Superman knew he was too late well before he pulled the car from the crevasse. Lois was dead. He’d gone after the nuclear missile; he had to. One love, however great, isn’t worth millions of lives. He’d done the right thing, but even at super-speed you can’t be everywhere at once. The rightness of his choice was little consolation. As he looked down at her broken body, a brokenness he could barely conceive of, a great sorrow shook his body. She was the one, she was gone. He would always be alone.
Sorrow turned to despair, and despair to howling rage. In fury he took to the sky. He accelerated past sound and light barriers, circling the Earth again and again. His revolutions magnetized the ions of space, pushing back on the earth’s spin. West to east he whipped around, and the Earth began to turn backwards. For the first time since the birth of the solar system, the sun set in the East, as the day reversed itself.
Finally he broke his spin and let the Earth return to its usual course. He came down to where he’d left Lois before his flight. Of course, she was still dead, but at least everything else was as well. His gyration of the earth had set loose massive tidal waves, balkanized the Earth’s crust, and stripped the atmosphere off the planet. Now all was rapidly freezing lava. Superman sat down on the freezing rock that was his home, and began to mourn his lost love.
“That’s better,” he thought.