- Your prisons can't hold me. Your weapons can't hurt me.
- -- Superman
Appearing in "Superman in Chains"
Synopsis for "Superman in Chains"
After having been captured by the military, Superman was taken to a government facility, where he is now strapped to a chair and being electrocuted. Dr. Lex Luthor has been conducting torture on Superman, watching from behind a two-way mirror. Suddenly, Doctor John Henry Irons and Sergeant John Corben come to talk with Luthor.
Corben is astonished that Superman is just a "beat-up-looking kid", while Irons is horrified by the torture Superman is being made to endure, and tries to convince Luthor to stop. Luthor refuses, saying that the laws of America apply only to human begins, and that Irons's Steel Soldier project will no longer be relevant once the eventual dissection of Superman provides the U.S. Army with the raw materials it needs to create warrior gods. Angrily, Irons resigns from the army. Luthor is unfazed and continues the torture.
Meanwhile, in another room, a group of soldiers under General Sam Lane's orders, blasts Superman's cape with all manner of artillery, but the cape appears to be as invulnerable as its wearer. The experiment is interrupted by a soldier, who informs the General his daughter has come to visit him.
Outside the facility's gates, Lois Lane tries to convince the guard to let her in. General Lane comes out to meet her, and she shows him all the evidence she could find showing that Superman is a good person. She knows that her father took him to this facility. General Lane, however, declares that Superman does not officially exist and as such, is not officially in the base. He assures her that wherever Superman is, he is safe.
In the torture room, Superman survives another five minutes' exposure to lethal sarin gas. Luthor asks Superman what the word "Krypton" means to him, and Superman replies that it is the 36th noble gas on the periodic table. Unbeknownst to his captors, Superman uses his x-ray vision to look at Luthor through the mirror, and fries all the equipment in the control room using microwaves. Luthor claims that the rocket orbiting earth is an alien weapon, and that he believes Superman is a shape-shifting extra-terrestrial soldier with unbreakable armour and weapons. Superman is puzzled, as he has no knowledge of any rockets near Earth.
Lois keeps trying to convince her father of Superman's nobility, but General Lane ignores her, telling Corben to talk to her. Corben obviously has romantic feelings for Lois, but she brushes him off, determined to get inside.
Superman breaks free from his restraints and begins his escape. A group of soldiers try to shoot him, but the bullets are useless against him. Superman recovers his cape and runs through the base. Suddenly, he hears a Kryptonian voice calling to him. He follows it to a room that contains the rocket that brought him to Earth. As he touches it, he hears words in the Kryptonian language, and he seals it in crystal until he can come back for it.
More soldiers point their guns at him, but Superman overheats their weapons with his heat vision. He then runs to an elevator shaft and climbs to a nearby elevator, knocking unconscious all the soldiers inside. Meanwhile, Lois has stolen Corben's pass key and entered the base. As Lois opens the elevator door with the key, she finds Superman and the unconscious soldiers in the elevator, to her astonishment. He then leaps into the sky, escaping.
Later, a jealous Corben convinces Dr. Emmett Vale to initiate the Steel Soldier project with him as the test subject. The doctor tells him that there are still some flaws with the project, but Corben does not care, saying that he has to stop Superman in order to show Lois what she's missing.
Elsewhere in his limousine, Luthor talks on his phone with his apparent benefactor, wondering who he's been talking to. It is apparent that whomever he is in touch with is housed within a massive, otherworldly space station orbiting the Earth.
- No special notes.
The deformed, dead animal with 6 legs that Luthor claims is Superman's natural state is actually a deformed calf born on the Kent farm and presented to the Army by Johnathan Kent on the night of Kal-El's crash, as shown in Action Comics (Volume 2) #5.
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Links and References
- Superman at Wikipedia.org
- Superman at DC Comics
- Superman Wiki
- Supermanica Homepage
- Superman Homepage
- Superman at TV Tropes