May 12, 2009
In this Superman story from the DC Elseworlds series, Kal-El isn’t found by the Kents, but is instead run over by a traveling salesman. Finding the baby unharmed, the man leaves the child at the doorstep of the police department in Pleasantville, Kansas. The child is sent to an orphanage and is adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Suderman and is given the name Dale. Dale’s father dies and not long after Dale discovers he has abilities that are quite spectacular. However, a tragic accident causes Dale to regress. He remains socially isolated and withdrawn. Then as a teenager he engages in a game a basketball and becomes a sports sensation. Dale “Superman” Suderman becomes the world’s greatest athlete, gaining fortune, power, and fame along the way. Eventually Dale “Superman” Suderman becomes a media and corporate conglomerate so powerful that he threatens to ruin the financial empire of Lex Luthor. Luthor won’t have that and sets out to find a way to bring about Superman’s downfall. Along the way, Dale grows a conscious through the interactions of his close friend and advisor.
Action-wise, SUPERMAIN INC. 1999 ANNUAL REPORT is fairly tame. However, the story is a very character-driven piece exploring and examining the ethical, moral, and psychological elements of Superman’s character in a way that comics don’t always do. Therefore, despite the lack of action, the story is good and I enjoyed it. The illustrations in the book are rather slick and refined, reflecting the corporate identity that Dale “Superman” Suderman takes on.