Outright Classic Picks: Superman Edition!
With no new comics for a while, the OG staff are going to be doing something a little different. Our monthly Outright Classic Picks feature will now be weekly. It will temporarily take the place of our weekly Geek Picks segment. We hope that as we look at classic comics in the coming weeks that it might bring you a little added peace in an otherwise unstable world. It might even encourage you to dig through your stash and re-read some great stories while you undergo a period of self-isolation or social distancing. This week’s theme is Favorite Superman Stories.
If any of these tales pique your interest and you happen to not own any of the titles we highly recommend that you contact your LCS and place an order for the work in question. Your favorite dealers are in desperate financial straits and could greatly use your support!
Sean- Superman: Red Son
Russian Superman. I thought it was real fresh when I first found our about it.. What if Superman didn’t land in the US.
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Dave Johnson, Andrew Robinson, Walden Wong, Killian Plunkett
Original Publication: Issues #1-3, April-June 2003
Veigh and John: Kingdom Come
Veigh: It shows a god-man deciding which he is more of.
John: Easy one here! Kingdom Come!
Maybe my all time favorite DC story ever. Yes it’s an Elseworld, so it’s not in continuity (except it is because of the multiple realities, but I digress). Retired Superman, Oldman Batman & Lex on the same side, Warrior Wonder Woman, & Shazam like you can’t imagine if you’ve not read it. This one has it all Easter Eggs for the hardcore fans, dystopian future for the the not so hardcore. Alex Ross interiors are amazing! I could gush on about this 4 issue mini series forever.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Alex Ross
KINGDOM COME is a riveting story pitting the old guard–Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and their peers–against a new uncompromising generation and ultimately in the final war against each other to determine nothing less than the future of the planet.
Original Publication: #1-4, May- August, 1996
Raven: The Death of Superman
When you are talking about one of the greatest Superman stories, you gotta have on the list, The Death of Superman. I was just a young buck when the series came out. When I heard they were going to kill the Man of Steel, I had to read it for myself and to my surprise, I got emotional. Great story to read but suggests a box of tissues.
Writer: Dan Jurgens, Louisie Simonson, Roger Stern, Karl Kesel, Jerry Ordway
Artist: Dan Jurgens, Jackson Guice, Brett Breedling, Various
Superman meets his end while confronting a mysterious, and seemingly indestructible, adversary called Doomsday.
Original Publication Date: Various issues from December 1992-October 1993, culimnating in Superman #74-75 (Volume 2, 1987-2006)
Thomas: “What Do You Get for the Man Who Has Everything?”
Quit possible my favorite Superman story of all time Superman Annual #11 is from that time that Alan Moore wrote for the mainstream. Moore captured so much about the Man of Steel that other writers just didn’t get, how do you hurt someone who is impervious? Moore understood this better than anyone and shows us that in his hopes and dreams Superman doesn’t want to be the savior of us all. That he secretly his longs for a normal life but because of his birth this is denied him!
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Fun Fact: This ground-breaking issue was adapted as the Justice League Unlimited episode ‘For the Man Who Has Everything.’ (Season 1, Episode 2)
Original Publication Date: Superman Annual #11 January 1985 (Volume 1, 1938-1987, 2006-2011)
Don: ‘Chase to the End of Time’
“Chase to the End of Time” by Martin Pasko with an amazing cover by legendary Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. This is one of my favorite DC series of all-time. I loved all the team-ups that Superman had in this 97 issue run, plus 4 Annuals, and it all started right here with a historical race with The Flash (aren’t they all…lol). He not only teamed up with heavy hitters (like Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman), but he would team up with the B-listers (like Red Tornado, Sgt. Rock, Deadman) and sometimes the C-listers (like He-Man, Dial H For Hero, Amethyst). He even had to team up with villains (like The Joker, Demon, Bizarro) to save the day. For crying out loud, Superman even teamed up with Santa Claus! Every team up had a solid reason for happening and the stories seemed to work without being forced just for the sake of a team up. If you’ve never read any of these issues, please do so. Every issue seems like a stand alone classic!
Writer: Martin Plasko
Artist: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
This was a two-part story. Part two was titled ‘Race to the End of Time.’
Original Publication Date: DC Comics Presents 1-2, August-September 1978 (Volume 1, 1978-1986)
Joe: Superman: Up in the Sky
Although a recent comic, it has all the makings of a future classic. There’s a lot to like about this mini-series. Written by Tom King. Art by Andy Kubert. A larger story told through interconnected vignettes, each an examination of the qualities that make Superman the person and hero we all know and love. I highly recommend this galaxy spanning adventure.
