Superman in Crisis

SiC 20 — What to Get … (06:20:1985)

Reviewing the classic Superman Annual 11 (1:23) and responding to your feedback (42:50)!

In the feedback section, the article mentioned by Dave McElvenney can be found here.

3 replies on “SiC 20 — What to Get … (06:20:1985)”

Wow! If there was only going to be a single Superman story in this week of 1985, this was certainly the best one possible. I loved this story when it came out, and I love it to this day. This is not to say that I think it is perfect, but it is exciting, engaging, thought-provoking, and very well made.
That said, even at the time I first read it, I couldn’t help wonder: This is Superman’s heart’s desire? Sure, having a wife and two children on the never-exploded world of his birth might very well be his heart’s desire, but it seemed to me, even early on in his fantasy, that there was a serpent in this Eden. Jor-El’s doomsday prediction turning out to be wrong, leading to his humiliation in the public eye, his estrangement from Zor-El and family. His involvement with the Sword of Rao. The death of his wife (and Kal’s mother). None of those seem likely to be Kal-El’s heart’s desire. Granted, some of that was probably a result of the attempts to remove the Black Mercy, but some of it seemed to arise very early in that fantasy world. In any case, I give Alan Moore great credit for even these story elements, because they add to the tension and engagement, so I certainly count this as going in my “Like Column” for Alan Moore stories.
I continue to enjoy this podcast, and I look forward to upcoming episodes (although with a bit of dread for Crisis #7, but I’m sure you’ll do your usual fine job.) Thanks, as always.

Well, what is there to say about “For the Man Who Has Everything” that hasn’t already been said? It is, of course, one of the all time great Superman stories, one that every Superman fan should be aware of. As in the earlier DC Presents story that we looked at a couple weeks ago, Alan Moore here presents Superman in an uncharacteristically vulnerable position. I had not actually realized how deep a dive Moore made into Superman’s canon in order to craft the details of his alternative Krypton. It’s an impressive achievement, the kind of obsessively detailed knowledge of backstory that any comics fan can envy.

Dave is right, above, to note that there are some cracks in Superman’s Kryptonian fantasy, even early on, such as Jor-El’s disgrace and the tension between him and Kal. I would like to read that as evidence that Superman was fighting against the influence of the Black Mercy, even before his friends arrived to help him escape. But it does feel like Moore was writing something like an alternate history, where you change one detail of the historical narrative and see where that change leads. In this case, Jor-El’s prediction did not come true. I wonder if on some level, Moore was attempting to fool the readers into thinking this was an alternate history story, at least initially. Or perhaps he wanted to explore the What-If-Jor-El-Was-Wrong idea, and saw this as a good way to do it. Maybe he just wanted the Kryptonian story to have some drama and interest. A perfect life may be wonderful, but it’s also rather boring to read about.

Happy belated birthday, Jon, and I’ll be looking forward to the next episode!

Outstanding episode on an outstanding issue, Jon!

I didn’t realize that Mongul was created in those DCCP issues; that fact really makes me want to start the DCCP read-through I’ve wanted to do for a while (and your coverage of the later DCCP issues certainly helps that as well). In fact, I really appreciated the context you gave us for everything within Clark’s Black Mercy dream.

Speaking of, that can’t have been Superman’s “heart’s desire.” Estranged from his father, a world full of hate, not married to Lois or even Lana? That has to be him fighting against in subconsciously, right?

I had forgotten that Jason was the Robin for this story. He showed up earlier than I ever remember. Anyway, I read his look after “think clean thoughts, chum” as I already was…but now I’m not.

One last thought to share – how great is Dave Gibbons’ art here? The answer you’re looking for is SO GREAT.

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