48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2004
So, I gave this book five stars, but I have a very important stipulation to go with that rating: Be sure which Superman you are a fan of. Here's the deal - Alan Moore is my favorite author of all time, heck, my favorite artist of all time - in any medium. That's quite an accomplishment. Moreover, this is a story that Moore felt so impassioned about that when he first heard the concept, he (or so I'm told) lept up and demanded that he be the one to write it. Again quite impressive. And while this is not his greatest work (go read Watchmen or Promethea for that) it definately is Moore quality writing. However, if you are not a fan of that age of comics, you will not fully appreciate this story no matter how fantastic the writing is. An example: as I described this book to a friend of mine he grew very excited about reading it - until I got to the part about Krypto the Superdog (who does make an apperance). At the mention of Krypto, my friend adamantly refused to read this book, and honestly I can't blame him. Krypto is from a different age of comics which, if you can't appreciate, you can't appreciate. That being said, this book works as an incredible eulogy for an age of comics now forever gone. If you miss that age, this book is for you. If you're glad it is gone and wish it had never existed - you will not like this book. Personally, I loved it :)
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2001
One of the troubles I find in reading highly regarded works such as this one is that all the praise sets up incredibly high expectations that are often impossible to live up to and often leave the reader (or viewer) disappointed. However in the case of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow had no such preconceived notions. For while I had heard of Alan Moore's sterling reputation, influential work (and his impressively long beard,) I had never read any of it or heard about this little gem until I started reading it in local comic shop. I was riveted from the first few pages. Though I thought (and still think) 6 bucks is a rather hefty sum for a reprint of just two comic books, this comic is one of the most brilliantly done superman stories ever.
Upon my first reading I knew very little about pre-crisis Superman history, but more manages to make even an unfamiliar read learn it quite quickly and even come to appreciate it. Moreover the book manages to evoke all the huge "It's all coming to an end" feelings one gets during high school or college graduation.
In this tale we learn the final fates of Bizzaro, Luthor, Jimmy Olson, and all the other key players of the Superman mythos and the identity of the Man of Steel's greatest foe. I won't give, but I will tell one thing: it ain't Luthor! This story is considered an "Imaginary Tale", yet because all Pre-Crisis Superman was wiped out anyway one could easily "count" it and thus accept the final story in the huge cannon of superman stories. Although many of the Pre-Crisis superman stories that I have read were rather childish and the whole Superboy bit seems rather silly to me, this story makes appreciate many aspects of the old mythos and makes one wonder if there wasn't some better alternative to just erasing decades worth of stories.
A note on where in continuity this story fits even though it's not considered as such: After the Crisis the old continuities still remained intact. The John Byrne revamp did not occur until several months after "Crisis". This is why Superman is able to refer to Supergirl's death in the story, because it takes place after "Crisis" but before Byrne's revamp.
This is a truly magnificent work and I recommend every one to go out and buy it as soon as possible!
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2009
As someone who still has the original issues of the two part "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", I was a little surprised to see this reprinted in a hardcover edition. The original issues were intended to be the final stories of the "Silver Age" Superman before the comic was rebooted with the six part (which I have also) "Man of Steel" mini-series. Besides this, the hardcover includes two other Superman issues:
Superman Annual #11: "For The Man Who Has Everything"
DC Comics Presents #84 - Superman & Swamp Thing: "The Jungle Line"
I still have the DC Comics Presents #84 issue around the house. I never read the Superman Annual #11. However, the comic was adapted into an episode for the Justice League Unlimited comic series on Cartoon Network.
The main appeal of this release may be for readers like me who read the original releases but may not have the issues around anymore. Newer readers should also find the comics good reads but older readers will likely get much more nostalgia out of this collection.
As someone who has read most of the material, the mix of issues is a little unusual. The only thing tying these issues together is that writer Alan Moore penned these issues. In fact, all of the comics in this release are available in another DC Trade paperback entitled: "DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore". This collection includes other NON-Superman stories that Moore wrote during the 1980's including a Green Lantern tale "Tygers". "Tygers" (among other work by Moore) has been used by current Green Lantern writer Geoff Johns as a spring board for the current Green Lantern mini-series "The Blackest Night".
