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Sunday, April 24, 2022 

Superman's last pre-Crisis story

The Valdosta Daily Times took a look at Alan Moore and Curt Swan's wrapup to the pre-Crisis era of Superman, "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", although there's a claim that's got to be questionable:
They were allowed to conclude the Superman iteration that readers had known for decades. Moore was set loose to let his imagination run free. Coupled with the familiar Swan images, "Whatever Happened" became an almost instant classic.

Still, then, it was overshadowed by the Byrne reboot and the reason for the reboot – sales for the old Superman had fallen. So, a lot of readers missed "Whatever Happened" at the time of its publication.

Through the years, "Whatever Happened" became a much discussed and much sought after comic.
Seriously, many people missed the swan song to the pre-Crisis era? I'm sure that's disputable. Just because Byrne's reboot was right around the corner doesn't mean nobody cared about checking out what the last tale was like, which, as noted in the article, is the subject of a trade collection that includes the DC Comics Presents team-up with Swamp Thing, and an Annual written by Moore too. I myself own a recent edition of the trade collection, and it's decidedly satisfying stuff, from a time when Moore did prove he had what it took to accomplish science fantasy adventure writing.

That said, and there are other people who've argued this in the past, it is kind of a shame Earth One and Two had to be merged, even if that wasn't the worst thing that could happen during Crisis on Infinite Earths. (And that was a leading reason why Superman was rebooted too.) I remember Marv Wolfman telling in the past why DC wanted to jettison the parallel dimensions approach used for a quarter century, because they felt it became utterly confusing, even though two different dimensions could allow for even more self-contained storylines, and besides, if they thought alternate earths was confusing, why not alternate timelines like the era the Legion of Super-Heroes lived in, at least a thousand years from the present? It goes without saying that eventually, even a merged universe became confusing too, or worse, continuity, coherence and competence was abandoned come the turn of the century. So in the end, what was achieved, other than a situation where the PC inmates now run the asylum?

Since we're on the subject, this reminded me that some time ago, I came across a blog called Superheroes Every Day, created several months ago and run by Danny Horn, an executive at Wikimedia, who analyzes and discusses various superhero movies made since the first major Superman movie in 1978, formatted in a series of consecutive posts, and has also written about the comics they're based upon. There's plenty of interesting details provided, and whether you agree or disagree, Horn certainly knows how to hold everybody's attention and provide a sense of humor to boot. That's why I'd recommend Horn's writing far more than what most MSM newspapers are offering.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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