LIBRARY artefact #007
SUPERMAN AUTHORITY annotations PART 5
The decision to locate ‘Fort Superman’ in Alaska was justified by 1980’s Superman 2 where Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent walks to his arctic Fortress of Solitude to put things right.
The Fortress has been located generally in the arctic circle, and I felt there was some reasonable justification for keeping it in America, hence the Alaska location here for a ‘Fort Superman’ that bears most resemblance to the Fortress in the Donner movies.
When June Moone walks through the gallery of villain effigies, we can see there’s an empty plinth between Brainiac and Luthor – preparing the Ultra-Humanite reveal at the end.
I wish I’d thought of the compound word ‘DODECATHEDRAL’ here. My problem, not yours.
The story’s title ‘grimdark’ – aside from being superhero fan shorthand for a type of needlessly bleak and violent type of story that learned all the wrong lessons from The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen - looks forward to what would have been the reveal in the final issue but wasn’t.
For more of that come join us on Wednesday when we’ll learn how Superman and the Authority was supposed to end…
Ultra-Humanite refers to the offscreen Brainiac as the endgame of invention – defined here as the creation of autonomous intelligence and echoing Genesis where, after building an entire universe, God’s endgame of invention was a thinking creature capable of defying Him.
When Enchantress talks about her membership of the Suicide Squad in her underwear, she’s referring to the 2016 movie where Enchantress was played by model and actress Cara Delevingne, who spent much of her screen time in a brass bikini of dubious cultural provenance. I much prefer the classic Halloween witch version of Enchantress from the original story. For her portrayal here I was very much inspired by the beyond-cool girl gang Puritan witch outfits sported by the sorceresses of American Horror Story: Apocalypse from 2018.
In her introductory storyline from Tangent Comics Flash #1 December 1997, Lia Nelson was born on board a spaceship en route to Jupiter but for this take, I relocated her place of birth to Mars where her parents were taking part in a reality show designed to reignite interest in space colonization.
She indicates that – as the existence of parallel worlds has become public knowledge since events documented in the Death Metal series from 2020 – she’s been welcomed by her new world as a gifted actress/performer/influencer. This is broadly consistent with her history as a Tangent character involved in multiversal hijinks during the CONVERGENCE event in 2015.
To add a further inexplicable twist, Mikel Janin designed Lightray’s costume to resemble not the pink belly-windowed swimsuit on bubbly blonde combo which Lia Nelson sported in those Tangent stories but that of Stan Lee’s Just Imagine Mary Maxwell version of Flash who hails from Earth-6 on the Multiverse map.
While I applauded Mikel’s decision to opt for the less sexualized look, it left me to barely hint at some convoluted cross world shenanigans before exiting the building quietly and under cover of darkness, never having to explain why…
One of the kitschiest, campiest, most happening-estest items of Superman memorabilia comes from 19seventiefuck via das SuperMobile toy!
Remembered for the extendable punching arms with battering ram fists on the ends, the Super-Mobile was an even more inappropriate and ill-judged attempt to generate branded merch than the roughly contemporaneous Spider-Mobile. Reasons enough, I felt, to include it here in the hope of wringing out one final post-ironic chuckle from those spring-loaded piston fists.
Attempts were made in the comics to rationalize this lunatic addition to Superman lore, but the concept was self-evidently stupid and failed to make the grade. It’s these brave doomed endeavours we strive to recognize and honour by reintroducing this trashy best-forgotten element of the Superman ‘mythos’ to the continuity and giving it one last decent job to do.
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