"Monster": Lana Lang had been working in Venezuela as an electrical engineer to help a non-profit collective tap a mysterious geothermal energy source a thousand feet below the rain forest. Unfortunately, that energy source happened to be a giant monster, who is n
- Ah, Clark. I just failed you, didn't I? You cared about that thing. You wanted to help it. But all us puny humans just got scared.
- -- Lana Lang
Appearing in "Monster"
- Superman (Flashback and main story)
Synopsis for "Monster"
Lana Lang had been working in Venezuela as an electrical engineer to help a non-profit collective tap a mysterious geothermal energy source a thousand feet below the rain forest. Unfortunately, that energy source happened to be a giant monster, who is now attacking Lana and her colleagues. As they run away, debris from their drilling rig begins to pose a second source of danger, and, truthfully, Lana finds it exhilarating - until she realizes that she could die. That's until her high school prom date - Superman - comes to her rescue.
Having sensed the tectonic shift, Superman had sought it out and discovered the creature. Now, he tosses it miles away, buying time to check on the survivors. He is pleasantly surprised to find that Lana Lang is among them, and that she is still keeping his identity a secret. In a low voice that he can still hear, Lana warns him to duck, and he is too late to prevent the creature from sneaking up behind him and snapping him up in its jaws. Despite the fact that he is dating the most amazing woman on the planet, the gaffe is embarrassing, and Clark still finds himself wanting to impress Lana. In the process of showing off for her, though, he lifts her truck over his head and hurls it at the monster. He misses, to her great annoyance.
Surprisingly, though, the monster turns its head to follow the truck's flight, and bounds after it, returning moments later with the truck in its mouth. While it may be a monster, Clark realizes now that he just inadvertently began a game of fetch with it.
It reminds Clark of a time earlier in his life, when he was a boy and his father had got him his first bike. It was a joyful memory, and he remembered feeling as though he could fly, then. However, the moment was ruined when his heightened emotions caused his nascent heat-vision to burst forth, burning his father's crops to cinders, and cutting the new bike in half. Covering his eyes, Clark called out, and Jonathan came running, but Clark could hear the hesitation in his gait. He had made his father scared of what he could do, that day.
Suddenly, a volley of missiles hits the creature, and Clark is shocked to realize that the cries that the creature utters are not roars and screams, but words of another language. With the understanding that this creature must have intelligence, Clark becomes angry, and seeks out the drones firing on it.
This alerts those behind the attack, and they send a Lieutenant Sawyer, codenamed "Ghost Soldier" to bring Superman down. Though Superman is initially surprised at the attack, Ghost Soldier's apparent ability to become intangible makes his knives more deadly than they might typically be. He phases out, and thrusts the knife in Superman's chest, phasing back in such that the knife impales him.
Combining heat vision with freeze breath, Superman slows the phasing molecules to the point that he can stop Ghost Soldier's movement, and fly away from him, grabbing up some innocent civilians in the process. Once they are to safety, he turns his attention again to the creature, whose ire is rising with all of the drone attacks. Sighing, Superman tries to balance the needs of a confused but intelligent creature, and the lives of innocents. Knowing there was only ever one choice, he flies the creature up into the atmosphere.
Lana waits for several minutes with the Ghost Soldier, waiting for Superman's return. When he finally emerges from the sun, he has managed to remove the knife from his chest, and its blade glows red hot, having melted mostly away. Lana tries to connect with Clark, but he is cold toward her. Ghost Soldier demands to know where the monster is, and grimly, Superman tosses the hilt of his knife at his feet, indicating that the monster suffered a similar fate. Without a word, Superman flies off, and Lana realizes that in his mind, she has failed him; as a human being. He had cared about the creature and wanted to help it, but humans had got scared.
Six hours later, Lana and her team have regrouped, and she leads them in a survey of the hole they had dug with the drill. Thought she had no real reason to lead them down there before starting to drill again, she wanted to find some excuse to call Clark up and tell him something interesting lay down there. Something to make it worth it. Deep within the tunnel, she discovers signs of a ruined civilization.
Clark, still angry, returns to the Fortress of Solitude, annoyed that humans could take his throwing creatures into the sun so lightly. He recalls again that day when his heat vision had revealed itself. His father had been terrified, but he had swallowed that terror and been a father who was there for his son. In that same way, Clark intends to be there for his new friend. He had deceived the humans, and actually given the creature a place in the Fortress' menagerie.
Thinking of it like a dog, Clark offers it some food, and it ravenously gorges on the meal. After taking a moment to think on the situation, Clark is surprised to look up and see that the creature has transformed into a childlike humanoid.
- This book was first published on December 4, 2013.
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