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Comic Book / Last Son

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By Geoff Johns and Richard Donner

"Last Son" is a five-part Superman arc written by Geoff Johns and his mentor Richard Donner with pencils by Adam Kubert and color by Dave Stewart. It ran in Action Comics from 2006 to 2008.note 

Clark always thought that he was the last person to be born on Krypton. However, when a space capsule containing what is clearly a Kryptonian boy lands in Metropolis, Superman is overjoyed and (defying the military's attempts to raise the boy as a weapon) adopts him as his and Lois Lane's son, called Christopher Kent. Superman then tries to raise Chris as the Kents did him to eventually become a hero.

However, it turns out that Chris's birth name is Lor-Zod, son of the infamous General Dru-Zod. Zod and his wife Ursa had Chris in the Phantom Zone and used him as a interdimensional tether to allow them and the other Phantom Zoners to escape. As his small army of Kryptonians are too much even for the League and Society to handle together, Superman is forced to turn to Lex Luthor (being the only one to devote a lifetime to killing Kryptonians) to defeat them.

Heavily inspired by Superman: The Movie and Superman II, this story reintroduced the Kryptonian General Zod to the modern continuity, even altering his appearance to look closer to Terence Stamp, as well as canonizing his accomplices Ursa and Non. This arc would later serve as inspiration to the 2013 movie Man of Steel, which incorporated Zod's motive of rebuilding Krypton on Earth.

Both Last Son and the later Story Arc Superman: Brainiac (also written by Geoff Johns) were eventually collected into one volume called Last Son of Krypton, most likely due to both of them being preludes to the New Krypton arc.


  • Abusive Parents: Chris has good reason to be afraid of General Zod. Zod threatens to put him down along with anyone who stands against him, and fully intends to do it before Superman intervenes. He brushes this off as he "can always make another".
  • Ascended Extra: Chris was originally supposed to have appeared in the arc, but since it got delayed for over a year, he was kept around a lot longer than intended in the Superman series. There, other writers were able to flesh out the bond Clark, Lois, and Chris had, and those stories were later classified as interquels between the time Clark adopts him and General Zod's invasion.
  • Alien Invasion: Around 30 evil Kryptonians escape the Phantom Zone and terrorize Earth.
  • And Then What?: When Zod starts to talk about how he could have saved Krypton if his coup had been successful, Superman tries to point out to him that even if he'd defeated the Science Council nobody would have listened to him and he didn't actually have a plan to stop the disaster that destroyed the planet. Zod's only 'defence' is to cite how he won against various past foes and prevailed in old military campaigns and insist that he would have found a way, but shows no sign that he had an actual plan anyway.
  • Badass Adorable: Chris, having all Kryptonian yellow sun powers, attacks his own biological father, knowing that he is an enemy and that he might be killed himself.
  • Badass Boast: "I am Lex Luthor. I am the greatest scientist on this planet and would be on yours as well."
  • Badass Family: The Kents. Superman, his wife Lois, his cousin Supergirl, his clone Superboy, his dog and now his foster son.
  • Badass Normal: Lex Luthor is at his best here, not only killing a Kryptonian in single combat, but making it an utter Curb-Stomp Battle in the process.
  • Big Bad: General Zod.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Supergirl, Power Girl, the Justice League, The Justice Society... come to the defense of Metropolis during the final battle.
  • Canon Immigrant: Zod's lieutenants Ursa and Non first appeared in Superman II before being introduced to the mainline comics in this series.
  • Category Traitor: Superman and his family are called "race traitors" for protecting Earth from Zod and his army.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The fighting between the Phantom Zone escapees and the US military goes this way. The JLA and JSA put up a slightly better showing, but they aren't really prepared for facing down thirty Kryptonians either. The shoe ends up on the other foot when the Superman Revenge Squad go into action, however, as Zod's men have no defense against Luthor's weaponry, or the innate abilities that the squad members have.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Luthor expresses pleasure at killing one of the Kryptonian criminals.
    Luthor: So this is what it's like to kill a Kryptonian. It feels good.
  • Drop Pod: The kryptonians use a variation of these to leave the Phantom Zone. The pods are specified to have no engines.
  • Enemy Mine: With the Justice League and Justice Society incapacitated, Superman turns to Luthor and his Superman Revenge Squad for help, seeing as they have more experience fighting a solar-powered Kryptonian than anyone he knows.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The Superman Revenge Squad vs. the Phantom Zone criminals.
  • Kneel Before Zod: This story reintroduced General Zod to the modern continuity. He doesn't directly order anyone to kneel, but the sentiment is clearly still there.
  • Happily Adopted: Chris sees Superman and Lois as his real parents and refuses to call himself Lor-Zod.
  • It's All About Me: Luthor, as always. His reason for teaming with Superman to fight the Phantom Zoners is equal parts "Nobody conquers this planet but me" and "People will worship me for saving the world and being right about aliens".
  • Knight Templar: Zod wishes to rebuild Krypton on Earth and replace the inferior Earthmen.
  • Legion of Doom: Luthor's Superman Revenge Squad consists of himself, Metallo, Parasite, and Bizarro.
  • Man of Kryptonite: Metallo takes advantage of his multicolored Kryptonite attachments to kill several Phantom Zoners. Lex uses a Kryptonite energy gun, Kryptonite grenades, and a red solar laser rifle to a similar end.
  • Papa Wolf: Even before Supes formally adopts Chris, he just barges into a military base and takes Chris back once he finds out what they plan to do with him.
  • Phantom Zone: Zod and his army of Kryptonians escape the trope-naming place, then they put Superman there.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Luthor gets one after giving a Phantom Zoner a slow, painful death.
  • Retcanon: The buckle on Superman's belt changes to look like the "S" logo on his uniform, matching its look in Superman Returns. After this arc, it goes back to the classic look.
    • This storyline officially rebooted General Zod into heavily resembling his Superman II counterpart, both in terms of appearance as well as being a full blown Earth-1 Kryptonian (unlike all of the post-Crisis Zods).
  • Stating the Simple Solution: With Superman in such a perfect position to be shot with Kryptonite and killed, he asks Luthor why he hasn't done so yet. Luthor (who is publicly disgraced and in hiding due to the events of 52 and One Year Later) responds that he'll just make a martyr of him if he does so right now, and that he hopes to prove that he and all the other Kryptonians are a threat to humanity by helping him.
  • Terrible Trio: Zod, Ursa, and Non.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Unlike Superman, who has battled them all before and is accordingly aware of their powers, Zod's Kryptonians are completely unaware of what skills and abilities the Superman Revenge Squad bring to the table. They don't realize that Bizarro is as strong as they are, that closing with Parasite is a really bad idea, or that the pretty green rock in Metallo's chest can hurt them. The crowning moment comes when one of them grabs this skinny, bald human and tries to intimidate him into giving the plan away. It ends about as badly as you're expecting, with Luthor absolutely destroying him.
  • Villainous Rescue: With the JLA down for the count, it's Lex Luthor and the Superman Revenge Squad (consisting of Bizarro, Parasite, and Metallo) to the rescue.
  • We Can Rule Together: After escaping, Zod orders Chris to rejoin his father as a member of the Kryptonian race. Chris refuses, even attacking Zod in an attempt to help Superman.
  • You and What Army?: Said by Superman to Zod. Zod then shows off his army.