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Andy Kubert
Following a home invasion that ends in murder, Superman is put on the trail of a Metropolis mystery by Batman-but can even the Man of Steel discover the truth behind these tragic deaths, or their ties to the far-off world of Rann? These stories by Tom King with art by Andy Kubert guest-starring Green Lantern and other heroes were originally published in SUPERMAN GIANT #3 and #4.
Original Publication Date: #1-6 September 2019-February 2020.
Tony: Mann and Superman
Thomas stole my #1 pick. But that’s okay as I will get a chance to share this rare gem with you all. Mann and Superman by Michael T. Gilbert (Mr. Monster). A guy down on his luck and looked down upon by his kid, gets a chance to become the Man of Steel. It’s got a very early 1930s Superman feel to it. And it reminds me quite a bit of that holiday issue of Batman (#239) in which the Dark Knight helps a small time crook better himself for the sake of his little girl.
Writer: Michael T. Gilbert
Artist: Michael T. Gilbert
Original Publication Date: This graphic novel was originally published in 2000.
Leroy: The Man of Steel
John Byrne’s Post Crisis reboot of Superman. It completely changes everything about Superman. How he came to Earth. Why Luthor hates him. His power level (he can no longer sneeze away galaxies). How he met Batman. His rogues gallery, etc. You are not allowed to read any Superman story until you read this one first.
Writer: John Bryne
Artist: John Byrne
Following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, comic book superstar John Byrne reimagined Superman for a brand-new era–in bold tales collected here in omnibus format! Starting with the six-issue Man of Steel miniseries, Byrne fundamentally changed Superman’s origins and propelled him into the present, including iconic encounters with Lex Luthor, Metallo, Darkseid–and The Joker!
Original Publication Date: #1-6 October-December 1986.
Zack: For All Seasons
Superman wasn’t one of my favorite characters, but whenever he faced off against Mettalo or Mister Mxyzptlk either in print or in any of the animated versions I was there. I guess I did like Loeb and Sale’s Superman For All Seasons.
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Tim Sale
In this coming-of-age tale witness the experiences and adventures that transform a simple country boy into the world’s greatest hero. Told through the course of four seasons in the Man of Steel’s adolescent life, it illustrates that it is the person, not the powers, that makes Superman a hero. The catalyst for the “Smallville” television program, SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS is emotional and insightful, humanizing the alien from another planet so that he is not only realistic but also relatable.
Original Publication Date: Volume 1-4, September-December 1998.
Angel: Speeding Bullets
An Elseworlds tale written by J.M. DeMatteis, with the artwork of Eduardo Barreto, this story explored what would happen if Kal-El had been found by the Wayne family, and became Bruce Wayne rather than Clark Kent. It’s an amalgamation both characters: key pieces of the story of Batman – his parents murder, Alfred, the billionaire playboy life, fused with things from Superman’s story – like Lois, and Lex Luthor. It’s an interesting look at how the darkness of Gotham and the difference of upbringing could change Kal-El from the Superman we know. Definitely a great read for anyone, even those that may not be the biggest Superman fan.
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Eduardo Barreto
Original Publication Date: Graphic Novel was originally published September, 1993
Joshua: Hitman #34
Winner of the 1999 Eisner Award for Best Single Issue, posed an interesting question: What if you are Superman and fail at a rescue? Supes is called to space to rescue a doomed space shuttle. Upon this failure, he lands on a random rooftop in Gotham and comes across on Tommy Monaghan, who consoles Supes. Upon Superman leaving the area, Tommy finishes the hired kill he was there for, sniping a man from the rooftop. By Garth Ennis and John McCrea.
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: John McCrea
‘Of Thee I Sing.” Cover by John McCrea
Original Publication Date: Issue #34 published February, 1999.
A.J.: In The Beginning…
My favorite Superman stories are the very first ones. With Superman in 1938’s ACTION COMICS #1, the superhero genre was born, with the hero Superman explicitly fighting for the oppressed. In these stories by Siegel and Shuster, Superman was an aggressor in the fight against evil, terrorizing and even killing criminals. He even destroys a factory making unsafe cars ; there, as elsewhere, Superman hands out vigilante justice, punishing the people at the top. This didn’t last : in 1940, DC banned Superman from killing, and with WWII Superman became a patriot, completing his transformation into The Big Blue Boy Scout.
Writer: Jerry Siegel
Artist: Joe Shuster
These earliest issues are collected in THE SUPERMAN CHRONICLES VOL. 1.
Original Publication Date: Issue #1, published June, 1938.
Tarah: Batman and Superman : Public Enemies
Batman and Superman : Public Enemies movie it was awesome!
Starring: Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, Clancy Brown
Produced by Warner Bros, 2009
Kevin: I live in a world made of cardboard.
This episode from Justice League Unlimited, specifically this scene:
From: Justice League Unlimited, episode 39 ‘Destroyer’.
Cartoon Network, 2006