TITLE: Superman vol. 1, issue #423
YEAR: September 1986
COMPANY: DC Comics
Written By Alan Moore
Art by Curt Swan and George Perez
Letterer: Todd Klein
Colorist: Gene D’Angelo
Editor: Julius Schwartz
Back in 1986, there were major changes in store at DC Comics after the changes made in 1985 with “Crisis on Infinite Earths”.
As the multiverse was lessened to one single shared universe, “Superman” would also receive a major overhaul at the hands of writer/artist John Byrne and Julius Schwartz, who was the editor of the comic book would end his tenure with issue #423, as with longtime artist Curt Swan.
The final issue would feature a story written by Alan Moore and artwork by Curt Swan was inked by George Perez.
“Superman”, a comic book series which started back in 1939 would go through a new name change to “The Adventures of Superman”, while “Superman” vol. 2 would relaunch in 1986.
The story is an imaginary tale that would feature the Silver Age Superman before the “Crisis of Infinite Earths” reboot and Moore created the story to honor Superman’s long history.
The story begins with Lois Elliot (formerly Lois Lane) being interviewed by Tim Crane from the Daily Planet.
The publication is doing a Superman Memorial Edition and an article titled “The Last Days of Superman” and takes place ten years after Superman was last seen.
Lois talks about when Superman found out that Bizarro had destroyed buildings and killed many individuals around the Daily Planet.
Bizarro explains to Superman that he wanted to be the opposite of him, instead of saving people, he will kill people. Instead of saving Earth, he destroyed Bizarro World. And Bizarro then commits suicide by taking in blue kryptonite which kills him.
She then talks about when Superman opened a package in which doll Superman shot laserbeams meant to kill Clark Kent. When the dolls all fly to incinerate Clark, employees find out that Clark Ken is Superman when his clothes are burned except his Superman costume.
To make things worse, he goes to open an even larger package and inside is his Smallville best friend Pete Ross, who was tortured to reveal Superman’s identity and then later killed by Toyman and the Prankster.
Meanwhile Lex Luthor is in the Arctic looking for Brainiac’s head and to Lex’s surprise, Braniac’s head comes alive and shoots out its metal casing which attaches itself to Lex’s head and controls him.
As Metallos are sent by the new Brainiac ala Lex Luthor to kill people close to Superman at the Daily Planet, Superman is able to rescue his friends and bring them to the Fortress of Solitude.
As the new Brainiac searches for Superman, they are unaware he is at the Fortress of Solitude and to his surprise, he is visited by Supergirl (she is unaware that the modern version of herself was killed during the “Crisis of Infinite Earths”) and the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Superman knows that the reason why they have come is to pay their last respects to him before his passing.
And while Superman is not sure what will happen, the fact that he is going to live the last day of his life makes the superhero cry.
While an awesome story, part two is continued in “Action Comics issue” #583, which I will discuss on another blog post.
But for a final issue to end the first volume of “Superman”, there is no doubt that Alan Moore, George Perez and veterans Curt Swan and editor Julius Schwartz have crafted a memorable and entertaining story.