"Echoes of Krypton" is the first chapter of The Last Son, Book One: Gatherings. Following the trial and banishment of General Zod to the Phantom Zone, scientist Jor-El finds that the planet Krypton is about to explode and unable to convince the populace of his theory. He and his wife sends his infant son to Earth. There, he is found and raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent.
Years ago, on the distant planet of Krypton, its inhabitants went to war against the Shi'ar Empire that entered their galaxy and invaded their planet. Within six years, the Kryptonians repelled the Shi'ar through their powerful technology thanks to the efforts of General Dru-Zod, the head of the Kryptonian Defense Force, who broke the siege aided by the new weaponry developed by Krypton's most brilliant scientist, Jor-El, Zod's longtime friend. With the Shi'ar defeated, the Shi'ar Emperor Kral'Nor was overthrown and exiled by a group of Shi'ar that opposed the war and the expansion, led by another of the Imperial Family. The New Shi'ar Empire quickly negotiated for peace, ending the war.
However, in his campaign, General Zod is accused for war crimes of destroying Shi'ar warships that were about to surrender. Judged by Krypton's Council of Twelve, of which Jor-El was a part of, Zod justified that his actions were necessary to defending their planet through absolute force and doesn't show any remorse for his actions. Jor-El, despite trying to reason with his friend and shocked by his new-found aggression, agreed with the Council's verdict in sentencing Zod to be exile to the Phantom Zone.
Thereafter, Jor-El shares his findings to the Council which concerns of unusual tectonic shifts within their planet, insisting that Krypton will explode soon. However, the Council are skeptical and turns to Brainiac, Krypton's omniscient central computer created by Jor-El, who dismisses Jor-El's findings and explains that Krypton is only undergoing a planetary shift.
In spite of Brainiac, Jor-El still believes he's right. He goes to Brainiac's central unit and discovers that he is correct, and Brainiac knows it. Brainiac lied so that he could secretly download himself into a satellite and escape the planet's destruction, rather than be ordered to waste time preparing an evacuation plan. According to his programming, the survival of Krypton's knowledge is more important than that of its people. Jor-El, however, stops the download and takes all the knowledge Brainiac had before shutting the A.I. to prevent his escape. But as Jor-El leave, Brainiac had already issued an upload command.
Jor-El returns to his home and warns his wife Lara that Krypton will explode in only a matter of hours. Jor-El quickly makes preparations for his back-up plan: to save his baby son, Kal-El, by sending him off in a small one-person spaceship. Jor-El intends to send his son to Earth where it is orbited around a yellow sun, allowing Kal to have powers beyond the planet's human inhabitants. Lara is upset by this, fearing that her son will be hated and shunned by his powers. Jor-El assures that he won't be alone and that all of Krypton will survive through him and he will teach Earth the lessons that their people had learned. With little choice left, Kal-El's ship is launch moments away as Krypton explodes.
On Earth, at the Xavier Institute, Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr argues about humanity's acceptance of mutants; in which the former believes in coexistence between humans and mutants while the latter strongly believes that humanity will fear and loathe mutants and, inevitably, wage war on mutantkind; in which Lensherr intends to fight it. As Xavier tries to reason with his friend, he suddenly senses something that greatly disturbs him (described as "millions of voices crying in fear and anguish") but it quickly come to pass. Don't know what to make of Xavier's vague discovery, Lensherr immediately ends their discussion and leaves, as Xavier tries to make out of what had occurred.
Ten years later, Kal-El's spaceship reaches Earth's solar system in the midst of a meteor shower that was left over from Krypton's destruction. Irene Adler sees a vision and senses Kal-El's entry to Earth, whom she refers to him as the "Child of the Star". Elsewhere, Xavier and Ororo Munroe observes the completion of Cerebro, a mutant-detection system that allows Xavier to find mutants. As Xavier uses Cerebro, he detects Kal-El's spaceship making its headings over Kansas. Xavier is overwhelmed from using Cerebro and goes unconscious for three hours.
Kal-El's spaceship makes landfall in the outskirts of Smallville. Jonathan and Martha Kent narrowly dodges the falling meteors, and eventually finds the spaceship and adopts its passenger. Martha decides to name the infant foundling "Clark".
Jor-El: How could you? Zod, we are better men than that!
General Zod: But the Shi'ar are not. The only language those barbarians understand is force. Well, I just explained a few things to them. They'll think twice before coming here again.
General Zod: It was war. In war, people die. The only way to win a war is to kill more of them than they kill of you. I will not apologize for winning a war.
Jor-El: You monster! The core is going to explode in less than a day! How could you... You're copying files...downloading... You're saving yourself!
Brainiac: I am saving Krypton. I am downloading all the knowledge of Krypton; all its history, science...everything that is Krypton. I will ensure that Krypton survives. The blast will be too large for all the Kryptonian people to escape; by my actions, Krypton will be preserved.
Professor Xavier: Erik, the times are changing. Violence will never solve anything. Humans hurt you, you hurt them, they hurt you back...it's a cycle, Erik, one that is very hard to stop. Give them a chance.
Erik Lensherr: (sourly) They've had a chance. World War One...then Two...the Holocaust...they've had enough chances, Charles. I don't intend to let history repeat itself.
Professor Xavier: Erik...mankind has changed, grown.
Erik Lensherr: Yes. Into us.
Professor Xavier: It was as if...millions of voices suddenly cried out in horror and pain...and then were suddenly silenced. Erik...something terrible has happened.
- First appearances of Jor-El, General Zod, Brainiac, Lara-El, Kal-El (Superman), Professor Xavier, Erik Lensherr (Magneto), Irene Adler, Storm, Jonathan Kent, and Martha Kent.
- This story adapts from the Superman: The Animated Series episode "The Last Son of Krypton", the 1978 film Superman, and the Smallville episode "Pilot".
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