Take a trip to Smallville in the latest chapter of Countdown to Justice.
Chapter Two: Look To The StarsThe journey to Smallville is not long. Perhaps not a blink of an eye, but with my prodigious speed the journey is over quickly. An abrupt stop brings me to the outermost field of the Kent farm. I can sense him inside, alone. His thoughts are calm, focused through that telescope of his. Focused on the stars.
I try not to peer too deep into his mind. Though I have no qualms over reading the thoughts and memories of an enemy or a criminal, as I did in my days as a Manhunter on Mars, Clark Kent is a potential ally and deserves more respect. That said, I used my telepathy to track him down, and a few of his foremost thoughts are unavoidable.
Lois Lane…Daily Planet…Krypton…these things I already knew. Even without telepathy, a brilliant detective would be able to deduce that Clark Kent is Superman. I pray that none but me have.
There is one thought I did not anticipate…Watchtower. I shut off my mind, but the detective in me wonders what this means. If he wishes for me to know, then he will tell me, but he has piqued my interest.
Invisible, I sneak close to the house. Though I cannot be seen, and through my density powers I barely displace the grass beneath my feet, but there is a chance he may still be able to hear me.
His powers are legendary. Despite the desolation his kind wreaked on Metropolis, the people of Earth revere ‘Superman’ as a god, in a way the police or armed forces can only dream of. He is beyond the human: Ms. Lane’s first article after the Kryptonian invasion called him “the pinnacle of otherwordly power”. They see him not as a man with power, like the Hawk, Bat or Arrow, but as power itself given invulernable, primary-coloured form.
I am below him now, looking up through the porch, through the floors of the house, at the attic. His eye is fixed on the telescope lens. For a moment, I wonder why a man with telescopic vision would use such an instrument, but I quickly realise that’s not the point. Dr. Erdel once said of me that my humanity is a greater strength than any of my abilities, and I believe that Clark Kent may cherish his humanity even more than I do mine.
Then he hears me. I don’t know how I gave myself away, but his Kryptonian hearing is keen enough for a hundred humans. He leaps out of the window and lands before me. Though I remain invisible, he knows I am there.
“Whoever you are, don’t make this any harder on yourself.” His blue eyes turn red and bore deep into mine. I allow him to see me, and he is momentarily taken aback at the sight of a human detective. Then I show him my true, Martian colours.
“You’re not from Kansas, are you?” he says. His tone is lighter and more relaxed now. He knows I am not a threat.
“Greetings, Son of El,” I begin. “My name is J’onn J’onzz.”
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To be continued...
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