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"Superman," he whispered. "My God. I'm Superman."

Superman and Man is a Superman story written by Dark Mark in honor of Christopher Reeve.

A very special person exchanges bodies unwillingly with Superman, and the Man of Steel, in a paralytic's body, learns of a different kind of heroism.

This story can be read in Dark Mark Domain website, and it's part of the Dark Mark Fan Verse, which includes Hellsister Trilogy, Kara of Rokyn, A Force of Four, Dance with the Demons, With this Ring... (Green Lantern) and Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation. Dark Mark has also written The Unfantastic Adventures of Bizarro No. 1, The Vampire of Steel, Here There Be Monsters, A Prize For Three Empires, X-Men 1970, Fire!, Devils Diary and Everybodys Gotta Leave Sometime.

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Tropes:

  • Act of True Love: Christopher isn't happy about being able to move his body again because he has been forcibly separated from his wife and son. Hence, he feels relieved when he has to get back to his family, even knowing that he'll be crippled again.
  • Affectionate Parody: Superman watches Superman: The Movie and lampshades the corniest aspects (such like the Councilmen wearing white, Jor-El wearing an "S"-emblem, or the climax scene), but he's able to appreciate the movie-makers' intent to tell a good movie.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: At the start, Christopher lampshades the ridiculous number of Superman's vision-related powers.
    He also recalled that Superman had other powers. X-ray vision, and heat vision, and half a dozen other visions. All from the comic books. All dreamed up by those idiots down at DC Comics, who really believed that such a thing was possible. Who bought into the myth so much, they tried to rationalize out every bit of it.
    Only here, in this dream, it needed no rationalization.
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  • Blessed With Suck: Christopher doesn't care about his new body's incredible powers. He only wants to go back to his family.
  • Bound and Gagged: Lois is captured, tied up and gagged by Lex to serve as bait for Superman.
  • The Cameo: At one point, Superman brings his cousin Supergirl up:
    If I live out my life in this body, he thought, I may never be able to taste a steak again, or potatoes, or chocolate cake, or any of the Kryptonian cuisine which Kara sometimes fixes for me when we get together. I will drink my meals or absorb them through a punctured vein. Unless a cure is found. And it has not been found yet.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Lex Luthor doesn't look forward to or want a fair fight.
    "It's not fair!" he snapped.
    "Of course it isn't," said Luthor, grabbing him by the hair and presenting his palm-blaster to send a Kryptonite blast into his face. "And that's the way I like it."
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  • Combo Platter Powers: Lampshaded by Christopher Reeve when he swaps bodies with the Man of Steel.
    Superman had great strength. Superman had great speed. He would have to try and see if he had both or either of those powers.
    He also recalled that Superman had other powers. X-ray vision, and heat vision, and half a dozen other visions. All from the comic books. All dreamed up by those idiots down at DC Comics, who really believed that such a thing was possible. Who bought into the myth so much, they tried to rationalize out every bit of it.
    Only here, in this dream, it needed no rationalization.
  • Comic Books Are Real: Christopher Reeve believed Superman was just a comic-book character until he gets body-swapped with the Man of Steel and finds himself in the DC Universe.
  • Continuity Porn: The beginning includes a ton of reader-friendly references to the original Superboy stories.
  • Dedication: The afterword has a dedicatory to to Christopher Reeve:
    And thanks to Christopher Reeve, not for making us believe a guy in a blue suit could fly... But for making us believe.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Christopher crushes a nightstand clock before realizing he's become Superman.
  • Fantastic Racism: Lex Luthor's racism pops up when he appears to be winning against Superman and feels thrilled with the thought of proving an Earthman is more powerful than an alien.
    This was how it was meant to be. In final conflict, on the skies Superman claimed. The Man of Steel versus the Man of Mind. Earthman versus Kryptonian. Absurdly, Luthor felt a thrill of patriotism. Despite all the natural power of a man from a giant red-sun world, given the intelligence, a mere mortal Terran could bring him down.
  • Flight: Christopher tries the power of flight after suiting up. He gets understandably giddy.
    "Good Lord," he breathed. He looked below him. Nothing there. Like a Warner Brothers' cartoon character, standing on nothing without harm. Better not visualize that too much, because they always started to fall when they figured out where they were.
    Straighten out and fly right, Superman.
    He corrected the image to place himself at a parallel track to the ground. At once, his upper body dipped a bit, his legs came up, straightened, and there he was, flying in a horizontal manner.
    So this was how it was done. So this was the manner in which a man could fly.
    A woman sunbathing on a building roof looked up and waved at him. He waved back, grinning.
    This was fantastic.
    He yelled incoherently at the Earth, at all the people in the world, at God, even, if He was listening. And how could He not be?
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Christopher and Superman's bodies are swapped by Destiny of the Endless.
    Superman: Okay, Des. Last time we met, you put me through a little teaching session. You held me back from solving some problems that you said people could solve themselves, that you said they needed to solve themselves. So. You're the one who played Body Snatcher with both of us?
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Lampshaded by Christopher when he attempts to fly:
    "Good Lord," he breathed. He looked below him. Nothing there. Like a Warner Brothers' cartoon character, standing on nothing without harm. Better not visualize that too much, because they always started to fall when they figured out where they were.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Neither of the main characters ever told someone about their universe-swapping adventure.
  • Handicapped Badass: Superman finds himself in the body a person paralyzed neck down for one day.
