SPOILER ALERT: If you have not read SUPERMAN #16 yet and do not wish to know what happens, stop reading this post now (major spoiler alerts ahead!)
From the creative team of writer Scott Lobdell and artist Kenneth Rocafort, SUPERMAN #16 serves as the next chapter of “H’el On Earth,” a crossover event taking place in SUPERMAN, SUPERBOY and SUPERGIRL that unites all of the Super Family for the first time in DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 and puts them into battle with the maniacal alien, H’el, who will stop at nothing to bring back Krypton from extinction … even at the expense of Earth!
In “H’el On Earth,” Superman has come face to face with his worst nightmare: a creature of unknown Kryptonian origin who is not only more powerful than the Man of Steel, but smarter than Supergirl and more lethal than Superboy. H’el claims to be a space explorer sent on a mission by Jor-el (a.k.a. Superman’s dad) to safeguard the accumulated science and culture of Krypton aboard his ship when the destruction of his home planet became imminent. As a result of his intense travels through space, H’el has been transformed and now remains a grotesque version of who he used to be. But when all hope seems lost, he discovers the existence of two lost children of Krypton living on Earth: Superman and Supergirl.
Upon his arrival on Earth, H’el reaches out to ask for Superman and Supergirl’s assistance in the resurrection of their home planet. During their disastrous first meeting, H’el produces a prisoner to prove his knowledge of Krypton and its controversial past — a clone like the ones that nearly destroyed the planet years ago: Superboy!
H’el attempts to kill Superboy in order to gain the trust of Superman and almost succeeds! As Superboy’s life hangs by a thread, the Man of Steel leaves Metropolis and H’el to take him to the Fortress of Solitude. There, he gives Superboy his personal Kryptonian battle armor to help him heal from his injuries.
As Superboy recovers, H’el banishes them from the Fortress of Solitude and takes Supergirl on a tour of the bottle city of Kandor in order to gain her trust and allegiance. Afterwards, he succeeds more than he could ever dream when Supergirl decides to become romantically involved with him! Just in case you missed the beginnings of their blossoming relationship, click here to find out what happened!
With H’el and Supergirl alone in his fortress plotting the resurrection of Krypton, Superman decides that the problem is too big for one hero to handle and calls in some friends: The Justice League! Upon the arrival of the League, Superman and Superboy lead an assault on the Fortress of Solitude.
After being thrown through alternate dimensions and witnessing the full array of power at H’el’s disposal, Superman and his allies finally gain entrance to the fortress … but it’s too late! H’el’s plan has been set into motion and a power unlike any other is unleashed upon the planet. It seems like the end for everyone on Earth – and a new beginning for Krypton!
Meanwhile in the far reaches of space, a powerful entity awakens: The Oracle. He serves one purpose and one purpose only: to bear witness to the end of a world. Could this really the end for Earth? And can Krypton really be brought back from extinction? Place your bets in the comments section!