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Just look at him. So sleek, so powerful... ...so beautiful. Like some great golden god made flesh. Of course, any sensible god would demand absolute obedience... ...in return for his favor. But, no, our Man of Steel protects us and keeps us... ...with no strings attached. And the people, hmm... ...they practically worship him anyway. Enjoy your reign while you may, Superman. For as surely as night follows day... ...there comes a time when even gods must die. I don't care how many weeks you spent on that story, Lane. The Daily Planet is not about to attack a charity organization. You know Lex Luthor couldn't care less about the homeless, chief. It's a front to siphon money back to LexCorp... ...so he can fund the manufacture of high-tech arms... ...to sell on the black market. Allegedly. Look, how many exposs do I have to write before Metropolis wakes up... ...and sees through Luthor's philanthropy shtick? As many as it takes. But it helps to have a smoking gun. You sure you're not on LexCorp's payroll, chief? You've been mighty soft on the prince of darkness lately. Excuse me for not wanting to be sued for libel, again. Well, LexCorp's going down... ...whether it's me or Superman who does it. If it's Superman, that makes it news, and I'll be happy to print it. Kent, shouldn't you be on your way to the airport? I always make my flight, chief. Just packing the last of my things. Well, don't forget to write. Sure thing, Perry. Articles, Kent, articles. That's what foreign correspondents do. Perry's really broken up about you leaving. Ah, he'll miss me when I'm gone, Jimmy. Well, I'm off to Afghanistan, Lois. Happy trails, Smallville. Guess I'll be seeing you. Don't step on any landmines. Two miles below Earth's surface. Even Superman can't see us here. Luthor's sure to be happy about that. - Heat's fricking unbearable. - Yeah, forget Luthor and his happiness. "I shall invent a new energy source... ...by harnessing radiation emitted from the Earth's core. " And rake in billions while we drown in our own sweat. Don't be surprised if he asks us to dig straight to hell. We're halfway there already. "Insert a diode catheter into Satan's rectum... ...run a feed back to LexCorp, and crank up the juice. " "Keep Metropolis' power grids burning bright until the end of time. " Whoa! Dr. Murphy. - What is it? - I'm no scientist. You tell me. Lex. Oh. Get this to Biochem, hand-carry only. Keep it off the interlink. I know the drill, Lex. What is it, the cure for cancer? Muscular dystrophy. I can cure every known case with a simple inoculation. Have Swan find a way to slow it to a crawl... ...turn it into a lifetime treatment program. Right now, it's a mere $300-billion windfall. And you need it to be a perennial, got it. But Swan's working the AIDS thing. Oh, right. What about Schaffenberger? - Bird flu. - Mm. Guess Jerry's kids will have to wait their turn. Now, Mercy, what have you got for me? Project Applecore. They've hit the mother lode. Have you cured cancer yet, Kal-El? I can design a machine that receives faint transmissions... ...from the distant future, sculpt a miniature sun... ...from dwarf-star matter... ...but I can't find a way to keep human cells from metastasizing. I wish I could help humankind by doing more than just being its resident strongman. One thing I've learned since arriving in Metropolis is that those in power... ...don't always have the people's interests at heart. As much as I love dishing on evil bald-headed freaks... ...I thought we came here to get away from it all. You wouldn't have a blow-dryer? We'll need to get you a larger travel bag, Lois. I wouldn't need so many warm baths if our weekend getaway was Palm Springs. The Antarctic camouflages Kryptonian crystal-tech far better than cacti. But next time you catch a chill, give a holler, I'll warm you. You wouldn't use your heat vision on me, would you, Superman? - No, just the x-ray. - You're bad. Um, maybe we could find a robot-free zone? That's it, Mr. Luthor. - Definitely a spacecraft. - Of alien origin. Vintage? - We're deep. - Before Christ deep. That's a conservative estimate. Last time aliens fell to Earth, we got Superman. This time, whatever's in that tin can will belong to me... ...lock, stock and barrel. What happened? We have a puncture. How are we supposed to understand him? It's a warning. Aah! Clear out! Clear out! Use the rays of the laser. If an alien race possessed the technology to trap that thing... ...and use Earth as their personal toilet, they did so for one reason. They couldn't kill it. You know, I've been thinking... - Hmm? - About Clark. Kent? While you're snuggling with me? I think I'm jealous. Smallville's going on assignment in a dangerous part of the world. They say I'm brave, but I'm bulletproof. Ordinary men and women who put their lives on the line... ...they're the real