“I’m not really the detecting type, Chief,” said Superman. “I’m more of an action hero, catching women who have fallen from a high-rise, or holding up collapsing bridges, or stopping a runaway bus by standing in front of it and head-butting it.”
“I know,” said the Chief of Police, “but this is the fifth similar case this month, and we’re trying to prevent a panic. We really need your help.”
“Ok then. Who’s the victim?”
“We don’t know. There isn’t a body. There never is. There isn’t any blood, and there are no spent cartridges. There isn’t even a witness willing to offer the helpful information that they had saw a man running away and that, while they hadn’t got a good look at him, they were sure he was black and about five feet eight, or perhaps white and six feet two. Or possibly a woman.”
“Then how do you know that there was even a crime?”
The Chief led the way toward the crime scene. As they neared it, Superman began to get an “uh-oh” feeling in the pit of his stomach.
“Have a look at that,” said the Chief.
The Chief was pointing at a pile of clothes. In the corner of a phone booth.
“It’s definitely a serial killer,” he said. “We think he lures his victims into a phone booth (“Seriously?” thought Superman, “how do you lure someone into a phone booth?”), makes them take off all of their clothes, and then kills them and disposes of the body. We call him the Stripper.”
Superman could feel himself start to redden.
“We’re putting all of our resources into this,” said the Chief. “We’re cancelling all police leave, we’re all working double shifts and we’re not even stopping for donuts. It’s going to cost the city and its citizens a fortune, but we have to do it.”
“Maybe there isn’t a killer,” said Superman desperately. “Maybe the people were simply too hot.”
“Or spontaneously combusted.”
“There’s no pile of ash.”
“Or got abducted by aliens.”
“There’s no such thing.”
Superman, from Krypton, decided to let this go.
“Leave it to me, Chief,” he said eventually. “I’ll sort it out.”
He didn’t know yet what he was going to do, but he was dealing with people too dumb to see through a disguise that consisted purely of a pair of glasses, so he was sure that he could come up with some convincing story. Everything was going to be fine.
And then suddenly it wasn’t.
“Let me through,” said a voice. “I’m a reporter.”
Superman’s heart sank. He could sense his super plans crashing around his Superears as Lois Lane burst through the “Do Not Cross” tape and stood staring in shock at the pile of familiar clothes, the tie she had bought for Christmas and, lying forlornly on the top, the tell-tale glasses.
“Oh my God,” she said. “They’ve killed Clark.”