Monday, December 21, 2009

Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

As part of a blow-out liquidation sale at a local B. Dalton, I snagged a copy of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? I justified this purchase by claiming it's research for my next novel. Ahem.

Anyway, let's get to it. The story was written by Alan Moore, the genius behind Watchmen, V For Vendetta, and other classics. According to the introduction, this was written about the time of the Crisis on Infinite Earths. And while I have some inkling of what that is, said inkling is not enough to make me really care.

So basically, this story came about when an outgoing editor at DC decided to "wrap up" the story of Superman. How would the Man of Tomorrow's career wind down? Who would ultimately stop the Man of Steel? In the first two parts, we see how Moore tells the tale. Superman faces down some of his greatest enemies, all told via an interview with Lois Lane ... er, Elliot, as the case may be.

Much to my surprise, the story wasn't all that fun. I guess I expected more from Moore. Part of the problem is that you have to be pretty familiar with the Superman mythos and continuity, especially from about the '50s through the early '80s. I, once again, have a little more than an inkling of understanding of said mythos thanks to an anthology book I used to check out regularly from my local library when growing up. But you had better know, for instance, that in the late '70s, early '80s (or thereabouts) that Clark Kent became a television reporter, and so on, or parts of this plot won't make any sense. While the final twist at the end of the story was a nice one, it ultimately left me indifferent.

The second story in the book was a crossover between Superman and Swamp Thing. This one too left me a bit disappointed. It didn't strike me as a big deal, more like it was filler.

The final story was pretty good, entitled For the Man Who Has Everything. Interesting story, fun to read. The small problem is, this story was adapted into an episode of The Justice League, so I pretty much knew what was going to happen. It was interesting to see how closely the TV show hewed to the source material. And seeing Jason Todd in action as Robin was certainly instructive. I can't say I'd want to see him blown up by the Joker, but I could understand why, in large doses, some people might.

So there you go. Not the best, not the worst. An interesting read nonetheless.

1 comment:

Paul A Drockton M.A. said...

loved the v for vendetta comic