Superman is the son of the Kryptonians, General Zod and Lara. During a failed coup, Zod fatally drilled into the core of the planet and expedited its destruction, all just to power his military machine. He stormed the lab of his former ally Jor-El and submitted his genetic code to the Incubator Pod he prepared with Lara's egg. The pod receded into a space ship and was launched just before the planet imploded. A boy was conceived as the ship flew through space. After some time, the ship landed on planet Earth in the middle of the Arizona desert. The infant was found and raised by migrant farmers Manuel and Rosa Marie Guerra. They named him Hernan. Rosa Marie believed God brought Hernan to them for a reason that would be revealed in time. Growing up, he observed the ugliness of mankind. As a child, he had to learn how to control his super powers on his own and never viewed himself as a human but as something other. He was plagued by a recurring dream about his incubator pod leaving Krypton just before the planet's destruction.
Guerra would wake up confused and disoriented by the feeling of death around him and that of terror in his soul. Hernan's sister Valentina would hold him. By age seven or eight, Hernan was too proud to admit his fear because to him it was the equivalent of admitting to having a weakness. At night, he was compelled to fly around despite a promise to his parents that he would never use his powers and keep them a secret. When he was ten, Hernan used his powers to save his family and other workers in the fields, when a dust cropper flew overhead and released bug spray. Hernan blew the toxic chemicals away. Manuel Guerra was infuriated he used his powers but Hernan stood by his decision to save everyone's lives. Manuel implied their lives were unimportant because he came to America for the opportunity his children could have to be educated well. Hernan didn't believe his father's idealism and stated they would be slaves. He believed he could give his family a better life with his powers.
Manuel Guerra raised his hand but never hit Hernan, it wasn't in his nature to hit his children and he would have broken his hand. When everyone was asleep, Hernan sneaked into the fields and harvested everything. One fateful day, Hernan coaxed Valentina into climbing a tree to get over her fear of heights. He waived his hand to shake the tree and scare her a little but Valentina fell off and hit the ground. She was paralyzed as a result. Things were not the same between brother and sister since. When Hernan saw Valentina, he saw his own guilt and shame reflected back at him. Plagued by self-doubt, he stopped using his powers and shut himself off from the world around him. Eight years later, while on the road, Manuel stopped the family car and asked Hernan to save an airplane in trouble in the sky. Hernan reminded everyone he promised not to use his powers and let the plane crash. The darkness in Hernan's soul was consuming him piece by piece. Soon, Hernan became a moody bad-tempered young man.
Some nights, he would go into town and wander from bar to bar drinking until dawn. Hernan's superhuman physiology prevented him from getting drunk. One night, he was taunted by others for stealing jobs from "real Americans" but ignored the jeers. However, one of the men, Jack, tossed a glass bottle and hit Hernan in the back. By accident, Hernan shot Jack in the face with his heat vision ability. Hernan ran home and begged his mother for forgiveness. Rosa Marie believed only God could guide him in his destiny but Hernan lashed out and yelled God was a sadist and heartless animal who only delighted in torturing people. Rosa Marie slapped him and promised to pray to the Lady of Guadalupe. A posse led by a sheriff arrived at the migrant camp and demanded Hernan. A tense standoff ended when a stray bullet almost hit Valentine. Hernan had enough and used his super strength to knock the posse off their feet. He picked up a tree and was about to kill them but Valentina threatened to disown him if he didn't spare the men.
The posse ran off but the other migrant workers started to gather. Some viewed Hernan as a savior, others as the Devil. Manuel slipped into a rage and declared Hernan was a curse on their family then demanded he leave. Hernan told everyone he loved them then flew away. For months, Hernan traveled around America and wrote letters infrequently to Valentina. He confessed he became a man he didn't like. Then for years, he traveled across the world where he witnessed the best and worst of humanity. Hernan Guerra saw the worst of things in Africa, journeyed across the Arctic Circle, and developed a taste for the high life in places like Paris and Rome. Hernan was still plagued by self-doubt and still wondered who he was and what was his place in the world. He never used his powers until some time after he would up in Mexico City looking for a sense of cultural history and of belonging. He heard an explosion while inside a bar. Hernan found out a drug lord named Juan Carlos Fuentes had his cartel attack a school in retaliation of a prosecutor's crusade against him.
