Dr. Leo Quintum and team are exploring the Sun when they are sabotaged by a booby-trapped genetically enhanced clone, turned into a time-bomb by Lex Luthor. Superman stops the clone but in doing so receives an overdose of solar radiation. Though the radiation is slowly killing him, it does give Superman new powers. Luthor, having orchestrated the death of Superman while under the employment of General Sam Lane, is arrested thanks to Clark Kent's article and sentenced to death. Superman asks Dr. Quintim to keep news of his impending death secret from the public. Wanting to spend as much of his remaining time with Lois Lane, Superman reveals to her that he is Clark Kent. Lois doubts his revelation because she had been unable to prove Superman's "Kent" identity herself. Superman takes her to the Fortress of Solitude. During this visit, Superman's secretive behavior and indirect exposure to alien chemicals heightens Lois's paranoia. She is startled by Robot 7 shooting it and then Superman with a kryptonite laser. The solar radiation has made him immune to green kryptonite, Superman is able to calm her explaining his caginess was to hide her birthday present, a serum granting her superpowers for 24 hours. Now as a Superwoman, she and Superman stop an attack by Subterraneans in Metropolis just as Samson and Atlas arrive. Sampson flirts with Lois and gives her a necklace, the crown jewels of the Ultra-Sphinx. When Superman tells him to back off, he shows Superman a newspaper that reads "Superman Dead" and challenges Superman to contests to win Lois. The Ultra-Sphinx travels through time to reclaim the jewels Samson had stolen, placing Lois between life and death. Superman must answer an unanswerable question to save Lois. Superman then defeats Atlas and Samson in a double arm-wrestling match before spending the rest of the day with Lois as her powers fade. Later, Kent meets Luthor for an exclusive interview at Stryker's Island. However, Superman's energy causes the Parasite to free himself and causes havoc in the prison. Clark stops him while not revealing his secret identity, with Luthor disclosing his respect for Clark as both a journalist and a man. Luthor then reveals a tunnel from his cell for Clark to escape through, aided by Nasthalthia, Luthor's delinquent niece. Luthor choses not to escape as the satisfaction of outliving Superman is rewarding enough. Weeks later, after taking the city of Kandor to a new planet to thrive, Superman returns to find Metropolis has been repaired with Kryptonian architecture, and Earth has been protected by Bar-El and Lilo, lost astronauts from Krypton. They followed the trail of the vessel that brought Superman to earth. To his dismay, the two have less altruistic goals and intend to turn Earth into a new Krypton. As they fight Superman Bar-El and Lilo begin showing signs of illness: the two had passed through the remnants of Krypton and thus were saturated with kryptonite. To save them and at their request, Superman places the two in the Phantom Zone until a cure can be found. After settling his affairs, Superman proceeds to finish his last will and testament. Luthor reprogrammed one of the Fortress' robots to steal the serum he made for Lois' birthday. Having the powers of Superman, Luthors' electricution failed and he escapes, unfettered. He meets with Nasthalthia below one of his lairs to continue his plans. Superman finishes his will when he learns of Luthor's secret ally: Solaris, the tyrant star computer, which betrayed Luthor by tampering with Earth's sun and turned it blue. With his robots, Superman engages Solaris in space. All seems lost until Superman's pet Sun-Eater sacrifices itself to weaken the tyrant star, which allows Superman to destroy Solaris. Clark returns to the Daily Planet, very ill, and dies upon completing his article. As the staff tries to save him, the super-powered Luthor arrives and attempts to kill Lois. Clark revives and fires a gravity gun at Luthor. Superman tells Luthor he has been on to him ever since Robot-7 first malfunctioned. As his powers fade, Luthor briefly sees the world as Superman sees it and weeps as he gains a measure of understanding of the subatomic and how it interconnects. The gravity weapon has warped time causing Luthor's powers to burn out at a faster rate. As his powers drain, Luthor wishes the experience to continue. He believes he can solve the grand unification theory but when he reaches for his next vial of serum, he realizes that Superman has stolen his supply. Superman then destoys the serum. With Superman's body starting to turn into pure energy, he and Lois embrace one final time and he proclaims his love for her once and for all. He flies into the Sun, seemingly sacrificing himself to save the Earth. Lois sits on bench in front of a statue of Supeman, Jimmy invites her to attend a memorial service being held for Superman. Lois does not go as she believes Superman is not dead and will return after he repairs the sun. Quintum visits Luthor in his death row cell. Now enlightened from his ordeal and accepting his impending death, Luthor presents Quintum with the only thing that could redeem him for his actions over the years, a formula to recreate Superman's genetic structure through a healthy human embryo.