History ComicBook / WhateverHappenedToTheManOfTomorrow

4th Feb '18 8:00:46 AM VicGeorge2011
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* BigNo: Actually, two big Nos as Superman discovers the corpse of Pete Ross in the bigger package that was sent to him by Toyman and the Prankster at the WGBS studios.


* BigNo: Actually, two big Nos as From Superman as he discovers the corpse of Pete Ross in the bigger package that was sent to him by Toyman and the Prankster that arrived at the WGBS studios.
3rd Feb '18 3:08:14 PM VicGeorge2011
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* BigNo: Actually, two big Nos as Superman discovers the corpse of Pete Ross in the bigger package that was sent to him by Toyman and the Prankster at the WGBS studios.
30th Jan '18 9:49:44 AM LentilSandEater
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** Subverted... and yet, played straight after a fashion:


** Subverted... and yet, played straight after a fashion:Averted, to much regret:
30th Jan '18 9:47:14 AM LentilSandEater
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* IJustWantToBeNormal: Clark, I mean Jordan, got his wish. Jordan mocks Superman in the beginning of the story, proclaiming that the ordinary working Joe is the ''real'' hero, then when teased by Lois about really enjoying his life, Jordan remarks that Superman was deluded into thinking the world couldn't go on without him.


* IJustWantToBeNormal: IJustWantToBeNormal:
Clark, I mean Jordan, er, Jordan got his wish. Jordan mocks Superman in the beginning of the story, proclaiming that the ordinary working Joe is the ''real'' hero, then when teased by Lois about really enjoying his life, Jordan remarks that Superman was deluded into thinking the world couldn't go on without him.
27th Dec '17 11:12:48 AM thatother1dude
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* DoubleEntendre: "This is an Imaginary Story... Aren't they all?", which can be taken several ways:


* DoubleEntendre: DoubleMeaning: "This is an Imaginary Story... Aren't they all?", which can be taken several ways:
1st Dec '17 9:23:54 AM AnotherGuy
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* BackForTheFinale: All of Superman's friends and enemies. Superman even lampshades this, in order to ascertain [[HiddenVillain who the true Mastermind is]]. He figures out it is Mxyzptlk, because he is the only Silver Age villain not to make an appearance yet.


* BackForTheFinale: All of Superman's friends and enemies. Superman even lampshades this, in order to ascertain [[HiddenVillain who the true Mastermind is]]. He figures out it is Mxyzptlk, because he is the only Silver Age villain not to make an appearance yet.[[note]]Also, he was puzzling over why Brainiac's force dome was still up despite Brainiac being destroyed.[[/note]]
19th Oct '17 12:54:38 AM BeastC
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* {{Foreshadowing}}: Jordan Elliot's true identity is hinted at by his son's name: Jonathan.
20th Aug '17 4:31:05 AM StFan
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!! Given that this is a self-contained [[ArcWords Imaginary Story]] that does not have a canonical impact on any ''Superman'' series, all spoilers on this page are unmarked. Tread carefully.

[[caption-width-right:300:See ya, big guy. You'll be missed.]]

->''"This is an Imaginary Story... Aren't they '''all'''?"''

Franchise/{{Superman}} really hit his stride in UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks, which introduced things like multi-colored Kryptonite, ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}, Bizarro, and the Fortress of Solitude. Even today, much of what the average person knows about Supes (not counting his death) comes from that period.

Then came the ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'', a mega-event that reset the continuity of every DC title. Thus began the modern, Creator/JohnByrne era of Superman which strove to be more "realistic". Realizing that Silver Age Superman deserved a grand finale, editor Julius Schwartz hired Creator/AlanMoore, and Superman ur-artist Curt Swan. The first issue was inked by none other than Creator/GeorgePerez and the second issue was inked by Kurt Schaffenberger (who was also best known for defining the look of ComicBook/LoisLane, and his work on ''{{Shazam}}'' and the Captain Marvel Family tales), and made the last Silver Age tale -- an "imaginary story." Published in September, 1986. For Moore, a lifelong Superman fan, specifically the Silver Age Superman, this story was the "final" Superman story. For many writers, it's one of the greatest Superman stories ever written with Neil Gaiman claiming that the opening is the greatest triple entendre in comics and a goodbye to a Superman that existed in Moore's heart.

