DC’s Superman isn’t known for keeping trophies of his enemies, but in the Elseworlds story Kingdom Come, he does keep one peculiar keepsake.
Batman may be the DC character best known for keeping trophies of his past victories in his Batcave, but Superman keeps at least one trophy of his own, as seen in the Elseworlds comic Kingdom Come. In it, the Man of Steel admitted to commemorating one of his victories in a very peculiar way when it’s revealed what he’s done with his longtime foe Brainiac.
Clark Kent has numerous enemies, but few are as dangerous as Brainiac. He is an android that collects the knowledge of worlds, as well as worlds themselves. While Brainiac does not make an official appearance in Kingdom Come, he does get a peculiar mention in this miniseries from 1996.
Created by Mark Waid, Alex Ross, and Todd Klein, Kingdom Come is the story of a future DC world in which the classic heroes have gone into semi-retirement and younger heroes run rampant. The spirit of heroism has been lost and humanity is in danger as a result. After deciding to return to the world of man, Superman spends some time with Wonder Woman in space. The two trade stories and the Man of Steel reveals the peculiar whereabouts of his old enemy Brainiac. The supervillain is in several pieces, which are spread about in different places, including Clark Kent’s apartment.
Superman isn’t typically a man known for keeping trophies of villains he has fought, but Clark Kent is known for being a top-notch reporter. In fact, he is so good, that he actually won a Pulitzer Prize. Unexpectedly, he’s turned this prestigious award into a prison for his foe as Brainiac’s circuitry is being kept within the Pulitzer. Superman may not be a hero out of a desire for glory, but he isn’t beyond turning one relatively normal trophy into an even more impressive one. Based on his character, Superman’s placement of Brainiac is likely a practical decision. The easiest way to keep an eye on a dangerous enemy is to keep them nearby. It’s Clark keeping his friends close and his enemies literally closer.
However, this could also be a reminder that Superman provides himself regarding responsibility. He is used to maintaining two identities, though both have major responsibilities when it comes to mankind. Superman has the most obvious responsibility to save the day and protect the universe from dangerous threats. As Clark Kent, and as a reporter, he also has a responsibility to be an honest and informative journalist.
Clark has to keep the best interest of his community, and the world, in mind when working in either of his roles. Combining his Pulitzer with the circuitry of Brainiac, he blends both of his identities, accomplishments, and responsibilities into one. Superman may not be the kind of hero who requires trophies to feel accomplished, but stopping his greatest enemy for so long and entrapping – at least part of – him in his prize, gives the Pulitzer a whole new significance.
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