The prosecutor's daughter and a dozen children, of prominent reporters and politicians, were kidnapped. Hernan didn't want any part of it but he saw the daughter's picture during a news program. She reminded him too much of Valentina. Hernan stormed the cartel's camp at the edge of a jungle a hundred miles outside the city. The armed men there were no match and he freed the children. The daughter was reaffirmed the Lady of Guadalupe sent someone to help. The media dubbed the person with superpowers "Superman" and Guerra accepted it. Hernan Guerra decided to return home. He discovered his adoptive mother, Rosa Marie, had passed away of cancer of the pancreas. Hernan made amends with Maneul then visited with Valentina who settled down with a mechanic and had a child and mortgage to take care of, amidst studying for a G.E.D. as well. Hernan mocked her American dream but Valentina asserted she had faith in it getting better like she had faith he would become the hero she always knew he would be. Valentina admitted she didn't approve of his methods at the cartel's camp but mused a dark world may need a man who understands the darkness in order to make it a better place.
Hernan Guerra took on the codename Superman and confronted Juan Carlos Fuentes in his bedroom. Superman introduced himself and declared he was going to change the world then executed Fuentes with his heat vision. At some point, Superman met Wonder Woman in Greece. They spent a week together but eventually, she tired of his ego. Superman believed they were two of kind and should be together. Superman found Batman one night at a dock with a rat in his mouth. From that point on, they were friends and somewhat kindred spirits. Superman soon made his public debut and had no recticence about the spotlight. He made sure the cameras were focused on him. After Alpert debuted his Forever People, Superman found Wonder Woman in Stonehenge but she wasn't interested in what he had to say and tossed him. Superman mused she would welcome him with open arms next they met and flew away. Superman then intervened in a killing spree at the Metropolis Central Station. He encouraged the Chaos Society to shoot him. After their bullets bounced off him, Superman incinerated them all with his heat vision. He and the survivors emerged from the station.
Superman addressed the press. Lois Lane got her first close up look at him. Lane saw his posture as he hovered above everyone, saw the arrogant gleam in his eyes as he scanned the crowd, and the smug entitlement in his voice as he spoke. So his surprise, Lane spoke from among the crowd and asked where he got the right to act as judge, jury and executioner. Superman invited Lane to look at the mounds of bodies in the station then tell him he was wrong. Scientists, intellectuals, the intelligence community, senators, military, and even the President of the United States, Amanda Waller, voiced concern in the days following the station incident. Waller's national security advisor, Jack, advised her not to ally with nor try to eliminate Superman. Both were political risks that would end badly for her. She would either be devoured by her political enemies or be humiliated in front of the world. All they could do was watch and study him for weaknesses. The advent of the Forever People caught Superman's attention. He sought out Batman in Gotham City but found him in a rabid state.
Superman managed to calm him down by reminding him they both walked a tight rope everyday then gave him a vial of blood. Once Batman was settled, Superman asked him about Jackson Alpert. Batman reminded Superman he was different from these people because the people who raised him were poor, decent, and humble. Superman wanted to know more and flew to the Eternity Institute's global headquarters in Switzerland. He pushed past the perimeter force field and was met by Wonder Woman, Moonrider, Dreamer, and Serifan. Wonder Woman was more than content with teaching him a lesson in humility years in the making but Superman quickly plowed through them. He broke Wonder Woman's wrist and mused it would mend itself in an hour. Rather than continue fighting, Superman admitted he didn't come for a battle and surrendered. Alpert's Holo-Golem appeared and welcomed him in as a friend. Superman was intrigued when Alpert mused the upgrade process would work on him, too.
Despite everything, he still didn't trust the Forever People. As he turned in for the night, Wonder Woman took him to her bedroom to his surprise. He was content with being a sex toy. The next day, Superman agreed to undergo the upgrade. However, he experienced agony. Wonder Woman demanded his release but Alpert mused it was too late. Wonder Woman had enough and broke him out. Superman was in an altered state and lashed out at her. He believed he felt the energy growing in him and flooding his cells. He collapsed. Wonder Woman and Dreamer took him to his room to recuperate. Superman later admitted that was a rare time he felt weak and vulnerable. After four days, Superman regained some of his strength. He sparred with Wonder Woman for an hour and found himself sweating and trembling still. Alpert agreed with Wonder Woman and told Superman the medical team reported he only needed a few more times to fully recover. He also reported Superman's alien physiology was incompatible with his upgrade process.
Alpert then asked both to stay and be teachers for the Forever People. Superman outright refused and declared he had enough of Alpert and the Institute. He was still too weak to leave. In private, Superman admitted there was some truth in Wonder Woman's theory he came to reassert his superiority but still felt something was wrong with Alpert. Wonder Woman took him to meet with Batman, who sneaked into the facility and gathered information for his investigation. They were attacked by Alpert's Never People. Even Superman was no match and all three were rendered unconscious for days. Alpert stole their DNA, incorporated it into his formula and managed to upgrade himself finally. Freed by a repentant Forever, Fastback, they raced to stop the Forever People. Superman went along with Wonder Woman's plan to try and appeal to them first but they were mocked. Superman pounded the ground and initiated battle. Serifan paralyzed both of them but Superman shot him through the head with heat vision. Bear charged after Superman.
