On the date of Superman's arrival to Earth, the mutant foreseer Irene Adler experienced a vision surrounding Superman's destiny that would significantly change Earth. Adler's prophecy cryptically implies mutantkind's role that will be affected by Superman.
Magneto, Doctor Doom and the followers of Apocalypse, such as Ozymandias and Mesmero, are aware of the prophecy and have their own interpretation. Magneto and Doom misinterpret Adler's prophecy that Superman was meant to lead mutantkind over humankind; the latter wanted his adopted daughter Siryn to be wed to Superman as co-ruler of mutantkind. Ozymandias and Mesmero understand portions of the latter prophecy concerning Apocalypse and his inevitable battle with Superman.
Adler later revealed to Doom of an additional fragment to the prophecy which concerned of seven heroes joining forces with Superman. These individuals (Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Flash, and Martian Manhunter) eventually formed the superhero team, the Justice League.
Adler revealed further information to Mystique in regards to the "Darkness" that Superman will face, and that it would be not one, but four different adversaries that will test the hero in his ultimate challenge, refferring them to "The Warlord" (Apocalypse), "The Tyrant" (Darkseid), "The Machine" (Brainiac) and "The Beast" (unknown so far).
All of you now, from near and from far,
mark well the Child that comes from the Star!
Great power he has, which no man can match,
the dark he will fight, and swiftly dispatch.
Death will fall from the sky, with unquenchable fire,
but the Child will strive on, and shall never tire.
Monsters shall rise, in a world full of hate,
yet the Child will bring light, to challenge this fate.
Another will come, with might equal to he,
but he will still win, in ways we can't see.
And all around him, mutantkind shall unite,
to drive back the dark, in a terrible fight.
And hope shall be gone, as victory seems far,
but hope shall return, with the Child of the Star.
The "Child that comes from the Star" and "Child of the Star" is Superman/Kal-El who possesses "Great power" "which no man can match".
"Death will fall from the sky, with unquenchable fire" refers to Magneto's failed attempt to wipe out humanity by manipulating the M-19 meteor shower towards Earth that was stopped by Superman.
"Monsters shall rise, in a world full of hate" refers to the rise of the Sentinels, and mutants' subsequent exposure. And "yet the Child will bring light, to challenge this fate." refers to Superman and other heroes such as the Justice League and the X-Men fighting the rise of anti-mutant hate and fear.
The "Dark" refers to several adversaries that will test Superman to his limits: Apocalypse ("The Warlord"), the New God Darkseid ("The Tyrant"), Brainiac ("The Machine"), and a fourth unknown entity (only referred to as "The Beast"), and the outcome of the final battle will decide the fate of the world.
Background information Edit
- The prophecy referring to Superman as "The Child of the Star" is a nod to the Smallville live-action series, in which is revealed that his Kryptonian name "Kal-El" means "Star Child". This was also acknowledged in Superman Annual #10 (1984).
- The "Great power" and "which no man can match" could be a nod to the classic line "powers and abilities far beyond mortal men" from The Adventures of Superman radio serial.