro Corps, Kilowog. This is the only way your people make it out of this."
This ultimately convinces Kilowog and his squad to surrender their rings, but Kilowog warns Superman of the Guardians retaliation for this. Superman then tells Sinestro his Corps are not welcome on Earth and he wants them gone. Though Sinesro tries to convince him otherwise, Hal and John Stewart order him and his Corps to leave, though Superman tells them Sinestro stays and explains to Hal that there is more going on then he knows, as well as that Sinestro saved him from being taken to Oa.
Superman contacts and forms an alliance with Clayface, giving the former actor the mission of infiltrating the Insurgency and tormenting them by turning into the images of their departed loved ones, wanting them to share his pain of being unable to forget the faces of those they've lost.
Superman summons both Hal Jordan and Sinestro to explain that the Guardians of the Universe are seeking the Ur-Forge, a powerful and dangerous creation of the Weaponers of Qward. Superman calls the Guardians "Blind, manipulative frauds." before confirming to a skeptical Sinestro the forge's existence, having located it sometime in the past. Believing that if the Guardians were to gain the forge the consequences could be severely dire, Superman pleads with the former student and mentor to work together for the Earth's sake and protection and bring him the forge from the planet it's located on.
When Hal and Sinestro return sometime later, Kal-El immediately notices they do not possess the Ur-Forge. Eyes blazing red with fury, he demands to know if the Guardians have already obtained it. Jordan instead tells Superman that the forge was destroyed before they could get to it.
Rage fading, the Man of Steel smiles in relief, believing the forge's destruction to be for the best to keep the people of Earth safe. Thanking Hal and Sinestro for their efforts regardless, Superman admits, "At least it won't fall into the wrong hands." before flying away.
Though not seen, Superman is revealed to have been on Themyscria with Wonder Woman.
Superman delivers an announcement from the Hall of Justice, with Sinestro by his side, revealing to the people of Earth that a war is coming to their planet tomorrow. Superman declares that they did not start this war but that their world will be attacked by agents of "self-proclaimed Guardians of the Universe", with Superman claiming they seek to undo everything he and the Justice League have achieved. Superman reminds the people of the "rogue nations we've toppled, the wars we've ended" and how he has placed more of his Regime soldiers in these areas to keep the peace.
Superman tells the people it will have been all for nothing if the Green Lantern Corps succeed in defeating him and the League, as well as their allies. Superman then urges the people of the Earth to "Join in opposing these alien invaders. Fight for your world. Get out on the streets and fight for your future!" The people are rallied by Superman's speech, never realizing he has effectively convinced them to act as human shields.
Superman flies into space with Sinestro and his Corps to confront the arrived Green Lantern Corps, and immediately flies over to the three human Green Lanterns Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner. Hal forms a bubble construct around them to allow them to speak, with Guy asking Superman for one last appeal for Superman to help the Corps take out the Sinestro Corps and for Superman himself to turn himself into the Guardians for trial, saying if he does this the war will be averted and no one will die. Superman responds, "No one dies if you leave."
Guy tries to remind him of the nature of the Sinestro Corps, but Superman only says that the Sinestro Corps are useful "For now". Guy pleads to Clark that they can stop the war with just words but Kal-El replies, "Guy...You were always an embarrassment to the Justice League. Now, you're an embarrassment to your planet, too."
Enraged, Guy tries to strike Superman with a spike construct but the Man of Steel easily dodges and breaks Guy's arm with a single strike to his elbow. Grabbing Guy by the neck, Superman tells him, "I don't want you in this fight." and throws him through the bubble construct, breaking it. The Green Lanterns attack, and Superman leads the charge of the Sinestro Corps, but is caught in a blast fired from the planet Green Lantern Mogo.
Superman easily survived the massive blast from Mogo, having also saved Sinestro and Hal from the jaws of death, flying away from Mogo's beam while holding them. Cyborg soon contacts the Man of Steel and Jordan forms a bubble construct around them, allowing Superman to speak with Cyborg. Superman tells Cyborg that a quarter of the Sinestro Corps were wiped out in Mogo's blast.
Superman then orders Cyborg to tell their forces to pull back into Earth's atmosphere, saying that the Green Lanterns can't hit them with a blast like that again with the Earth behind them. Superman works with the Sinestro Corps in stretching the Green Lanterns out to make them more vulnerable, the Man of Steel punching through a lone Lantern's shield construct to smash his jaw in with a single blow.
