Appearing in "Secrets & Lies"
Synopsis for "Secrets & Lies"
Beneath the waters of the Bering Strait, Superman responds to a distress signal being sent out from a Russian submarine. While Superman rescues the vessel and its crew from certain destruction, the commanders of the sub discuss how they would prefer to have avoided the attention of superheroes, especially given the nature of their mission.
Meanwhile, in Metropolis, blogger Victor Barnes attempts to pitch Lois Lane his story that Superman has a secret identity. Lois and Jimmy Olsen are naturally skeptical, however, that Superman has a secret identity at all, to say nothing of Barnes being able to identify it. He claims to have proof, but he won't reveal it without being paid, and Lois refuses to run the story without seeing the evidence.
Back in Russian waters, Superman is able to bring the sub to the surface, but just as he begins to tear off bulkheads and drain the water from the holds, the captain of the ship orders that he leave at once. Initially reluctant, Superman flies away once he realizes that Russian military Helicopters have come to ensure that he goes. All the same, something about the lead-lined submarine inspires suspicion in the Man of Tomorrow.
At the Metropolis National Bank, a woman dressed in black commands a bank employee to open a lock box in the Bank's possession. After the employee attempts to tell her that he is not authorized, she comments that her "Daddy" likely anticipated her arrival, and smashes open the lock box anyway. From it, she retrieves a dark pendant, which she claims is her own property in any case. As she leaves the bank, a police officer holds her at gunpoint, and ends up discharging his weapon at her. The bullet passes through her body as if she was intangible, and accidentally kills an innocent behind her. She warns that he should not make the same mistake again.
Elsewhere in Metropolis, Victor Barnes is frustrated with how poorly his pitch was received. As he plans his next move, he catches a news story on a nearby jumbo-tron monitor about Superman's actions in the Bering Strait. Realizing that the Man of Steel will be returning very soon, he rushes to the alley where he knows that Superman changes into his street clothes. He arrives to find that his target has already changed back to his alter ego. Even so, he tries to capture a photo of his prey, and moves onto his next appointment.
As Superman returns to the Daily Planet building in his alter ego of Clark Kent, Lois meets him at the elevator and chastises him for missing his appointment to pick up her sister Lucy Lane. Clark claims to not remember being told to pick her up. As punishment, Lois forcibly invites him to dinner with she and her sister - and he is buying. Jimmy warns that the restaurant is beyond merely expensive, but they are interrupted by news of the broad daylight bank robbery in progress. Clark takes that at his cue to return to his super-heroic duties, under the guise of covering the story.
In the offices of Morgan Edge, Barnes gives a much more confident pitch for his story. While Edge admits that Lois Lane has the final say on what programming does and doesn't appear on PGN, he does have other outlets that can air the story.
Outside the Metropolis National Bank, the police continue to fire on the girl who calls herself Anguish. As before, the shots still pass through her body, as through water. When Superman arrives, he finds that he is both unable to touch her and use his heat vision on her. She, on the other hand, is quite able to hit him back, with surprising strength. She introduces herself as Anguish just as Barnes' story airs on the Jumbotron outside the bank.
Meanwhile, at the offices of Lupicore Games, software designer Spence Becker finds his co-workers looking at him with a strange new interest. He soon discovers that Victor Barnes' has identified him as Superman's secret identity, and the news is airing on national television. The story goes on to reveal that Becker is married, with a young daughter. This leads to the question, "Is Superman a father?" Anguish sees this, and warns that she may devote some attention to hurting Superman's "family" if he doesn't let her go.
- The initial solicitation for this issue had an entirely different cover where Superman battled Anguish. It used a more punk-rock look for the character, and referred to her by the name Masochist.
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