Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Metropolis (AP) - Doctors declared Krypton’s Last Son dead at 7:24 a.m. Sunday, citing the official cause of death as multiple organ system failure, resulting from metastasized cancer.

The declaration came after a four month period in which Superman's body was meticulously studied and observed for even the minutest signs of life, following the several instances in which the "Man of Steel" had previously been declared dead but then later wasn’t anymore.

"We’re pretty sure this time," said S.T.A.R. Labs' professor Emil Hamilton. "Activity has ceased on the cellular level. The solar batteries in his cells are dry and, frankly, he has begun to smell a bit. I’m afraid this time it’s the real thing."

Superman dropped out of the spotlight last May, announcing his illness in a press conference only just recently. "I didn’t want people to know," said the Man of Steel. "I didn’t want them to lose hope. I didn’t want criminals to think they could just wait me out, that they could hide from the unstoppable forces of Justice. Recently, however, it has become clear that I am no longer capable of being such a force."

Superman entered treatment at S.T.A.R. Labs last Christmas, after he collapsed during a minor scuffle with low-level criminal The Shadow.

"I hit him and he just went down," said The Shadow. "It wasn’t right. I mean I'm not super strong, you know? So I called for an ambulance and waited with him until they arrived. I was worried. That's just … that's not Superman, you know?"

It wasn't for many weeks yet that the diagnosis would become public. Dr. Hamilton first broke the news to a shocked public:

"It is not inoperable, but with Superman’s dense cellular structure, it might as well be. We will be starting an intensive chemotherapy regimen immediately."

In their announcement yesterday, S.T.A.R. Labs assured the public that every course of treatment had been exhausted–sunlamps, red-light operating rooms, even Green Lantern’s attempt to fly Superman directly into the sun–until Superman finally passed gracefully in his bed.

Scientists believe the cancer was originally brought on by prolonged exposure to Kryptonian insulation at the Fortress of Solitude, similar in its atomic structure to Earth-based asbestos.

"Kryptonite has been known to cause cancer in prolonged doses," said Hamilton. "Luthor lost his right hand to his Kryptonite ring back in the '90s. We are currently working under the theory that part of the Fortress of Solitude’s Kryptonite naturally degraded over time into green Kryptonite, and small quantities of this built up enough to affect even Superman’s exceptional physiology."

Metropolis socialite and on-again, off-again criminal mastermind Lex Luthor hosted a memorial service at Lex Corp.'s downtown headquarters Saturday.

"He was a worthy adversary. I’d thought us destined to quarrel until the end of time. As much as we fought, it is only now that I come to realize that my single greatest regret will not be that I did not kill him myself, but that my life will not end with his, though it might as well have."

Luthor followed this stirring eulogy by bursting into tears and hurling himself into the memorial grave site in Metropolis Park, reportedly shouting, "Why can’t I quit you?" several times.

Moved just as much was reporter and long-rumored Superman paramor Lois Lane. "I knew something was wrong, but he refused to say anything," Miss Lane said after the ceremony. "I knew something was wrong when he forgot to pull out and it didn't shoot a hole through my back. I should have said something!"

Professor Hamilton was on hand, to attest to the relative impossibility of attempting to give Superman a prostate exam. "His sphincter was just too powerful, my dear. There was nothing you or anyone could have done. Especially not with hands as large as yours."

Smallville yokel Martha Kent, in attendance, had this to say: "He was my son! I made him his cape from a blanket he came wrapped in as a baby in a rocket ship that my late husband and I kept at our farm until our son took it away with him! He was a good son! He didn’t deserve this!" Mrs. Kent, just one of many claiming to be part of the Superman Estate, burst into tears when Professor Hamilton pointed out the shear impossibility of sewing an indestructible cloth.

Thousands of Metropolis residents are expected to pay there respects over the next few days, as millions more mourn around the world. Dozens of Powers were on hand for the ceremony at Lex Corp., including the JLA, JLU, TTs E and W, as well as Aquaman. Only Batman was not in attendance, though several eyewitnesses reported seeing a dark shadow skulking around the rooftops of adjacent buildings despite bright, clear weather all day.

All spoke words of deep sorrow at the world's loss. Green Arrow chose to highlight Superman's accomplishments in the fields of humanitarian aid and world peace–despite being a capitalist dog–while Wonder Woman focused on the inadequacies and faults of the male-dominated society that led to faulty Kryptonian-Terran hybrid architecture.

The Last Son of Krypton is survived by Supergirl, Power Girl, several Superboys, Bizarro, Eradicator, Braniac, Faora, Zod and several other Phantom Zone Kryptonians, Earth-2 Superman, Pre-Crisis Superman, Composite Superman, multiple future Supermen, the Superman Robots, Krypto, and Streaky the Super Cat. He will be missed.

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