[[FramingDevice Daily Planet reporter Tim Crane]] comes to interview Lois Elliot (nee [[ComicBook/LoisLane Lane]]) on the anniversary of the death of Superman. [[FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator Lois tells the story]] in a WholeEpisodeFlashback.

After Superman's life has settled into an easy groove as all the villains lie low, he spends his time helping NASA with experiments. Of course, the villains then go berserk, attacking Metropolis in increasingly grisly ways. Superman takes his friends to the Fortress of Solitude, pursued by the Kryptonite Man, the Legion of Supervillains, and creepiest of all, an enslaved ComicBook/LexLuthor, [[MindRape mind-rape­­­d]] and taken over by the remains of ComicBook/{{Brainiac}}.

Superman makes his last stand, and survives by the skin of his teeth. He defeats Brainiac, but realizes there's one last villain: [[TheUnpronounceable Mxyzptlk.]] Bored after spending 2,000 years as [[HarmlessVillain a mischievous imp]], Mxyzptlk has decided to try being [[NotSoHarmlessVillain truly evil]]. Superman is no match for Mxyzptlk's godlike power, but thanks to a warning from the ComicBook/LegionOfSuperHeroes, he's able to kill Mxyzptlk using the Phantom Zone projector. Appalled that he's violated his code against killing, Superman exposes himself to gold kryptonite (permanently robbing himself of all powers) and apparently commits suicide by exposure to the elements.

Back at the FramingDevice, Tim Crane thanks Lois for her story, leaves, passing Lois's husband Jordan Elliot. It's revealed that '''Jor'''dan '''El'''liot is actually Superman and that he's in his retirement, happy to enjoy an ordinary life for once. Jordan, crazy in love with Lois, [[AsideGlance winks at the audience]], enjoys a HappyEnding... and misses the fact that his infant son is exhibiting SuperStrength.


That's the tale. As time went on, the fans rejected the modern era Superman, and the classic Silver Age trappings came back. However, the legacy of this story would continue to endure.

Just as this story was [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] Superman's "epilogue" following ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'', a similar story has come in the wake of ''ComicBook/FinalCrisis'', Franchise/{{Batman}}'s ''ComicBook/WhateverHappenedToTheCapedCrusader'' The two stories are similar in presence, but while "Tomorrow" was a tribute to the Silver Age Superman (whose tenure is debated to last all the way to UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks; the [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] Superman, Kal-L would later return in ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis''), "Caped Crusader", which followed in the death of Bruce Wayne in ''Final Crisis'', is a tribute/epilogue to '''all''' versions of the Bruce Wayne Batman, as told by the various versions of his allies and enemies. Both storylines, however, maintain a theme of renewal: "Tomorrow" sees the future of Superman passed onto the next generation, and "Caped Crusader" sees Batman reborn to continue his crusade against injustice.

!!''Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?'' provides examples of:

