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Fanfic / Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation

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Why did the Legion of Super-Heroes have to go 1,000 years into the past to recruit Superboy for their team? The answer lies in a tragedy that took place 500 years before their time, 500 years after Superman I's, which the world, and possibly the universe, would never forget...

Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation is a Superman story by DarkMark and Dannell Lites.

It's the 25th century. The descendants of the first Superman and the offspring of the first Supergirl have become a huge family, torn by petty internal conflicts. Per tradition there can only be a Superman and a Superboy, and maybe a Supergirl; and the rest of the family chafes under the weight of hiding who they are in order to not make Terrans uncomfortable or frightened.

Klar Kent, as well known as Superman XX, has two children: Adam and Alan. Only one of them can be Superman. Alan is a bit non-confrontational and passive, but Adam is too pragmatic, too aggressive and there appears to be a dark side to him. And he'll not take a rejection quietly. It doesn't help both siblings are in love with the same woman, Katherine de Ka'an, direct descendant of Kara Zor-El.

At the same time, Gotham City faces its own quota of troubles. Although the current Joker is dead, Batman XX suspects his father is very alive. And craving for revenge.

This story can be found complete in Dark Mark's site and incomplete in "Kara's Pocket Universe".

Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation is part of Dark Mark’s Fan Verse together with Hellsister Trilogy, Kara of Rokyn, A Very Kara Christmas, A Force of Four, Dance with the Demons, With this Ring... (Green Lantern), Funeral for a Flash, Superman and Man and The Vampire of Steel. Dark Mark has also written Here There Be Monsters, A Prize for Three Empires, X-Men 1970, FIRE!, Devil's Diary, The Unfantastic Adventures of Bizarro No. 1, Everybody's Gotta Leave Sometime and Maybe the Last Archie Story.


  • Aborted Arc: At the end of the fourth chapter, George is fed up with the Family Law. He declares he won't pretend to be a normal human again, and a large number of relatives support him. Nothing came from it.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Canon: The details surrounding 1998 Superman storyline The Dominus Effect where Klar Kent had a little sister instead of a brother are ignored. Dark Mark can't be blamed for it since that story arc's canonicity is debatable at best.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Klar Ken showed up in a few Silver Age stories (Superman #181, Action Comics #338-339 and World's Finest #166). This story greatly expands on his world and his -mess of a- family.
  • Affair Hair: Variant. One night, Adam insists on staying in Kat's apartment, but she bluntly kicks him out. Before leaving, though, he stares towards Kat's bedroom for several seconds, and Kat realizes he has used his Super-Senses to spot one hair of his brother Alan's head which she forgot removing from her bed.
  • Alien Invasion: At the beginning of the second part, Adam Kent is scheming to lead the Rokynians to invade Earth.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Tal Thorn is a Rannian, but thanks to his Green Lantern ring he can understand and speak English.
  • Alliterative Name: Co-protagonist Katherine de Ka'an.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Alan dips in the ocean without beforehand telling Kath about saltwater being not anymore lethal to them. Kath got frightened... and when he resurfaced, she got real, real mad.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Superman's son Adam believes the way his family has fought evil during five centuries isn't working and a different approach is required... i. e., taking over the world.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Super-villain Muto quotes Genesis after conquering Atlantis.
    Muto looked upon his work and judged it good.
  • Avenging the Villain: The last descendant of the Joker wants revenge on the last descendant of Batman for his son's death, who also took up the mantle of the Joker. Never mind that Batman isn't responsible for the Joker's son's death and was just trying to arrest him.
  • Awful Wedded Life: George and his wife Irina. They married out of greed and a desire for greater social respectability, but they can't stand each other. Irina taunts and disparages George at every chance she gets, and George often seems on the brink of killing her. At the end, George becomes fed up with it all and leaves Irina.
