Official Superman Comics Thread

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Official Superman Comics Thread

Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:11 am

EDIT: I have changed the title of the thread and will try and focus more on all things Superman as opposed to only the "best superman stories". Feel free to continue discussion of the best superman stories...but it will not be limited to that. Here is my original post:

I know we have a thread like this for Batman, but I have been trying to track down some really good Superman stories and so I thought perhaps I would ask the opinion of you fine folks.

So what are your favorite Superman stories? Is it Kingdom Come? Red Son? For All Seasons?

Personally, my two favorites thus far have been Kingdom Come (some would argue its a DCU story, but to me its a Superman story), and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

So what do you folks think?

Feel free to do a top 5 list or whatever.

SIDE NOTE: I am really trying to find a great Brainiac story...any suggestions? It would be appreciated.
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Postby Adam Balm on Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:17 am

1) Anything by Elliot S! Maggin, his two novels are probably the best Superman stories ever told.
2) Secret Identity
3) Superman for All Seasons
4) Birthright
5) Miracleman/Marvelman (I know. I don't care.)
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:22 am

Thanks AB.

I have heard great things about Secret Identity...but reading the synopsis it just doesn't really jump out at me.

Can you elaborate on what it is you like about it? I am curious?

Thanks in advance!
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Postby Adam Balm on Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:45 am

It's the best Superman story ever told.

What if Superman lived in our world? What if you are 15 years old, and you find out that you're him.

You follow him through the course of his life. It's the most realistic and most heartfelt Superman that you'll see in the comics.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:50 am

Wow. That is one hell of a glowing endorsement. I am going to have to check this one out. Thanks AB.

Now I just need a good Brainiac story!
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Postby buster00 on Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:52 am

Hmmm...can't think of five off the top of my head, but I would throw in Lex Luthor: Man of Steel for sure.

A cold, hard look at Superman through Lex's eyes. Superman wins at the end, naturally, but it really made me sit down and think about where both characters are comin' from.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:55 am

Oh gosh I feel ashamed that I forgot Lex Luther: Man of Steel. Amen Buster. That book really works for me.
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Postby buster00 on Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:09 am

I've never even read this one, but it automatically qualifies, just on the strength of the cover and the story synopsis provided.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:16 am

buster00 wrote:I've never even read this one, but it automatically qualifies, just on the strength of the cover and the story synopsis provided.


HA! "He's as popular as Ringo!"

WHY RINGO?!?! Hilarious.
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Postby buster00 on Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:59 am

I enjoyed the Dini/Ross Superman: Peace on Earth. For anyone who's ever wondered why Superman doesn't use his powers to do some "real" good (end world hunger, etc.), this is a fair explanation.

At least, that's the impression I took away when I read it, like, eight years ago...
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Postby Adam Balm on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:05 am

And of course you can't leave out "Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow..."
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Postby RogueScribner on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:09 am

Thanks Lecko for starting this thread, because I was wondering the same thing!

Thanks for all the suggestions so far, guys!
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Postby buster00 on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:26 am

Adam Balm wrote:And of course you can't leave out "Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow..."


Lecko listed it up top...

I've never read that one... :oops: :shock:
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Postby doglips on Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am

As a teen it would have to be The Death of Superman - My brother and I could not believe they killed him off. I still read the TPB from time to time, some nice art in there.

Kingdom come for me too, and I have recently read the Unconventional Warfare TPB, which I thought was pretty good.
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Postby Adam Balm on Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:52 am

buster00 wrote:
Adam Balm wrote:And of course you can't leave out "Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow..."


Lecko listed it up top...

I've never read that one... :oops: :shock:


Oh snap. Well in that case I'll add 'For the man who has everything...'
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Postby Al Shut on Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:13 am

From the ten or so superman stories I have read only two were really good and both have aleady been mentionend. (For the man who has everything and Whatever happend to the man of tomorrow).

