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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member DragonPiece's Avatar
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    Default Jeph Loeb's Superman Run Being Collected Soon--- Thoughts on hs run?

    https://www.amazon.com/Superman-City...JAFW9JXM96NR7C

    I always wanted to read this in full, for some reason I liked how the art looked and it was nice seeing married clark and lois stories from the 2000's.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member Yoda's Avatar
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    Is it just a reissue of the old TPB’s from that era? I have that full set leading into Our Worlds at War. It collected all the titles, which it looks like this might do as well. I’m a fan of that era, it got me back into Superman’s after dropping comics for the most part in the late 90’s.

  3. #3
    Fantastic Member Eto's Avatar
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    Nice. I've only read his For all seasons mini series and the Superman/Batman stories.

  4. #4
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    The title here is a little misleading, because it apparently collects the 1999 relaunch which happened across all four titles, most prominently including Y2K.

    I think it's a pretty great collection in that case because they came out in really good form. It's a strong jumping on point with cool creative teams. Largely self contained but easy to continue if they decide to do a follow up trade.

    Loeb in particular is pretty good if you're wondering. Not really touching stuff like For All Seasons, more like Lex becoming president or Superman vs a giant purple Pikachu type stuff. McGuinness would eventually look better due to paper quality, coloring, and maybe other things, but he was still an excellent main artist back then and Loeb seems to be his best partner.
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  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Clark_Kent's Avatar
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    I always had mixed feelings on it. I've never been a fan of McGuinness' (sp) art, so when I was younger that turned me off of the run. Revisiting it later, the art didn't bother me as much and the stories range from 'pretty good' to 'okay' for me. So nothing ground breaking, but nothing bottom-of-the-barrel either. In some respects, it did elevate the titles a bit due to fresh ideas and fresh voices, following the original Triangle teams who had been on the books for about a decade. Highlights for me would be the Son of Mongul training Superman for Imperiex, and I do like a lot of the Lex stuff as well as Our Worlds At War. Superman 175 was fun. Other arcs, like Critical Condition & Lois missing were alright but I always hated Y2K & the B13 upgrade.

    I seem to recall Loeb's run just kind of ending though, didn't it? I may be mistaken, but I seem to recall him setting up Clark being fired but never resolving it or something like that. A few ideas made their way into Superman/Batman, but I feel like Loeb left some plotlines dangling in the main title.
    "Darkseid...always hated music..."

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  6. #6
    Incredible Member Adset's Avatar
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    DC trades these days are so insanely inconsistent I hope this A.) actually sees print, and B.) we get his full run, not just a single trade and then no volume two.

    I'm looking at you, Superman Blue vol 2.

  7. #7

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  8. #8
    Relaunched, not rebooted! SJNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adset View Post
    DC trades these days are so insanely inconsistent I hope this A.) actually sees print, and B.) we get his full run, not just a single trade and then no volume two.

    I'm looking at you, Superman Blue vol 2.
    Thank you!

    I want to preorder this, as those numbers are what will guarantee it sees print, but there's no way of knowing if this will just end up another orphaned Vol. 1 on my shelf. But if I *don't* preorder, I'm contributing to the same cycle we're complaining about! Ugh!
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  9. #9
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clark_Kent View Post
    I always had mixed feelings on it. I've never been a fan of McGuinness' (sp) art, so when I was younger that turned me off of the run. Revisiting it later, the art didn't bother me as much and the stories range from 'pretty good' to 'okay' for me. So nothing ground breaking, but nothing bottom-of-the-barrel either. In some respects, it did elevate the titles a bit due to fresh ideas and fresh voices, following the original Triangle teams who had been on the books for about a decade. Highlights for me would be the Son of Mongul training Superman for Imperiex, and I do like a lot of the Lex stuff as well as Our Worlds At War. Superman 175 was fun. Other arcs, like Critical Condition & Lois missing were alright but I always hated Y2K & the B13 upgrade.

    I seem to recall Loeb's run just kind of ending though, didn't it? I may be mistaken, but I seem to recall him setting up Clark being fired but never resolving it or something like that. A few ideas made their way into Superman/Batman, but I feel like Loeb left some plotlines dangling in the main title.

