Southside, known better by it's occupants as Suicide Slum, is a neighborhood in Metropolis that has been known to have a much higher rate of crime than the rest of the city. It is a down market area that many who can not afford the apartments and penthouses of the main city live, the property prices of the Slums being lower due to the corruption.
Suicide Slums has been, at various times, the stomping ground of several superheroes, including the Guardian (who protected the Newsboy Legion) and Black Lightning. The human personification of the New God, Black Racer, lied paralyzed in a hospital located in the Slums, which is also where he was eventually murdered. Darkseid's lackey, Sleez, operated here for a time, until he was slain. It is also the home of Jose Delgado, a schoolteacher who is also a masked vigilante Gangbuster.
Suicide Slum is also the site of The Ace O' Clubs, a bar owned by Superman supporter Bibbo Bibbowski.
Suicide Slum was reputed as a lost cause that many Metropolis residents believe not even Superman can do anything about. When she was a child, Lateesha Johnson witnessed a local gang murder a group of kids playing basketball for no apparent reason. Because of this, she became a target of the gang, fearing she would tell the police of what she saw. After Clark Kent learns from a police officer that Suicide Slum residents believe that Superman selfishly ignores the neighborhood's increasing crime rate, he visits the area for the first time as Superman. In a vigilante fashion, the Man of Steel targets every known criminal in the neighborhood by destroying their illegal weapons stocks in a single night. However, an unnamed arms dealer, who works for an enigmatic "Mr. L.," supplies more unregistered guns to the neighborhood's criminals, including the gang who is targeting Johnson. Lateesha was critically shot, but fortunately Clark Kent was there during the shootout, and without bothering to switch to his alter-ego or attempt to catch her attackers, he rushes Lateesha to a hospital, where she is saved just in time.
Later, Kent published a column about the incident, catching the attention of it's readers, who share the columnist's feelings. A local philanthropist goes out of his way to help Lateesha's family relocate after she recovers, and offers her mother employment at his company. More officers from Metropolis P.D. have been assigned to patrol the neighborhood. Even Superman has been reported doing patrols of the Slums since then.
Later, the superhero Steel, AKA John Henry Irons, establishes his base of operations at an old warehouse in the area.
Suicide Slums was based on the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York City in which Jack Kirby grew up.
- Appearances of Suicide Slum
- Location Gallery: Suicide Slum
- Catalogued images related to Suicide Slum