"The Hero's Return part one": Metropolis has spent a year under an impenetrable dome, and Dubbilex has spent that time trying to restore the powers of the clone called Superboy. He has, unfortunately, had no success with that or with breaki
- Young man, if you want to save two versions of Metropolis, you must surrender without a fight. I know that is a hard choice to make, but it's one I would make without a second's hesitation. The question then, is...are you Superman...or just a child pretending to the mantle?
Appearing in "The Hero's Return part one"
Synopsis for "The Hero's Return part one"
Metropolis has spent a year under an impenetrable dome, and Dubbilex has spent that time trying to restore the powers of the clone called Superboy. He has, unfortunately, had no success with that or with breaking through the dome. After all his hard work, Dubbilex realizes that the problem in restoring Kon's power is not within him, but in the dome itself. Kon himself is not happy about it either, as he knows that the responsibility of protecting Metropolis will fall to him, in Superman's absence. Dubbilex has at least managed to determine that all of his experiments in augmenting and charging Kon's powers are working - there's just something blocking those powers from being expressed.
Metropolis had only just begun to accept Superboy when the dome appeared. He had been arrogant at first, ego inflated by his powers and teenage hormones. When he started to accept the responsibility of the power he held, those powers were taken away from him. That loss has made him feel lost himself. Dejected after another failure at the lab, Kon visits the Superman statue in Centennial Park, where an elderly couple approaches him, explaining that they were saved by Superman from Parasite. Put down a bit by living in Superman's shadow, Kon is surprised when a voice rings out from beyond the dome warning that it will soon disappear, and champions from other cities on the planet Telos will be made to fight for the survival of their homes. As the Dome comes down, Kon feels his powers returning, and filled with joy, he tears open his shirt to reveal the Superboy uniform hidden beneath. However, he is unaware that he has been watched by the Red Robin of another world.
While flying over Metropolis, Superboy spots a streak that resembles that left by the Flash, but when he looks, he doesn't recognize this Flash's costume. He follows the streak to Hell's Gate Island, which was cut in half by the dome and left largely uninhabitable. Monitoring from Cadmus, Dubbilex realizes too late that the only reason Kon would be led there was if it was a trap. Following the Flash into an abandoned building, Superboy finds himself caught in a blast of Kryptonite Gas, and attacked by Red Robin. Eventually, the gas wears off and Kon retaliates with his tactile telekinesis. When the Flash rescues Red Robin from his fall, Superboy is forced to ask just who they are.
Running analysis from afar, Dubbilex determines that Red Robin is Dick Grayson - the former Robin. However, he appears to be fifteen years older, suggesting that both he and the flash Kon is up against are not the versions of themselves that he knows. They are the heroes of an alternate earth. These older heroes have an innate exhaustion, and instinctive mistrust of irresponsible young heroes. And a man who fears a boy like Kon-El the most has just intervened in the battle: the Superman of that other world. He warns Kon that if he intends to save two version of Metroplis, he'd best surrender. The time has come for him to decide if he is a superman or a boy pretending at the mantle.
- This book was first published on April 15, 2015.
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