Once upon a time, in 1987, Alan Moore was to write the big post-Crisis event story for DC Comics. It was called Twilight of the Superheroes and DC Comics bought the pitch. It would have told the future – or, a future, of the DC Universe. All the heroes had aged and been replaced by younger versions. With the world divided into competing super-powered 'Houses', and an elderly John Constantine as the person in the centre of the storm, who was either ensuring it happened, or stopping it from ever happening. Moore wrote the pitch, talking about how it could crossover into other comics, and even the act of a comic book not crossing over, would say something about those characters' potential future. He included ideas for merchandise, toys, board games, advertising and the like, an ostensibly commercial venture.
At which point, DC Comics declined to renegotiate the Watchmen and V for Vendetta contracts, which were suddenly not fit for purpose in light of the emerging trade paperback market. And so Alan Moore declined to continue working for DC Comics. As a result, Twilight Of The Superheroes never happened. However it was spread widely and was very influential in everything from Superman, Wonder Woman and Booster Gold in the New 52, Kingdom Come, Armageddon 2001, Hypertime. 5G – even recent Hellblazer seems to resemble it in slightly.
I was going to publish the pitch in print at one point in 1995 and had plans to do so without trademark infringements. Alan was willing, and I announced plans through my publishing imprint Twist And Shout Comics. At which point I officially received the first-ever cease and desist letter sent by e-mail by DC Comics. Because, as they pointed out, and Alan concurred it was true, DC Comics had actually paid for the pitch. They owned it.
I suggested recently that DC Comics think about actually publishing it And now, that seems to be just what they are doing.
The upcoming collection DC Through The 80's: The End Of Eras, curated by Paul Levitz, reprints Alan Moore and Curt Swan's pre-Crisis Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow among other eighties fin de siecle stories as well as "the complete text of Alan Moore's legendary, never-before-published Twilight proposal!" It has been solicited for sale in December.
DC THROUGH THE '80S: THE END OF ERAS HC
written and illustrated by VARIOUS
cover by CURT SWAN and MURPHY ANDERSON
ON SALE 12/15/20
$49.99 US | 520 PAGES | FC | DC
The '80's were a truly rad time for comic books. DC was killing it with groundbreaking titles like Man of Steel, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and Watchmen. This collection, curated by writer and former DC publisher Paul Levitz, celebrates the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths era of the early 1980s with memorable adventures including Alan Moore and Curt Swan's poignant "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?," both Batman and Superman teaming with their Golden Age equivalents in separate stories, Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor versus gremlins, and more. Collects Action Comics #583, Detective Comics #500, The Flash #296-298, Jonah Hex #54-55, Superman #423, House of Mystery #286, #290, #294-295, #300, #308, #321, Warlord #42, Wonder Woman #311-312, The Brave and the Bold #200, Weird War Tales #93, Time Warp #2 and #3, G.I. Combat #288, Blackhawk #258, DC Comics Presents Annual #1, Super Friends #36, and Sgt. Rock #345, #347, #368, and #387. Also includes new essays on this amazing era from such comics luminaries as Jack C. Harris, Elliot S! Maggin, J.M. DeMatteis, Andy Kubert, and more, and features the complete text of Alan Moore's legendary, never-before-published Twilight proposal!