Monday, May 16, 2011

On the celebration of another mythical holiday

First time in years I had it written on the calendar ahead of time. 
It's Miracle Monday, the third Monday in May, a celebration of the human spirit that will one day surpass any religious or civic holiday in human history, even the ones created by greeting card companies.  It was created by Elliot S! Maggin in his Superman novel of the same name.
On Miracle Monday the spirit of humanity soared free. This Miracle Monday, like the first Miracle Monday, came in the spring of Metropolis, and for the occasion spring weather was arranged wherever the dominion of humanity extended. On Uranus's satellites where the natives held an annual fog-gliding rally through the planetary rings, private contributions even made it possible to position orbiting fields of gravitation for spectators in free space. On Titan, oxygen bubbles were loosed in complicated patterns to burst into flame with the methane atmosphere and make fireworks that were visible as far as the surface of saturn. At Nix Olympica, the eight-kilometer-high Martian volcano, underground pressures that the Olympica Resort Corporation had artificially accumulated during the preceding year were unleashed in a spectacular display of molten fury for tourists who walked around the erupting crater wearing pressurized energy shields. At Armstrong City in the Moon's Sea of Tranquility there was a holographic reenactment of the founding of the city in the year 2019, when on the fiftieth anniversary of his giant leap for mankind the first man on the Moon returned, aged and venerable, to what was then called Tranquility Base Protectorate, carrying a state charter signed by the President of the United States. The prices of ski lift tickets on Neptune inflated for the holiday. Teleport routes to beaches and mountains on Earth crowded up unbelievably. Interplanetary wilderness preserves became nearly as crowded with people as Earth cities. Aboard the slow-moving orbital ships that carried ores and fossil materials on slowly decaying loops toward the sun from the asteroids, teamsters partied until they couldn't see. On worlds without names scattered throughout this corner of the Galaxy, where Earth's missionaries, pioneers and speculators carried their own particular quests, it was a day for friends, family, recreation and - if it brought happiness—reflection.
Long story short, Superman is tempted by Satan himself, through his minion, C.W. Saturn. After endless disasters and acts of evil, Superman defeats Saturn by simply being the strong incorruptible character he is, refusing to take a single human life in exchange for the rest of the world.  In his defeat, Saturn must grant Superman a boon; he chooses simply to have all the evil and destruction wrought by the demon undone, and have no one remember what they have suffered. The wish is granted, and when everyone awakes the next day, the terrors the world underwent are gone. But in their place is an unidentifiable feeling that they've dodged a metaphoric bullet, an overwhelming sense of of relief, the sense that something wonderful has happened somewhere in the world.  This shared sense of inner peace and happiness passes quickly, but so moves the people that over the course of time, the anniversary of the event becomes a global celebration, and as man conquers the stars, a galaxy-wide one. 

Elliot S! Maggin is responsible for some truly magnificent parts of Superman history, and this book is one of them. In another story, Kristin comes back to learn more about the mysterious "Superwoman" who appeared once to save Superman, only to discover that she herself was the strange visitor from another time. 
He is also responsible for the single funniest time-travel joke ever.  The Miracle Of Thirsty Thursday! from  Superman #293, came out a full six years before this novel, and shares many similar concepts. Joann Jamie, a future historian comes back to our time to discover the secret of the titular event of the story (see what I mean?). When she gets here, can't find a hotel room to save her life. Another tourist explains that the city is choked to bursting with OTHER time-travelers who are also trying to learn the secret- he reveals he's from a couple centuries LATER than Joanne, and he reveals that they STILL haven't figured it out. 
While these stories have been wiped away by numerous Crises, they still hold an important place in the hearts of Super-fen.  Kurt Busiek wrote a story where another Kryptonian was living in secrecy on Earth, under the name...Kristin Wells.  And just a year or so back, Sterling Gates got to write about a mysterious new Superwoman with a costume similar in design to Kristin's a clear tip of the hat to the original.
The full text of Maggin's novel is available online, It's long out of print, but can still be found in used bookstores if you're lucky enough to have on in your town.  You should find one.

Now if I can only remember to celebrate Klordny this year, I'll be set.


  1. Great post explaining Miracle Monday to us newbies! So when do we get our Klordny greeting cards? :-)

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