Feb. 4th, 2009

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When I was a kid I didn't read a lot of comic books - I still don't - but I did enjoy DC's Elseworlds stories, or at least the few that I found. For those of you who don't know, Elseworlds comics are "what if?" stories in which familiar DC characters are put in an unfamiliar context. For instance, Kal-El's pod landed in Communist Russia instead of Kansas (that's Superman: Red Son) or Bruce Wayne took up the mantle of Batman during the late nineteenth/early twentieth century (Gotham by Gaslight, of which I have a copy).

Here are the premises of some of the Elseworlds issues I had when I was a kid:

  • Batman, Robin and Catwoman are ninjas during Japan's medieval period

  • Superman landed in the Indian jungle during the 19th century, was raised by animals and discovered by a party of British explorers, including Richard Burton and Lois Lane

  • Krypton is under threat not from earthquakes but from a deadly genetically engineered plague. The ruling council follows Jor-El's advice to evacuate the planet. 100,000 Kryptonians (plus Kal-El, still an embryo in a gestation pod) relocate to Earth and take over the place. Kal-El, born and raised on Earth, joins a resistance movement led by Lois Lane

I'm pretty sure I had more, but if so I forgot them.

Anyway, I poked around on Amazon.com recently and found a whole bunch of Elseworlds books available for order - although as far as I can tell, they are all in single-story format and there are no collected editions or anything like that (phooey). Can those of you who are more comic-savvy than myself perhaps recommend some Elseworlds books to read?


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