Superman #5 "The Reporter and the Boys

Superman #5: “The Reporter and The Boys”

Warning: MATURE THEMES are used included in the series: Underage Drinking, Suicide, Gun Violence, Racism, and Sexism.

Reintroduction

The Daily Planet reads on the front page.“Suicide Bombers paint a grim picture of Metropolis.” A third article reads “High School Water Polo Season gets underway across the City.” On the politics page the headline is “Presidential Impeachment Inquiry paints a dangerous picture of America’s future” and another article reads “Housing Prices continue to rise. Is Rent Control an option?”

The Apartment Offices

Lois sits in an Office
Rent Lord: Look, Mrs. Lane. I get your worries, but there is nothing I can do. If I owned the building, I would help Isabella out. I love her a lot, but I’m in a rock in a hard place. I like my job and I like helping all of you out, but using my job to help a friend is no longer in my capacity.
Lois: There’s nothing you can do.
Rent Lord: Look if there was, I would do something. There’s not though.
Lois: Look, I know your rent prices have to go up because of your new owner, but who is it.
Rent Lord: Look, I honestly have no idea. I got contacted anonymously and got offered an enormous sum of money for the lease. Of course I took it.
Lois: Even though it is screwing over your friend.
Rent Lord: How do I say no to-Mrs. Lane. I’ve told you enough. I hear your concerns and I’m genuinely sorry to Isabella and plan to apologize to her myself.
Lois: Does it hurt? Pushing your friend away?
Rent Lord: Have a wonderful day Mrs. Lane.

Opulentus Academy Locker Room. The Changing Period.

Jon walks in with his Friday White and Teal suit. He is more than pleased to be able to change, but uncomfortable being in the locker room. Daimon is already there. Changed.
Daimon: Hey Jon, how are you?
Jon: Tired. I just feel void of energy a lot right now. (Jon starts changing into the more relaxed second half of the day uniform for Sports and Engineering)
Daimon: Not use to getting up this early?
Jon: Absolutely not. It’s ridiculous how early we have to get up.
Daimon: With water polo, it will be even earlier.
Jon: When?
Daimon: If we get varsity, we have to be here by 5:00
Jon: How?
Daimon: Just get sleep earlier and eat breakfast. That’s what I’ve been doing.
Jon: I don’t think getting more sleep is possible with homework and everything.
Daimon: Welcome to the athlete’s life.
Jon: …
Daimon:…
Jon: Do you think I’ll make the team?
Daimon: The varsity team? Probably not, but you did surprisingly well at the tryouts.
Jon: You think you’ll make it right?
Daimon: Honestly, I could care less. I would be lying if I thought I would fit in with the varsity kids.
Jon: I would think you would fit in great. You are so kind and hardworking.
Daimon: I like that you think the varsity team cares about people who are kind. You’ve met James right?
Jon: The water polo captain?
Daimon: Yeah. If you are anything less than perfect, he will shame you to no end. Did you know he’s had 7 girlfriends in the last 2 years?
Jon: How do you even go through girls that fast?
Daimon: Cheating on them.
Jon: oh…
Daimon: Look, most of them are not the nicest people. There’s this sophomore named Olly, he’s the only lowerclassmen to make the varsity team in 6 years. He’s been playing every day since he was 6. He’s made the junior olympics three times, which sounds great, but he’s always trying to remind you that he’s better than you.
Jon: I take it you don’t want to join the varsity team then?
Daimon: Well, I think it’d be nice, but I don’t really care.
Daimon leaves the room. Jon takes a quick glance and when he thinks no one is looking, he places his hand on the Gold Kryptonite. He feels dizzy. When he feels better, he leaves.

Isabella’s apartment

Lois walks in.
Lois: I heard you are moving out.
Isabella: Yeah, the art life sucks sometimes doesn’t it.
Lois: It shouldn’t have to be this way.
Isabella: and yet, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Lois: Look, is there anything I can do to help?
Isabella: Well, I bought a new appartment out in Suicide Slum. You know what’s crazy, Suicide Slum already has appartment’s going on. When I first moved here, only downtown had apartment buildings, but now, even the suburb land prices are skyrocketing. Anyway, I need to pack up and start moving in. The sooner I move in, the sooner I can move on with my life.
Lois: Let me know what I can help you pack.
Lois and Isabella start packing up.

