Superman is the most important comic book character of all time. He basically launched the comics industry and became a global phenomenon. He transcends the page; he’s an icon, a symbol. But how does his story end? Well, we got to find out back in 1986 when DC decided to simplify things and get rid of the multiverse and reboot their history. They brought in Alan Moore to write Superman’s final adventure of the Silver Age and bring his story to a close. Moore uses a framing device with a reporter interviewing an older Lois Lane about the last time she saw Superman, who has been missing for ten years and assumed dead. The story flashes back to Superman’s final days. Most of his major foes have been defeated and are out of the picture. But then they start coming back, and they are more twisted than ever before. They discover his secret identity and start attacking the people that Clark cares about most, some of them even die. Superman must find a way to save the day, and he does (cause he’s fucking Superman) but he pays the ultimate price.
Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? is one of the most important comics in Superman’s long history. It’s a good read for casual fans and it’s essential reading for comic nerds. There’s a trade paperback that contains both Superman #423 and Action Comics #583, and as a bonus they throw in two more standalone stories. The Jungle Line is about Superman suffering from a strange Kryptonian flu and getting saved by the Swamp Thing. And there’s another one called For the Man Who Has Everything, which is Superman’s “what if” story showing what his life on Krypton would have been like if it never blew up.
So if you ever wondered how the saga of Superman would end, this is the story for you. It has This is Alan Moore at the top of his game working on a Superman story to end all Superman stories. It has great artwork too. Curt Swan’s sketches are brought to life by inkers George Pérez and Kurt Schaffenberger. My biggest complaint is that it’s too short. You start reading and it and BAM! It’s over and you were just getting into it. You don’t want it to end, and then it’s over before you know it. But it sticks with you. It’s a great way to say good-bye to Superman. Even though he never really went away… you know there’s a new Superman movie coming out?
Critically Rated at 15/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young