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"The Men of Tomorrow, Chapter Three: Ulysses": From afar, a cloaked man watches Superman's progress throughout his life and marvels that Clark Kent has never given up hope. Perhaps he can't.


Quote1 Don't give up on hope, Dad. Tomorrow will be better. Quote2
-- Ulysses



Appearing in "The Men of Tomorrow, Chapter Three: Ulysses"

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  • Mind-Ticks

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Synopsis for "The Men of Tomorrow, Chapter Three: Ulysses"

From afar, a cloaked man watches Superman's progress throughout his life and marvels that Clark Kent has never given up hope. Perhaps he can't.

Superman has brought Neil Quinn to visit his long lost parents, and learn about why they sent him away to another dimension. They had been physicists for the military when they were confronted by a scientist named Dr. Margaret Night, who recruited them away to the Ulysses Research Lab after revealing that their work had gone toward mass killings. However, a reality-eating strange matter escaped in the lab and killed Doctor Night, and when they thought the lab was seconds from total annihilation, they sent their son to safety in the Fourth Dimension. However, not long after doing so, the pair discovered a way to seal away the leak and contain the strange matter. Their research was lost, though, along with any means of finding their boy. They never stopped looking, though. Tearfully, Neil admits that he's just happy they're alive.

He explains that the first thing he remembers is a blue light. He learned later that it was the inter-dimensional energy that carried him to the Fourth Dimension. He was adopted by residents of that dimension, who took him in and named him Ulysses, based on the branding on the vessel that brought him. They raised him as their own, and helped him to understand the changes that he underwent. His adoptive father believed that travelling between dimensions imbued him with powers. Both of his adoptive parents have since died. They were once prominent members of the governing assembly of the Great World - a planet of peace like the one his parents had sought. Peaceful, except for the occasional attack by a citizen of one of the five dimensions. Klerik had been one of those. Fortunately, with Klerik caught, there is no need of him in the Fourth Dimension. He can remain on Earth with his birth parents.

Afterward, Neil's mother shows Superman to the boy's room. She had held on hope that he'd come back, and maintained the room for all that time, though it is more a boy's room now than a man's. Superman offers that his friend can provide a paperwork trail to account for Neil's whereabouts without revealing the whole story. For the time being, it would be best to keep Neil's inter-dimensional history a secret. Bridget admits that she trusts Superman, and hopes that he'll stay in Neil's life to acclimate him to life on Earth, and she promises to accept him as family. Elsewhere in the house, Neil's father admits that he had given up on the search some time ago, and apologizes. Neil smiles, and tells him not to give up on hope.

Later, Clark wakes in his apartment in the early morning and is surprised to find Neil waiting for him, completely awake. He explains that he never sleeps. He wonders if Superman ever dreams, and who he is, when he dreams. Clark admits that he usually dreams of himself as Clark, and not Superman. He has a recurring dream, in fat, where he's back on Krypton as Clark, looking for his Kryptonian parents. When he finds his parents, they beg him to save Krypton before it explodes, and when he tries to become Superman to do it, he can't. Then he wakes up.

Suddenly, a green light begins emanating from a piece of the mechanical creatures that attacked Metropolis on the previous day. Neil explains that he can track the electromagnetic energy that comes from it, and he can lead Superman to where these beings are coming from.

Together, they head to a scrap yard, which Superman assumes must be where the scrap for the creation of these creatures must be coming from. He attempts to use his heat-vision to burn a hole in the ground, but he suddenly loses control of the blast. Neil suggests that he is the likely cause of the disturbance, offering to keep his distance for now. After getting under ground, the pair traverse some tunnels which lead to some kind of assembly line. There, a small device attaches itself to Ulysses' head, and Clark is taken aback when Neil unleashes a blast of his own heat-vision at him. Superman knocks Neil back and yanks the device from his head, only to hear a voice from behind them. As masked man introduces himself as The Machinist, unleashing mechanical attack-dogs at Superman, and explaining that he intends to sell them, and holding their own against the Superman might increase their value.

Despite Superman's attempt to destroy them, the Machinist comments that he sees everything his creations can see - and he is building a library of death in his mind. He unleashes hundreds of the little devices that had controlled Ulysses, calling them Mind-Ticks, and hoping that he'll be able to control Superman. Suddenly, though, the Machinist is grabbed by Ulysses, who burns a hole right through his opponent's chest in revenge for controlling him. Superman is horrified at the murder, but the Machinist's voice remains, coming from the mask on the body's face. The man behind the mask was innocent - just another man under the control of the mind-ticks. And Neil just killed him.



Notes

  • This book was first published on August 27, 2014.
  • No special notes.

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