* ThirteenIsUnlucky: This comic book, dealing with the end of Superman, mentions 13 villains total, with the last one, "his greatest foe" pushing him to his end.
* AboveGoodAndEvil: Played with. Mxy seems to treat stances on morality with the same weight as what he's having for dinner.
* ActionGirl: Lana. And she does make a difference in the story where even Superman couldn't because the superpowers she gains aren't affected by Kryptonite. Though they can be removed by transmuting the elements in the treatment she took. She's also much more willing to snap Luthor's neck and rob Brainiac of his host than Superman probably was.
* AlienGeometries: Lois described the true form of Mxyzptlk as having "length, width, breadth, and a couple other things," reflecting the long-established fact that Mxyzptlk is from the fifth dimension.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: Several villains try this against the fortress of solitude, but none of them really succeed.
* AlmightyJanitor: In something of a literal sense.
* AndIMustScream: Luthor... until he musters enough willpower to [[ICannotSelfTerminate beg Lana Lang to kill him]]. [[MercyKill She complies.]]
* AnyoneCanDie: Since it was the swan song of UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}} Superman, Alan Moore was given a free hand.
* BabiesEverAfter: At end of the story, Superman lives an ordinary life with Lois and his son Jonathan.
* BackForTheFinale: All of Superman's friends and enemies. Superman even lampshades this, in order to ascertain [[HiddenVillain who the true Mastermind is]]. He figures out it is Mxyzptlk, because he is the only Silver Age villain not to make an appearance yet.
-->'''Superman:''' Bizarro, the Prankster, the Toyman, Metallo, Brainiac, the Kryptonite Man, the Legion of Super-Villains... There's only one name missing, isn't there? ... I know you're there, Mxyzptlk! Come out and show yourself!
* BerserkButton: You shouldn't have killed Lana, Lightning Lord...
* BewareTheSillyOnes: Mr. Mxyzptlk is the TropeCodifier here, as he proves to be a serious threat in spite of his reputation as a ludicrous nuisance.
* BigBad: Mxyzptlk turns out to be behind all the conflict.
* BigBadWannabe: Brainiac and the League of Supervillains in particular want very much to be Superman's greatest foe, but in the end look rather pathetic (Brainiac ditching Luthor's corpse and desperately trying to reach Superman in the midst of a total system failure, the League running back to the future with their tails between their legs after triggering Supes' BerserkButton).
* BittersweetEnding: For the whole Superman mythos. Pete Ross, Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen, Krypto, Lex Luthor, and Supergirl are all dead and Superman chooses to retire and nullify his own powers after he's forced to use the Phantom Zone projector to destroy Mr. Mxyzptlk. But Clark and Lois have survived and can finally be together and all of the supervillains have been either killed, captured, or driven away. The future sequences show that Superman has left his mark and made the world a better place, while his son will presumably go on to be the hero of future generations.
* BodyHorror: The ''new'' Brainiac-Luthor "team" involves the former forcibly possessing the latter in such a way that Braniac is in full control whilst [[AndIMustScream Luthor is fully conscious]].
* TheCameo: Several.
** There's a damaged statue of Lori the mermaid in the fortress of Solitude.
** The heroes trying to help Superman include Franchise/{{Batman}}, Robin, Franchise/WonderWoman, [[Comicbook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]], ComicBook/MartianManhunter, ComicBook/GreenArrow and Hawkman. None have that significant role to play since they were all locked out.
* CanonImmigrant: Jonathan would become the son of Clark and Lois 30 years after this story was published as the new ComicBook/{{Superboy}}.
* TheCavalryArrivesLate: Earth's superheroes were too late and too weak to help Superman in his final battle.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: And possibly {{Foreshadowing}}, too. This was the first time Superman openly admitted IJustWantToBeNormal. John Byrne's Superman depicted as the character being Clark Kent, who has a secret identity of Superman, instead of the other way around.
* ChekhovsGun: The trophy the Legion gives Superman.
* TheChessmaster:
** Mxyzptlk orchestrates several events to get Superman's enemies to attack the Man of Steel with greater ferocity than before.
** Also Brainiac, who controls the middle of the comic as the visible BigBad.
* ClarkKenting: He pulls it once again! Tim Crane doesn't seem to recognize Clark Kent nor Superman behind Mr. Elliot's mustache and gray hair on his temples.
* ColorCodedSecretIdentity: When Jordan first appears, he is wearing a blue jacketóthe same as Supermanís signature blue (though no red). When he appears again at the end, he is wearing a gold shirt, like the gold Kryptonite that took away Supermanís powers.
* ContinuityPorn: For the Silver Age. It's astounding how much Alan Moore manages to squeeze into one story while still keeping it gripping and tense. For example, the source of [[https://themiddlespaces.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/cc-jm-ll-covers.jpg Jimmy and Lana's powers]] were obscure even in 1985.