  • Badass Family: The House of El may be a big, screwed family, torn by inner strife, but they still are a whole family of Kryptonians.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Superman's Home Base is located within the asteroid Ceres. Superman can reach it because he doesn't need to breathe. He doesn't like the reminder, though, because it makes him feel less human.
    He had little taste for space, actually. The lack of sound was a major sensory deprivation. He could always attune his super-hearing to take in noises from Earth or other planets, and often he did. But it never kept back the knowledge that the spaces between worlds were not intended for human life, not even such as his.
    Krypts could survive there. Because Krypts were freaks.
  • Battle Couple: Alan and Kath became a crime-fighting team when Kath took up the Supergirl mantle.
  • Being Good Sucks: Bron Wayn really hates being Batman:
    Green Lantern: Your city needs you, friend Batman. Your great brain, your deductive skills, you have demonstrated them quite—"
    Batman: To hell with that! You're not from this world, Lantern. You don't know. The Batman line is based on vengeance. They make another Superman when the one doing the job decides to pass on the franchise. They make another Batman, all too many times, when somebody dies. I don't want that choice for my son, or his son, or any that come after. This is it. Our debt to Gotham, our debt to Thomas and Martha Wayne, our debt to my family...they're all...they're all paid. The Batman is just blood and death and pain. We don't fly among the eagles, soaring to the sun. We're down in the gutters, picking through the corpses for clues. We can't bounce blasters off our chests. All we've got is two fists and fear on our side. It's not a legacy, boys. It's a curse. The curse ends with me.
  • Beta Couple: Lorile -Adam and Alan's little sister- and Fin-El -a very distant cousin-.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Muto was Superman XX's nemesis. In his first appearance, he conquers the whole kingdom of Atlantis single-handedly and quickly. Superman XXI takes him down in the tenth chapter.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: In the XXVth century, the descendants of Superman and Supergirl are a large House divided against itself by petty jealousies and conflicts. Suffice it say that Klar Kent isn't sure who is scheming his son against: his brother or himself.
  • Boldly Coming: In the past, Kal and Kara had offspring with humans, which the main characters are descendants of.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Kath realizes she can't rely on her powers after getting beaten in a fight, and takes martial arts classes.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Adam and Alan. Adam claims he doesn't hate his brother and is no threat to him, but he can't stand the fact that both his father and Kath chose Alan over him. He holds a huge grudge.
    • Klar and George. George also resented his older brother becoming Superman. Unlike Adam, he gets over it and makes amends with Klar.
  • Cat Fight: Kath and Sybilla have a rather brutal fight over Alan.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Subverted. After spending about fifteen years living as a Kryptonian immigrant in Earth, and failing to fit among Earth people, Kara pays a visit to Rokyn, a world settled by other Kryptonian survivors, and decides to move there permanently because she feels she belongs among them.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Muto isn't interested in fighting Superman physically; he just wants him dead. So he comes up with a scenario where he keeps a whole city hostage and then demands that Superman essentially kills himself.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Both main characters and their family, the 25th century descendants of Superman.
  • Continuity Porn: This story includes references to DC's lore like Silver Age Supergirl having a secret diary or Superman going beyond his universe's boundaries to save his cousin.
  • Cooldown Hug: Klar hugs his brother when George gets upset due to his mess of a family.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Sybilla bashes Kath when they fight. Later Lorile squashes her like a bug.
  • Death Glare: Sybilla throws one at Lorile after the latter beats her.
    Beams of hate as hot as heat-vision went from Sy’s eyes to Lori’s as she lay there, gasping, on the floor.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Lorile belongs to an urban tribe whose philosophy comes down to "As long as no one gets hurt, I don't give a damn". Fin-El romances her by pretending he doesn't care either.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Hecate's spell changed the House of El's weaknesses from incredibly rare Kryptonite to incredibly common saltwater, so anyone planning to entangle with a Kryptonian carries a water gun around.
