Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? (1986) Reading Order

He’s the greatest hero on the planet! But a gift from the Legion of Super-Heroes will hint at the coming of the ‘Last Days of Superman’.  How does the legend of the Man of Tomorrow end?

Alan More, Kurt Swan, Murphy Anderson, George Pérez and more tell the ‘imaginary story’ of the fate of Superman. In 2005, the reality in which this story takes place would be designated as Earth-423.

SCROLL DOWN to the bottom for the KEY COLLECTED EDITIONS for this event!

Crossover: This is a standard two-part crossover.

Must Reads: Story arcs marked with a ✔are must-read stories from this time period, along with any key related stories and often-forgotten tales that are worth a read.

Want to keep it simple? Here’s the chronological reading order without story descriptions, or spoilers:

  • Superman #423
  • Action Comics #583

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Must ReadsTitle, Issue & Synopsis
Superman #423
Daily Planet reporter Tim Crane interviews Lois Elliot (née Lois Lane) on the tenth anniversary of the death of Superman. At that time, after Bizarro used Blue Kryptonite to kill himself, the Toyman and Prankster murdered Pete Ross and outed Clark Kent as Superman. When an army of Metallos attacked the Galaxy Building, Superman took his friends to the safety of the Fortress of Solitude. Krypto returned to the Fortress. Brainiac’s head took control of Lex Luthor’s body and recruited the Kryptonite Man. The Legion of Super-Heroes and Supergirl visit the Fortress to deliver a trophy to Superman and return to their time. Figuring he’s about to die, Superman cried alone…

Must ReadsTitle, Issue & Synopsis
Action Comics #583
The Legion of Super-Villains arrived from the 30th Century, offering to help Luthor/Brainiac bring about Superman’s demise. Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Superwoman and others joined the fight. Lana Lang and Jimmy Olsen used items in the Fortress to gain powers and join in, too! Lana killed Luthor, but was fried alive by Lightning Lord. Brainiac reanimated Luthor’s body and shot Jimmy dead. Krypto died mauling the Kryptonite Man to death. The enraged Superman scared off the Legion of Super-Villains. Brainiac just died for no apparent reason. Mister Mxyzptlk revealed his true form when he emerged as the mastermind behind these events. Inspired by the gift from the Legion, Superman tried to send Mxyzptlk to the Phantom Zone just as he attempted to escape to Fifth Dimension. Feeling responsible for the death of Mxyzptlk, Superman entered a room full of Gold Kryptonite (the form of Kryptonite that permanently removes powers), closed the door behind him and left the Fortress via a secret passage into the Arctic wastes. Now, in 1997, Tim Crane leaves Lois Elliot’s home. No one suspects her husband, George Elliot, is secretly the now-powerless Superman. Though their infant son, Johnathan Elliot, is clearly exhibiting powers…

Must ReadsIssue & FalloutEvent / Crossover
Superman/Batman #2 (2003)
Superman of New Earth battles a future incarnation of himself.
Superman/Batman #15-16, 18 (2005)
Superman meets his future incarnation again, though he’s revealed to be the Superman of Earth-423.
Crisis on Infinite Earths: Absolute Edition (2005)
The events of the ‘Last Days of Superman’ are revealed to have taken place on Earth-423, rather than Earth-One as previously assumed.
Batman #686 (2009)
Detective Comics #853 (2009)
A similar story focusing on the last days of Batman is told.
Convergence: Superman #2 (2015)
The New Earth version of Superman and Lois Lane are also revealed to have had a son called Jonathan Kent.

The key collected editions for What Ever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow…

Collected Edition TitleCollects…
Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?Action Comics #583

DC Comics Presents #85

Superman #423

Superman Annual #11
Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? – The Deluxe EditionAction Comics #583

DC Comics Presents #85

Superman #423

Superman Annual #11

Collected Editions TitleIncludes…
DC Through the ‘80s: The End of ErasSuperman #423

Action Comics #583
DC Universe: The Stories of Alan MooreSuperman #423

Action Comics #583

Reading Order ©OmniverseComicsGuide 2023

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