So I want to mention the only other one I enyoed The last days of Superman, for (unintended) comedy. I really had to laugh hard at the artificial sun.
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Postby Evil Hobbit on Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:59 am

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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:07 am

What about Red Son? I haven't read that yet but every place I look raves about it. I am not really into that "Elsewhere" stuff, but is it worth a look?

Has anyone read That Healing Touch?

Oh and DLP could you elaborate on Unconventional Warfare...I was thinking about reading that one so I'd like to hear some more of your thoughts about it.

AB, I simply adore 'Whatever Happened To the Man of Tomorrow'.
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Postby RockyDennis on Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:19 am

I'm a big Elsworlds fan. I like them because I can pick up a good comic story without having to worry about keeping up with the continuity of multiple books. I loved Red Son. I think it's the most clever of the Elseworld concepts. The book adds a lot of complexity to Luthor and Supes relationship.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:24 am

I can see where that would be a benefit Rocky thanks.

I will definitely check out Red Son...it just seems so hard to find really well written sotries that fit into the canon of Superman...so i wasn't really focusing on Elseworld stories.
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Postby DennisMM on Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:49 am

buster00 wrote:
Adam Balm wrote:And of course you can't leave out "Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow..."


Lecko listed it up top...

I've never read that one... :oops: :shock:


In my opinion, it is the best Superman story ever. Reasons:

1. It wraps up the Silver Age Superman continuity to allow revamping for the post-Crisis era.

2. It manages to use dozens of concepts and characters from the Silver Age continuity, even the silly ones, without them looking silly or outdated. Instead, they are viewed as beloved pieces of the Superman story.

3.It is almost mythic, a story of the end of old things and the beginning of new things, laid atop the possibly silly base of the Silver Age. Like many epics, it is filled with tragedy and hope.

4. It was written by Alan Moore, at the time (and possibly still) the best writer to work in comics.

5. It features the single greatest narrative caption in the history of mainstream hero comics. I don't have it to quote, but it begins by describing the tale itself as an imaginary story, one which might never happen, about a perfect man who came from the sky and did only good. This story, it tells us, takes place in the twilight of Superman's career, when the great foes where beaten and life was quiet. The caption ends, "This is an imaginary story ... aren't they all?"

6.It includes the greatest of all the "Clark Kent winks".
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:51 am

DennisMM wrote:
buster00 wrote:
Adam Balm wrote:And of course you can't leave out "Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow..."


Lecko listed it up top...

I've never read that one... :oops: :shock:


In my opinion, it is the best Superman story ever. Reasons:

1. It wraps up the Silver Age Superman continuity to allow revamping for the post-Crisis era.

2. It manages to use dozens of concepts and characters from the Silver Age continuity, even the silly ones, without them looking silly or outdated. Instead, they are viewed as beloved pieces of the Superman story.

3.It is almost mythic, a story of the end of old things and the beginning of new things, laid atop the possibly silly base of the Silver Age. Like many epics, it is filled with tragedy and hope.

4. It was written by Alan Moore, at the time (and possibly still) the best writer to work in comics.

5. It features the single greatest narrative caption in the history of mainstream hero comics. I don't have it to quote, but it begins by describing itself as an imaginary story, one which might never happen, about a perfect man who came from the sky and did only good. It takes place in the twilight of his career, when the great foes where beaten and life was quiet. The caption ends, "This is an imaginary story ... aren't they all?"


Oh I totally agree Dennis. That whole narrative caption at the beginning of the story is perfect. "It ends with a wink". Gosh I love it. When I first read that part...I was blown away. I hadn't even read the story yet, just that and I was totally sold. Absolutely gorgeous piece of writing.
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Postby DennisMM on Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:57 am

Believe it or not, the opening caption was absent in the recent compilation of Moore's DC Universe stories. I nearly fell over and considered returning the book as defective. Turns out they're all that way. Apparently, DC isn't planning to go back to print on it. Maybe I should call Paul Levitz.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:01 am

DennisMM wrote:Believe it or not, the opening caption was absent in the recent compilation of Moore's DC Universe stories. I nearly fell over and considered returning the book as defective. Turns out they're all that way. Apparently, DC isn't planning to go back to print on it. Maybe I should call Paul Levitz.


