Reign of the Supermen #30: Eradicator

Source: Action Comics #687 (1993)
Type: ReplacementAyiayiayiayeah, Superman's dead...

Reign of the Supermen is named after the storyline that followed Superman's much-publicized death, featuring four replacements. Which one was the REAL Superman? Well, none of them were. The one that seemed best able to make the claim was the Eradicator, a former Kryptonian artifact made flesh and who took the mantle while the real deal's stolen corpse was healing in a tank under the Fortress of Solitude. He was a cold, even callous, version of Superman, a true Last Son of Krypton.

It was fun how each series' replacement Superman could pretty much hold one of his alternate names. If the Eradicator could be the Last Son of Krypton, the Cyborg-Superman could be the Man of Tomorrow, while Superboy and the Man of Steel both speak for themselves. They'll each get their turns in my version of Reign eventually.

Now for the Big Unanswered Question: Did the goggles put Superman's secret identity in jeopardy? "Gee, Superman with glasses sure does make him look like Clark Kent!" There's a wacky untold Silver Age story in that somewhere...

As for the original Reign of the Supermen, who was YOUR favorite replacement? Maybe I'll do him sooner than later!

8 comments:

Michael T said...

"There's a wacky untold Silver Age story in that somewhere..."

Superman #163, May 1962, "The Secret of the Superman Stamp," story by Ed Hamilton, pencil & inks by Swan and Klein.

Superman saves Burma and the nation decides to honour him with a special stamp. The photographer they send to Metropolis takes a good photo, but Superman then spends the next several days trying to do a spectacular feat that will result in an even better one. He eventually succeeds and reclaims the original photo and negatives.

Clark then muses in his apartment. "This full-face photo was innocent in itself, but as a postage stamp with Rangoon postmarked on it, by the law of averages, hundreds of stamps would have the double-O stamped across my eyes! And Anyone who knew both Clark and Superman would see we're the same!"

Siskoid said...

Hahaha! What crazy set of circumstances gave the writer this idea?

Bubbashelby said...

I like Steel the least at the time, as he clearly could not be the real Superman (as the pitch went at the time - who is the real Superman - or whatever) - Superboy - well he could have had some age acceleration to fit the bill. Eradicator - a mind wiped Superman? Cyborg - coulda' been a rebuild.

And steel. Some dude who made a metal suit.

But as time goes by I dig Steel way more than any of the rest, because he is a true hero inspired by Superman's selfless crusade.

Jeff R. said...

I personally thought there might be some kind of business where Superman's soul was hanging out in Steel while the Eradicator was some Kryptonian computer occupying his body, early on in Reign.

And I did notice the titles business. They should have had a fifth candidate to fill the "Strange Visitor from Another Planet" hole, though...

Michael May said...

Steel's my favorite for the reason Bubbashelby stated. Of them all, he most embodies what Superman's really about.

Siskoid said...

Like Jeff, my money was on Steel. The way they played it, it really was like Superman's spirit inhabited him (literally instead of figuratively).

The Visitor From Another Planet was probably Eradicator, since that's not far off from Last Son of Krypton when it comes down to it.

De said...

From a heroic standpoint, I loved Steel. From a fanboy that-looks-pretty-cool standpoint, I dig the Cyborg.

Austin Gorton said...

@De: I was in the same boat.

I also always thought the Cyborg had the best case for being the real Superman, simply from the "he's a repaired Superman!" standpoint.

So basically, I bought what they were selling at the time.

 

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