  • Domestic Abuse:
    • First day in the job, Alan stops a wife-beater. Kath also saves another woman from her "partner".
    • George Kent's wife publicly and constantly disparages and openly treats him as a brainless moron until he becomes fed up with this treatment and leaves.
  • Earth Is a Battlefield: The plot was heading towards this, with the XXVth century descendants of the House of El fighting each other in a planetary-scale war.
  • Eating Optional: Being a Superman's descendant, Alan Kent doesn't need to eat thanks to his Kryptonian DNA. He doesn't like dwelling on it, though, because it makes him feel less human.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the first chapter, Adam and Alan stop some bank robbers. Alan gets upset because some persons got killed. Adam is just happy that they stopped a bunch of crooks.
  • Everybody Loves Zeus: Poseidon appears briefly, but he is helpful enough to remove a sorceress' curse which affected the Superman's lineage.
  • False Reassurance: Before leaving Earth, Adam assures his brother he's no threat to him. Unflappably, Alan asks who he's threatening, then.
  • Fan-Created Offspring: Alan Kent, Katherine de Ka'an and Bron Wayn are descendants of the original Superman, Supergirl and Batman, respectively.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Superman's ability to travel faster than light lets him build a base near from Jupiter which he and he alone can reach easily.
  • Flight: Being of Kryptonian descent, the main characters and their family can fly.
    Klar Ken stood at the transparent balcony of his home, 72 stories above the ground. A forcefield barrier below each level would catch a falling body. No one could harm himself, or herself, by being thrown out of a window anymore. You could fly with a MagPak strapped to your back and cut the thing off and maybe avoid the safety tractors. Some had done it. But by and large, if you wanted to suicide, you had to try something else in 2499.
    Klar Ken, standing there in his brown robe and sandals, needed no MagPak to fly.
  • Flying Brick: Alan, Kath and their whole family.
  • Flying Firepower: In addition to flight and invulnerability, Alan, Kath and their family have the power to shoot heat beams as well as blowing huge amounts of freezing breath.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Katherine laments the fact she'll never know what happened to Kara Zor-El's first husband since there're no records left... which shouldn't be a trouble at all since, as a descendant of the original Supergirl, Katherine's natural powers include time travel.
  • Friendship Moment: When Batman decides to quit because he is sick of it all, Superman says he's glad that he had the chance to work with him, and he will respect his decision.
    "You can't stop being what you are," said Superman, gently. "But you can stop being the Batman. If that's your decision..."
    "It is."
    "...then I'll respect it. I'm only glad I had the chance to work with you." He stuck out his hand. Batman took it. Surprisingly, he didn't let it go.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: Most people use artificial food generator units. At one point Kath eats an apple and is shocked by the taste.
    She still remembered the tart, crisp taste of her first apple. A real one, not a soysub. The way her blue eyes widened at the unfamiliar, mouth-puckering taste had delighted Adam.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Klar Kent removing his glasses is a clear sign that he is pissed off and someone is about to get their butt kicked.
    Klar removed his glasses. It was a dangerous sign, Adam knew, but he didn’t have time to dodge before his father pinned him against the wall with one hand on his chest, lifting his feet several inches off the floor.
  • God Couple: Alan Kent and Katherine de Ka'an, descendant of the first Superman and the first Supergirl, respectively.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Adam Kent betrays his metahuman status when he allows a bunch of crooks fire at him and the bullets bounce off his body.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Alan and Katherine and their family are part human, part Kryptonian, with some Amazon DNA throw into the mix.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Katherine de Ka'an was unable to figure out what happened between her distant ancestors, Kara Zor-El and her first husband Dev-Em. It's only known Kara's diaries stop mentioning him altogether after she moves off world, utterly heartbroken.
    Dev... Dev... Dev... Kara's diaries were full of his smiles, the sound of his voice calling her name. The feel of his body and the labyrinth of his mind and heart. No, all this was plain for any and all to read. What was less clear was what happened to him.