Superman has Salaak in a chokehold, his fist drawn back as he prepares to kill the officer when Ganthet appears, intervening and saving Salaak's life. Telling Kal-El he has done enough damage and that they will allow him to do no more, Ganthet blasts Superman with a massive wave of green energy, completely flooring the Man of Steel, destroying sections of his costume and sending him plummeting back down to the Earth below. A barely conscious Superman is saved by two Sinestro Corps members, only for them to be blasted back by missiles.
A confused Superman attempts to orient himself when he himself is struck by more missiles. Looking for his newest attacker, the Man of Steel spots the Batplane. Eyes burning red as he realizes now who is truly behind the war he finds himself in, Kal-El snarls, "Bruce." before unleashing an intense blast of heat vision from his eyes so powerful the air ionizes around the beams of flame from the intensity of the heat. The Batplane is destroyed instantly, but as Superman observes the destruction, he is completely unprepared for the sudden sonic attack that besieges him.
The Man of Steel futilely covers his ears as Black Canary emerges from the ruined Batplane on a jetpack as she charges at him in midair, grabbing him as she continues to assault him with her cry, Superman screaming in pain as his eardrums rupture. Superman and Black Canary then plummet down to the ground below, causing a large explosion and creating an impact crater.
A wounded Superman looks across at Black Canary, and imploringly tells her, "I never wanted to hurt you, Dinah. I never wanted to hurt anyone." Black Canary only tells him to shut up and that his pleading is pathetic, reminding him that he's the most powerful being on the planet and to stop pretending it's someone else's fault for everything to blame.
When Black Canary tells him that she's glad Lois died before she could see him like this, Kal-El becomes enraged and grabs Dinah by the neck at super-speed, snarling, "You don't talk about Lois." Black Canary suddenly asks Superman if he remembers what she told him at Ollie's funeral before shooting him in the chest with a kryptonite bullet. A shocked and weakened Superman is left completely vulnerable as Dinah swiftly kicks him across the jaw, knocking him over.
Dinah then reveals that she purposefully avoided shooting him in a vital area on purpose, telling Clark that she promised Bruce she would grant him mercy, though she's disgusted by the fact Batman still cares about him. Dinah then tells the Man of Steel that the Sinestro Corps will fall without him, along with everyone else that bought into his dream. She tells him the Hall of Justice has fallen and his allies have been taken and hidden, with no one coming to rescue him.
Dinah then turns her back to the wounded Kal-El to call Guy Gardner to send Ganthet to get Superman off the planet for trial on Oa. However, as she does this, a Qwardian Power Ring flies over to Superman, saying, "Kal-El of the planet Krypton. You have the ability to instill great fear."
The ring places itself on Superman's finger and he quickly uses it to create a pliers construct to painfully pull the kryptonite bullet out of his chest while Black Canary watches in stunned horror. Superman then fires his heat vision straight through Dinah's abdomen, causing her to fall over, fatally wounded. The Man of Steel then rises up, his uniform restored but now yellow and black, his eyes burning red while his body glows with the yellow light of fear as the ring says, "Welcome to the Sinestro Corps."
The newly empowered Tyrant of Steel looms silently over the dying Black Canary, blazing eyes watching her struggle to face him, when Dinah reveals her final trump card: Special contact lenses that have recorded their entire encounter and are now streaming the images worldwide. Dinah declares that he can no longer hide behind his hero facade and that while he may kill them all, everyone in the world will know he is not their savior and will fear him. Infuriated, Kal-El flies away, mercilessly slaughtering multiple Green Lanterns with blasts of heat vision and his new Qwardian Ring, before coming upon Ganthet.
Snapping the neck of another Lantern, Superman demands to know, "Is this what you want, Ganthet?" before blasting another Green Lantern that had been sneaking up on him with his ring. Eyes burning with fury, Superman roars, "Are you happy to see so many die? Look at all of this!" Superman demands, indicating the carnage of dying Green Lanterns and Sinestro Corps members that fall from the sky and litter the ground. "Do the Guardians care at all?!" Kal-El demands.
Within moments, Superman, Sinestro, and a likewise Qwardian Ring empowered Hal Jordan float in the air, the majority of both Corps wiped out as they confront Ganthet. The Guardian, still believing himself more powerful than Superman reveals that while he was to be brought back to Oa for trial, that is no longer required. Now convinced of Superman's threat not just to the Earth, but worlds beyond it as well, Ganthet prepares to unleash a blast of green will energy.
Though Hal shouts at him not to, Ganthet unleashes his power, forcing both Sinestro and Jordan back in defense, but Superman remains unaffected. Though Black Canary's final efforts were successful, in truth they were too successful. The fear of over a billion people now empowers Superman through his ring. The Tyrant of Steel is completely unaffected by Ganthet's attack.
