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.
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.
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 Series, Superman: the Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Justice 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.
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.
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 has fought many evils during his 80 years of existence, from Lex Luthor’s kryptonite robot to Lois Lane’s attempt to become a singer. His bravery and determination have helped him come out the winner every time. However, none of them quite compare to his biggest victory: the time he defeated the Ku Klux Klan. Continue reading “When Superman defeated the KKK”
Last time we covered Superman’s brand of vigilante justice in Action Comics #1. That was the first of a two-part story, which continued in Action Comics #2. Part Two really highlights the wish fulfillment aspect of Superman standing up to corruption both in the United States and abroad. Continue reading “The Golden Age Superman was a Badass Vigilante (Part 2 of 2)”
I had the good fortune of picking up Superman: The Golden Age, Vol. 1 while it was on sale at Comixology.com a few weeks ago. I like the Golden/Silver Age stuff as a historical artifact of how comics shaped pop culture. In the case of Golden Age Superman, the results were really eye opening.
I knew that Superman’s early days were very different from the Man of Steel we know today. He didn’t have heat vision, couldn’t fly, and kryptonite wasn’t a thing yet. However, I didn’t realize how fully early Superman embraced his role as a man of the people – or how well the stories serve as middle-class wish fulfillment.