Appearing in "Bulletproof"
- Lois Lane
- Jimmy Olsen
- Mrs. Nyxly
- Justice League
- Nimrod the Hunter
- Angus Grundig (Dies)
- "Adam, the Forgotten Superman"
- Glen Glenmorgan (mentioned only)
- David Marigold
- Aaron van Dien
- George Taylor
- The Daily Star Building
- Clark Kent's Apartment
- David Marigold's Apartment
- The Interstate, 200 miles from Metropolis
Synopsis for "Bulletproof"
Maxim Zarov has spent his life learning to hunt the world's deadliest game, and now he is on the hunt for Superman. Little is known about where the alien landed years ago, but two farms in Kansas recur in a pattern of early Superman sightings in the Midwest. One of these two is the old Kent Farm, now under the supervision of Mr. Fry since Jonathan Kent passed away. Mr. Fry explains that he was given the farm by Clark Kent, and Zarov is intrigued. He sets his sights on Clark Kent, and begins manhunting in earnest. Suspicious, Mr. Fry calls Clark in Metropolis with a warning.
Clark, meanwhile, has just finished writing an article reporting on the appearance of a little girl's body in Hob's Bay; apparently the victim of an extremely brutal and frenzied attack. Wishing justice to be done, Clark can remain objective no longer, and decides to do something about it. He rushes back to his apartment, grabs one of his Superman T-shirts, and takes a train to the home of David Marigold - an egotistical recluse who has apparently murdered more than one little girl. Marigold is annoyed to have a visitor, and threatens to call the police, slamming the door in Clark's face. Clark has already called the police, and moments later, he crashes through the door as Superman. Though he strongly desires to mete out untold punishments to the man, he leaves Marigold for the police, along with all of the evidence he collected as Clark Kent. All Marigold can manage to splutter is that someone will need to look after his pet hamsters.
Later, Superman attempts, to no avail, to convince the other members of the Justice League to adopt the hamsters. Neither are they especially willing to tackle world issues like poverty in Somalia. The group dynamic is changing, and in these early stages, they're beginning to suss out each other's identities. In any case, Batman argues that they should steer clear of world conflicts, lest they become a gang of authoritarian living-weapons from America. International problems are far more complex than they could understand, and can't be fixed so easily. Flash admits that while he sympathizes with those international issues, he has a family and a life in America, and it would be best - for the time being - to operate within the law, as far as he is concerned. They are not, after all, gods. Frustrated, Superman leaves them, and Batman supposes that one day, they may all have to go after him.
While killing time before an important job interview with Perry White, Clark, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen hang out in Clark's apartment. Lois suggests that her step-niece Susie would be happy to adopt the hamsters. Meanwhile, Jimmy goes through Clark's photo albums, and becomes excited when he spots a photo of Lana Lang in her prom dress. Perhaps a bit jealous, Lois begins asking about Clark's past with Lana, but Clark is distracted by something else. He's been sifting through Lois' Superman scrapbook, which documents some of his earliest appearances. He is surprised to discover news of certain Superman sightings that predate his official appearances. With an hour before Clark's interview, the trio rush to get some lunch, failing to notice that Maxim Zarov has been staking out the apartment from the diner across the street.
On an interstate highway, a trucker stops for a man in a hooded cape with mind control powers. The hooded man introduces himself as Adam, asks to be taken to Metropolis, and says he has returned to Earth to assume control.
Clark is concerned that getting a job at the Daily Planet as a result of his exposé against Glen Glenmorgan constitutes selling out, but Lois' reassurance is cut off when they notice that there seems to be a commotion outside the Daily Star, where Clark had recently been employed. There is a man wandering toward the building as numerous people run away screaming. Scornfully, Lois suggests that his is Clark's cue to run for his life, but this time, he runs toward the danger. The man has a bomb strapped to his chest, and Clark recognizes him as Angus Grundig, an employee of Glenmorgan. The Daily Star put him out of work, so he hopes to take it with him as he takes his own life.
Inside the Daily Star, George Taylor spots Clark outside and attempts to warn him away, just as Clark spots Mr. Taylor and tries to warn him away. His despair at its peak, Grundig releases the detonator's kill switch, and the resulting explosion is felt all the way down the street. Presumably, Clark is caught in the blast.
The next day, Maxim Zarov approaches Mrs Nxyly, Clark Kent's landlord, and introduces himself as a friend of Clark's. Mrs. Nyxly informs him that Clark died in the explosion the day before. Zarov is confused, as he was sure that Kent and Superman are one and the same. Superman, though, does not seem to be dead. To wit, Superman appears behind him and warns against using guns at close-range. Regardless, Zarov tries several weapons, but only manages to injure himself. As Superman prepares to hand Zarov over to the police, he promises to explain Clark Kent's death to Mrs Nxyly later.
Later, in the hospital, Zarov realizes that even he must leave some kind of trail behind. Now he's stuck in a hospital bed. Disguised as a nurse, the small man who suggested he kill Superman in the first place offers Zarov an opportunity. He will provide other-worldly weapons, and allow him a place in the Anti-Superman Army - if only he will make a certain deal.
Appearing in "Absent Friends"
- Superman (Clark Kent) (flashback and main story)
Synopsis for "Absent Friends"
Last winter, Jimmy Olsen had dragged Clark Kent out into the cold and snow to see one of his favourite old sci-fi movies at the Metropolis Theatre. Suddenly, Clark slipped on the ice, and within moments, a van which had lost control on the ice slammed into a telephone pole in front of them. If Clark had not slipped just prior, both he and Jimmy would have been flattened under that van.
Jimmy relates this story over drinks at Swan's Tavern, where newsmen have gathered for years. This time, they have gathered to say goodbye to Clark Kent. Lois Lane remembers how she had first thought of Clark as an insignificant author of human interest puff-pieces, but upon reading his work, she had discovered a certain empathy in his writing that was an extension of who he was.
One day, she and Clark had been having lunch together when a gas main explosion hit nearby, causing significant destruction. While her first instinct was to ask what happened and who was responsible, Clarker's first thought was to help people. Seeing that selflessness, she had felt ashamed. They both wound up on the front page that day - after helping the bystanders. To Lois, it wasn't just that Clark was a good person; it was that he made her a better person, too.
George Taylor remembers Clark as a boy, from when he worked at the Smallville Sentinal. He had got to know Clark better when they worked together on the Daily Star. Unable to top Lois' speech, George leads the assembled in a toast to absent friends, and the caring man who made them care too.
Afterwards, they reporters begin to go their separate ways. Walking home together, Lois and Jimmy miss their friend, and hope that he would have liked what was said about him. From a nearby roof, Superman watches them go, and inwardly regrets his decision to kill Clark off.
- No special notes.
- The "Turtle Man" Jimmy mentions in the second story is a reference to past stories in which he played "Turtle Boy" in a series of pizza commercials, and later when he was transformed into an actual turtle-man, and attempted to fight Darkseid.
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