"A Contagion of Madness": Leslie Willis is the youngest radio shock-jock in Metropolis. She has built a name for herself by criticizing Superman and questioning his loyalty to the city's people. However, when her boss' wife is saved by Sup
- I always had a thing for electricity. Call it a mutual crush-on. I like it. It likes me. We're stinkbuddies, you know?
- — Livewire
Synopsis for "A Contagion of Madness"
Leslie Willis is the youngest radio shock-jock in Metropolis. She has built a name for herself by criticizing Superman and questioning his loyalty to the city's people. However, when her boss' wife is saved by Superman, he fires Leslie for her behaviour and replaces her with country music programming. Angered, her hitherto unknown power to manipulate electricity come to the fore, and as she climbs to the top of the building's radio-tower she is struck by lightning, transforming her into the villain Livewire.
Elsewhere, Superman wakes up in an alley, watched over by some homeless people. He explains that he was disoriented by a magical attack from the Queen of Fables. He must hurry and find Lois Lane, because her former photographer Willis has become obsessed with her, and has kidnapped her at gunpoint. On his way to save Lois, However, Superman is attacked by Livewire, who blames him for her lost job.
Livewire uses her powers to take over television signals in Metropolis, causing mass panic. Superman determines that she has enough power to power or destroy the entire city. The battle comes to a head when Livewire derails a passenger train, and Superman is forced to redirect its inertia in order to save it. Livewire hopes to take advantage of Superman's distraction to finish him off, but she is suddenly interrupted when some of Metropolis' citizens angrily attack her, defending Superman's character. Superman uses the bought time to save the train and as he re-engages with Livewire, she reveals that Willis is actually her brother, and she knows Lois' location.
Superman drags Livewire into a cloud, and uses his Arctic Breath to overload her. As she collapses, Livewire reveals Lois' location just in time for him to deflect a bullet being shot by Willis as she tries to escape. They are reunited, and Willis is arrested soon after his sister.
Two days later, Superman visits the home of Josef Schuman to make good on an invitation to Shabbos dinner. After Dinner, Josef expresses concern for his partner Jimmy Olsen's safety, given his closeness with Superman. Superman explains that he allows his friends to make their lives count by getting involved, but adds that he is watching over all of them - a concept that Mr. Schuman reluctantly accepts.
Appearing in "A Contagion of Madness"
- Josef Schuman
- Jimmy Olsen (Mentioned only)
- First appearance of Livewire. Livewire is a character who was originally introduced on the Superman animated television series. She appears next in Action Comics #839.
- Superman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 2)
- Adventures of Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- DC Comics Presents (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 3)
- Superman (Volume 4)
- Superman (Volume 5)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- Superman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Steel (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Tomorrow (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)