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by Ray Pompon

Deep in space, a featureless elongated silver egg flies towards Earth. A satellite drifts near

the egg and crumples into a metal lump as if wadded-up by giant invisible hands. The egg


On a pristine campus sits a 20-story steel and glass building emblazoned with S.T.A.R.

Labs. A two-story statue of Prometheus sits in front, his chains binding him to a great boulder.

Inside an office, Dr. Alexa Luthor is being interviewed by Lois Lane and Clark Ken, reporters for

the Daily Planet. Their photographer, Jimmy Olsen, stands in the background taking pictures of a

model of a ringed complex. Dr. Luthor is pretty, but more simmering than wholesome. While Lois

is an Ingrid Bergman, Alexa Luthor is a young Bette Davis. Dr. Luthor lectures about the Giga-

Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator, an underground ring nearly thirty miles wide. Lois

interrupts her, “What about the risk of conducting high-energy experiments so close to

Metropolis?” Dr. Luthor reassures Lois, “It's perfectly safe. In fact, operational testing of the Giga-

Collider began weeks ago with no problems.” Nodding, Lois excuses herself to go to the


Clark pencils a portrait of Dr. Luthor in his notepad. Jimmy asks, “Mr. Kent, are you

cutting into my business?”

“No Jimmy,” Clark reassures him, “It's just for me.”

Jimmy nods and leaves to get snapshots of the Collider. Dr. Luthor asks to see his

drawing. She’s impressed.

Clark looks up from his work, “I’ve been taking art classes… but on to business. Dr.
Luthor, why did you become a scientist?”

“Can I have this?” She reaches for the notepad, “And call me Alexa. Tell me Clark, why

did you become a reporter?”

He hands her the drawing and answers. “To find the truth.”

She smiles. “I see we have something in common.”

Meanwhile, Lois creeps around in a file room with the lights out. She opens a folder and

smiles. She's found what she was looking for.

Back at the interview, Clark asks, “Are you studying the phase of quantum chromo-

dynamics?” She nods, impressed, “Do you really understand quark soup?” He gives an aw-shucks

smile, “I did my homework.” Alexa leans closer. “How about mulligatawny soup? Do you like

that? Because I know a great place.” He blushes but we don't hear his answer.

Later, Lois, Jimmy and Clark meet downstairs in the lobby. Jimmy asks Lois where she

went. She just shrugs. “I got lost.”

“Well, I got a nice interview with Alexa, er, Dr. Luthor.” Clark says.

Lois frowns. “Are you writing another insipid puff piece? You should be covering the new

downtown subway dig. This is a hardcore investigation. Dr. Luthor is a phony and I’m going to

prove it on the front page.”

Clark ignores her and stares out the window. Lois is about to speak when Jimmy points

up the sky. Others in the lobby chime in: “Is that a bird? A plane?” Clark is non-plussed. Outside a

strange glowing egg appears to be falling from the sky. The building shakes and the lights go out.

Both Lois and Jimmy's cell phone are dead.

Clark says, “An EMP must be disabling the electronics.” Lois and Jimmy look at him.

Clark shrugs, “I studied for that interview.”

The building rumbles and the egg dives for the building. Lois gasps, “This looks like a job

for---” She turns but Clark is gone. Jimmy grabs her arm, “Come on!” and they run.

On the far side of the lobby, Clark runs for a closet, tugging at his tie.

The egg bears down but in an instant, Superman flies up and holds it in place. It's the size

of a small blimp and difficult to hold. He tries his x-ray vision but all he sees is static. The egg

rumbles in his hands, struggling to escape. There is a huge flash of energy and Superman is

thrown clear. The egg zooms towards Metropolis to crash. As it does, power flickers off all over

the city. A nearby passenger jet's engines sputter out and it begins to careen to the ground.

Superman swoops in and guides it to a safe landing in a large city park.

