Superman: Apokolips...Now! is a 1998 TV movie that was originally released as two episodes. It is part of Superman: The Animated Series.
It's a typical Metropolis night, the SCU escorts an armored truck into a heavily guarded building. The truck's cargo is revealed to be laundered money taken by Intergang and compensated by the SCU. Just then, criminals driving a high tech flying tank burst into the building. All attempts to stop the tank are futile. The tank lowers a tentacle and forces energy into Captain Maggie Sawyer's car causing it to explode and badly injuring her. The tank then takes the truck and makes its way out of the building.
Outside, Superman attacks the tank. At first it seems that he will succeed in defeating the tank but they fire a bomb that creates flash strong enough to disorient Superman. They then send out a device that produces a screech so loud, all glass in the city shatters and everyone who hears it is stricken with pain. Superman is also affected by the device and though he manages to destroy it, the criminals get away.
Back at Mannheim's house, he is presented with the money but a bracelet he's wearing starts beeping. He sends his men away and receives a holographic message from Darkseid. Darkseid is angry at Mannheim's petty use of his tank and destroys the money. However, he leaves Mannheim unharmed and tells him that he will one day make him a king.
At a press conference, Dan Turpin insists that they cannot expect Superman to save them every time and the SCU will handle it themselves. Clark notes that the tank looks alien but his claim is dismissed. Just then, a boom tube opens and a helmeted man dressed in red flies in. He approaches Clark and exclaims, "Superman!" Though it seems that Clark has been revealed, the stranger then says, "Must warn Superman." The man then faints.
Later, at S.T.A.R. Labs the man angrily insists that he needs to see Superman. Superman arrives and the man introduces himself as Orion. Orion explains that Darkseid is coming and has his Mother Box explain the origins of Apokolips and New Genesis.
The two worlds were once one, but they split into two: one that is almost pure good, New Genesis, and the other is almost pure evil, Apokolips. The two worlds were locked in eternal war until Darkseid and Highfather exchanged their infant sons. However, Darkseid took this opportunity to search for the Anti-Life Equation and conquers other planets. Now Darkseid is after earth and human agents have Apokoliptian weapons.
Soon after hearing this, Superman and Orion are told that there are hover tanks attacking an Air Force Base. Human aircraft proves to be no match for the tanks but Superman and Orion land on the scene. Superman is captured by one the tanks and is hurt by massive surges of energy flowing through the metal tentacle but Orion saves him. While Superman saves the pilots of the tank, Orion uses his advanced technology to destroy the rest of the tanks.
Elsewhere, Darkseid talks to Mannheim about the battle. He recognizes Orion but decides it to be unimportant. He then says that he's ready to begin phase two of his plan and takes Mannheim to a nuclear power plant.
After the end of the Air Force battle, Orion doesn't seem happy about the battle. He insists that Darkseid will strike again and he knows because he's Darkseid's son. Orion then leaves to report to New Genesis but leaves Superman with a device to signal him for more help.
Back at the power plant, Mannheim and some parademons activate a device to take out the reactor's cooling system. Darkseid then congratulates Mannheim on his success but leaves him to die in the explosion, while dubbing him 'the King of Fools' to complete his earlier promise. Mannheim manages to escape in a motorboat but the explosion does get to him.
Superman witnesses the blast and realizes that Orion was right. The troubles are not yet over.
After the explosion, Earth's sky has turned red. Professor Hamilton explains through a computer simulation that the reactor will melt through the planet until it reaches Earth's core. This will create an explosion that will cover earth with more burn holes, essentially making it into a second Apokolips.
On Apokolips, Kalibak congratulates Darkseid, but the overlord is sure that Superman will still resist him. Kalibak asks for another chance to kill Superman but he is refused. Darkseid summons Steppenwolf and sends him to Earth.
Back on Earth, Superman tries to call Orion but the explosion damaged the device so there is no hope of getting help. Superman heads off to stop the reactor but is intercepted by Steppenwolf. Steppenwolf attacks him with a laser blast from a sword but Superman easily manages to destroy the sword. Steppenwolf then sends his parademons to attack. Superman manages to beat the parademons but is hit by an energy net that forces him to the ground.
Jimmy and Lois arrive and though Lois tries to help Superman, the parademons get to him. They start to pile onto their prey but Superman manages to fight them off. Just then, a missile strikes Steppenwolf's vehicle. Turpin arrives in a helicopter and orders the pilot to fire again. The vehicle is destroyed and Steppenwolf is forced to dive into the ocean. More members of the SCU arrive and fight off the rest of the Parademons. Superman thanks Turpin and heads off to the power plant.
Upon arriving at the power plant, superman drills holes into the ocean floor and fills in an underground cave. When the reactor reaches the water filled cave, it cools and the threat is defeated.
Tired out from his efforts, Superman goes to a cliff to rest. Darkseid approaches Superman and hits him with his Omega Beams. He then offers Superman a chance to join him. Superman refuses.
In Metropolis Plaza, members of the SCU work hard to fight off the endless waves of parademons. Jimmy is nearly killed by a parademon but Turpin saves him. Lois is also in the area but she remains safe until a huge tank-like vehicle drives in. The tank has an interesting headpiece: Superman, broken and restrained. All fighting ceases and Darkseid makes a speech of subjugation to the people of earth.
When Darkseid is done, Turpin opposes him. The people start attacking again and Turpin manages to free Superman. Kalibak attacks Superman but is easily defeated. Superman attempts to fight Darkseid but before they can start, another boom tube opens and several soldiers of New Genesis arrive. Orion tells Darkseid that earth is now under the protection of Highfather and any attack will be a breach of their treaty. Darkseid retreats after a few words but Turpin mocks him. Angered, Darkseid fires his Omega Beams and completely incinerates Turpin. This, in turn, made Superman very angry and he destroys Darkseid's tank.
A funeral is held for Turpin where all of Metropolis attends and a Rabbi sings for him. Superman sadly stands over Turpin's tombstone and says good-bye. He then places his hand on Turpin's tombstone and reads the inscription dubbing Turpin "Earth's Greatest Hero."
- Tim Daly as Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman
- Dana Delany as Lois Lane
- Michael Ironside as Darkseid
- Steve Sandor as Orion
- Joanna Cassidy as Maggie Sawyer
- Joseph Bologna as Dan Turpin
- Bruce Weitz as Bruno "Ugly" Mannheim
- Barbara Perkins as Mother Box
- Victor Brandt as Professor Hamilton
- Laraine Newman as Toby Raynes
- John Garry as Guard
- Steve McGowan as Thug #1
- David Kaufman as Jimmy Olsen
- Michael Dorn as Kalibak
- Sherman Howard as Steppenwolf
- Michael David Donovan as Male Anchor
- Joseph Gole as Rabbi