    Something had sent a grieving Kara Zor-El fleeing back to Rokyn, wounded in spirit and bleeding from the only place she was truly vulnerable: her heart. Something terrible had happened. And yet the diaries did not name the cause. Whether this was because there were parts of it missing... or because Kara Zor-El could not bring herself to speak of it was difficult to know. The only thing that was sure was that, beyond a certain point, the name of Dev-Em was never spoken.
  • Heroic Lineage:
    • Alan and Kath are descended from heroes whose lineages have been protecting Earth since the 20th Century.
    • Bron Wayn's family has been protecting Gotham City since the era of the first Batman.
  • Hero's First Rescue: Alan Kent's first deed as the newest Superman is save a woman from her abusive husband and take her to a shelter. Later on, Katherine also saves a woman from getting beaten up by her partner, and that moment cements Kath's decision to become the next Supergirl.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: Inverted. Alan doesn't want to believe his brother Adam is evil just because he is his brother, and Katherine rightly points out Lex Luthor and other villains were somebody's brother, meaning being a brother doesn't equal being good.
  • Home Base: Superman's original Fortress of Solitude has long since been discovered and turned into a museum. The current Superman's Fortress is hidden within the asteroid Ceres.
  • Hostage Situation: Muto, an enemy of the twentieth Superman, takes over Atlantis and holds the whole Atlantean population hostage.
  • I Know Karate: Kath goes to a Rokynian martial arts instructor in order to shape up and become a better hero.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Alan Kent (Kryptonian) and Bron Wayn (human) develop a close friendship despite the difference in age. Kath (Kryptonian) also makes friends with Megeira (Amazon).
  • Interspecies Romance: Superman had a son with Lois Lane (and it's hinted that he was in a relationship with Wonder Woman after his wife's death), and Supergirl hooked up with an unnamed Earthman, their offspring mingled with the Earth population for five centuries, and in present day the current Superman Klar Kent is married to human woman Lyla.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In the first chapter, Adam and Alan Kent stop a terrorist cell but they're too late so save everyone. When Alan gets upset about the casualties, Adam points out that they still saved the whole city and they can't be everywyere or save everyone. Adam could certainly show a little more grief and compassion and make his point in a gentler fashion, but he isn't wrong about it.
  • The Joy of First Flight: Katherine de Ka'an flew for the first time when she was six. She loved it, and flight quickly became her favorite power.
    Katherine: "I, well, when I was six years old, I had my mother make me a Supergirl costume, and when we were alone, just the family, with nobody else and no spyrays or anything around, I'd just jump into the air, wearing it, and holler, 'Up, up, and away from me!' And I, oh, I didn't go very far up, not high enough to be visible from a great distance, but it was so much fun. Being a little six-year-old Supergirl. Not to have to fight bad guys, or to show off my strength. Just to be able to fly."
  • Kissing Cousins:
    • Alan and Kath are twenty-second cousins, so no one objects to their relationship.
    • On the other hand, Adam and Sybilla are first cousins. Neither of their parents is comfortable with their getting together.
  • Legacy Character:
    • Alan Kent is Superman's heir. Katherine is descendant of Kara Zor-El and heiress of the Supergirl's name.
    • Deconstructed with Hi Jenk, an utterly harmless solicitor brutally murdered by the Joker because he just happened to be a descendant of Barbara Gordon and her father Commissioner Gordon.
  • Legacy of the Chosen: Alan Kent and Katherine de Ka'an are the latest in a long line of bearers of the Superman and Supergirl mantles, respectively (Alan is specifically Superman XXI).
  • Love Hurts: Upon reading Kara Zor-El's diaries, Kath learns her ancestress fell hard for Dev-Em, but such a relationship ultimately left her heart-broken and burned-out.
    The diaries were frustratingly incomplete. Gaps, missing pages ... Of the love there was little doubt. With First-Husband Dev-Em there could be no mistake about that at all. Love and passion for him poured from the pages of Kara's diary like a river.
