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  1. #1
    Spectacular Member qwertyuiop1998's Avatar
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    Default Pre-Crisis Superman story recommendations

    Recently, I'm trying to reading Pre-Crisis Superman comics

    Before, I only randomly pick some famous or I interesting comics like Superboy And The Legion Of Super-Heores

    But now i want go deep into this age Supes stories, So where should I start? And What comics should I reading?
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  2. #2
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    superman 296-299 'who took the super out of superman'

    an excellent story that explores both clark and superman and why they need each other. When clark is just clark without worrying about exposing himself as superman , his persona becomes bolder and assertive , very much like his earth-2 counterpart during his wedding issue,



    action comcs 484 -'superman takes a wife' the aforementioned wedding of the earth-2 superman where wizard zapped superman into oblivion but his clark kent persona took over completely.

    action comics 363-366 - 'the leper from krypton'
    fun silver age cheese where luthor infects superman with a deadly strain of virus x


    dc comics presents annual 1
    superman of earth 1 and 2 and ultraman of earth 3.

    and of course , u can't read the pre-crisis superman stories without some of alan moore stories

    superman annual 11 - ' for the man who has everything' , adapted to the jlu animated cartoon as well as supergirl tv show just without mongul.

    the closing of the pre-crisis era
    superman 423 and action comics 583 - 'Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?'

  3. #3
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    I don't think the Virus X saga or "Who Took the Super Out of Superman" are widely available in modern reprint collections--and I don't have any digital service, so I don't know if you can get them that way.

    Pre-Crisis includes everything from 1938 to 1986, which is a long period of time. There are modern reprints for just about everything from between 1938 and 1945 and most stuff from between 1958 and 1963. The Superman and Superman Family stuff that was published in other years has a spotty reprint record.

  4. #4
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Comixology is pretty disappointing. DC has a streaming site but I don't have access.

    Where to start is a tricky question, but not a problem because you don't "need" to start somewhere. It's not really a period of time (1938-1986) based on prerequisite continuity. More like, "maybe you read this other story along a related line." Comixology has Superman #266, but not #263 where a related character is introduced, for example. It isn't so important to know what came some months before.

    Where would I start?

    1. I think the golden age creators hit a nice stride around where the fourth golden age omnibus starts.

    2. More impressively, due to format advantages, I think the Sunday and daily newspaper strip reprints from idw have all been great. The mid 50s always seems like a weaker period to me but it's still better than the comics of the time due to pacing from the newspaper format, and the IDW pages are nice and thick.

    3. The specials and annuals are easy to find and inexpensive in North America. Superman annuals 9 to 12, each of D.C. Comics Presents Annuals, Superman Specials 1 and 2, and DC Special Series #5. That last one is a little harder but worth tracking down. Superman #400 is a great anniversary issue.

    4. The Alan Moore collection has 4 of perhaps the best known stories from that time.

    5. Secret Origin#1 from 1986 is a remastered origin, imo the best ever put into a single issue.

    Hopefully those work for you. I have a lot of favorite stories, my deep cuts, but you should get a pretty good idea of the golden and bronze with those.
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  5. #5
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    Some of my perrenial favourites that are all available in modern reprints (i.e. from 1990 onward):

    1930s
    --ACTION COMICS 6 (November 1938), features an office boy who's a prototype of Jimmy Olsen, the song "You're a Superman," a grifter who tries to get rich by exploiting the Superman brand--an early self-parody of Superman merchandising. This was first reprinted in SUPERMAN 3 (Winter 1940).
    --The June/July 1939 daily comic strip story of how Clark and Lois help out a plucky young orphan who is the victim of abuse. This was first reprinted in SUPERMAN 3 (Winter 1940).
    --The last Ultra-Humanite story, in two parts, in ACTION COMICS 20 and 21 (January and February 1940), both issues on sale in December 1939, with Vin Sullivan as the outgoing editor and Whitney Ellsworth as the incoming editor.

