THREE GUYS AND… DC COMICS
series created by Marvin Mercer and Nick Stephenson
written by Dominick Cappello
PART 5 OF 5. “OPPORTUNITY LOST!” (COVER DATE APRIL 1, 1994)
Lex Luthor, the greatest criminal mind of the modern era, has lost the use of his legs. Meanwhile, Superman is being uncharacteristically careless when Lois Lane is in arms. Superman has always been my favorite superhero because of how reliably selfless he is. He arrives at LexCorp and is unnecessarily brutal when combating a couple of ironclad henchmen. Superman doesn’t know why he’s suddenly become so ruthlessly reckless. It’s almost as if he is stuck in overdrive. He and Lois have not come for Lex Luthor. They are searching for Bizarro.
Lex has his boot-licker Sydney Happersen extracting tissue samples from a captive Bizarro. Bizzaro is somewhat of a mental midget, but he knows that he is agonizing pain. Lex has no qualms about sacrificing him so to cure his own ailments. Lex Luthor as a villain may seem a bit passé to younger readers, but never underestimate his ambition or uncanny knack for self preservation.
Happersen is a real creep. He is looking forward to dissecting Bizarro after a cure had been cultivated for Mr. Luthor. Superman and Lois arrive to save the day. Superman always has to make a dramatic entrance by bursting through a reinforced wall. Superman underestimates the power of his heat vision and starts a fire that could burn the entire building to the ground if he cannot contain the flames. There is even a chance that a chemical tank could be ignited and that would destroy half of Metropolis, so he must fly the tank away from the building, leaving Bizarro dying in the arms of Lois. Bizzaro uses his last few seconds of life to destroy the laboratory and Mr. Luthor’s cure with his heat vision. Once he is dead, Lois realizes that one the henchmen in mechanized suits is Lex Luthor himself. The story ends on cliffhanger. Superman disposes of the tank in outer space, then detects some sort of unnatural transformation within him. “Check out Superman #89 – Desperation” to see what happens next.
For those (like Dr. Frisbee) who say that Superman stories are uninteresting because he is too powerful for there to be any true conflict, give this one a read. The fire breaks out because Superman is too powerful and then must abandon Lois so to protect the rest of the city. His own great abilities were a hurdle that he had to overcome. Bizarro died and Superman is left adrift in space. Without his cure, Lex Luthor will be more dangerous than ever out of desperation. Just because Kal-El didn’t spend the entire time brooding, doesn’t mean that there is no conflict.
– Dr. Jelly