"World Without a Superman": In the sewers beneath Metropolis the mysterious being with glowing red eyes tells Ty Duffy that he is very glad to find that he is not the only person who thinks of Superman as not the symbol of life, but that of death. Ty wonders why the man has bound him in the sewe
Appearing in "World Without a Superman"
- Ty Duffy
- Remnant (Final appearance)
Synopsis for "World Without a Superman"
In the sewers beneath Metropolis the mysterious being with glowing red eyes tells Ty Duffy that he is very glad to find that he is not the only person who thinks of Superman as not the symbol of life, but that of death. Ty wonders why the man has bound him in the sewer and the man replies that he is here to witness a story and ultimately report on it. The man then introduces himself as "The Remnant" and explains that this is one story that can't be written in a quaint little coffee shop. Ty asks if he had been following him. The Remnant replies that he is resourceful, so resourceful in fact that he has read Ty's article on Superman's death and thinks it's brilliant. Ty explains that if he read the version with his editor's comments then Remnant knows that the two men's opinions differ. Remnant tells him that Ty's editor refuses to see Superman for what he is; the looming death of us all.
Meanwhile, Superman flies over Metropolis musing about how Ty sees him as a representation of death and wonders how many other people feel that way. Superman had tried his best to put it all behind him and that he has always tried to be perceived as normal and someone no better than anyone else. He thinks of how hard that is to do when you can fly and even harder when someone die and come back from the dead.
Superman flies back to the Daily Planet and changes back to Clark Kent. He continues his investigation of the copycat killer who is following Doomsday's path of destruction. Perry White finds Clark and asking why he's there so late. Clark replies that he was just checking in. He asks Perry the same question to which White replies he is there waiting for Duffy to turn in his story. The two discuss the fact that Duffy didn't like White's comments on the story before Perry leaves. Clark knows it wasn't the editing that bothered Duffy, but his grudge against Superman. This insight leads Clark to switch tactics in finding the killer and begins to look into stories of those who died during Doomsday's attack.
Remnant tells Duffy that he is the only one who dared to deal with the reality of what happened when Superman died. Remnant informs him that Superman's death was so large that it dwarfed all of the others who perished. Duffy agrees and points out that while there were individual stories written no one grasped the totality of what happened. They discuss the fact that when Superman came back the ones who lost their lives were forgotten by the general public. Remnant tells Duffy that Duffy tried to tell the real story and now it is his turn. The Remnant explains that the Daily Planet was the architect of Superman's ascension to the highest of pedestals and for that the highest price must be paid.
Lois Lane returns to her apartment and finds Clark sitting in the dark. When Lois asks what is bothering him and Clark explains that he never really thought about the people who lost their lives during his fight with Doomsday. From the moment Doomsday first hit him to the time when he returned and had to defeat the evil Cyborg Superman and Mongul he didn't have the chance to even think about all the people who died. Lois points out the fact that Clark gave his life to defeat Doomsday and even though he came back they didn't know he would. She goes on to tell him that instead of focusing on the past he should put his energies into finding the copycat killer. They decided that Lois would do research while Superman stood guard over the most likely target: the Daily Planet building.
At minutes to midnight Superman stands watch over the Daily Planet. He notices a van parked in a no-parking zone and scans it with his x-ray vision, only to discover it is lined with lead. He flies into the van only to find himself in a graveyard and faced by Remnant. Superman demands to know who Remnant is to which Remnant replies that he is a memory of what he did and the ghost of tragedies past. Superman explains that he feels bad about what happened, but that he did everything he could to stop Doomsday. Remnant asks him why he didn't take the fight elsewhere since Doomsday would have followed him. Superman replies that Doomsday was a force of nature and wouldn't have followed him. He goes on to say that hindsight in 20/20 and that the fury of battle doesn't afford that luxury. Remnant tells him that the many victims would disagree and shows Superman the graves of those who died. He lists off the names of the dead as Superman stares at the many tombstones. Finally Superman demands to know who Remnant is and Remnant replies that he is anonymous and that what he does is for the moans of the forgotten before disappearing.
Superman tears the van apart causing the holographic graveyard to disappear. He searches frantically for a bomb and finds none. Remnant calls to him from the top of the Daily Planet and declares that it is time for Superman's official public relations machine to fall. Superman spots another lead box and asks if there is a bomb inside. Remnant replies that there is a bomb and more. Superman uses his enhanced hearing and discovers by the heartbeat that it's Perry. He asks Remnant why he involved an innocent man and is told that White sings Superman's praises at every opportunity but refuses to tell the truth. Superman tells Remnant that he won't let him do this. Remnant replies that he has no choice and disappears. Superman grabs the lead box and takes it into the sky. He rips it open and takes Perry out before kicking the box away. There is an explosion and Perry and Superman watch as hundreds of papers float to the ground. Perry grabs one and Superman points out that it's Ty's story. Perry is quick to point out how wrong the story is, but Superman is more concerned with the fact that Remnant keeps disappearing. He gives the area a quick scan and finds not Remnant, but Ty Duffy.
Superman rescues Duffy and brings him back to the Planet. Perry tells Duffy that Superman isn't the ogre that he thinks Superman is. Superman agrees that he isn't an ogre, but sometimes insensitive. He goes on to talk of how he once fought Doomsday on the spot where they were standing and how he was unstoppable. He explains that he wasn't scared of dying, but of failing to stop Doomsday from tearing down the city and killing more people. Superman stopped him, but that made him realize a few things.
Superman tells Duffy that he knows how the reporter feels and that there may be better ways to fight for truth and justice than with his fists. He goes on to say that if Duffy wants to be a good reporter he shouldn't back off the tough questions and that he should ask himself a question. Is the world better off without Superman? If he was gone would there be less Doomsdays or more Coast Cities. Before flying off into the night Superman tells Duffy that those are the questions he has to live with and that he's interested in Duffy's conclusions.
- This book was first published on December 4, 2002.
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