"The Age of Wonder: Part 1": Set in the nineteenth-century, the United States celebrates the centennial. Centering the celebration is in Philadelphia's Centennial Exposition, where a youthful Lex Luthor pridefully tells newspaper reporter Lois Lane of his part
- You stand for science and progress... who will stand for justice?
- -- Green Arrow
Appearing in "The Age of Wonder: Part 1"
- League of Science
- Lois Lane
- Jonathan Kent
- Martha Kent
- Thomas Edison
- Nikola Tesla
- Thomas Wayne
- Martha Wayne
- Bruce Wayne
- Green Arrow/Oliver Queen
Synopsis for "The Age of Wonder: Part 1"
Set in the nineteenth-century, the United States celebrates the centennial. Centering the celebration is in Philadelphia's Centennial Exposition, where a youthful Lex Luthor pridefully tells newspaper reporter Lois Lane of his partnership in Thomas Edison's company and how the company's technology will influence the world. Just as Lex could court Lois, she and many other people run outside to see Clark Kent floating in the air while carrying the Torch of the Statue of Liberty (as was order by the President of its delivery from France) for the exposition. Clark introduce himself and tells the amazed onlookers that given that America and the world is expecting a "Age of Wonder", he wants to use his powers to help "speed things up" and see to find the greatest inventor that he could assist. After being confronted by a group of eager inventors, Lois Lane tells Clark that Lex Luthor could opt him to work for Thomas Edison. Before a hesitant Lex could completely answer, Clark too quickly accepts and flies to Edison's compound at Menlo Park.
A week later, Edison is not willing to hire Clark as he has enough workers for his company and doesn't really need much for "grunt-work". However, Clark convince otherwise in which he proves by shaping a palm of sand with his heat-vision into a light bulb.
After Clark molded ten-thousand light-bulbs, his co-worker, Nikola Tesla, complains of Edison's hubris for being the "greatest inventor" given that he takes away Tesla's and others of their contributions and ideas. He then ask Kent that he could have make himself rich with his powers in making his own patents, but Clark honestly reply that he doesn't seek personal fame and fortune. Overhearing this, Lex believes that Clark is playing them with his faithfulness until he realize that he really wants to help people. Annoyed with Clark's "anarchistic" words, Lex states in his view that making inventions is all about business and making money in which Edison supports his belief (though the inventor looks down on Lex). Tesla then talks to Edison of a proposal of utilizing his alternate current (A.C.), but Edison downplay his idea as direct current is more favorable.
Later, Clark helps Tesla with his works and being shocked in the process without any harm. The two are confronted by an excited Lex, who tells Tesla that Edison's rival company, Westinghouse, is willingly to license his work in A.C. current and that Lex also in turn wants a small commission with Tesla. Seeing a chance to leave Edison's "tyranny", Tesla agrees with Lex but on the condition that Clark also work with them.
At Niagara Falls, Clark is constructing Westinghouse's power station while overseen by Luthor. Lois Lane also arrives there and wanting to interview the two, especially Clark. Lex states his change in attitude towards Edison since the Exposition, and gladly accepts himself for working on his own. They are then confronted by a large anxious mob of reporters who wants to see Clark as well. However, their attention on Clark accidentally pushes Lois off of the ledge they are on. Fortunately, Clark catches her. The rescue cause Lois to suggest to Clark of wearing a cape...
At the Kent's residence, Clark adopts his costume as Jonathan Kent reads the newspaper heralding his son as the "Super Man". Though his parents are impressed of their son, Clark wants to know why he have his powers. The Kents, believing that it is time for their son to know, lead Clark to their barn to show his "birthright": a small spaceship.
