In the world of DC comics, there are actually two versions of Superman that we refer to as the Superman Prime. One version is the Kal-El that we know and love so much. Kal-El left the Earth at the end of the 21st Century to travel around the cosmos and eventually evolved in Superman Prime. This Superman made his appearance in the DC One Million Comicbook Crossover storyline. And the Man of Steel of this storyline is called Superman Prime One Million.
And the other version that we have seen to be associated with the Prime title is actually the Superboy-Prime of Earth three. This Superboy-Prime became a villain of the DC Universe. After absorbing the energy of one of the guardians of the Galaxy in Oa. He grew into an adult temporarily. And during this time he was called the Superman Prime.
For the record, this article will only feature the Superman from the DC One Million storyline and not the Superboy-Prime version
A young Kal-El was transported to Earth on a pod. His parents did so in order to protect him from the destruction of their home planet Krypton. After the destruction of Krypton, Kal was the only surviving Kryptonian in all of the galaxy. Jor-El knew that the low gravity of the planet Earth and the energy from the yellow Sun will allow his son to do things that are otherwise thought impossible. And that is the reason he chose Earth as the future home for his son.
But never would he have thought that his son would go on to become the most powerful Superhero of this world. Superman became almost as powerful as a God after absorbing the energy of the Sun. And is the most powerful Superhero of the DC Universe.
The main reason Superman became a hero was his upbringing by the Kents. Both Martha and Jonathan Kent knew what their adopted child had extraordinary abilities. And if these abilities were ever to be used against mankind, then the human race would never survive.
So Superman’s adopted parents did their best to raise Clark with the best morals. Due to this Superman has a very strong moral compass. He also has a clear distinction between right and wrong.
And because of these morals and good upbringing, there is not even a single instance in Clark’s life. Where he uses his powers for his own personal gain. And it is also because of the teachings of his parents that Superman has become a good person at heart. And was also able to resist corruption by the likes of Darkseid.
DC One Million Publication
This crossover event was named One Million because Grand Morrison calculated that if the DC comics maintained their regular release schedule then the one-millionth issue of these comics will be released in the 853rd century. In this crossover event, we see the heroes from both the 853rd and the 20th century come together. And it is also in this crossover that the original Superman or Clark Kent re-emerges after millennia of isolation.
Superman Prime (One Million)
In the 20th Century, the original Superman/ Clark Kent not only became powerful like a god but also became immortal because of the power he had absorbed from the sun over the years.
So despite Superman having the ability to do almost anything. He still could not stop the blade of time from striking the people that were his closest. Superman saw his parents die and then all of his friends eventually fell to their own deaths as well. In the end, Superman’s partner and lover Lois Lane also died due to old age.
All these losses had their toll on Clark and he became lonely and sad. At the end of the 21st Century, Clark passed on the mantle of Superman to Superman Secundus and creating the Superman dynasty in the process. We see Superman Secundus in the One Million Storyline Superman: The Man of Tomorrow. After passing on the mantle of Superman, he did not return to Earth till the 853rd Century.
During his isolation, Superman wandered around the Cosmos and is said to have reached Heaven and Hell itself. After exploring all the cosmos and everything in them Superman established his Fortress of Solitude in the Sun and lived there for 15000 years before his re-emergence. During his stay at the Sun, Superman absorbed so much energy that he became nearly omnipotent evolving into Superman Prime in the process.
Storyline Of The Crossover
In the future, it is seen Justice League of America that was founded by Superman and other superheroes had inspired the creation of other societies over the years. All of these societies uphold the morals established by the original Justice League and each of them has strived for the protection of Earth and the galaxy in their time. And in the 853rd Century, this society of Superheroes is known as Justice Legion Alpha. The superman of this team is known as Kal Kent.
The Legion discovers that Superman Prime will return to Earth in their time. And to celebrate his return the Legion travel back in time to the 20th Century to invite the original Justice League to witness this event as well. But both teams are lost while time traveling back to the 853rd century. It is because the Super-villain Solaris has released a virus that can infect humans and technology.
Meanwhile Vandal Savage has launched Red Rockets (Nuclear Weapons) from Russia towards Washington D.C. The virus infects one of these rockets which detonates in Montevideo killing millions. Vandal Savage is also infected by the Virus thinking that it is the Justice League’s plan to capture him. And launches an all-out war by releasing his Blitz-Engines on the world. The Superheroes even start fighting among themselves.
But as the story progresses the heroes are able to fight the virus by discovering that the virus is in search of the most sophisticated computer to infect. So the heroes build a body and transport it out of Earth prompting the virus to infect this newly built body. This interaction brings Solaris back to life. As the main purpose of the virus was to bring Solaris back to life.
Ending Of The Storyline
Vandal Savage meanwhile discovers a piece of Kryptonite and offers it to Solaris to fire at the Sun. Solaris accepts it because he wants to destroy Superman Prime. While Solaris is preparing to fire future Green Lantern’s unknown powers makes Solaris unstable and go into a SuperNova.
And both Green Lantern and Kal Kent try to contain the explosion of Solaris and save countless lives all across the universe. While the Kryptonite fired at the sun is intercepted by Superman Prime (Clark Kent) and has no effect on him because living in the Sun for this long has made him nearly omnipotent.
His return is celebrated by both the League and the Legion. Clark resurrects Lois by using a piece of her DNA. And also recreates a new planet for the Kryptonians and its deceased inhabitants. He does so by combining his powers with the power of the ring of the 853rd Century Green Lantern.
In the aftermath, it is revealed that Vandal Savage was transported to Montevideo using time travel right before the blast finally killing him. Superman Prime knew about Solaris’s plan as his time-traveling past self has warned him beforehand. So he did all of this to end Solaris for good.
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