    1940s
    --The League to Destroy Superman extended continuity that went from March 1941 to February 1942 in the daily strip.
    --"Powerstone" and "When Titans Clash," in ACTION COMICS 47 (April 1942) and SUPERMAN 17 (July-August 1942). Features a powered up Luthor at his meanest and baddest, battling the Man of Tomorrow.
    --"Man or Superman," in SUPERMAN 17 (July-August 1942). Has Lois Lane recalling the Man of Steel's early adventures in the comics and the comic strip, as she starts to do the math and figure out Superman and Clark Kent are one and the same.
    --"King of the Comic Books," in SUPERMAN 25 (November-December 1943). Jerry and Joe practice some self-mockery and they send up the funny pages.
    --"Superman Returns to Krypton," in SUPERMAN 61 (November-December 1949). Introduces Kryptonite in the comics (it already existed on the radio show), has Superman discover his origins on Krypton and fly back in time to see his parents in their last days.

    1950s
    --"The Three Magicians of Bagdad," in WORLD'S FINEST COMICS 79 (November-December 1955).
    --"The Boy from Outer Space," in WORLDS' FINEST COMICS 92 (January-February 1958).
    --"The Super Family of Steel," in SUPERMAN'S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE 15 (February 1960). On sale in December of 1959.

    1960s
    --"Miss Jimmy Olsen," in SUPERMAN'S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN 44 (April 1960).
    --"The Superman from Outer Space," in ACTION COMICS 265 (June 1960). The bittersweet tale of Chester King.
    --"Hercules in the 20th Century"/"Superman's Battle with Hercules" in ACTION COMICS 267 (August 1960) and 268 (September 1960).
    --"Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl," in SUPERMAN'S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN 57 (December 1961).
    --"Superman in Kandor," in SUPERMAN 158 (January 1963). First Nightwing and Flamebird.
    --"The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue," in SUPERMAN 162 (July 1963).
    --"The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman," in SUPERMAN 164 (October 1963) and "The Team of Luthor and Brainiac," in SUPERMAN 167 (February 1964).
    --"Superman and Batman--Brothers," in WORLD'S FINEST COMICS 172 (December 1967).
    --"Mordru the Merciless" and "The Devil's Jury," in ADVENTURE COMICS 369 (June 1968) and 370 (July 1968).

    1970s
    --"Superman Breaks Loose," in SUPERMAN 233 (January 1971).
    --"Must There Be a Superman," in SUPERMAN 247 (January 1972).
    --"Who Was That Dog I Saw You with Last Night," in SUPERMAN 287 (May 1975).
    --"Superman 2001," in SUPERMAN 300 (June 1976).

    1980s
    --"The Key That Unlocked Chaos"/"Warworld"/"Where No Superman Has Gone Before," in DC COMICS PRESENTS 27, 28, 29 (November 1980, December 1980, January 1981).
    --THE PHANTOM ZONE, a 1982 four issue limited series by Steve Gerber and Gene Colan, was collected in a TPB in 2013.

    Note: I had to leave out a lot of my favourites because I couldn't find them available in somewhat recent collections.

  6. #6
    Mighty Member LifeIsILL's Avatar
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    There are so many. But Superman #231 is a personal favorite. Insane elseworlds tale


  7. #7
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    230 and 231, Killer Kent, is a story I find more fun. Although I understand why Superman 233 and that whole story was such a big deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post

    --"Powerstone" and "When Titans Clash," in ACTION COMICS 47 (April 1942) and SUPERMAN 17 (July-August 1942). Features a powered up Luthor at his meanest and baddest, battling the Man of Tomorrow.

    --"The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman," in SUPERMAN 164 (October 1963) and "The Team of Luthor and Brainiac," in SUPERMAN 167 (February 1964).

