TITLE: Superman vol. 1, issue #583
YEAR: September 1986
COMPANY: DC Comics
Written By Alan Moore
Art by Curt Swan & Kurt Schaffenberger
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 two-part story written by Alan Moore and artwork by Curt Swan was inked by George Perez. And the second part would be featured in “Action Comics” issue #583.
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.
In “Superman” issue #423, the story began 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.
In “Action Comics” issue #583, Superman rescued his friends and brought them to the Fortress of Solitude, meanwhile Brainiac (using Lex Luthor’s body) has teamed up with Kryptonite Man and joining them are three members of Legion of Super-Villains: Saturn Woman, Lightning Lord and Cosmic King from the 30th Century.
Braniac brings up a force field which no one can come in and no one can leave. as the Justice League tries to get in, unfortunately, the shield is impenetrable.
Superman visits his boss, Perry and talks to him man-to-man and his feelings of making things difficult for Lana and Lois. How Lana was his love as a teenager but as an adult, Lois became his true love.
Meanwhile, as Jimmy Olsen and Lana Lang are going through the Fortress of Solitude, they remember their time when they were granted super powers and Jimmy finds the Elastic Lad serum, while Lana finds the “Magic Lake Water” and both are given super powers.
But for Lana, she also gains superhearing and overhears Superman making his confession of how he loved Lana but now loves Lois. But because he doesn’t want to hurt either woman, so he keeps the hurt in his heart and will carry that pain to his grave.
Jimmy and Lana want to help Superman and use their superpowers to defeat the evil waiting outside.
While Lana is able to slap Kryptonite Man and Brainiac easily with her super power, the Legion of Super-Villains realize that is not her true power and Cosmic King reverses it and she falls midflight. Meanwhile, as Lightning Lord offers to give Lana a hand, instead he electrocutes her. And as Elastic Man Jimmy destroys Brainiac’s vehicle, he is killed by Brainiac.
The side of evil then goes to attack and infiltrate the Legio of Super-Heroes and as Kryptonite Man is the first to enter, he is greeted by Superman’s dog, Krypto, who manages to kill Kryptonite Man by biting him in the neck, but the dog sacrifices it’s life to do so and dies of kryptonite poisoning.
As the Legion of Super-Villains make it inside, they tell Superman they will make Lois Lane like his other lady friend that they killed. And when Superman finds out they killed both Lana and Jimmy, he loses it and the Legion of Super-Villains realize that Superman is prepared to kill them and they leave back to the 30th Century.
Meanwhile, Brainiac goes for the kill against Lois and Superman…Who will live and who will die?
And this is just part of the story, as there is more to it. A wonderful conclusion to Alan Moore’s imaginary story of the death of Superman and how Earth has been without Superman. And what’s even cooler is the little twist featured at the end in the end.
Overall, a fantastic story and “Action Comics” issue #583 is worth owning!