Superman #2 "The Seventeen Year Old"

Superman #2 “The Seventeen Year Old”

Lois walks into the apartment complex.
Front Desk man: Hey, you left this earlier!
Lois looks at what he’s holding, it’s a coat.
Lois: Oh thank you, so much.
FDM: Hey, I know your family is new here, so I just wanted to let you know, everyone comes down once a month for food and drinks and to socialize.
Lois: Thanks for letting me know. When is it?
FDM: Tonight.
Lois: Well I’ll see what I can do

Lois gets on the elevator and dials Clark.
Lois: Hey Clark, did you figure out our son’s ID change stuff yet?
Clark (from phone): Nope. Too busy uhh… AHHH!
Lois: What are you doing?
Clark (from phone): Rescuing people from an earthquake in Cairo.
Elevator opens.
Lois: There’s an earthquake in Cairo?
Clark: Yep, I’ll figure it out when I get home.

Lois opens her apartment door. Jonathan Kent is eating Ice Cream from the container.
Jonathan Kent: Hey Mom!
Lois: Goodness, eat with your mouth closed.
Jonathan Kent: Sorry!
He goes in for another spoonful of icecream.
Lois: And how many times have I told you to stop eating from the container!
Jonathan: But Mom, there wasn’t any icecream on Earth-3.
Lois: That doesn’t mean you are allowed to eat from the container.

Superman flies to the fortress of solitude. He sits down and writes.

Dear Diary, Being Superman has never been easy. I always feel like I need to be the man everyone thinks I am, but I can’t. How can I be perfect? So far 70 people are dead from the earthquake. I can’t find anymore people in the wreckage, but what if I missed one? What if someone dies because I didn’t take care of them. I need to add 70 names to my wall. 70 people are could’ve saved if I had been better. If I was just Superman full time, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. But I don’t want to be Superman all the time. I’m not Superman. I’m Clark Kent. I’m a boy who played football in high school and college and became a pulitzer winning reporter. I think of all the people I’ve saved as Superman, but I’m more content being myself. I would give up being Superman, but I can’t. I can save people as Superman. If I choose to do nothing to protect people what does that say about me? But I worry the world is too brutal for me to exist. I can only be in one place at a time. I can react but so quickly. So WHO should I be?

-Clark.

Lois is on the phone laying on the couch.
Lois: Bruce, is there anything you can do on your end. I’d normally get my father to do it, but well, Leviathan happened.
Bruce: I’m torn Lois on one hand Clark is my best friend. On the other hand, I don’t want to bribe government official. I would try hacking the system, but they have paper copies too. Why did your son have to age 7 years in Space.
Jonathan: Mom! You know i have Super Hearing right?
Lois: Yes I do!
Bruce: What?
Lois: Just my son reminding me he has super hearing.
Bruce: Look, maybe Clark could grab the physical records and I could hack the system?
Lois: Maybe… I never thought I would have to think about this.
Bruce: Hey, have you thought about Jonathan’s offer?
Lois: Yeah…. I feel like we just got him back. I’m not ready to give him up yet.
Jonathan: Mom!
Lois: I know your listening! Sorry, I don’t know if I’m ready to let him go away. He’ll have to deal with all of this again when he gets back, and I worry he’s missing out on what it means to be human. He missed middle school which isn’t the worst outcome, and now he’s missing high school. I just worry going to the future will make him lose what he has now.
Bruce: I get it, but I’m not exactly the right person to talk to. I just homeschool everyone, and I say homeschool loosely.
Lois: Do you ever regret?
Bruce: I do. I worry Jason and Damian never knew what being a kid was like. I worry its taken them around the wrong path. Damian for example, he needs to grow up and realize everything doesn’t revolve around him. I love that child SO much, but he doesn’t know how to not be arrogant. He doesn’t understand what your son does. Damian is SO smart he just- he doesn’t know how to be human. I wish sometimes that Clark took him in.
Lois: I think Clark would go crazy if he tried to parent Damian.
Bruce and Lois: HAHAHA
Bruce: I’m trying to envision what their father-son talk would be like. Hey son, it’s important we remember the heroes of the past, that’s why we visited this old battlefield site. These people were all weak! None of them knew a thing about fighting. But they all believed in what they were fighting for, something you need to learn. I’m the best I don’t need a cause. I just win!
Lois: Haha. Hey, I need to do some work while I wait on Clark. It was nice talking to you. We should do this more often.
Bruce: We sure should.
Lois: Hey, how’s Selina and you doing?
Bruce: Well, we are still trying to deal with all the Bane stuff, but we kissed each other.
Lois: Well good luck with Bane. We would get involved but well you know.
Bruce: Yeah, the world needs Superman too much for him to risk death at her hands.
Lois: Nice talking. Bye!
Bruce: Bye!
Lois goes to her computer and types

