Thursday, February 09, 2012

Superman's Death & Return, Summarized

"The Death Of Superman" was a seminal event of my childhood. While I was a big comic book reader at that time, and was a fan of Superman via cartoons/comic strips/etc., I hadn't actually ever read a Superman comic book itself until, of course, he died. I was a Spider-Man guy through and through, with only a slight detour into Thor that spurred on by, of course, a Spidey guest appearance.

So, Superman's death was not just my entrance into Superman comics, but DC in general. (Knightfall was similarly my entrance into the Batman mythos.) It was an interesting look into what was, and still somewhat is, a different way of writing and producing comics than Marvel. I think what impressed me most was, of all things, the organization. At the time, Superman was featured in four different titles --- Superman, Adventures of Superman, Action Comics and Man Of Steel --- that each had their separate writing and art team that more or less acted independently, but every title was held together in a general continuity. The "four Supermen" gimmick was brilliant since it allowed all four titles to each have their own hero for a little bit, before bringing it all together for the storyline's finale. Looking back, this was clearly a sign I'd get into journalism as a career; what other kid reads Superman comics and is most impressed by a tight editorial hand? Would I have read an entire issue about Perry White proofing Clark Kent's column? Probably.

Anyway, as much as I enjoyed this storyline and still regard it as one of the all-time best and certainly most influential (moreso for Green Lantern, oddly enough, than for Superman) in comic book history....this goofy summary is not too far off.

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