"Home is Where the Hell Is": When he was a boy, Clark Kent tried to use his power to put out a fire in a cornfield next to his school, but only made it worse. From the flaming field emerged a monster. As he faced it, his friend Lana watch
Appearing in "Home is Where the Hell Is"
- Superman (Flashback and main story)
- Jonathan Kent (Reanimated Corpse)
- Martha Kent (Reanimated Corpse)
- Hiro Okamura
- Mrs. Takahara (Flashback and main story)
- Morris Santiago
Synopsis for "Home is Where the Hell Is"
When he was a boy, Clark Kent tried to use his power to put out a fire in a cornfield next to his school, but only made it worse. From the flaming field emerged a monster. As he faced it, his friend Lana watched from inside the school, and desperate to get him back inside, she opened the door. Unfortunately, this caused a back-draft that brought the fire right inside the school.
Now, Clark wakes from his dream, realizing suddenly that the monster he saw then is the same one that is attacking his home town now. He worries that when Doomsday opened a crack to the Phantom Zone, that allowed other monsters to sneak through into Smallville. Searching for any of his friends, he hears Lana scream and follows the sound to his parents' house, which is on fire - just like in his memory. Lana is trapped inside. He crashes in through the door and hurries toward her, but as close as he gets, the further away she becomes. This must be another dream.
Lana and the fire disappear, and Clark is left in the old house, but he can still hear a faint voice calling to him from the floor below. He follows it, and discovers his parents - decayed corpses - in the kitchen, waiting to serve him breakfast. The sight enrages him. They had died when he was seventeen, and now they'd been defiled and made to act as marionettes. Though he knows it is just a manipulation, Clark can't help but feel hurt when he hears them tell him how they grew to fear him as he grew into his powers. They claim that they had tried to hide their worries from him, knowing that they would die one day because of him. When the manipulating creature makes itself seen, his parents repeat the words that the angriest person is usually the one most at fault. Suspiciously, Clark wonders how this creature could know those exact words. Those words had been spoken by his parents to him as a boy.
The monster reveals that it has got Lana in its tentacles, and angrily, Clark fires a blast of heat-vision at it, but it only squeezes her more tightly. Clark leaps at the creature, demanding that whatever vendetta it has against him, it should leave her out of it. The creature responds that this isn't even about Clark. It disappears, and with that, Clark's parents drop to the floor lifelessly. Enraged, he lets out another anguished blast of heat-vision into the sky, and then carries the corpses out onto the lawn.
Nearby, Steel spots the blast and decides that if there is any hope of finding Lana, he and Hiro had best follow the trail back to Superman. After finding him at the farm, while Steel and Superman talk, Hiro comforts the children he'd rescued, who are troubled by Superman's haggard appearance. He is horrified, though, when he sees tentacles squirming out from the neck of a child he is in the middle of hugging. Superman sees the tentacles growing larger and Steel worriedly warns that both of them are experiencing the same thing. Wanting to be sure that killing the parasitic creatures growing on them won't do anything to their hosts, Steel crushes his own with his fist, and immediately feels a searing pain all through his body.
From nearby, Clark's elementary school teacher, Mrs. Takahara comments that removing the creatures is tricky, once they're attached, and assures Superman that she and Mr. Santiago have no intent to use their psychic attacks on him, if he is willing to listen to them. They explain that their powers were given to them by Brainiac's attack that put the whole town into a coma. They kept the powers secret, knowing how the world is wary of super-humans.
Mr. Santiago explains that they didn't let the creatures out. They had been using their powers to contain the crack to the Phantom Zone. They created the mist that covered the city. When Superman tried to disrupt that mist, they were distracted and more creatures made it through. Mrs. Takahara warns them all to remain calm, because these creatures feed on the emotions - especially fear. If Superman can kill the creatures that have already got through, the townspeople may be able to close the portal.
Just then, one of the children grows particularly scared, and the creature on his back grows larger and more violent. Superman hurries over to him, begging him to remain calm and promising that they will be brave together. Unfortunately, the child explains that the creature is making him like being afraid, so that he is more amenable to feeding it. At the creature's core, it uses Lana's voice to beg Clark to give up on his own determination, and feed the monster on his back. He should just let them in.
- This book was first published on January 7, 2015.
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