"Superman and the Men of Steel": With the appearance of the self-replicating Terminauts, Metropolis falls into chaos. Additionally, John Corben's metal Steel Soldier armor has fallen under the control of an alien consciousness, who in turn controls the Terminaut
Appearing in "Superman and the Men of Steel"
- Maxwell Minor (Mayor; voice only)
- Metropolis Police Department
- Inspector Blake
- Mr. Tide (Factory For Tomorrow)
- Factory For Tomorrow
- Metal-Zero (experimental warsuit)
Synopsis for "Superman and the Men of Steel"
With the appearance of the self-replicating Terminauts, Metropolis falls into chaos. Additionally, John Corben's metal Steel Soldier armor has fallen under the control of an alien consciousness, who in turn controls the Terminauts. Desperately, Lex Luthor struggles to get out of Corben's way and catch a ride on a military truck, reminding that they'd made a deal to exchange his safety for the Superman.
At the Factory for Tomorrow, Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are now surrounded by an army of Terminauts, who continuously announce that in advance of imminent planetary destruction and the extinction of life, they will preserve all significant artifacts. Seeing the threat, Clark runs off, but his companions are too frightened to follow.
Elsewhere, mechanical engineer and weapons designer John Henry Irons catches a news broadcast warning that robotics plants all over the world are producing Terminauts. Mayor Maxwell Minor appears on screen begging for Superman's help in saving the city.Thinking for a moment, John decides to put on his own prototypical metal suit and help out where Superman cannot.
The robots seem intent on finding Superman, and Clark obliges them, attempting to protect the citizens in the area, despite the robots' seeming disinterest in humanity. Even under these dire circumstances, though, Superman is suddenly surrounded by the police. Superman warns the police to either cuff him or let him save the city, but they don't have a chance to do either, as the robots arrive and begin tossing military tanks in their direction. Worriedly, Superman warns the policemen to get to safety.
Hiding in their car, Lois and Jimmy realize that the people of Metropolis don't appear to be targets. All the Terminauts want is Superman and what they deem to be significant artifacts. Suddenly, John Corben, who has harboured a crush on Lois for years, appears in his horrific metal suit, hoping that his new found super-strength will make her feel about him the way she feels for Superman. Lois tries to calm him, but it is clear that the alien intelligence infecting the suit is preventing him from thinking clearly.
Superman arrives and tries to land a punch, but the results are unexpectedly feeble. Superman is outmatched, and he is thrown onto the nearby bridge where Luthor and the military are making their escape. Lex commands them to turn the truck around and run over Superman while he's down. When a voice announces that dwarf star lensing is being initiated, Lex orders them to get off of the bridge, because something is coming. Having safely escaped the bridge, Lex gets on his phone to his alien contact and demands to know what is happening. He turns to see that the entire neighbourhood of New Troy has been encapsulated in some kind of bubble - and he along with it.
As Corben approaches Superman, he is suddenly attacked by Dr. Irons, who exclaims that he designed the suit Corben is wearing, and he will take it apart. While Irons and Corben are wrestling with each other, Superman has the time to realize that his city has been taken. Lois and Jimmy, meanwhile, discover that they too are within the bubble, preserved for all time - and in one hour, that preservation will be complete and irreversible.
Superman turns to see General Sam Lane, who informs him of Lois' abduction, and hopes that Superman can save her, despite their differences. Superman responds that he has a plan, but that he may need a little help.
Appearing in "Hearts of Steel"
- Metal-Zero (experimental warsuit)
Synopsis for "Hearts of Steel"
John Henry Irons has always been inspired by heroes. He was very much inspired by Richard Feynman, a Nobel-winning physicist. Following Feynman's lead, John Henry built a suit called "Metal-Zero" in order to protect the earth against alien invasion. However, Lex Luthor's influence corrupted the project.
Now, John Henry has donned his own suit in order to fight John Corben, a man who signed up for the Metal-Zero project, but was corrupted by an apparently alien intelligence. John Henry hopes that he can take apart the suit that he created and do some good.
Despite Corben's confidence in his ability to defeat the man who designed his suit, he is surprised when John Henry reveals that two minutes ago, he had already attached a USB flash drive with an auto-loading virus into Corben's suit through an external port meant as a fail-safe. With Corben's motor systems failing, John Henry knocks his opponent back with his hammer, smashing the suit.
With Corben defeated, the alien intelligence in the suit admits defeat for the time being. However, it promises that the earth is already in its possession before teleporting the suit, and John Corben along with it, away.
Despite Superman's appearance in Metropolis, John Henry supposes that maybe the city could use another hero. Maybe that hero could be him.
- This book was first published on December 7, 2011.
- No special notes.
- During Superman's first fight with Terminauts, page 5, he punches a robot with the logo "ONEDAYALION" (one day alien), a joking reference to how quickly these robots were built.
- The entity collecting the "bottled" cities resembles Brainiac's Nano-mechs from the limited series Justice.
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