The battle between Bear and Superman erupted down into Mumbai. Dozens of civilians were killed and hundred injured. Superman was beaten but Batman arrived with an antidote and put Bear in a comatose state. They flew up to Bear's citadel and came to Wonder Woman's aid. They took the former Forever People to the Eternity Institute to be studied. Superman invited the occupying international task force to study them and Psycho's research all they wanted. Wonder Woman hoped the incident taught mankind to work together to rebuild but Superman wagered they would soon go back to killing each other soon enough. Surprisingly, Luthor agreed but issued the three a warning to take their own advice and leave Earth. Superman was more concerned with Doctor Psycho's missing body. Suddenly, he emerged from the mountain in a newly evolved form and called himself Imperiex. Superman mused they were screwed. Imperiex likened himself to a god and he would bring peace and order to the world.
Superman recalled his late mother's sermons and didn't think Imperiex was a god. He decked Imperiex off the mountain but it was to no avail. Imperiex halted in mid-air and made the three into extensions of his will. They attacked Zurich as Imperiex placed the people under his control. Mother Box later freed them after much effort. Superman inquired if she could free the people of Zurich, too. Mother Box wanted to try but she was crushed to pieces by Imperiex. A Boom Tube suddenly appeared and teleported them to Pripyat. Superman ordered Batman to take Wonder Woman to a safe distance to recover. By himself, Superman was no match for Imperiex. He was frozen in place but broke free and continued his assault in vain. Just as Imperiex was about to stomp Superman, Batman appeared and attacked Imperiex's mind with a fragment of the Mother Box. Eventually, Superman recovered enough to join Wonder Woman in pummeling Imperiex's body and distracting him from Batman. Then together, they used the fragment and Wonder Woman's sword to de-evolve Imperiex.
Jackson Alpert asserted he would be Imperiex again in minutes. Wonder Woman sliced his head off. Superman used his heat vision to destroy Alpert's head and body. The trio was surrounded by three advanced aircraft and were approached by President Waller, Dr. Luthor, and Colonel Trevor. Superman revealed his father raised him to respect the American flag and all it represents so he wouldn't assassinate the President just yet. They relocated to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Superman was shocked and angered to hear they were blamed for Imperiex and the Forever People, and to boot their violent methods. Superman heard enough but Batman interceded and confessed he understood Waller's point. He thought they should be locked underground. Superman countered the people thought they were heroes. Waller played Lois Lane's latest report. Superman listened to her story about her hero and late father, a traveling doctor killed in the Mumbai incident. To her, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were monsters. Superman asked Waller what she was proposing.
The Justice League was formed. Colonel Steve Trevor was their government liaison and Dr. Luthor was their advisor. After Luthor took his leave from the Tower of Justice, Wonder Woman reiterated her hatred of him. Superman didn't think he was worth the energy and chided Batman for worrying so much. He thought the government had a lot to learn if they thought they could control them. At some point, Superman asked the government to return his ship to him. They agreed but under Luthor's suggestion, they swapped the ship's files with damaged fakes so he wouldn't try to emulate his biological father. He believed the cover story that the files were damaged during his trek to Earth. At the height of the Brainiac incident, the White House was unable to reach Superman. Fearing he was at his fortress or off planet, President Waller went ahead with using a nuclear warhead to destroy Brainiac to save the eastern seaboard but sacrificing Metropolis and its people.
Just as the stealth bomber pilot armed the warhead, Superman landed and scratched a message asking for five minutes to deal with the incident. The pilot gave him the thumbs up. Superman flew to Metropolis and landed near Weisinger Square. He resisted the maelstrom generated by Brainiac's powers and made his way to the epicenter, destroying vehicles in his way and ignoring a bus full of trapped people. Superman entered the giant red energy field and discovered a strange child with no idea who he was or how to control his powers. Superman tried to tell him about his own childhood controlling his powers but Brainiac couldn't do the same. Superman offered to stop them. Brainiac stopped crying and understood. He asked Superman to do it. Superman clutched Brainiac's head and killed him with heat vision. Brainiac's powers dissipated and Metropolis was saved. Superman laid Brainiac's body down and exhaled.
Some time later, Superman raided a bunker under the Kasnian embassy with Batman and Wonder Woman. He killed many terrorists with his heat vision. Making their way to an inner room, the League was blasted with an electric wave by Livewire. Superman was brought to his knees but he resisted and slowly walked towards Livewire and deflected the blast. Steve Trevor arrived and was livid. Superman reassured him President Waller would be pleased with the wanted terrorists dead and her stolen files recovered. Back at the Tower of Justice, Superman insisted there were many who wanted the League to take over the world and end war. To bring the world together as one. Superman spoke frankly they needed to start consider options for the inevitable day they could no longer work with the government. Dr. Silas Stone arrived for his appointment with Superman to work on trying to extract files from the space ship he came to Earth in. The next day, Superman surveyed the remains of Stone's lab after one of Will Magnus' droids leveled it.
