WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for DCeased #5 by Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano, Rain Beredo and Saida Temofonte, in stores now.
In the out-of-continuity DCeased series, the world is on the verge of collapse. After a zombie-like virus from Apokolips was unleashed on Earth, everyone who glanced at a screen connected to the internet was turned into a mindless monster on the hunt for blood. As a result, some of the DC Universe's greatest heroes have joined the ranks of the undead: Batman, Nightwing, Catwoman, Big Barda, Mister Terrific, and even Green Lantern. If there is one thing DCeased has demonstrated so far, it's that no one is safe.
Still, despite those heavy losses, the remaining heroes of the DC Universe didn't lose hope. They instead regrouped, and tried to find a way to survive this horror. Now, in DCeased #5, they continue the good fight by setting up save havens for survivors, and a new communications hub. But all that is for nothing, because the losses keep mounting.
Now, Superman has fallen.
Shortly after setting up havens in Gotham City and Themyscira, the superheroes, with help from Lex Luthor, install a new, internet-free communications hub in Superman's Fortress of Solitude. For a moment, it seems like everything may be OK again.
Except that the new communication system is barely up and running when an infected Martian Manhunter swarms the Fortress of Solitude, taking Luthor's life and infecting Barry Allen. Now a carrier, The Flash crisscrosses the globe, spreading the virus to as many people as he can. Left with no other choice, Superman stops the Scarlet Speedster's brief but devastating reign of terror by killing him.
Unfortunately, though, the Man of Steel becomes infected in the process. With only moments remaining, Clark Kent bids a tearful farewell to his family, then flies into the atmosphere, where he plans to starve himself of oxygen before he can be transformed into a zombie-like creature. However, the virus overcomes him before he can execute his plan and in Earth's atmosphere, an infected Superman dies ... and transforms into a heat vision-blasting nightmare.
As the issue comes to a close, readers are left with this chapter's title to define exactly what this moment means: "Hope Lost." Now, a monstrous Superman is about to unleash the full might of his powers on Earth. If The Flash was able to infect so many people in so little time, then Superman is likely to do the same. It's perhaps even worse, now that there is seemingly no one who will be able to catch up to him.