On Apokolips, the hellish world ruled over by the monstrous Darkseid, Desaad, Darkseid's chief scientist, appears to be viewing a park in Metropolis on his computer console. Lois Lane is jogging through that same park as a giant metal orb lands near by. A large mechanical tentacle comes out of the orb and begins to cause havoc, and Lois calls the Daily Planet on her cell phone to relate the events of the story.
At the Planet, Clark Kent is telling Jimmy Olsen that his parents are coming to town for Father's Day. While Jimmy is talking, Clark's super-hearing picks up Lois's voice over the phone, telling someone about the danger in the park. When Desaad sees Superman flying to intercept his machine, he begins controlling it directly, and uses the metal arm to capture Lois. Superman manages to tear the arm apart to free her, but has a rather difficult time fighting the orb, as it is rather powerful, and has many weapons and defenses built in, but finally manages to gain the upper hand. Darkseid appears behind Desaad and tells him the fight is over, and to activate the orb's self destruct system. Superman realizes that the orb is reaching critical mass and carries it into the sky, so the explosion won't harm anyone.
Desaad claims that this machine's purpose was only to test the limits of Superman's strengths, and that now he is ready to use that information to build his ultimate weapon. Darkseid says that was his ultimate weapon, and that he is relieved of duty for now. Bruno Mannheim, former head of Intergang, who has been trapped on Apokolips since the episode "Tools of the Trade," asks to be returned to Earth to apply what he's learned against Superman, he is denied. A very large man-beast named Kalibak also asks for the chance to kill Superman, but he too is refused by Darkseid, who says that his plans for Superman and the Earth are too important to be entrusted with one such as him. As Kalibak leaves, Mannheim asks Desaad why Darkseid would put up with Kalibak. Darkseid himself answers that he will not be second-guessed by Mannheim, and teleports the former crime boss to the Fire Pits as slave labor.
Later Desaad approaches Kalibak alone, and offers to send him to Earth to defeat Superman. Kalibak recognizes that Desaad only wants to cover his own failure. But Desaad replies that if Kalibak should succeed against the Man of Steel, Darkseid would finally have to acknowledge the brute as his true son. The temptation of his father's approval is too much for Kalibak, and he allows Desaad to Boom Tube him to the Earth.
At the Daily Planet, Clark's adoptive parents Jonathan and Martha Kent finally meet Lois Lane. They say that they have heard so much about her from Clark that they feel like she is family, much to Clark's embarrassment and Lois's amusement, and invite her to lunch. She accepts, and when Clark is called into Perry's office, she and the Kents leave ahead of him. Lois assures Martha that Perry is not angry with Clark, and that he yells at everyone that way.
Kalibak arrives on the Earth. And as luck would have it, the first place he goes is the restaurant where Lois and the Kents are eating. There he asks the host if it's true that Superman has been seen in this part of town. When the host confirms this, Kalibak begins wrecking the place. Everyone manages to escape except Jonathan, who is trapped under some falling debris. Superman arrives and Lois tells him about Mr. Kent, while Martha tells him to be careful. Before Superman can help his father, Kalibak strikes! Superman tries to reason with the brute, asking him to let him help the innocent man who has been trapped. Kalibak sneers at Superman's naivety, saying that on Apokolips they are taught as children that no one is "innocent," that everything must kill something to survive. Just like Kalibak claims he must kill Superman in order to survive.
Back on Apokolips, Desaad watches the fight on his view screen and when Darkseid appears, claims that he has no idea where Kalibak got the idea to disobey his father and take on Superman. Darkseid states that Kalibak being his son is simply an accident of his birth, and that as far as he and Fate are concerned, the great Darkseid has no son.
Meanwhile, Superman and Kalibak's fight has lead them into the subway station. Kalibak is shocked when he steps on a rail and Superman uses the distraction to go back to help his father. But Kalibak recovers quickly and, hearing his father's voice in his head saying that this mission is too important to be entrusted to him, goes berserk on Superman. Kalibak screams about his father, which reminds Superman that his may be dying not far away. Superman becomes angry as well, blocking all of Kalibak's thunderous blows and landing a few of his own in the process, throwing his opponent high into the sky. Superman manages to save Jonathan, who asks if this counts as his Father's Day gift, before flying off after Kalibak. Lois says that no matter how many times she sees that, she never gets tired of it. Jonathan agrees.
Kalibak finally lands in the park, miles away. As he struggles to his feet, a Boom Tube opens and Darkseid arrives. Kalibak says he only wanted to please his father by destroying Superman for him, and Darkseid asks if he has fulfilled this mission. Kalibak says that he underestimated Superman's strength and Darkseid's eyes flare up with energy that is unleashed on Kalibak, seemingly disintegrating him. Superman arrives and asks Darkseid who he is and what did he just do to Kalibak. Darkseid smiles and fires the same energy at Superman. But Superman not only survives the attack, he actually advances on Darkseid, forcing the despot to turn up the intensity of his blasts, finally forcing Superman to his knees. "That is who I am. And when the time comes, you and this primitive planet will swear allegiance to Darkseid. Or you will be destroyed." Superman climbs to his feet as Darkseid exits, leaving the Man of Steel to wonder what just happened here.
Back on Apokolips, Desaad asks Darkseid why he let Superman live. Darkseid claims that it will take more than one stroke to defeat Superman, but that it can be done. Desaad then asks about Kalibak, who Darkseid calls a casualty of war. Desaad asks how many more casualties will there be before Darkseid conquers the Earth. The response is cryptic, "As many as it takes...."