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Fridge / Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

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Fridge Brilliance

  • Lois Lane taking Jordan Elliot's last name seems odd in light of her keeping her last name when she married Clark Kent. One might chalk it up to the story being written in The '80s, but then one realizes that Lois is trying to keep the illusion that Jordan is a normal guy.
  • For those who weren't pleased with Supergirl's "sendoff" in Crisis on Infinite Earths, this gives her a more bittersweet sendoff.
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  • The panel where Lois and Jordan Elliot see off the reporter to his car involves their son Jonathan looking directly at the reader and exclaiming in baby talk. It's foreshadowing the reveal that Jordan is actually a de-powered Superman — like his father with his trademark winks to the reader, Jonathan can see the reader through the fourth wall.
  • Mxyzptlk claims that after his initial 2000 years of total inertia, and before his two millennia of mischief, he spent two thousand years "being saintly and benign, doing only good deeds". If we're going by the traditional, widely held time structure of B.C. and A.D., that would roughly put Mxy's "good" period right around the time many of the most pivotal events recounted in The Bible took place, especially miracles and "acts of God" (and his prophets). Is this writer Moore's way of saying it was Mister Mxyzptlk who was responsible for miracles?
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  • When I first read this story an ungodly long period of time ago, before the reveal, I found myself aghast that Lois Lane would marry someone so crude and obnoxious as Jordan Elliot, a man with little like or respect for Superman. She might as well have married Steve Lombard from the Daily Planet. But of course it turns out that this is Superman's new civilian identity, and his assumption of a persona that is not only widely different from his original of Clark Kent, coupled with a negative opinion of Superman, would only serve to help the masquerade and make it much less likely that anyone would think this new guy is actually the former Man of Steel. But what bothers me now, decades later, is that Superman's assumption of "Jordan's" brash, ill-mannered behavior reflects how the last Kryptonian thinks the "average joe" behaves. Plus, he looks so much like The Comedian, it's scary- not to mention unsettling...
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  • To what extent did Mxyzptlk manipulate The Prankster, Toyman, and the other villains into carrying out his Evil Plan? Did he actively Mind Rape Oswald Loomis and Winslow Schott, basically transforming two relatively harmless miscreants into cold-hearted torturers and killers, or did the imp just remove their inhibitions, and let loose the darkness and ruthlessness that was already there? If the former, then Prankster and Toyman, despite being recidivist, multiple time losers who nevertheless really never intentionally seriously hurt anyone, are going to get a life sentence (or death row) for crimes they did not willingly, or maybe even consciously commit. And even if they have the presence of mind (or inclination) to come forward and inform the authorities that Prankster and Toyman were not really responsible for their actions, are the police or the justice system going to buy Lois' account that a 5th dimensional sorcerer (who never appeared while all this was going on and is no longer around) took credit for "mystically compelling" these criminals to commit kidnapping, torture and murder?
Fridge Horror
  • At one point in the story, Superman uses a giant magnet to defeat the Metallos attacking the Daily Planet. Lois mentions that most of the metal inside the building came with it. Imagine tiny bits of shrapnel being propelled through the air at hundreds of miles an hour.
    • Justified in that this is meant to be a Silver Age story, and the implausible elements of it are meant to be excused.
    • Lois Lamp Shades this, initially sharing this concern, but immediately dismisses it, and lets the readers know there's nothing to fear: Superman's got this.
    "I remember hoping he hadn't made it strong enough to lift the cars from the street below, but I needn't have worried. He got everything just right. As always!"
  • Bizarro. When Superman drops onto the scene of Bizarro's rampage, he immediately assumes a bomb was detonated. Anyone who has had the misfortune of seeing the aftereffects of a high explosive device detonated in a major metropolitan area will know that there will be carnage of nightmarish proportions: collapsed buildings with debris suffocating screaming people, bloody limbs strewn everywhere, crushed bodies and charred bones- a truly gory, traumatic spectacle. Bizarro, driven to hateful madness by a bored Mxyzptlk, shows just what an unimaginable terror an evil Superman would be, and how fortunate the world at large is that he's on our side.
    • Bizarro's recounting of his other deeds just heightens the horrific spectacle. He tells how he blows up his own homeworld, wiping out an entire planet full of innocent, if odd, people. Then he describes personally murdering countless civilians on Earth, all the while laughing as they beg for mercy.
  • Poor Pete Ross. What exactly did Toyman and Prankster do to him that was so horrific that it could make him give up his dearest friend's greatest secret? And how long did the ordeal go on?

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