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💯 {Staff Pick} [Where I Read] The Death and Return of Superman!


Cheesey Goodness
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For the record, while he wears them rarely? The Hulk can rock a hat.

And now, back to the Superman arc...

Olof Jönsson

Tumto Lectis
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It's like when you pop open some classic arc of a book and you're reminded, "Oh, right, Superman used to have a mullet," or "Superman was a blue electric guy for a while," or "Thor was a frog."
...there never was a mullet. No, not kidding. Superman was supposed to have just plain long hair, and he combed it back from his face on the sides. But it wasn't a mullet, it was equal length all over (possibly slightly longer on top). A few artists drew it a little badly, making it look like a mullet, but canonically he has never had a mullet in any continuity (unless they did an Elseworlds in which he was a NasCar river, I dunno).


Social Justice Warmonger
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No, there definitely was a panel countdown, starting with I think four per page, then three, then two. The finale was pretty much all splash pages.
I love this sort of play with the form, so I'm curious to see if it works here.


Social Justice Warmonger
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A few artists drew it a little badly, making it look like a mullet, but canonically he has never had a mullet in any continuity (unless they did an Elseworlds in which he was a NasCar river, I dunno).
...i want to read this so bad now.

- Pa Kent is the head of the pit crew who taught Clark all he knows about racing

- Earths yellow sun gives Kal El superior racing instincts and timing, his super senses give him perfect track awareness

- LexCorp sponsor the rival team and Clark - who previous hid his superior racing prowess - has to pull off super stunt driving to save the crowd when a LexCorp experimental (read: illegal) car almost kills bystanders

Donning the disguise of Racer X Superman, Kal El battles Lex on and off the track for the soul of motorsport- is it the man, or the machine, that makes NASCAR great?

(Spoiler: itsthe union of man and machine, each working together to be better than the sum of its parts... last panel: Brainiac labours over a cyborg car. To Be Continued!)


Next to me you're all number two!
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For the record, while he wears them rarely? The Hulk can rock a hat.

And now, back to the Superman arc...
Mr. Fixit is an outlier, so I didn't account for him.

But yeah, he really rocks that suit.


Not Woke until I’ve had my Coffee
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Mr. Fixit is an outlier, so I didn't account for him.

But yeah, he really rocks that suit.
It's also a whole ensemble, not just a hat and pants. For hat and pants alone, your comparables are male strippers and Macho Man Randy Savage (and even he wore a shirt much of the time).


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Superman The Man of Steel 79

Writer: Louise Simonson
pencils: Jon Bondognove
inks: Dennis Janke

the action gets only wider as we have only 2 panels per page now, as Doomsday's arrived at a Metropolis construction site and slaughtering everyone in reach, as he do.

But no sooner than we finally see Doomsday in full without the suit that's been gradually torn off this entire arc, Superman slams into him from behind, trying once again to get Doomsday away from everyone by taking him up into space, as narrated by Lois, still following the action from the Daily Planet helicopter

we briefly cut back to Guardian, finally conscious after last issue as he gets a telepathic call from Dubbilex, the psychic devilish-looking resident DNAlien of Cadmus, whom when asked by Guardian to probe doomsday's mind, brings up the disturbing possibility that Cadmus may have created the monster in the first place, the latest in the nasty surprises left for them by Dabney Donovan.

As for Superman, he's gotten his foe above the clouds when Doomsday's speed to once again belies his bulk, kicking free to plummet back to earth, while superman crashes down through the skeletal frame of an unfinished skyscraper.

Dubbilex confirms Maxima's assessment back in chapter 2, that Doomsday is a mindless aberration, existing on destruction and hatred alone, and that at this point, the monster's origins are a distant luxury compared to stopping Doomsday NOW.

Far away in Kansas, from their Smallville farmhouse, Ma and Pa kent can only watch in horror at their television, how their son's hardship is sensationalized into bread and circuses. Pa points out that it's not so much malice as "It's Superman. Nothing bad can ever really happen to him."

