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Comic Book / The Final Days of Superman

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"What a lucky man I was..."

The Final Days of Superman note  is an eight-issue Superman family crossover published by DC Comics in 2016. This arc is written by Peter J. Tomasi and features art by Mikel Janin, Fernando Pasarin, Ed Benes, Jaime Mendoza, Doug Mahnke, and Tyler Kirkham.

Told across Superman, Batman/Superman, Action Comics and Superman/Wonder Woman, The Final Days of Superman is the last story featuring the New 52 version of its titular character. Set after Superman: Savage Dawn, Superman discovers he is dying and decides to form a group of heroes that will protect Earth in his absence.

The Final Days of Superman (alongside Titans Hunt and Superman: Lois and Clark) is collected in trade as a "Road to DC Rebirth" title, serving as a prelude to Superman (Rebirth), which was also written by Tomasi.

Not to be confused with The Last Days of Superman, a different story with a similar premise.

The Final Days of Superman contains examples of:

  • Chest Insignia: Discussed when Superman says the House of El shield is a badge of honor that he and his cousin wear proudly.
    Superman: You can do this. You're so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Sure, our family shield can be a target. But it's also a badge of honor that I know you wear proudly each and every day.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The first issue references Darkseid War, the 2015 Justice League of America title and Savage Dawn to showcase the different power sources Superman has been in contact with (the pits of Apokolips, the light of Rao, and a stockpile of Kryptonite, respectively).
    • Batman references Robin Rises and reviving Damian when he suggests Superman can still be saved.
    • When Superman first meets the strange energy Superman, he's reminded of his fight of Ulysses, whom he goes to meet.
  • Close on Title: The first issue of the arc did this to prevent the reveal of the Spoiler Title.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Wonder Woman tearfully holds Superman just before he passes on, as he smiles and says, "What a lucky man (he) was..."
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Superman and Wonder Woman reaffirm their feelings for each once Diana comes to grips that Superman is indeed dying.
  • Dynamic Entry: This is how Kara barges in on the battle between her cousin and the Energy Superman: she dove from the sky and double-kicked the false Superman while she yelled: "Leave my cousin alone!"
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Kenan Kong, the hero of New Super-Man makes his first appearance in Batman/Superman #32
  • End of an Age: Final Days is the last story starring N52 Superman before Rebirth.
  • Expy: The strange man with Superman's powers is starting to become something akin to the Eradicator/Last Son of Krypton from The Death of Superman
  • First-Episode Twist: All the hazardous radiation Superman has absorbed is killing him.
  • Foregone Conclusion/Trailers Always Spoil: The Rebirth solicits revealed that after Final Days, the pre-Flashpoint Superman is the protagonist of the main Superman books (Action Comics and Superman) and the N52 Lois Lane is Superwoman. Whatever happens, N52 Superman is out of the picture for a while.
  • The Hero Dies: As expected, New 52 Superman does die in the end.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Superman spends the last fight trying to get it in Energy Superman's head that he's really Danny Swan.
  • It Has Been an Honor:
    • When Superman asks Batman for help, Alfred accidentally eavesdrops and learns what's going on. Before Supes leaves, Alfred thanks him for everything he's done.
    • Superman's final exchanges with Batman and Steel are both this trope in full effect.
  • It's a Long Story: When N52 Superman meets his pre-Flashpoint self he tries to ask who he is, but the other Superman cuts him off, stating that it's a long story.
    New 52 Superman: I don't understand — Who are—
    Pre-Flashpoint Superman: Quite a long story, which we have no time for, Kal-El.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Batman tells Superman they won't be friends anymore if he calls them "Super Friends" again.
  • The Last Dance: The basic concept, as Superman puts his affairs in order.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The chase for the energy Superman sends them to China, which pisses off the Great Ten, who try to throw them out by force.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: While he took great care to stay out of the way in Superman: Lois and Clark, the pre-Flashpoint Superman begins to integrate with everyone here starting with this storyline.
  • No Time to Explain: The pre-Flashpoint Superman means this when he tells the N52 Superman this when they meet.
  • Papa Wolf: The Energy Superman makes the mistake of mentioning taking Jonathan, which pisses off the pre-Flashpoint Superman mightily. Even more, he breaks off the fight to protect Jonathan, his Lois and the family pets, especially since N52 Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman drops in moments earlier.
  • Passing the Torch: Superman reveals Supergirl that he is dying and asks her to carry on in his name.
  • Sacred Hospitality: The pre-Flashpoint Superman is not happy the Energy Superman attacked him in his home even after he offered him a place on his table.
    Pre-Flashpoint Superman: You dare threaten the sanctity of my home!
  • Sequel Hook: The story sets various things up for the post-Rebirth Super-family books.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog Story: In the end, the last few months of N52 Superman's life were one prolonged Trauma Conga Line that saw a tragic end.
  • Spoiler Title: Until the Wham Line of Superman saying he's dying, the story was advertised as "Superman: Super League".
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Inverted - a Jerkass who couldn't give two shits about the world is inhabited with a Superman-like spirit who gives him Superman's powers and altruism.
  • Take Up My Sword: Superman asks Supergirl to take over when he's gone. After a bit of uncertainty, she agrees.
  • There Can Be Only One: The Energy Superman considers himself to be the only true Superman and the N52 and pre-Flashpoint Supermen to be imposters.
  • Unwanted Rescue: Superman seeks his cousin out, who has been missing for several weeks. When he finally finds Supergirl, she is unconscious and strapped to a chair at a Government facility. So he bashes his way into the place, rips Supergirl out of some sort of weird device, and flies her away. When Kara comes around, she tells him she did NOT need saving because they were helping her get her powers back.
    Supergirl: I did NOT need saving, Kal.
  • Wham Line: In the first issue.
    Superman: I'm dying.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The storyline explains what happened to Supergirl, since the character was pretty much a no-show during the events of Truth and Savage Dawn. Action Comics #51 reveals that she'd been with the DEO as Vandal Savage's plan also affected her.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Twice in Action Comics #51 - first from Supergirl when he busts her out of a DEO building and at the end with Wonder Woman, who is not happy to know he's dying.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Just when Superman finally gets his powers back after the harrowing last few months, comes the revelation that he's got kryptonite induced cancer, and within the span of a month's issues, he's dead.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Superman gives Kara the speech when he asks her to take over when he's gone.
    Superman: You can do this. You're so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Sure, our family shield can be a target. But it's also a badge of honor that I know you wear proudly each and every day.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Being exposed to the fire pits of Apokolips, a vault full of Kryptonite and Rao's energy has caused permanent cellular damage to Superman, which will eventually kill him.

Alternative Title(s): Superman Super League