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Tear Jerker / The Black Ring

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  • The finale. Lex Luthor, having gained the power of a god [the Zone Child to be exact] decides it's time to finally kill Superman and summons him into space for a final showdown, during which he learns that Superman is Clark Kent... and promptly LOSES IT, raging at the perceived injustice that Superman got to have parents like the Kents, while he had a scumbag like Lionel for a father. In the end, he has the choice to bring peace and happiness to the universe FOREVER... or kill Superman. And he just can't do it. He finally loses his mind as he realizes everything he's lost, not even knowing his own name.
    • It's not just that. Luthor, with the power of a god, decides to torment Superman with visions of loss, as he believes that Superman is so alien that he couldn't understand the concept. First he shows Superman how much pain the citizens of Metropolis felt when he was murdered by Doomsday, then showing his birth parents' final moments on a dying Krypton, then his loss of the person he called his son, Chris Kent (Lor-Zod) as he threw himself into the Phantom Zone to stop his bastard of a father General Zod and finally the destruction of New Krypton. Yelling at Luthor to materialize the most painful loss in his life, Luthor then shows the death of Jonathan Kent in Clark and Martha's arms. The realization that dawns upon Luthor is surprisingly painful.
    • It gets worse. There wasn't even a choice. Mister Mind /Android!Lois made it clear that the Zone Child's power would be self-limiting in such a manner as to prevent Lex from killing Superman. He knew in advance that attempting to kill Superman with his newfound powers would not work, but he was just so blinded at the prospect of revenge that he took the shot anyway... and with it, killed any chance of him using the Zone Child's powers to make the perfect world he ostensibly desired.
    • The absolutely heart rending moment when Lex has to make the decision to either keep unlimited power and bring joy and happiness to everyone in existence or try to destroy Superman and lose everything for himself and everyone else. He thinks hard, turns away, closes his eyes, and then his pupils turn red slightly before making his decision. The look on his face was one of absolute despair because he knew what his choice would be but tried so hard to fight it. He wanted to let go of his pain and resentment. He knew it was holding him back and on an intellectual level, at least, knew that throwing away infinite power along with becoming the savior of the universe for a shot at killing Superman was a foolish and insane decision. And he still did it anyway. He just couldn't let go of his pain, his hate, or his pride. He knew it was possibly his last chance and he knew he was going to throw it away.
    • Superman BEGGING Lex to not give in. He apologizes for every wrong Lex feels he made. Pleads with him to be BETTER than Superman. He is willing to submit if it means peace in the universe. And Lex... still sees it as Superman holding himself as better than him
  • In a certain way, even Grodd is pitiful. When Luthor's bliss reaches him, he's paralyzed by it, wondering if he's ill. He's never experienced real happiness before.
  • Another tearjerker occurs during the same sequence when the effect of Luthor's powers are seen on people all over the world. Batman is smiling. Why is this tearjerking? Because the narration says that this happiness is strange for him...and because Luthor took away the possibility of making it permanent rather than end his vendetta against Superman.
  • The most crushing scene, however, might be the Joker's deranged cackle. Earlier, Luthor had gone to his cell to collect one of the black orbs; by briefly touching one, the clown had a vision of what was to come, and implored Luthor to "make the right choice". As Luthor's bliss wave loses its effect, the Joker mirthfully thanks Lex - as far as he's concerned, abandoning Paradise for the pettiest of reasons and dooming everyone to sorrow and hate for the pleasure of killing Superman is the right choice.