The Water Polo Hall ← Yes the school has their own water polo hall.
Jon and Daimon are walking down the hallway to see the tryout postings.

Jon seems tired and a little slouched. The Gold Kryptonite is clearly taking a toll already.
Daimon: Seems stressed and worried. His chest is tight and he seems uneasy.
Jon: Hey Daimon, are you okay?
Daimon: Yeah, just nervous.
Jon: About what?
Daimon: Apparently about if I made it. I thought I didn’t care, but clearly I do.
Jon: The heart can do that sometimes.
The two become quiet as the tryout posting comes into view. There are some people looking at the posting, but most people haven’t arrived yet.
Jon looks at the sheet.

It reads:
Captain: James Klein
Assistant Captain: Olly Shafer
Varsity:
Lenny Crier
Bolton Seacrest
Daimon Wane
Travis Daley
Cullen Witley
Grayson Richard
David Drake
Barret Kimmel
Jon Kent
Jake Bain
Varsity Goalie: Luke White

Daimon jumping up and down: OH MY GOD I MADE IT I MADE IT I MADE IT!!!
He runs down the hallway and back up.

Jon looks at him and smiles then looks back at the list and smiles even harder.
Daimon looks at the list again
Daimon: Of course the coach’s son made it. Hey! Jon you made it!
Jon: Yeah.
Daimon: You don’t sound all that enthused. YOU MADE IT!
Jon: Yeah, I guess I did.
Daimon: Did I scare you a little bit earlier today with my negative comments about the team?
Jon: Maybe a little.
Daimon: Well, you’ll have me!
James Klein, the Captain walks by.
James: Hey Jon and Daimon! Congrats on making it. I’m organizing a dinner tonight at big belly burger for everyone who made it. I’ll text you the details!
Daimon: Thanks James!
James walks off.
Jon: Wait he doesn’t have my number.
Daimon: I’ll text them to you. Wait… I don’t have your number.
Jon: Oh, haha. My number is…

The White House Press Room

A stream of Reporters gather in the White House Press Briefing Room. Clark is in the middle, almost blending in with the gaggle of reporters in the room. At the podium, the acting chief of staff Mr. Croney gives up the podium for the president. The president is old, and has a weird tint of orange in his skin, his hair seems like it is trying to blonde but ends up looking like the color of his skin. It’s unclear if he wears a wig or not.

President Prumt: Let me make one thing clear. My email was beautiful! The most beautiful email you will ever read. I did not send any government secrets to the president of Markovia. Instead it was a beautiful email, one of a kind, all you guys are reporting it. I did absolutely nothing wrong. The Lawmarkers know it, The Superior Court knows it, and I know it. It was beautiful. I’ll take a couple of questions.

Prumt starts to leave the stage. Mr. Croney walks up points the the podium. President Prumt walks back
Prumt: Person with the glasses from the badly-doing Daily Planet
Clark: Mr. President, what did you mean when you said and I quote “Hope that info helps!”
Prumt: I was helping an ally.
Clark: But Mr. President, that info was top secret.
Prumt: I can declassify anything I want. I’m the president. I have an article 2 which lets me make whatever beautiful emails I want
Clark: So you did give classified info to a foreign opponent for help taking back the house of Representatives.
Prumt: Of course we did! We do it all the time!
Mr. Croney walks over whispers but accidentally into a hot mic
Croney: You weren’t supposed to say that. Let’s just stop the questions.
Mr. Croney hears his whispers on the mic and creates a worried face before Prumt and him walk off.
Gotham Gazette Reporter Vicki Vale to Clark: Haha, what happened to multiple questions.
Clark and Vicki laugh.
Lois’s Desk at the Daily Planet
Lois: Yes that was a wonderful exchange Clark, but let’s be real, nothing is going to change…Really?..Did you know your optimism is intoxicating?..Bye.
On Lois’s Desktop computer, a city government website is up showing land rights. She types in her apartment address. She presses enter. She looks at the spot that says OWNER:. It reads BG: Hypercube Inc. She types in BG Hypercube Inc into google. She clicks a link to hypercube incorporated. They make molecular modeling equipment. She sees a number, she calls.
Secretary: Hypercube Inc. How may I help?
Lois: Hello, I’m a reporter for the Gotham Gazette. I’m looking into recent land acquisitions into apartments in Metropolis.
Secretary: Are you sure you want Hypercube Inc.
Lois: It says the appartments are owned by you.
Secretary: While I’m not 100% certain what I’m saying is true. Respectfully, we are a small canadian company who makes 2 million a year in profits. We don’t have the money to buy an apartment building, much less one in another country, even less in Metropolis. I’m sorry, but your question makes no sense. I’d be happy to have someone on the team look into it for you.
Lois: That would be much appreciated. Thank you.
Lois hangs up.
Lois: The F***?