Much later at Tesla's Pearl Street Workshop, Clark shows to Lex, Tesla and his coworkers, Ted Knight and Barry Allen, his spaceship, and explaining his alien origins from Krypton. He furthermore reveals a holographic projections of Krypton and its destruction. Astonish of Clark's discovery, Lex wants to replicate the Kryptonian technology from Clark's spaceship for profit. Knight is overwhelmed by this and states that the revelation of Krypton would undermine and shatter humanity's belief system of extraterrestrial life. The revelation spurs Lex to accept Knight's theory of not upsetting the "status quo". Though Kent and Barry Allen doesn't care as long if technology, even if it's alien or not, benefits humanity. Supporting Allen's idealism, Tesla announce a celebration which everyone gives a toast to the future.
Another week later in 1893, Tesla and his coworkers works for Lex's established Luthor Company. Ted Knight make headway in creating a gravity rod and is field testing it during a thunderstorm, becoming known as the "Starman" in the process. Knight returns to the others and test his rod's energy on Clark. This unexpectedly ricochet the beam of energy on Barry's experiment, causing the chemical to explode in front of him. His friends hurry to Barry's side but finds him totally unharmed. Barry then gets up and starts cleaning the mess with super-speed, becoming the "Human Flash".
Sometime later, Lois reports to Perry White from a phone booth that Clark and his friends are displaying a public charity by giving away Tesla's latest invention, 'cold lamps' - wireless, cold fusion-powered lamps. But when the stocks of cold lamps are exhausted the people who didn't receive the lamps are jealously upset and causes a riot over the lamps. Though Super Man tries to calm the public without using any of his powers and promise to make more cold lamps, the riot is brutally crush by the police. This incident became the Cold-Lamp Riots.
Luthor is outraged over the riot and criticize Clark and his friends for causing bad publicity. Clark is indifferent towards Lex's concern for money. Lex rebukes and states that "wealth defines society." This frustrated Clark who breaks Lex's desk and swearing that there is another better way for society. Lex sarcastically reply to let him know.
Later at Kent's apartment, he express his regret over being responsible for the riots to Lois. Lois reassuringly tells him that mistakes happen all the time even among great individuals. She then kiss him and telling that there is always another day.
By 1896, Clark is contacted by Captain Hal Jordan to a secret military airbase, called Lot 51 where a mortally wounded Green Lantern alien wants to speak to him. The alien explains to Super Man that he is chosen as his successor to oversee Earth's protection. But Clark is hesitant because he have too many responsibilities as it is. Instead, he suggest Captain Jordan as the next Green Lantern as he possess will and courage. The alien accepts and recites Jordan's dedication for good and explains that the ring will help instruct him in using it before passing away. Burden with his new responsibility as Green Lantern of Earth, Hal give his predecessor a honorary burial outside of the base.
A year later, America has become a flourishing nation as cities peaked with skyscrapers, houses and streets lit up with electrical lights, and zeppelins and planes dominate the skies. Clark host the inauguration of the League of Science at the Olympus Building owned by Thomas Wayne Company to bring a world into a "Age of Wonder." Among the audience, Hal Jordan, being a soldier who had seen human nature on the battle field, doesn't think too well of Clark's optimism and shares common interest with Luthor. During the party, Clark meet with the Waynes and their son Bruce. With his super-hearing, he overhears Lex proposal to Lois to be her husband. But Lois rejects him for Clark because of his kindness that Lex lacks. Enlightened, Clark walks to Lois and gives her a dance while in mid-air.
Within a year, Clark and Lois wed, the League of Science protect society from natural disasters and finding new scientific discoveries, such as building a observatory on the Earth's moon. Meanwhile, Luthor has taken a airship expedition to the Viennese Bohemian mountains for a shipment of mysterious cargo to be brought back to the United States...
In Lex's airship, he and his crew are overcome with an unknown illness and sent out a distress signal. The League, consisting Super Man, Starman and Green Lantern, arrive at the airship and finding some of Lex's crew dead or barely alive. They also discover that the crew are exposed from radiation poisoning from Lex's cargo, which reveals to be radium ores. The three evacuate everyone off the ship and have the ores destroyed much to Lex's extreme dismay.
