Reign of the Supermen #300: Skyboy/Superman 2001

Source: Superman vol.1 #300 (1976)
Type: Imaginary storyHappy 300th issue of Reign, and not coincidentally, 300th issue of Superman's own title. Superman 2001 is a story that asks the question: "What if Superman came to Earth TODAY (in 1976)?" Why, he would make his first true public appearance in 2001! I'm not sure I buy him looking 25 under Curt Swan's pencils, but that's apparently what's going on.

Our story starts on February 29th 1976 when the Apollo-Soyuz mission detects Super-baby's incoming craft. Never mind that the mission actually took place in July of 1975, the start of the story ostensibly starts on the day the comic came out, and writers Cary Bates and Elliot S. Maggin might sincerely have projected another such mission after seeing the first one. The fact that Kal-El's landing is witnessed by Earth's two super-powers makes all the difference. Forget the space-race, it's all about the super-race now! If by race, I mean head-on collision.
It's an American who survives the "race" to claim the capsule and the baby dubbed "Skyboy" by the military. Once they open the damn thing of course.
Oh damn, that's creepy. Skyboy spends the better part of his first day on Earth roasting turkeys with his heat vision and eating dozens of hamburgers while showing off his language skills. Unfortunately, his French isn't quite up to par.
I guess Babelfish existed in 1976. They even give Skyboy a rather recognizable suit sown from his baby blankets. I smell the finger of fate at work. By 1990, Skyboy is making secret sorties plugging up volcanoes and such, frustrating his adopted "father". 1990 is also a magical future world of clean energy, hyper-tall buildings and domed historical sites. I blame the U.S. getting its hand on Kryptonian tech. And because of the super-race, the Berlin Wall never falls, and the U.S.S.R. repeatedly ask for Skyboy to be "shared". Lady president Wiener (why would I make this up?) refuses of course leading to nuclear war.
Of course, Skyboy stops the missiles, then stops the giant laser shot from the moon, then stops the lethal gas attack, and running out of Dr. Strangelove's WMDs fast, the world chooses peace instead. Skyboy is gone anyway. Gone? Yes. He's taken names from both his discoverer and his "father" and combined them into "Clark Kent", and headed off into the urban jungle known as Metropolis. If you've followed this blog's many discussions about where such a city might be located, Superman #300 has this theory:
Not that it makes any sense based on any other data we have. As you can see, by 2001, Clark has gotten himself a media career. He's also sworn off the Skyboy identity and thrown his costume into the ocean, but he's forced out of retirement when a four-armed android posing as an alien god shows up to tell Metropolis he was responsible for averting World War III back in '90. Starved for heroes, the people, they rejoice and they'll accede to any of his demands. Clark gets his suit back and, all grown-up, dubs himself... Superman!
It's a bird! It's a strato-jet! (Rolls right off the tongue, future myopics of Metropolis.) It's... Skyman! Wouldn't that have made more sense? In any case, Superman defeats the android and the people behind his rampage of standing there talking. He celebrates by also standing there talking, this time about each of us having salvation within and the ability to be our own heroes. The people, they erect a monument to Superman, because they missed the point completely. Will Superman return? Clark isn't saying...

3 comments:

Craig Oxbrow said...

A superpowered humanoid from another world declaring "I am hunger!" This well end well.

chiasaur11 said...

And in the future, I'm sure Metropolis will extend all the way to Atlanta.

That probably won't go well for anybody. Urban sprawl and such.

Siskoid said...

Precursor to Judge Dredd joining the DCU.

 

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