Saturday, November 24, 2012

Reign of the Supermen #451: Bruce (Superman) Wayne

Source: Superman vol.1 #353, 358, 363 (1980-81)
Type: Imaginary story
A good while before Speeding Bullets, Bob Rozakis wrote a trio of back-up stories in Superman in which baby Kal-El landed near Gotham City, was found by a young Jim Gordon, and placed into foster care in the Wayne family. He was never claimed, so the Waynes adopted him and he soon started exhibiting powers beyond those of mortal kids. And then comes that fateful night, after going to the movies, when Joe Chill walks out of an alley and into their lives. Speeding Bullets had the Waynes shot and Bruce becoming a Kryptonian Batman. Not quite how Rozakis handles the situation:
They live! Instead of creating an avenger of the night, these events result in Chill giving up the mobster who wanted Thomas Wayne killed, and Lew Moxon goes to jail. Trying to find out where their son came from, they confide in Gordon who strongly recommends they keep it all secret lest "scientists" make his life difficult. And years later, Bruce now a young man a little randy for one Barbara Gordon, has to stop Moxon from killing his parents (and Gordon) again. He realizes that he has a responsibility to use his powers to help people and takes on the Superman identity.

He takes a job as a librarian to be close to Barbara, but he's also working with her father, now Police Commissioner, getting missions on an undetectable frequency, and faking calls from another library so he has convenient, book-related reasons to leave work. But Barbara is no Lois Lane:
She's much less ridiculous. It's another woman, isn't it? ISN'T IT?! But there's only you, Barbara, please believe me. And she does:
In the last installment, we meet up with the happy couple a year into their marriage. On their wedding night, Bruce told Barbara he was Superman and she asked him to give it up to use his massive brain to do great things for humanity. Like curing headaches:
Gee, what else you got up your sleeve, Bruce? Viagra?! Babs still feels neglected because her husband is always down in the Super-Cave working, so it's no better. In fact, it's a little worse. She gets a call from Chief O'Hara telling her the Commish has been shot by Moxon. If only Superman had been there to take the bullet... Bruce puts on the uniform one more time to break the time barrier and try to stop the murder, but he finds he's just a ghost when he's in the past (should've read up on his Silver Age temporal laws), but at least he knows who did it. Barbara pulls a fast one by breaking out the Bat-costume and going off to catch Moxon as Batwoman! You leave that girl alone for a year, and she'll decide Gotham needs a costumed champion (but not Superman, who would better spend his time curing cold sores) and train herself to peak human perfection. Why a bat is anyone's guess. (Mine in "bad writing".) Anyway, running away from the heroes, Moxon gets his ass hit by a truck.

And they lived happily ever after..?


Martin Gray said...

Blimey, I'd completely forgotten this. The Seventies Superman book really did like the idea of Clark and Babs together, didn't it, what with this and the flirty canonical team-ups?

Siskoid said...

She was DC's Kitty Pryde I guess.

I'll take Clark/Babs slash over the Clark/Kara slash that preceded it.