Superman Adventures #48
DC Comics (October, 2000)
WRITER: Jay Faerber
PENCILER: Neil Vokes
INKER: Terry Austin
COLORIST: Marie Severin
LETTERER: Phil Felix
EDITOR: Joey Cavalieri
A girl in Smallville goes missing and the only witness is an elderly UFO nut (after seeing baby Kal-El’s ship crash years ago), so of course nobody believes him. When they over hear, Clark’s parents call him in to help. He soon finds out that girl has indeed been abducted by aliens who crashed here recently and one of them was afraid she stumbled on their ship. Superman brings the girl home, helps the aliens repair their ship, helps the old man find favor with his daughter and son-in-law while keeping the aliens a secret, and allows the old man to finally see a UFO up close as the ship takes off.
What they got right: There is a lot that this story does right. Superman finds a way to protect the aliens but still makes things better with the UFO nut and his family. He manages to save the girl and the reason he couldn’t find her both makes sense and provides the solution to the aliens’ problem. The alien’s reasoning (he’s also rather young) also makes sense and outside of his two brothers they aren’t really bad beings. (Even then they’re just kind of jerks who are understandably concerned about being found out before they can repair the ship.) And it all connects to Superman landing on Earth as a baby.
What they got wrong: There is one flaw though. The people all act like an alien abduction is impossible as if they don’t exist in this world. Ignore the fact that you are in SUPERMAN’S HOME TOWN, this world has seen aliens in this show. Darkseid conquered Metropolis once. There is an issue where aliens interrupt a baseball game on live television to challenge Superman to a competition. It should at least be considered a possibility in this universe by now!
Recommendation: That aside this is a really good story and worth checking out. It does so much right that I can forgive this wrong, especially since so many writers do it anyway. (They shouldn’t.)