The Complete Kryptonian Epic: The Summaries

Max Landis
8 min readMay 3, 2023

The Kryptonian Epic wasn’t originally conceived as a bunch of insane Youtube videos of a guy yelling. In fact, it was, like Superman: American Alien, conceived as a massive series of comic releases.

Here’s a summary of them, in order.

The story of the #KryptonianEpic begins with a 22-page one shot comic, KRYPTON: ZOD’S MASTERPIECE, the tragic story of how a series of betrayals and blunders led to the catastrophic downfall of an alien utopia.

We pick up that story in the 3-issue Series AQUAMAN: AT THE DEPTHS OF MADNESS, which follows the story of oceanographer Tom Curry’s amazing discoveries, and subsequently the horrible madness that befell him, his family, and Amnesty Bay.

Leaping ahead in time, we are introduced to the protagonist of the epic, Clark Kent, in SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN. Written as a 7 issue limited series, AMERICAN ALIEN is an anthology of stories from Clark’s life, as he grows into adulthood. Though it features major character introductions, with lore tidbits sprinkled throughout, it is ultimately more focused on how Clark Kent becomes who he is, why he comes to feel the ways he feels, and, incidentally, those emotions shape him into becoming the international phenomenon known as SUPERMAN.

FREEZE: TEST RUN technically takes place during American Alien, between issues 6 and 7. Intended as a 90 Page Graphic Novel, it fills out the very different DC Comics world of American Alien, populating it with a host of unlikely characters in startling, and sometimes controversial, new forms. It follows the story of Victor Fries, a disgraced Austrian physicist who makes a deal with sinister billionaire Lex Luthor, and finds himself drawn into a web of lies and murder.

Things spiral gradually further and further out of control, until an unthinkable disaster unfolds that changes the lives of everyone involved and offers the world a terrifying the world into the “Age Of Superheroes.”

Z! The Magical Girl is a 7 issue anthology of 23 page issues, chronicling the upbringing of Zatanna Zatarra, the world’s only magical person. Sometimes blessed, but mostly cursed with a godlike power she can barely control, Zatanna’s stories form a dark mirror of Clark’s, some of them taking the form of lurid fables, charting her growth from naive child to young woman with a deep-seated rage in her heart.

BLUE BEETLE: LOCAL HERO is 120-Page Premium Graphic Novel, set against the backdrop of Gotham City’s terminally corrupt neighbor, Bludhaven. A city in a state of living ruin, Bludhaven’s infrastructure is locked in the death grip of a police department so corrupt that it functions as a mafia of its own. But when bullied, depressed, lonely street cop Ted Kord responds to a call about a bad smell, he makes a shocking discovery. A weapon with which to win back perhaps not only his pride, but his entire city.

SUPERMAN: AGENT OF BATMAN is a 120-Page Premium Graphic Novel. Clark Kent is taken under the tutelage of mysterious billionaire Bruce Wayne, who in his role as “The Batman” promises to turn Clark into a hero worthy of the name “Superman.” Making surprising new friends, and vile new enemies, Clark struggles to live up to Bruce’s expectations…Until an unexpected turn of events makes Clark question everything.

In many ways, SUPERMAN: AGENT OF BATMAN is the “launch point” of the primary story of the epic; reintroducing characters from Z! and Aquaman: ATDOM.

BLUE BEETLE: CRACKS DOWN CRIME is a 120 Page Premium Graphic Novel. We find Ted Kord now essentially running Bludhaven, having used his skills and technology to reconstruct not only the police department, but all emergency services, as well as managing most of the tasks of the corrupt puppet mayor. But his success has drawn the attention of all the wrong people, and Ted soon finds himself pitted against a higher level of enemy…Lest everything he built be destroyed.

THE QUEEN PRINCE is a 120 Page Premium Graphic Novel that hops all over chronologically as it interweaves the stories of two very different, yet deeply connected men: billionaire playboy Oliver Queen, and reclusive accountant Edward Nigma. When the nefarious corporate raider Thaddeus Sivana makes a play to take over Queen Pharmaceuticals, both men will find their lives transformed: Oliver very literally stranded on an island, and Edward trapped into a web of conspiracies and murder that could at any moment be blamed on him. How each man adapts to his situation, and their eventual overlap is a story of greed, forgiveness, growth, hatred, humanity, and insanity.

Worth mentioning here is that THE QUEEN PRINCE highlights two characters who only to this point appeared briefly, and goes back to tell their stories; though it takes place chronologically from roughly AMERICAN ALIEN ISSUE 3 to the end of AGENT OF BATMAN. The epilogue forms a fun dovetail to lead directly into the RIDDLER/SUPERMAN confrontation in Agent Of Batman.

BLUE BEETLE: SAVES THE STREETS! is a 90 Page Premium Graphic Novel, that returns us one last time to Bludhaven, where Ted, after forging an alliance with the now world famous Zatanna Zatarra, presides over what has rapidly become an American Techno-Utopia. Bludhaven has gone from rotten wreck to shimmering city of the future, but Ted’s troubles are far from over; one cannot simply start a state within a state and expect the American Government to stand by, and worse, their eye is being drawn by a malevolent hand…The vicious, seemingly omnipotent oligarch Lex Luthor. A confrontation, it appears, is inevitable.

