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DC Comics Presents Vol 1 16

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"The De-Volver!": Black Lightning's patrol of the Suicide Slum section of Metropolis brings him aboard the subway where he is witness to a robbery in progress. Getting in the way of the crooks, the hero stops them, but not before shots are fired-hitting a young girl and damaging the controls



Appearing in "The De-Volver!"

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Synopsis for "The De-Volver!"

Black Lightning's patrol of the Suicide Slum section of Metropolis brings him aboard the subway where he is witness to a robbery in progress. Getting in the way of the crooks, the hero stops them, but not before shots are fired-hitting a young girl and damaging the controls of the train. As the train smashes through an overhead bridge and derails, Superman happens to come by and prevent the out of control car from cashing down onto the streets below. With the train safe, Superman has to speed off to his day job as Clark Kent, leaving Black Lightning to pick up the pieces. The wounded girl happens to be one of Black Lightning's students in his civilian guise of Jefferson Pierce and she dies in the hands of another student -- Hugh Bryant, who blames the hero for her death. Leaving the scene, Black Lightning changes back to his civilian guise and remarks about how odd the match up between Trina and Hugh had been, since Trina was a wild girl and Hugh was the quiet type who would study all the time.

Deciding to pay a visit to Hugh to offer his sympathies, Jefferson is attacked by a caveman creature that seems to know his double identity. Stripping down to his costume, Black Lightning manages to fight the creature off by knocking it out a window into the alley below. However, when he goes after it he finds the creature is gone and decides go back to investigate the boy's apartment. He finds it empty with no trace of Hugh, who seemed to have mysteriously vanished. Black Lightning decides to go seek out Superman, unaware that the caveman has been watching him in hiding and is changing shape.

Black Lightning goes to the offices of the Daily Planet to seek out the Man of Steel. When Clark Kent overhears the hero asking for his alter ego, he slips away to change into Superman. Hearing Black Lightning's story, Superman agrees to help and flies both back to Suicide Slum. There they find a giant pterodactyl terrorizing the area. The two heroes clash with it, and knock it out of the sky, but before they can capture it it sinks into the ground. When Superman tries to track it with his x-ray vision, he finds no trace of the creature. Going back to investigate Hugh's apartment, they find a strange alien device and a number of different artifacts, making them realize that Hugh is really an alien creature that is millions of years old and has been using technology to evolve itself into different Earth creatures, and now, for whatever reasons, has been devolving itself into lesser forms.

When Hugh returns, this time in an energy creature form, he begins another rampage through Suicide Slum sending Superman and Black Lightning against him again. No match for the energy creature, the two heroes are helpless as it explains that it was exiled to Earth and would use its technology to transform itself into various dominant creatures over the centuries. Eventually it grew lonely and took on a human guise to find a partner. The creature found it in Trina, however he would blame Black Lightning for allowing her to die. Realizing that the alien was a giant electrical field, Black Lightning would create a countering one of his own, freeing himself and Superman as well as turning Hugh back to his human form. With the battle over, Superman asks Hugh why he never left Earth to return to his home planet. Hugh would explain that the gravity on Earth was too strong for him to escape and so Superman takes Hugh out of Earth's gravity. There he resumes his true form, and thanking Superman, flies off into the stars to return home.



Notes

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Superboy Vol 4 69
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