Thursday, September 16, 2010
The Adventures of Superman #479 (June, 1991)
I used to gripe a lot about Superman on my old Martian Manhunter: The Rock of the JLA website. The main reason for this was that Martian Manhunter was often treated as Superman's whipping boy, or was used to bolster Supes in other ways.
For example, there's was "Red Glass" by James D.Hudnall and Ed Hannigan, with Willie Blyberg on inks. The same creative crossed the story over all of Superman's titles that month, and sent Supes into a parallel universe where he had turned out evil, concluding with the ominously numbered Action Comics #666. This Superman was believed to have crippled, then murdered Lois Lane. While our Superman pleaded his innocence, Jimmy Olsen and Lex Luthor tried to execute him via kryptonite exposure.
Instead, Superman woke up after having leveled Metropolis. Booster Gold was found under the Daily Planet globe, living just long enough to point out Superman as his killer. Superman's emotional stability shaky, he began looking for survivors, and found what appeared to be the skeleton of a Rastafarian. Big Blue was suddenly under the power-ringed "thumb" of Green Lantern Guy Gardner, who uncharacteristically wanted to share. "Hurry up and kill him before he gets free! I'd hate to have to hog all the glory myself!" The rasta turned out to be J'Onn J'Onzz in disguise, who said, "You mean you're afraid of him like everyone else. It's okay, Guy. I understand. I just wish there could have been another way, Superman-- but this is for your own good."
As the Alien Atlas drew back his arm for a nasty punch, he instead received one, and was left on his knees recovering. Superman was happy to see anyone from the Justice League, and Guy thought Big Blue was amnesiac. "Don't let him fool you! That's how he tricked Booster into letting down his guard!" Gardner heeded Manhunter's warning, and ringed up a dinosaur to eat Superman. The Man of Steel eventually broke free, then snapped Guy's mind in a battle of wills. Martian Manhunter swooped up to catch Guy's limp body, then laid his deceased friend on the ground. "By the moons! He killed another one!"
"I'm tired, J'Onzz-- or whoever you are-- tired of asking questions!" Superman sucker punched Manhunter from behind as he was laying down his fallen comrade, and the assault didn't stop there. The Man of Steel kept dealing damage and demanding answers. "Uhhhh...No. W-Wait..." J'Onn pleaded as Superman slammed into him again. "You can't make me think I'm responsible for any of this without proof!", Superman screamed, neglecting Guy's corpse. J'Onn moaned, "Trapped... moon... Red... *KOFF* Red Glassss...*" before dying himself. "J'Onn...? I didn't mean to hit you so hard. Wake up. Please, J'Onn...J'ONN!!" Superman finally began to accept the truth of his killing spree, just as the military arrived to take him down. It all turned out to be an hallucination in the end, of course...