Warning: contains spoilers for Justice League Incarnate #4!

During a confrontation on a distant Earth, Darkseid just revealed the one trait that unites every incarnation of Superman. In Justice League Incarnate #4, the Lord of Apokolips shockingly joins forces with the team, led by President Superman. When the situation on Earth-Omega takes a turn for the worse, forcing Darkseid to brutally act, he sees that one quality all Supermen share, regardless of their universe. The issue is on sale now in print and digital, written by Joshua Williamson and Dennis Culver, illustrated by Chris Burnham, Mike Norton and Andrei Bressan, colored by Hi-Fi and lettered by Tom Napolitano.


Superman and Darkseid’s adversarial relationship stretches back to the villain’s arrival in the DC Universe. When Darkseid’s creator, Jack Kirby, came to DC in 1970, he opted to inaugurate his sprawling Fourth World saga in the pages of Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen. Darkseid is one of the few beings in the DC Universe who can truly prove a match for Superman, and the two have fought on numerous occasions. Recently, Calvin Harris, the President Superman of Earth-23, ran afoul of Darkseid when the villain handed the Justice League Incarnate their first loss. Now, President Superman and the rest of the League Incarnate, including the Flashpoint Batman and Captain Carrot, travel to the mysterious Earth-Omega.

The Great Darkness’ influence is spreading across the multiverse, eventually corrupting the Flashpoint Batman. Darkseid, who reveals his real intentions are to curb the Great Darkness, decides to put Flashpoint Batman out of his misery, disintegrating him with his Omega Beams on the spot. President Superman is horrified, telling Darkseid they should have tried to save Batman, but Darkseid brushes it off, calling President Superman “pathetic,” and going on to say he has “yet to meet a Superman who could overcome the weakness of humanity.” Darskeid then teleports away, ready to fight the Great Darkness.

Darkseid is correct: every incarnation of Superman has some degree of humanity; even darker variants, such as the Communist Superman from Red Son, eventually found it. Like his counterparts, President Superman respects life in all its forms, and is rightly horrified when Darkseid kills the Flashpoint Batman. Darkseid, however, is incorrect that Superman’s “humanity” is his greatest weakness. As comic fans know, Superman’s humanity is one of his greatest assets. Superman is one of the most powerful beings on Earth, capable of destroying entire nations if he chose – yet he opts to help people instead, thanks to the morals and values instilled in him by his human parents. It is this humanity that tempers his great power, making him Earth’s greatest hero.

For a being such as Darkseid, whose power levels rival Superman’s, compassion and mercy are alien concepts, but it is these very things that unite every incarnation of Superman across the multiverse, and make them great in the process.

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