It’s present-day, and Clark Kent has just moved to Metropolis, Delaware to go to University. Clark is 19, and took a year off from school after helping out around the farm, after his adoptive father passed away.
He got a sports scholarship and is planning on studying, of course, kinesiology. You see, because Clark has always been stronger than everyone else, he believes that is the most important thing someone can do. He’s proud of his strength, even though he has to hide it, but he believes people can find their power and agency through physical strength. After all, his adoptive father died of a heart attack, and Clark feels if he could teach people the importance of physical health, he’ll be able to protect people from senseless deaths. He plans on going to school and becoming a personal trainer, but that’s not all Clark has in mind.
Clark idolizes the Batman, and the entire Bat Family in Gotham (Batman, Batwoman, Batgirl, and even that little red one). His first choice was Gotham University, but he got rejected after they wouldn’t let him defer his admission (also deciding against Notre Dame in Cleveland and NYU). So, Clark goes to Metropolis with plans of emulating his heroes. He even has a rough sketch of how he will frighten criminals of Metropolis. It’s much more of goth cowboy look, with black leather jacket, black cowboy hat, and black mask.
The weekend of student orientation, while the other students are going out to drink beer and party, Clark puts on his new superhero outfit, to go out and find some bad guys. He hopes to strike fear into the criminal underbelly of Metropolis. After a couple of hours in Suicide Slums, he finds an older drunk man being harassed, but he’s not being harassed by criminals, he’s being harassed by police.
It turns out that the old man owes money to one of the officers, and the officer has come to collect, either in dollars, or in blood. Clark is confused, and not sure what to do, until finally, the officer threatens to cut off the old man’s hand. Clark intervenes, knocking out the officers. The old man is confused, and thanks the black, leather-clad stranger. The old man speaks with a thick Irish accent, and introduces himself as Patrick O’Leogain. There’s a really funny exchange where the old man asks Clark his name, and Clark responds with, “Call me… Bat Boy,” and Patrick doubles over laughing, asking if he’s the same Bat Boy from Weekly World News. He invites Clark for a drink at his favorite bar, the Ace o’ Clubs, and while Clark resists at first, Patrick insists.
When Clark asked what happened, the old man explains things. You see, Metropolis is a prettier, cleaner city on the outside, due to wealthy people donating parks and cleanup services, but their police department, led by Commissioner “Buck” Sackett, is just as corrupt and abusive as Gotham’s.
Metropolis is the wealthiest city in the world, and in order to protect the wealthy, the city police department employs a massive surveillance state, mainly organized by the many “unicorn” tech startups that are situated there, and funded by the city’s tax dollars: prevalent cameras; facial recognition software; and data mining and collection everywhere. You see, in DC’s Universe, there is no Silicon Valley, but instead Silicon Bay, named after all the tech startups that have settled on the Delaware Bay, overlooking/over-looming the Metro-Narrows Bridge
The crown jewel is Luther Tech, owned and run by Lex Luthor, who started a social media company in his twenties, and is now the richest man in the world, but he uses his power and AI programming to subtly influence the site’s users into being anxious and afraid all the time, and buy as many things as possible. Clark is disgusted, and doesn’t believe Patrick, this is not at all what he expected. Patrick was a freedom fighter in Ireland, but eventually convinces the young man of the truth. He even asks the African-American bartender to confirm it, and the bartender, Bibbo, tells Clark about all the young unarmed black men that the police have killed over the last 5 years.
Over the course of the night, Patrick and Clark become friends, and when getting drunk for the first time, Clark spills the beans to Patrick about his secret past, his real parents, and his superpowers.
Patrick eventually takes the young boy home to introduce him to his cousins (in the suburb of Bakerline), who changed their name when they moved to the states to the Olsens. Their youngest, Jimmy, is currently in high school, and wants to be a journalist.
Over the next 5 years, Clark’s preconceptions about good and evil will be challenged, as he learns that fighting evil isn’t always about punching people. Patrick will mentor him on the strengths of fighting, hiding in plain sight, and navigating an increasingly grey world. Clark will grow as a person, change his major a couple of times, intern for LexCorp, graduate, take down the richest man in the world, and even fall in love.
This epic story of Superman’s origins isn’t about punching aliens. In fact, Superman will not be able to punch his way out of any of the dilemmas he finds himself in.
It’s through these interactions, and these people, Clark learns to fight for equality, democracy, truth, social justice, and the American way.
Fun Facts About Metropolis:
- Metropolis University’s Mascot is the Fighting Apricot.
- Metropolis was originally settled by Greek settlers in 1520, making it the first state settled, even before Spain settled in Florida. Greece eventually sold the territory to the Dutch, who then sold it to England. This early settlement is why Delaware and Metropolis license plates have the slogan, “The First State.”
- Across the city, MU’s rival, New Troy College, their mascot is the Thinking Apricot, which is a cartoon character of an Apricot dressed as a Greek scholar.
- In Metropolis Harbor is the Statue of Justice, provided as one of three gifts to America by France (along with the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, and the Statue of Brotherhood in Millennium City Harbor in Texas).
- Parks included in Metropolis are Centennial Park and Metropolis Park, two neighboring parks which appear to be one large park, but are not. When combined they are roughly the size of new York’s Central Park.
- One of the main reasons Metropolis has so many tech companies is because of the influence of the Dupont family, and the incubators that the family launched for local tech, similar to the influence of the Carnegie foundation in Pittsburgh. Almost all of the incubator’s alumni are evil villains, including Lex Luthor, J. Wilbur Wolfingham, and Colin Thornton.
- One of the main highlights of the Metropolis skyline is the twin-towered LexCorp headquarters. This is a feature in any city where LexCorp has offices; Lex Luthor insists on twin-towers buildings due to his personal philosophy, related to the twins, Romulus and Remus.
- Joe Biden was the Senator for Metropolis, representing its 10 million inhabitants, as well as greater Delaware.
Clark will fall in love with Lois Lane, a young, mixed-race black woman, who pulls double-duty as a cub reporter at the Daily Planet, while also pursuing her doctorate in Media Psychology at MU.
Clark will even meet The Batman, but is disappointed, and discovers why you should never meet your heroes.