Thursday, November 17, 2011


An ad for the Death of Superman
Nineteen years ago tomorrow, DC Comics did the unthinkable. They killed Superman. Sure, it was clearly a stunt thought up because they couldn't marry Lois and Clark because of the new TV series and to help boost sales of the fledgling series but it got a lot of people interested in comics. I began reading comic books because of the Death of Superman and continued to read them until 2002. And I've started reading them again.

The story was simple. A monster erupts from below the Earth's crust somewhere in Ohio and begins a trail of senseless destruction, killing birds, snapping the necks of deer and overturning semis until he is met by the Justice League--not the good JLA, the one comprised of C-Listers. The monster, named Doomsday by Booster Gold, easily disassembles the JLA and only Superman still stands. Superman and Doomsday battle halfway across the country until they wind up in Metropolis. The seven-part storyline is essentially just a slugfest (which is what I mainly see complaints about) so it's pretty easy to follow and the editors do a good job adding footnotes to the comics when things from previous issues show up like the Underworld and the Tree City so new readers are not completely lost.

Superman would come back, of course, but not until after an 8-part funeral which showed Supergirl trying to fill the void, an out of control funeral, Metropolis flooding and Jonathan Kent having a heart attack plus a 20-part Reign of the Superman where four Supermen supposedly returned from the dead.

Originally published in Superman #75 (Jan 1993)
Written and penciled by Dan Jurgens
Inked by Brett Breeding
Lettered by John Costanza
Colored by Glenn Whitmore
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
All characters and stories (C)1993 DC Comics. All rights reserved.

One of my favorite pieces of art. From Wizard Superman Tribute (Apr 1993). Art by Dan Jurgens, Brett Breeding and Mike McNabb.