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  1. #1
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    Default Odd One-Off Superman comic from years ago

    New here, and joined hoping someone could help me understand/remember what the heck this one comic was all about.

    I don't have specifics about which comic it was, but it was featuring Superman and I believe it was either very late 80s or very early 90s. It was about an alternate universe Superman who lost his powers as he got older. But in this issue he still has to fight Lex Luthor who's in some sort of battle robot or something. He might even still be living in Smallville rather than Metropolis - I honestly can't remember. Clark decides to take him on (maybe even suits up - again, I can't remember) and his powers return very briefly and allow him to beat Luthor. They fade as quickly as they returned and he's back to just being Clark.

    There was never, to my knowledge, a story about this particular version of Superman before or since that issue.

    I've beaten the crap out of Google trying to find out more information about it but I'm coming up empty. It's honestly not even that good a story - it's just been bothering me for years that I have no idea where this guy fits/fit into the continuity (if that word can even be used anymore).

    Anyone else remember this story?

  2. #2
    Spectacular Member Spiderboy12's Avatar
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    This sounds like Superman #404, "Born to Be Superman", by Paul Kupperberg, Carmine Infantino, and Bob Oskner, cover-dated February 1985 (which means in was released in about October 1984). It was a pre-Crisis (barely) imaginary story where Clark lost his powers in a conflict with a teenaged Lex Luthor as Superboy. That's Superboy in the background poster on the cover.

    A comic I bought off the stands, and still have. I've read the story a few times and enjoyed it.

    superman404.jpg
    Last edited by Spiderboy12; 11-12-2017 at 04:09 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Yup - that's the one! Thanks! It's been driving me nuts. I bought it off the stand, as well. But most of my collection was lost years ago - so some of them are just vague memories for me.

    Was it sort of an Elseworlds thing? Or was it another pocket universe-y sort of thing? I just remember wondering how this guy fit in. Maybe I can find it online and read it again now that I know the issue #.

    Thanks dude!

  4. #4
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    I fondly recall the issue as well. I would have loved a follow-up tale but this was one of those things that came out just before Crisis rendered all thing Bronze Age irrelevant.

    IIRC the implication in the tale seemed to be that Clark was subconsciously suppressing his powers. He'd created some device to give him lesser versions of his physical powers, but unbeknownst to him the device wasn't working during the climax of the fight with Lex and his latent powers were what won the fight.

  5. #5
    Notorious M.O.S. Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Ahhh couldn't remember the number, thanks Spiderboy

  6. #6
    Spectacular Member Spiderboy12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffbeck View Post
    Yup - that's the one! Thanks! It's been driving me nuts. I bought it off the stand, as well. But most of my collection was lost years ago - so some of them are just vague memories for me.

    Was it sort of an Elseworlds thing? Or was it another pocket universe-y sort of thing? I just remember wondering how this guy fit in. Maybe I can find it online and read it again now that I know the issue #.

    Thanks dude!
    They called them "imaginary stories" back then. They were later assigned to various worlds in the pre-Crisis "infinite" multiverse. (Still pre-Crisis, so no "pocket universe" needed for Superboy stories.) I think this would have been Earth-404. Using the issue number was standard for assigning "Earth" numbers, unless there was a conflict (e.g., two imaginary stories with the same issue number but in different series).
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