Big Belly Burger

Jon walks in with a casual shirt and jeans. The water polo players are sitting at a big round table with milkshakes.
Daimon: Look who finally made it!
Jon: Hey, sorry I’m late.
Daimon: Don’t worry about it.
Jon looks around, sees an empty chair at another seated table and takes it.
Customer: Hey, I’m saving that for my husband b****.
Jon looks at her and takes the chair anyway.
Customer: B**** Giving me back my chair.
Jon: He’ll just have to pick a chair from somewhere else.
Cusomer: F*** You asshole.
Jon: I’m sorry, what did you call me?
Jon lifts his hand.
Daimon: Jon! What’s taking so long.
Jon: Sorry! I’m coming!
He takes the chair and sits in between Daimon and Lenny.
Jon sits down. A waiter comes up.
Waiter: What would you like to drink?
Jon: Can I just have a water?
Bolton who sits across from Jon has big arm muscles and is wearing a revealing tank top and salmon shorts looks at Jon.
Bolton: Really Jon a water?
Bolton to Waiter: He’ll have a Cordoba Milkshake.
Waiter: Can I have an ID?
Bolton: Here. He gives her an undisclosed amount of cash.
Waiter: Cordoba Milkshake it is.
Jon doesn’t say anything. After all, he lived for 7 years in the lawless Earth 3. He’d be lying if he said he didn’t enjoy a good boozy drink.
Jon: I don’t have the money to buy one.
Bolton: The whole meal is on me. Having a billionaire father makes life as easy as grabbing a woman’s–
Lenny: Could you stop?
Bolton: Stop what?
Lenny: Being a sexist pig.
Bolton: Haha, you have the audacity to call ME a pig. That’s ironic coming from you.
Travis Daley: HAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHA!
Lenny shuts down. He breathes in and he breathes out.
Travis: HAHAHAH. HAHAHA-
He gets a glare from James and shuts up.
James to Jon: Give Bolton a break, once you get to know him, I promise he’s not that bad. I mean his joke was kinda funny.
Olly (the only freshman): Except at water polo.
James: What?
Olly: He’s not bad except at water polo.
Jake Bain: Hah-
He looks at Bolton and stops.
Jake (in a quiet tone): Sorry
Bolton seems to have control of the room. Travis and Jake Bain seem to be listening to him. James, the captain, should have the most power, but he’s being complicit. Everyone seems to hate Olly. Why? Jon didn’t know.
Jon looks around, he notices Lenny has shut himself off of conversation with his phone and seems to have given up. He looks upset.
Cullen, the only black member of the JV and Varsity combined also is extra quiet.
Luke, the blonde goalie seems to just be listening actively. He seems to admire James, and seems slightly repulsed by Bolton’s comics.
The waiter comes with drinks. As everyone starts to chat, Luke and James talk together. Bolton, Travis, and Jake talk. Olly awkwardly tries to engage them too and Cullen is by himself. Everyone creates a bunch of white noise.
Daimon: You’ve been quiet. Is everything good?
Jon: Absolutely, I’m just taking everyone in.
Daimon: You get what I mean by well bro-culturey.
Jon: I mean it just seems to be three of them.
Daimon: Trust me it’s really 6, Luke is with James and Olly well he’s Olly.
Jon: What don’t you like about Olly?
Daimon: You know, a little stuck up. He’s been playing water polo since he was 3 and has competed at the junior olympics multiple times.
Jon: Ah. He won’t let you forget it.
Daimon: Nope. He won’t.
Bolton: Hey, Jon. I, Travis, and Jake are hanging out at my place tonight. Want to join us?
Jon: I’m good.
Bolton: You should join us.
Jon: I said I’m good.
Bolton: Please?
Jon looks at Daimon. Daimon is mouthing NO!
Jon: I guess I can, but Daimon has to be able to join us.
Daimon: I’m good.
Bolton: To go? Awesome, I’ll see you both there.
And awkward beat lingers
Daimon: Can we talk?
Daimon and Jon get up and go outside.
Daimon: Dude, not cool. I didn’t want to go.
Jon: I just figured you would want to.
Daimon: Why the f*** would you think that?
Jon: I don’t know. I guess I’ve been around people like that for the last 7 years. I’d be lying if I’d seen alot of kindness. So I guess to me, it seems somewhat fun.
Daimon: Were your parents mean to you or something?
Jon: Out of the picture.
Daimon: Well, I feel a little betrayed right now.
Jon: Why?
Daimon: Because i’ve told you repeatedly including 6 minutes ago how I hated them.
Jon: Why don’t we go and see how we feel after words. Beside it’s a billionaires home.
Daimon: Fine, I’ll go, but if you ever do this again. I will stop talking to you.
Jon: Deal.
Jon and Daimon head back inside.

