Superman vs. The Elite
World saved. Humanity lost.
Clark Kent and Lois Lane witness the death of many citizens on the streets by the Atomic Skull, who, through his actions, tried to lure Superman into an encounter. Superman “extinguishes” Atomic Skull after a short but violent struggle. Superman then addresses the United Nations, emphasizing both the futility of lawless violence as well as the greater good found in everyone. Superman’s speech gets interrupted by Pokolistan and Bialya leaders, who blame each other for violating a peace treaty. Superman is forced to intervene. Superman arrives in Bialya to witness the deployment of a Pokolistani-made bio-weapon that attacks and destroys the majority of the Bialyan military units. Superman tries to save the Bialyan soldiers, but the Elite arrive to help him destroy the bio-weapon.
Manchester Black, a British Telepath and Telekinetic with incredible power is the leader of The Elite. Coldcast, an African American man who can produce tremendous amounts of electricity, and Menagerie, a woman who has been symbiotically bonded to a variety of demonic-looking beasts. Hat, a magician, has magical abilities centred around his fedora.
Superman returns from Metropolis to continue his investigation into the Elite and to report on the news. Superman and Lois fly from Metropolis to England to see if the Elite can be trusted. Manchester Black reveals that he acquired his powers in his teens and was able to use them for the first time to rescue his sister Vera. Superman and the Elite arrive to rescue the passengers on a subway train which was underwater after a terrorist attack. Manchester’s attempted interrogation of the terrorists who bombed the train nearly kills Manchester. Superman starts to worry about his newfound friends’ motives.
Clark is back in Metropolis when Lois tells Clark that Manchester’s sister Vera has no birth or death record. Clark is now more curious about the motives of the Elite and their origins. Manchester broadcasts to the entire planet a message informing them that the Elite are going to kill villains. Superman then travels to Bialya to be treated for a Coldcast-generated neutrino pulse. This is an “EMP to organics” that weakens Superman and makes him more vulnerable to the closing Pokolistani forces. Superman, on the brink of unconsciousness, is saved by the Elite, who swiftly intervene to save him. They brutally attack the Pokololistanis and teleport Superman back to their base of operations, a sentient macroorganism called Bunny. Superman’s attempts to convince the Elite to stop killing fall on deaf ears, and he is unceremoniously sent back to Earth.
A convicted Atomic Skull escapes prison to seek revenge on Superman. The Elite challenge him, but they fail to succeed. Superman arrives and coordinates an attack with The Elite to take away Atomic Skull’s excess power. Manchester orders the execution of Atomic Skull, who has been successfully drained of his power by Coldcast. This is at the request of a young boy whose father was one of Atomic Skull’s victims. Superman is already outraged when the Elite inform him that they have killed both the Pokolistani leaders and the Bialyan leaders in order to maintain peace. Superman then punches Manchester in his face. The Elite interpret Superman’s reaction to being a declaration against the world’s “favourite heroes”. They warn Superman that they will make him their next target.
Superman arrives in Metropolis the next day and informs the Elite that Superman is ready to fight the Elite, but not near the civilian population. Bunny sends both sides to the Moon and broadcasts the fight to the world. Superman can withstand and counter the attacks from Coldcast, Menagerie, and Hat. However, Manchester’s telekinetic attack brings him to his knees, which causes a seizure. Coldcast unleashes an enormous blast of electromagnetic energy upon Superman. To those who are watching the battle, it seems that Superman is gone. The Elite are then interrupted by Superman’s disconcerting voice, which states that he is convinced that he must start killing villains, starting with the Elite.
Superman appears in a blurred movement and begins to eliminate the Elite one at a time. First, he injects Menagerie with a poison that causes her symbeasts to abandon her and then leaves her apparently dead. The Hat attempts to exploit Superman’s weakness to magic. He is then suffocated with a super-speed-generated whirlwind and then sucked into a funnel. Manchester teleports the two to Metropolis against Coldcast’s will in order to cover the innocent civilians. Manchester orders them to combine their power to destroy Metropolis, but a superman speeds by and knocks Coldcast into orbit. Superman appears before an ever more desperate Manchester. However, Manchester’s attack fails to hurt the Man of Steel. He is then lobotomized using a combination of Superman’s heat and x-ray vision, and his powers are removed once he finds the source.
Manchester believes his death is only seconds away and tells Superman that the entire world knows he’s no better than them, so he can’t be trusted. Superman discovers that Coldcast and Hat were transported to the Fortress of Solitude in order to be stripped of all their power and taken to a supermax prison. To create the appearance that he had murdered indiscriminately, his Super-Robots were deployed to protect civilians. The people of Earth eventually realized that violence and killing are not compatible with the principles of justice and accepted that Superman’s methods were indeed in the best interest of humanity.