    Dev... Dev... Dev... Kara's diaries were full of his smiles, the sound of his voice calling her name. The feel of his body and the labyrinth of his mind and heart. No, all this was plain for any and all to read. What was less clear was what happened to him.
    Something had sent a grieving Kara Zor-El fleeing back to Rokyn, wounded in spirit and bleeding from the only place she was truly vulnerable: her heart. Something terrible had happened. And yet the diaries did not name the cause. Whether this was because there were parts of it missing ... or because Kara Zor-El could not bring herself to speak of it was difficult to know. The only thing that was sure was that, beyond a certain point, the name of Dev-Em was never spoken.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Kryptonians aren't squeamish as to where they get it on. Adam and Sybilla screw up floating in midair. In the thirtieth chapter, Alan and Kath make love underwater.
  • Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex: Brought up when Klar's wife Lyra states Kryptonians can control themselves; otherwise, she'd have no children.
  • Masquerade: The House of El goes to considerable lengths to hide their existence in the belief humans would never accept the existence of several hundreds of superpersons living among them.
    George: Alan... Alan... Just how stupid do you think the average man is, boy?
    Alan: (sighing) I don't know, Uncle George. You tell *me*. How stupid *do* I think the average man is?
    George: Pretty damn stupid, Alan. For over five hundred years there's been a Superman. Since the Prime Superman of the Twentieth. Everyone knows that. Don't you imagine that the general populace might— just might, mind you!—have figured out that, by the simplest laws of genetics and mathematics, there *has* to be more than one of us?
    Alan: Of course, they know, Uncle George. Most of them. When they think about it. Which isn't often. Uncle George, don't *do* this. Please. Listen to me. As long as we don't rub their faces in it ... as long they see only one of us, a hero, they aren't threatened. It's easy for them to ignore the fact that there have to be others. They can even accept the existence of a Superboy. Or a Supergirl. But ... Rao's flames! There are over two hundred of us here! They'd never accept that! Never! You have to think of the Family!
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Both Klar Kent and his wife Lyra are reporters. On top of it, Lyra is a popular novelist.
  • Narrative Filigree: The story is set in the 25th century. In order to make the future setting more believable, Dark Mark comes up with his own futuristic slang.
  • Never My Fault: According Sybilla, it's always Katherine's blame, whatever “it” is. Her mother gets angry because she pummeled Kath? Kath's fault.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The House of El's invulnerability varies after centuries interbreeding with humans and sometimes Amazons. The direct descendants of Kal-El and Kara Zor-El are virtually undamageable; their relatives tend to be less tough.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: During an argument, Sybilla beats Kath to the ground. Repeatedly.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Subverted. Muto has no intention of giving Superman a fair fight. He wants him dead as soon and quick as possible. However Superman gets him talk long enough to find a way to defeat him.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Klar states that a number of relatives moved to other worlds and funded other Superman dynasties.
    • Kath mentions in passing two cousins fought over the right to the Supergirl name in the past.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Kath turns Adam down in favor of his brother. Alan takes this not well at all. He is in fact glad when Kath gets beatean up.
    What was to be done with the Six? They’d have to learn that when you dealt with Adam Kent, even if he wore a mask, you’d damned well better give him what he asked for.
    And if you didn’t...
  • Official Couple: Alan and Kath.
  • Oh, My Gods!: Alan exclaims "Rao's flames!" at one point.
  • Original Character: Klar Ken, Lyra, Bron Wayn and Muto are DC-owned characters. The rest of the cast are original characters.
  • Our Ancestors Are Superheroes: Alan Kent and Katherine de Ka'an are the 25th Century descendants of the original Superman and Supergirl, respectively.
