"Funeral for a Friend": Lydia, a staffer at the Daily Planet, relates her experience of being caught in the middle of a bank robbery that Superman got involved in to Ty Duffy. She tells him that when the would-be bank robbers took her hostage Superman apparently stood there and did nothing. Lydi
Appearing in "Funeral for a Friend"
- Ty Duffy
- Lydia (Flashback and main story)
- Father Nathan (Flashback and main story)
Synopsis for "Funeral for a Friend"
Lydia, a staffer at the Daily Planet, relates her experience of being caught in the middle of a bank robbery that Superman got involved in to Ty Duffy. She tells him that when the would-be bank robbers took her hostage Superman apparently stood there and did nothing. Lydia and the other hostages were marched to the roof and shoved into a helicopter. When one of the criminals tells the pilot to fly the pilot turns around to reveal that he is, in fact, Superboy. In short order Superboy and Superman took care of the bank robbers and save the hostages.
Ty incredulously tells Lydia that to him it sounded like Superman's actions were reckless and dangerous. Lydia takes offense to the statement and storms off, leaving Ty trying to explain himself. Perry White enters the room asking Ty if he is having troubles. Ty replies that it's only a case of foot-in-mouth disease and then asks what Perry thought of his story. Perry replies that he will let Ty know when he reads the rest of it. Ty argues that he gave Perry the whole story, but Perry counters that while he covered the death of Superman he left out the rest of the story such as the funeral. Perry goes on to explain how big the funeral was and that the attention paid to it was usually reserved for heads of state. It seemed as if all of Metropolis showed up and the city was quiet for days afterward. Ty points out that there would be a story of the city's reaction to Superman's death if he had actually died. Perry counters that at the time they didn't know he was going to come back and that any retrospective on Superman's death should include a look at the city's reactions. Ty tells Perry that he was sure that it was a sugarcoated hallmark moment for the city, but too many people suffered because of Superman's presence and that their grief endures unlike unnecessary tears for the Man of Steel.
Meanwhile, at John Henry Iron's headquarters, the Steelworks, Superman has John overlap Doomsday's path of destruction with the recent accidents in the area starting with the train wreck in Ohio and ending at the seventeen-car pile up on the interstate. John does so and the two discover that the two paths are identical, leading Superman to believe that Doomsday has a copycat.
At the Brew Krew, Ty discusses the fact that he is still on the story of Superman's death with his friend Kyle. Father Nathan, Ty's next interview, arrives and tells the reporter that he can't imagine why Ty would want to talk to him. Ty explains that from what he understands Father Nathan lived in California at the time so it's his connection to Coast City that Ty would like to explore first. Father Nathan is visibly shaken and begins his story by telling Ty that it was a disaster beyond description. He goes on to tell the reporter how Superman's death was felt even on the west coast. The true disaster, though, came when Mongul's spaceship arrived and destroyed Coast City in a fiery holocaust. Father Nathan went to assist the survivors and the outlaying cities affected by the radiation and heat. In the end he did what he could but ended up spending most of his time giving last rites to the dying. He ends his story by telling Ty that those days are forever seared into his memory, as is Superman's death. When Ty asks how so, Father Nathan replies that the fact that Superman died and returned to life complicates his own work in spreading the word of a man who died and returned from death as well.
After the interview ends Perry calls Ty's cellphone and tells him to head over to Son of Murphy's bar, which had just suffered a massive explosion. Ty asks what this has to do with his story and Perry explains that all of the places being destroyed are on the same path that Doomsday followed and that it could be related to Superman's death.
At Son of Murphy's, Superman arrives and offers his help. The firefighters are happy to have it since something is wrong with the water lines giving them no water pressure. Superman grabs a water tower and pours the contents over the fire, which quickly extinguishes the blaze. Superman asks if any of the victims need help but is informed by one of the firefighters that whoever bombed the place called in advance and the building had been cleared.
Before Superman can fly off Ty asks for a moment of his time. He asks the Man of Steel for a reaction to the speculation that the destruction of the bar and other similar incidents are related to the anniversary of his death. Superman replies that until they catch whoever is responsible there is no way of knowing. Ty keeps at him asking if he is saying that it is all a coincidence. Superman tells him no and that it seems to be the work of some insane maniac who has no appreciation for human life. Ty takes exception to Superman's use of the words insane and maniac and asks if that is how the Man of Steel sees people who are mentally ill. Superman tells Ty that he meant no insult, which falls on deaf ears to Ty who is insulted. Ty goes on to explain that his father was diagnosed as being bipolar years ago and that it was a condition that his family struggled with. As Ty grew older his father's mood swings got worse where one minute he was the happiest man on Earth and the next he could be described as an insane maniac. Superman began to explain his choice of words again but is cut off by Ty who says that he probably would say what happened next wasn't the Man of Steel's fault either.
Superman says that he doesn't understand. Ty enlightens Superman by saying that despite the fact that he lived far from Metropolis at the time of Doomsday's rampage his family was still affected by the attacks. His father's medication had run out the day of the attacks and every pharmacy in town had been destroyed. There were no refills available for days. Ty continues by telling Superman that his father really looked up to him and that, deep down, his father believed that Superman would rescue him. When the reports of Superman's death came in Ty's father dropped to his knees in their shattered house overwhelmed by pointless, meaningless grief. Superman offers to help in any way he can, but Ty retorts sarcastically that he did all he could by fighting the good fight and coming back to life. Superman asks about how his father was today and is shocked to find out that he committed suicide. Ty continues to berate Superman by asking why he was the only one to come back after Doomsday's attacks and asks how fair is that. Superman solemnly replies that it isn't.
Before leaving Ty points out that the while the media calls Superman a symbol of heroism and life he is the symbol of death to all of those who lost someone during those terrible times. Ty's final comment, which was how he doubted Superman had ever given that a moment's thought, leaves the Man of Steel shaken.
Shaking, Ty walks away, scarcely believing that he let all of that out on Superman. Suddenly, a mysterious figure with glowing eyes grabs Ty and drags him to the ground saying that this isn't over.
- This book was first published on November 27, 2002.
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