Superman: Man of Yesterday

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Foolsfolly

Well-Known Member
Perry White ran his hand through his steely white hair and breathed a deep sigh. “Jimmy.” His voice was slow and calm despite the irritation visible in his eyes; Perry White never yelled.

“Yes, sir?”

“Be quiet please,” he said. Mr. White grabbed the photos on his desk and thumbed through them again. The noises of the photos being thumbed through filled the otherwise silent room. Lois Lane, Clark Kent, and Jimmy Olsen stood in a semicircle around Perry White’s desk. “I fail to see how Aquaman is newsworthy.”

“He saved that Russian tanker crew,” Jimmy said.

“I could save that crew with some inflatable rafts and a radio, besides these are pictures of a man in green and orange tights riding a dolphin. Our readers can see this at SeaWorld. Next,” Perry said.

“But Mr. White,”

“Next!”

Clark took a step forward but Lois threw her story at Perry. “Too slow, Smallville,” Lois said. Perry looked at the stapled three sheets of paper as if it were wired to explode at any moment.

“Did Kent proofread this?” Perry asked.

“Would you at least look at it, Chief. It’s about LexCorp’s take over of the nuclear power plant outside of the city,” Lois said.

“Impossible, I would have heard of it if Luthor had access to anything nuclear,” Perry White said.

“He acquired it through fifteen different dummy corporations and charities. Trust me, this story will be big and there’s no chance anyone else will have anything on this story for days.” Lois stood there smiling.

“Sources?”

“Over a dozen, all on record.”

“What do you got, Kent?”

“He’s got something about a nursing home closing,” Lois said.

“Ok, it’s page six. Lois your piece will be page one have Jimmy proofread it before it goes to press,” he said.

“It’s not that bad,” Lois defended.

“Paragraph one, you misspelled: Luthor, nuclear, and twilight. Never mind the fact that you forgot the ‘L’ in Lane at the top of the page. Should I go on?”

Clark smiled and Lois shot him a cold look. “I type fast,” was all she said which made everyone in the room laugh.

“Jimmy,” Perry said.

“Yes, sir.” Jimmy grabbed Lois’s pages and looked them over once before putting them at his side. “And you’ll consider a story on Aquaman?”

“No, Jimmy. No.”

“Yes, sir.”

Once they had left Perry’s office Clark followed Lois around like a lost puppy. To an outsider he would look something like a personal assistant, one in a string of many so no one ever bothered to learn this one’s name. He sort of blended in with the furniture wherever he went and when compared to Lois Lane’s sharp dressing, Clark came off looking a little like a slob. It wasn’t that he was messy, in fact he was always clean and his hair was always combed just right. But his attire was a little too big and old which gave the appearance of a child wearing one his father’s suits.

“Here can you hold this?” Lois handed Clark her Styrofoam cup of coffee without ever turning to look at him. She stooped over her desk and began working on the layout for the front page; everything had to be perfect.

“You know these things don’t biodegrade right?” Clark said.

“What, nuclear reactors? I didn’t think they would, Smallville,” Lois said. “Do we have a good portrait shot of that bald headed maniac on file?”

“I don’t know…”

“Jimmy! Do we have a portrait shot of Lex Luthor on file? About the size of my palm?” Lois yelled across the floor.

“I think so, Ms Lane! Should I find one?”

“Yes!” She went back to looking at her desk and making sure the title looked good. Her two choices were “Luthor has Nuclear Arms Capability” and “LexCorp Nuclear Proliferation.” She had decided that the second option sounded more professional and left smaller room for Lex’s press corps could tear apart.

“I meant the Styrofoam not the nuclear reactors,” Clark said.

“Huh? Styrofoam? What are you talking about,” she asked taking her coffee back from Clark. She sipped the coffee and threw it in the trash. “Can you get me a new cup of coffee? Five sugars and two cream.”

“What about that one?”

“It was cold.”

“But the Styrofoam--ok, Lois.”

Clark did as he was told and got Lois her cup of coffee. Upon returning he mentioned how that much sugar couldn’t be good for the human body but she didn’t listen. It was while he stood there waiting for her to grab the cup of coffee he was holding out for her when he heard the noise. Fire truck sirens were blaring roughly twelve blocks to the south east. He had to do something.

“OUCH!” Clark screamed as he accidentally spilled the cup of coffee on himself. “Oh God, I’m sorry, Lois!”

“Smallville, you’re a terminal case. Go wash up,” she said. Clark apologized a few more times and clumsily made his way to the door and towards the men’s room. Jimmy Olsen jogged to her desk and gave Lois a choice of twelve different pictures of Lex Luthor. She picked the one that, in her opinion, looked the most pompous and asked Jimmy, “Can you help me clean this up? You were a mop one time, right?”

“I was also a broom,” Jimmy said.

