Source: Adventures of Superman Annual #8 (1996)
Type: Alternate futureThis is the story of how the legacies of two dead worlds saved a third...
Back in the Man of Steel mini-series, John Byrne wrote a scene in which Superman was visited by a hologram of Jor-El who infodumped all sorts of Kryptonian knowledge into his head. In the far future, when Earth is as dead as Krypton, the Coluan Xurl Dox, a student of Earth's heroic tradition, inaugurates a clod of dirt from that lost planet. While he explains its symbolic importance, the brutal Sarkons attack to get themselves some Coluan slaves. In the melee, one of the Sarkons' Curatti slaves (a slave race that lives on the Sarkon homeworld in chains after a failed attempted to invade that planet in the distant past) activates the Jor-El hologram by accident. Trippy!
Willigig is left with extensive knowledge of Kryptonian language, arts and sciences, and the peculiar delusion that he is the Last Son of Krypton. Keeping a secret identity as a simple slave, he builds himself or borrows a rocketpack and heat vision goggles and wages covert war on the Sarkons. Well, covert... They recognize him immediately, but that's not really important. Was is important is that with Dox's help, he learns that he's not really a Kryptonian, but also that the Curatti were never invaders. The Sarkons have co-opted their history to keep them subjugated. THEY'RE the aliens here. Willigig lights up the sky with the truth and in the best Superman fashion, gives up his life in the process. But it's worth it as his people rebel against the Sarkons and expel them from their planet. Curatti he may have been, but he will always be remembered by his people as Superman!
You know, Tom Peyer's story (as drawn by Derec Aucoin and Mike Collins) really gets to the heart of what Superman is all about. The best Dead Earth Annuals should be collected sometime. They make good reading.