* CreatorCameo: Curt Swan, Jenette Kahn, and Julie Schwartz are all on the cover of Action Comics #583, waving goodbye to Superman.
* DeathOfTheHypotenuse: Superman is spared the pain of choosing between Lois and Lana when Lana meets her unfortunate end at the hands of Lightning Lord. At least it was a HeroicSacrifice, but still...
* DarkerAndEdgier:
** Invoked by Lois when Mxyzptlk appears.
--->'''Lois:''' He didn't look ''funny'' anymore.
** Compare this story to any other [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] Superman story. Let's just say it's made clear very quickly that this is ''final''.
* DeadSidekick: Bye, Pete Ross, ComicBook/JimmyOlsen and Krypto.
* DirtyCoward: The Legion of Supervillains come from the future because there was going to be a great victory that day. Naturally they only fight when they are sure they will win and when they get scared they flee back to their time period.
* DiscOneFinalBoss: The Luthor/Brainiac fusion is set up as the main threat before Mxzyptlk is revealed to be behind everything.
* DoubleEntendre: "This is an Imaginary Story... Aren't they all?", which can be taken several ways:
** This is a WhatIf story, which DC used occasionally during the Golden and Silver Ages for {{Filler}} issues, and identified as "imaginary stories" to distinguish them from stories set in the (arguably loose, especially in the Golden Age) "official" series continuity. (The concept would later be revived at DC under the ''Elseworlds'' imprint.
** This is a canonical ending to the original Superman tales before John Byrne's reboot.
** [[SugarWiki/FictionIdentityPostulate All comic books are imaginary stories, so this non-continuity story is no less valid than any in-continuity story]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Superman may have lost many of his friends and allies, but all of his enemies are now either dead, imprisoned, or have made the wise decision to leave him alone. In addition, he gets to settle down and start a family with Lois under a new identity.
* EurekaMoment:
** The Legion's gift to Superman, and what the trophy is holding, turns out to be a clue on how Superman can win the final battle.
** Also, Superman's realization that Mxyzptlk must be the mastermind, as he is the only villain not to appear yet.
* TheEveryman: Jordan Elliot, to Superman's utter delight, is as normal and unremarkable as any other person.
* ExactWords: I never saw ''Superman'' again.[[note]]Because Superman now goes by Jordan Elliot[[/note]]
* FakingTheDead: Superman's greatest trick is his own death.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: The death of Mr Mxyzptlk, whose humanoid EnergyBeing form is torn in half on panel, as he screams in pain and horror... Also, Lana Lang being fried by electricity from [[PsychoElectro Lightning Lord]].
* FirstGirlWins: Although chronologically, Lana Lang is the first girl in the comics timeline though Lois Lane was always the first girl in the Superman stories. Superman tells Perry White that Lana was always the girl of his youth, but Lois was his one true love and the person he cared for as an adult.
* FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator: Lois tells the story in a WholeEpisodeFlashback.
* ForgotAboutHisPowers: The Kristin Wells version of Superwoman is one of the heroes trying to break down the forcefield around the Fortress of Solitude. She's capable of teleporting and walking through walls but it's later revealed Mr. Mxyzptlk was maintaining the wall with his own sorcery.
* ForTheEvulz: Mxyzptlk enacts his scheme for shits and giggles.
* FullyAbsorbedFinale: For the Silver-Age Superman, and in Alan Moore's opinion, Superman period. As he noted in later interviews and as confirmed by Neil Gaiman, Moore wrote this fully with the intention of it being the "last Superman story".
* GenreThrowback: The cover of the first part is much like a very Silver Age Superman story that makes promises of such outrageous things that there is no way they could ever actually happen but the reader just has to buy it anyway... Except they ''all'' '''do'''!
* GoOutWithASmile: The last thing Superman does is give Lois a smile.
* GrandFinale: This story serves as the final ending for [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] Superman, as it has many of his greatest enemies defeated for good and concludes with him [[EarnYourHappyEnding earning his happy ending]].
* HeroicSacrifice: Krypto, who manages to kill the Kryptonite Man before he can reach Superman, but is fatally poisoned in the process.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Luthorís search for Brainiac in order to study his alien technology results in [[PuppeteerParasite Brainiac instead taking control of Luthor]].
-->'''Brainiac''': Greetings, Lex Luthor. Your body, mind, and vocal cords all now belong to me. [[IronicEcho I welcome you to the new Brainiac-Luthor team]].
* HumanoidAbomination: Mr. Mxyzptlk's true form, which is also an EnergyBeing.
-->'''Mxyzptlk:''' You didn't think a 5th-dimensional sorcerer ''really'' looked like a funny little man in a bowler hat, did you?