In seconds Superman, the Man of Tomorrow, was soaring over Metropolis. Once he reached the rooftop the smell of the fire was so strong that he never had to pause to figure out which way to go. Upon arriving on the scene he scanned the building for any one left trapped, there was only one person of a seventh floor. Superman flew into the building and quickly gathered the scared person and put him down on the streets below. In moments Superman took out the fire and paused only to make sure the last person trapped in the fire was alright. He was shaken but he would be alright.

Before Superman could leave a new noise blared in his ear. It was deafening and it fired in short controlled bursts. A quick glance around proved that no one else heard the strange noise. The noise was coming directly above and across the street from where he was standing.

“Can I help you?” Superman asked while floating feet away from the rooftop. A young red headed woman was talking on a cell phone and standing next to a knee high machine which was making the high pitched noise.

“One moment, I’m on the phone.” She held out her left hand and pointed her index finger to the sky. The idea of telling possibly the strongest being in known reality to hang on while they finished a phone call was so absurd that Superman couldn’t help but smile. Thankfully, what little manners she had she used to turn off the machine.

“Yeah, he’s right here. First thing we need to do is talk about that costume,” she said. Superman glanced down at himself and wondered what exactly was wrong with the way he was dressed. “Perhaps something in black, we’ll screen test it.” She hung up the phone and looked at Superman as if he’d just asked her for a twelve thousand dollar loan for a torpedo race.

“Black?”

“Yeah, perhaps something out of a can,” she said.

“Did you start that fire?”

“Yeah.” She stood there as if nothing was wrong with lighting buildings on fire while people were still in them. “Look I’m Carol Schumacher, writer, director, producer, and CEO of Dreamefforts Studios.” She held out a card towards him but Superman continued to hover in the exact same spot. “I’m here with an offer for you.”

Superman floated over towards Carol and took the card. She couldn’t be serious about this. “You started a fire to get my attention?”

“Well, it’s not like you have an agent or any other form of legal representation,” Carol said. “Besides, it not like anyone got hurt and Dreamefforts will pay for any damages done.”

“You honesty believe there’s nothing wrong with setting people on fire as long as no one dies and you can cover the costs?” Superman asked.

“Yeah.”

They looked at one another in silence for a moment before Carol began again. “So, we at Dreamefforts couldn’t help but think about you all this week. You were the first superhero and you’ve got the most diverse power set out of all the ones active today.”

“Thanks,” he said.

“I’m not done. Don’t interrupt me,” she said. Again Superman smiled. “Now we’ve got more superheroes then we can ever talk about. We have relationships like Green Arrow and Black Canary, who the public can’t get enough of. We also have these really popular dark edgy heroes like your friend Batman. Well, we wanted to update your image some. We want to give you your own Green Canary or at least a cool car and symbol.”

“I have a symbol and why would I need to drive a car?” Superman asked.

“Yeah, well our research shows that people don’t like the flying. It looks too fake for the public to believe. A cool car will give you something iconic and people will know when Superman has arrived to bust heads and take names. And that red ‘S’ for Superman thing is like a child designed it. It’s like if I wore a shirt that had a giant ‘C’ on it for Carol. How about a nice green skull over a black cape-less suit?”

Superman was dumbfounded. “Why would Dreamefforts go through all this trouble just to update my image?”

“Glad you asked, Boy scout. Other heroes get more press than you and it’s not because people don’t know much about you, who the hell knows anything about the Batman? It’s because you’re not considered viable or edgy. With our help we could make you the most popular hero in the world, maybe on other worlds too. And once that happens, BAM three picture deal with Dreamefforts Studios showing,” she said.

“I don’t really do this to be popular, Ms Schumacher,” Superman said.

“Please call me Carol.”

“I’d rather not get so formal, Ms Schumacher.” The Man of Steel said.

“Whatever happened to the Man of Tomorrow, that’s what the people are saying. If you let us help you, we can bring public interest back. Did you see the Catman biopic we did? It’s up for four Academy Awards, and just this Halloween the Catman costume was the most worn costume of the year!”

She took a drink of vitamin water and continued. “Look first you need a girlfriend, because the churches will not support you and would probably boycott the movies since you’ve been here for so long and no one’s ever seen you even looking at one of the skimpy dressed vixens bouncing around here. Our marketing department think that you and Wonder Woman would make a fabulous couple! Bust a few villains, get seen eating together at a diner, photos leak of the two of you floating together above the city at sunset. And then we leak the sex tape.”

“Sex tape?”

“Yes, Wonder Woman is so pure and chaste that a sex tape with her would attach SO much attention and it would be the most seen movie of the decade! I mean, remember the controversy and attention when her *** fell out while she was battling Cheetah? I even look at that picture from time to time and wish I were an Amazon; it‘s not fair!”

“I don’t think Wonder Woman would appreciate us talking like this behind her back,” Superman said.

