is a novel about Superman
written by Elliot S! Maggin
who had previously written another Superman novel, Last Son of Krypton
. It came out around the time of the second Superman movie
, but it's not a novelization
of it, but rather a separate story taking place in the comic book's continuity
. Maggin based it on a similar story he wrote once for the Superman comics.
The novel is about Kristin Wells, a far-future descendant of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen
, who comes back in time
to find out the origin of the holiday known as Miracle Monday, a day that commemorates how Superman gave every human being hope. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor
discovers the physical basis for magic
and uses that knowledge to escape prison. In so doing, he opens the way for C.W. Saturn, the Agent of Hell, to enter the Earth-plane. Saturn takes possession of Kristin Wells and proceeds to wreak havoc, offering Superman a stark choice: the only way to stop the chaos is for Superman to break his highest vow and take the life of Kristin Wells. Superman must find a way to deal with Luthor's schemes while confronting the Devil himself, all while holding true to his own highest values.
This novel is best remembered for introducing the character of Kristin, who would go on to become Superwoman
in the comics, as well as containing perhaps the most awesome moment of Superman's career: outsmarting The Devil
The entire text of the novel can be found on the internet.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: The devils do not actually look like their traditional image, it's just a form designed to scare humans.
- As Himself: Author Ray Bradbury is depicted as a casual acquaintance of Superman's. Mentalist Max Maven is portrayed as a real, somewhat sinister magician who gives Superman an Info Dump on Saturn.
- Canon Foreigner: Kristin.
- The Cape: Although a given for Superman, it's this quality that specifically draws Saturn to try and defeat him.
- Demonic Possession: Kristin falls victim to it.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Lex Luthor goes to extremely elaborate lengths to avoid betraying Superman to Saturn, although he didn't know that it was all a set-up by Superman in the first place. Kristin theorizes that as much as Lex hated Superman, he wouldn't want to see him damned to Hell.
- Expansion Pack Past: This novel features the origin of Superman's vow to never kill.
- Father, I Want to Marry My Brother: On Jimmy Olsen's part. He's crazy about Kristin. She won't date him, though, because she knows she's his many-greats granddaughter.
- Fetish Fuel: In-universe. Men of Kristin's native time no longer have body hair, so Kristin becomes fascinated with the concept in general and by Steve Lombard's chest hair specifically.
- Flashback: Used to show Superman's youth in Smallville.
- Friendly Enemy: This story plays up how Superman/Clark Kent and Lex Luthor were boyhood friends before they became enemies.
- Heroic BSOD: Superman has one after Saturn outs his Secret Identity on live television. "Losing" Clark Kent makes him feel cut off from humanity.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: In the end, only Superman and Kristin remember what happened.
- Louis Cypher: "C.W. Saturn"
- Noodle Incident: Ray Bradbury once drove Superboy to Disneyland in an attempt to convince Walt Disney to run for mayor of Los Angeles. (It didn't work.)
- Omniscient Morality License: As a side-effect of defeating Saturn, Superman temporarily becomes literally infallible. Being Superman, he uses it to set the world to rights after Saturn's rampage.
- Science Vs Magic: Contains both Time Travel and infernal entities.
- Serendipitous Symphony: Superman turns up his super-hearing to maximum and listens to every sound on Earth simultaneously, hearing it as music. Hearing that his own sounds are part of the planet's music helps him to recover from his Heroic BSOD.
- Shout-Out: To The Devil and Daniel Webster.
- Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Lex Luthor discovers the physical basis for the forces of magic and harnesses it to escape from prison. In doing so, he opens the way for Saturn to enter the Earth-plane.
- Thou Shall Not Kill: Superman's main virtue, and the very heart of the story.
- Time Travel: Kristin Wells is a time-travelling historian from the future doing historical research in early-80's Metropolis.
- Title Drop: There is a "Miracle Monday" in the story itself.
- Took a Third Option: Superman would not kill the possessed Kristin; he would rather spend the rest of his life fighting Saturn.
- What the Hell, Hero?: After Superman's Secret Identity as Clark is outed by Saturn, Lois tears into him for both making her feel like a fool and then not coming to her to talk about it until much later. In Superman's defense, he was trying to save the world from The Devil.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In this story, we learn that watching someone, anyone, die literally makes Superman/Clark sick.