My British accent is impeccable.

§ April 26th, 2024 § Filed under byrne reboot, dc comics, superman § 21 Comments

More specifics about the actual content of the 1980s Superman reboot will come in future posts (yes, it’s continuing into next week). You can find the previous posts under the newly-created “byrne reboot” tag, so I don’t have to keep adding a large list of links to past posts at the top of each entry.

Today, I wanted to post up something else I found in that long preview articles from Amazing Heroes #96 (1986). Now, I’d read this ‘zine when it originally came out, and I know I absorbed every column inch of this article in anticipation of the Byrne reign of Superman. It’d been several…well, decades (egads) since I’ve read it, and peeking back at it as reference for this series of posts have reitroduced me to some interesting bits of information.

Specifically, this plan for a Superman team-up comic (like the defunct DC Comics Presents) as part of the reboot, written by…well, take a look:

When I spotted this, I immediately popped it up on Bluesky and it generated some discussion.

Bully the Little Fanzine Bull noted that this magazine “was pretty infamous for just letting creatives run at the mouth and printing that as news, though,” which, you know, fair enough. That is the foundation for many a ‘zine, prozine and fanzine alike, and while this article does appear to be informed by primary sources, I’m sure some of the noted plans weren’t firmed up yet, or no more than floated ideas.

Like, this Alan Moore thing sounds like it was no more than “can you do it?” “strewth, I don’t have the bloody time, mate” “oh okay thanks” and that was that. At that point in Moore’s career, I’m sure he got lots of job offers like this. “Can you write West Coast Avengers for us?” “Flippin’ ‘eck!”

Adam Knave had the probably very correct response in saying “I’m sorry we never got it and glad he didn’t do it at the same time.” I mean, yeah, Watchmen (or The Watchmen) would end up being an ugly mess re: merchandise royalties and creator ownership, not to mention being plundered by lesser talents for knockoffs. Probably best that there’s not also a one or two year run of Superman team-up stories by Moore to provide content to be clumsily reinterpreted later by writers whose names might rhyme with Reff Rohns.

But on the other hand, would we have read a run of Alan Moore-written Superman team-up comics? Oh, you bet your sweet bippy we would. Imagine, like, 24 or 36 issues of comics on par, or even better, than this one. That would be an absolute treasure, Moore just traipsing through the DC Universe.

On the other other hand, this was the period when Moore was at his deconstructive height, pulling apart the very idea of superhero comics and looking at their components in a new light. I don’t know if DC, in their fragile “we’re not sure entirely what’s going on here” post-Crisis phrase, trying to rebuild continuity after the structural damage inflicted by Crisis on Infinite Earths, would want Moore going through its new direction upending things even more.

Just picture the aftereffects on Adam Strange, after his brief 1987 appearance in Moore’s Swamp Thing run, and how his reinterpretation there still affects Adam Strange stories to this day. Now picture that with dozens more characters in addition to the ones he’d already touched with his wizardy powers. It really would be Alan Moore’s DC Universe now.

But even if the Moore thing had been a done deal, as blogging brother Andrew said on Bluesky, “the question then would be ‘how long until Byrne and Moore got on each other’s nerves and one/both quit'” and he ain’t wrong. I feel like the two would not play very well together. All it would take is Byrne saying “hey what you’re doing here with Superman isn’t in line with my vision,” and Moore would be all “blimey, you’re a barmy bloke, I’m gutted” and he’d be in the wind.

Anyway, thought that was an interesting bit of forgotten trivia involving this particular time in funnybook history. I don’t know how close this actually came to happening (like I said above, probably not too close), but it’s still quite the thing to think about.

21 Responses to “My British accent is impeccable.”

  • philfromgermany says:

    That would have been something, indeed. Especially if the part where the ugliness of the success of Watchmen alienated Moore so much and turned him off of DC never happened!
    At least we got Supreme, Glory and Judgement Day. Some of my favorite AM work.

  • Oliver says:

    Another mid-80s Alan Moore ‘What If’ is him taking over the writing of ‘Thriller’ instead of (or replacing) Bill DuBay.

    An elliptical, eccentric comic with a slowly-unfolding plot, a large cast of characters (2 of whom had superpowers) and safely separate from DC continuity — imagine the possibilities!

  • Tom W says:

    ‘Chuffed’ means ‘pleased with oneself’. And while that’s undoubtedly true of Moore I don’t think it’s what you meant here.

  • Mikester says:

    Tom W – okay, “near impeccable” then! …I knew “chuffed” wasn’t the right word, but had it stuck in my head and wrote it anyway, like a dummy. Thanks for the correction!

  • Andrew Davison says:

    “You’re barmy” is more accurate I think than “You’re a barmy bloke”, but I’m from Manchester.