  • Parents as People: Klar clearly cares and does his best, but his failure to discipline Adam properly when his son brutalized a crook and reach him out afterwards leads to Adam becoming more twisted.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Muto believes he's the Big Bad, but his appearance at the beginning of the story is completely unrelated to the main plot (Adam Kent's sense of self-entitlement and growing resentment against his father and brother setting him on the path towards villainy), and he's defeated very quickly.
  • The Power of the Sun: By the year 2499, dozens of descendants of the House of El are living in Earth and empowered by its Sun. Unfortunately, not all of them are willing to use their powers for good.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Reinforced. Per tradition, Kal-El's costume passes from father to son. Kara Zor-El's costume wasn't inherited but all Supergirls wore a blue, red and yellow outfit anyway.
    The costume she wore was red, blue, and yellow. She was not wearing a cape, and she had a headmask that covered all but her eyes, nose, and mouth, with an opening at the back for part of her blonde hair to hang through. She wore red boots and gloves and a yellow belt. There was some yellow trim on the boots and gloves, but otherwise the outfit was all blue.
    Except for the shield on her chest, which bore a familiar S-shape.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Reinforced. Kath's brother Zor-El got crippled because he's super-strong but lacks the necessary invulnerability to endure his own strength.
  • Retcon:
    • Lorile's job changes twice.
    • The Family’s weakness to saltwater, originally stemming from pollution, was retconned to be caused by a hex put on them by Hecate.
  • Retired Badass: Batman XX resolves to quit after taking down the Joker. Yet still he trains the new "Justice League".
  • Revenge: Joker XIX blames -wrongly- his son's death on the current descendant of Batman, and intends to kill him and everyone who have somehow been involved with the Batman's lineage through the centuries, including a harmless solicitor who wasn't even aware that his 20th century ancestor was Batgirl.
  • Revenge Myopia: Joker XIX wants to take revenge on Batman for the death of his son. The fact that Joker XX was a criminal whose death was caused by his own stupidity and not for anything Batman did is lost on his father.
  • Salt Solution: Because of a curse, exposure to salwater may kill a member of the Family.
  • Second Love: It is hinted several times that the original Superman hooked up with Wonder Woman some time after his wife's death.
  • Secret-Identity Identity: During the first scene, Klar Kent, the Superman of the twenty-fifth century, discusses at length the issues caused by leading a double life.
    Klar Kent sighed. The role each of the chosen El males was handed was as much a constriction as an honor. It was nothing less than having to protect a world and, very often, a universe.
    One had to become two men, and to pretend one had nothing to do with the other. It was not as easy a thing as one might expect. The third Superman had to pretend his Kent-self had been killed, and to take up the name of Jon Hudson. The fourth Superman's identity had been revealed during a monorail accident. One Superman had simply abandoned his secret identity, becoming a full-time Man of Steel until his son was old enough to succeed him. More than once, a Superman had suspected himself of becoming quietly schizophrenic.
  • Ship Tease: Between Alan and Kath as soon as the first chapter when Alan's father mentions his son is infatuated with her.
  • Shower of Love: Alan and Katherine eventually discover that showers are kinky:
    Kath: We have, haven’t we? Even if we have to fake the seawater thing every now and then.
    Alan: Wouldn’t do to let the bad guys know we can take baths in it. Or that, sometimes, we shower in it.
    Kath: (giggling) Wouldn’t the peejays have a field day with that! Maybe we could convince them that seawater showers are kinky.
    Alan: The Atlanteans have known that for centuries.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Said by Superman to a fundamentalist:
    “Julius Morton,” said Superman. “Industrialist. Double-plus seated, super-secure. One question: why?”
    “You would have to ask why,” grated Morton. “You worship Rao, not Christ.”
    “I have a feeling both of Them would be as disgusted with you as I am,” said Superman. “It’s over.”
  • Sibling Triangle: Both Alan and Adam love Kath. Kath finds Adam attractive but she chooses Alan. Adam doesn't take her choice well at all.
