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Superman: DCeased May Finally Have Broken the Man of Steel

Superman DCeased

WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for DCeased #3 by Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano, Rain Beredo, Saida Temofonte, on sale now.

DC's DCeased has certainly been unafraid to take big players off the table as a virus spreads throughout the world via technology, turning heroes and villains alike into ravenous monsters. Batman is just one of the high-profile casualties, leaving Superman to batten down the hatches and lead a dwindling resistance to find a cure.

Without a solid Justice League by his side, the Man of Steel has still proven to be resolute in the face of adversity, remaining stoic to help keep the rest of the world, namely Jon and Lois, calm. However, DCeased #3 has Kal-El of Krypton cleaning up one particular situation, which may well be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

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Superman does his best to patrol the world and take out the infected. As he uses his x-ray vision to see who's still human and who isn't, he reluctantly fries an infected Clayface with his heat vision because this contagion, which is a result of Darkseid's tampering with the Anti-Life Equation, is so inhumane.

Superman appears to handling this apocalypse fairly well, but cracks start to surface in his psyche when he has to quarantine the Daily Planet. After finding his longtime friend and boss Perry White in his office, he presumably roasts Perry alive off-panel, and is visibly shaken when he returns to Lois. In a key turn of events, she wants to stay in Metropolis where she's needed rather than retreat to Smallville with him. After his proposal is rebuffed, he leaves her under the watchful eye of the new Green Lantern, Black Canary, and Green Arrow. However, when he gets to the Kents' farm, he finds an emotional beat that you'd expect from The Walking Dead.

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Superman finds that his mom, Martha, has cordoned off the barn as she reveals she's locked him inside, referring to Clark Kent's dad, Jonathan. Superman hesitates but eventually goes inside and unlocks the door where an infected Jonathan rushes him. The Man of Steel fends him off and easily puts the subdued old man back down in the cellar, before closing the door and killing him with his laser vision. When Martha says that she needs to stay with the man they love, Superman picks her up in a heart-breaking scene and flies off, telling her that Pa Kent isn't there anymore and the farm is no longer home.

No matter how many DC stories, movies, TV shows or cartoons we've seen Jonathan die in, having Clark kill the man who inspired him to be a hero is quite tragic. It's also tremendously sad to see him acknowledge that Smallville is essentially dead to him now. What makes this action so hard is earlier in the issue he's seen telling Lois and Jon that Damian has no choice but to get over the grief of losing Bruce. It felt cold and out of place, but now as he has to experience losing his father, Superman starts to understand what Damian's going through.

Damian only heard Alfred killing Bruce over the radio, but it's clearly had a drastic impact on him as this universe's Robin seemed much closer to the Dark Knight. Now, Superman can relate to the teenager and as he takes Martha away to safety, he's experiencing what most people are right now in the DCeased-Verse, and that's the sinking feeling of those they truly love being ripped from their lives in violent fashion. Even though Superman's actions may have been a mercy killing, even the Man of Steel isn't impervious to the emotional and psychological harm this sort of pain inspires, which ultimately underscores his humanity.

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