Reign of the Supermen #443: Superman 2020

Source: Superman vol.1 #354-5, 361, 364, 368, 372 (1980-82)
Type: Alternate future
Superman 2020 AKA Superman 2021 AKA Kalel Kent AKA Superman-III was created by Cary Bates and eventually written by Bob Rozakis, and is the grandson of the Superman we know and love. In the year 2020, which looks more like the Legion's 30th century  - sky cities, flying cars, polluted wastelands, and unitards - than anything we can expect in 8 years' time (though they do predict hand-held devices you can get your news on), Kalel Kent is about to come of age:
He kills off Kalel Kent publicly in preparation for a ceremony in which his father and grandfather, Supermen both, will give him his "S" shield. But he's being watched by a neo-Nazi movement called the "Purists" who are extremely opposed to the mixing of aliens and humans and rail against each of the Supermen's mixed marriages and resulting mongrel offspring!
And they're against Superman IV ever happening. On that, at least, we're in agreement. Otherwise, their political views are focused on exactly three individuals on the entire Earth. That's some very specific grounds to build a movement around. And since all three of those individuals are Kryptonian defenders of Earth, things don't go well for the Purists. And in a later story where they cause a plague and blame it on Superman-III, they don't go well for them AGAIN.

Turns out though that with three Supermen defending New Metropolis, there isn't much to do for each of them. Superman-III keeps the Purists in check, teams up with his dad and grandad, and saves Daily Planet editor Jimmy Olsen's grandkids (Clark and Lois) from crooks, but since he doesn't sleep, he has a lot of time on his hands.
That's why he's created not one, but TWO new secret identities for himself. The first, Jon Hudson, is an air traffic controller with girl trouble (not sure that job has the flexibility superhero lifestyles desire), and the second is sci-fi tennis pro Lewis Parker. Don't worry, he puts himself in a trance to subdue his powers and level the playing field (but again, that seems a bit public for a superhero identity, especially since Lewis doesn't wear glasses).

So whatever happened to Superman 2020? He became Superman 2021, then his back-ups disappeared from the pages of Superman, and as far as we know, his alternate future was gobbled up by the Crisis. And he unlived happily never after.
Further reading!
I'm not going to make you wait a whole week or more for Supermen I and II. We visit 2020 again this Monday and Tuesday! And my friend Snell wrote a series of posts on Slay, Monstrobot about the strip last year, and as is usual for him, they're comic masterpieces. Check 'em out!


Martin Gray said...

Hmm, Lewis Parker would likely be a nod to Smallville's Police Chief Parker and Lana's dad Lewis, Jon would be Jonathan Kent, but Hudson? Dick Grayson's alma mater?


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