Reign of the Supermen #28: Superman of 2001

Source: Superman Annual #3 (1991)
Type: Alternate futureWhat If... Metropolis Blew Up?
This is the first of Waverider's checks on Superman's 2001 future. The second made him President of the United States, but here, while he still becomes a huge influence on the world, it's hard to say if it's as positive.

Superman Annual #3 (1993)
Based on: Action Comics Annual #3
The true history: After Superman senses that Intergang will detonate a nuclear device in Metropolis in the near future thanks to Waverider's vision, he confiscates that device.
Turning point: What if Waverider hadn't checked out Superman's future right then?
Story type: New World Order
Waverider's mood: Taste the rainbow
Altered history: In this reality, sometime after Superman's wedding, Intergang blows up Metropolis by accident.
The entire supporting cast dies, except for Lana, which Clark eventually marries to "fill the void" (how romantic). Skip to 2001, and Superman's enforcing what he calls the "Laws of Superman", making sure that no one has access to weapons of mass destruction. Yes, he's gone all Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
Forrest (who in the Super-POTUS future was Clark's political opponent) is president and he's trying to secretly re-arm the U.S... to no avail. President Forrest asks Batman to bring Superman in, but the Caped Crusader doesn't believe the allegations that sailors were killed on the submarine Superman sank. He investigates and finds his old friend falling over the edge. Since his father died of a heart attack and his mom got Alzheimer's, he's taken more and more to talking about Clark Kent and Superman as if they were two different people. While Batman continues to look into things, the Justice League give it a go. The Martian Manhunter dies of a flame-induced heart attack during the battle.
Elsewhere, Robin has uncovered evidence that yes indeed, sailors were killed in the sub incident, and Batman pulls a Dark Knight Returns, putting on a battlesuit and fighting Superman with Lex Luthor's kryptonite ring.
He wins, and Superman quickly dies of radiation poisoning, wringing a promise from Bruce Wayne that he take care of Ma and Lana, both holed up at the Fortress of Solitude. As for the world's countries, no doubt they get back to their game of nuclear proliferation.
Books canceled as a result: It's debatable if Superman comics would continue to be published once his supporting cast is killed and he goes round the bend. If they do, their runs end here.
These things happen: In non-canon venues, they do. Mostly because these venues predate this story (Superman IV, Dark Knight Returns).

Remember kids, don't try to change the world with your powers TOO much.


Jayunderscorezero said...

I love a good ol' Batman/Superman fight, me.

I love how Superman's reaction to having his entire supporting cast killed is to try and forcibly right the planet Earth but when the same thing happens to Hal Jordan he tries to change the whole universe.

Austin Gorton said...

I love that we know Superman's gone off the deep end because he's added a high Dracula collar to this cape.

wringing a promise from Bruce Wayne that he take care of Ma and Lana, both holed up at the Fortress of Solitude.

Hopefully he left it unlocked, otherwise Batman's going to have a hell of time getting that giant key into the lock. ;)

Siskoid said...

Luckily, it's the Byrnified Fortress. That hole in the ice in the Antarctic.

Don't know how great the access is.

LiamKav said...

I'm fairly certain that an episode of Darkwing Duck "homaged" this storyline quite extensively when they had DW go off the deep end after he thinks his daughter has run away. It includes the line "He let me go. Thought I was too soft on crime. Just because I thought we should arrest criminals before giving them the electric chair".

A line that, to this day, I am astonished appeared in a Disney cartoon.


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