SUPERMAN: DO-IT-YOURSELF is a 220 Page Premium Graphic Novel, the largest in the entire Kryptonian Epic. As the world changes around him, Clark is pressed into taking proactive action by Lois Lane: the time has come to try to contact the other “superheroes,” and forcefully escape the violent chess game between Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne. For the first time ever, Clark sets out on an adventure of his own: to foster relationships and recruit allies, to actually become the “leader” most civilians already see him as. But Clark’s search for connection will lead him places he never imagined, and reveal jawdropping, horrifying truths about his own mysterious origins.

Really, DO-IT-YOURSELF is built in three parts, collecting all the characters we’ve introduced so far; the first act is about Eddie and Oliver, finishing The Queen Prince, with both men agreeing to honor their friendship to Clark with relative ease.

But in the second act, there’s another dovetail, as the pitch black, “unhappy ending” of BLUE BEETLE: SAVES THE STREETS happens to kick off the second act of DO-IT-YOURSELF, with it being revealed that Ted Kord and Zatanna do indeed survive, being rescued by Clark Kent who dispatches the formerly seemingly unstoppable Suicide Squad, and the godawful scumbag master assassin Floyd Lawton.

The third act functions as a sequel to both AQUAMAN: ATDOM and KRYPTON: ZOD’S MASTERPIECE, and an more formal ushering in of the greater lore of the epic as a growing, dark presence that begins to burn brighter and more dangerously as the story goes on.

THE SOCIETY: TOY-MAN is a 90 Page Premium Graphic Novel, which follows the earth-shaking sequence of events that occurs after a corrupt tech entrepreneur seizes control of Hawaii with what appears to be an army of robots (seriously?). As the world is drawn to the brink of nuclear war, Clark and the heroes of the epic are put to the test for the first time? Can superheroes actually…save the world?

BATMAN: DEATHWISH is an 75 Page Premium Graphic Novel, bringing us back to Gotham to follow a young war vet named Jason Todd, who has taken on the role of The Batman’s apprentice, Robin. But Jason begins to feel that something’s gone deeply wrong with his dark mentor, and begins to investigate the strange secrets of the Caped Crusader, leading to a final series of outcomes that can best be described as ghastly.

SUPERMAN: FOR ALL MANKIND is a 200 Page Premium Graphic Novel. A true ensemble piece, the first half weaves together three stories of characters we’ve briefly seen before in the epic. flashing forward and backward in time. We follow Barry Allen, a rogue genius forced to bend to Luthor’s will, Diana Of Troy, a sensitive warrior tricked into Luthor’s service, and John Constantine, a detective in Luthor’s employ who helps to discover both Zatanna and Diana. The outcome of each story separately leads to a seemingly climactic confrontation between Clark Kent and Lex Luthor…But the story is far from over, as BATMAN: DEATHWISH dovetails directly into the middle of this story and things go fucking crazy.

THE SOCIETY: ENDANGERED SPECIES is a 130 Page Premium Graphic Novel, picking up the lives of the “superheroes” of “The Society” six months after we left them in SUPERMAN: FOR ALL MANKIND, with Bruce Wayne on the run and thought dead, Lex Luthor on house arrest awaiting trial, and Superman’s identity public to the world. Yet as the characters struggle to find equilibrium, a dangling thread from FREEZE: TEST run might just unravel everything.

SUPERMAN: THE STARLIGHT EMPEROR is a 210 Page Premium Graphic Novel, the climactic and final “Superman” story in the epic, wherein the fate of every character is revealed as the legacy of Krypton’s downfall comes crashing home to planet Earth.

…Whatever Happened To The Last Son Of Krypton? is a 75 Page Graphic Novel, that appears to function as a “five years later” epilogue to the story of Clark Kent and The Kryptonian Epic….Until an unexpected guest ruins Thanksgiving, and blood and fire will soak you clean you forgot about me you forgot about me i was one of them i was one of them you wont forget now you wont forget now im taking everything whatever happened whatever happ

Not included in the image below is the true final stories of the epic, one of the first I conceived back when I was thinking up American Alien. I went back and forth on including it in the theoretical omnibus but I decided I quite like what it does and where it goes.

AND:

GREEN LANTERN: OUTBOUND FLIGHT is a 100 Page Premium Graphic Novel, that picks up one year after the events of …Whatever Happened To The Last Son Of Krypton?. When a forgotten alien mercenary reappears after years stranded on our planet, Earth’s Green Lantern is for the first time ever called to duty, and an unlikely group of characters takes on a final, glorious mission into the stars.

So yeah, that’s the Kryptonian Epic. There are a number of one shots, like JOKER’s, and worth mentioning the Martha/Vandal vid is actually a flashback at the BEGINNING of Do-It-Yourself.

The Kryptonian Epic is wild man, and the videos tell the story in a really crazy and wildly overcomplicated kind of way because writing like 6k pages of fan fiction seems insane. Or maybe all of this seems insane. Maybe making multiple near feature length videos presenting an out of order Game Of Thrones scale fan-fic patched together with webcam videos just of a dude talking is insane.

If I am insane, then at least I’m really enjoying myself.

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Max Landis

I am a writer who is pretty tall but not very tall.