It All Comes Back to Superman Episode 1 – Future Shock

Welcome to the first episode of It All Comes Back To Superman!  I am your host, Michael Bailey and this show will be my monthly reaffirmation of faith when it comes to being a fan of the Man of Steel.  Sometimes I will be alone.  Sometimes, like this time, I will have a guest.  Joining me for this inaugural episode is the one, the only Siskoid!  Siskoid is not only a part of The Fire and Water Podcasting Network where he co-hosts such shows as First Strike: The Invasion Podcast, Gimme That Star Trek, oHOTmu Or Not, FW Team-Up, The Lonely Hearts Romance Comics Podcast and The Hero Points Podcast but  is also part of The Legion of Super-Bloggers.

The Legion of Super-Bloggers is the reason that I asked Siskoid to be part of this particular episode as I am discussing a Superman story that involves the Legion of Super-Heroes.  Legion of Super-Heroes #37, Superman #8, Action Comics #591 and Legion of Super-Heroes #38 served to explain how a team of heroes inspired by Superboy could exist in a universe where Superman never was Superboy.  Siskoid and I talk about the writing and the art with some personal anecdotes thrown in for good measure but the main thrust of the conversation is how these issues tried to fix a problem created by the Crisis on Infinite Earths.  Superman #8 and Action #591 were also the first two Superman books I picked up back in 1987 and were the reason I started buying the Superman titles on a regular basis.

So this is not only the 30th anniversary of this story but it’s also the 30th anniversary of me being a Superman reader and collector.

During the course of the discussion we mention that the cover to Superman #8 looks an awful lot like the cover to Fantastic Four #249.  Here is a side-by-side shot of those covers.

And here are the pages from Legion of Super-Heroes #37 and Superman #8 that were identical.

And here is a gallery of other images and covers from the books discussed in this episode.

Finally, here is the Who’s Who entry I mentioned that has a different take on Mon-El cradling the body of Superboy.

Click here to pre-order the Superman: Exile Omnibus that I talked about at the end of the episode.

Your feedback is welcomed and encouraged!  You can email the show at  There is also the RSS Feed, the iTunes link and The Facebook Page for the show!  Barring all of that you can leave a comment right here on this post.  Questions, concerns, fears and trepidations can be directed to any or all of those places!

Next Time: It’s a mix tape kind of episode as I go through the various Superman themes that have popped up over the past seven decades!



  1. Great first episode Michael and Siskoid! I’ve always been fascinated by this story and the first of many “patches” to fix Legion continuity. I bought Superman and Action off the shelves, but I still don’t own the Legion chapters.

    Not a big fan of Mike DeCarlo’s inks. I agree with Siskoid that he was near-oppressive in his inking style. Ryan and I will get to his inks over Jim Aparo soon on Knightcast. They don’t seem as heavy as these, but still…wow.

    Either Laroque got better at drawing kids by “Flash Year One: Born to Run”, or DeCarlo is to blame for Super-man-boy. He seems older than Byrne’s Superman in some of these panels!

    But aside from that, I’d really like to read these Legion issues. I’ve always loved that Bill Sink-o-vitch cover.

    As for the Superman issues, they were a lot of fun, and they kind of reminded me of the DCCP where Superman fought “Superboy”…but that’s a whole ‘nother wild story. I will admit, I got the FF reference right off the bat, but I missed another Easter egg for years. I believe Clark ripping up the tree stump is actually Byrne swiping one of his last X-Men pages where Colossus is doing the same thing. Byrne strongly disagreed with the dialog Claremont gave Piotr in this scene, making it seem like he was struggling with all of his might, and that was kind of the final straw that broke up their team.

    Really looking forward to all future episodes! You talking Superman is welcome in my iTunes any time Mike!


  2. Thanks for the feedback, Chris! I actually took a look at that X-Men issue to see if I was misremembering the tree ripping scene. I also looked through Byrne’s issues of Alpha Flight and found the Sasquatch page I remembered. Both were close but not like the Ff and Superman covers.