heroes. I just find it interesting that the more intimate you and I become... ...the more distant Clark becomes, literally. Superman, I wanna know everything there is to know about you... ...like your real name. Hmm. It's Kal-El. Your other real name. Biscuit. Biscuit. Mother... Aaarggh! That monster's trail of destruction will lead the authorities right to my doorstep. Relax, Lex. Applecore may have been illegal, but it was completely under the radar. See that it stays that way. Scorch Earth if you have to. LexCorp was never there. Look, I know who you are. Why can't you just tell me? Lois, I care about you more than anyone else on Earth. To reveal my secret identity would compromise your safety. Please. My safety was compromised the moment I met you. How many times have you had to rescue me? Rhetorical. I haven't told you my identity for the same reason we haven't gone public... ...with our relationship, why we come here to be alone. Well, try reading a gossip column. Practically all of Metropolis thinks we're dating anyway. You're clinging to keep one last part of you separate from us... ...and the only reason I can fathom is that for an alien... ...you've developed a very human, very male fear of commitment. We've been together for six months. It'd be nice if I could start calling you something other than Superman. He also goes by Kal-El. - Shut up. Well, that was some first fight. Be nice if it was our last. Maybe you're right. Maybe it is time you got to know the real me. Kal-El. - This isn't a good time. You are needed in Metropolis. It is a matter of terrific urgency. I have isolated a match via interstellar records... ...from your father's archives. The subject in question was biologically engineered... ...to be the ultimate soldier. Precise, clinical, unstoppable. But its creators came to realize... ...that it could not distinguish between friend and foe. Thus, this doomsday machine lives to extinguish any and all life forms... ...because it must. We need to clear this area. Fire! You're dropping me off here? Doomsday's at Hob's End on the East Side. Exactly. Jimmy, meet me on the roof, and don't forget your camera. Uh, Lois, shouldn't we wait for a pilot? I'm an Air Force brat, remember? I was flying these things when you were still in training pants. Now, hang on. Aah! There. Jimmy, camera on the action. Oh, man, he can jump! Aah! Thanks, Superman. Get out of here. Now. Superman, don't... It's why I'm here. I've never seen Superman take such a pounding. Not that he can't dish it. For those just joining us, Metropolis is the scene... ...of widespread destruction this morning... ...as Superman attempts to overpower a creature responsible... ...for a string of grisly murders. But as of right now, it's uncertain which way the tide will turn. Lois, do you think Superman's o...? Camera on the action, Jimmy. Superman. Is everyone? You did it, Superman. We're safe, all of us. Good. That's... That's all that matters. Clark. Superman died as he lived... ...defending Metropolis. He may have come from another world... ...but he will always belong to ours. James Olsen? Your photos of the tragedy were... Well, words fail. It must have been hard for you, being Superman's pal, I mean. If you ever need to talk. What is he doing here? I wouldn't be surprised if he's somehow responsible. Luthor doesn't matter right now. Come on, Lois. Today, Superman's funeral was viewed... ...by hundreds of millions worldwide. Not since President Kennedy died has our nation so collectively mourned. Yet it is the people of Metropolis who are feeling the loss most... ...as we knew him best. So let us take a brief moment to celebrate his time with us. Last year for Halloween, I dressed like Superman. Now I'm gonna do it every year for the rest of my life. I was installing a satellite dish when I slipped off the roof, three stories. I should have been a goner. But out of nowhere... ...everyone's guardian angel was suddenly mine too. Not a word from Kent. He hasn't called, hasn't e-mailed. Clark isn't coming back. It's Afghanistan, chief. People die there every day. Look, Lane, Kent's fine. Just lost in the trenches. You know how he disappears into his work. What are you doing here anyway? I told you to take time off. And do what? I'm trying to keep myself occupied. Well, occupy yourself with friends or family. You must have someone you can talk to. - Yes? - Mrs. Kent? I'm Lois Lane. - From the Daily Pl... - I know who you are, Miss Lane. My son talks about you quite often. He's the reason I've come to see you. Has there been word from Afghanistan? I've been... Well, I have been so worried. Mrs. Kent... ...you know as well as I do that your son... ...died in Metropolis last week. - Look, I'm not here as a reporter. I... - Then why are you here, Miss Lane? I don't know exactly. Maybe it's just... I don't know if he told you, but we had been seeing each other... ...for