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"Untitled": Clark feels nervous and his palms are sweating. He hadn't felt this nervous since the time he moved an entire planet, and now, he is travelling to ubania, a former Soviet nation that had now become a modern financial powerhouse. Clark's official assignment is to do an interview on on

Quote1.png No matter the consequences, I will always care. Quote2.png
Superman

Superman Red and Blue #1 is an issue of the series Superman Red and Blue (Volume 1) with a cover date of May, 2021. It was published on March 15, 2021.

Synopsis for "Untitled"

Clark feels nervous and his palms are sweating. He hadn't felt this nervous since the time he moved an entire planet, and now, he is travelling to ubania, a former Soviet nation that had now become a modern financial powerhouse. Clark's official assignment is to do an interview on one of Lubania's wealthiest entrepreneurs, but on a personal level, this journey serves as therapy to Clark. He asks for a taxi and travels to the Kelebnic Reducation Facility, also known as the "Prison with no Name." As he walks through the place, Clark remembers the last time he was in Lubania.

Superman had travelled to Lubania to address an emergency. Back then, he felt invincible and that nothing could hurt him, not the forces of nature or the laws of nations, but his time in Lubania was a huge wake-up call for him. The Soviet regime had found a way to synthesize Kryptonite radiation, not enough to kill Superman, but strong enough to take away his powers. Superman was captured, taken to the camp and thrown in with enemies of the regime. For eight months, Superman was beaten and tortured by Nikolai Koslov and his treatment was used by the regime as propaganda to prove the weakness of the West. Eventually, with Batman's help, Superman escaped the camp, but he's never felt free of it or of Koslov.

Clark returns to the taxi and, as he moves towards his interview, he thinks about the torture he endured. He privately admits that Koslov made him feel humilliated in a way Lex or Brainiac had never been able to do, and now, he's returning to Lubania to face Koslov yet again. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Koslov spent time in his own camp until a truth and reconcilliation commission considered him punished enough for his crimes. Koslov then used his connections to build a business empire and now, he's one of the wealthiest men in Lubania.

During the interview, Koslov opined on everything from the scalability of global economics to the capitalization of cheap human labor in rising human nations. Eventually, Clark asked him if he felt regret about all the pain and sorrow he had caused. Clark hoped that Koslov was either genuinely remorseful, which would give Clark hope that Koslov was still a decent man, or that he wasn't remorseful at all, giving Clark the excuse to take revenge on all the suffering he endured at Koslov's hands.

In the end, Koslov was neither reformed nor remorseless. He simply said that many people made mistakes during the Cold War, but in the end, the West won and it was time for everybody to move on. Clark thinks that it's easy for Koslov to talk about "moving on" because Koslov was the victimizer, not the victim. With the interview over, Koslov parts ways with Clark, who thinks that he could use the information he gathered to write a high-profile exposé on how Koslov was exploiting workers around the world, building wealth on their backs, but then, he watches the squad of police cars rushing past him. Clark understands that Koslov thrived in the past because few people cared enough to stop him.

Clark reveals his Superman uniform and tells himself that, no matter the consequences, he will always care.

Appearing in "Untitled"

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Antagonists:

  • Colonel Nikolai Koslov (Flashback and main story)
    • Shevernaz (Flashback only)

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Synopsis for "The Measure of Hope"

Melvin Northridge holds a funeral for his mother and tells his mother's urn that she shouldn't have died alone. Suddenly, Superman arrives at the graveyard and expresses his condolences to Melvin, who isn't angry at Superman, he is just disappointed. Melvin asks Superman how many letters he has written for him and Superman says that Melvin has written 63 letters. Everybody writes letters to Superman all the time. It takes him a while, but eventually, Superman gets around to reading them all, but by the time Superman had read Melvin's letter, it was too late. Melvin still remembers the day he wrote the letter.

Many years ago, when Melvin was still a young boy, Metropolis' public schools had shut down because of an impending supervillain attack on the city. As Melvin rushed home, he stumbled upon Superman fighting Kalibak and Superman told Melvin to go home as soon as possible. Melvin's mother, Jolene, had been fired from her job as a legal secretary, so Melvin thought that his story with Superman would cheer her up. Unfortunately, when he made it back home, he found Jolene injecting herself with heroin.

Later that night, Jolene tried to explain what happened. She had been feeling frustrated due to death of Melvin's father and her dismissal from her job, but she does admit that putting drugs into her body was the worst decision she had ever made in her life. She felt like a liar and a hypocrite for becoming a drug addict, but still makes Melvin promise that he will never get near drugs and Melvin agrees.

As she stares at Melvin's blankets, which are adorned with Superman's symbol, Jolene told Melvin that Superman said that the symbol meant hope and  Melvin asked what did she hope for. She hoped for a better tomorrow and told Melvin to always keep an eye on Superman.

Melvin tells Superman that his mother's body was found last week. She had injected herself with a bad batch of heroin but somehow managed to make it into a church for the final moments of her life. The only things in her purse were her I.D. and her photograph, which Melvin used as the picture for her funeral program. Melvin says that he loved his mother, even though she made a lot of bad choices and ultimately, everybody must take responsibility for the choices they had made. He also understands that Superman and his friends are not gods or emperors and Melvin himself has no right to judge or question their actions. Even so, he understands that Superman inspires the people on the streets to believe in hope and to become better than what they are now.

