“We interrupt this program to bring you a shocking story. What appears to be space ship is descending just outside of Metrop…”
“Clark?” Lois calls over the television.
“I heard it,” Superman replies, his towering figure now filling out the doorway to the living room.
Lois looks over her shoulder, “Why can’t we have a Saturday to ourselves like normal people?”
The news reporter continues, “It now looks as though the ship is opening up, and there is something coming from beneath it.”
“I should get dressed,” Superman grumbles as he heads back for the bedroom.
With his telescopic vision Superman inspects the uninvited visitor before landing nearby. He is surprised to see an armored purple alien sitting atop a floating throne.
“Hello.” The visitor remains silent. “Not exactly what I expected to come out of that starship,” Superman quips with a half smirk. The intruder gives no sign of recognition. “Can you understand me?”
The alien narrows his eyes. “You are the one called Superman, are you not?”
“I am.” Clark is taken aback.
“I am Thanos. I am not of this universe.” The alien continues with fierce tone. “I have sailed across galaxies and through dimensions to find you.”
“I’ve heard that before.” Clark raises one eyebrow slightly. “What do want with me?”
“You are the champion of this world and it’s people. They look to you for guidance and leadership.” Thanos is beginning to grin. “Today you have the privilege of leading all of them into the afterlife.”
“Excuse me?” Superman snaps while furrowing his eyebrows.
“I am going to destroy you,” Thanos continues while rising from his throne, “then I am going to destroy your planet.”
“I’ve heard that before too,” Superman mutters through gritted teeth while clinching his fists. “Don't count on it being easy.”
Thanos now fully smiling retorts, “I hope as much.”
With that Thanos leaps toward Superman with speed and agility belying his brute mass. A straight punch too the chest hurls Superman backward with a sound like thunder cracking. Clark floats to a halt over a football field’s length away; now he begins to understand the capability of his adversary. After a brief pause to gain his composure Superman returns fire. With an even louder boom he breaks the sound barrier from a standstill bringing to bear a savage right hook. But his aggressor is more than ready, and the punch misses it’s mark. While parrying the blow Thanos delivers a tremendous uppercut to the Man of Steel’s chin sending him flying hundred’s of feet into the air.
Thanos, seemingly unable to keep from smiling, leaps high into the air, closing the distance between the two fighters. Both fists now stretched above his head, Thanos brings them down like sledgehammers with a FWAP! Superman is hurled straight down where he meets the Earth’s surface with a tremendous THUD! Thanos lands nearby and walks toward the dust filled crater where Superman touched down. “Impressive, Son of Krypton.” Thanos is now in a gloating mood. “Your fighting is elementary, but you certainly can take a beating. I might even break a sweat before you die.”
Superman bounds from the cloud of dust toward Thanos, hands open and ready to grapple. Thanos leans into his opponent and catches his hands. Superman’s momentum forces the Mad Titan backwards, grinding his feet through the dirt. Both of them crushing each other’s hands with immeasurable force, they each struggle to gain the upper hand. Superman’s eyes glow like burning embers, and he sends blazing heat beams into Thanos’ face. The tactful maneuver only serves to agitate the Mad Titan, and he answers with a colossal head but. Their two skulls collide, and the Man of Steel is battered to the ground. But he immediately rebounds with a swift uppercut. BAM!
Thanos is flung into the air and met with another strike to his side, and another to his back, and still another to his face. Superman punches Thanos further from the ground with each strike until…
“ENOUGH!!!!!” Both of Thanos’ hands glow white hot with energy, and he extends his arms towards Kal-El. KRAK! The energy beams strike Superman with concussive force and blast him out of sight. Thanos lands on the earth and scans the horizon for his adversary. He has lost the desire to smile.
From a great distance the sound barrier is broken again. Before Thanos hears the sound Superman crashes into his waist and the two are airborne. Superman, flying with the Mad Titan on his shoulder, aims for the nearest hillside. But before they arrive Thanos elbows Superman square in the back and the two are separated. They both hit the ground, and eventually roll to a stop.
Superman comes to his feet, and launches again at his enemy. Thanos sees the right hook coming and does nothing to avoid it. As the punch is about to connect to the Titan’s left cheek he uses the split second to make his move. He takes the hit that could crumble mountains like it was nothing, and seizes his opportunity… literally. At the exact instant the Superman delivers the hit, Thanos grabs him by the neck with both hands. The punch twists his head to one side, but it returns unscathed.
