The Superman Monster
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The Superman Monster is a DC Comics Elseworlds comic book, published in 1999. The story combined the elements of the Superman mythos with Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein where that version of Superman is similar to the Frankenstein Monster. Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, with art by Anthony Williams and Tom Palmer, The Superman Monster is the sequel to the DC Comics Elseworlds comic book Batman: Two Faces.
|The Superman Monster|
|Publication date||October 1999|
|No. of issues||1|
|Written by||Dan Abnett|
The story follows on from Batman: Two Faces and unfolds as a tale told to Commissioner Gordon by newspaper magnate Peregrine White in their club, the Iceberg Lounge. Five years previously, a ruthless and amoral student called Vicktor Luthor is expelled from the university of Ingolstadt after his experiments in raising the dead offend and outrage his professors. Increasingly obsessed with his research, Luthor schemes to seduce and marry the beautiful Eloise Edge, daughter of the wealthy Burgomeister Edge, only to learn upon their betrothal that Edge has arranged matters so that Luthor will not benefit from his daughter’s wealth.
Furious, Luthor storms out of his engagement party only to witness a strange object fall from the sky into a nearby forest. Investigating, Luthor discovers that the object is an advanced spacecraft containing the deceased remains of an infant. A projection of the craft’s designer, an alien scientist called Jor-El, reveals that the craft was intended to carry the infant, Jor-El’s son, to safety following the destruction of their world. Luthor realises that he can use the alien corpse and technology in his experiments, and constructs a “Revival Matrix” which he believes will reanimate the dead, resorting to grave robbery and murder in order to construct a body to revive.
On activating the Revival Matrix, however, Luthor is horrified when the process goes awry, resulting in a creation of an unnaturally pale, malformed and heavily scarred “superman” with strange abilities beyond those of mortal men. When the creature identifies Luthor as his father, Luthor rejects him in disgust, and the resulting struggle causes a fire in Luthor’s laboratory. The creature uses his abilities, among them flight and super-strength, to rescue Luthor before wandering into the nearby town, where he is overwhelmed by the noise and activity his heightened senses can pick up. Out of instinct, the creature intervenes to rescue the occupant of an out-of-control carriage, who turns out to be Eloise; while she treats him with kindness and gratitude, the other townsfolk attack him out of fear, causing the creature to flee.
The creature eventually makes his way to an isolated farm owned by Johan and Martha Kant. The kindly couple takes the creature in, naming him “Klaus” after their deceased son. Klaus uses his powers to help on their farm, 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 — unaware that Luthor has learned of his presence and, wishing to cover up his experiment, has hired a local mob to attack the farm. The Kants are killed in the struggle and Klaus, enraged, attacks Luthor only to be overwhelmed by a green stone recovered from the spacecraft that Luthor had fashioned into a cane.
Believing Klaus to be dead, Luthor returns to the town to marry Eloise. Klaus was merely stunned, however, and storms the wedding ceremony, demanding that Luthor face punishment for his crimes. Klaus and Eloise are surprised to recognise each other, however, and during their confusion Luthor produces a gun and tries to shoot Klaus — only for the bullets to bounce off his impenetrable skin and strike Eloise, killing her. Increasingly irrational, Luthor brutally subdues Klaus, murders Burgomeister Edge and takes Eloise’s body to the Revival Matrix, intending to revive her. Luthor manages to revive Eloise, but she is overwhelmed by what has happened to her and rejects him; Klaus, arriving too late to intervene, comforts Eloise and offers to help her adjust to her new life. When Luthor tries to stop them he is battered away, causing a fire which destroys the Revival Matrix; immune to the flames, Klaus and Eloise embrace and fly away.
At this point Commissioner Gordon skeptically interrupts White's story, demanding to know how he knows what happened. White reveals that, while on a ship travelling to Archangel that had become trapped in ice, he and the crew had encountered Luthor on the ice, driven mad by his experiences and desperately searching for a "fortress of solitude" where he believed Klaus and Eloise had eloped. White was able to piece together what had happened from Luthor’s ramblings and journals, but Luthor quickly died from exposure — at which point Klaus appeared in the sky above the ship, now completely healed 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.
- The Superman Monster (paperback, 52 pages, October 1999)