Superman at Earth's End
is an Elseworlds
one-shot from 1995, written by Tom Veitch and drawn by Frank Gomez.
It's the 22nd century. Earth has passed through two apocalypses
(one occurring in the predecessor, Kamandi: At Earth's End note
). A group of emotionless, logical cyborgs
named the Biomech Sevens are overseeing Earth's return to greatness. For the last year, Superman
has been regaining his lost strength in a hovering city, where he is able to receive the benefits of the sun's rays. While recuperating, he learns that Gotham City
is next in line to be "cleansed", via a nuclear bomb
. It has been overrun with mutants and other such degenerates.
After battling the Biomech Sevens' leader Ben Boxer, Superman goes down to Gotham, where he is attacked by bat-like mutants that bear a striking resemblance to the Dark Knight and is saved by a mohawked youth biker gang
, and finds that the underground of the city houses a fortress
where the evil DNA Diktators
, who kidnapped the gang's parents and took Bruce Wayne's body from his manor. There he meets the leaders of the Diktators: twin clones of Adolf Hitler
It's been reviewed on Atop the Fourth Wall here
. Linkara even made a Catch Phrase
from the comic: "I AM A MAN!" *punch*
, and made a Running Gag
with "of course! Don't you know anything about science?"
Superman at Earth's End provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptational Wimp: Superman here is depowered by the lack of sunlight, and despite the "I AM A MAN!" punch, mostly relies on firearms.
- After the End
- Altum Videtur: It finishes with "Finis" instead of "End".
- The Apunkalypse: Gotham's surface is overrun by biker gangs, which is why the Biomech Sevens want to destroy the place.
- Apocalypse Hitler: Superman blames the Hitlers for everything bad related to mankind.
- Artistic License - Geography \ Writers Cannot Do Math: Since when is the Batcave 30 miles long?
- Badass Beard: The creators tried to invoke this by turning Superman into a Santa Claus clone. Needless to say, it doesn't work.
- Batman Grabs a Gun: Will Superman stick to his code and turn the Hitlers over to the authorities to make sure that justice is done? No. He finds the biggest most impractical gun in the world and shoots the piss out of them.
- BFG: The Expunger, which is a bunch of gatling guns attached to each other. It's unclear how it's supposed to be aimed. And not just Gatling guns, sawed-off Gatling guns. Look at how short the barrels are compared to, say, a GAU-8 Avenger, which can slice tanks in half.
- Broken Aesop: Superman loses (most of) his powers and has to rely on a gigantic machine gun to solve his problems. After using his gun to kill two Hitlers and a Batman zombie (don't ask) he tells his allies (some little kids with guns) that he's dying. The little kids then bawl and say that guns killed Superman before throwing all of their guns into a bonfire. Of course, no one bothers to point out that guns also saved the kids from two Hitlers and a Batman zombie!
- Worse is the fact that Superman himself admitted that the only thing keeping all these kids alive in this After the End GOTHAM was those guns.
- Batman, for some reason, has the gun that killed his parents proudly displayed in his batcave even labeled "THE GUN THAT KILLED MY PARENTS". For someone who despises guns like Batman does it makes you wonder why he spent time locating the gun in the first place.
- Child Soldiers: The young bikers.
- Crapsack World
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: The Biomech Sevens.
- Superman chooses to kill himself to avoid this trope knowing he can't live in the world anymore without getting modified to avoid succumbing to the fatal wounds he received.
- The Dark Age of Comic Books: Many of the clichés of the era can be found here.
- Elaborate Underground Base
- Elite Zombie: The Zombie Batman which is unleashed upon Superman.
- Gatling Good: Look at the trope image. It's less a gun and more a monster truck engine somebody attached four gatling guns to.
- Ghostapo: The Diktator's SS consists of mutant clones of Nazi stormtroopers.
- Good Is Old-Fashioned: Ben Boxer's thoughts.
- Gun Porn
- Half-Human Hybrids: Batclones.
- Hollywood Science: "Of course, don't you know anything about science?"
- Horrible Judge of Character: In the scene where the twin Hitlers are revealed, we can see tubes bearing nameplates like "J. Kennedy", "E. Presley", and "L. Luthor"...and they passed all those guys over in favor of cloning Adolf Hitler... twice.
- In Name Only: The hero acts so much unlike Superman that Linkara starts calling him "Bearded Idiot".
- More Dakka: The Expunger. "Its like driving into the worst nightmares of Rob Liefeld!"
- Pietà Plagiarism: Superman holding Batman's corpse.
- Random Events Plot: This story makes no sense whatsoever.
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The Batcave is 30 miles long?!
- Self-Immolation: Superman prefers to die in a funeral pyre than become a cyborg. ("Yeah, I'd kill myself if I were in this comic, too.")
- Shout-Out: The Batcave scenes have some to the 1960s Batman TV series.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: The famous line comes from a rebuttal to a Hannibal Lecture ("Reality is, you're an android... I AM A MAN!")... accompanied by Talk to the Fist.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Ben Boxer:"Foolish old man... your refusal to kill got you nowhere in 1999 - - where do you think it will get you now, in a world ruled by death?!"
- Stupid Jetpack Hitlers
- Super Hero Packing Heat: Absurdly huge heat, mind you.
- Talk to the Fist: "I AM A MAN!" *punch!*
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted; this tougher and beardier version of Superman does not seem to have a no-killing policy.
- Too Dumb to Live: Let's clone Hitler and give him a twin! Nothing can possibly go wrong!
- Turned Against Their Masters: The Hitlers say their creators wanted to destroy them, but they killed the scientists.
- We Can Rule Together: The Hitlers predictably offer Superman to join them.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ben Boxer
- Worf Had The Flu: An odd example. After having his powers drained and recovered in the opening narration, Superman's battle with Ben Boxer leaves him drained again for most of the story. Said "battle" consisted mostly of the page quote.
- X Meets Y: Superman meets Rob Liefeld.
- You Cloned Hitler!: Twice!