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Author Topic: Last Imaginary Story  (Read 15408 times)
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Strange Visitor
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« on: April 24, 2005, 06:59:23 PM »

My impression is that Imaginary Stories were rare in the post-Weisinger period. Anyone know offhand what was the last Imaginary Story published before "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow"?
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Maximara
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2005, 11:39:14 PM »

Quote from: "Strange Visitor"
My impression is that Imaginary Stories were rare in the post-Weisinger period. Anyone know offhand what was the last Imaginary Story published before "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow"?


Would something like SUPERMAN ANNUAL #11, “For the Man Who Has Everything.” (1985) count where thanks to the Black Mercy Superman lives a life where Kryton did not explode? It follows a plot device used in Imaginary Stories like "Superman's Other Life!" in (Superman V1 #132, 1959) or World's Finest #263 (1980) where the entire series of Super Son stories were revealed to be an elaborate computer program?

I think the reason you saw the demise of 'Imaginary Stories' by the 1970s was that you had alternate earths as a way to create a story without messing us 'regular' continuity. Want a Earth where Batman is the only hero? Allow the Batman of Earht-1 to change the history of another Earth ("To Kill a Legend"). Want to tell the story where Superman is actually the second and last of a line of matrix like beings? Have him pulled to the future of another earth as happend in "Superman you are Dead, Dead, Dead!" Want Superman to finally marry Lois Lane? Have it happen on Earth-2 as per "Superman takes a Wife."

Even better if you did do something that messed with continuity some editor could after the fact create another alternate Earth so future writers did not have to deal with the problem. This is how Earth-2A (called Earth-E here) and Earth-B came into existance. With all these earths to play with you didn't need the out of an 'Imaginary Stories'
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Strange Visitor
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2005, 05:04:01 AM »

I think I would exclude by definition any story that uses any kind of "framing" device, such a computer simulation or dream. If I understand correctly that the story you cited involves such, I would exclude it.

Your point about alternate earths is interesting.
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Maximara
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2005, 08:12:42 AM »

Quote from: "Strange Visitor"
I think I would exclude by definition any story that uses any kind of "framing" device, such a computer simulation or dream. If I understand correctly that the story you cited involves such, I would exclude it.

Your point about alternate earths is interesting.


Well it is an important point to make. Superman v1 #300 (June 1976), the Superman 2001 story is not denoted as an 'Imaginary Story' even though it clearly is not in continuity. It is clear that if the story have been written seven years ago it likely would have had the 'Imaginary Story' denote but with an Infinity of Earths why bother?

Also the Bronze Age saw the idea of Super science and magic get totally out of hand producing stories like the 1980 two issue story (Action #507-508) where Jonathan Kent is allowed to see his son all grown up thanks to some aliens who have brought him back to life for one day. Unfortunitly the aliens are a little careless ane their 'wish energy' is used by a hippy like character who gets what ever he wants simply by saying "please". After the hippy is defeated the day ends and the aliens with their superscience reset the day and the events never 'really' happen.

AFAICFO the last 'Imaginary Story' before "What Happened to the Man of Tommorow' actually noted as such was Superman V1 #230 (1970) where Luthor is Superman and Clark Kent is a gangster.
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Genis Vell
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2005, 08:25:40 AM »

SUPERMAN 417 (1985): "Superman, warrior of Mars!" by Maggin and Swan.
I have this issue: great story.
If you want to read it, you can find it on this site  section "Read comics online"!
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2005, 06:04:17 PM »

Quote from: "Genis Vell"
SUPERMAN 417 (1985): "Superman, warrior of Mars!" by Maggin and Swan.


I tend to think of an Imaginary Story as one which "may or may not" happen in the current continuity. A "what if" story that involves an alternate past would not qualify. So I think this story would not be included.

But, this raises other interesting questions: When was the first such "what if" story using an alternate past? Were any such stories explicitly labelled "An Imaginary Story"?
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Brainiac44
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2005, 06:11:39 PM »

I don't have the issue but it's in the ga when Clark & Lois go see a short on Superman.  Superman battles giant robots and it's clearly taken from the Fleischer Animated Studios.  Clark wonders near the end where they take their info because it shows Superman changing.  He has to distract Lois while that goes on - at the end he winks at the reader...

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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2005, 07:43:21 PM »

Quote from: "Brainiac44"
I don't have the issue but it's in the ga when Clark & Lois go see a short on Superman.  Superman battles giant robots and it's clearly taken from the Fleischer Animated Studios.  Clark wonders near the end where they take their info because it shows Superman changing.  He has to distract Lois while that goes on - at the end he winks at the reader...

Friend Cool

This story is cited as the first Imaginary Story, but I don't think I agree with that. It uses a framing device (the movie show), and the "imaginary" on-screen story wouldn't significantly affect continuity anyway. That's not an Imaginary Story by my definition.
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