It wasn’t an idyllic life Clark Kent lived. Sure, he was married to Lois Lane, was a wordsmith at The Daily Planet with X number of words to get out every day. But there were the other things lacking: certain rights. That was the price of freedom, authorities assured everyone. But Clark found himself staring out at the red sun and daydreaming about being able to fly.

It was all a bit unsettling.

Until that night he was visited by two strange men who identified themselves as The Phantom Stranger and Jason Blood and had an odd tale to tell.

It seems three Mages, Vandal Savage, Felix Faust, and Dark Lord Mordru, during the time of Camelot had began a long range spell that split the world into two alternate Earths, one, this one, with a red sun and divided between the trio. The other is our Earth. The long range plan was for the two worlds to eventually merge(fifteen hundred years down the road) and become one, wholly owned and run secretly by the three magicians. They set up shop on the red sun Earth and made occasional forays into the real world in separate attempts to conquer it(not an expert on the DC universe, one presumes this was to cover the trio’s various appearances over the years in different comics). No heroes had developed here and Clark, because of the red sun, was just another boy adopted with no idea of his true origin.

Clark agrees to help and the three cross over into the original line where Clark becomes Superman with memories of the other Clark in his head. They know the three magicians will need a massive human sacrifice to finish the joining of the two lines and so begins the pursuit through time to all the major wars, disease, and pestilence. Making appearances along the way to help are Zatanna and Dr. Occult.

The real fun for me were the chapters labeled May, 1872. They detailed the gradual coming together of four DC western characters, Jonah Hex, Bat Lash, El Diablo, and the Scalphunter, along with an able assist from Johnny Thunder. Hex was the only character with which I had more than a passing familiarity. They all ended up in a small town in the American Southwest, Willson, and all realized it was no accident they’d showed up at the same time.

Superman, Blood(with his bonded demon, Etrigan), and the Phantom Stranger were all headed for the same time period as well.

Showdown time!

TRAIL OF TIME is not a new novel(2007), one I’ve had a while. But it’s just become available as an audiobook here. I decided it was time to read it.

I really enjoyed this one.