"To Laugh and Die in Metropolis": The Joker comes to Metropolis. He builds a Superman robot and programs it to rob the Metropolis diamond exchange. It uses the Joker's patented Joker gas to kill everyone in the bank. Maggie Sawyer and the SCU team arrive at the same tim
Synopsis for "To Laugh and Die in Metropolis"
The Joker comes to Metropolis. He builds a Superman robot and programs it to rob the Metropolis diamond exchange. It uses the Joker's patented Joker gas to kill everyone in the bank. Maggie Sawyer and the SCU team arrive at the same time that Superman flies down to the scene.
Superman confronts the robot and discovers that it is carrying a bomb inside of it. He flies it high into the atmosphere, where it explodes harmlessly. When he returns to Metropolis, he learns that the Joker has kidnapped Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White. Each of them are encased inside of a lead coffin and Superman has thirty minutes to find their locations before their air runs out. In a lead-lined disguised truck heading out of the city, the Joker gloats to his hostages, who are actually with him, that he has outwitted Superman. Suddenly, the Joker receives a call from his henchman telling him frantically to look outside. To his shock, the truck is in mid-air, carried by Superman who is taking him to the authorities.
Once the Joker's gang is in custody, Superman explains how he foiled the the supervillain. It is simple, while lead does block his x-ray vision, it does not make the substance somehow invisible to him as popularly supposed. On the contrary, it makes the substance stand out easily to his sensory power, so all Superman had to do is ascend above the city and do a wide scan of it. In doing so, the coffins were instantly spotted and Superman was able to confine his search to those specific objects. With that quick search, Superman had plenty of time to search for the Joker, whom he deduced was obviously attempting to flee the city. Furthermore, since the criminal would doubtless being trying to hide from the superhero with the same misapprehension about lead, Superman simply had to do another wide scan for a vehicle sheathed completely in the heavy metal, which is not a common metal for motor vehicle body construction. As such, the Joker's getaway vehicle was quickly spotted and captured.
Finally, Superman has one question: he asks the Joker why he suddenly began operating out of Metropolis. The Joker replies, "Why not?"
Back in Smallville, a small robot probe flies into Lana Lang's window and zaps her in the forehead with a laser beam. Time for Lana to become a victim again.
Appearing in "To Laugh and Die in Metropolis"
- Alice White
- Jimmy Olsen
- Lana Lang
- Lois Lane
- Maggie Sawyer
- Perry White
- Toby Raynes (First appearance)
- New Troy
- Daily Planet
- Metropolis Bay
- Metropolis Diamond Exchange
- Stryker's Island Maximum Security Internment Center
- Mojave Desert
Synopsis for "Metropolis 900 Mi."
Lex Luthor visits a Ralli's Diner 900 miles outside Metropolis and offers a waitress $1,000,000 to spend a month with him. The waitress, Jenny Hubbard, is furious at his forwardness. Luthor analyzes her based on what he can see, and makes her question everything about her life. She was the prettiest and most popular girl in her high school, but ended up broke and stuck in a loveless marriage after graduation. Unable to escape her podunk town, Luthor suggests she must be forever taunted by the sign outside saying "Metropolis 900 Mi." Luthor's offer of a million dollars would be enough to finally get her out of her disappointing life and take her somewhere better. Jenny angrily refuses, and Luthor tells her he'll wait outside in his car for ten minutes to see if she changes her mind. The other waitresses gush about what they would do with that kind of money, leading Jenny to question her decision. She calls her husband Wally on the phone and he picks up drunk. Jenny hangs up on Wally in mid-conversation, and somebody walks in to tell her that Luthor has already left. She walks outside to see his car driving away, and she stands there just looking at the sign.
In the car, Luthor's driver Cynthia remarks that he waited longer with this one than he did with the others. Luthor replies "This one needed extra finesse, Cynthia. The extra tantalization. She seemed of somewhat stronger moral fibre than some of the others with whom we've played this little game in the past. But the result is the same. Jenny Hubbard will never know what her final choice would have been. And that question will torment her for the rest of her meaningless life!" Luthor then tells Cynthia that they're driving back to Project Overload.
Appearing in "Metropolis 900 Mi."
- Jenny Hubbard (First appearance)
- Ralli's Diner
- "To Laugh and Die in Metropolis" was reprinted in Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 5 and The Joker: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- "Metropolis 900 Mi." was reprinted in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Superman Vs. Lex Luthor and Lex Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- Superman appeared last in Adventures of Superman #431.
- The Joker was last seen in Doctor Fate (Volume 1) #2. He appears next in Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #66.
- Lois Lane appeared last in Booster Gold (Volume 1) #19.
- Lana Lang appeared last in Adventures of Superman #430. She appears next in Action Comics #595.
- Maggie Sawyer appeared last in Superman (Volume 2) #7.
- Behind the scenes appearances by the Manhunters.
- First appearance of Jenny Hubbard. She will make one more appearance in Superman (Volume 2) #163.
- First appearance of Toby Raynes, a reporter for the Metropolis Star. She appears next in Superman (Volume 2) #15.
- This is the first appearance of the Stryker's Island Penitentiary. It is loosely based on the Riker's Island prison outside of Manhattan Island in New York City. Riker's Island penitentiary does in fact exist in the modern DC Universe.
- Clark finally opens the package that was delivered to him in issue #2. The contents are the Kent Family Scrapbook.
- The Superman Robot that appears in this issue is a weapon utilized by the Joker. It is not to be confused with the robotic simalucrums that Superman keeps in storage at the Fortress of Solitude.
- A summation of events similar to those in "To Laugh and Die in Metropolis" are related for the revised Prime Earth continuity in Batman (Volume 3) #41
- This comic book features advertisements for the following products:
- —M&M chocolate candy
- —Oxy10 facial cleanser
- —Cox Hobbies SB-X stealth bomber snap-together model kit
- —Magna 18-speed bicycle
- —DC Comics – Doom Patrol comic book series debut
- —Mile High Comics comic book back-issue catalogue
- Lex Luthor orders steak and eggs when he visits the Ralli's Diner.