- Posted by Johanna on August 16, 2006 at 7:58 am
- Category: Superhero Reviews
- PUBLISHER: DC Comics; $19.99 US
DC reaches back again into their archives to bring us DC’s Greatest Imaginary Stories. Some of the all-time wackiest premises of superhero comics took place when the writers started playing “what if”. What if Lois and Superman got married? What if Jimmy Olsen and Supergirl got married? What if Superman had a non-powered son? What would happen if Superman died? What if Batman’s parents hadn’t died when he was a child? What if Batman and Superman were brothers?
The stories reprinted here focus mainly on Superman, but three Batman stories are included, as are one Captain Marvel and one Flash. The Wonder Woman Impossible Tales, where she teams up with herself as a teen and as a toddler (Wonder Tot) didn’t make the cut, sadly. Many of the Superman ones are classics in their own right, such as the story of “Superman-Red and Superman-Blue” or “The Three Wives of Superman”.
The introduction by Craig Shutt points out how abbreviated these stories could be, including major events one after the other in order to fit a whole ‘nother kind of life for the heroes into their short lengths. That approach, putting more story in less space, contrasts with today’s tendency to put less story into more issues. As a result, these aren’t artistic masterpieces, but they sure are fun in their weirdness and sheer imagination, even if many of them do end badly. (Of course they do. You don’t want your readers to think that these one-offs would be better to follow regularly than the established series of stories.)
As always with these reader-friendly DC collections, the relevant reprint information is included in the table of contents, listing creators, locations, and dates of original publication. The existence of these Imaginary Stories, playful experiments outside the characters’ “proper” continuities, attests to how powerful they are. Not only did people want to tell stories about them, they wanted to tell stories about the stories about them.