* ICannotSelfTerminate: Luthor gains enough control to beg Lana to kill him to stop Brainiac. She complies.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Clark, I mean Jordan, got his wish. Jordan mocks Superman in the beginning of the story, proclaiming that the ordinary working Joe is the ''real'' hero, then when teased by Lois about really enjoying his life, Jordan remarks that Superman was deluded into thinking the world couldn't go on without him.
** This is arguably the resolution of UsefulNotes/{{the Bronze Age|OfComicBooks}} Superman's entire character arc as the writers, attempting to make him more interesting, had been focusing for a long while on Superman's isolation from humanity and lack of true peers and companions. What had always stopped him from taking this step was the assumption that the world couldn't get along without him.
* KilledOffForReal: As an imaginary story, the body count is possibly the highest it will ever get in a Superman story: Terra-Man, Parasite(before the story begins), Bizarro (along with the bizarro world), Pete Ross, Metallo (possibly, if you take the dialog at face value), Supergirl (offscreen), Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, The Kryptonite Man, Krypto and Mr. Mxyzptlk.
* KilledOffScreen: Lois mentions the Parasite and Terra-Man killed each other in a fight. Talk about a [[OffscreenMomentOfAwesome story that could have been told from]] ''[[CrackPairing that]]'' [[OffscreenMomentOfAwesome fight!]]
* LockedOutOfTheFight: Several of Superman's heroic allies come to help him in the final battle, but are kept out by a ForceField until it's all over.
* ManlyTears: Supes is sobbing at the end of ''Superman'' #423.
* MeaningfulRename: '''Jor'''dan '''El'''liot, the identity adopted by Clark after losing his powers.
* MercyKill: Lana puts Lex out of his misery at his pleading.
* MetaphoricallyTrue:
** Lois isn't lying when she says she never saw Superman ever again after he walked into the Gold Kryptonite room.
** Supergirl knows that two of her can't exist at the same time. Superman tells her that "Supergirl is in the past."
* MoreThanThreeDimensions: Lois, in her narration, struggles to describe Mxyzptlk's reveal of his true form:
-->'''Lois:''' It had height, length, breadth, and a couple of other things. [...] Looking at it made my head hurt.
* MutualKill: The Parasite and Terra-Man, two of Superman's most persistant Silver Age foes do not appear in the story. During Lois exposition opening about what things were like during Superman's final days, she mentions that the two had ended up killing each other in a massive fallout.
* NeverTheSelvesShallMeet: According to the older Supergirl, if you travel back to a time period where your past self is present, you become a ghost. Since the modern Supergirl died in ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'', this doesn't happen, forcing Superman to make up an excuse.
* NotQuiteDead: Apparently, Brainaic survived the loss of his body, so long as he could take over someone else's. In particular, Luthor's.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: Everybody, really. Superman is deeply disturbed by this; when the nuisances of the past come back as murderers, what happens when the murderers come back? Special note to Toyman and Prankster (who murder Pete Ross and out Superman's secret identity) as well as Bizarro (who destroys Bizarro World on purpose and goes on a killing spree to try and carry being Superman's opposite to its logical extreme) and Mxy (who turns out to be why all of Superman's enemies have become worse than they acted before). Ironically, Toyman and the Prankster are murderers Post-Crisis.
* OhCrap:
** Mr. Mxyzptlk's reaction to Superman holding the Phantom Zone Projector is one of pure terror, which is why he attempts a VillainExitStageLeft by saying his name backwards to go back to the fifth dimension. It gets him murdered by Superman.
** The Legion of Supervillains are understandably horrified when Superman is enraged by discovering that Lightning Lord killed Lana Lang and opt to escape his wrath by fleeing back to the future.
* OneWingedAngel: Mxy assumes his true form in the FinalBattle ("Did you honestly believe that a 5th Dimensional sorcerer would resemble a funny little man in a derby hat?" laughs the villain.) and being five dimensional, [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm cannot be fully comprehended by earthlings]]; as Lois puts it, ďI canít describe what Mxyzptlk then became. He had height, width, depth, and a couple of other things, too.Ē
* OrAreYouJustHappyToSeeMe: A variation.
-->'''Hooker:''' I could break your heart for $50.\\
'''Metallo:''' ''[rips open shirt to reveal a grappling hook where his heart should be]'' I doubt it.
* PortalCut: Happens to Mr. Mxyzptlk when he tries the teleport the same time Superman sends him into the Phantom Zone.
* PuppeteerParasite: Brainiac resorts to taking over Luthor's body.
* RealityWarper: The reason why Mxy becomes Superman's most dangerous foe, he more or less triggers RandomEventsPlot that upset the Silver Age status-quo, with harmless villains like the Toyman and the Prankster getting gritty violent reboots, Bizarro becoming an OmnicidalManiac, Superman's identity exposed in a random banner and of course the coalition of villains that lay siege at the Fortress of Solitude.