Despite the fact that none of the stories really have anything to do with each other, the hardcover release of "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" is solid. The preface gives good insight into how and why "Whatever Ever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" was written and help newer readers understand the significance of those two particular issues. I recommend checking it out!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2003
This is a collection of the final Pre-Crisis issues of "Action Comics" and "Superman". It's an "imaginary story" (meaning it wasn't canon) that takes place after the Crisis on Infinite Earths but without the revamp by John Byrne. It includes many of Superman's friends and enemies. I won't spoil the plot, but it's a very moving story, and a few good guys and bad guys get killed. Remember, though, it's not an official story. There's a very touching scene between Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes when the Legion arrives in the present with Kara (Supergirl), who had died in the Crisis. The covers are included, and there's a nice written introduction. Even though it never was canon, it's a very nice story and should be in every Superman fan's collection.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Before the infamous Death of Superman hit, legendary writer Alan Moore (Watchmen, From Hell, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) was enlisted to write this final tale of the original pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Superman. Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow is a mroe satisfying, fitting, and touching end of Superman as we see the hero pushed to his limits when the whole world is seemingly against him. He faces off against a plethora of his old enemies including Bizarro, Brainiac, Lex Luthor, and a surprise villian who is pulling all the strings. The art by Curt Swan and George Perez is superb, and Moore's writing is some of the best that ever hit the Man of Tomorrow. All in all, even though it is a bit short, I strongly suggest tracking this down; you won't be disappointed.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2003
Perhaps the most wonderful period of Superman stories were in the silver ages (1971-1986), very fine arts, classic stories, and piece of greatness.
Julius Schvarts editing was the best, the modern arts and stories that came after were less beauty.
This novel,maybe the best "imagining" story ever published, for me, the best story for me was "the final days of Lois and Lana". I remember that i was so sad in the end of this story, almost pay a tear,and that's for two things, the story itself, and knowing that DC comics will stop publishing the silver age books, and start their what they called "Modern books".
It, for me, looked like that Superman really dead, reviewing all the wonderful stories were told in the seventies and the first part of the eighties, any way, Every golden period has an end.
Enjoy reading that book, a Novel believe me, under the editing of the greatest, Julius Schvartes.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2010
This is one of my favorite storylines of all time, and having a hardcover extra sized edition PLUS two more Moore penned Superman stories (one of them drawn by the incredible Dave Gibbons) really closed the deal for me, although I must admit even with Amazon's discount it's still a bit overpriced.
The first part of this compilations is the titular "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" which is in my opinion the best Superman story of all time (although All Star Superman is a close second) and if you grew up before John Byrne's reboot in 1986 this is the last story of the classic silver age Superman. This is truly an EPIC storyline with all the best elements of the Superman mythos at their best, and the image of Krypto's ultimate sacrifice still sends shivers down my spine after 25 years of having read the story for the first time. The recolored artwork had already been released on a soft cover edition a few years ago but the bigger size of the current edition really brings out the amazing detail of George Perez inking over Curt Swans' gorgeous pencils on the first part.
It's a must read for any comic book fan.
The second part of the book is a bit disappointing, both stories are pretty good, but I was really expecting them to have recolored artwork too, instead they are exactly the same as when they first appeared in print. It's especially disappointing in "For The Man Who Has Everything" because I was really looking forward to it being recolored (especially since Brian Boland recolored the current anniversary hardcover release of "The Killing Joke") but alas it was not meant to be.
As a side note, I've noticed that as I grow older the more this classic stories stand out in my mind as the best comic books have to offer, I don't think it has much to do with nostalgia but perhaps with the quality of what's being published today.
All in all it's a must have for Superman fans, and anybody the slightest bit interested in the character.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2010
Everything has a beginning, and everything has an end...generally speaking. Comic fans are well aware of Superman's beginnings. He was believed to be the sole survivor of a planet facing doom, whose parents sent him off in a last-ditch effort to give him a chance to live and do good with his life. He landed on Earth and was adopted by a human family. His species had attributes like superpowers on our planet, and he dedicated his life to using those powers to protect the people of Earth.
