"The Superman Monster": After hearing his friend Commissioner James Gordon's sinister tale at the Iceberg Lounge in Gotham City in 1888, newspaper magnate Peregrine White tells his own macabre story. White's tale takes place five years previously in a small Bavarian town ca
The Superman Monster is a one-shot with a cover date of October, 1999.
Synopsis for "The Superman Monster"
After hearing his friend Commissioner James Gordon's sinister tale at the Iceberg Lounge in Gotham City in 1888, newspaper magnate Peregrine White tells his own macabre story. White's tale takes place five years previously in a small Bavarian town called Ingolstadt, and concerns the exploits of Vicktor Luthor, a ruthless and amoral philosophy student and scientist. Luthor is expelled from the local college after his professors react in outrage to his unorthodox experiments in raising the dead, which they view as sacrilegious and abhorrent. Increasingly obsessed and isolated, Luthor plans to secure funds for his experiments by seducing and marrying Eloise Edge, the daughter of the wealthy local burgemeister. However, on the night of their engagement party Luthor is informed by Burgomeister Edge that the betrothal contract will prevent Luthor from financially benefiting from the marriage. Furious, Luthor storms out of the party, only to witness a strange object fall from the sky into the nearby forest.
Investigating the crash, Luthor discovers that the object is an advanced spacecraft containing the remains of an infant. Luthor accidentally activates a projection of the craft's designer, an alien scientist named Jor-El, and learns that the craft was intended to safely carry the scientist's son Kal-El from the destruction of their world Krypton. Luthor uses the information stored within the craft regarding Krypton, it's science and technology to his advantage, and designs a "Revival Matrix" which he believes will reanimate the dead. Luthor constructs a body from parts sourced from a local grave robber, whom he murders to keep his activities secret, and uses the Revival Matrix to bring it to life. Much to Luthor's horror, however, the process goes awry, and the resulting creature is a malformed, heavily scarred and unnaturally pale "superman" with strange abilities beyond those of mortal men. When the creature identifies Luthor as his "father", Luthor reacts in disgust and rejects the creature; this leads to a scuffle which sees Luthor injured and his lab set on fire. Among the creature's abilities is flight and invulnerability, however, which he uses to rescue Luthor.
Disorientated and frightened, the creature wanders into Ingolstadt, where he is overwhelmed by the noise and activity that his enhanced senses can pick up. Out of instinct, however, the creature intervenes to stop a carriage which has lost control and rescues the inhabitant, who turns out to be Eloise. Eloise treats the creature with kindness and gratitude, but the other townspeople are terrified by his appearance and abilities and chase him away. The creature eventually makes his way to an isolated farmstead owned by an elderly couple, Johan and Martha Kant. The kindly farmers, having recently lost their own son to war, take the creature in and treat him as their own, naming him "Klaus". Using his powers to help the Kants on their farm, Klaus begins to learn the ways of humanity and his monstrous appearance gradually becomes more human.
While grateful to the Kants, Klaus admits that he wishes to resolve matters with his creator -- but his powerful abilities have been noticed, and reports have already made their way back to Luthor. Determined to conceal what he has done, Luthor bribes a mob to attack the Kant farmstead. Johan and Marta are killed in the struggle, and Klaus furiously attacks Luthor, only to be overwhelmed by a green stone that Luthor had recovered from the spacecraft and fashioned into a cane. Believing Klaus to be dead, Luthor returns to town to be marry to Eloise, but before he can do so Klaus storms the ceremony and demands that Luthor face justice for his actions. Klaus and Eloise are surprised to recognise each other, however, and Luthor takes advantage of the confusion to try and shoot Klaus. The bullets bounce off Klaus's impenetrable skin and strike Eloise, killing her; enraged, Luthor brutally subdues Klaus with his cane.
After the wedding guests depart Luthor, driven to the brink of insanity by events, murders Burgomeister Edge and steals Eloise's body, determined to reanimate her in the Revival Matrix. When his friend James Olufsen catches him and tries to stop him, Luthor shoots him; the dying James lands in the cellar where Klaus is imprisoned, trapped by the green stones. With his dying energy, James releases Klaus, who confronts Luthor only to discover that Luthor has successfully revived Eloise. Eloise, revived with a scarred and malformed appearance similar to Klaus' original appearance, is overwhelmed by her experiences and rejects Luthor. Klaus comforts Eloise and offers to help her adjust to her new life, which she accepts; when Luthor tries to stop them, he is battered away, causing a fire to break out and destroy the Revival Matrix. Klaus and Eloise, immune to the flames, embrace and fly away, leaving Luthor to his fate.
Commissioner Gordon skeptically interrupts White's story, demanding to know how he knows what happened. White reveals that, while on an ship travelling to Archangel that had become trapped in ice, he and the crew had encountered Luthor, driven mad by his experiences and desperately searching for a "fortress of solitude" where he believed Klaus and Eloise had eloped to. From Luthor's journals and his ramblings, White managed to piece together what had happened, but Luthor soon died of exposure. When accompanying Luthor's body, White was astonished when Klaus appeared, now completely healed of his scarring and glowing angelically. After using heat produced from his eyes to free the ship from the ice, Klaus takes Luthor's body and flies away.
Appearing in "The Superman Monster"
- Burgomaster Edge (Flashback only)
- James Olafson (Dies in flashback)
- Johan Kant (Dies in flashback)
- Jor-El (Flashback only)
- Martha Kant (Dies in flashback)
- Professor Westfield
- The Bat
- Superman Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Action Comics (Volume 2)
- Adventures of Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- DC Comics Presents (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman (Volume 2)
- Superman (Volume 3)
- Superman (Volume 4)
- Superman (Volume 5)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- Superman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Steel (Volume 1)
- Superman: The Man of Tomorrow (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)