the past few months, romantically, I mean. And I know the rest of the world adored him... ...and misses him now that he's gone... ...but no one else on this whole stupid planet... ...can know what it felt like to really love him, to be loved by him... ...or how it feels now... ...every minute of every day, like I'm broken. Like I'm the one that freaking monster pounded on. You know, I was just about to put on a fresh pot of coffee. You look like you could use a cup. God, yes. Thank you. As feared... ...crime rates have soared in the past weeks. Criminals have become more daring... ...and Metropolis P.D. Remains understaffed and underfunded. On the bright side... ...technologies mogul and philanthropist Lex Luthor... ...contributed $ 10 million to the police department earlier today. But ultimately, Metropolis is faced with a stark reality... ...that no police force, no matter how well-equipped... ...will ever be as omnipresent as one man: You've made the right decision, James. We at the National voyeur feel there's enough misery in the world today. Why rub people's noses in it? We're in the business of entertainment, Mr. Swank. And making money, James. Please, call me Jimmy. Jimmy gave notice? What notice? Little ingrate up and left. Working for that tabloid rag. But why would he...? Look, chief, this has been hard on all of us, Jimmy included. I'm sure this is just his way of trying to, you know, heal. Don't sugarcoat it, Lane. Olsen's weak. He isn't man enough to keep a grip on his ideals. Easy enough to lose sight of, I suppose, in a world without Superman. Which reminds me, you rode shotgun with Metro P.D. On that sleeper cell raid. Kind of risky, don't you think? No more than usual, chief. Why should things be any different? Because he isn't here to pull your ass out of the fire anymore, that's why. Be careful, Lane. Taken before his time. So completely... ...absurdly random. Come on, Lex. I figured you'd be stoked he's finally gone. Isn't this what you wanted? I wanted a winning strategy. Instead, I've been cheated of the victory I've planned for years... ...by an intergalactic soccer hooligan. Your scientists found the hooligan. Speaking of which... ...you did see to it that little mess was cleaned up? LexCorp was never there. And neither were you. Toyman doesn't feel like sharing. The goodies are mine, mine, mine. All you action figures and your accessories better back off... ...or the kiddies are coming down the hard way, ker-splat! Are you suicidal? We're supposed to report news, not make it. Forget the news. Those kids are gonna die. That's it, ta-ta. We'll play again another day. It's okay. Come on. It's safe now. It's okay. Wha...? My play dates. Fun time's over! School's out forever! Your stop. Be right back. Superman's back? You? But you're... Taking you in, Toyman. Giddyup! Aah! Pfft. Like we really needed him to bust up a mechanical spider, right? Lame. Um, thank you, Superman. It's why I'm here. It's really me, Lois. I'm back. I can see that, feel that. But how? I awoke in darkness. The last thing I remember before that is... You're here, unless I'm dreaming. That's all that matters. Oh, you missed it. Here you go. Oh... Mm. You are glad to see me? Of course, Lois. It's just... I may need time to re-acclimate. I did just come back from the grave, you know. Of course. So see you soon? Yeah. Soon. We will soon commence renovation of Superman Memorial Park... ...to celebrate the occasion of his return. There's work to be done. But I will make the streets of Metropolis safe again. It's a miracle. A miracle. Can you believe Superman's back? He'll whip this city back to shape. I thought Superman wasn't dead. Luthor. Over here, Superman. Warm. Warmer. If you're wondering why you can't see through these walls, Superman... ...they're lined with lead. My rumpus room also comes equipped with red solar lamps... ...and, of course, kryptonite. Red and green, the colors of Christmas. And you are on the naughty list! Why did you leave me? Why? We had so much unfinished business. Who's your daddy? By the way, you're doing a fine job of convincing the world you're Superman. Keep up the good work. I've done it, Superman. Achieved the unimaginable. Sculpted your clone with a strand of DNA from a fleck of blood... ...swabbed from the scene of your epic final battle. Your doppelgnger possesses all of your speed, strength, morality even. But not your mind. Only knows what I've programmed him to know... ...since you took your secrets to the proverbial grave. But why should I complain? My super-powered sycophant bows to my every whim. Even tunneled all the way to Memorial Park to pluck you from your resting place. A bit ghoulish, I know, but necessary to stage your coming out. I resented being cheated out of orchestrating your destruction... ...but I'm over it. In fact, this whole miserable experience has only made me stronger. Put