The Adventures Of Superman #476
DC Comics (March, 1991–which means this should be further forward in my collection than it is)
as collected in the trade Time And Time Again
Phase 1: “The Linear Man”
WRITER/ARTIST: Dan Jurgens
INKER: Brett Breeding
COLORIST: Glenn Whitmore
LETTERER: Albert DeGuzman
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Dan Thorsland
EDITOR: Mike Carlin
As Clark and Lois discuss where their relationship is headed, a time traveler calling himself The Linear Man is setting a trap for Booster Gold by damaging Skeets, insisting he must be returned to the 25th Century. With a guard killed during the setting of the trap, Superman wants answers and interferes, the result of which is to send the Linear Man away and launching Superman into the 30th Century, where he meets the early incarnation of the Legion Of Super-Heroes–Cosmic Boy, Lighting Lad, and Saturn Girl.
What they got right: This is setting up a storyline involving Superman traveling through time and as set-ups go this isn’t a bad one, especially given of what we know of the Linear Men after this story. It’s possible they were setting up a time travel police force of sorts, but as of this point there’s a mystery to why this “Linear Man” was so determined to send Booster home.
What they got wrong: There’s the start of an annoying trend I remember from this storyline. They keep flashing back to what characters not involved with their stories are doing. Perry and Alice are having a fight. Jimmy and Lucy are fooling around. Bilbo is being Bilbo. I get that they wanted to keep those personal subplots in the reader’s heads during this arc but it distracts from Superman’s time travel adventure and would have been better served without it. It hurts more reading it as a trade than a weekly crossover of numerous Superman titles but it’s not like this was monthly and thus wouldn’t be running nearly as long. The subplots could use a break, especially since Perry and Alice’s seem to be the only one worth following besides Lois and Clark discussing their romance, which is understandably delayed by this story.
Recommendation: A good start to the storyline. We’ll see where this heads over the next few weeks.