That really is unfortunate. That caption, to me, is an essential piece to that story. It sets the tone for the story so that the reader can jump right in with an understanding of what it is they are about to read. And also it is very pretty. :wink:
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:18 pm

I loved Red Son. Especially the epilogue.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:39 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:I loved Red Son. Especially the epilogue.


Well you are very concise today Chairman. Very "to the point".

There seems to be a general understanding of which Superman stories are the "best". Anyone think we missed something? Is there a story we are forgetting?
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:54 pm

I remember a story about "what if Supes crashed on Apokolips instead of Earth and was raised by Darkseid" but I haven't read it and thus I don't know if it's any good.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:57 pm

DennisMM wrote:
buster00 wrote:
Adam Balm wrote:And of course you can't leave out "Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow..."


Lecko listed it up top...

I've never read that one... :oops: :shock:


In my opinion, it is the best Superman story ever. Reasons:

1. It wraps up the Silver Age Superman continuity to allow revamping for the post-Crisis era.

2. It manages to use dozens of concepts and characters from the Silver Age continuity, even the silly ones, without them looking silly or outdated. Instead, they are viewed as beloved pieces of the Superman story.

3.It is almost mythic, a story of the end of old things and the beginning of new things, laid atop the possibly silly base of the Silver Age. Like many epics, it is filled with tragedy and hope.

4. It was written by Alan Moore, at the time (and possibly still) the best writer to work in comics.

5. It features the single greatest narrative caption in the history of mainstream hero comics. I don't have it to quote, but it begins by describing the tale itself as an imaginary story, one which might never happen, about a perfect man who came from the sky and did only good. This story, it tells us, takes place in the twilight of Superman's career, when the great foes where beaten and life was quiet. The caption ends, "This is an imaginary story ... aren't they all?"

6.It includes the greatest of all the "Clark Kent winks".



    This is an IMAGINARY STORY

    (which may never happen, but then again may)
    about a perfect man who came from the sky and did only good.
    It tells of his twilight, when the great battles were over and the great miracles long since performed;
    of how his enemies conspired against him and of that final war in the snowblind wastes beneath the Northern Lights;
    of the women he loved and of the choice he made between them;
    of how he broke his most sacred oath, and how finally all the things he had were taken away from him save one.
    It ends with a wink.
    It begins in a quiet midwestern town, one
    summer afternoon in the quiet midwestern future.
    Away in the big city, people still sometimes glance up hopefully from
    the sidewalks, glimpsing a distant speck in the sky...but no: it's only a
    bird, only a plane -- Superman died ten years ago.

    This is an IMAGINARY STORY...

    Aren't they all?

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and I second Kaga's love, and reticence to reveal, the conclusion of Red Son. I don't know if Millar worked backwards after having worked out the ending first, but it's fitting, makes sense, and makes Supes not only iconic, but eternal.
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Postby DennisMM on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:09 pm

I have not read Red Son, but I'm ordering it through the Colorado library cooperative. Should be here next week.

kcbc, thanks for the caption in its entirety.

"Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" puts to the lie any claims anyone has about Superman "always being the good guy" and having only pure motives. He acts as he does because he believes it to be right and was raised that way, not because he thinks only good and evil exist in this world. He's Superman. It's his job to do what he can to help people.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:12 pm

Thanks for posting the KCBC. I always love reading it.

As for Red Son...well now I absolutely MUST read that thing. It has recieved too much praise for me to simply pass it up.

I am curious as to what people think of For Tomorrow (written by Brian A. and drawn by Jim Lee). It seems to me that certain people adored it while others found it too preachy. Anyone care to enlighten me?
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:12 pm

@Dennis, you will love Red Son, it is fantastic.