The egg crashes into an intersection on the far side of Metropolis. Its impact cracks the

street, sending shockwaves that shatter windows. People scatter screaming. An unearthly hum

emits from the great silver egg. The sky begins to shimmer and glow. Far away, Superman whirls

in mid-air, scanning the sky with his super vision. A curtain of light envelops the city and the


Back at the crash site, emerald beams zap from the egg and sweep down the city block like

spotlights. The beams single out a policeman and scan him. Then they wink out and the egg goes

silent. The lights begin to flicker back on around the city. Superman puts down a helicopter. The

last rescue done, he flies to the egg crash site. He flies over the scene, surveying. Nothing is

happening now. Superman lowers himself to the ground when a zee-zee-zee sound rings. Jimmy's

signal watch is calling him.

Superman returns to Dr. Luthor's lab where Jimmy and Lois have gathered. Dr. Luthor

speaks, “The Giga-Collider is out of control. If it continues like this, it will destroy half the city in

less than an hour.”

Superman asks, “Is that why the sky is shimmering?”

“It shouldn’t but we don’t have time right now, the Giga-Collider must be deactivated.”

With a nod, Superman dives straight out the window, down into the grass outside and tunnels into

an underground power room. There, the main power coupler throws great bolts of power but

Superman uses a section of the wall as a shield and uses his heat vision to burn out the wires.

Meanwhile, the egg splits open down the middle to reveal a six-story humanoid. It looks

roughly the policeman who was scanned, but green-skinned in a dark purple uniform. His head is

crested with strange glowing circuits.

Superman comes back and Dr. Luthor congratulates him, “The collector is powering down,

but it’s still not completely off. I have no idea why.”

Lois muses, “I bet that space egg has something to do with it.”

Superman stares at a wall, or through the wall. He turns to them, “The space egg has

opened and a now a sixty-foot android is walking through the city. And it’s heading in our

direction.” With that, Superman takes off.

Superman lands in the android's path. Without pausing, the android speaks in a deep but

surprisingly human voice, “Thank you, but I already have many fine examples of Kryptonians in

my collection.” He steps right over Superman.

Taken aback, Superman flies after him, “Who are you and what are you doing here?”

“I am Brainiac, a 12th-level intelligence. I am here to bless this city with immortality in my

priceless collection.”

Superman asks, “What are you doing to the sky?” but Brainiac ignores him. Superman flies

in front of him. “You need to leave before someone gets hurt.”

Now annoyed, Brainiac says, “An emission of a spectral type K celestial body should
neutralize a Kryptonian.”

Lois, Dr. Luthor and Jimmy race to scene in a car. In the distance, they see bright flash of

bright red light. In horror, they see Superman fall down into a Metropolis Park lake. They drive to

the edge, where they spot a red cape floating. Lois bolts from the car and dives into the water to

rescue a drowning near-unconscious Superman. Jimmy has to help her get him onto shore.

Superman mumbles, “Red sun… powerless…” They lay him down. He's hurt from the long fall,

but he assures, “No, I’ll be okay. Stop Brainiac before he gets to the Collider.”

Lois swallows her tears and heads off to rally the city's defense.

Jimmy asks, “Dr. Luthor, can you tell how bad he's hurt?”

“I’m a physicist not a physician. Go get a medical doctor, you dimwit.”

Night falls but the sky still burns with the evil shimmering glow. Lois catches up with

some fleeing policemen. “Wait, Superman is down and until he recovers, Metropolis must fight

alone.” The policemen are scared but Lois is determined. “Look, all we need to do is slow it down

long enough for Superman to get back on his feet. Besides, I haves a plan.”

Back with Dr. Luthor, Jimmy arrives with an EMT. The EMT examines Superman and

says, “I’m afraid he has internal injuries from the fall. He needs surgery.” He and Jimmy run off to

find an ambulance to take him to the hospital. Half-awake, Superman weakly manages, “It’s okay,

if I can make it until morning, I'll be all right.”

Brainiac marches through the city. Bullets bounce away before even touching his skin. He

has some kind of force field. He rounds a corner and a huge wrecking ball swings down into his

chest. His hand reaches up, grabs it and crushes it like a beer can. He tosses the ball aside into a

nearby building and walks on.

Alexa Luthor has made Superman comfortable by wrapping him in a blanket. He slips in
and out of consciousness, muttering the name Lois. Alexa looks at his face, for the first time sees

Superman as weak and human. She realizes something and says the name Clark. Superman's eyes

spring open and stare at her, worried. She asks, “Now why would a god need to masquerade as a

mere man?” Superman just smiles weakly. Alexa says, “Is Clark the boy inside the man?”