“What we, honey? I’m the one talking about it, you’re the one blushing like a virgin!”

The two again stood in silence. “You’re not a virgin are you? Oh, my! My father was right about you heroes! You are all sexually repressed freaks! I just thought the colorful tights were some sort of empowerment thing…”

“I’m not a virgin,” Superman defended himself.

“Sure you’re not. Is Wonder Woman a virgin? Is that why she’s so angry looking?” Carol asked. “I mean, she’s too tall to be a lesbian, but she is from a land without any men so you can’t rule it out.” She thought on this for a second or two more. “Your new suit should have nipples and rubber muscles.”

“But these are my real muscles,” Superman said.

“I know, darling. Your muscles look wonderful and everything but the rubber muscles would be an insurance incase you go binging on Ho-Ho’s or Twinkies; that’s why Steve Seagal can’t get work. People think it’s because he can’t act, but no one in Hollywood has acted in twenty years, darling!”

“I-I…did Lex Luthor hire you?” Superman asked.

“That’s so funny, love! That’s what you need! A comedic side-kick! Most likely a young urban youth to draw in the black people. You know someone to say, ‘Dat whack, Supes!’ whenever you say or do something outdated!” Again she seemed to be thinking about something and nodding her head as if someone else were speaking. “Superman, honey, darling, could you, perhaps, wear blackface? I mean, being from another world and being like this immigrant thing wouldn’t it be better if you were black or Asian?”

Superman worried for her mental health.

“Is that a no? How about a beard, since you’re like this super powered Jesus Christ thing with your underwear on the outside of your pants. By the way, is that how your people wore cloths or is it some weird sex thing?”

“It’s just my costume,” Superman said.

“You know, I’d like to see what your hair would look like spiked. The Elvis look is dead, honey.” She groped his hair and messed it around trying to get a look for it. “Ah yes, I’m sure we could turn you into a sex symbol so every fourteen year old girl in America wants to **** you.”

“I’m sorry, Ms Schumacher, but I think you need some help,” Superman told her.

“I know, right? This whole town’s depressing. I mean, it’s not Gotham, but it’s not Hollywood either, you know?” She took out a thin cigarette and took began to smoke it. “I know it’s not in to smoke right now, but we’ve got this new western planned which will change all that and we smokers will finally be able to smoke again in public.”

“No. I think you need to see a doctor,” Superman explained.

“Sure, thing! I’ll fit it in next month. So what do you say, Superman. Want to join the rest of us in the world of tomorrow?”

“No,” Superman said.

“Ah, well. I’m sure Plastic Man will go with this. We had a great script for the first movie too, with polar bears and giant spiders….” she said as if this would tempt anyone to do their movie. “Ok, I’m going to find Plastic Man.” She started walking away only looking back to add, “We could have had something beautiful here, Superman.”

“Don’t go,” Superman said.

“I knew you couldn’t resist Hollywood, darling,” Carol said.

“It’s not that, Ms Schumacher. I’m afraid you have to go to jail.”

“Jail? Darling, I’m from Hollywood. Carol Schumacher doesn’t go to jail.”

Superman landed and placed a hand on her shoulder, although she didn’t think so, there was no way she could break free of his grip. “You can’t set people on fire and not go to jail. It’s illegal.” Her face showed such shock and rising anger that for a moment Superman actually believed she never heard that you couldn’t just light places on fire whenever you wanted.

“I said I’d pay for any damages,” Carol said. Superman felt sorry for her but had no choice. He flew her down to the police chief who had arrived on the scene. Superman explained everything, and Ms Schumacher actually told the truth as if she really had done nothing wrong. When his work was done Superman flew back to the Daily Planet and changed back into being Clark Kent.

“There you are, Smallville. I was actually beginning to worry about you,” Lois said. She was standing next to her desk and slipping her latest coffee.

“You were worried about me, Lois?” Clark asked.

“Well, worried wasn’t the word I was looking for. Perry was more worried since if the coffee had burned you too bad you might sue the paper or something. What happened to you anyway?” she asked.

“Oh, I was offered a three picture movie deal,” Clark said with a smile and a wink.
 

Foolsfolly

Well-Known Member
Thanks. I was writing a "more serious" story which I hope will become the first draft of a novel. I've put so much thought into it and talked about it with so many friends and I was writing it....and I just felt like doing something fun and entertaining.

And I used to watch the old Superman tv show, which was, admittedly, corny as hell. But as a kid, I loved it. I loved it and Super Friends and the first two Superman movies (didn't know there was a 3 and 4 until my late teens. No one talked about them and they never came on tv). But they were enjoyable and fun and light.

And tonight I was in the mood to write that more than anything seriously planned out. And I think I did, for the most part. It's light, funny, and corny as hell. I even got the Superman wink in there which had me grinning like a loon.
 

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