Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Reign of the Superman

Before Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created the Superman we know today, they had to work on their ideas. One step of Superman's evolution was the short story (created by Jerry and Joe) "The Reign of the Superman". However, the titular character is a villain that has nothing to do with popular version of the character.
Professor Ernest Smalley, a chemist / mad scientist, found Bill Dunn at breadline and offered him food and clothes exchange for being part of some experiments. A potion Bill got from Samelly gave him telepathic powers. Intoxicated by his power, Bill killed Smalley and decided to take over the world. He discovered his powers are temporary and cannot recreate it without the scientist. As such, he lost his powers and had to return to the breadline.
Later References
Because of its influence on the evolution of Superman, it has been referenced several times. Following the "Death of Superman", there was a storyline called "The Reign of the Superman". In issue 35 of the series 52, there was a story called "Rain of the Supermen". The Tangent Comics has a story "Tangent: Superman's Reign", which featured a version of Superman with psychic powers (as well as physical powers).

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