After reinventing the wheel with Watchmen and before his very public feud with DC Comics really began, comic scribe and magician Alan Moore had an idea for an ambitious comic book crossover that remains the stuff of legend. "Twilight of the Superheroes" never had a single page drawn, nor was it ever actually commissioned by DC, but considering Moore's reputation and the story's radical ideas it has become something for readers to ponder on in the years since. Now it's not that Twilight of the Superheroes is being planned to be released by the publisher, but DC has announced they'll be releasing Moore's complete proposal for the series in a new hardcover release.
As revealed by CBR, this December will see DC release DC Through the '80s: The End of Eras, a 520 page hardcover that will run $49.99. For the most part the collection will feature various landmark issues and stories like Moore's "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" plus Detective Comics #500, The Flash #296-298, Jonah Hex #54-55, Wonder Woman #311-312, plus new essayies by J.M. DeMatteis, Andy Kubert, and more. It will also feature "the complete text of Alan Moore's legendary, never-before-published Twilight proposal!"
So what exactly was in Moore's proposed story? The whole thing can be found online if you know where to look but was a story framed around characters John Constantine and Rip Hunter traveling to the present day with knowledge of a potential future. In that world the superheroes had become dynasties and ruled over the planet including institutions like the House of Steel (lead by the now married Superman and Wonder Woman) and the House of Thunder (the Marvel family). No one from the DC Universe was left out though as the Teen Titans and Justice League have their own houses as well.
There's also non-super powered heroes led by the Dark Knight himself, plus all of the aliens that inhabit the Earth from the Green Lantern Corps, the Martians, and the Thanagarians. Even further still it would have featured characters like Detective Chimp, The Metal Men, and even hopes for the likes of The Shadow, Doc Savage and Tarzan (provided they were in the public domain. In the end the entire series would lead up to a battle between all of these factions, resulting in the death of all the heroes and a new found freedom for the people of Earth who find themselves in a superhero free world, making Moore's feelings on superheroes and their place in pop culture even more public.
The perfect mass crossover would be something like the following," Moore wrote in his own introduction to the proposal (H/T Bleeding Cool). "It would have a sensible and logical reason for crossing over with other titles, so that the readers who were prompted to try a new title as a result of the crossover or vice versa didn't feel cheated by some tenuous linkage of storylines that was at best spurious and at worst nonexistent. It would provide a strong and resonant springboard from which to launch a number of new series or with which to revitalize old ones again in a manner that was not obviously crassly exploitative so as to insult the reader's intelligence."
Sadly, Twilight was not meant to be, but Moore's full ideas (despite shaky copyright grounds) will be published in full later this year.