* RedEyesTakeWarning
-->'''Superman:''' '''YOU HURT ''LANA''?!'''
* {{Revenge}}: The main motive for the attack of the Metallos and Brainiac is to get even with Superman beating them so many times in the past.
* SandInMyEyes: Saturn Girl says that ďsome 20th century virusĒ is causing her eyes to water.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Saturn Queen and company decide to cut and run when Superman gets lethally angry.
* TheSiege: Superman's last battle was even referred to by Lois as The Siege of the Fortress of Solitude: Superman's last stand.
* StuffedIntoTheFridge: The rare male variant, Pete Ross.
* SuperEmpowering: Lana and Jimmy use devices in Superman's Fortress to give themselves temporary super powers to help Superman.
* SuperpowerfulGenetics: [[spoiler: Lois' son squeezes a lump of coal until it becomes a diamond, implying that his father is Superman in disguise.]]
* TemporalParadox: (Possible) Ontological example. Lois and Superman realize that the Phantom Zone projector was their only hope of defeating Mxyzptlk because of the statuette they received from the time-traveling Legion of Superheroes. However, the Legion likely knew to do this, because Lois survives and gives an account of the Legionís assistance, which the Legion then learns about a millennium later. So Lois' survival depends on the Legion going back in time, but the Legion going back in time depends on Lois' survival. It is ''possible'' there is an original timeline where Superman figures out to use the Phantom Zone projector without the Legionís assistance. Yet, if thatís the case, that means the Legion traveled back in time just to give Superman [[ContrivedCoincidence a totem with the exact right clue]], even though they expect him to die in the Arctic right after.
* ThatManIsDead: Through SelfDeprecation.
-->'''Jordan:''' Superman was overrated. Too wrapped up in himself. Thought the world couldn't get along without him.
* ThereWasADoor: [[http://i.stack.imgur.com/KUi5k.jpg Superman flies through the wall]] of the base of Toyman and Prankster. Since they had just murdered one of his oldest friends you cannot blame him for wanting to find them as soon as possible.
* TheseHandsHaveKilled: After unleashing the Phantom Zone projector to destroy Mxyzptlk, Lois comforts Superman and points out that it's a clear GodzillaThreshold and that there really was no other way. But Superman still feels the gravity of what he did, noting that he knew what he was doing and that he ''intended'' to kill him. It clearly changed him as a person as noted below.
* ThouShaltNotKill:
** Subverted... and yet, played straight after a fashion:
--->'''Superman:''' I broke my oath. I killed him. Nobody has the right to kill. Not Mxyzptlk... not you... not Superman. ''Especially'' not Superman.
** Saturn Queen is shocked that Superman's ''not'' bluffing when he attacks the trio with heat vision after their murder of Lana Lang, noting he's prepared to ''kill''.
* TheTrickster: Mxyzptlk remains one. He's just gone from Anansi to (post-FaceHeelTurn) Loki.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: It's set at least ten years into the future and the furniture looks futuristic.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend:
** Lana Lang.
** Pete Ross gets tortured and killed.
* UnmasquedWorld: In the future, everybody knows that Clark Kent and Superman were the same person.
* UnwittingPawn: Basically all the main villains end up being this for Mr. Mxyzptlk with the possible exception of the Legion of Supervillains (but again, only maybe). The most clear examples would be the Prankster and Toyman who weren't even able to explain why they acted in the way they did when confronted.
* VillainExitStageLeft:
** The Legion of Supervillains retreat to the 30th century when they realize that Superman is prepared to kill them for murdering Lana Lang.
** When Superman aims the Phantom Zone projector at Mxyzptlk, the fifth dimensional being attempts to escape by saying his name backwards, only to be torn in two from being sent to the Phantom Zone and the fifth dimension at the same time.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Mxy says that he spent the first 2,000 years of he existence doing nothing, the next 2,000 years being a benevolent being, and then the last 2,000 years being a prankster. He's decided that now he would just be plain ''evil''. After that? He muses he'd probably spend the 2,000 years after his evil run being remorseful. All attributed to the fact that he has to find something to ''do'' being immortal.
* YouAreTooLate: Despite their best efforts, the rest of the world's heroes are unable to assist Superman in time, as Braniac's force field is blocking off the Fortress, even after his death. Once it falls, it's already too late.
* {{Zeerust}}: Taking place in the far flung date of 1997, the fashion in the story is less futuristic/modern and more '80s. Lois Lane's dress in particular looks ''exactly'' like [[http://jamesbondmm.co.uk/bond-girls/talisa-soto?id=005 Bond Girl Lupe Lamora's]]. Tim Crane wears a hideous "futuristic" 1970's leisure suit.
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