Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue

"The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue" first appeared in Superman #162 (July, 1963), by Leo Dorfman, Curt Swan and George Klein (and cover by Kurt Schaffenberger)....and it was a doozy!  Superman decides he has too much to do, so makes a machine that will increase his intelligence (powered by the many colors of Kryptonite), and does increase his intelligence (but also permanently splits Superman into two equal beings, one Superman-Blue, the other, Superman-Red).  With two Supermen, he is able to cure all the world's ails, reform the villains, even marry Lois and Lana (and start a family and retire).

Pretty good for an imaginary story, right?

But, this wasn't the end of the story....


It's worth noting that this story was indeed a very good story, as shown by the number of times it has been reprinted.  First in the 100-Page Super-Spectacular DC-18 (July, 1973, with a cover by Nick Cardy), in the Best of DC #19 (December, 1981, with a cover by Ross Andru and Dick Giordano)... the Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told from 1987 (both hardcover and softcover versions), and in DC's Greatest Imaginary Stories #1 under a Brian Bolland cover from 2005 (and soon after, the "imaginary story" was classified to Earth-168, putting it as a part of DC Continuity, though removed a bit....with a brief appearance in the Kingdom #2 and in Infinite Crisis #5)


Superman-Red and Superman-Blue returned as a part of the usual DC Universe in an unnumbered Superman Spectacular in 1982, with "The Startling Saga Of Superman-Red And Superman-Blue" by Bob Rozakis, Paul Kupperberg, Adrian Gonzales and Vince Colletta (with Gonzales providing the cover).  Superman foe, the space cowboy on the flying horse, Terra-Man, finds some Red Kryptonite, and working with Lex Luthor, expose Superman to it (causing the Man of Steel to split into Superman-Red and Superman-Blue), with the duo capturing Terra-Man, but not Luthor, who then learns magic to threaten Lois Lane, while the two Supermen re-merge, then beat Luthor and save Lois.


For a time, Superman's powers changed from the Kryptonian powerhouse that he was to a more electric based hero, starting with Superman #123 (May, 1997) by Dan Jurgens, Ron Frenz and Joe Rubenstein.  This lasted for a while (from "Superman Triangle Numbers" #19 of 1997 to #21 of 1998, including a Superman Red/Superman Blue special, with the dueling electrical Supermen in February of 1998, with triangle #6 of 1998, where the Superman Red premiered in), and the two had re-merged into a "classic" Superman in Superman Forever #1 (June, 1998) after defeating the Millennium Giants. 


With the death of the New 52 Superman, an earlier Superman returned to be the "new" Man of Steel, and very recently, Superman #18, Action Comics #975, Superman #19 (revealing the older Superman to have a "blue" energy, and the newer, deceased one to have released his "red" energy" and Action Comics #976 (all 2017, Superman #18 and #19 by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason and Mick Grey, the Action Comics by Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke and Jaime Mendoza)...

...give the saga of Superman Red/Superman Blue new life for the new Millennium, seeing Superman Reborn!

1 comment:

  1. Disagree. He was already energetic in Byrne reboot. Whole tactile telekinesis (which allowed him to defeat Manhunters by controlling their entire ship simply because they chained him to it) and aura that allowed him to stay still in the air in this version (if you notice in almost all old comics save for 1977s DC Special 5 there is 0 instance of Superman staying still in the air, with his arms crossed or in heroic pose, all air traversal was in motion in Any versions, including movies and all cartoons before 1986) and protect skintight clothing (pre-Crisis Superman 1 or 2 would tear up suit made from average material within a single day Superman 295 and Action Comics 564 are very vivid examples of that). So he already was 99% "electric" (unlike pre 1986 who was always "physical" in terms of his strenght and speed and durability) just not to the extreme.

    Love how you posted it ar 3:33
    Original Red and Blue is my favorite story and for me this Is the end for Silver Age/Earth-1 Superman. I refuse accept anything else. Especially when story doesn't contradict its own canon.