But in the scaffold's ruin, holding it upright until everyone can escape like some inverse Samson, Something bad has happened, as Superman's square jaw is now stained with his own blood

Meanwhile, Doomsday's descent has taken him all the way down into underworld, where his rampage inadvertantly frees the ringleaders of Chapter 1's would be uprising, before Doomsday slays all three with a single dismissive backhand, before Superman once again appears and grapples the beast with the FULL NELSON!, again hoping to keep him at his weakest in the air, but more concerned with how the underworld chamber is filled with the unmistakable stench of a broken gas main, warning everyone to flee to safety, as Doomsday's struggle to break free snaps an electrical conduit.

the lot above erupts like the Fire-pits of Apokolips itself, sending a wave of fiery death through Underworld, and shockwaves from secondary explosions that rock downtown Metropolis, all the way to Lexcorp's L-shaped tower headquarters, where Luthor's press conference sums up the destructiuon as

"Naturally, this is all Superman's fault, somehow.", trying to shame the Man of Steel's image so as to hawk Supergirl like product. Speaking of whom, the maiden of might can't stand idly by anymore, and flies off to help Superman, whose hold is broken when Doomsday literally spears his side with one of his elbow spikes, causing him to plummet amidst a spray of his own blood.

below, Dr. Hamilton and Bibbo...


Aw hell, right, wow we're moving fast. these guys are major supporting cast. Dr. Hamilton is a superscientist whose career was ruined by Luthor, and with Superman's help, has been slowly rebuilding it while being Superman's go-to guy for science exposition and solutions. Bibbo is a longshoreman turned bar owner, often serving the Superman titles by providing a blue-collar, man omn the street perspective. he's also an unashamed Superman fanboy. now, where was I?

They're rolling out a big ass laser cannon on the rooftop

Thank you, Imaginary First Time Reader. Yes, even the supporting cast is trying to help out as they can, Hamilton theorizing that Doomsday is some sort of living spoilsport weapon that Brainiac left behind in the event his conquest failed. Unfortunately, their efforts are for naught, as Doomsday literally punches Supergirl to goo (which was a huge surprise to 14 year old me, unaware of this Supergirl's bizarre origins), and Hamilton's death ray only gets his attention, as Doomsday comes hurtling down like a deadly meteor, causing our supporting cast (Doc, Bibbo and Hamilton's housekeeper) to leap off to safety, surviving the fall by already wearing Hamilton's force field belt prototypes

as for Superman, he can barely stand as he tries to catch his breah, before leaping into action to save Keith and other orphanage kids from the fire and explosions of other ruptured gas mains. the kids ask their matron if Doomsday is some sort of Frankenstein's monster. The Matron's guess is an older one, that Doomsday is in fact the devil incarnate, sent to user in the end of the world.

but while that's happening, Metropolis' finest make their stand, as the Special Crimes Unit, those copes trained, equipped and crazy enough to deal with the City of Tomorrow's super-crime, formn a thin blue line to at least try to slow Doomsday down with every oversized (yet still plausible by 90's standards) gun they have. Doesn't do anything but buy Superman time to reach them, saving one of the named cops before resuming his slugfest, even as specialy equipped jetpack soldiers sent by Cadmus pepper them both with energy blasts

"Yor rampage ends here, Doomsday! Even if it kills me, Metropolis is where I hold the line!"
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Thanks for starting this thread. I always found that I always enjoyed Reign of the Supermen and Clark's return far more than the death. I think it bothered me that a brand new villain got to take out Superman rather than anyone established. Your writeup, though, has me wanting to dig out the issues and read them again for the first time in years.


Cosmic Cat Pandemonium
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I know that Superhero SOP involves slugging it out with monstrous villains regardless of their power set, but couldn't Gardner or someone else with TK just lift him up and hurl him into space or a convenient volcano? At least buy some time for Superman to pull out a Phantom Zone Projector? Some tactics more advanced than just "engage in close combat with the monstrously strong, monstrously tough villain"?

Of course, this was the early 90s, and the sort of online social media that congeals fanboy nitpicking into organized irritation was still limited to USENET.
Even for the early 90s, that was not common; the Justice League stories previous to this one were all about fighting unbeatable villains who could punch out Superman easily (one of them was beaten by Beetle modifying Booster's armor to absorb a villain made of energy, another by Maxima purchasing the earth from a crazy superpowered alien... Superman burnt the deed to the earth with his heat vision, though.) and Superman himself had fought the Erradicator, Metallo, and other villains who could not be beaten with strength, but who had to be thought around not too many issues ago; 'figuring out how to beat this impossible foe' is what was SOP at the time, even more than today, even.

So, no. Not even for the time do the story mechanics in that make /any/ sense. That story looked bad in terms of fight mechanics even when I was 12, and compared to the other comics around at the time.

