"Deathwatch": Superman and Batman were in the Batcave when they heard the voice of a killer whose motives were oblique. When the Batcomputers were overtaken by footage of three simultaneous murders occurring in three separate parts of th
- You're looking for a true psychopath, aren't you? Someone like the Joker. Killing for fun. But a thousand times more powerful...
Appearing in "Deathwatch"
- Lois Lane
- Glory Miau (In a photograph only)
- General Ahmad (In a photograph only)
- Steel (On a TV or computer screen)
- Lana Lang (On a TV or computer screen)
- Hiro Okamura (On a TV or computer screen)
- Wonder Woman (On a TV or computer screen)
- Supergirl (On a TV or computer screen)
- Krypto (On a TV or computer screen)
- Gotham City
- Daily Planet (On a TV or computer screen)
- Atlantic Ocean
- South Korea
- Smallville (On a TV or computer screen)
Synopsis for "Deathwatch"
Superman and Batman were in the Batcave when they heard the voice of a killer whose motives were oblique. When the Batcomputers were overtaken by footage of three simultaneous murders occurring in three separate parts of the world, Superman sped off to investigate while Batman tried to track down the source of the killer's voice. Now, however, Batman realizes that the voice was not coming from a speaker anywhere - it's in their heads.
At the scene in Metropolis, Lex Luthor has been shot - and the bullet penetrated even his armour, and he is now being electrocuted by it. Superman appears suddenly and tears the armour from Superman's chest, sparing him the electric shocks, but he still accuses Luthor of being the killer, claiming that few others would have the resources to pull off the crimes. Grimly, Lex responds that Superman is another of those who could do it. Learning of the other two victims, Lex realizes why Superman is so frustrated. Superman responds that he actually saved Lex last. He was too late for the other two. Lex is interested that the killer was too fast for Superman.
Lex reports that the killer took down General Ahmad - chief architect of the Khandaq Peace Process - which means the war and turmoil in the area will continue, and global oil prices will rise. The target in South Korea was Glory Miau, a popular music star, whose death crushes the spirit of a generation of misfits and outsiders. Not to mention derailing the global entertainment industry. Lex himself, meanwhile, is the benefactor in several intiatives, and his own death would surely cause economic turmoil.
Superman is angry. He had saved General Ahmad from two bombings in the last year, but kept it secret to avoid causing an international incident. In the aftermath of Ahmad's death, though, he can't hide. He rushes to Khandaq and intercepts the first attacking army, destroying exactly the number of weapons and tanks from each side as was proposed in Ahmad's peace treaty. He hopes it will buy enough time to see the man's dream survive. As a show of solidarity, he attends a march in Glory Miau's memory in Seoul, remembering that before she was Glory, she was Felicity Regan, and he had helped to talk her into choosing life when she was suicidal some time ago. That, he thinks, is exactly why the killer chose her.
After returning to Gotham, Clark finds Batman and notes that it's a quiet night. Neither has heard their killer's voice since the attacks. Clark knows that he's only biding his time before taking away his victories from the day. Bruce responds that he shouldn't let it get under his skin. There is no physical evidence at any of the crime scenes, and no clues in general. Bruce wonders if maybe it's a supernatural villain, or a pyschic. Clark has an idea of who it might be, and the pair travel to the S.T.A.R. Labs level seven containment facility in the North Atlantic Ocean.
There, Clark rendezvous with Dr. Kapoor, who assures him that there is no conceivable way that Hector Hammond could have perpetrated the crimes. Superman is inclined to agree, but still asks to talk to him. Though she is reluctant, she passes both he and Batman headpieces to protect their minds, and shows them to Hammond's cell. Upon entering, Batman experiences a sudden and painful nose-bleed, and Dr. Kapoor warns that this is par for the course, passing him a hanky. Grinning, Hammond receives them, explaining that he can be useful to them - but in exchange for his help, he wants a memory as payment. Superman agrees to let it be so, but Batman restrains him, suggesting that he'll do it instead, having trained to face mind-control. For three seconds, Dr. Kapoor removes the headpiece, and Hammond feasts on memories of the Joker.
Hammond understands why he was given this memory, knowing that they are looking for a man very like the Joker. Someone who kills for fun - but has much more power. Using that information, Hammond narrows the possible suspects to people emotionally capable of committing the crimes. Statistically, that's nearly 2% of the population. Batman helps to narrow it down by requiring that they also have the intelligence and ability - which narrows it down to one person in Metropolis. Superman assumes this means Luthor, but Hammond warns that it appears to be someone more alien.
Soon, Superman locates Lobo in Metropolis and attacks him. When he accuses the bounty-hunter of the crimes, though, Lobo claims it wasn't him. Angrily, Superman warns him not to lie, but Batman warns him that the bullets Lobo is firing don't match the energy signature of those used in the attacks from the day before. They leave too much evidence behind. Lobo comments that Superman isn't the only one looking for the assassin - but he doesn't know anything. Grumpily, Superman warns Lobo to get off his planet. When Lobo challenges him to make him leave, he soon finds himself hurtling out of the Earth's atmosphere.
As he returns to Earth, Superman hears the voice again, warning him to take a last look at the planet below him. Everyone he loves on that planet is at risk. Batman assesses the safety of each of Superman's loved ones, and worries that if they really want to draw the enemy out of hiding, they need to make sure that someone Clark cares about isn't safe. And that someone is going to have to be Lois Lane.
- This book was first published on December 17, 2014.
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