JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING (2004)
George Newbern, Susan Eisenberg, Kevin Conroy, Eric Roberts, Dana Delany, Josh Hutcherson, Christopher McDonald
Written by: J.M. Dematteis Directed by: Dan Riba Adapted from a story by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
Superman – “Do you have any idea what you did to me?”
AT SOME POINT...
...in everyone’s life they look back and consider what might have been if a different choice had been made, or another option had presented itself.Often the direction of one’s life is taken out of their hands and in the case of the super hero this is usually what happens as the result of a tragedy or a significant defining moment.This direction shapes them, makes them, and provides the motivational force behind why they fight the good fight.For Superman his journey began when as a young baby his father and mother sent him to Earth to escape their fate as their home world, the planet Krypton, exploded.His life became very different from what it could have been and as the Last Son of Krypton he became a shining example of the courage and bravery of his Kryptonian heritage.Had the events that took place not have happened then baby Kal-el could have grown up to the life he was presented with in For The Man Who Has Everything.
It was Superman's birthday and so Batman and Wonder Woman arrived at Superman’s Fortress of Solitude bearing birthday gifts for the Man of Steel. After they arrived they soon discovered the Last Son of Krypton was in a transfixed state with a strange alien plant wrapped around his chest.The plant that was feeding off of Superman was known as the Black Mercy and was given to him by the evil tyrant Mongul in an act of revenge. Whilst in a comatose state the Black Mercy provided the Man of Steel with an illusion of the life he had always wanted, where he lived on a farm on Krypton. He had a wife, a child and his father was still alive, but gradually he sensed that something was not quite right and soon he had to choose whether to continue the life he was presented with or say goodbye forever and return to his reality!
When the Black Mercy attached itself to Superman it created a life in which he no longer had to set a good example as a hero to many; all he had to do was be a good husband to Loana and a good father to his son Van-el.He hadn’t changed who he was inside, but his circumstances had changed and his life was filled with joy and happiness in the security of his loving family; something his role as Superman on Earth could never have comfortably allowed.He seemed at peace, not aware that his life was nothing more than an illusion, a fantasy implanted into his mind, but that peace was short lived when he began to notice a series of tremors that were dismissed by everyone around him.Echoing the destructive tremors his father faced before Krypton’s impending doom, the vibrations Superman heard were actually caused by Batman pleading with Superman to snap out of the reality he was in; creating a ripple in the illusion.With each tremor Superman began to realise that world was not his own and he had to make the decision to say goodbye.In a heartbreaking moment echoing the feelings his own father must have felt when saying goodbye to his son, Kal-el had to bid farewell to Van-el and he promised he wouldnever forget him.The experience was one that he would keep with him forever; happy that he got to witness a life he could’ve had, but eternally sad at the memory of having to leave behind a son he loved so much.
As Krypton exploded and Superman was returned to his reality (an event which had taken a toll on his mind with more of a destructive force than a Kryptonite bullet), it was just one more event that he had to take on board as a hero.It would remain a time in his life that would never quite make sense of; existing as a memory that was just off centre, never resting comfortably alongside happier times. Superman like many heroes has had to tackle a number of difficult situations and although he has always taken it in his stride, it is an accepted rule of thumb when defining heroic acts that the 'good guy' will always have to soldier on, no matter what life throws their way. But that doesn't mean they are comfortable with this and for a brief moment For The Man Who Has Everything proved that a hero is sometimes only truly happy when dreaming about being someone else.
VIRTUAL REALITY: *Wonder Woman’s birthday gift to Clark was a new breed of rose called the Krypton. Batman gave Clark money.
*Eric Roberts reprised his role as the voice of Mongul from Justice League.Roberts other connection to DC comics was ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008) where he played mob-boss Maroni.
*Christopher McDonald reprised his role voicing Jor-el, from Superman:TAS.
*Kal-el’s wife Loana, was voiced by Dana Delany, who also provided the voice of Lois Lane in Superman:TAS and Justice League .
*Wonder Woman’s invisible plane made an appearance (hurrah!) as Batman and Wonder Woman used it to travel to the Fortress of Solitude.
*During Superman’s Krypton illusion Brainiac and Krypto put in an appearance alongside a mention of the city of Kandor and presumably General Zod’s son, ‘little Zod’.
*The Black Mercy attached itself briefly to Batman and gave him a glimpse at a life he had always dreamed of.In the illusion Bruce’s father Thomas Wayne fought back when his family was threatened in the alley-way, the night he and his wife died.
*This story was originally adapted from a story by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.Moore and Gibbons were the talented team behind the groundbreaking graphic novel, Watchmen.