Source: Empire #0-6 (2003-2004)
Type: AnalogIn Irredeemable, Mark Waid asked "What if Superman snapped under the pressures of his super-responsibilities?" and we all went oooh, ahhh, Mark Waid can be EDGY! Of course, those of us who did forgot about his Empire series from a few years back, a just-as-edgy (and long overdue for a sequel) story in which he and artist Barry Kitson asked "What if the supervillains really did take over the world?" When Empire starts, the villains have already won and are finishing off the few remaining countries who haven't yet folded. You know, political juggernauts like New Zealand, Vietnam and Greenland. The heroes are already dead, and the symbol of this victory is the much-advertised death of Endymion, the world's greatest hero. We get no "origin story" for any superhuman in Empire, so how do I know he's a Superman analog? Well, 1) he's got the look, 2) in flashbacks, we see his powers are very much Superman's, and 3) he's seen with a team of heroes, one of which is a dead (quite dead) ringer for Batman.
And like OUR Superman, he didn't really die that time. Nope. Supervillain emperor Golgoth has him in the basement where his blood is being packaged into a super-drug that gives Golgoth's lieutenants triple their powers and a fierce addiction to staying faithful to the Empire.
Remember, superheroes... This is your brain:
This is your brain on Endymion:
So whether its street name is Eucharist, Speeding Bullets or Kryptonite Bites, DON'T DO IT!
This has been an SBG PSA.