  • Single Line of Descent: Lampooned. George Kent scoffs at the notion that Earth people are stupid enough to believe that every Superman has had one single descendant, but Alan argues maintaining the masquerade is necessary for their peace of mind.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Kath chooses Alan over his brother because Alan is sensitive and kind as opposite to Adam who is adventurous but sinister and over-domineering.
  • Space Base: In the twenty-fifth century, the Superman family has relocated the Fortress of Solitude to the asteroid Ceres.
    The Fortress of Solitude that Superman I had maintained had long since been discovered and turned into a museum. The current Fortress was hidden within the asteroid Ceres. Turning on his flight power to hyperlight speed, Alan Kent, the 21st Superman, made the journey in minutes. Once within the great asteroid belt, with the absolute silence and cold of space about him, Alan quickly sought out the huge rock that was his destination.
  • Split Personality: Aelfric develops one. Tragically, his normal personality is the loyal and devoted butler of the latest descendant of the original Batman, but his split persona is a loony criminal who has taken up the "mantle" of the Joker.
  • Start of Darkness: When Adam as Superboy broke a crook's hand smilingly, Klar took him aside, reprimanded him and punished him by giving his brother the Superboy outfit for four months. Adam felt his own father had turned on him and taken his birthright away, and started developing his "I WILL have my way or else" mindset.
  • Stock Superhero Day Jobs: Klar Kent is a semi-retired journalist; his son Alan is an actor; Adam is a businessman.
  • Super Drowning Skills: The descendants of Superman and Supergirl are unable to survive in water because several generations ago the witch Hecate's curse made saltwater lethal to the House of El. Even a seconds-long dip in the ocean would kill them.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: Subverted. Although Supergirls traditionally wear capes, Kath decides against wearing one.
  • Superhero Prevalence Stages: Played with. After five centuries, there're no super-heroes operating other than the heirs of Superman and Batman. Muto and the descendants of the Joker are the only super-villains around. Then Kath reclaims the Supergirl mantle. And a new Green Lantern is appointed. And an Amazon travels to the Man’s World...
  • Superhero Speciation: Played straight with the newborn Justice League. There's a slight overlap due to the presence of two Kryptonians, but the remaining members are a detective, a warrior and a Green Lantern.
  • Superpower Lottery: Alan and Katherine won the lottery due to being descendants of the Kryptonian heroes of the 21st century, living in an age where most of villains have no powers.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Alan Kent and Katherine De Ka'an are descendants of the first Superman and Supergirl}, respectively, and have inherited the full Kryptonian powerset.
  • Super-Senses: As might be expected, Alan and Kath have Kryptonian super-enhanced senses.
  • Super-Strength: The main characters are of Kryptonian descent. And they're based on Pre-Crisis Kryptonians, so their physical strength is completely out of scale.
    There was no thought involved in what she did. Before she could register it, Katherine de Ka’an was out of the cloudbank and into the open air, a barely-perceptible streak flying at hypersonic speed.
    The wall of the sky-high apartment from which the scream came was of the toughest building material available. Before her, it gave like paper.
    The force of her entry and the shock of her impact, as well as the hurtling material and air blast, knocked both the room’s occupants off their feet. Thankfully, the wall fragments shattered into gravel-size nodules and bounced off the two with little harm.
  • Super-Toughness: The whole House of El. Their invulnerability varies after centuries interbreeding with humans and sometimes Amazons. The direct descendants of the first Superman and the original Supergirl are virtually undamageable; their relatives tend to be less tough.
  • Talking in Bed: Alan and Kath as well as Lorile and her boyfriend often talk in bed about their family's internal strife.
  • Techno Babble: This story is rife with sci-fi jargon, what with being set in the 25th century. The opening narration includes a description of the anti-gravitational fields surrounding the buildings as a suicide prevention measure.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Discussed. The Family holds steadfast to the rule. So, when Klar suspects one of his sons murdered a man, he's aghast. Lyra points out the Family killed the Anti-Monitor five centuries ago, and Klar replies he refuses to believe any of his sons couldn’t contain a Terran without killing him.
