This is an awesome, a very convincing article, I've read all of these issues and can verify that these unexplained events happened, and the only reason that makes sense is that Superman was in fact replaced by the "Sand Superman" who seemed to think he was in fact Superman. The implications from this article are mind-blowing. http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/12/16/whatever-happened-1998-death-of-superman/
Post-Crisis Era Superman Died in 1988.
@MetropolisKid41: That is pretty cool I had never heard of the Sand Superman but it makes sense. I dont like the fact that if it's true i have been reading a fake Superman my whole life but i was always curious how he 'absorbed' powers from others during DC One Million
I share your sentiments, which is also probably why DC didn't go with the big reveal and just let that plot device die. I highly recommend the podcast "From Crisis to Crisis" which can be downloaded for free from itunes or found at the Supermanhomepage. I'm going to bring this article to their attention, they've interviewed a lot of the creative team from that era, it'd be cool if they could bring this up next time they have someone on and see if we can get more info on it.
Scary thing is that actually does make sense, But during the 90s when he lost his powers and tried to regain them he was thrown into the sun and gained his powers back if it wasn't his source of power then that part needs explaining.
Plus Superboy being a clone how was he gaining Kryptonian powers? And also Eradicator copied Superman's genetic template during reign of the Supermen.
@ Omega-Man : Sand Superman was able to absorb power, it didn't have to be from the sun, but definitely could have been. Wow his power wasn't from the Sun specifically, he could still absorb the Sun's radiation, just as he did the kryptonite radiation, to be powered up. As for the Superboy & Eradicator parts, I think if the Sand Superman absorbed Superman, he would contain his DNA, and thus makes both the synthetic cloning or genetic template copying by the Eradicator, and cloning by Cadmus to make Superboy possible. And Superboy didn't really have the traditional Kryptonian powers, his powers are mostly tele-kinesis based. @ ReVamp: That is a good point, but Superman prior to the encounter has zero history of absorbing objects, so him actually absorbing the Sand Superman would be unprecedented and require quite a bit of explaining.
It would have been stupid for DC not to deal with this, its more than likely that they had a story planned out for this and didn't execute it. Its stupid to think that they have a secret story they never wrote and that they're still continuing this gag in present day during Infinite Crisis.
Well it doesn't matter now that's its been erased by Flashpoint, but very interesting. And like I said earlier, I think that definitely had to be the case, Sand Superman absorbing Superman, not the other way around, because Superman has no past history of absorbing beings or objects, and that would take quite a bit of explaining. I'm hoping that the guys on From Crisis to Crisis will tackle this and bring it up next time they interview a member from the creative team from this era.
I was pretty taken with that article myself. It sure would explain some things about Post-Crisis Superman if it were true. I did some more reading up on it, however, and found that Comic Book Resources did a story about this rumor a while back: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2007/07/12/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-111/
Simonson himself denies that his '92 Superman Special was written for that purpose. He says that it was supposed to come out earlier but, since he took so long on it, it ended up getting released right before the Death of Superman. This lead to fan speculation over it being part of the story, but, according to Walt, it was only fan speculation. So, if DC did intend to use the Sand Superman out then they were going to do so without Simonson's knowledge of it (which would seem strange to me). I'm also a bit skeptical that not a single member of Superman's creative team in the 90's (and there sure were a few of them) has come out and confirmed this theory. After all this time, don't you think someone would've let us in on this awesome plot device they took so much time to set up but never used?
It was an interesting article and it's fun to speculate if it were true, but I think this one's just a myth.
@Jekylhyde: Some good points, but if no one never knew the story existed why would they ever come out and say something about it? They'd have to bring out all of these specific incidents and issues and say this is what we had planned but never executed. That seems kind of like crying over spilt milk, they wouldn't waste their time explaining a secret reveal that they canned revealing. I think a lot of it was probably due to the fallout from the Clone Saga and how outraged so many Spidey fans were, this would have been much better executed and way better planned in my opinion, but the public outcry probably would have been the same. Everything that was put out in the first few years following the Byrne reboot was very tightly connected, and if this was to be the story in a 1988 annual it would have been part of contiuity with plans to use it. They did away with the imaginary one shot tales of the silver age (until a few years later when they came out with all of the Elseworlds books, which were clearly identified as such). I really think the people to interview and ask about this would have to be Jurgens, Ordway, and Byrne. And most of the time when they are interviewed about Superman from this time period it is all going to be focused around Marrying Lois Lane, Death & Return of Superman, and Energy Superman. They would never have any reason to bring up this huge cover-up and secret story, especially since they were probably sworn to secrecy when DC decided to not reveal it.
That is mind-blowing, to be honest! In truth I had never heard of this particular aspect of the Death issue until now and frankly I'm of mixed opinions. On one hand it seems to make sense then for the Man of Steel's development throughout the nineties and so many unexplained reasons why he seemed to have flagging powers. That being said, that does make me feel almost rather betrayed that for the last 23-4 years the Superman we know has been nothing more than a sand creature that just happened to absorb his powers and assume his identity. On the other hand, this entire thing stinks of deus ex machina to me, which we all know comics are guilty of just like any good piece of literary fiction. I won't spend this tie now trying to make a case for one side or the other because in truth I am inclined to entertain both the pros and cons about this matter. Doesn't it seem strange though that this sand creature's MO and eventual transformation seem uncannily similar to Matrix? Another extraterrestrial being who in a way metamorphosed to become the Girl of Steel, just not sand based like this mystery fellow is. I don't know, it just seems too convenient to say that this little skeleton has been in DC's closet all this time. Hell, if it was true and considering we are in the New 52, wouldn't it seem to make sense that someone would come forward to confirm it as true then since the old order is over with as a result of Flashpoint? And this is coming from one who loves conspiracy theories too. Its real funny though that the article mentioned the Dead Again arc though, because if they had did their original intention with that story (if that was truly the case of course), then it would explain a lot concerning the aftermath of Superman's fight with Doomsday. I just don't know. I'm truly on the fence with this issue...conspiracy or no conspiracy...that is the question.
@RedheadedAtrocitus: All great points!! And I agree I definitely saw the parallels to Matrix. I'm really hoping that the guys at From Crisis to Crisis will tackle this and ask some of the members of the creative team about this when they interview one of them next. Hopefully we can get some answers from Ordway or Jurgens on the matter.
Yeah, I really want to believe in it too. But now even Jerry Ordway has come out to discredit the theory: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/12/20/sand-superman-conspiracy-that-wasnt/
It's still a really interesting article but I just don't think the theory holds.
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