artwork by Bob Riley
Once again, we offer new plot proposals that would introduce new DC characters into the Superman/Batman Animated Series.
Dirty Deeds and Fair Play
Nearby, a Korean storeowner looks up to find three rather thuggish men entering his premises. They try hitting the owner up for "insurance," claiming that one never knows when an entire building might get demolished when you live in Superman's city. This would seem to be a standard protection racket except that the leader is the only one talking. The other two appear to be automatons. The leader walks out and the second automaton follows. The third turns to the shopkeeper to make a parting threat and suddenly, the third one bears the same face that the leader had!
Mr. Terrific steps out from the magazine aisle and assures the shopkeeper that he shouldn't worry about his store. Terrif runs down the street after the three thugs and leaps upon the closest one. The three thugs gang up on him, but only one has a face. Every time Mr. Terrific is about to plaster the thug, his face moves to one of the other automatons and Terrif connects with the metal. Ouch! The creature announces that Mr. Terrific is about to be done in by Bedlam.
The thugs are about to do him in when Superman arrives and Bedlam's fist collides with the big red S. Superman clobbers Bedlam. Bedlam moves his face to another automaton but finds a lightning-fast fist in his kisser there, too. Superman does the same to the third automaton, and Bedlam's consciousness flees. Superman quickly dismantles the automatons.
As they make introductions, Superman is surprised to hear that Mr. Terrific doesn't have any powers or abilities, beyond a desire to right wrongs and protect the persecuted. Superman tells him to leave Intergang to the professionals. As he flies off, Mr. Terrific wonders how much Superman gets paid as a "professional."
Mr. Terrific, a/k/a Terry Sloane, stakes out the Korean store and is waiting for Intergang to come back. Superman arrives on the rooftop beside him and tells Mr. Terrific to leave before he hurts himself. Terrif asks him if he treats Batman that way. Superman is about to return the barb when a boom tube opens and Kalibak and Desaad emerge. Superman wonders what Intergang is doing running something so commonplace as a protection scheme.
Desaad chews out Kalibak, stating that "thanks to your blundering, we won't have the land cleared when the thunder-cannon arrives!" Realizing he's said too much, Desaad shuts his mouth. Superman, furious that Darkseid is planning another invasion, squeezes Desaad in a tight grip. Mr. Terrific tells Superman that he shouldn't beat up on a smaller man, as it wouldn't be "fair." Superman kicks the two of them into a boom tube, contented that they'll receive more than enough punishment when they return home.
We are Legion
They return Kara home. The Legion meets Superman, saying what an honor it is to actually meet him. Brainiac, monitoring time and space, picks up the temporal disturbance and goes to it. When he tries to hijack the time bubble from the Legion, Brainiac 5 destroys it. Brainiac kidnaps Brainiac 5 to pick his brain for information. The remaining Legion and Superman have to deal with disasters Brainiac causes, such as cutting power to air traffic controllers and disabling traffic lights. The Legionnaires help fight the disasters while Superman and Kara hunt down Brainiac. When they find him, Kara goes into a rage and starts to destroy him but as she does, Brainiac 5 starts to disappear as if erased from history! Clark stops her and Brainiac flees Earth. Brainiac 5 reveals that he is a direct descendant of Brainiac.
Other Legionnaires return to bring Brainiac 5 and the rest home. Kara and Brainiac 5 say goodbye. But, from time to time, she visits the future and becomes a Legionnaire.
Brainiac 5 - Jonathan Brandeis
Vengeance From Above
LeHah escapes, leaving Batman face to face with the mysterious man who begins to fight Batman without getting tired. Finally, Batman sees a way to escape when he throws one of his Batarangs at a water main; it erupts onto the masked man, knocking him down. As the man lies there, Batman walks up to him and pulls the mask off, revealing the face of a young man. The man sits up, looks around, looks at Batman and asks him, "Where am I?"
Batman just looks at the man and says, "You don't know?"
"Mind telling me who you are?"
The kid tells him his name is Jean-Paul Valley and that he is one of many centuries of Valleys to act as Azrael. He was after Carlton LeHah because he murdered his father.
Sensing a common bond, Batman decides to take Jean-Paul home with him, where Alfred and Tim Drake (Robin) greet him. Jean-Paul is given clothes, a meal and a place to sleep. That night, as Jean-Paul sleeps, he sees the image of his father who tells him that he must kill LeHah that night. Jean-Paul, as if under mind control, gets up, dons the Azrael costume and leaves Wayne Manor. Fortunately, Tim saw Jean-Paul leaving. He and Batman following Jean-Paul, who is unknowingly wearing a Bat-tracer.
Eventually, they come upon the Gotham Hotel and find Jean-Paul in a room, about ready to kill LeHah. Batman kicks him, throwing LeHah down hard. Azrael is only dazed and continues after LeHah. Robin pulls Azrael's mask off, stopping him in his tracks. Afterwards, LeHah is arrested and Batman drives off with Jean-Paul, offering him help and a chance at a new life. Jean-Paul accepts, and it now seems as if he is back to normal
or is he?
Here's a preview for next month:
All characters are DC Comics
This column is © 1998 Michael Hutchison, Bob Riley and Mike Rehor.
All artwork is © 1998 by their respective artists.