“villain attempts to go back in time to kill superman as a small child, gets shot in the face by ma kent, who buries him behind the barn with the others” would probably have niche appeal as a comic but i don’t care, i want it
The first time a man from the future showed up at Martha Kent’s house, Clark Kent was two years old.
According to his birth certificate, anyway. She just kind of accepted that the details were a little fudged. Relativity, and all.
Maybe the stranger would have succeeded in whatever it was he wanted to do, except that he really did just show up. Appeared, like a ghost made flesh, right in the backyard. Clark, thank goodness, was out in the fields with Jonathan. He couldn’t bear to be alone, that boy, and they could never bear to leave him.
Which left Martha free to shoot the ghostly intruder in the face.
Martha had not always considered herself a shoot first, ask questions later sort of a person. But that was before she found a baby in a spaceship where her corn was supposed to be.
They’d switch off, Jonathan and her, who got Clark and who got the shotgun. Martha got the shotgun more often than not. Guns made her husband uncomfortable. She was hardly a fan, but she’d always been a terrible pacifist. Too determined to defend herself.
The sight of all that blood and brain and bone was still nauseating. She compartmentalized, told herself it was no different from slaughtering a cow; didn’t think about riot gear or tear gas or the friends she’d lost or all the things she’d moved away from when her heart couldn’t take it any longer. This was different. This was her son.
She prodded the corpse with her foot. It remained a corpse. A real nasty looking corpse, all big and burly and holding a gun much too large. She didn’t like making assumptions based on appearances, but she didn’t imagine he’d been coming for anything nice. She bent down to search his pockets, found a metal wallet and flipped it open.
Well, hell. Wasn’t that just a kick in the pants?
Probably she ought to have been a bit more unsettled than she was. But she’d been waiting two years for someone to show up on her doorstep, men in black or UFOs or something. Hell, she’d half expected her sweet little boy to hatch into something worse.
Just because she brought home space babies didn’t mean she was a damn fool.
Jonathan had rejoined her in long strides, was holding Clark in such a way that he couldn’t see the corpse on the ground. “Well, shit,” he said.
“Eyup,” Martha agreed.
“Don’t look government.”
“We burying him?”
“I’ll bury him,” Martha said, standing up. “You get Clark inside and read him a book or something. I don’t want him seeing any of this, getting him messed up in the head.”
“You sure? Looks heavy.”
“That’s why we have a wheelbarrow. I’ll stick him out behind the barn, might as well keep all our secrets in one place.”
Martha had a long time to think as she dug a time traveler’s grave. There were a lot of reasons someone might travel back in time trying to kill her kid. The first was her instinct as a mother, which was: he was a fucking asshole. Who killed a kid? Fucking assholes, that was who.
Now, it was also possible that her sweet little boy grew up to be some kind of space Hitler. She didn’t think she’d raise that kind of a kid, but she didn’t suppose there was any parent who set out to raise a Hitler.
Still didn’t sit right with her. She didn’t much like the idea of killing baby Hitler, either.