me back in touch with my roots. So now that you no longer stand in the way of my plans, Superman... ...you shall help me to achieve them. Lane. Martha, hi. Clark still hasn't visited. Hasn't even phoned. He... He's a little preoccupied here in Bigville. You know, making up for lost time. Well, you see him, don't you? Not as much as I'd like. So this is what a potential Pulitzer Prize winner does for a second act? Lois, hey. Don't think they'll let you past the ropes wearing that. Ow, ow, ow! I'm not here to go clubbing, Jimmy. I'm here to talk. Lois, I'm working here. Jimmy, look at you. Italian silk. You're underpaid at the Planet, you know. I meant I'm not sure I like what you think you've become. Ha-ha, speaking of changes, how about the big S, huh? Ever consider the big S may not be what he seems? He wears red and blue, flies... ...crime rate's plummeted since he's risen from the grave. Gosh, you think he's a zombie? I'm not sure what he is. Call it reporter's nose or woman's intuition, but... Whoa, you're not serious? Why wouldn't you think he's really Superman? Okay, weird. But it doesn't mean he's... - I need to know the truth. - And you could use my help. Come on, Jimmy, for old time's sake? I've moved on, Lois. I like my life the way it is now. I like it just fine. And how was your day, Superman? Save any lives? A 19-second blackout at 3:47 a. m. Had to be an EMP. But you didn't get up and walk away, Superman. Where the hell are you? Winslow P. Schott, a. k. a. Toyman... ...escaped from prison early this morning... ...and proceeded to hold several children hostage at a daycare center. After a prolonged standoff... ...the fugitive was apprehended by police just moments ago. But though Toyman is now safely in police custody... ...there is a tragic element to the scene. Minutes before his capture, Toyman took the life of young Katy Alpert. She was only 4 years old. I'm alive? It would seem that on this world... ...the laws of human death do not apply to you, Kal-El. I only came to realize it 17 days after your apparent demise... ...when I was alerted to a single pulse of your biorhythmic signature. So my vitals slowed to a crawl... To better enable you to heal. I had to await a second pulse, ...once I discovered your body had been relocated. Relocated? To LexCorp. It would appear that Lex Luthor has cloned you. I need to get back to Metropolis. Once you have regained your strength. I am uncertain of your double's agenda... ...but for now, he seems to be protecting Metropolis. Pardon me, officers. I need a moment with your prisoner. What? Why, you can't... Uh, is that allowed? I have rights. I have nothing to say to you. How about goodbye? Did he just drop him? Lane. He did what? Excuse me, coming through. Move it! Over here. Over here, Superman. Superman, what made you do it? Toyman would have killed again. An example needed to be set. But you've never done anything like this in the past. I see things differently now. - But what about the law? Won't there be repercussions? I consider myself the authority on what's best for Metropolis, don't you? That is not the boy I raised. Precious, come down here. Precious. Got her, ma'am. Now, you know, Persian Longhairs really shouldn't be outdoors. Please, Precious didn't mean it. Oh, my beef isn't with the kitty. It really irks me when folks don't take responsibility for the little things. Don't get me wrong, I'm here to help. But every time I have to stop and sweat the small stuff... ...it potentially keeps me from attending to more urgent matters. Life-threatening matters. You may wanna think about that next time you leave the screen door open. I will. I... I promise, thank you. The commissioner would like a word with you, Superman. As I was just explaining to the lady, I'm a little busy right now. We've been instructed to escort you, if necessary. Really? - Son of a...! - Watch the language. Solar boosters at maximum. Your metabolism has spiked exponentially, Kal-El. We must continue your accelerated absorption of yellow solar energy. Well, the prodigal son of Krypton. You've been acting a tad out of character, wouldn't you say? Protecting Metropolis is out of character? It is when you make the streets run red with blood. I put you on Earth to attend to my dirty work. Here. A hot list of LexCorp's competitors. All with motive to steal Superman's corpse for scientific gain. Retrieve the body immediately... ...and discreetly. Remember, I brought you into this world. I can take you out of it. That's what I said, right? Ladies. Mm, lead. Only one thing it could be hiding, kryptonite. A safe Superman means a safe Metropolis. Evening, Lex. Lois Lane. - How did you...? - Get past security? It's what I do. Forgive the indelicacy, Lois, but you look terrible. There's breaking news. Looks like you won, Lex. You finally won. I'm not sure I know what you're talking about. How'd you do it? How