    I have a real fondness for that Superboy fighting Superman issue of DCCP. I read them in a digest when I was in junior high and thought it was a really cool story. I may cover it in the future.

    I just realized that was a pun. It was unintentional.

  3. hello,

    great first episode!!!

    once DC did man of steel comic, i always wondered why DC never just said that legion was influenced by the JLA or JSA or even some other team that we haven’t seen yet.

  4. Hi Mike,

    Huge Superman fan here, and current resident of your old stomping grounds- The Lehigh Valley. Loved this episode and these issues. As an even bigger Legion fanatic, I had to write in with a bit of insight. I met Greg Laroque a few years ago at a local show. I asked him to sign my death of Superboy issue. He suddenly got steamed. He couldn’t believe how badly the inks ruined his pencils. He recalled how angry he was when he first saw them back in the 80’s, and said something like wanting to break the inker’s hands. He then calmed back down, and my friend and I had a nice chat with him for the rest of the show.

    Even though Superboy dies, the LSH does not forget it. Several members gather together to kill the Trapper in revenge in issue 50 of the Baxter run. This leads to the deaths of one of Dual Damsel’s remaining bodies and eventually Mon-El (who lingered several issues from his wounds).

    Good luck with this show, and all the other Fortress programming!

    John Conlon

  5. Congratulations on an excellent first episode, you lads did the great job I’d expect. That was a Brilliant choice for the start, with so much to discuss. I was buying these issues at the time and was intrigued by the mystery, but so, so saddened by the outcome. And I was pretty annoyed at John Byrne doing is in-jokes in such an important story.

    Like Michael, I was no fan of the hazing of Superboy by the Legion in that first story. The very concept is so alien to the UK that it seem like nothing but calculated cruelty – if I was Superboy I would’ve crossed to another reality to avoid these bullies. After frying them with heat vision.

    Are you taking suggestions for themes? How about Supermanalogues?

  6. Excellent show. I always figured that there had to have been two pocket universes, one for Superboy-era stories to happen and a second one, for the legion’s modern-day interactions, for Supergirl, super-pets, and random appearances in JLA, B&B, World’s Finest, etc., and that this second one was probably destroyed in the post-crisis-crisis.

    And at the end, I think you asked the wrong question. It’s not whether the Legion needs Superboy that’s important, but whether Superman needs the Legion. And the answer, contra Byrne, is absolutely yes. The character needs to have had superpowered peers, needs to have learned how to work with a team, needs to be ready to lead or follow in the Justice League from day one rather than being apart from it or being a loner above it all.

    I like the idea of him making his public debut in Metropolis, have no doubt, but there’s still room for him to have been trying out the suit earlier in his life. Maybe not as young as the original version: the legion animated series’s formula, where his time with the Legion is during the years between Smallville and Metropolis, works fine.

  7. Sorry to be late, but somehow I missed this! Michael, you’re jumping-on point was my jumping-off point. I had been a Superman fan and a Superboy and a Legion fan, but DC ruined it for me. This story especially. I’m not going to break it done point-by-point, and page-by-page, mostly because this is an important and favorite story of yours. I do want to make a couple of observations germane to these issues.
    First, DeCarlo’s inks are awful. Legion #38 made me cry the first time I read it, and subsequent times I read it. (“It was the best home a boy could have.” Love that.) If the inks had been decent, I would probably have wailed and wept.
    Second, the difference between this Superman and pre-crisis Superman. This one apparently lets some teen-agers goad him into a fight. Then when they are ready to face their main existential challenge, Superman says “Good luck. I can’t go because something might happen to me.” Pre-Crisis Superman, represented here by Superboy says, “I will do anything to save my family, friends, and the world in which they live, even at the cost of my life.” And he would do the same for strangers as well.
    Third, DeCarlo’s inks are terrible.

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