"Horrorville": Though he could have cleaned up the ruins of Metropolis in half an hour, Superman has allowed the people to do the work themselves over the last two months, enjoying seeing them come together to rebuild their home. It is not Superman's place to take '
- I'll break the damn sky before I let you hurt my friends again.
- -- Superman
Appearing in "Horrorville"
- Ultra-Humanite (Behind the scenes)
- Mrs. Jameson
- Morris Santiago
- Lewis Lang (Appears only as a corpse)
- Laura Lang (Appears only as a corpse)
Synopsis for "Horrorville"
Though he could have cleaned up the ruins of Metropolis in half an hour, Superman has allowed the people to do the work themselves over the last two months, enjoying seeing them come together to rebuild their home. It is not Superman's place to take that away from them.
Unfortunately, his childhood friend Lana Lang is not recovering as well from the trauma of the attack by on the planet that saw her parents killed. All of the last month, she has been waking in screams from a recurring dream of being haunted by them. Try as he might, her boyfriend John Henry can't seem to provide enough comfort to make them go away completely. This early morning, he crawls out of bed and makes her some hotcakes. Despite the fluttering of her heart from this new relationship, she can't help but look from her childhood bedroom across the hall into the one her parents had shared, and feel their absence.
Lana insists on staying in Smallville, despite the Wayne Foundation's grant that covers living expenses in town. Together, she and John Henry drive in to provide free tests to citizens, should there be any after effects of Brainiac's attack. Before they can head inside after a visit with the regulars outside the next-door barber shop, Lana spots a thick fog coming in unnaturally fast over the horizon. Then, she sees a hearse driving past, and insists that John Henry help her follow it. She is sure that something is not right. They follow the hears to the graveyard, where the driver, Mrs. Jameson admits that she was called by the sheriff. To Lana's horror, the sheriff admits that her parents' graves have been dug up. Panicking, Lana believes that her dream has come true.
Superman, meanwhile, would normally have left Smallville in Lana and John Henry's capable hands - but he's had a feeling that makes him feel like he should go back. When he sees the creepy mist surrounding his home town, he suspects that he was right to come back - especially when trying to fly through it teleports him three miles away. Confused, he calls back to Hiro Okamura in Gotham City to see if he can use his satellites to see what's going on with Smallville. When Hiro looks, though, he sees nothing where Smallville is supposed to be.
In the thickening fog, the sheriff wanders through the cemetery looking for the others. When he hears a voice he doesn't recognize calling out, he decides to move toward it, though it worries him. The others are facing similar experiences, with John Henry unable to find Lana, and Lana worriedly realizing that her dead parents are walking toward her. The accuse of her neglecting them; allowing them to die. She considers running, but she is stunned when she sees that her parents' corpses are being controlled by something far more grotesque.
Superman decides to try to counter the teleportation field by flying into it harder - unless Hiro can come up with a better plan. Hiro determines that the field has a pulse, and if Superman hits when the pulse is at its weakest, he may break through. Superman listens and hears the pulse for himself - and realizes that it is the real pulse of a heartbeat. Whatever this mist is, it's alive. When he breaks through, he sees exactly what that living thing is, and is disgusted.
With no further patience for monsters, Superman punches the creature with thoughts of how Lewis and Laura Lang had been friends to him when his parents died. Brainiac had killed them, though, and now some monster has decided to dig them up. Superman punches the creature again and knocks it unconscious and as the fog dissipates, he sees that the sheriff has been killed, and Lana has been traumatized. The corpses of her parents now lie inert on the ground in front of her.
Clark can't think of anything useful to say but to apologize and to promise to figure out what happened. Bitterly, she remarks that he needs to stop making promises to her, and then apologizes for her knee-jerk reaction, begging time away from him to forgive him for being complicit in her parents' deaths. Sighing, Clark checks to see if he can get through to Hiro, but the fog continues to block the signal. He admits that he must go, and try to contact the League. Unfortunately, he can no longer hear the pulse of the entity, and as such, he can't get out of the fog. Angrily, he steels himself, and attempts to fly out of the fog with all his strength, but just keeps getting teleported back to his starting point.
From their place at the barber shop, the regulars comment that eventually Superman is going to find out what's really going on in Smallville, and they should worry about what he'll do when he does.
- This book was first published on November 5, 2014.
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- No trivia.
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