  • Allan Hoffman says:

    Mike, you may want to set the tag as ‘superman byrne reboot’ in case you end up writing about other DC/Marvel characters Byrne rebooted.

  • Damien says:

    I can’t remember exactly where I read it but I’m pretty sure I read a joke about this in an Alan Moore interview.

    He said he was asked if he was willing to script over Byrne’s plots and Moore said only if Byrne was willing to ink over Moore’s pencils.

  • Thom H. says:

    I have difficulty picturing those two gentlemen living on the same planet, much less working on the same comic.

    Maybe if Moore’s book had been a series of imaginary stories that didn’t impact Byrne’s ongoing plots. With rotating artists? That would have been cool.

  • D says:

    Isn’t just a different version of the story that Moore was asked to take over a failing Justice League series from a departing Gerry Conway only to have to offer rescinded when Conway changed his mind and be offered Swamp Thing instead?

  • Sean Mageean says:

    Definitely a missed opportunity on DC’s part, but, as was already stated, would Moore and Byrne have gotten along? It could have also been cool to have Moore take over as scripter on Brave and the Bold. And, beyond Byrne on art, imagine if we got Action Comics or DC Comics Presents Moore stories teamed with art by Kirby, Ditko, Neal Adams, Steranko, Toth, Colan, Miller, Starlin, etc, etc.

  • Joe Gualtieri says:


    I’m not sure where you’ve heard that version. Moore, to my recollection, has spoken openly about being given the choice of JLA or Swampy and picked Swampy.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “I feel like the two would not play very well together”

    Two “Type A” personality types usually don’t. You can’t have TWO people in charge.

    “the choice of JLA or Swampy and picked Swampy”

    He made the right choice.

    Interesting those were both B books he was offered, not A books.

  • D says:

    @Joe Gualtieri- possibly that’s the story? I find it interesting that a then-unknown writer best known for a few shorts in 2000AD would be offer the choice of a low selling horror book or the World’s Greatest Superheroes (also pretty low selling at the time) and choose the former. Also Gerry Conway announced his departure from JLA in the letter column but then mysteriously stayed on the book for several more years. So who knows what really happened?

  • Roel Torres says:

    If you would like to see what Alan Moore could have done on a run of Superman, just read his run on Liefeld’s Supreme. The artwork is hit or miss until Chris Sprouse and Rick Veitch take over, but all the stories are amazing — Alan Moore in his prime writing love letters to Superman. Still one of my favorite runs in comics, and some of my most beloved Alan Moore work.

  • Speaking of accents, you might be interested in my blog which looks at visits to the UK by yer American super-folk!

  • If such self-promotion is allowed, here’s a link:

  • DK says:

    Thanks for reminding me that instead of Moore’s take on the icons of the DC Universe we got DC Editorial approving a story where Superman makes a porno with Big Barda.

    Those Action Comics team ups were:

    584 – Teen Titans
    585 – Phantom Stranger
    586 – New Gods
    587 – The Demon
    588 – Hawkman
    589 – Green Lantern Corps
    590 – Metal Men
    591 – Superboy (Time Trapper pocket universe one)
    592 – Big Barda
    593 – Mister Miracle
    594 – Booster Gold
    595 – Martian Manhunter
    596 – The Spectre
    597 – Lois Lane & Lana Lang
    598 – Checkmate
    599 – Metal Men
    Annual 1 – Batman

  • Thom H. says:

    Don’t forget #600, where he got to make out with the all-new Wonder Woman, too. Hubba hubba!

    In all seriousness, Byrne’s run on Action Comics was mostly forgettable fluff.

    But to be fair, I think this might have been around the time* Moore was pitching Twilight of the Superheroes, which was basically twisted versions of the big DC heroes killing each other. So maybe we dodged a bullet there, too.

    *I could have the timeline compressed in my head, and I don’t have time to look it up right now.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    That list of Action Comics team ups makes me think about facsimile editions that I wish DC would release by August 2024 (Jack Kirby’s birthday month anniversary):

    New Gods no.1

    Forever People no.1

    Mister Miracle no. 1

    Mister Miracle no. 4 (first Big Barda)

    Demon no. 1

    Kamandi no. 1

    OMAC no. 1

  • Tom W says:

    Moore was pitching Twlight of the Superheroes just after Legends, whenever that was, and was largely complimentary about Byrne’s work on it. But I’m a longtime Moore-watcher and don’t remember ever hearing that he was offered JLA rather than Swampy. Was Wein editing both at the time?

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Demon no. 1

    Kamandi no. 1

    OMAC no. 1”

    I’d at least buy those ones!

  • Leave a Reply