But Alan Moore was tasked in 1986 with writing an "imaginary story," the "last" story of Superman, unofficially moving forward in time and giving Superman an end. The two-part story Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? is collected for the first time in the hardcover edition to coincide with the release of Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?
Moore created the "last" Superman story not by directly telling of his demise in the present, but moving forward to a point where the world has already become one without a Superman. A statue stands in memorial to his service on Earth, and things seem to be getting along okay following his legacy. A journalist named Tim Crane, from The Daily Planet, arrives at the home of Lois Lane...or Mrs. Lois Elliot, as she is now married to a middle-aged guy graying around the sides. Crane is writing a story called "The Last Days of Superman" and asks Lois to recount the end of Superman's story.
In the flashback tale, Superman returns from a mission in outer space to find pure carnage on Earth, seemingly carried out by Bizarro Superman. Others are involved, though. Clark Kent is exposed as Superman, and loved ones pay a big price due to the revelation. This unfolds into a much larger plot featuring a veritable who's who of Superman's friends and foes. The legendary hero is forced into making a decision that isn't characteristic of Superman and seemingly walks off into the sunset for good. That's it as far as the reporter knows, but Moore leaves the readers with a little something extra, a wink.
Moore handles the entire story with respect for the Superman franchise and fills it out with plenty of references to the character's history. With his skillful writing, it becomes not only an interesting "what if" finale for the Man of Tomorrow, but a walk down memory lane of Superman history, a testament to the character and a great farewell that lets readers in on something special.
This is enhanced by the fact that if anyone's interpretation of Superman was the one for the history books, it would be that of Curt Swan. Every character and every scene is incredibly detailed by Swan. The action is dynamic and engaging, but all the while it has a classic feel to it, thanks in part to the traditional color palette and also because this Deluxe Edition is reprinted on the old style of paper and ink, rather than the modern glossy pages.
The Deluxe Edition includes two more stories by Moore--"The Jungle Line" and "For the Man Who Has Everything." The first takes another character Moore was famous for resurrecting, Swamp Thing, and puts Superman in his realm. An alien spore actually inflicts Superman with an illness that could kill him, and it's up to Swamp Thing to aid him in his time of need. In the latter, several other DC characters come to visit Kal-El on his birthday, only to find him incapacitated by some sort of plant attachment. Both stories are entertaining reads.
It's a nice collection, produced in the same manner as its Batman counterpart, so the two will look quite good on the shelf together. Under the dust cover, the hardcover book is done with a nice black cover with an imprint of the Superman "S" in the center. For old fans or new, Moore's story still resonates today, and even the most skeptical of Superman fans will find a few entertaining stories to read in this collection.
-- William Jones
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2009
Alan Moore's "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" story was an instant classic when it was first published. Finally it's given the deluxe hardcover treatment. This is a gem of a story by Moore and artist Curt Swan. Wonderfully illustrated and lavishly written. Man of Tomorrow is easily among my top-10 favorite super-hero comic stories of all time. The bonus stories that round out this tale are nothing shy of perfect. Moore and Gibbons shine in a story originally presented in a DC annual, whilst the Swamp Thing-Superman tale is from the long-running series DC Comics Presents. Can't recommend this book highly enough for Moore and Superman fans alike.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Even people who have never read a comic book have heard of the Death of Superman series where Superman fights Doomsday and wins, but dies and of course, several months later, is brought back to life. However, few have heard of this "death of Superman" story. This is the story of the Superman that no longer existed after Crisis; this is the story of the original Superman, the Man of Tomorrow and how he died. The illustrations are a par above the norm and contain within them the melancholy of the tale. The writing is superb, carrying with it a ton of emotion that swells and builds until the unexpected conclusion at the end. Many characters are brought into play and all loose ends are tied up. It's a great story and a fitting final tribute to the original Superman.