Saturday, February 6, 2010

In Which Superman Investigates a Strange Odour

Superman has once before done battle with a failing economy, but has he done it within the pages of issue 5?  No, so it's all new to us!

Editor George Taylor sends ace reporter Clark Kent to interview Metropolis' "leading men of finance" to learn just what is up with the "worst depression" in United States history!  Frustratingly for the reporter, Clark is fed placating words by these rockstars of the financial world, and his questioning leads him no closer to discovering the truth of the matter. He does however notice that in every office he visits there is the same "sickeningly sweetish odor of incence".  His curiousity getting the better of him Clark eventually asks one of the men, Gregory, what the source of the odour is only to be met with nervous uncertainty.  Not believing the man's explanation that the odour is just a "peculiarity" of his, Clark stops and listens outside his office, an act which causes him to overhear Gregory reporting Clark's presence to a mysterious person on the other side of the phone.

Once outside the office Clark notices a bomber flying over the city, ready to discharge its deadly payload on the unsuspecting populace.  Leaping into an alley, Clark removes his outer clothing instantly transforming himself into his alter-ego: Superman!  I hope he uses a phonebooth soon.  Give the public what they crave!

Superman leaps toward the bomber, noticing in mid-air that its bombs are headed directly for The Daily Planet offices!  Catching the bombs before they can reach their target, Superman then drops them in the river...thus making them someone else's problem I guess.  Defuse them?  Detonate them somewhere harmless?  Nah, just drop 'em in the river.

Reassuming his guise as Clark Kent, our hero deduces that Gregory likely ordered this hit on the Planet in order to put a stop to the reporter's snooping.  Really?  I think having Clark quietly killed might be a little more effective than bombing his workplace from the sky!  You can't even play something like that off as an accident!  Hell, he didn't even allow Clark time to get back before trying to blow the place up.

Clark's next course of action is to return to Gregory's office and interrogate him about what the hell just happened.  Gregory tells Clark that he has just phoned the police and informed them someone is coming to kill him.  As Clark turns to look out the window in search of confirmation, Gregory shoots himself explaining that his orders were to frame the reporter for murder.

Clark obviously has no intention of being arrested, and leaps out the window before the police see him.  Circling the building Clark re-enters as though he had just arrived and informs the police that it is not a murder case at all, but (noting the bullet's angle of entry) a suicide!  No one finds it strange that Clark noticed the angle of entry at a glance from the otherside of the room.

Witty references abound!

Having phoned the office to deliver his report thus far, Clark next heads back to the previously visited (offscreen) finance office of Mr. Mosely to get to the bottom of the strange incence mystery.  Unforuntately Clark's revisitation is cut short as he is denied entry by the office's secretary, and summarily tossed on his ass.

Having no intention of giving up Clark uses his superior strength to dig his fingers into the brick of the building, and Spiderman his way to Mosely's private office.  Hiding in a closet, Clark overhears Mosely and two generic thugs gloating about all the money they're raking in while the rest of the country suffers.  In a baffling sequence one of the thugs hangs his coat on a hook next to Clark's face while Clark thinks "-Didn't see me!  Whew!-", only to have his feet be spotted in the subsequent panel.  What was the point of that?  Was it meant to be funny?  When telling a joke the audience shouldn't have to wonder if it was even meant to be one.  Here, take a look for yourself:

Is that funny?  Does it even flow naturally? 

Back to business, the thugs yank Clark out of his hiding place, only to have him break free and dash to a previously unmentioned curtain from behind which the strange odour is apparently emanating.  Pulling back the curtain, Clark reveals:

YYYEEESSSS!!!!  Finally, a real villain again!  I mean sure, it's the same one it always is, but beggars can't be choosers as they say.

The thugs sock Clark in the kisser for having seen too much, and lead him at gunpoint to an open elevator shaft, down which he is subsequently thrown.  You know, Clark is really lucky no one ever shoots him, unless he's constantly carrying around some ketchup packets to burst he'd have a hard time explaining himself.

The thugs come to dispose of Clark's body and are met with a man in blue/red underwear who, they are surprised to find, cannot be hurt by bullets.  Disposing of the thugs, Superman then climbs to the roof of the building across from Mosely's and watches (using X-Ray vision!) as the villain is ordered via statue to meet with Luthor himself.

Mosely climbs aboard a newly arrived autogyro and heads toward Luthor.  Superman gives chase, but is quickly spotted.  Annoyed by the gyro having turned its guns on him, Superman leaps into the air and tears its whirling blades apart.  This results in both him and the ejecting Mosely plummeting toward the earth, and their certain doom...

Terrible perspective -OR- How does Mosely even fit in that thing?

The exciting conclusion tomorrow!

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