Cairo, Egypt is in ruins. The 7.3 earthquake struck too close to the city causing mass damage. It should be amazing only 70 people are dead.
First Responders are inside a white tent bandaging wounded citizens.
Clark Kent: Hey, I’m Clark Kent with the Daily Planet and I was wondering if I could talk with any of you.
An Arab doctor comes up.
Doctor: I can spend some time if you’d like.
Clark: Thank you so much. Is there somewhere quiet we can go to
Doctor: Yeah, sure.
They walk out of the tent and into an empty one.
Clark: Let’s get to the chase. I’ve already gotten everything I need for the Earthquake interview. I’m really here for a piece I’m doing about first responders. I was reporting about the Miami Senior High School shooting and I learned about their guilt.
Arab: I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was feeling some now. You came in at a kinda bad time. We just lost someone who bled out.
Clark: oh no. I-I’m so sorry to hear that. (71 Clark thinks)
Doctor: I was just thinking that if we had done the procedure in a different order he would have lived. As a doctor, this isn’t the first time it’s happened.
Clark: Does it ever go away?
Doctor: Can’t say it does. The names will always stay with you. The emotion however will somewhat disappear. I’ve had to learn that death is a natural part of life. There would be no life without it, but I don’t feel better. Every death makes me feel like I failed. That’s the hardest part.
Clark: How do you keep going?
Doctor: I have come to terms with my death and mortality. I’m not saying it’s easier though.
Clark: Yeah-

Jon and Lois walk down the steps instead of taking the elevator.
Jon: Have you made a decision?
Lois: I know what I want to do, but maybe your father feels differently so maybe I should wait to tell you.
Jon: Look, I know you don’t want me to leave, but I spent 7 years surviving on my own and being a hero. I’m ready to go out again, and I spent 11 years being human. I have another 4 years until I even out.
Lois: But Jon look. You may think the best part of your dad is his super side, but it’s really his human side. I don’t want you to lose that because you’ve spent to long trying to be Superman. You have a lot of heart Jon, but I worry that heart has disappeared. I feel you need to be reminded of what life outside of flame prisons on Earth 3 and Space looks like and focus on figuring out who you are.
Jon: I already did Mom!
Lois: And that is?
Jon: A hero like dad.
Lois: You don’t get it.
Lois opens the lobby door. In the lobby are lots of snacks and all sorts of drinks. People of all walks of life talk and enjoy each other’s company Jon looks at the champagne.
Jon: Please Mom? (pointing at the champagne)
Lois: You’re too young.
Jon: But I drank alcohol on Earth-3.
Lois: And this is Earth-prime. Get a soda or something.
Jon: Fine.

Latina in the crowd: Hey, are you Lois Lane.
Lois: Yes I am!
Isabella: Hey! My name is Isabella. I’m an for the Metropolis Museum of Art and I am a huge fan of your work.
Lois: Why thanks! I’m sure your work is amazing too.
Jon walks over after picking up sparkling water.
Isabella: I like to think so. Is this your son?
Jon: Hi!
Isabella: I like your choice of beverage, it’s so fancy.
Jon: I just chose it because I couldn’t have
Lois: Hmm.
Jon: I couldn’t have- uh- APPLE JUICE- yeah I couldn’t have any Apple Juice.
Isabella: Just curious, what grade are you in?
Jon: Uh…… Uh… Uh…
Lois: He’s just really tired. Summers can be a confusing time. Lots of questions about what to call it. Are you a tenth grader, are you a rising eleventh grader? He’s in eleventh grade.
Jon: But–
Lois gives him a look, he shuts up.
Isabella: Well, if you ever are looking for something to write about, my featured art exhibit is always here!
Lois: I’ll leave Perry a note, your exhibit sounds wonderful, and if you ever want to talk. Here’s my number.
Isabella: Nice meeting you
Lois: You Too!

They start walking up the stairs. Lois wants some exercise.
Jon: Mom! What the heck!
Lois: Look, I know you want to go to the future, but you need some time enjoying being a human.
Jon: But I just got the offer!
Lois: And guess what, you can arrive at the exact same moment in time in the future 2 years from now or a hundred years from now. That’s the thing the future will always be there when we are ready.
Jon: But mom-
Lois: Look I was going to tell you this later, but since your father still isn’t here. I’ll just make the decision now. You are going to high school as a junior whether you like it or not. The sooner you suck it up, the better.
There is an awkward moment of silence.
They arrive on their floor. Lois unlocks their room.
Jon: You’re serious?
Lois: Dead serious.
Jon flies out the balcony frustrated.

To Be Continued
This was a very different issue, but it is partly designed to show what a Superman as a story can be! Poor Jon will have to wait a little longer in this future. By the way, since I was 17 when I started high school and Jon IS seventeen, it seemed only fitting that Jon go to school for another two years, of course Jon doesn’t think so.

Next Issue: Changing IDs, Picking Schools and a mysterious new villain.