Snatching the immortal by his neck, a recovering Sinestro calls to Superman, telling him that the Guardian tried to execute him. Enraged, Superman snarls, "I know." before flying into space with Ganthet in tow. Superman flies straight into the path of Mogo, and a desperate Ganthet orders the planet to fire its beam again. Mogo complies, and while the attack succeeds in annoying Superman, it fails to kill him yet again. Superman slams Ganthet into Mogo's surface, cracking the center of the Green Lantern sigil on the living planet's surface. Superman tells Ganthet, "I can feel your fear, Ganthet. I can feel the fear of this entire planet. You are right to fear."
Using his new power, Superman begins to push against Ganthet and Mogo, and the living planet is forced back by the Kryptonian's greater might. A shocked Ganthet demands to know what Kal-El is doing, and an enraged Superman declares, "I will not allow you to threaten Earth. I won't let you take my home again!"
Still pushing Mogo further away from Earth and Ganthet into the very core of the living planet, the Guardian futilely tells Superman that he can't do this. Eyes burning red, Superman succeeds in pushing Mogo to his destination: The sun. As Mogo begins to burn around them and Ganthet looks up at him in fear and desperation, Superman tells Ganthet, "We don't need you, "Guardian." We can guard ourselves."
With that, Superman pushes Mogo into the sun, destroying the living planet and simultaneously kills the immortal Ganthet within its burning depths.
Superman is shown briefly in a flashback, showing him empowered by his new yellow ring and his battle with Ganthet, blasting the immortal with his heat vision.
Superman informs Yellow Lantern and Sinestro outside of the burned Hall of Justice that Batman's allies were the ones who took Flash, Cyborg and Robin. Superman uses his enhanced vision to see that trucks were used to transport them down the street before they suddenly vanished entirely, leaving no traces whatsoever. When Sinestro asks how they can hide from not only Kal-El's enhanced senses and their rings, Superman merely snarls the answer: "Magic."
Superman reclines on his throne in the ruined Hall of Justice as Sinestro brings a GCPD officer named Sprague before him. Superman informs the officer that he knows he took part in the attack on the hall, and the Tyrant of Steel reels Sinestro in when he physically threatens the man with a hand construct. Superman admits to Sprague that he appreciates his loyalty to Batman, understanding that his old friend inspires that in people.
Though the officer feigns ignorance, Superman uses his enhanced visionary abilities and hearing, revealing he can see Sprague's fingerprints, shoeprints leftover in the Hall and hear his heartbeat. Superman reveals that none of the other GCPD officers went to work and that he was watching and listening. Superman suddenly looks out and states, "I can hear your wife. She's at work. The children at her school seem to like her." The officer understands Superman's threat and caves into his demands, and Kal-El demands to know where his people are. Though the officer pleads ignorance, Sinestro disagrees.
Superman observes Sinestro's torture of Officer Sprague and declares that the man has had enough. Sinestro disagrees, forcing Superman to move between Sinestro's charge to protect Spargue. Superman offers the officer a hand to help him up but Sinestro angrily tells him not to show kindness before guiding him outside Sprague's cell to speak with him privately.
Sinestro tells Superman that he knows he's uncomfortable by his methods but reminds him that Sprague is their only link in finding their missing allies. Superman tells Sinestro that the officer has given them nothing and that he probably knows nothing but Sinestro disagrees, reminding him that Batman inspires loyalty in his followers, Superman's own words. The Man of Steel hesistates and Sinestro tells him not worry about "this unpleasant business" and to let him take this 'burden' from him so he can focus on protecting and nurturing the Earth as its new leader.
Superman hesitates again, looking sadly at a desperate Sprague before walking away, allowing Sinestro to resume his torture of the man. The Man of Steel returns to the main floor of the Hall of Justice, where his remaining allies, Shazam, Lex Luthor, Hawkgirl stand before his throne while Yellow Lantern stands behind it. As Superman reclines on his throne, he asks Lex for any word on their missing allies.
Luthor tells Kal-El that every avenue they've investigated has led nowhere and he compares it to Batman simply taking their friends and vanishing. "Yes. He's always been good at that." Superman replies. Shazam tries to ask Superman something when a voice booms throughout the Hall, calling to Superman himself.
Though his allies are shocked, with Sinestro himself charging out, ring at the ready, Superman remains calm and tells Sinestro, "Put it away, Sinestro--your ring is useless against this." Superman then heads outside, flying into the air to confront the massive form of the Spectre, joined by Hawkgirl, Yellow Lantern, Shazam and Sinestro.