Superman shakes his head and forces out, "Clark keeps me human." He faints.

A tear runs down Alexa's face. Just then an ambulance pulls up, with Jimmy and the EMT.

They jump out and load Superman into a stretcher. “Metropolis General?” asks Jimmy.

“No, “Dr. Luthor says, “We're taking him to my lab.”

Brainiac strides down a street and a SWAT team opens fire from building windows. Again,

the bullets are useless. A large billboard nearby reads "Metropolis Subway Expansion - Your tax

dollars at work." The street ahead is covered with loose dirt, but Brainiac ignores it and marches

straight through it. As soon as he gets halfway across, the ground gives away and he falls through

into a hundred foot deep dirt pit. Someone had covered the giant pit with wood planks and dirt,

creating a huge trap. Some kind of liquid in the pit sloshes at around knee-level to Brainiac.

Brainiac smiles and looks up to the street. “Very amusing.” Despite his height, it's still a several

stories above his reach.

Nearby, Lois stands near several gasoline trucks with hoses hanging out of them. She yells

"Now!" into a bullhorn. From a rooftop, a policeman fires a flare into the pit. Lois leaps to safety

just as a mammoth fireball erupts. In the distance, Alexa and Jimmy turn their heads at the boom

and rising mushroom cloud. Out of the pit, a column of fire blazes to the heavens, then a hand

emerges, followed by a large burning green figure. Brainiac strides out of the flaming pit,

unscathed. He looks down to where Lois is hiding. “You humans are a resourceful and brave

species. You will make a worthy addition to my collection.” He walks on, ignoring them.
The ambulance arrives at S.T.A.R Labs and the three move Superman into the building.

Jimmy looks up at the sky, “What is going on with that?”

Dr. Luthor answers, “I think a spatial bubble is forming around Metropolis. Somehow

space is being folded by focusing energy through the Giga-Collider. “ Jimmy looks confused, but

she continues, “Perhaps Superman damaged Brainiac's ship and now he has to tap the Collider.”

Superman, now awake, “What will happen if he can gain full control of the Collider and

complete the bubble?”

“Metropolis will be pulled into a hyper-spatial bubble, effectively shrinking the city into a


“Brainiac spoke of his collection… he must collect cities from around the galaxy. What

will happen to the surrounding area when the city disappears?”

“It will be as if the entire world's nuclear arsenal went off at once.”

In her lab, Dr. Luthor has them wheel Superman down into a steel vault full of ominous

looking glass lenses affixed to the walls. She begins to work at a bank of equipment in the

adjacent room, giving instructions to Jimmy and the EMT to connect cables and flip switches.

Just then Lois bursts in, “Brainiac will be here in minutes. I had to race to get ahead of

him.” Then she sees Superman and the equipment, “Just what is going on here?”

Jimmy replies, “Dr. Luthor is helping Superman.”

Lois turns to Superman. “Don’t let her. She does weapons design here at S.T.A.R. Labs.”

Superman looks at Alexa.

Lois says, “Yes, that's right. She's building something called a Leyden projector. It

launches a one trillion watt ball of lightning. A shot from that weapon would be enough to

disintegrate most targets. It might even be enough to kill you, Superman.” Lois turns to Dr. Luthor,
“I wouldn’t even be surprised if she is working with Brainiac or even controlling him.” Alexa and

Lois stare at each other.

Superman's feeble voice breaks the standoff, “We need to trust her, Lois.”

Dr. Luthor gives Lois an icy look and then turns back to her equipment. The room rumbles.

Jimmy says, “Brainiac is approaching. I’ll buy us more time!” And he runs off.

Dr. Luthor flips a switch and suddenly the room floods with golden sunlight. Superman

immediately jolts fully awake and takes a desperate gulp of air.

Lois steps forward to pull Superman off the table. Alexa says, “Give it time, it’s nothing

more than a simulation of the rays of the morning sun. Our yellow sun, which sustains and powers


Miraculously, Superman’s bruises rapidly heal and he gets off the stretcher.

Alexa asks, “Fully recovered? Is there is anything you can't do?”