    --"Who Was That Dog I Saw You with Last Night," in SUPERMAN 287 (May 1975).
    --"Superman 2001," in SUPERMAN 300 (June 1976).
    These would be some of my picks as well. Also

    "The Adventure of the Merchant of Murder" from Action Comics#48
    "THE SUPER-CLOWN OF METROPOLIS!" from Superman #136/Daily strip episode 109
    "Earth's Super-Idiot" Daily strip episode 107
    Superman #48 "Autograph, Please!"
    Superman #295 - "Costume, Costume -- Who's Got the Costume?"
    Superman #286 - "The Parasite's Power Play!"
    Superman #271 - "The Man Who Murdered Metropolis!"
    Action Comics #507 - "The Miraculous Return of Jonathan Kent"
    Action Comics #508 - "The Secret World of Jonathan Kent"

    Those last corresponding trades, Past and Future, In the Seventies, and In the Eighties, are out of print iirc. But really not impossible to get.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LifeIsILL View Post
    There are so many. But Superman #231 is a personal favorite. Insane elseworlds tale

    tbh this take on "evil Superman/Clark Kent" made more sense to me than how it's usually portrayed with Superman being someone who does bad things with a greater good in mind. Superman typically does good for the sake of doing good; likewise an evil Superman should do bad for the sake of doing bad.


    I remember reading a Silver Age Superman story a ways back about a similar situation where Superman was raised by crooks but it wasn't a what if story. It was pretty good too, I think it was somewhere in Siegel's second run.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by The World View Post

    I remember reading a Silver Age Superman story a ways back about a similar situation where Superman was raised by crooks but it wasn't a what if story. It was pretty good too, I think it was somewhere in Siegel's second run.
    You might be thinking of "The Two Faces of Superman" from SUPERMAN 137 (May 1960), by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan and John Forte. When baby Kal-El was on his way to Earth, his rocket collided with an alien ship and there was a duplicate rocket created with a simulacrum of baby Kal-El. This other baby, that was immune to Kryptonite, landed near the home of a crooked couple who raised him.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    You might be thinking of "The Two Faces of Superman" from SUPERMAN 137 (May 1960), by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan and John Forte. When baby Kal-El was on his way to Earth, his rocket collided with an alien ship and there was a duplicate rocket created with a simulacrum of baby Kal-El. This other baby, that was immune to Kryptonite, landed near the home of a crooked couple who raised him.
    Yeah that was it. Great ending to it all.

  11. #11
    Spectacular Member qwertyuiop1998's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for all your recommendations, I will check those comics
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    You might be thinking of "The Two Faces of Superman" from SUPERMAN 137 (May 1960), by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan and John Forte. When baby Kal-El was on his way to Earth, his rocket collided with an alien ship and there was a duplicate rocket created with a simulacrum of baby Kal-El. This other baby, that was immune to Kryptonite, landed near the home of a crooked couple who raised him.
    that story was kind of silly , like the comics of that era. the other baby is called 'super menace'. supes also has a big brother - halk kar during that 50-60s era

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    I would rather recommend some pre-Crisis collections. Superman in the Sixties and Superman in the Seventies are two of the better examples. The original Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told from 1987 has For The Man Who Has Everything in it. As does the Alan Moore collection. Another recommendation for some Bronze Age stuff would be the DC Comics Presents Showcase volumes. They're in black and white and, as far as I know, there is no color collection released yet. Unfortunately they don't have the entire run collected. Hopefully someday DC will get on that.
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  14. #14

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    While this technically isn't a Pre-Crisis Superman comic, it certainly feels like one, so I would recommend Alan Moore's Supreme. It's essentially Moore doing what is essentially an extended run on Supermen by completely revamping Rob Liefeld's forgettable "extreme" Superman knock-off into an affectionate love letter to the Pre-Crisis Superman era.


  15. #15
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    I chalk it up to D.C. that people are found in the position to accept substitutes. In fairness I'm not sure what the numbers indicated from existing collections, but I'd expect fan conspiracies about the reluctance to reprint from the mid 60s to mid 80s because it's not unusual to see more obscure material consistently reprinted.

    All the Decade softcovers until the Eighties are nice because they don't have material from elsewhere/other eras, and the Sixties one has particularly great variety. The versus collections (with the exception of Mongul) are all over the place. But you come away with some greats, like the emergence of Faora in the Zod collection, Captain Thunder and similar stories with Shazam, The Luthor Nobody Knows, and the Luthor Brainiac team from Superman #167.
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