    It was actually backreading for me as I jumped onto the title around Azzarello but iirc it was the set up for the foreign correspondent role


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  10. #10
    Mighty Member Adekis's Avatar
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    As a kid, Loeb's Superman was my favorite Superman. I still find a lot to like in his approach, basically going in on zany, Bronze Age esque stories, but with a more post-Crisis world as a baseline before constructing those stories on it (or in Krypton's case, demolishing the baseline before starting, but, er...)

    Over time, I came to like Loeb's Superman less, but I still like him overall, and I'll probably get this comic! It'll be fun, it'll be fun.
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  11. #11
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    Loved Loeb’s run. Between the stories and McGuinesses’ art I enjoyed that period in Superman comics.

  12. #12
    Incredible Member Robanker's Avatar
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    I'll definitely be picking it up. While not my favorite iteration of Superman, I did like that era if I recall correctly and I enjoyed the art for how big and expressive it was.

  13. #13
    Mighty Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Are the Loeb Era issues on DCU? I recently subscribed and they’ve added a bunch of comics to the service. I might read a couple issues there and maybe buy this if I like it. I remember loving Loeb’s S/B as a kid.

  14. #14
    Mighty Member Yoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Are the Loeb Era issues on DCU? I recently subscribed and they’ve added a bunch of comics to the service. I might read a couple issues there and maybe buy this if I like it. I remember loving Loeb’s S/B as a kid.
    They just added them all this week, right up past OWAW. There is a ton of modern Superman books on there now.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clark_Kent View Post
    I always had mixed feelings on it. I've never been a fan of McGuinness' (sp) art, so when I was younger that turned me off of the run. Revisiting it later, the art didn't bother me as much and the stories range from 'pretty good' to 'okay' for me. So nothing ground breaking, but nothing bottom-of-the-barrel either. In some respects, it did elevate the titles a bit due to fresh ideas and fresh voices, following the original Triangle teams who had been on the books for about a decade. Highlights for me would be the Son of Mongul training Superman for Imperiex, and I do like a lot of the Lex stuff as well as Our Worlds At War. Superman 175 was fun. Other arcs, like Critical Condition & Lois missing were alright but I always hated Y2K & the B13 upgrade.

    I seem to recall Loeb's run just kind of ending though, didn't it? I may be mistaken, but I seem to recall him setting up Clark being fired but never resolving it or something like that. A few ideas made their way into Superman/Batman, but I feel like Loeb left some plotlines dangling in the main title.
    I was pitching DC at the time (got my name in the credits of one of those issues).

    The long and short of it is that you had a few things going on:

    - Jeph's son Sam had cancer. He was trying to mentor his son Sam and his daughter Audrey into writing comics. But Sam ultimately died after a few years of struggle and I think think that was the hardest thing Loeb ever went through.

    - Loeb was one of DC's hotter writers at that point. He was doing a LOT of work that went above and beyond what a typical writer does although it's maybe not AS unusual for folks like Grant Morrison, Dan Slott, or Bendis. He was reviewing art portfolios and basically headhunting the whole team lineups. Kinda makes sense for the guy who had been a Hollywood producer and would later be VP of Marvel TV. (He was the publisher for a lot of Rob Liefeld's Alan Moore's Supreme and drew a lot from that.) He was all but hiring the writers and artists. It was a lot. A fair assessment would probably be that Berganza was making more of a mark on books like Young Justice and Loeb and Berganza were practically co-editing although Loeb was neither paid to do that nor could he always get final say after making a decision.

    - So the teams outperformed expectations. The Return to Krypton prelude (166?) was the bestselling Superman comic since Superman #75 and would later be beat by Superman/Batman. Emperor Joker wasn't planned as an event by DC and wound up doing event sales. So the teams had a 4-8 part story planned called Our Superman at War. DC didn't have a big event and basically offered them keys to the kingdom (basically, pet projects and bonus pay) to turn Our Superman at War Into Our Worlds at War. Tie-ins were added.

    - Here's what you should know about event stories -- whether something is planned as an event or gets "upgraded" into one. Publishers have lists of characters they want dead or changed and a condition of doing an event is that you have to hit those marks. Often 10-20 characters the company wants to kill off. Maybe some they want to de-power. This doesn't originate with writers. If you take something like Identity Crisis, Brad Meltzer scripts the scenes and writes the dialogue and comes up with the mysteries but he's ASSIGNED to kill off Firestorm and Ray Palmer and Jack Drake and so on. Events are assigned so that you get "kill lists" and "change lists" and you have to shove those into a story that was envisioned without them or without ALL of them. Sometimes a writer can get a stay of execution by writing a character into retirement or having them just vanish. (Like Ray Palmer in Identity Crisis.)

