Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ghosts: Superman Annual #10!


Is the death sentence really a deterrent? Not in comics, anyway! From the 1998 Ghosts crossover, Superman Annual #10, "The Death Sentence" Written by Dan Jurgens, layouts by Paul Ryan, finishes by Chris Ivy.

This issue, a criminal sentenced to be executed the next day, pleads his case to Clark Kent, that he didn't shoot a convenience store clerk during a robbery. Or, his argument is more to the effect of, should he die for it? Kent's silence all but announces his distaste for capital punishment, and he starts investigating, just in time to be haunted by the ghosts of the Phantom Zone Criminals! Not the pre-Crisis ones, the ones from the pocket dimension, that Superman executed with Kryptonite. (The Kryptonite in question didn't hurt Superman, since it was from that dimension, not his own...wow, DC continuity is hard. Maybe they were right about that New 52 thing, but the story in question was John Byrne and pretty good.)

One piece of evidence is missing in the case: the stolen money, which probably couldn't be more than a couple hundred dollars? Visiting the criminal's family, and his sick son. After sparring with the ghosts again, Superman realizes the baby was playing with toy keys, except they weren't all toys: one was to a bus locker, which held the money. Fighting the ghosts again, Superman throws a chunk of rebar into their midst, just in time for a lightning bolt to "dissipate" them. Killing them again? Destroying their immortal souls? Well, doesn't matter, Clark Kent has to get to the prison in time to plead the killer's case; which the governor defers to a life sentence. It's fitting for a Superman story...even if I don't necessarily agree.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

It's a moot point now of course, but it makes you wonder how so many people could de-cry what Superman did in the latest movie, and yet he did the same thing but with 3 Kryptonians instead of just one. Kill one and you're murderer, kill 3 and you're a serial killer.