Superman asks Melvin if there's something he can do and Melvin gives him Jolene's urn and tells him to bury her in the starlight. Melvin is in a good place right now, he has a job, a fiancée, a home and friends, all because he never stopped believing in his mother's gift of hope.

Superman places the urn and the picture in a vessel shaped like his symbol and puts it on the surface of the moon. He asks Jolene for forgiveness and promises to do better.

Appearing in "The Measure of Hope"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Jolene Northridge (Only appearance; dies) (In flashback and photograph)
  • Melvin Northridge (Single appearance)

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Synopsis for "The Boy Who Saved Superman"

At the Daily Planet, Clark watches as his personal hero, a young man whose name Clark doesn't even know, is getting interviewed by Perry in order to get a job. He still remembers the day this man saved his life.

Clark had just been Superman for a month and he had found himself fighting a monster. Suddenly, the monster blasted him with an energy beam that threw Superman several streets away and knocked him unconcious. A boy found the unconscious Superman right next to a collapsing building. The boy had read about Superman in the newspaper and knew Superman had lost his home, just like he did. He carried Superman to the building and asked two people to help him take Superman to the roof. The building's stairs crumbled down and the two men left Superman and the boy behind. Even so, the boy refuses to abandon Superman and reached the roof, exposing Superman to sunlight.

The building crumbled down and Abdi's right hand was crushed by debris. Superman awakened and offered to take the boy to the hospital, but the boy told Superman to save their people first. Using a special device given to him by a man in a flying chair, Superman vanished the monster to another dimension, but by the time he returned to help the boy, he was gone. Clark would learn about the boy years later after reading his job application for the Daily Planet. His name was Abdi El-Kahl and after the incident, he would achieve great things in his life and receive a prosthetic hand from S.T.A.R. Labs.

Abdi successfully gets the job and Clark congratulates him. They compliment each other for their work and shake hands.

Appearing in "The Boy Who Saved Superman"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Abdi El-Kahl (Flashback and main story)

Antagonists:

  • Unnamed monster (Flashback only)

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Synopsis for "Human Colors"

A mysterious entity arrives at Metropolis and steals all colors from the universe, leaving nothing except black and white. Superman deduces the entity's nature as an imp from the fifth dimension, much like Mr. Mxyzptlk, but cannot describe what the entity has done to the universe. He merely feels that the entity has taken something special. When the imp says that he has stolen all the colors from the universe, Superman asks what exactly are colors. The imp admits that it's hard to explain what colors are now that they're all gone. He didn't think that the people of the universe weren't using colors that much, but now that he has taken them, the universe feels gray.

People used to laugh and get angry, but now, they merely exist. The imp now believes that, maybe, colors were important after all, so he gives Superman a box that contains all colors in the universe and Superman can let them out if he wants. He tells Superman to be careful, however, as the world in color was far more complicated. There was warmth and laughter, but there was also anger and sadness and, perhaps, a gray world is better. The imp returns home, leaving the box in Superman's hands.

Later that night, Superman asks Batman whether or not he should open the box. Superman thinks it'd be irresponsible to unleash colors into the world, but according to the imp, people always had them, but don't exactly remember them. Batman thinks Superman should keep the box closed, lest he risks unleashing chaos into the universe. Superman returns home and stares the box all night until the morning. He asks Lois why did they watch the sunrise every day. Now that the universe has no colors, the sunrise doesn't feel special anymore. Lois believes that, perhaps with colors, the sunrise felt more special.

Superman thinks he should open the box but he feels worried about unleashing chaos and hurting people. Lois suggests that Superman should just unleash one or two colors at the time, if only to ease people back into the idea of colors. Superman thinks that's a good idea and chooses which colors he will release.

First, he unleashes red. It is the color of love and fire. With red, people can feel courage and use fire again. However, red is also the color of anger and blood. With it, people can wage war and fight each other to the death.

Then, Superman releases blue. It is the color of sadness and music. With it, people can hold funerals and sing about their grievances. However, blue is also the color of water and hope. With it, people can sail across the oceans and feel hope, even in the darkest of nights.

Ultimately, the universe regained its colors, but Lois remembers red and blue as the most human colors of all. Superman still wonders whether or not he made the right choice, but Lois and humanity believe that he did. He gave humanity the gift of the sunrise.

Appearing in "Human Colors"

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Synopsis for "The School of Hard-Knock Jokes"

Clark prepares for his biggest challenge yet: his first day of kindergarten. Jonathan and Martha is worried that Clark will be treated like a freak, while Clark himself is worried that he won't make any friends, but Jonathan simply tells Clark to tell jokes and if he gets people to laugh, they'll be his friends. Clark's first day isn't as difficulty as he once thought and he ends up making many friends at school, until he notices a girl, Samantha, sitting alone in the playground. Everybody is rude to her and Clark doesn't understand why.

He wants to be friends with Samantha, but he is afraid that if he talks to her, he will lose all the friends he has made up to that point. He talks to his parents about Samantha and asks about what he should do. Jonathan and Martha tell Clark to just talk to Samantha and try to be friends with her. The next day, Clark does try to be friends with Samantha, and ultimately, all the other kids come to play with them.

Clark invites his friends to his home for a sleepover and his parents kiss him as a reward for doing the right thing.

Appearing in "The School of Hard-Knock Jokes"

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Notes



See Also


Links and References

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