"Public Hearing": Following the defeat of Dominus, Superman's reputation is tarnished, and is hated and feared by nearly everyone. Superman patrols the streets of Metropolis and finds that sometimes, powers are more trouble than they're worth.
Appearing in "Public Hearing"
- Col. William T. Brooks
- Superman Robot (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Public Hearing"
Following the defeat of Dominus, Superman's reputation is tarnished, and is hated and feared by nearly everyone. Superman patrols the streets of Metropolis and finds that sometimes, powers are more trouble than they're worth.
With his super-hearing, he can hear the people talking of him, he could tune it all out, but he needs to hear it. He thinks on the past days, about how he did more damage than any of the other super-villains he fought against. Suddenly, he's put back on task as he sees a wrecked gasoline tanker spilling gas all over a street, and a confused blind man dropping a cigarette that could ignite the gasoline. Rocketing down, Superman manage to grab the cigarette, but an angry crowd picks on the Man of Tomorrow. One man, however tells Superman that he still trusts him. Another comments that they can trust him like pets trust their masters. Superman, still seeing the danger, rushes off, grabs a huge pipe and sucks up the gasoline as if the pipe's a straw and then puts the gasoline back into the tank.
After getting the cold shoulder from the police, a man standing in the crowd asks Superman for a moment of his time. The man is the post-master general of Metropolis and he asks Superman if he could read the mail he's been receiving. In the Post Office, Superman reads bag after bag of hate mail, none sticking out until he finds a letter from one man.
Superman travels to a hospital. Now, changed to his alter ego of Clark Kent, he walks down the hallway to room 353: the room of Col. William T. Brooks. Brooks tells Clark that he would not be in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down, if not for Superman. Clark asks him if he would tell him his story to which Brooks agrees.
Brooks' story begins n the South Pacific where he was on an aircraft carrier assigned to hide from Superman for fear that he would steal their nuclear arms. Superman found them and even with their refusal and resistance, takes the weapons off the ship. Brooks, a fighter-jet pilot, goes after him. Brooks fires off two missiles to try and destroy the weapons but Superman uses his heat vision to explode them, which in turns blows up the ship. Brooks ejects but the flying shrapnel from the plane cuts his parachute. Hitting the water with no chute, he was knocked unconscious and his spine was broken. He would have died then if not for a Superman Robot who came back and pulled him out of the water to safety.
Brooks tells Clark that he understands that Superman wasn't really in control of his actions. He also tells Clark that even though no one thinks of Superman as a hero anymore, he still regards him as one, because Brooks was also hated when he returned from his service in the Vietnam War. Brooks further states that he wouldn't be talking if not for Superman and for that, he owes him gratitude. After finishing his story, Brooks challenges Clark to a game of chess and over the game Clark hopes the rest of the world will someday forgive Superman for his actions as Brooks has.
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