  • Title Drop: In chapter 17:
    “We think there’s a breakup coming in the Family,” said Fin. “Klar on one side, George, Irinia, Sy, and, yes, Adam on the other. I don’t know when it’s coming, but I’m afraid we’re headed for a confrontation. A very, very great confrontation.”
  • Took a Level in Badass: After being brutally beaten down by Sybilla and learning about the Family rift, Kath decides the world needs Supergirl and takes martial arts classes.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Katherine reads her forebear Kara Zor-El's diaries and correctly deduces Kara's lover Dev-Em was the kind of cute bad boy who many women find charming.
    Eventually Katherine's labors brought her a flatpic of Dev-Em. Unruly ginger-colored hair that spilled across his forehead framing deep brown eyes that danced with mischief and a striking smile that made her shake her rueful head.
    "I'll bet you were a devil, you were," she thought.
  • Two Girls to a Team: The newborn Justice League is made up of five members, two of them female: Supergirl and Wonder Woman.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: At one point, Alan and Kath make love underwater in the middle of the Atlantic.
  • Uneven Hybrid: The descendants of Kal and Kara have been marrying and breeding with humans and even Amazons during twenty generations. As a result of it, each member of the House of El has different strengths and even powers. Hence, Kath's brother getting crippled because he's super-strong but not invulnerable.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Alan Kent and Katherine de Ka'an until Katherine chooses Alan over his brother.
  • The Un-Smile: When Alan and his uncle George argue after Alan's appointment, his uncle smiles... creepily.
    His uncle George, by contrast, was smiling. Uncle George. Good old George... who was always smiling. The quintessence of a reasonable man; forever pointing out the obvious. Good old Uncle George...
    Whose bright smiles never quite seemed to reach the icy depths of his startling blue eyes.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Several generations ago, Lady Hecate put a hex on the Family so exposure to saltwater would kill them.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Adam Kent intends to take over the world because he thinks that is the most efficient way to protect mankind.
  • Who Are You?: In chapter 29, Katherine saves a woman from a rapist, and her rescuee asks who she is.
    Katherine: I will take you to a place of safety, to a police station. Give them this thing he was going to use on you. Tell them about him. If you don’t, he’ll only do this again when he recovers. Do you understand? Give me your word you’ll do this.
    Woman: I’ll, I’ll do it. Who are you? Are you an angel?
    Katherine: No.
    Woman: Then who are you?
    Katherine: Supergirl. Call me Supergirl.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: It happens twice. During his first day as the newest Superman, Alan Kent stops a wife-beater. Later, Katherine saves a woman from her abusive husband, a fact which bolsters her resolution to become a hero.
  • X-Ray Vision: The main characters have this power, being of Kryptonian descent. Sometimes they find it inconvenient, though.
    Stepping into the Common Room, Katherine spied no one. An ominous sign, she thought, but stilled her unease quickly. There was enough to fret over without inventing things, that was certain. She thought to peer about with her x-ray vision, but then reconsidered. More than once, as a young girl learning to use her burgeoning powers, she had found the results of such uninvited intrusion to be—well—highly embarrassing. One of the things that she and her invalid brother Zor could still yet smile and joke about was her inadvertent pubescent sight of his first urgent, fumbling kiss with an equally awkward partner. He kept bumping Marisa's nose and she kept giggling.
  • You Killed My Father: The Joker murdered the current Batman's father. Batman XX wants to bring him to justice, but he suspects he's his butler Aelfric, which obviously complicates matters.

“We think there’s a breakup coming in the Family,” said Fin. “Klar on one side, George, Irinia, Sy, and, yes, Adam on the other. I don’t know when it’s coming, but I’m afraid we’re headed for a confrontation. A very, very great confrontation.”