I am a huge fan of how the Lantern Corps is handled in it.
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Postby Adam Balm on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:44 pm

DennisMM wrote:
buster00 wrote:
Adam Balm wrote:And of course you can't leave out "Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow..."


Lecko listed it up top...

I've never read that one... :oops: :shock:


In my opinion, it is the best Superman story ever. Reasons:

1. It wraps up the Silver Age Superman continuity to allow revamping for the post-Crisis era.

2. It manages to use dozens of concepts and characters from the Silver Age continuity, even the silly ones, without them looking silly or outdated. Instead, they are viewed as beloved pieces of the Superman story.

3.It is almost mythic, a story of the end of old things and the beginning of new things, laid atop the possibly silly base of the Silver Age. Like many epics, it is filled with tragedy and hope.

4. It was written by Alan Moore, at the time (and possibly still) the best writer to work in comics.

5. It features the single greatest narrative caption in the history of mainstream hero comics. I don't have it to quote, but it begins by describing the tale itself as an imaginary story, one which might never happen, about a perfect man who came from the sky and did only good. This story, it tells us, takes place in the twilight of Superman's career, when the great foes where beaten and life was quiet. The caption ends, "This is an imaginary story ... aren't they all?"

6.It includes the greatest of all the "Clark Kent winks".


And also, I think the ending of Superman Returns might have been inspired by the ending here concerning a certain little boy. Not to spoil, but you know what I mean.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:48 pm

Not too sure what you are getting at AB. It has been a while since I read "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?"

perhaps you could tiny text it for me? (so as to avoid spoiling it for anyone).
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Postby Adam Balm on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:51 pm

SUPERMAN HAS A KID IN THE END AND YOU FIND OUT HE HAS SUPERPOWERS!!!

EDIT: oops. now it's tiny texted.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:53 pm

Hold on...did I miss something? I don't remember that at the end of "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?"

I just remember that

SPOILERS!!!

Superman walked into the Gold Kryptonite...lost his powers...and then married Lois Lane. Then the reporter leaves and Clark winks and that is the end. I will have to look at it when I get home...but in my memory I don't see any kid involved. Perhaps I just forgot.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:54 pm

it's subtle...
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:55 pm

EDIT: SPOILAGE AHEAD


at the end the kid is making diamonds from coal
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:57 pm

unikrunk wrote:EDIT: SPOILAGE AHEAD


at the end the kid is making diamonds from coal


Yeah I will have to go back and look at the end again. Because at the moment I am totally drawing a blank. For the life of me I can't remember any kid at the end. Its been two years since I read the story...perhaps I am going senile (at the ripe old age of 20).
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Postby Adam Balm on Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:59 pm

Nah, you just really have to pay attention to the last few panels to catch it. It's easy to miss.
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:07 pm

It seems that zoners really love the 'Elsewhere/What If' type of tale. I may be mistaken, but it looks like nobody is really a fan of the books as an arc, rather, we love the one-offs.

Any thoughts on this...anyone...?
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Postby Adam Balm on Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:10 pm

Well, with Batman and Superman, the main titles have never been as good as the graphic novels/minis/one-shots can be. Besides maybe Action Comics #775, there's not really a single story in the actual ongoings that stands out to me.
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Postby Adam Balm on Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:14 pm

Wait. I just remembered Superman #400.
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:24 pm

Adam Balm wrote:Well, with Batman and Superman, the main titles have never been as good as the graphic novels/minis/one-shots can be. Besides maybe Action Comics #775, there's not really a single story in the actual ongoings that stands out to me.


This is my feeling on most comics, really. Astonishing X-Men withstanding, the soap opera aspects of on-going series are just too much for me.
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Postby Adam Balm on Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:33 pm

Yeah. Marvel is slightly better than DC in this regard though. In the Fantastic Four ongoing you had the Coming of Galactus, in X-Men you had the Dark Phoenix Saga, Spider-man you had the death of Gwen Stacy and you had Spider-Man: No More!. In most Marvel main titles you'll have at least one or two storylines or issues that are classics that define the character. Maybe Dennis will disagree, but I don't get the same feeling from DC.

