Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Episode 12 - “North Star Mining Company”

Listen to Superman contaminate a crime scene!

(Note: After I get caught up I will move this back to its proper day)

Summary: June Anderson, the girl who avoided being burned alive in a fire deliberately set in the offices of the North Star Mining Company, has survived a stabbing by Joe Denien and Bart Pemperton. After recovering somewhat, she finally tells Clark Kent her tale.
   Unsurprisingly, Joe and Bart were engaging in illegal activities. June, working as the secretary, discovered that Joe and Bart were selling stock in a worthless mine and bilking investors of countless thousands. She began collecting evidence against the two, but was caught in the act. In an ill timed moment of bravado, she told the men that she had evidence against them hidden away, but let slip that she was the only other person who knew of the crimes being committed. And in this way, June was tied up and left for dead in the fire set by the officially worst bosses ever. I mean, who would put an entire building full of people at risk in retribution for a relatively minor slight?
   Fortunately, June sent the documents in a package to her brother (who is a steamship captain) for safekeeping, although he is unaware of the contents. She suddenly starts thinking about how she was almost burned alive and stabbed in the same day, but the freak-out is cut short when the nurse arrives. The nurse informs Kent that the two men who stabbed her not only were in a sedan, but the sedan is still parked in a garage. She even has the license plate, which almost makes up for the complete waste of time he had spent looking for it,, earlier.
   Off flies Superman to give the car a once over. Technically (legally), it means tampering with a crime scene, but Superman is a walking (and flying) crime lab. Now, 1940's cars couldn't have been that hard to get into – the door locks were simpler, and the windows probably were easier to shatter, too. Tearing off a car door to gain access inside would seem a bit... excessive, but that's exactly what the Man of Steel does – maybe just because he can. He finds nothing but guns, probably laden with fingerprints and other evidence useful in a court of law, but decides to make a statement by crushing them in his hands, just like that Japanese guy. All the racket of shearing metal attracts attention, presumably of the police presence there, although unlike the last two officers Superman encountered, they don't immediately open fire. Superman flies off, once again empty-handed of clues, but enough for a crackerjack of a story for the Daily Planet.
   Meanwhile, our old friends Bart and Joe are in their waterfront hideout, still anxious about the evidence June Anderson may have about their fraud. Pendleton decides to visit the Planet to see how much Kent knows, in the disguise of a nervous North Star investor named Doctor Ambrose. Kent expresses sympathy for the 'doctor' and breaks the news of the fraud to him gently, and Pemperton lingers there long enough for Perry White to come in and confirm that the papers are indeed in the possession of June's brother, including the name of the steamship he's aboard, and their port of destination. 'Ambrose' makes a hasty exit after hearing exactly what he wanted to know.
   Kent decides to visit June again, and lets slip of Ambrose's visit, a name June doesn't recognize from the list of investors. She DOES recognize Kent's description of the 'doctor's' nervous tics, unibrow, and scars as that of her boss, Bart Pemperton. June freaks, knowing the crooks are certain to go after her brother. Kent tries to calm her, but later in the skies as Superman, could not be more delighted that he finally has a break in the frigging case.
   Showing remarkable speed themselves, Pemperton and Denien are already alongside the Madison in a hired boat, and gets her to stop using a fake distress signal. They aren't there to pay a social visit.

  • Clark Kent/Superman
  • Perry White
  • June Anderson
  • A Nurse
  • Bart Pemperton and Joe Denien

  • Although I understand Pemperton's obsession with the papers to be that of a desperate man, there's already enough evidence, circumstantial and otherwise (less so, thanks to Superman), to put both men away for attempted murder and the arson of a twenty story building. Now they've violated maritime law (using distress signals under false pretenses). Compared to all that, the fraud just seems so... small time.
  • Superman's treatment of the suspect's car is bad enough, but his decision to crush the guns is just plain bizarre. I guess it could probably be another chalk mark on the ol' “Because He Can” board.
  • But if we're going to nitpick, if Bart and Joe had guns this whole time, why didn't they just shoot June? They themselves weren't worried about June screaming for help and they were going to burn everything anyway so what would a gunshot matter?
  • And in a bit of “fridge logic”, I realized they never thought to silence the nurse who had seen their faces and admitted them into the room of a women they then tried to murder again.
  • The narrator's piece in between Superman leaving the garage and 'Ambrose' visiting Kent is pretty neat plot advancement.
  • Also, a nice bit of irony – Clark Kent being fooled by a disguise.

In the next episode, Pemperton and Denien dig themselves even deeper with more attempted murder and even MORE arson. It doesn't look too good for the "Steamship Madison"!