superman …. laal salaam … !

In the 1950s, the Soviet Union unveils its newest asset, Superman. He is dedicated to truth, justice, and Communism. The sudden revelation of a superpowered alien under Soviet control causes panic in the United States, turning the nuclear arms race into a superbeing arms race. CIA Agent Jim Olsen recruits Lex Luthor, a scientist employed by S.T.A.R. Labs to destroy Superman.

Luthor causes Sputnik 2 to plummet towards Metropolis. After Superman diverts the satelite away from the city, Luthor retrieves the alien’s genetic material from the spacecraft and creates a clone of Superman named Bizarro.

Meanwhile, Superman meets Wonder Woman at a diplomatic party, and she becomes smitten by him. Pyotr Roslov, Chief of the NKVD and Stalin’s illegitimate son is angry at Superman for turning his father’s attention away from him and ending his chances of advancement. Pyotr shoots a dissident couple in front of their son for printing anti-Superman propaganda. Stalin dies from cyanide poisoning, and Superman initially refuses command of the Party. A chance meeting with Lana Lazarenko, his childhood sweetheart, changes his mind. He chooses to use his powers for the greater good and turn his country into a utopia.

Bizzaro engages Superman, and their duel causes an accidental nuclear missile launch in Great Britain. The clone sacrifices itself to save millions. Luthor murders his research staff at S.T.A.R Labs and founds LuthorCorp. He dedicates his life to destroying Superman. Luthor later reveals he was motivated because Bizzaro beat him at chess.

Many years later, in 1978, The United States is on the verge of collapse. The Soviet Union is prospering greatly and has peacefully expanded its influence nearly everywhere in the world. The cost of this progress is an increased infringement on individual liberties, with Superman fast becoming a Big Brother-like figure. A brain surgery technique that turns dissidents into obedient drones, or “Superman Robots”, is in use.

Wonder Woman and Superman have now become a duo, using their superpowers to save lives in addition to their ambassadorial and governing duties. Wonder Woman has become enamored of Superman, but he considers her simply as a comrade, and is oblivious to her love for him.

Luthor plans to shrink Moscow, but this fails when Brainiac, his collaborator, shrinks Stalingrad instead. Superman intervenes and retrieves both Brainiac’s central processing unit and the tiny city, putting an end to the Brainiac-Luthor cooperation. He is unable to restore Stalingrad and its inhabitants to their proper size. This becomes his one failure and a source of great guilt.

Luthor’s second plan involves Batman, who is revealed as the boy orphaned by Pyotr. Batman joins forces with LuthorCorp and Pyotr, now head of the KGB. They capture Wonder Woman and use her as bait for Superman, hoping to sap his powers with rays that imitate the light of Superman’s native sun. The plan works, but Wonder Woman breaks free and rescues Superman, seriously injured herself. Batman commits suicide, and Pyotr is turned into a Superman Robot.

As the part ends, Luthor’s third plan begins, when Luthor is given a mysterious green lantern found in an alien ship that crashed at Roswell. Brainiac is reprogrammed into Superman’s aide, and the construction of a Fortress of Solitude, located in Siberia and referred to as “The Winter Palace”, begins.

By 2001, and the Global Soviet Union encompasses all countries except for the divided remnants of the United States of America. Within the Soviet sphere of influence there is no crime, no poverty, no unemployment, but ever present state authority. Superman is committed to “winning the argument” with the U.S., and repeatedly refuses Brainiac’s suggestions of an invasion. His sole failure remains Stalingrad, now contained within a protective glass “bottle”.

Luthor wins the American presidency, with Jimmy Olsen as his running-mate. Using his scientific expertise, massive economic capital and dictatorial powers, he returns prosperity to his country. This is only a part of a more general plan to provoke Superman into invading America. Luthor shows Olsen two of his greatest discoveries. One is the Phantom Zone, a place that super-hearing cannot reach. The second is the birth of the Green Lantern Corps.

Luthor confronts Superman in the Winter Palace. Brainiac yanks Luthor deep into the recesses of the Fortress to be converted surgically into a Superman Robot, claiming that Lex would convince Superman to commit suicide in less than fourteen minutes. Superman agrees that his hand has been forced, and prepares to attack.

First Lady Lois Luthor visits Themyscira to forge an alliance with the Amazon empire, now ruled by an embittered and vengeful Wonder Woman. Superman attacks the East Coast, confronting and defeating the Green Lantern Marine Corps, which is led by Colonel Hal Jordan. The Amazon forces, commanded by Wonder Woman, attack Superman but are quickly defeated, along with a collection of “super-menaces” (including Atomic Skull, Parasite and Doomsday) that Luthor has put together over the years. Brainiac’s spaceship cuts the U.S. Pacific fleet to pieces, and the two superbeings meet at the White House. They are greeted by Lois Luthor with the last weapon, a small note written by Lex that reads, “Why don’t you just put the whole world in a bottle, Superman?”

Realizing he has meddled in affairs that he had no place in, Superman orders Brainiac to end the invasion. The robot attacks Superman with green radiation (analogous to green kryptonite). Braniac is shut down by Luthor, who evaded surgery. As the singularities powering Brainiac’s ship threaten to collapse, Superman rockets it into space, where it explodes. The Earth is saved, but Superman is thought dead.

The Soviet Union falls into chaos, but is soon brought back under control thanks to the Batmen (resistance members who began wearing the costume after Batman’s death). Lex Luthor integrates many of Superman’s and Braniac’s ideas into the new philosophy of “Luthorism” and forms a “Global United States”. This becomes the defining moment for mankind’s future as it enters an unprecedented age of peace and stability. A benevolent world government is formed and maintained. Luthor presides over a string of scientific achievements, including the curing of all known disease, and colonization of the solar system. Lex Luthor lives for over two thousand years. At his funeral, it is revealed that Superman survived and is apparently immortal. He plans to live among the humans rather than ruling over them.

Billions of years in the future, it is revealed that Earth is being torn apart by tidal stresses from the sun, which has become a red giant. Luthor’s distant decendant, Jor-L, sends his infant son, Kal-L, rocketing back into the past. The final panels of the comic book depict the landing of Kal-L’s timeship in a Ukrainian collective in 1938, effectively causing a predestination paradox.

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