01/09/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Titan Books. 128 page graphic novel hardback. Price: £18.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84856-291-2.
check out website: www.titanbooks.comand www.dccomics.com
The book title 'Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow' only covers the opening two-part story in this book. Back in the 1980s, DC decided to wipe its multi-realities and associated characters and re-build from...well, not so much scratch but to give the characters they chose to continue with a fresh start, unhindered by a need to know something about the previous fifty years of continuity.
This story was to be the, well, Curt Swansong so to speak as artist Curt Swan was the artist most associated with Superman in those years. Writer Alan Moore allegedly got the writing chores based on his ability to strangle editor Julius Schwartz if he wasn't selected.
I've actually still got the original version in my attic tucked away for a rainy day. For those of you too young to own yourself, the story covers the last of Superman's villains attempts to defeat Superman in all manner of ways, including revealing whom he really is and attacking his friends. A sharp reminder of what would happen if you get too close to being pals with the Man Of Steel. Alan Moore hits all the right spots and characters and sees off many of the villains with no reset button. Then again, there was no need to, as it was the final story.
The book concludes with two stories from the previous year. In DC Comics Presents # 85 story, 'The Jungle Line', Superman is infected with a Kryptonian virus which is depleting his super-powers and heads south where Swamp Thing comes to his rescue. This time the Alan Moore scripted story is illustrated by Rick Veitch and inked by Al Williamson.
The last story, 'For The man Who Had Everything...', is a reprint from Superman Annual # 11 where its Superman's birthday and he somewhat doesn't appreciate the present Mongul teleports to his Fortress Of Solitude. Left in a stupor where he's living a wish fulfilment, Wonder Woman fights Mongul while Batman and Robin attempt to free Superman. Its rather odd re-reading this story and spotting all the swipes artist Dave Gibbons does from himself from 'The Watchmen'. This isn't a distraction unless you know what you're looking for.
If you're an Alan Moore fan, then you might own the original comicbooks. If you haven't been able to get these or rather have a nice hardback version then this book is for you.
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