did you make Superman your puppet? Really, Lois, these insinuations of yours are... Relax. I don't plan on writing any more exposs. I'm tired, quitting the Planet, leaving Metropolis. But before I go, I need to know how you did it. What you did to him... ...so I can move on with my life. You were more than friends. He was more than your constant rescuer. You must be terribly lonesome without him. Yes. Then you need someone to take his place. Someone big and strong. We have 30 minutes, we need to work fast. Don't forget your camera. You know, I'm supposed to be covering a celebrity rave right now. Save it. We're here. Great. Retinal scanner. Now what? Ugh. Yummy. - A freaking circus sideshow. Jimmy. Superman? Supermen. He's harvesting Supermen. So you were right. The Superman who returned... A clone. A fake. Which means the real Superman really is... Yes, Jimmy. Dead. Just as you and Ms. Lane are about to be. Because after all, there is no Superman to save you. They are genetically bred to do my bidding. Imagine, an army of Supermen policing the skies of Metropolis. The world upholding the law of Luthor. Clearly, some fine-tuning is required. On the bright side, I get to kill Superman after all. Oh, hell. Evil Supermen? Not on my watch. Aah! Evacuate the premises. Superman, you've been a very, very bad boy. I might have to mess up that pretty face of yours. That's it, come to papa. What's he doing? You're a menace to society, Luthor. You won't be missed. Come on. An alert from Metropolis. The saga of Superman's return... ...just took another bizarre twist... ...as the Man of Steel allegedly adds tech mogul Lex Luthor to his recent hit list. The president has declared a state of emergency in Metropolis... ...and is considering military action. Army reserves are mobilizing, but there is no telling... ...how Superman will respond to a show of force. But, Kal-El, you are only at 67 percent strength. It'll have to do. Kal-El, your double outmatches you. You will need a leading edge to defeat him. Solar suit. To help absorb yellow sun rays during my flight there. I had something even more practical in mind. Luthor's kryptonite cannon? From the archives. The kryptonite is safely ensconced in a lead-lined cartridge. Properly utilized, it will weaken your opponent... ...and even the playing field. This is insane. We can't kill Superman. You're right. We can't kill Superman. Dead men walking. Superman, I have to ask you to step down. I don't think that would be in the city's best interests. You leave us no choice. I'm only doing this because I care. Fall back, fall back! Lois? Look who's back. Who's the rocker? - You don't think? - I don't know. He's wearing Superman's shield. He's also wearing black. Great. Bad Superman and badder Superman. Metropolis is doing just fine without you. I'm not sure I approve of your methods. I'm not asking for your approval. Get this straight, you're not needed here. Metropolis is under my protection, now and forever. Over my dead body. Was that a kryptonite gun? Not very Superman-like. Come on. Uh, I'll wait here. Oh, for God's sake, don't be such a girl. Whew. Aah! - Who's the man in black? - Who cares? He's kicking Superman's ass. This is starting to look familiar. Yeah, only I'm in no mood for another funeral. Whoa! You're out of shape. Do tell. Wow. That almost hurt. Look, why prolong this? I could keep this up all day, but you... Why not fly on out of here while you still can? And leave the city in your hands? Not likely. But don't you get it? I am you, Superman. A reflection of you as you might have been. If I were raised by Luthor? If you were strong. You're self-righteous, misguided, my reflection in a cracked mirror. Suit yourself. What happened to "camera on the action"? The story's that way. Whoa! Now it is. I guess this time I'll need to see to it that you stay dead. Now tell me, who's better equipped to protect Metropolis? You have all my strengths... ...and my weaknesses. Pro... Protect... Protect the people. It's why I'm here. If you're a robot or another damn clone or something, I swear to God... It's really me, Lois. I'm back. Like I haven't heard that before. I may need some proof. - Okay. I'm convinced. - I'm glad. But I'm not sure they'll ever trust me again. They will. It may take some time. Are you gonna wear the red and blue suit again? Because I like that one better. Or not very much time at all. Mm. Do I smell coffee? Fresh pot. I'm almost done here. Mm... There's only one S in resurrection. Didn't realize proofreading was one of your super-powers. Well, no. But I was the spelling-bee champ of Smallville Elementary. Clark. Don't forget to call your mother. If history has determined that gods can die... ...it has also proven that they may return from the dead. It would seem you can't be destroyed after all, Superman. It would seem.

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