All-Star Superman

The Best Plot Twist that Never Happened

I make no exaggeration when I say that All-Star Superman is the best Superman story of all time. It’s also one of the best comic book stories in history, with everything meticulously and lovingly placed. Despite the obvious care with which it was written, though, my favorite part of the story isn’t technically there.

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New 52

Successes from DC’s New 52

In 2011, DC Comics kicked off the “New 52,” canceling all of their previous titles and rebooting their superhero universe with 52 titles in a brand new continuity. Despite an initial uptick in sales, it’s safe to call the experiment a failure, as the whole continuity got rebooted again in 2016 with “Rebirth.”

There were a lot of reasons why the New 52 failed, but it primarily boils down to a lack of consistently good writing. DC editorial tried to pick and choose from the old continuity, deciding that some things happened and some things didn’t, but never developed a consistent timeline that its creative teams could follow. Editors also heavily meddled in the direction of the books, often hamstringing talented writers. (Prime example: the excellent Gail Simone getting what should have been her dream project on Batgirl, only for the story to turn joyless and perfunctory as the character got sucked into Batman’s “Death of the Family” crossover.)

Despite its failings, the New 52 did have a few gems. Here are a few titles I found really enjoyable.

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Leap Year Menace

Green Lantern in “The Leap Year Menace!”

Hal Jordan has always been one of my favorite comic book superheroes. At first it was simply because he had the coolest costume. Then I read his comics and found out that I like the character as well.

There are a lot of things that set Hal Jordan apart from the rest of the classic Silver Age superheroes, such as the fact that he’s got a female boss or the fact that his early issues dealt with racism against Inuits (yeah). But the biggest thing that sets him aside from others is that he’s an impulsive man-child. This is a guy who tries to do the right thing, but he’s hampered by the fact that he doesn’t think things through and is kind of an idiot. Perhaps because I am also a well-intentioned idiot, this resonates with me.

There seems to be a large amount of dislike for Hal around the Internet, with many people arguing that he’s boring. Like him or not, I can tell you one thing for sure: he’s not boring. Allow me to show you what I mean as we delve into the classic Silver Age Green Lantern story known as…“The Leap Year Menace!”

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Justice League

Crowning Moments of Awesome: The DCAU

When it comes to comic adaptations, the DC Animated Universe (DCAU) is pretty much the cream of the crop. Running for over a decade, the shared universe included Batman: the Animated SeriesSuperman: the Animated SeriesBatman BeyondJustice LeagueJustice League Unlimited, and various tie-in movies and comics. Each series was full of awesome moments.

A good number of the scenes below come from Justice League Unlimited, which is my favorite of the DCAU series, but that’s not intended as a slight to the other shows. Suffice it to say that most everything associated with the DCAU was awesome, and the shows generally got better as they went on.

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Captain America vs Hitler

Captain America Punching Hitler was Once Controversial

In 1941, the people of the United States got their first taste of a superhero known as Captain America. This star-spangled soldier introduced himself to the world by punching Adolf Hitler in the face. Can’t get more American than that, right?

Too bad Cap’s creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby got death threats over it.

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Death of Superman

The Original Death of Superman

The death of Superman is an iconic moment in comics that brought a new level of introspection and insight to comics. It should rightfully be regarded as a true classic.

Superman vs Doomsday

No, not that one. I’m talking about the original death of Superman, which was an “imaginary story” (basically DC’s version of Marvel’s “What-If” comics) that occurred in Superman #149.

Superman Kryptonite
All that plotting and the best line he could come up with was, “You’re in super-trouble?”

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