The cover of Superman 162 (July 1963) insists that Superman Red/Superman Blue is the greatest Imaginary Story of them all. And you know, it just might be right.
Dorfman, Swan and Klein open this tale with Kandorians acting like total dicks. They summon Superman, and list off his failures, including not enlarging their city. Among his other “failures” is not wiping out all crime on Earth. You gotta feel sorry for the children of these people.
But Superman takes it all to heart, and with the aid of Supergirl, uses a variety of coloured kryptonites in an experiment to boost his powers. It has the result of splitting Superman into two identical beings, Superman Red and Superman Blue, named for their costumes.
With twice the super-brain power, they have no trouble coming up with a cure for kryptonite, and enlarging Kandor on a new planet, terraformed to be just like Krypton.
With the aid of Supergirl and Krypto, the two Supermans help Lori Lemaris and the Atlanteans move their entire city to a new planet, without ever having to leave a giant waterspout.
Then they create satellites to beam goodness and peace into everyone’s minds, stopping all wars. The Superman Revenge Squad and Brainiac are both affected, and decide to leave Earth alone, while Luthor reforms, cures blindness, broken bones and baldness, and gets re-united with his sister Lena.
Even Mr. Mxyzptlk is affected, and decides to never return to this dimension. With the list completed, and nothing much else to do, the two Supermen turn their minds to romance. With the kind of ease and harmony that characterizes this entire story, one is in love with Lois, and the other with Lana.
So they have a double wedding, which turns into a triple one, when Lucy Lane proposes to Jimmy Olsen.
Superman Red and Lois head to the new Krypton to live out their days, while Superman Blue stays on Earth with Lana.
The story does tease a sequel, asking which couple is happier, but I think it’s a good thing none ever came. This is the ultimate happy ending story, the “goal” that all the Superman stories from this era are striving for.
But the concept would live on, and was re-worked with the electric Superman in the late 90s.
Tagged: Brainiac, Curt Swan, DC Comics, George Klein, Jimmy Olsen, Kandor, Krypto, Lana Lang, Lena Luthor, Leo Dorfman, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Lori Lemaris, Lucy Lane, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Supergirl, Superman, Superman Blue, Superman Red, Superman Revenge Squad