Despite Trevor's protest, Superman entered the crime scene and found the skeletons of Stone and his son. Batman recalled Superman and Wonder Woman to the Tower. As Batman went over the murders of Victor Fries, Ray Palmer, and Silas Stone, Superman realized they were being framed for the crimes. Batman elected to look into Stone's files. Superman asked Wonder Woman to press Trevor for information on the forensics reports while he went back on one of his long standing rules, invite the press to the Tower. He flew to Lois Lane's office at Planet NWZ and revealed to her that Stone was working for him. He invited to show her what it was. Lane accepted the offer to be the first reporter to the Tower but declined a lift from him. At the Tower, Superman showed off Kryptonian generators and his ship to Lane. He played back what footage could be salvaged, the moment his ship was launched. Superman misinterpreted his father as a hero and savior. Lane questioned if that's how Superman saw himself. She realized this was spin control in lieu of the murders.
Batman encountered the true murderers, three droids, while he eavesdropped on a meeting of scientists who worked together on Project Fair Play. Superman and Wonder Woman came to his aid but all the scientists were slain and the droids used Boom Tubes to escape. Superman realized one of the scientists was still barely alive, Will Magnus. They took Magnus back to the Tower since he was the only witness to their innocence. However, still no closer to solving the mystery at hand, Superman had no choice but go to Luthor for help. He flew to his space ship and learned Fair Play was a secret government program dedicated to creating ways of neutralizing the Justice League. Luthor denied any involvement in framing the League and revealed his life was now focused on mapping out the universe. He admitted he took the original files from Superman's ship, suggested planting fake copies, and built his ship based on Kryptonian science. Superman was irate and stated those files were his legacy. Luthor played the full video and revealed Zod's true nature and who his mother was.
Dr. Luthor revealed he didn't want Superman to emulate his father's idea of trying to take over the planet and the files were with President Waller. Superman left but mused things could have been different between them. Because of Luthor's choices, Superman was as much a creation of Zod's as he was Luthor's. Superman watched in horror as Luthor's ship was blown up. NASA confirmed Superman was the last visitor. Waller sanctioned Fair Play to deal with the League once and for all. Superman and Wonder Woman went out the Tower to speak with Trevor. Superman refused to surrender or turn Magnus over. Trevor fired his gun and wounded Superman. The guns Trevor and his troops had were creations of Fair Play. Capable of emitting red sun radiation like Krypton's sun, the guns could kill Superman. Superman and Wonder Woman fought back against Trevor's forces. However, Superman succombed to the many hits he took. Wonder Woman tried to boom them away but discovered Trevor had her Mother Box neutralized.
Just as Trevor was about to give the order to fire on the duo, Dr. Luthor boomed between them. He was unable to boom past the Tower's shield but monitored it and learned Will Magnus was the real culprit all along and was planning to link everyone's minds into one with nanites. Superman turned his attention to the shield and pummeled it. Batman, restrained inside, got free and dropped the shield. Superman entered and decked the Batdroid before it could kill Batman. Superman fought the three droids and their battle took to the city then underground into a subway station. The droids merged into one and overwhelmed Superman with its constant teleportation. It bashed him into a building, tossed him into a parking lot, and threw a semi-truck into him. As they locked hands, Superman used his X-Ray vision and saw three government made Mother Boxes inside the droid. He used his heat vision and burned the boxes out. Superman punched the droid so hard that shock waves rocked the area. He flew into the droid and took into deep underground.
They arrived in a cavern filled with magma. Superman held the droid under it then ripped its arms off and bashed it until it was destroyed for good. Superman returned to the Tower as Batman and Wonder Woman stopped the Nanite Bomb at the cost of his ship. The core became destabilized. Superman lifted the ship into space and heaved it as it detonated. A week later, Superman proposed reforms to the Justice League. He even proposed no more politics nor killing. Batman was surprised by the idea. They said their goodbyes to Wonder Woman, who decided to return home to settle her past. He understood her wishes but didn't like it. Dr. Luthor arrived to leave with Wonder Woman. Luthor returned the ship's original files to Superman and mused things often got lost in bureaucracies. Luthor revealed Kryptonian sciences had dramatic applications on Earth to several fields like medicine, engineering and physics. He implored Superman to be a real hero and introduce these findings. Superman thanked Luthor. After Wonder Woman and Luthor left, Superman and Batman began on their new 'science project.'