Tear Jerker / For the Man Who Has Everything

"She has been attacked... Anti-Phantom Zone campaigners with a grudge against the House of El."

  • Superman's saying farewell to his imaginary son in the Justice League Unlimited version.
    Kal-El: Van, when you were born, it was the happiest day of my life. When I first saw your beautiful little face, when your tiny fingers squeezed my hand so tightólike you never wanted to let go. I've watched every step, every struggle, I... but, Van, Ióoh, Rao help me [begins to cry]óbut I don't think you're real. I don't think any of this is real.
    Van-El: Don't say that, Daddy! Please, you're scaring me.
    Kal-El: No, no, I don't want to scare you, Van. You are everything I ever wanted in a son. This... this is everything I ever wanted in a life. But I've got responsibilities, Van. And I... [voice breaking] have to go now...
    • And then the music rises, the same achingly sad theme that played over the destruction of Krypton back in the pilot for Superman: The Animated Series, as Jor-El and Lara watched their son fly away and their world die.
      Van-El: Daddy...
      Kal-El: I promise you... I'll never forget.
  • It's even more sad in the original story, when he brings Van-El to the site of Kandor Crater.
    Kal-El: Van, I'm sorry. I... I just needed to come here. There's something completely wrong. You know when you get a bad feeling, and then... Oh, Van, I'm sorry. I'm not talking sense. You're too young to understand...
    Van-El: Father, can we go and meet mother and Orna? I'm cold.
    Kal-El: Van, it's... it's this feeling. I... Oh dear Rao, am I going mad? I keep thinking that... Van, please, I know this won't make sense, but... you're my son. I was at your birth and I'll always love you. Always. But, Van, I... I don't think you're real.
  • In the JLU episode, Bruce Wayne being forced to relive his parent's deaths.
    Wonder Woman *outside the dream as Joe Chill aims*: BRUUUUCE!!!! *BLAM!*
    • Up until that moment, Thomas was beating the crap out of Chill. It's only when Diana tries to snap Batman out of his hallucination that the tables turn.
      • That's because Thomas Wayne beating the crap out of Joe Chill is Bruce's 'ideal' world. Diana helps Bruce fight back against the Black Mercy and so reality asserts itself.
    • This scene is even more heartwrenching when you see that Batman has a genuine smile on his face, and that removing the Black Mercy will return him to reality... but also force him to relieve his parent's deaths... gah... just... gah!
      • It's even worse than just reliving their deaths. While it was certainly terrible for Clark, he only had to say goodbye to a reality that never truly happened. Bruce had to let his parents die. Not just watch them die. Allow them to die... Excuse me, but my face appears to be raining...
      • The original story is kinder, since Batman's fantasy goes beyond that moment, and he mentions marrying Kathy Kane (the original Batwoman) and having a teen daughter.
  • Jor El in both versions, but particularly in the original comic. Falsely predicting Krypton's destruction led to him becoming a laughing stock on Krypton, destroying his career and leaving him as an embittered old man. In the original story, he smashes a crystal sculpture of a tree, knocking off a chunk depicting a bird feeding its chick, and breaks down sobbing.
  • While Superman might have gotten his ideal life ("He Is Content"), its shown that he subconsciously knows that Krypton would not have been a utopia, and the fact that it wasnt destroyed doesnt mean that bad things wont happen. His mother is dead from the "wasting sickness", Jor-El has turned bitter and become affiliated with the cult Sword Of Rao which is causing all manner of social unrest, his cousin Kara has been brutally beaten, and this is a world where he is just an ordinary man who can't protect his family. In the end, Superman concludes that perhaps it is for the best, and leaves Krypton alone with its ghosts.