Credits: Dan Jurgens (story and layouts), Trevor Scott (finishes), John Costanza (letterer), Glenn Whitmore (colorist)
Summary: Waverider is inducted into the Linear Men. When he discovers that Superman died just a few days after their last meeting, Waverider travels to the day of his death to stop it. Ryder follows him back and convinces Waverider to let history unfold as it was meant to. Waverider reluctantly agrees, accepting his responsibility as a Linear Man.
Irrelevant Continuity: Waverider previously met Superman in Superman #73. He claims that he was previously charged with preventing the death of this era’s heroes in Armageddon 2001 #1 and #2.
Total N00B: I have a vague understanding of who Rip Hunter and the Linear Men are, although I’m not quite sure what their mission statement is if they’re not changing time. Doesn’t time not change on its own, naturally? Also, Waverider and Ryder, two characters I’m totally unfamiliar with, are apparently the same person at two different points in the timeline.
I Love the ‘90s: Ryder gives a speech to Waverider, hypothesizing that it would be great if people like Albert Einstein could still be alive in the ‘90s.
Review: The Legacy of Superman was a one-shot released to capitalize on the Death of Superman hoopla, filled with short stories by various creators. The World without a Superman trade chooses to reprint only the first and fourth of these stories and place them in separate chapters of the book, for reasons I don’t quite understand. Dan Jurgens is paired with Trevor Scott as his finisher, producing a comic that seems to be bringing Wildstorm to DC years before Jim Lee actually arrives at DC. I much prefer Brett Breeding as Jurgens’ finisher, but I can see why DC would want to position Dan Jurgens as their own Jim Lee at the time.
"Vanishing Point" is a fairly standard piece on time travel, specifically the dangers of changing time. Ryder makes the argument that even though Superman’s death is a tragedy, at some point he will have to die. Even if the Linear Men save him from his next six deaths, his passing will still be a tragedy. Eventually, he will pass. The story ultimately turns out to be a test for Waverider, who proves himself a true Linear Man when he decides to allow history to take its natural course and for Superman to die. The execution is fine, but I have an automatic bias against the premise because I know that Superman only stays “dead” for a few weeks at best in DC continuity. Why are the Linear Men making such a big deal over the time Superman didn’t die and came back within a month?
The Guardians of Metropolis!
Credits: Karl Kesel (story), Walter Simonson (art), John Workman (letterer), Glenn Whitmore (colorist)
Summary: Project: Cadmus examines Superman’s corpse. One of their scientists uncovers Superman’s DNA code, but Dr. Tompkins snatches the disc away from Westfield. Westfield unveils a high-tech clone of Jim Harper, Auron, and orders him to retrieve the disc. The Newsboy Legion appeals to Auron’s human side and convinces him to destroy the disc. Auron flies off into space, leaving behind scientists even more skeptical of Westfield.
Total N00B: This version of the Newsboy Legion are younger clones of the Cadmus scientists, which I seem to recall was established in Kirby’s earliest Jimmy Olsen issues. Also, I’m assuming Jim Harper was the original Guardian.
I Love the ‘90s: Superman’s DNA code is kept on a floppy disc.
Review: I don’t think incorporating the ‘70s Kirby continuity into the ‘90s Superman titles was ever an easy fit, but it did provide an opportunity for Walt Simonson to come in and just have fun with a few of the concepts. The story mainly consists of a few chase and fight scenes, and I’ll be honest and say that I have little tolerance for the Newsboy Legion, but we’re getting eleven energetic Simonson pages and a decent Kesel script out of the deal. The short doesn’t contribute anything significant to any of the larger arcs reprinted in the trade, but it still makes for an entertaining read.