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Earth Station DCU Classics Issue 8: 1985 – Superman Annual and Red Tornado
In 1986, writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons would revolutionize the comic book world with Watchmen. But in 1985, they just wanted to tell a great Superman story. So Drew’s pick for 1985 is “For the Man Who Has Everything,” published in Superman Annual #11. While entranced by an alien parasite, Superman learns how his life would have gone had Krypton never exploded. Meanwhile in the real world, Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman try to free Superman while also battling Mongul in the Fortress of Solitude. Moore and Gibbons play with some clever storytelling techniques they’d use to much greater effect the following year. But “For the Man Who Has Everything” stands on its own as a classic story which has even been adapted for television a couple of times. (Mr. Moore was just thrilled about that, no doubt.) Meanwhile, Kevin’s 1985 pick is the Red Tornado 4-issue mini-series. A few B-list Justice Leaguers (Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman) had earned their own mini-series in the decade’s first half. Now the JLA’s resident android had his own title for the very first time. The creative team was an interesting pairing of a young future superstar writer (Kurt Busiek) and a classic artist who’d been in the business since the Golden Age (Carmine Infantino). The series itself is not a classic, but it’s fun. And if you ever wanted to see Superman (while hypnotized, mind you) tear Red Tornado’s android body to pieces… well, here you go.