The Spectre announces he has come to warn Superman, and the Man of Steel reminds the Spirit of Vengeance that he is not usually a being of words, and while the Spectre agrees, he tells Superman of powerful forces that are now working against him while proclaiming his desire to protect them. When the Spectre grabs Shazam, sensing the growing doubt in him, Superman flies in front of the Spirit of Vengeance, demanding he release Billy. The Spectre tells Superman of Billy's doubts but Superman responds, "He is my ally and my friend. If he has doubts, we will talk. Release him." The Spectre complies and Superman says, "Good. Now, tell me of these new powers that stand against us."
Superman and the Spectre observe the Earth from the upper atmosphere, with the Spirit of Vengeance complimenting Superman for doing what he once believed impossible: Forcing peace. When the Spectre comments that while he can still feel the evil in the people's hearts, they are afraid to act upon it, Superman states, "They know I'm watching." The Man of Steel looks to the Spectre, reminding him that it is not all peace and that there are still those who would war with them.
As the Spectre vows to protect Superman and all he has done, the spirit suddenly trails off, prompting Superman to ask him what is wrong. When the Spectre reveals something is approaching them, Kal-El's eyes flash red as his ring begins glowing, though the Spectre tells him that whatever it is, he cannot touch it. The Spirit of Vengeance suddenly moves in front of Superman, announcing the presence's approach before unleashing a wave of power on their visitor.
Superman quickly sees that it is Raven in her astral form and reacts in horror, putting himself between her and the Spectre, ordering the Spirit to stop before telling him, "She is no enemy!" Kal-El addresses Raven and she quickly tells him that someone has her. When he asks who, Raven reveals it is Batman and John Constantine before she suddenly begins to be pulled back.
Superman demands to know where they have her and before Raven vanishes completely, she tells him the location where Batman and Constantine have trapped her: An abandoned church in Gotham. The Spectre offers to go but Superman declines, stating, "She is a friend. I will take care of this."
Ignoring the Spectre's cries for him to wait, Superman flies back down to Earth, straight for Gotham and the church were Raven is held captive. Superman lands in front of the building, his impact cracking the ground under him, but when he punches the front doors to get inside, a magical barrier repels him, even causing his knuckles to bleed profusely. Flying back into the air, the Man of Steel uses his power ring to summon a twin set of giant pliers constructs to tear the church's roof apart.
Floating inside, Superman sees Raven bound on a magical seal. The half-demon witch thanks Superman for coming and finding her. When Kal-El asks how to free her, Raven tells him to break the binding by putting out the flames of the candles in the circle. Superman tells Raven to close her eyes before clapping his hands together, unleashing a strong gust of wind that knocks the candles and even some rubble away.
As Superman helps Raven up, she warns him that her jailers could still be around, though Superman says he can't see anyone else around. As he begins to scan the area with his enhanced visionary powers, Raven warns him that he can't trust his eyes and even his senses can be fooled. Superman asks her if he can feel anything when he suddenly finds himself bound by mystic rags, as 'Raven' reveals herself to truly be Ragman, who proclaims he can feel his murdering soul. As Kal-El collapses onto the floor, he sees John Constantine looming over, smirking in triumph, having successfully lured Superman into a trap.
Superman writhes on the floor as he futilely tries to escape Ragman's grasp, though all his struggles are useless, and Constantine takes the time to explain what will become of his soul while reminding the Man of Steel of his various atrocities. When the rags wrap around his face, Superman unleashes a blast of heat vision, burning the rags away and nearly frying Constantine's face. While Constantine and Ragman discuss the Man of Steel's struggling, Kal-El manages to tear the rags away from his mouth and scream a warning of the Spectre, but Constantine reveals that the magical seals on the church prevent the Spirit of Vengeance from locating him.
When Ragman's rags have almost completely entrapped Superman, the Man of Steel makes one final struggle, moving his bound hand towards his face while whispering, "Shhh." which confuses Constantine. Superman manages to reactivate his deactivated com-link in his ear before his entire body is trapped, screaming, "SHHHAZAM!" This allows his friends to track his location and summons the Earth's Mightiest Mortal to the church moments later.
Superman is then freed from Ragman's snare after Shazam calls down his lightning bolt on the mystical hero. After the Spectre murders Ragman, Superman rises up, glaring at Constantine with burning red eyes while his Qwardian Ring surrounds his body with the light of fear and the Man of Steel snarls at the mage in absolute fury, "Now you die, you little shit!"