|Can YOU find him? He's wearing a red-striped shirt and a knit cap.|
2016 is an exciting year to be a Superman fan, and not only because the Man of Steel's parent company has invested so heavily in ... the character, should I say? ... for a series of high-profile yet low-visibility films apparently shot underground, to judge from the lighting. No, it's because -- providing we don't all mutually stress-stroke from the recurrence of the phrase "Visionary Director Zack Snyder" -- there's less than four years to go until we're living in the future of Superman 2020!
|Thanks for clearing that up, Julie.|
Anyway, speaking of the immediate future, let's get back to Superman 2020: Launched by Cary Bates and Curt Swan in some sort of faux-futuristic clusterfuck, the series predicated the expansion of Metropolis into an all-consuming urban sprawl called Megalopolis. Boston, Baltimore, Metropolis and Gotham were all integrated into the DC sort-of equivalent to Mega City One. Nonetheless, the city in question racked up three Supermen and no Batmen (2020 or otherwise) as far as we can tell, so take that Gotham. You snooze, you lose.
|This is still more subtle than The Force Awakens.|
Why he'd do that isn't sufficiently explained, and why he couldn't do that without killing his original identity is equally under-acknowledged, but then again CaryBates never explained Towbee the space-minstrel to my satisfaction either. By the time Bob Rozakis takes over the feature, Superman III (starring Unshaven Binge Drinking Superman) has adopted two identities: Tennis pro Lewis Parker (he can't lose!) and traffic controller Jon Hudson. Rozakis also introduces the slang term "Krazbit," which is how you know it's the future.
A short run means that Superman 2020 didn't have much to offer in the way of intrigue or innovation, although it's worth mentioning that the inheritor of the Big Red "S" somehow regained his grandfather's long-discarded power of disguise to manipulate his facial features and that "Dad's pulsations are steady" will enter the lexicon to mean "yes."
The last episode of Superman 2020 ended with the promise of an upcoming Superman 2021 adventure, of which exactly one was had and mostly starred the fat and old version of Jimmy Olsen. This is probably fine since we'd otherwise be up to Superman 2056 by now and another three future Supermans would be gadding up the place. As it is, we can only hold out hope for the return of the inter-company crossover for an Iron Man 2020/Superman 2020 crossover, or we can spend more time with our families instead, whichever is better for the human spirit.
|Oh, come on, it's not THAT far in the fucking future ...|