It’s near midnight as Jon drives in Daimon’s car to Bolton’s house.
At 12:03 they arrive. Bolton’s house is grand and uncannily large.
At 12:10 Bolton pulls out the beer.
A series of images flash through of various events at their “hanging out” as the events appear, they get blurrier and blurrier.

The Kent Apartment: It’s 9 AM.

Jonathan walks through the door. He looks horrible. He goes to walk to his room
Lois: WHERE WERE YOU? WHY DO YOU LOOK HORRIBLE, WHY DO YOU SMELL LIKE BEER?
Jon ignores her, goes to his bed and collapses asleep.
Lois to Clark: I told you that school was the wrong choice for him! He’s not getting the lesson he’s supposed to get.
Clark: He will get there overtime, but when he wakes up, he’s going to talk to us a lot.
Lois: Yeah, I hope you are right.
Clark: There’s no one I’d rather go on this journey with though.
Lois: I love you.
Clark: I love you to.
They Kiss
Lois: Hey, did you ever look into BG Hypercube.
Clark: I did, nothing came up. The BG is what is throwing me off.

The Bolton Residence

Bolton’s father walks through the door.
Bolton: Yes sir, the plans are running smoothly. Yes, I’ll contact them tomorrow. Bye.
Bolton’s father’s phone shows the words BG Hypercube on a line that reads “Final Coded message” The headline of that page reads message encoder.
That’s the end of the 5th issue. It’s been a while, but the work is still coming. This is the last MAIN issue of this volume. Issue #6 will conclude the volume by adding a new wrinkle to the threats Superman is facing. To be clear, here’s every thread I’ve teased.
Luthor and the Invisible Mafia doing something with land deeds.
Anti-Super-Man organization/cult
Trying to overcome survivors guilt
Jonathan figuring out what being “human” means
Lois helping Isabella move away.
Clark and the Impeachment Scandal
High School Rich Kid Antics.
BG Hypercube

One of these will get a major info dump in the next issue! Stay tuned for the end of Superman Vol. 1 “The Flaws of El” which is the analysis of what makes the El’s so compelling and how they as a family survive. Of course it is notable that Damian and Supergirl have yet to show, but I promise you, they are coming. You just have to be patient. I think it’s important to really first establish the family dynamic and each protagonist’s base line first. Hopefully I’ve done that in these last 5 issues so for issue 6 I can focus on the last “hero” of my story. You’ll just have to wait and see who it is!!!

Teaser: 200 Years…

Thanks once again SO MUCH for reading this! Can’t wait to keep going!

bookmarked!

I’m in shock, shock I say. Jon with a potty mouth and out all night??

Will we ever find out what happened? I wonder why events were blurry etc? Was he mind-controlled? That’s something Superman and his son have no protection from…hmmmmm

It’s called being a kid who had to live on his own for 7 years and has changed a lot as a result. Part of Jon’s quest is to figure out what being “Human” means again. He’s developed this perception that his body at peak defines being human. Of course being Human is about more than that. (It’s honestly just that his gold kryptonite hadn’t worn off and so he felt the effects of alcohol.

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