    When he went to bed the night before, he might have moved the Earth out of orbit. Now he could not move his hand.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One scene written four years prior to Superman: Red Son has Superman wonder aloud: "What if Superman landed on a Communist country?"
  • How Do I Shot Web?:
    • Christopher tries to figure out how to use several powers, X-Ray Vision included.
      How did one use x-ray vision? Did you have to squint, or call out a secret word mentally?
      Almost at the thought of it, he began seeing steel girders in frameworks, people in the rooms in front of him at various activities, a maid vacuuming a rug.
    • And then he attempts to fly.
      He began to drop like a rock towards the ground 47 stories below.
      He began to yell at roughly the same time.
      His blue suit started to get away from him but he grabbed it tighter. How the hell did you make flying work?
  • Inner Monologue: Both lead characters dwell on their new situation during the story.
  • The Joy of First Flight: When Christopher takes off for the first time, it's an absolutely exhilarant moment.
    He corrected the image to place himself at a parallel track to the ground. At once, his upper body dipped a bit, his legs came up, straightened, and there he was, flying in a horizontal manner.
    So this was how it was done. So this was the manner in which a man could fly.
    A woman sunbathing on a building roof looked up and waved at him. He waved back, grinning.
    This was fantastic.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When Superman stops his blow, Luthor realizes his enemy is done playing around.
    Luthor saw a new expression on Superman's face, now. Grimmer, more resolute, more vengeful. The Big Blue Bumpkin was finally getting down to business. In that, Luthor felt a bit of pride.
  • Nameless Narrative: The narrator always refers to Christopher Reeve as "the actor".
  • Not Me This Time: Christopher briefly wonders if Luthor is behind the body-swapping... but Luthor has nothing to do with it.
    "I thought it would be so much harder than this. I've fought you before. Many times. You know that. In any of our other fights, by this time, we'd have knocked each other all the way to Metro Airport. What's wrong with you? Did somebody else get to you before I did?"
    Focusing, the actor said, "So. It wasn't really you who. Did this to me?"
    "Did what to you?"
  • Oh My Gods!: Superman lets slip a Kryptonian’s swearword, which prompts him a bemused stare from Christopher’s wife.
    "Holy sun. Of Krypton," he sighed.
    Dana looked at him. "Why'd you say that, Chris? Sure, he came from Krypton, but did you really think he was a Christ figure?"
    "No," he said, with effort. "Sun. Star. On Krypton. Some saw. As God symbol."
    "Was that in the comic books?"
    Speaking as much as he did tired him. The machine inflated, deflated his lungs.
    "Yes," he said. "In comic. Books."
  • Punched Across the Room: Lex Luthor got punched across the street. Accidentally.
    In between the triggering of that blast and Luthor's last word, the figure in blue and red gathered his strength, made a decision without realizing he had, and simply whacked Luthor in the chest with his arm.
    The master villain was sent flying ass-over-teakettle in the sky, impacting on the side of a building across the street, causing a gaggle of workers in the office nearest the dent he made in it to run for the elevator. A few hardy souls chose the stairs. Luthor took no notice of any of them.
    The actor was stunned. Not even that hard a blow, and it had knocked Luthor clear across the street. He had no idea what the real power of Superman was. No scale, at all.
  • Real-Person Fic: Christopher Reeve is one of the lead characters.
  • Spin the Earth Backwards: When Superman watches the movie and gets to the part where his cinematic incarnation reverses the Earth's rotation, he lampshades time-travel doesn't work like that (and he would know).
    He also wouldn't have been so easily suckered by Kryptonite.
    Nor could he have turned the world backwards by flying around it in a counterorbital direction. Even if he could turn it in such a way (theoretically, he supposed his old body could have, by sheer muscle power), it wouldn't have reversed time, and it would have destroyed the Earth.
    If he had wanted to change history, he would have taken a trip back in time himself, by spinning himself at hyperlight speed. Except that he knew he couldn't change history. If Lois had died because of his negligence, she would have stayed dead.
  • Stock Superhero Day Jobs: Chris has to remind himself Clark Kent is no longer a newspaper journalist but a tv newscaster.
  • Super Senses: Lampshaded by Christopher Reeve:
    He also recalled that Superman had other powers. X-ray vision, and heat vision, and half a dozen other visions. All from the comic books. All dreamed up by those idiots down at DC Comics, who really believed that such a thing was possible. Who bought into the myth so much, they tried to rationalize out every bit of it.
    Only here, in this dream, it needed no rationalization.
  • Super Strength: Chris gets a taste of Superman's incredible strength when acidentally knocks Lex Luthor across the street.
    The actor was stunned. Not even that hard a blow, and it had knocked Luthor clear across the street. He had no idea what the real power of Superman was. No scale, at all.
  • Time Dilation: After watching his movie, Superman states he doesn't time-travel by altering the Earth's rotation, but by travelling "at hyperlight speed".
    If he had wanted to change history, he would have taken a trip back in time himself, by spinning himself at hyperlight speed.
  • Trapped in Another World: Christopher Reeve finds himself trapped in a world where he is Superman while the Man of Steel himself finds himself stuck in a world where he's a comic-book character, occupying a disabled person's body.
  • X-Ray Vision: Chris taps into his X-ray vision almost accidentally.
    How did one use x-ray vision? Did you have to squint, or call out a secret word mentally?
    Almost at the thought of it, he began seeing steel girders in frameworks, people in the rooms in front of him at various activities, a maid vacuuming a rug.


As for Destiny, he is said to keep his own counsel and to be very busy, and is seen by only a few persons throughout eternity. Only the Endless saw him more than Superman. But he would probably assure you that many lessons were learned from the day two men would never forget, though they mentioned them to none.
And perhaps among the two greatest lessons were these:
That one of those men knew what it was like not to walk, but that someday, all such men might walk again.
And that the other believed indeed that somewhere, in a world he would never reach again, a man could truly fly.

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