He looks her dead in the eyes, “I can't read minds.”

Alexa blinks several times and then turns away. Superman straightens up and flies out of

the room. While Lois stares in stunned silence, Dr. Luthor runs off.

Meanwhile, Jimmy races the ambulance in a suicide course with Brainiac. There's a streak

of blue and suddenly Jimmy is set on the ground and ambulance is thrown in Brainiac's face.

Superman plops down next to Jimmy, thanks him and tells him he'll take if from here. Jimmy runs

for cover with a wave.

Superman launches into the fight only to be slammed with a car. Superman tears the car in

half and then suddenly leaps into the sky as the spot where he stood is bathed in sickly red light.

Superman weaves and dodges Brainiac's red sun ray, using large objects as shade and then

throwing them at Brainiac – all of which are batted aside by his giant metal fists. Brainiac laughs, “I
hear you are known as the Man of Steel. Brainiac is stronger than steel. It is pointless for you to

fight on. My force field makes me indestructible while you will eventually tire.”

From behind some rubble, Dr. Alexa Luthor appears with a strange rifle connected to a

backpack power supply. She mutters, “Nosy reporter didn't figure out that I already have a

working prototype.” Then she blasts the Leyden gun at Brainiac, who staggers back. His forehead

now smoking with burned circuitry, Brainiac's red sun ray fades out and fails.

Now Brainiac and Superman go toe-to-toe, both equal in strength and power, which causes

massive gratuitous property damage to the surrounding buildings and campus. Superman gets

unlucky and is knocked back.

Brainiac turns his gaze to Dr. Luthor, who is busy trying to recharge for another shot. He

smiles, “Now what does the little human have here?” An emerald beam springs from Brainiac and

scans the Leyden gun. Strange machines bubble to the surface on Brainiac’s left hand and begin to

reassemble his fingers into a Leyden gun. Jagged bolts of electricity crackle around Brainiac's arm

and a whining capacitor charge sound screams over the landscape. He aims it at Superman,


Just as he's about to fire, Superman grabs the chain off the nearby Prometheus statue and

flings it in the path of the Brainiac's blast. The chain acts as a lightning rod and harmlessly drains

away the blast.

“Very clever, Kryptonian. But I have enough power for another blast and this will be your

end.” Brainiac charges up the gun again.

Superman flies away at top speed. Brainiac shouts to the fleeing Superman, “You know

when you’re beaten. Now to collect my prize!”

Superman flies across the globe. The Atlantic Ocean zips by, then the cliffs of Dover.
Thunder sounds across the Alps as he breaks the sound barrier over and over again. Then Great

Wall of China, faster and faster, gaining speed. Pacific islands whiz below him and he flies faster


Brainiac turns around and only has time to say "What?" when Superman flies into him

from the opposite direction at terrific speed. A gigantic explosion throws cars into the air and

shatters building fronts. Everyone nearby is thrown to the ground.

Then there is stillness as a great dust cloud rises.

Lois gets up and charges straight into the dust. After much coughing and tripping, she

finds a prone form on the ground covered in dust and debris. It is an unconscious Superman. She

puts her hand on his chest as if to feel for a heartbeat. “Superman? Superman?” She is becoming

frantic. “Are you okay? Please answer me, Superman!”

The eyes open on his dust-caked face.

Lois sags in relief. Superman is alive. She looks around. “Where is…”

Superman weakly raises his hand and points to the heavens.

Cut to Brainiac tumbling away from Earth and into deep space, snarling in rage.

Lois stares up in awe, then she smiles and turns back to Superman.

In the distance, Dr. Luthor climbs up the edge of the crater, still a hundred yards away from

Superman and Lois. The horrible shimmering is no longer visible in the distance. Now the pink

dawn sky peeks out. She speaks softly to herself, “I’m sorry, I was just doing my job. It’s what

I’m best at.” She looks at the ground. “I can see why you prefer Lois. Don’t worry, your secret is

safe with me. “

Close up of Superman's ears, he can hear her every word. He smiles and he looks in Lois's

eyes and tells her, “You're as powerful on the inside as I am on the outside.” Lois steps back, not
sure how to receive this unexpected compliment. He smiles and stands up. Then with a wink, he is

up, up and away.


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