Action Comics #33

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Since the attack on Smallville by Doomsday, most of the small town's residents have fallen into a coma, and among them were Lana Lang's parents. When she discovered that the brains of all of those comatose people were broadcasting signals into outer space, she determined that she would investigate - and kick ass. She and Steel prepare, nervously, knowing that outer space is beyond anything they could have imagined doing. All the same, the pair are intent on helping their friend Superman, even if it means trying to outrun government drones in a spacecraft of Steel's design. Superman, after all, has been made an enemy of the state.

Superman, in the meantime, is already out in space, smashing the largest rocks in the asteroid belt. He had hoped that if he tried to let go of some of his aggression through that harmless act, he might burn off some of the Doomsday infection's alien impulses. Unfortunately, the entity within him is only getting stronger. He is surprised to hear the sound of laughter, and he turns to see his cousin Kara - now a Red Lantern. She explains that she thought he could use some help getting in touch with his angry side. She mocks him for having allowed the people of Earth to fill him with fear, when earthlings should be grateful that Kryptonians came. Superman is the greatest hero the world has ever seen - but right now, he just needs something to smash.

She drags him to the other side of the galaxy, to Akron 23, a moon colony of the people's federation of the Char. That alien race had once attacked Krypton. She points out that the people of this colony are evacuating, because something is destroying their moon, and everyone will die if he doesn't help. Superman worries that with Doomsday inside him, he will only make things worse. Kara responds that he couldn't possibly, and prepares to leave him there with his choice.

On Akron 23, a being called Harak has returned - as he warned the Char - to consume the core of their planet. He had given them a whole year to evacuate, and they had waited so long that he feels they deserve to die with their planet if they have not yet left. Superman intervenes, and tosses one of the last evacuation ships deep into space, far from the planet - and him. Harak, however, attacks him, daring the creature inside to awaken. Clark holds back for as long as he can, listening to the sounds of the moon dying, waiting to hear the last living Char escaping from its atmosphere. When nothing remains to die, he lets go, and attacks Harak.

Superman's attack, though, causes debris to rocket into space, and Harak realizes that it will surely smash the Char's fleet. Despite planning to consume their planet, he will not allow them to die after he gave them the chance to leave and they succeeded. If they died now, it would be Superman's fault. Angrily, Harak rushes after them in the hope of saving the few her can. Superman, meanwhile, struggles to fight the virus inside him, not sure he can. He allows the death mist to surge from him out into space, and controls the mist such that it smashes the rocks. Even with Doomsday within him, he still managed to save lives. Happily, Harak praises the effort, but Doomsday wants to destroy him.

In space, Lana and Steel follow the signals, despite the distraction of the explosion at Akron 23. Steel continues looking over the readings, and realizes that the explosion was likely caused by Superman - that their friend may have finally passed the point of no return. Lana is torn between going to Clark or following the signals, but she soon notices that the signal is being returned.

On Earth, an epidemic of comas begins spreading outward from Smallville. Desperately, Lana calls down to Lois Lane, begging her to spread the word to get to shelter, but Lois seems unconcerned. Realizing that Lois would likely have fallen into a coma already, Lana realizes that whatever is happening, Lois is a part of it. She was part of the campaign to smear Superman, and now she's involved with the comas, somehow. Lana turns to Steel, warning that they need to get help. They need Superman. Steel looks out into space and warns that he can already see Superman's replacement coming - in the form of the Cyborg Superman.

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