"Time and Punishment": A news reporter reports on the new Metropolis transformed by B13 technology that is making wonders.
- A future of chaos-- and possible madness-- awaits us all because the meek, the mortal, have matured and begun assuming control of their universe.
- — Zeus
Synopsis for "Time and Punishment"
A news reporter reports on the new Metropolis transformed by B13 technology that is making wonders.
In the Steelworks, Superman, Steel, and Emil pour amassments of energy into the Aegis, with the hopes of determining a weakness, if not an origin to the power behind it. The Aegis seems indestructible and nearly limitless in its power. It is revealed that Steel lacks memory from before he discovered Warworld until his resurrection, when Darkseid offered him the Aegis. Steel consoled Superman regarding his missing father. Superman, regarding Steel's reminder, takes to the sky to renew his search.
But suddenly, a beam teleports the Man of Steel from the skies into limbo, where he meets Hunter and the Linear Men. They escort him into a pseudo-galactic defendant stand to be tried for crimes against the continuum. The Spectre appears, and offers Superman his counsel in the trial. Superman accepts, and after some hesitation goes quietly. He meets his judges: Highfather, Shazam, Ganthet, Zeus, and The Phantom Stranger. The council accuse Superman of disrupting potential futures during the Imperiex War, to which Superman takes offense, noting that the war was long and hard, and not only on his behalf but the very universe that maintains the existence of the council relied upon his intervention.
Hunter argues vigorously that Superman has disrupted the Linear Men's ability to maintain a steady understanding of the future. Spectre argues that Superman acted selflessly and heroically, the final results notwithstanding.
Hunter counters that Superman's selflessness disrupted the Universe's scheduled rebirth, and allowed Strange Visitor to commit suicide, and Kismet to be loosed from her shelter of flesh. Superman apologizes to Kismet, who forgives him. Hunter calls the Black Racer, who testifies that Superman even convinced him to cheat Steel of death. He calls Superman a nexus being that doesn't fully understand the consequences of his powers. Steel appears, having rent space-time with his Aegis to arrive on the scene. He tells Superman that after two days he decided to use the Aegis to go after Superman.
Superman explodes, finally unable to control himself. He accuses the judges of ignoring the fact that his family, the people he saved, are the source of his selflessness, and if that was a crime, then as far as he is concerned they can judge him as they will. The judges calm them all, telling them that this was not a trial, rather a hearing to ascertain the path of the future. The higher-beings see a future involving human masters of destiny as opposed to deity figures. Superman is an integral part in this. He is therefore dismissed.
Hunter, however, is infuriated, calling Superman an uncontrollable rogue. The council dismiss him as well, sending him from sight.
Meanwhile, Lex Luthor pours over a flawless resume for a Liesel Largo. Her profile shows her having been all around the world, and she has glowing recommendations from captains of industry, heads of state, and kings. Luthor has indeed, himself, found no dirt on Ms. Liesel. Therefore, he hires her as Lena's new nanny. He asks her when she can start. With the hidden Brainiac-green of her eyes now showing, she tells him that she can start anytime.
Appearing in "Time and Punishment"
- Emil Hamilton
- Spectre (Hal Jordan)
- Linear Men
- Black Racer
- Booster Gold (Flashback only)
- Lois Lane
- Natasha Irons
- Pat Dugan
- Courtney Whitmore
- President Luthor
- Nathaniel Mackelvany (Cameo)
- Hope Taya (Cameo)
- Space Ark (Mentioned only)
- Superman navigation number 2001/44.
- The "Booster Gold Debacle" that is recall by Hunter refers to the events in Adventures of Superman #476.
- Cover gallery for the Superman: The Man of Steel series
- Images from Superman: The Man of Steel Vol 1 118
Links and References
Adventures of Superman #596: 2001/43
Action Comics #783: 2001/45