Superman: At Earth's End is an Elseworlds one-shot from 1995, written by Tom Veitch and drawn by Frank Gomez.
It's the 22nd century. Earth has passed through two apocalypses (one occurring in the predecessor, Kamandi: At Earth's End note ). A group of emotionless, logical cyborgs named the Biomech Sevens are overseeing Earth's return to greatness. For the last year, Superman has been regaining his lost strength in a hovering city, where he is able to receive the benefits of the sun's rays. While recuperating, he learns that Gotham City is next in line to be "cleansed", via a nuclear bomb. It has been overrun with mutants and other such degenerates.
After battling the Biomech Sevens' leader Ben Boxer, Superman goes down to Gotham, where he is attacked by bat-like mutants that bear a striking resemblance to the Dark Knight and is saved by a mohawked youth biker gang, and finds that the underground of the city houses a fortress where the evil DNA Diktators, who kidnapped the gang's parents and took Bruce Wayne's body from his manor. There he meets the leaders of the Diktators: twin clones of Adolf Hitler!
It's been reviewed on Atop the Fourth Wall here. Linkara even made a Catch-Phrase from the comic: "I AM A MAN!" *punch*, and made a Running Gag with "of course! Don't you know anything about science?"
- Adaptational Wimp: Superman here is depowered by the lack of sunlight, and despite the "I AM A MAN!" punch, mostly relies on firearms.
- After the End: Two of them, in fact.
- The Apunkalypse: Gotham's surface is overrun by biker gangs, which is why the Biomech Sevens want to destroy the place.
- Apocalypse Hitler: Superman blames the Hitlers for everything bad related to mankind. Though at a stretch, his wording seems to suggest he blames them for forcing the countries of the world to arm themselves to stop him, indirectly leading to the Cold War and eventually, the subsequent nuclear Holocaust.
- Ax-Crazy: The DNAnimals are this so much, they cannot even speak words that aren't synonyms of "kill".
- Badass Beard: The creators tried to invoke this by turning Superman into a Santa Claus clone. Needless to say, it doesn't work.
- Batman Grabs a Gun: Superman kills the Hitler clones instead of turning them over to the authorities.note
- BFG: The Expunger, which is a bunch of gatling guns attached to each other. It's unclear how it's supposed to be aimed. And not just Gatling guns, sawed-off Gatling guns. Look at how short the barrels are compared to, say, a GAU-8 Avenger, which can slice tanks in half.
- Broken Aesop: Superman loses (most of) his powers and has to rely on a gigantic machine gun to solve his problems. After using his gun to kill two Hitlers and a Batman zombie (don't ask) he tells his allies (some little kids with guns) that he's dying. The little kids then bawl and say that guns killed Superman before throwing all of their guns into a bonfire. Of course, no one bothers to point out that guns also saved the kids from two Hitlers and a Batman zombie! Worse is the fact that Superman himself admitted that the only thing keeping all these kids alive in this After the End GOTHAM was those guns.
- Child Soldiers: The young bikers.
- Crapsack World: The world has already gone through two apocalypses. It's not a very nice place to live.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul:
- The Biomech Sevens.
- Superman chooses to kill himself to avoid this trope knowing he can't live in the world anymore without getting modified to avoid succumbing to the fatal wounds he received.
- Elite Zombie: The Zombie Batman which is unleashed upon Superman.
- Gatling Good: Look at the trope image. It's less a gun and more a monster truck engine somebody attached four gatling guns to.
- Good Is Old-Fashioned: Ben Boxer's thoughts.
- Gratuitous Latin: It finishes with "Finis" instead of "End".
- Half-Human Hybrids: Batclones.
- Hollywood Science: "Of course, don't you know anything about science?"
- Horrible Judge of Character: In the scene where the twin Hitlers are revealed, we can see tubes bearing nameplates like "J. Kennedy", "E. Presley", and "L. Luthor"...and they passed all those guys over in favor of cloning Adolf Hitler... twice.
- In Name Only: The hero acts so much unlike Superman that Linkara starts calling him "Bearded Idiot".
- More Dakka: The Expunger is a massive fully automatic weapon.
- Old Superhero: Superman himself.
- Pietà Plagiarism: Superman holding Batman's corpse.
- Random Events Plot: This story makes no sense whatsoever.
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The Batcave is 30 miles long?! note
- Self-Immolation: Superman prefers to die in a funeral pyre than become a cyborg.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: The famous line comes from a rebuttal to a Hannibal Lecture ("Reality is, you're an android... I AM A MAN!")... accompanied by Talk to the Fist.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Ben Boxer:"Foolish old man... your refusal to kill got you nowhere in 1999 — where do you think it will get you now, in a world ruled by death?!"
- Step Three: Profit: The Biomech's plan of "saving humanity" in both Kamandi and this book makes no sense. They constantly want to nuke perfectly healthy cities to help humanity. Why? Aside from the ridiculous idea that introducing more radioactive land will help anyone, Gotham seems pretty healthy for a post-apocalypse. Heck, the skies are blue.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitlers: The Diktator's SS consists of mutant clones of Nazi stormtroopers.
- Super Hero Packing Heat: Absurdly huge heat, mind you.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted; this tougher and beardier version of Superman does not seem to have a no-killing policy. More exactly, he changed his mind and decided that his no-kill morality was no longer appropriate.
- Too Dumb to Live: Let's clone Hitler and give him a twin! Nothing can possibly go wrong!
- Too Many Belts: Okay, it's just one belt, but an absurdly huge one with a huge buckle, and this being The '90s, more pouches than Batman's utility belt.
- Turned Against Their Masters: The Hitlers say their creators wanted to destroy them, but they killed the scientists.
- We Can Rule Together: The Hitlers predictably offer Superman to join them.
- Worf Had the Flu: An odd example. After having his powers drained and recovered in the opening narration, Superman's battle with Ben Boxer leaves him drained again for most of the story. Said "battle" consisted mostly of the page quote.
- You Cloned Hitler!: Twice!