It still gets by being an entertaining story on a sort of crazy maniac energy it had, though; it's certainly a far more fun rer-read, or WiR-perusal, than Knightfall, or, god forbid, Emerald Twilight.

(And I'm really looking forward to when we get /post/ the actual death itself; stuff like Funeral For A Friend was flat-out GOOD.)
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This is it folks, the big one, the comic book read around the world and the climax of Act One to our story, as we go full Simonson here

Okay, you've used those words before when talking about this issue in particular. What do you mean by Full Simonson? I've never heard it outside of this thread

for this, Imaginary First Time Reader, we have to go across the aisle to DC's competitor, Marvel Comics, and the work of one Walt Simonson.

Wait, like Louise Simonson, who's writing the Man of Steel chapters?

She's his wife, actually. Anyway, Walt had recently concluded a truly legendary run on Thor.

How Legendary?

Remember Thor: Ragnarok?

Oh yeah. good times.

Remember Skurge? Hela's henchman?

Yeah, he was kind of a putz. Why, is he important?

Many have asked, and the answer is always the same: He Stood Alone At Gjallerbru, and And That Answer is Enough


I thought you'd like. Anyway, that was only the HALF-WAY point of Walt's run.

How the hell do you top THAT?

How about an issue long fight scene between Thor and the very monster literally fated to kill him, told entirely in full page splash panels?

Yeah.. yeah, I think that'd do it...

So, I say Full Simonson when a comic deliberately invokes similarly epic visuals. Now, without further ado...



Writing & Art: Dan Jurgens
Finishes: Brett Breeding

We pick up exactly where we left off, with Superman vialiantly declaring that this is where he'll stop Doomsday, even as he visibly bleeds all over from each of the monster's blows, while Cadmus soldiers buzz about them like flies, their supposedly tank-killing shock cannons peppering about as ineffective.

Doomsday gains the upper hand, hurling Superman into the Daily Planet's new chopper, forcing him to save Lois, Jimmy and the pilot by bringing it safely to ground, while Doomsday resumes his rampage.

Sensing what's to come for the man she loves, to fall back, get any help he can.

"It's too late lois. the Justice League has fallen and there are too many lives in jeopardy!"

With Jimmy distracted by the carnage, Lois and Clark share one final kiss, knowing that now, more than ever, and certainly for the last time...

This looks like a job for Superman!

Vowing Doomsday's defeat, Superman slams into the monster, the sheer force of the impact carrying them through the ground floor of an office building, taking this final stand to the very steps of the Daily Planet itself.

Doomsday literally buries Superman with a pile driving slam, but as the monster's attention is drawn to Lois and Jimmy, Superman rises from the rubble to strike the beast, finally causing doomsday to cry out, pressing the advantage with a blast of heat vision, before doomsday again draws blood with one of his countless spikes.

His strength waning, Superman breaks the offending spur, and is renewed to give it his all when this act of defiance finally, visibly injures Doomsday.

The battle continues to rage, the unstoppable force of Doomsday against the immovable object of superman, two all-powerful juggernauts beating on each other mercilessly, the sheer pressure of each landed blow shattering any remaining windows for blocks around.

Both hero and monster are at the end of their strength, putting everything they have into this final clash, Doomsday driven by his insatiable hunger for destruction, Superman for the entire city that will fall if he does.

I cannot do it justice. I can only turn to Jurgens, who first told the tale some 25 years ago

Like weary boxers who have gone the distance, the combatants collide in one last, explosive effort.

In the years to come, a few witnesses will tell of the power of these final punches... that they could literally
FEEL the shockwaves.

Others will remember the enormous crater that resulted from the sheer force of the blows.

But most will remember this sad day, as the day the proudest, most noble man they ever knew...

Finally Fell.

For those who loved him, one who would call him husband, one who would be his pal--

--Or those who would call him son, this was the darkest day they could imagine. they raised him to be a hero... to know the value of sacrifice. To know the value of Life.

And for those who served with Superman in the protection of all life, comes the shock of failure. the Weight of being too late to help.

standing beside the aghast Ice, Bloodwynd defies the omniscient narrator with fleeting hope

"He MUST survive. It cannot end like this!"

But it will. For a city to live, a man has given his all and more.

"Doomsday... Is he... Is he..."

"You stopped him," Lois weeps, "you saved us all! Now relax until--"

But it is too late. For this is the day--

That a SUPERMAN Died.

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