superman is attacked by a man in a striped shirt and domino mask with a special tincture of gray kryptonite. “the criminal underworld sends its regards, big man!”, shouts the criminal, dousing supes with the mysterious fluid.
superman retreats to his fortress of solitude to discover the nature of his new affliction. he rapidly works out, in part by repeatedly violating canadian airspace, that now the gray kryptonite is in his system, every time superman commits a crime, he shrinks in size slightly.
at first, this doesn’t seem to be a problem; superman is aligned with the law - not to the obsessive, litigious, mean-spirited degree of batman, but he is still not especially prone to committing crimes. over the course of a few weeks, he has largely forgotten about the gray kryptonite.
but little by little, superman shrinks - here blowing a red light, there accidentally eating a big league chew and forgetting to pay. before the year is out, he is a foot shorter, and has scaled down proportionately in width and breadth.
superman is alarmed, intellectually, but the change seems positive to him. he enjoys being smaller on a level he is not fully comfortable with. slowly, he begins seeking out crimes to commit for their own sake - minor ones at first, then larger ones. a three-foot-tall superman obliterates a hundred miles of border fence in texas, refusing to justify himself to police. a masked man too small to be an adult, with a powerful, commanding little voice, tears open a bank vault with his bare hands; its bearer bonds are distributed in a nearby soup kitchen faster than any car could deliver them.
before superman is too small for her to speak to, but after they have broken up - he is simply too small for her - lois lane asks superman, “why?”
he tells her, on the one hand, he can’t deny there is a sexual motive. superman enjoys being smaller. his power is being concentrated into a point; his body is changing, and it is changing under his control. this powerfully arouses the man of steel and he isn’t sure why, but he has grown so inured to criminality that he now embraces this, rather than scorning it.
but on the other hand, he says, his being smaller is the best thing that ever happened to him as superman. some day, he confides, he will be so small no one can see him, but will still be the most powerful man in the world. someday soon, miracles will happen to people every day without the apparent agency of superman. no one will be sure if the way their lives are going right is superman or their own strength. superman can finally do what he has never been able to do: to be the strength of his friends and loved ones; to make them feel as powerful as he has always known they are.
to superman, shrinking beyond the veil of sight is for him to cease to cast a shadow, but to continue to give shelter.
a few weeks later, lois is writing a story about a researcher who lexcorp’s cancer drug division has dropped charges of piracy against for lack of evidence. he has always claimed the formulas and basic research disappeared of their own accord, but evidence put them in his hands - evidence which has since melted in police custody.
she sighs, and looks out the window. she sees what must be either a bird or a plane. she smiles, and goes back to her work.
outside, a man in a striped shirt and domino mask grins wickedly. criminality has achieved its ultimate victory. crime has never been bigger… or smaller.
the out and out refusal to believe that cary grant and randolph scott were romantically involved is deeply deeply troubling why is this possibility so outlandish to people (ha ha ha we all know why) people are so willing to buy into completely unproven Classic Hollywood Hetero Romances but the idea that a big star just might have been bisexual is UNFOUNDED and REQUIRES EVIDENCE and there’s this very real undercurrent of “innocent until proven guilty” which is so fucked up don’t treat it like a crime jesus christ yeah there’s ~no proof~ that he was bi but there’s also?? no proof?? that he was straight?? heterosexuality is not the default? please stop
i wanna hang out w/ other trans girls while i’m in pdx this weekend i wanna make gay friends
i liked pleasantville a lot when i was a kid and i sort of wish it was a more intelligent movie with the same basic ideas tbh