Don’t miss “The Boy Who Stole Superman’s Cape”
Grant Morrison weaves the history of Clark Kent’s early days in Metropolis!
The Boy Who Stole Superman's Cape
Curt’s Copies receives an order for two-hundred t-shirts, to be delivered by Wednesday. All of them are printed with the same design: a distinctive shield, emblazoned with a stylized “S”.
The Daily Star.
Editor-in-Chief George Taylor meets with Clark Kent, an aspiring young writer and the son of an old friend. Taylor offers Kent a job. “It’s your turn to show the world what you can do.”
Clark Kent has been in Metropolis for three months and has finally found a place of his own. In the meantime, he’s been staying with his pal Jimmy Olsen, a photographer at the Daily Planet.
Olsen would like nothing more than to earn some respect as a photo-journalist, but until now he’s made his living selling pictures of pretty girls. He manages his rent thanks to the guilt of his wealthy father.
Kent, for his part, would like nothing more than to meet Lois Lane, a reporter at the Daily Planet whose work he greatly admires. “She writes like she doesn’t care who she upsets. Reading Lois Lane is like watching a martial arts display.”
On the roof of the court building, Angus “Guns” Grundig puts in a call to Mr. Metropolis himself, Glen Glenmorgan. Acting as Glenmorgan’s muscle, he and his masked thugs have tracked down a policewoman who plans to testify against their boss, and Glenmorgan gives them orders to kidnap her.
Just then, the three armed criminals are interrupted by a brave young man. He wears a bright red cape, and his t-shirt is marked with a distinctive shield design, a large red and yellow “S,” bold across his chest.
Grundig threatens to shoot.
The young man dares him to.
The criminals open fire, and the young man just laughs as their bullets bounce off his indestructible cape. Then he demands that they let the policewoman go.
Their reply comes in the form of a rocket-powered grenade, aimed straight at his chest.
The grenade impacts and explodes, driving him off the rooftop and into the alley below. Somehow he survives, but Grundig and his thugs escape.
The young man lies in the alleyway, unconscious, where is found by a boy named Luke. Seeing an opportunity, he steals the man’s red cape, fleeing the scene before he regains consciousness.
While on the trail of “Guns” Grundig, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen bear witness to the amazing acts of this caped crusader. They rush back to their editor with the story, but all they can provide is an unbelievable tale and a few blurry photographs.
“This is the Daily Planet, not the Tattler,” their editor Perry White tells them. “What’s next: ‘God Found Dead In Cleveland’?”
They insist, however. This is real, and it’s news.
He challenges them to prove it.
Young Luke returns home. His father is angry. He beats Luke’s mother. He threatens Luke’s little brother with a knife.
Clad in the cape of a hero, Luke finally has the courage to stand up to his abusive father. Enraged, his father tries to stab him. The knife crumples harmlessly against the indestructible cape. His father charges again, and Luke lands a solid blow through the cape, knocking his father to the ground.
Then he runs, his little brother close behind...
Mrs. Nyxly shows Clark Kent his new apartment, and she knows he’s going to love it. The building she owns is largely inhabited by artists, musicians, models. “This is Boho Central,” she jokes.
As they talk, Kent gets to know her better. She talks about her nephew, Ferlin, who curates the music museum. She talks about her husband, the stage magician “Mystic Mr. Triple X.” He’s been in a coma for seven years, after a rival magician messed with one of his tricks.
She leaves to let him settle in. He only has a small bag with him, though, so it doesn’t take long. He zips off his hoodie...
Underneath, his t-shirt bears a distinctive “S”.
Luke and his brother Paulie make their way to the Metropolis trainyards, convinced that nothing can hurt them now that they have the hero’s cape.
Their father soon arrives to test that theory.
Not far away, Jimmy Olsen brings Lois Lane to Hob’s Bay, hoping to introduce her to Kent. She’s enjoyed his blog, after all, and he knows she’ll come to like Kent as he has.
Lane’s senses as a reporter soon draw her attention to the confrontation between the two young boys and their drunk, angry father. The man charges at his sons, driving them out onto the rails.
Driving them into the path of an oncoming train.
The man pulls Paulie off the tracks, but Luke’s foot gets stuck and he can’t escape. Their father forces Paulie to watch in horror as the scene unfolds. Luke does his best to be brave as the train barrels down on him...
It stops less than a foot away, brought to a halt by the man with the “S”.
Luke returns his cape. Jimmy Olsen takes his picture. Lois Lane has her story.
Before he leaves, young Luke asks him what the “S” stands for. As the sun sets on Metropolis, Lois Lane answers his question in the pages of the Daily Planet.
She dubs this mysterious stranger “Superman.”
Origin of the Species
Erik Drekken has become obsessed with the work of Prof. Emery Zackro. Considered a fringe lunatic by the scientific community at large, Zackro’s early work focused on “hyper-evolution,” a case study of a young man born a hundred thousand years before his time.
He is the next stage in human evolution, and studying him cost Zackro his career. Now Drekken wants to pick up where he left off.
His pursuit leads him to rural Kansas, following strange stories of the “Blake Farm Ghost.” However, the owner of the Blake farm shows him nothing but hostility, and he leaves empty handed.
Rain begins to fall as Drekken heads on to the next town. En route, however, his eyes are pulled away from the road by the sight of a UFO, soaring overhead.
He glances back down and nearly runs over a young man in the road.
Drekken swerves. His car bursts through the guard rail and flies off the road.
He stops in mid-air. The young man catches his car telekinetically and guides it safely back to the road.
“It’s you!” Drekken exclaims. “The one Zackro wrote about!”
His name is Adam Blake, and he possesses impossible abilities. His earliest memory is of his own birth, and the comet that passed overhead at that same moment. He sensed it there, above him, as its radiation mutated him in his first moments of life.
Drekken begs Blake to let him study him. If the secrets behind his mutation could be isolated and replicated, it could bring about a Golden Age for all of humanity.
Blake, however, says it is impossible. He has already given Prof. Zackro all the relevant data, and even if there were anything new to discover, he will not be around long enough for Drekken to study him.
The UFO returns for Adam Blake. It is time for him to go. There is a list of doomed planets. Their only hope lies in those like him, planetary cuckoos, the ones who don’t belong.
As he is born aloft by a trio of haloed aliens, he warns Drekken that one of the planets on the list is Earth.
The end of the world is nigh. Drekken returns to his car, convinced that his work is more important than ever. He will get his hands on Zackro’s data, one way or another. He will find a way to replicate the comet’s radiation. He will push mankind up the evolutionary ladder.
The human race depends on it.