    - So Our Worlds at War was a kill fest. The teams lost the readers' faith. People who never read Superman suddenly hated the Superman teams. Sales dropped. As sales dropped, the writers lost clout and had pre-approved stories axed.

    - DC management was also changing. More on this in a second. But the Loeb teams had a multi-year arc approved by Jennette Khan and Ediie Berganza that went out the window around the time Loeb quit. They just had Luthor discover Superman's identity and were told... NO. Can't advance that plot. Have to reverse it. This threw out years worth of planning while Loeb was dealing with his kid's cancer.

    - So he walked. And he came back to Superman/Batman but he had a lot of demands (choosing collaborators, pay for collaborators) and was basically able to do whatever he wanted so long as DiDio didn't veto it. And that's what it reads like. This is a guy handed carte blanche. And then his son died towards the end and some drama happened and Mark Millar nvited him to go to Marvel.

    - Underpinning a lot of this stuff is, from what I gather, Paul Levitz was trying to choose a successor to run DC. Except what a variety of folks did or did not know was that Dan DiDio had been handpicked by somebody at Warner Bros. to take over DC before he wrote his first comic. The only reason DiDio showed up in the first place was to run the company the way WB wanted. Levitz didn't know or didn't get the full memo and was trying to find alternative candidates to weigh against DiDio. Levitz interviewed Waid. I think he talked to Loeb. Loeb and Waid always got along FAIRLY well.

    - But everybody who interviewed for Levitz's job had issues with DiDio. It's hard and probably unfair to assign blame on a message board post without all the facts but DiDio was trying to move into a job he'd been promised maybe 5 years before. Meanwhile, you had competing offers made to other people that upset DiDio, who spent five-plus years of his life turning down other work, planning to take that job. It became hard for some of these people to work together for awhile. So you had a big exodus from DC to Marvel of people who, I think, had awkward relationships with DiDio largely because of conflict between Levitz and Kevin Tsujihara and some other folks. Diane Nelson was brought in, in part, I think, because of how frayed the WB/DC relationships were so she could be a neutral party -- and because she was seen as being able to expand the young girls and Young Adult markets based on her background with Harry Potter and other stuff.

    - On top of all of this is that I think there's a lot of folks who misread DiDio in part because, well... He's a troll. A bonafied troll. Yes, he wanted Nightwing dead for years and planned it various ways. But all the stuff about hating Nightwing was playacting. He did it because he thought it would upset the most people. He has a very soap opera/pro-wrestling view and he's more of a Silver-Age/Bronze-Age Marvel guy than DC. So he's always trying to inject that 70s Marvel "Hank Pym becomes a wifebeater" type stuff in. Because he has a view that the more comics upset or provoke people, the more they sell. Honestly, if he wants a character dead, he probably likes that character and is picking on them because he wants to stir up pitchforks and torches. He's backed off that SOME largely because outrage works differently online now. But he operates very much from kind of a Bill Jemas worldview: "If you're happy with what we're doing, our sales will suffer." That's... a difficult thing for some folks IN COMICS to mesh with. Some folks just want a clean and fairly neutral status quo so they can tell clever one off stories kind of like Batman: The Animated Series.

    In some ways, Loeb and DiDio got along super-well. DiDio greenlit stuff Levitz probably wouldn't have. He hired Loeb for All-Star Batman. (Frank Miller was a replacement hire. There's a first issue in a drawer somewhere of a Loeb/Art Adams All-Star Batman #1.) But he also made Loeb's job harder and kept wanting to tinker with some things in the opposite direction.

    Loeb was always trying to fuse the Byrne continuity with the Silver-Age so that you'd just have one 75 year Superman continuity like what Morrison later did with Batman. DiDio wasn't keen on that and neither was Waid, exactly. Waid loves the Silver Age as a fan but he's the first guy to throw it into the woodchipper if he thinks something is silly, unrealistic, or embarrassing. (Johns shared an office with Loeb.)

    The tug of war gave us Superman origin reboots about every 18 months. And Loeb more or less walked from the monthly Superman book at the start of that because he wanted a stable run.
    Last edited by Patrick Gerard; 04-21-2019 at 10:43 PM.

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