Twilight of the Superheroes was a DC Universe crossover that Alan Moore pitched to DC in 1987 shortly before he left the company. I remember bringing it up with Silkcuts shortly before the New 52 began because John Constantine plays a central role in the action of TotS. Silkcuts questioned whether John was being reintroduced to the DC Universe through Justice League Dark out of DC’s regret over never having been able to release TotS after their relationship with Moore deteriorated. Then, just recently, I got a chance to mention the crossover again in conjunction with Superman and Wonder Woman’s kiss. Much of TotS takes place in a possible future where Superman is married to Wonder Woman and the union helps lead to a major catastrophe. After the announcement of Superman and Wonder Woman’s coupling in the New 52, I started to think that maybe these similarities to TotS were more than a coincidence. I’m not the only one as Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston printed an article four days ago asking if DC was reviving the project. Besides the two things I mentioned above, Rich also brings up the fact that Booster Gold’s reaction to Superman and Wonder Woman hooking up in Justice League International Annual #1 suggested that he was meant to prevent it from happening for the sake of the future. All of this does seem eerily similar to Alan Moore’s 1987 proposal.
But wait… there’s more. Alan also suggested that there would be a time stream fluke present that impedes time travel and that a group of Legionnaires get trapped in time after trying to investigate it. The New 52 has the Legion Lost group where a small group of Legionnaires are trapped in the present thanks to a glitch in the time stream caused by Flashpoint. In the possible future presented by TotS, Superman and Wonder Woman have a delinquent son who calls himself Superboy and Alan describes him as “bad news.” The Superboy in the New 52 isn’t the son of Superman and Wonder Woman but he is a bit like bad news. His delinquent activities include robbing banks and big city clubbing. The Martian Manhunter is a mover and shaker with an agenda all his own in Moore’s story. He certainly fits that description so far in the New 52. Finally, Captain Marvel plays a huge role in Twilight of the Superheroes, and Geoff Johns has the Big Red Cheese set to take center stage in the Justice League. In fact the more that I think about it, the more similarities start popping up between the New 52 and Alan Moore’s lost epic.
This isn’t the first time that elements of TotS have shown up in other DC stories. Armageddon 2001, Invasion!, Kingdom Come, and quite a few others can be seen as using plot points from the proposal when seen under the right light. The question is whether or not DC is planning on going through with a version of the crossover now long after Alan split from them over Watchmen rights and Jesus Christ in Swamp Thing. Technically, it would be their legal right as they bought the proposal from Alan after he pitched it to them. We know what Alan’s reaction will probably be if this is true. It would also, once again, beg the question if DC will ever be able to live down their split from the man who was arguably their most influential writer. One thing is certain, the original Twilight of the Superheroes was a brilliant proposal and one that continued themes explored by Moore in Watchmen and Miracleman. It would’ve been great to see back in the late ‘80’s behind Alan’s guiding hand. Does that mean it would be as effective twenty five years later utilizing different talent?