Superman 372 – blackmailed into time travel, and Superman 2020 ends

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Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte crank out another unexciting Superman story in issue 372 (June 1982), which also sees the final installment of Superman 2020.

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The lead story has Superman pursuing a ball of anti-matter that suddenly appears in Metropolis. He traces its path back to a semi-deserted island, inhabited only by a scientist who freely admits to creating the destructive blob.  He will send out more unless Superman takes him back in time, and rescues his two children, who died in a tidal wave.

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Superman does bring the man back in time, but only to show him that they are phantoms in the past, and cannot affect anything.  But Superman realizes the children are actually androids, even though the scientist does not realize this.  Investigating further, he learns that the government set up the phony deaths to keep the man isolated and working on secret projects for them.

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So Superman re-unites the scientist with his real children after all.

Looks like sending out destructive balls of anti-matter is a perfectly acceptable way to get Superman on your side.

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Superman 2020 (now 2021) gets its final story by Rozakis and Gil Kane.

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The story centres on Jimmy Olsen, now the editor of the world news service.  He faces a man who threatens to kill Jimmy’s grandchildren unless Olsen inserts a phony news item, which will drive up the price of a worthless stock.  But Jimmy still has his old signal watch, and uses it to contact the new Superman.

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It’s not a bad story, and great to see another older version of a current character, but at the same time there is little to it.

Superman 2020 (or 2021) does not appear again.

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