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Superman: Savage Dawn is a Superman family crossover story arc published in 2016. It is told in the Action Comics, Superman/Wonder Woman and Superman titles. The writers in charge are Greg Pak, Peter J. Tomasi and Gene Luen Yang. Superman Annual #3, released in December 2015, serves as a prologue.
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Savage Dawn is the conclusion of the story started in Superman: Truth, which saw Superman lose a significant portion of his powers and be forced to go on the run. Vandal Savage, the villain responsible for Superman's predicament, reveals his plan to Take Over the World and has captured the Justice League. To stop him, Superman must save his allies and reclaim his lost powers.


Superman: Savage Dawn contains examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Vandal's "children" that are sent as guinea pigs to the comet first. They seem to return stronger than ever, but the power is to much for them to handle with such little experience and, before long, they begin to disintegrate before ultimately exploding. All are shown pity from those they were attacking, but the young bullied kid turned "dream come true" barbarian warrior, Salvaxe, was repeatedly tried to be reached to and reasoned with by Superman. To no avail, in the end.
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  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Savage tears the Fortress of Solitude out of the ground and uses it to bring the comet to Earth, which empowers his extended family (translation: thousands of illegimate children all over the world) to fight for his behalf.
  • And the Adventure Continues: With Savage defeated, Superman attempts to just spend time with Lois and Jimmy before he hears a cry for help, leading him to rush off to help once more...
  • Anti-Villain: For all her hostility towards Superman, Wrath genuinely believed her actions were in humanity's best interests. She is appalled upon realizing Vandal's plan will only benefit him.
  • Arc Villain: The primary antagonist is Vandal Savage, who orchestrated Superman's power loss, directed the other villains' actions and captured the Justice League.
  • Arc Welding: Superman Annual #3 conects Vandal Savage's origin to Krypton. In Krypton's distant past, a radioactive comet threatened to hit the planet; but Im-El, Superman's ancestor, used a missile to divert the comet's course away from the planet. The comet passed Earth's orbit and one of its fragments imbued Vandal with immortality.
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  • Badass in Distress: The Justice League is captured by Savage.
  • Battle Aura: Superman manifests a green aura after getting powered by Kryptonite.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Powers or not, Superman is still a badass superhero.
  • Casting a Shadow: Wrath.
  • The Cavalry:
    • Steel, Lana Lang and the Justice League United arrive to help Superman fend off Vandal's initial attack.
    • A large army of superheroes helps Superman and his allies take on Vandal's comet-empowered army.
  • The Chosen Many: Everyone descended from Vandal Savage, in his eyes. Being descended from him prompts many otherwise ordinary people to gain superpowers when he pulls his comet closer to Earth.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Everyone descended from Savage becomes this. Taken Up to Eleven during the final battle, where the Mass Super-Empowering Event that grants his descendants power, combined with Savage's We Can Rule Together speech, prompts ordinary "Chosen" people to suddenly attack Superman and the Justice League.
  • Deadly Upgrade:
    • Steel has created a Powered Armor that can help Superman fight Savage's forces. Unfortunately, it is powered by Kryptonite. Superman uses it anyway.
    • After the armor is trashed, Superman directly exposes himself to a crate full of Kryptonite, which kills his infected cells and gives him new powers, but further risks his health.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The comic establishes a flashback to medieval Rome by showing Vandal Savage admiring a newly painted Sistine Chapel, instead of the dozens of others churches in the area.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Subverted. Superman thinks Vandal took his family away from the destruction of his ship to save them, but Vandal reveals he was using them to test out the comet's powers before he tests them himself.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Subverted. The villains from Truth (Wrath, HORDR_ROOT and Mr. Bend) all answered to Savage but had plans to overthrow him. At the same time, Vandal treats his servants like garbage.
    • Played straight after Vandal uses the comet to give superpowers to his illegimate children, which number in the thousands. They all attack Superman and his allies en masse.
    • And subverted in the end when Vandal admits he's only using his "children" and only cares about himself.
  • A God Am I: As Superman Annual #3 shows, Vandal wants to obtain power so he can unite Earth under his rule. First, he wanted to reach the comet that made him immortal in the first place. Now, he wants the powers of Superman and the Justice League. The way he puts it, eternal life is meaningless without eternal power.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Savage was this in Truth, but only takes direct action in Savage Dawn.
  • Grand Finale: Savage Dawn will end the story started by Truth.
  • Green Rocks: The comet that made Vandal immortal possesses several fragments that can give their holder powers similar to Superman's, which is why Vandal wanted to reach the comet through the course of history.
  • Harmful Healing: Superman' lost his powers because Savage had infected some of his cells and disrupted their ability to absorb sunlight. To counter that, Superman exposes himself to Kryptonite, which will burn away the infected cells and allow him to power up again. The plan works to an extent: Superman gains new powers but is slowly dying as a result.
  • He’s Back: Combined with Hoist by His Own Petard - Savage shoots Superman and sends him tumbling down towards the Fortress of Solitude. Instead of dying on his fortress, the fortress detects Superman's DNA and restores him, his powers and his costume to full. The look on the man's face couldn't be any more glad.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The last of Savage's children, Puzzler, comes to realize he's more than just the sum of his parts and helps Superman destroy the comet. Somewhat ironic, as he had the least direct interaction with Superman, but was the only one who made a Heel–Face Turn and survived.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Metallo pulls one after being gravely injured, asking Superman to take his Kryptonite heart. Clark initially refuses, but eventually acquiesces to the request. His internal narration even says that (Metallo) just showed everyone what it meant to be a hero.
  • It's All About Me: Savage's entire motivation of stealing Superman's powers is because he wants them all for himself. To him, everyone else is either a tool to be manipulated or an enemy to be destroyed.
  • It's Personal: Superman is not happy Vandal stole the Fortress of Solitude, considering an insult to his Kryptonian heritage.
  • Jerkass Realization: Superman finally understands that he had friends the entire time trying to help him whenever and wherever possible. This goes double for Lois blowing his secret identity.
  • Might Makes Right: Something Vandal Savage thinks both he and Superman should be doing with their amazing powers — to rule the planet with an iron fist.
  • Mythology Gag: Superman charges up his flight by manipulating gravity the same way he does in Man of Steel.
  • New Era Speech: Vandal Savage's speech to the entire human race as his master stroke is complete provides the page picture.
  • Oh, Crap!: Superman is shocked when Vandal hijacks the Stormwatch carrier, the one spacecraft more powerful than the Justice League Watchtower.
  • Powered Armor: Superman wears one powered by Kryptonite.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Savage says Superman wants to save the world but doesn't want to change it, basically the same thing Ultron told The Avengers in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
    • After Savage uses the comet to imbue his army with superpowers, one of his minions says he feels like Mario after eating one of his Mushrooms.
  • The Sociopath: Vandal is simply at his worst here.
  • Storming the Castle: Superman and his friends break into Vandal's ship to save the Justice League. Vandal, however, sets the ship to self-destruct.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Even after their breakup during Truth, Wonder Woman remains one, and refuses to allow Clark to face Savage's threat alone. Clark for his part, is much more accepting of it this time around.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Vandal casually murders HORDOR_ROOT when it's revealed that he is one of Vandal's offspring, yet being a robot prevents him from partaking in the power boost the meteor provides.
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