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Crime Wave — Epilogue
by Tom Nichol

Based on the episode of the same name
in the Adventures of Superman 1953.

It was a Sunday morning, and a most unusual meeting was taking place in the office of Perry White, owner and publisher of the Metropolis Daily Planet. The unusual thing about the meeting was that it was on Sunday. Normally, Perry was very careful not to schedule meetings such as this on either a Saturday or a Sunday—this out of respect for his employees’ various religious beliefs. In this case, however, the circumstances were different, to say the least. The previous week had been one of the most tumultuous in the history of both Metropolis and the Daily Planet, culminating in the unexpected arrest of Walter Canby, prominent attorney, Chairman of the Metropolis Citizens’ Committee for Clean Government—and, as Superman had discovered, the brains and driving force behind the crime wave that the City of Metropolis had been struggling to quell for the past several months. Canby’s arrest, in fact, had sparked a wave of anger and outrage such as few in Metropolis had ever known. Even now, the Metropolis Police Department was still working to mop up the remnants of Canby’s organization.

Canby himself was still in the Metropolis City Jail. Despite his efforts, the Criminal Court had firmly ordered that he be held without bond. More and more of his criminal underlings were joining him in the Metropolis lockup, and were also being held without bond. The sheer numbers involved, in fact, were taxing the capacity of the Metropolis City Jail to its limits, and so some of those underlings had been housed in other nearby jails. The local District Attorney’s office was currently conferring with both the State Attorney General’s office and the U. S. Attorney’s office to make the necessary arrangements for the numerous criminal trials that would need to be held.

As might be expected, the Metropolis Daily Planet, which had been in the thick of the cleanup effort, was busily working to provide fair and unbiased coverage in the aftermath of Canby’s arrest. On this Sunday morning, Perry White was conferring with Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, and Clark Kent about how to best distribute the journalistic workload so that no one staff member at the Daily Planet would be over-burdened.

At first, Clark said little. He had missed the deadline for the “Bulldog” edition a few days earlier. As Superman, however, he had more than eclipsed missing that deadline by bringing Walter Canby directly into Perry’s office. As he had sternly declared on that occasion, from that moment on, “there was no number one crime boss in Metropolis any more!”

It had been several hours, in fact, before Clark had returned to the Daily Planet Building. Thankfully, he had been able to provide enough initial follow-up material concerning the authorities’ smashing of the Canby gang that both his employer and his colleagues had been only too happy to forgive him for missing the deadline in question.

Jimmy Olsen was asking, “How many death sentences do you think will be handed out, Mr. White?”

Plenty, Olsen—a least a dozen, if not more,” Perry responded. “Walter Canby will most likely be the first in line, so to speak, since he was the brains of the whole operation. Then, of course, there are the lieutenants and other underlings who actually committed murder, rape, kidnapping, and other capital crimes. Those who aren’t condemned to die will most likely get life without parole. Even the lowest-ranking members of the Canby gang will most likely get the book thrown at them. The State Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney both want to make examples of these hoodlums, and, quite frankly, I don’t blame them!”

It was at this moment that Clark finally spoke up. “What bothers me,” he commented, “is why that scientist Canby hired to kill Superman thought that that electrical gadget he devised would even harm Superman, let alone kill him!”

I’m sure we’re all glad it didn’t, though,’ Lois put in.

That brings up another point,” Jimmy added. “I don’t know why he didn’t try making some sort of artificial Kryptonite to power his gadget. If he had--” Jimmy shook his head in horror at the very thought.

Well, don’t forget, Olsen,” Perry responded, “that the only piece of Kryptonite we now know of is at the bottom of Metropolis Bay. Given the rapid pace of events, they wouldn’t have had time to try to fetch it, let alone make use of it!”

That brings up another point, Chief,” Lois put in. “Shouldn’t the government take charge of that piece of Kryptonite? After all, there’s no guarantee that some other criminal mob might not try to bring it up and use it against Superman!”

Better than that, Miss Lane,” Jimmy replied, “I’d say Superman himself should get a hold of that stuff and throw it into the sun—just like he did with those two meteorites from the ‘Project X Incident’!”

Good idea, Olsen,” his employer responded. “Kent, since you’re Superman’s official contact, why don’t you pass along Jimmy’s idea to Superman?”

Clark nodded vigorously. “I’ll do that, Chief,” he assured his employer.

By this time, it was almost noon. Having completed the basic scheduling and planning required for covering the upcoming trials of the Canby gang, the meeting broke up. Only a few hours later, the Man of Steel dove into Metropolis Bay. Using his telescopic vision, he quickly determined the location of the segment of lead pipe containing the chunk of synthetic Kryptonite which the late gangster Happy King had used in his own attempt to destroy Superman. Grimly, he picked up the pipe, and quickly brought it to the surface. Although Jimmy and Lois had both stomped on each end of the pipe as hard as they could to block the flow of radiation from the deadly metal, Superman could still detect minute levels of radiation coming from the tiny openings at each end of the pipe which his two friends had been unable to completely seal shut, despite their best efforts.

Taking no chances, Superman folded the ends of the pipe over on themselves. He then used super-friction to melt the ends completely shut, thus blocking the egress of the deadly radiation altogether. The Man of Steel thereupon rose into the sky, climbing all the way to the outer exosphere, the area marking the transition from Earth’s atmosphere to actual outer space. Then, taking careful aim, he flung the pipe toward the sun, watching carefully until he saw it enter the star’s flaming interior, where he knew it would instantly be destroyed once and for all.

With a sigh of relief, Kal-El of Krypton returned to Earth, resuming his self-imposed duties as the Man of Steel. After completing his regular World Patrol, he returned to his apartment, resuming his secret identity of Clark Kent. There, he met up with his colleagues and drove to Perry White’s townhouse for an old-fashioned Sunday dinner at Perry’s invitation, after which he returned home for a good night’s rest, ready to resume his regular routine in the morning.

Posted: July 14, 2017

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