DC’s new comics solicitations for November, 2020, were full of surprises, but there may not be a bigger shock than the announcement that they would be publishing Alan Moore’s pitch for Twilight of the Superheroes.
DC is releasing DC Through the ’80s: The End of Eras on December 15th. It’s a compilation of several pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths stories, including Moore and Curt Swan’s legendary “What Ever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” Detective Comics #500, The Brave and the Bold #200, and several others. The hardcover will also include essays on this era of comics from Elliot S! Maggin, Andy Kubert, J.M. DeMatteis, and others, alongside Moore’s mega-crossover pitch.
Twilight of the Superheroes was Moore’s attempt, in 1987, to clean up what he saw as the mess that was created by Crisis. It was a mechanism to reintroduce a version of the multiverse (as well as what would eventually become Hypertime, the constantly shifting timeline of the DCU), and an effort to let superhero stories ascend to the status of myth by putting a cap on their end. Moore argued in the pitch document that part of what made ancient mythology so enduring was the finality of the stories, something at odds with serialized comic publishing that only provides the illusion of change. So Twilight would end the DC Universe.
It was framed as a conversation between two Constantines – the modern day one that Moore had been writing at the time in Swamp Thing, and a future one who traveled back to prevent a dark timeline where the heroes had taken over the world and sorted themselves into families. In the tale, the House of Steel (Superman’s family) and the House of Thunder (the Marvel family) were set to be united, while some unpowered heroes who had allied with Batman, along with an alliance of DC’s space based heroes, opposed the union. They all fought and destroyed everything, so old Constantine was back to try and stop it.