Due to his radiation exposure, Lex has lost his hair and spent recuperating in a hospital. Lex meets with Nikola Tesla and consult on a project that Tesla is building which involves with nuclear energy. Tesla assure that he will make a prototype within a year before leaving just as Lex is then visited by Clark and Lois. The industrialist is none too please in seeing them and is confirm by Clark that he had overheard what Tesla and Lex had been discussing: they are building a weapon of mass destruction, a Death Ray. Clark explains that he will not allow it to be built. Lex fiercely defends his project, ranting that he only wants to achieve something without the help of supermen. Lois and Clark pressure Lex to abandon his project and be acceptable of what he achieved as much as Kent. This doesn't convince him.
By 1900, the League of Science including Lex meets at the Olympus Building concerning about the manufacture of weapons which this discussion reveals that their charter prohibits weapons based off of their scientific sources. The discussion shift to the use of their powers in military ventures in which Hal Jordan had a previous involvement in a war in Mexico as he utilized his power ring. Hal then argues that what he done prevents both sides from suffering heavy casualties, and that he is still a soldier who is obligated to his country in contrast to his colleagues' "unrealistic" thinking. Though his colleagues still insist that their charter prohibits weapons of war, Hal points out that it was then and that they are living in a world where their inventions only remake wars all over. Hal continues his tirade concerning that America has become an envy of the rest of the world and that they must be prepare for military needs. Clark exhaustively decides to adjourn the meeting and plans his tomorrow with the Wayne family for a tour of their headquarters. After everyone left, Lex talks with Hal as they have "much to discuss."
The next day, the Waynes are walking to the Olympus Building. As they see Clark, a wagon containing a bomb, explodes near the Waynes which heavily damage the Olympus Building's foundations. The League rescue the civilians and Super Man tries to dig survivors out from the debris. He then finds to his horror that only Bruce survive.
After the ambulances and rescue workers help escort the victims and recovering the dead, the League learn from Lois that the bombing was committed by a terrorist group called the Spartans, who are dissatisfied low-class workers posing against corporations.
Supplied with Lois' information, the League head over to the lower east side of New York City and finds the Spartans' headquarters. They find it entirely deserted, knowing that the Spartans may have heard of their arrival. They are then attack by the vigilante known as the Green Arrow who easily defeats both Starman and the Human Flash. The group are soon confronted by a angry mob who pelt Super Man with garbage. Confuse, Super Man ask them why they are doing this in which Green Arrow speaks for the people. He explains that they are mad at the League because they are unfairly paid less, fired for getting a raise or joining a union, and intimidated by strikebeaters and the police, all due for miserably working for the utopia that the League are building. Furthermore, the Spartans are theses kinds of downtrodden people who took violence as a way to "fight back." Arrow finish his criticism to the League that for everything that they have done, they did not even stand for justice. Knowing that the Spartans are on the loose, Arrow promise to the League that he will capture them before disappearing.
Later in the late afternoon, Green Lantern meets with Luthor on his new zeppelin outside of the city's coast. Lex announce that Super Man pose a threat to America and decide "it's time."
That night, Clark talk with Lois in a park of everything that has happened. As Lois discuss about their marriage, they are met by Hal who reports that there is trouble on the moon. Once above the moon, Hal and Clark had been talking on the way concerning Clark's overbearing attitude towards Lex and Tesla's construction of their Death Ray. Clark insist that his view on the matter stays the same. As he turns around, Hal points his power ring at him and remorsefully apologize before shooting Clark into deep space.
On Earth, Hal create a cover story of Clark's absence to the League and Lois that Clark died when he was crushed to death by the gravitational pull of a comet and that his body cannot be recover. Lois emotionally breaks down while comfort by Ted Knight and Barry Allen. Hal demands Lex that they need to talk.
The nation mourn Super Man's death, and the story ends with a distraught Lois lying in her living room as Lex outside knocks on her door to court her.
- No special notes.
- Nikola Tesla's dissatisfaction with Thomas Edison occurs in real life especially over the argument over alternate and direct currents as seen in this issue.
- Tesla is seen very anxious to Lois Lane at the hospital, as he was very shy towards women in real-life.
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