"Home is the Hero!": Superman has realized being Superman is not something he can run away from. His powers may not be at their optimum level as he's aged but he's still more than capable of stopping alien invasions single-handedly. Homesickness is also something hard for him to ignore and after
Appearing in "Home is the Hero!"
- Armorgeddon (Marco Macarro)
Synopsis for "Home is the Hero!"
Superman has realized being Superman is not something he can run away from. His powers may not be at their optimum level as he's aged but he's still more than capable of stopping alien invasions single-handedly. Homesickness is also something hard for him to ignore and after a long time off-world he decides he wants to be back on Earth.
Meanwhile, the Justice League, consisting of Warhawk, Barda, Aquagirl, Micron and Green Lantern, are asking yet again for Terry McGinnis to help. Since Mayor Lex was taken down and Superman was away, Metropolis has sunk to much the same level as Gotham. Again Terry refuses in which Bruce Wayne warns Terry that the Justice League always think they take priority. Indeed it's the case as Aquagirl and Micron decide to head to Neo Gotham to plead with Terry in person.
In Hobbs Bay Detentional Facility, Mangler Marco Macarro is hoping to see his daughter Mina at the visitation. Instead his wife Teresa is there to announce that Mina will no longer be visiting her father. Marco is devastated. Mangler had been a model prisoner even volunteering for the most mundane jobs so he could lessen his sentence, all so he could be with his daughter. Despite the taunts from the guards, Marco stays silent.
Superman is back on Earth under his Clark Kent persona and visiting the grave of Jonathan and Martha Kent. He begin to wonder on whether the world still need a Superman.
Marco and the other prisoners are ordered to clean up in a Lex Labs waiting to be redecorated on loan for community service. Accidentally Marco activates a hidden panel and reveals a cache of green cylinders. The guards immediately accuse Marco of deliberately uncovering the cache in order to steal it. During a fight one of the canisters is shattered and Marco is boiled alive. As the other prisoners are escorted back and medivacs are called Macarro miraculously stands up, but he isn't himself any longer. Instead he is now a rocky being.
Clark is having dinner with his old friend Jimmy Olsen and is surprised to find that Jimmy is now a media mogul and creator of the O-Phone. When he was let go from the Daily Planet, Jimmy invested wisely and made a success of his life. The O-Phone is shaped like a watch and gathers RSS, which proudly Jimmy presents one to Clark complete with his old signal watch Zeee Zeee ringtone. Jimmy is so happy to see his friend that he even offers him a job as a reporter.
Warhawk and Barda are bitterly disappointed to be called to Lex Labs for a clean up operation, but things get serious when they realize it has escalated to an attack. Macarro is able to become soft as clay or hard as stone and absorbs all the remaining canisters of the green substance before smashing out of the lab and into the streets. Macarro is quick to take down the Justice Leaguers in a rage.
Superman is wallowing in misery, mourning the loss of his wife, amplified by the fact he has moved back into their old apartment. His mood is interrupted when an RSS feed updates through his new watch mentioning Lex Luthor.
Marco claims he is invincible and his new powers are put to the test when he battles Green Lantern. The fight that lasts mere seconds and in Marco's favor but Superman arrives just in time. Marco, self-christening himself as "Armageddon," mocks Superman for his advanced age. Superman engages him, but he realizes this strange new 'clayface' may be infused with Kryptonite as his chemical origin hailed from Lex Labs. Weakened, Superman can only watch as Marco, rechristening himself as Armorgeddon, absorb a heavy armored tank into a new skin for himself. He overhears Marco mumble about being reunited with his daughter and pursues Armorgeddon into what was once Suicide Slum.
Superman watches as Marco climbs a tower and peers into a window which he sees a sobbing Mina who misses her father and is crushed when she screams in fear. The Man of Steel offers sympathy and support but Armorgeddon is in a fit of rage. He states that Superman is supposed to protect innocents like Mina from monsters so he demands Superman to destroy him. The battle resume between them although Superman still offers his support. He knows Marco is not a villain and that he is in pain, lost, alone. Marco, however, is still adamant that he is just born of rage. Superman then uses his speed to create a vacuum. With Macarro using his abilities of absorption to augment himself, being pulled into space offers him nothing to sustain his power.
With a last burst of rage Marco stabs Superman through the chest, hoping they will both die. Superman regrets he was not one for meticulous plans like Bruce but swears with his dying breath that he will make sure Marco lives. Crashing to Earth into the path of the Justice League, Marco, now human, can't begin to fathom why Superman went to such lengths to help him. Superman heals quickly now that the Kryptonite is far away and steadies himself in the arms of Warhawk, Green Lantern and Barda.
With Superman back, Green Lantern requests that Superman return to the Justice League roster. If Batman won't be part of it at least one founding member will still be there. Happily he accepts, at least for a few years.
Later, at Lois Lane's graveside Clark and Bruce reunite, share fond memories of Lois and Bruce questions Clark's return to a secret identity and super heroics. Clark points out he is and always will be Clark and will be able to continue as Superman for a long time to come. Though he won't truly say it, Bruce is glad to have his best friend back.
- This issue takes place a year after the events in Superman/Batman Annual #4.
- No trivia.
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