The Death of Superman
Posted: June 16, 2002
The Death of Superman
Superman is dead! The nation is in shock and the Super Powers Team are without their leader and most powerful member. They place his body in a space capsule and fire it into the sun as a tribute since that was the source of his great power. Firestorm is taking it especially hard as he was with Superman when he died and blames himself for it.
When Darkseid learns of Superman's passing, he is suspicious of this as a plot to draw him out into the open so he captures Firestorm to learn the truth. Firestorm, under the influence of one of DeSaad's devices, is forced to convey the full story: he and Superman were visiting an alien planet to collect samples Superman was planning to use in an antidote to Kryptonite he was working on. Firestorm left to explore while Superman stayed at a large mountain gathering plants. Suddenly, the rocky exterior of the mountain crumbled away to reveal a large deposit of Kryptonite. Superman radioed Firestorm for help, but he had been ensnared by a living man- eating plant. Using his powers to alter physical matter, Firestorm froze the ground, stunning the plant at its roots. Escaping, he flew overhead, frantically searching for Superman. He finally found him, but the Man of Steel appeared dead, not breathing and without a pulse.
Darkseid, knowing the Super Powers Team will be considerably weaker without Superman, realizes his moment for conquest of the Earth is finally at hand and begins to mount an invasion force. Firestorm escapes by splitting into his separate identities of Ronald Raymond and Professor Martin Stein, and then heads off to warn the other members of the Super Powers Team of Darkseid's plans to invade.
Meantime, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Cyborg have traveled to the Fortress of Solitude to put Superman's "house" in order. They are assisted by a robot duplicate of Superman he himself had built, who informs them that it's possible Superman had put himself into a Kryptonian Trance, which slows his metabolic rate and life functions to a near-death state, allowing him to survive Kryptonite exposure for much longer periods of time. They immediately mount a rescue mission to retrive him from the sun, taking with them a rejuvenator device from the Fortress that would help Superman come out of his self-induced trance.
Darkseid, having arrived on Earth, captures the other members of the Super Powers Team and takes over the Hall of Justice. His invasion of earth is about to begin in earnest when Superman arrives. Darkseid, shocked at seeing him alive, attempts to stop him with his Omega Beams, but they are no match for the mighty Man of Steel, now fully recovered and at full strength. Realizing he has lost, Darkseid and his minions beat a hasty retreat back to their own world of Apokolips, withdrawing their ships and troops from Earth.
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