Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?by Published 14 Jul 2009
|Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?.pdf|
An unforgettable hardcover collection of WATCHMEN writer Alan Moore's definitive Superman tales that is sure to appeal of readers of his BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE graphic novel. Moore teams with Curt Swan, the definitive Superman artist from the 1950's through the 1970's, to tell the final adventure of the Man of Steel featuring his last stand against Lex Luthor, Brainiac and his other foes in "WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW?". This volume also includes Moore's classic early collaboration with WATCHMEN illustrator Dave Gibbons, "FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING", in which Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman find Superman held captive by the villain Mongul in the Fortress of Solitude and dreaming of an idyllic life on Krypton courtesy of a wish-fulfilling parasitic plant known as the Black Mercy. Both tales are considered two of the top five all-time best Superman stories among fans.
The rare first team-up adventure between the Man of Tomorrow and Swamp Thing, the character that first brought Moore to notoriety in the United States, is included as an additional bonus.
Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Reviews
I had never actually gotten around to reading this until it came out in the Deluxe Hardcover.
My thought was... sure it's a good story (it is Alan Moore after all), but it didn't exactly blow me away. I'm sure I'd read other stories "retiring" Superman in the past. This one stood above them all, but still, that wasn't as high as most of hte other stuff I'd read by Moore.
The art, I thought, was so-so, it wasn't bad, but again I've seen alot better.
I understand that this was a "farewell" to the Superman of that era and a move towards something new (notice I didn't say better).
Perhaps of the fact that I read it so long after it's original publication affected my view, had I read it when it was actually published in Superman and Action Comics, I might have felt differently.
I thought this was good. Alan Moore can be a fantastic story-teller. What happens to our superhero's? How does their story end? Alan thought of this concept first. It's an interesting question. Many of his enemies and best friends are in this story. There is also more than one story in this.
The art seems very 80s which is when these stories were created. Still, Superman is understood here. It's before they went and ruined Superman in the movies.
This is the last Superman story from the original line of comics before John Byrne relaunched the title in 1986 with “Man of Steel”, and who better to end it than celebrated 80s comics virtuoso Alan Moore? In this final adventure, Superman faces his greatest foes in a showdown outside his Fortress of Solitude before he bows out.
Alan Moore has always been a writer whom I’ve been told repeatedly is the greatest comics writer ever but whenever I read him, I’m never fully convinced of that. “Whatever...” is actually a pretty bad Superman comic especially by today’s standards. Maybe back in the 80s it was amazing but it even reads like a 70s comic, so maybe not even then?
There’s a ton of problems I had with this story like: why was Clark Kent’s unmasking as Superman taken so lightly by everyone? Why does Superman only choose to protect a handful of people instead of everyone? Why is Brainiac/Luthor/all the villains in this book so stupid and incompetent? What is it with all this “30th century” time travel crap? If you’re from the future, why don’t you know what happened in the past? It doesn’t make sense! Why can’t Batman et al. do anything except stand around helplessly wringing their hands - are they completely without resources? Why is Lois Lane content to simply be a housewife? And probably most damning of all:[spoilers removed]
Basically everything about this book bugged me, from the terrible writing and plotting to the unconvincing Superman whose voice and actions didn’t seem like the character’s, to the way it all ended. This isn’t a good Superman story nor a good exit for Superman. Instead it’s an outdated, cheesy and boring book by one of the most overrated writers of the last 30 years. Alan Moore might’ve written some interesting books in the 80s but “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” isn’t one of them. For a really good “final Superman story”, check out Grant Morrison’s “All Star Superman”.
The stories in this collected book range in quality. The later ones are great,especially the Swamp Thing/Superman crossover. The title farewell story of the Silver Age Superman, however, is lacking. It's difficult to write a silver age story after the fact. Those stories were written in an age of innocence. That innocence is gone, and to revisit it feels phony. Moore's rendition of Superman's farewell lacks both the depth of a latter day Superman comic as well as the spirit of the early days. It seems to focus more on fitting in as many goodbyes and cameos than the actual storytelling itself. It is flawed from every angle, and in my opinion, not very great. It could have been better.
So this volume contained the last two Superman Action Comics and two other Superman stories by Alan Moore. The Action Comic storyline dealt with Superman having to deal one last time with all his main villains as they try to bring Superman's fated death upon him. In the end, they didn't kill Superman....but at the same time Superman (and his alter ego, Clark Kent) "died". This story was okay, a little wearing as each villain tried to take their aim at being Superman's murderer. The story was narrated by Lois Lane, and I am not really a fan of hers...I am firmly in the pro-Wonder Woman/Superman ship. During this story, Clark Kent was outed as Superman to the entire Daily Planet staff.(2 stars)
The next story had Superman being saved by Swamp Thing. Honestly, it was a short story with no purpose. (1 star)
The last story was titled "The Man Who Has Everything"; it is Superman's birthday and Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman visit Superman's fortress to help him celebrate. They find him under the mind control of plant that is inserted into his chest. While under this mind control, Superman is under a trance (sort of like virtual reality, just without the googles) and lives in a world that has his heart's desire open to him (Krypton is still a planet and his parents are still alive). However, things take a dark turn (very much like the political situation going on in the US right now) and Superman has to fight to get out from under the trance before he dies in this VR world. Unfortunately, just as Superman gets out from the plant's control, Batman goes under. Wonder Woman is busy dealing the villain who sent Superman the plant as a gift. The guys are just standing around in their dream state, the woman is the one kicking ass. At the end of the story, WW plants a big kiss on Superman's lips - squee! (3 stars)