It's kind another part of the culture clash between the companies you find. The DC main titles 'don't count' as much. They're rebooted and retconned so often, I dunno... Maybe it's just me.

Now, with that out of the way, I just found Action Comics #1 online here.
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:55 pm

Adam Balm wrote:Yeah. Marvel is slightly better than DC in this regard though. In the Fantastic Four ongoing you had the Coming of Galactus, in X-Men you had the Dark Phoenix Saga, Spider-man you had the death of Gwen Stacy and you had Spider-Man: No More!. In most Marvel main titles you'll have at least one or two storylines or issues that are classics that define the character. Maybe Dennis will disagree, but I don't get the same feeling from DC.

It's kind another part of the culture clash between the companies you find. The DC main titles 'don't count' as much. They're rebooted and retconned so often, I dunno... Maybe it's just me.

Now, with that out of the way, I just found Action Comics #1 online here.


Nice find - no mention of the Kents...apparently an orphan. Did not know things started like that.

In another thread (DC or Marvel, methinks) I stated that for the aforementioned reasons I don't follow many comics. I Like what Burly Man has been putting out, anything Mignola I will read, and I mean anything, and of course Whedon's X-men.

Here's the rub; when I think of the greatest comics I have ever read, they are one-offs, TBs, or graphic novels and they are all DC.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:15 pm

Adam Balm wrote:Now, with that out of the way, I just found Action Comics #1 online here.


That was awesome AB. Very weird to see where it all started.
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Postby doglips on Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:30 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:Oh and DLP could you elaborate on Unconventional Warfare...I was thinking about reading that one so I'd like to hear some more of your thoughts about it.


I got it from the library a couple of weeks ago, as I wanted to read some Superman stuff ( which I do not really read these days, I will be getting Red Son & Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow, after reading some of the posts above ) in the wake of all the Superman Returns related talk here in the zone.

I picked it up as it's written by Greg Rucka and I liked his Ra's Au Ghul run in Detective comics ( Whisper is a great character ). To be honest I did not flick through it before I got it stamped and I thought it was a one off story. It is however part of a much bigger arc from The Batman/Superman books and The Adventures of Superman. There is a nice prologue though, that fills you in on everything you need to know.

As I said above, I thought it was a pretty good book. Lois has her own storyline that echos certain moralistic aspects of Clarks/Supes story. There is an interesting new villain called Ruin, who's last few panels point to something much bigger than his contribution to this book. You also get a good Mr Mxyzptlk cameo - the art for this bit is great. Ends with a great sequence culminating in a shock for Supes - I now need to know what happens next, the trouble with ongoing storylines! If anyone knows, does Ruin return?

Rucka does a very good job, there are a lot of nice scenes and dialogue. I would recommend it for a library borrow if that is possible, but probably not a purchase unless you want to get involved in the ongoing story arcs. Interestingly the book begins with Superman returning to Metropolis after an absence fighting off a future threat masterminded by Brainiac, maybe you should check this out for your Brainiac fix!
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:41 pm

thedoglippedone wrote:If anyone knows, does Ruin return?


HA! Interestingly enough, looking over the DC Graphic Novels...there is one entitled "RUIN REVEALED!"

So, to answer your question...I suppose he does...and he gets revealed apparently.

You can see the synopsis for it here
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Postby doglips on Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:46 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:
thedoglippedone wrote:If anyone knows, does Ruin return?


HA! Interestingly enough, looking over the DC Graphic Novels...there is one entitled "RUIN REVEALED!"

So, to answer your question...I suppose he does...and he gets revealed apparently.

You can see the synopsis for it here


Thanks man, just ordered Red Son, so I will have to check this out at a later date.
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Postby RUMPLEDFORESKIN on Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:03 pm

I'll submit Byrnes Man of Steel #1 and #2 as great Superman stories.
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