“You have learned nothing, Kryptonian,” Thanos growls through clenched teeth. His face is now trembling with adrenalin. “You can not win.” Superman struggles to break the grip from his throat while Thanos continues. “I can not be killed.” Thanos’ eyes narrow. “Death evades me.” His hands glow white. “For I… am… ETERNITY!”
The energy blasts from Thanos’ hands fling Superman like a rocket leaving the Earth’s atmosphere. He travels well over 20 miles before striking the ground with a resounding THOOOOM!
Thanos resumes his place on his throne and flies to where Superman landed. The Mad Titan rises from his seat and approaches the prone hero. Believing Superman to be unconscious, Thanos states rhetorically, “Well done. You meet your end with honor. No doubt your dead race would be proud.”
Superman coughs. His eyes blink open and shut. He struggles to sit up. “More?” Thanos is entertained at the thought. “Was that not enough?” He expected no answer. Superman is now coming to his feet. “You learn nothing, Kryptonian. I can not die.”
Superman’s ragged suit and bruised face do little to hide the righteous fury welling beneath. His piercing gaze locks onto his foe. “I learned something far more important.”
“Really?” Thanos finds himself even more entertained, his tone sounding almost comical. “Enlighten me, Kryptonian.”
Superman slowly reveals a grin before saying, “You can’t fly.”
With a scream that could level buildings, Superman unleashes all the solar energy his body can hold. The heat beams from his eyes are so powerful that they are terrifying even to the Man of Steel. But the blistering inferno is not directed at Thanos. Superman is sending a column of fire at the throne. In an instant Thanos understands how greatly he was tricked.
“STOP!” Thanos throws beams of energy from his hands at the Man of Steel, but it is too late. The throne explodes just as Thanos’ energy beams connect with Superman’s chest, and both of them are blown away by the detonation.
Thanos recovers just in time to realize, “The Sanctuary!”
Superman is already there. There is nothing Thanos can do to stop him from hastily dismantling the spaceship.
“NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!” Thanos turns to see his star ship explode in sequence. He knows the sound of the reserve batteries igniting, munitions detonating, beams snapping… The reactor overloads to beyond critical and breaches the hull.
The rage of oblivion fills Thanos’ empty eyes, and his soul floods with more hate than the whole universe should contain. Like the most vicious predator in all existence, cruel, sadistic, and bloodthirsty, he roars at the heavens above. “GRRRAAAAAAA!!!!!”
FWAK! Superman interrupts the cry of hatred with a strike to the chest. He pummels the Mad Titan off his feet with a 5 ton steel beam. BOW! Another hit launches Thanos into the clouds. WHAP! Still another puts him into orbit.
Superman throws away the beam and goes to work with his fists. The two warriors trade punches in outer space traveling farther and farther from Earth. They exchange blows past the edge of the solar system and beyond. Thanos is able to counter and punch back, but he is unable to change course or speed. Superman takes his share of the hits, but he is able to determine the direction the two travel.
“What now?!?!” Thanos is able to communicate telepathically. “Do we fight in zero gravity for eternity?”
“No.” Superman stops punching. The two float along, traveling at a magnificent speed but meeting no resistance. “We're almost there.”
Thanos looks over his shoulder.
A hole in space.
Black where there should be stars.
“You will pay for this.” Thanos aims his scowl at the Man of Steel. “I will destroy you and everything you love. I will end you.”
Superman delivers the final blow in complete silence to the Mad Titan’s chest. Thanos tumbles toward the darkness. “You will burn for etern…”
Thanos disappears in the black hole. Even his telepathic properties are consumed in the void.
Superman gazes for a while at the darkness.
Some time later something green approaches. Superman smiles. He is engulfed in a green sphere.
“You know… I’d love to help out, but you can’t seem to remember that no one flies as fast as you.”
“It’s the thought that counts, Hal.”
Green Lantern looks inquisitively at the black hole. “Is he dead?”
“How can you be sure?”
Superman takes on a darker tone, “His eyes.”
“Come again?” Hal raises one eyebrow.
“Before I hit him the last time I looked in his eyes. There was no fear… only rage.” Superman now deep in thought remembers every moment of the fight. “I don’t know what his source of power is, but it’s vast… like nothing you or I have ever seen. He said he can’t die, and I believe him. He is very much alive.”
Green Lantern asks without wanting to hear the answer, “You think he’ll come back?”
“I’m certain he will.” Superman doesn’t like the answer either. “But we’ll be ready."