The 1980s Story of Superman in 2020

Superman 2020

Back in 1980 Cary Bates wrote a comic book story about Superman in the year 2020 that appeared as a backup story in “Superman #354”.

Released on September 11, 1980, the backup story in “Superman #354” (which had a December 1980 cover date) was titled “The Debut of Superman III!” and told the story of the first two Supermen (the original Superman and his son Superman II) heading to the 21st century to ceremoniously pass on the “S” shield to Superman III, grandson of the original Superman. In the story Superman III “kills off” his secret identity in favor of adopting several other secret identities, but a racist group plans to destroy all three Supermen and the floating city of New Metropolis.

The adventure would continue in the story titled “The Destruction of New Metropolis!” appearing as the backup story in “Superman #355” (cover date of January 1981) where Superman III is captured by the racist “Purists”, but manages to signal his whereabouts to the first two Supermen. Superman III alerts his father and grandfather of the bomb hidden in New Metropolis and then captures the bombers.

Both issues were drawn by Curt Swan with inks by Frank Chiaramonte.

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January 10, 2020 1:38 am

I remember this one! 😀 I could only read it at my local library since it wasn’t available for purchase. I don’t think it’s there anymore do to an annual book sale that they did at one point. It’s a shame that I couldn’t find it the last time that I looked. It was part 1 that they had. I don’t recall them having part 2. They probably didn’t have it.

January 10, 2020 11:52 am

That takes me back…
And Curt Swan is still the best Superman artist ever.

January 11, 2020 9:56 am
Reply to  afriend

While I don’t exactly agree that he’s the best ever I think his legacy and commitment to the character are undeniable. I miss the days where a good artist could be on a book for a long sustained period. Now it often seems like I’m lucky when I can get an artist I like for the entirety of a single issue and there’s not an army of inkers with drastically different styles on them. Let alone having a good artist with a good writer.

Mr Mxy
Mr Mxy
January 10, 2020 12:56 pm

Inspires me to pull these out and give another read!

January 14, 2020 3:55 pm

I still have these issues. I used to get them more for the back-up stories than the feature one.