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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member Air Wave's Avatar
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    Default Superman - If You Had To Choose 7

    You want to introduce someone to the wondrous world of Superman, but you can only choose 7 stories, arcs, books or trades to introduce to them. What do you choose?

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Can we cheat and do runs?
    Birthright by Waid
    Brainiac by Johns
    Secret Identity by Busiek
    All-Star Superman by Morrison
    Morrison’s New 52 Action Comics run
    Red Son by Millar
    Superman Rebirth by Tomasi

    If I can’t do runs then replace Morrison Action and Tomasi Superman with What’s So Funny...? and For the Man Who Has Everything.
    Last edited by Vordan; 08-14-2019 at 12:55 PM.

  3. #3
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Birthright - My favorite Superman story and origin.
    Man and Superman - Deserves to go down as a classic.
    Red Son - Very good Elseworld.
    Superman Earth One - Underrated but good take imo.
    American Alien - Really kind of weird but good I think, worth a look.
    Kingdom Come - Bit of a cheat since this has always felt more like a Justice League story to me rather than a straight up Superman tale, but I'm running short on stories here...

  4. #4
    Mighty Member Yoda's Avatar
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    Birthright (favorite & best all around contemporary origin. Sets up Metropolis, Luthor, and Lois probably the best as they've ever been)
    Secret Identity (Just the best Superman elseworld around)
    American Alien (hope they don't know who Max Landis is, but works as a modern Superman)
    World Against Superman/Action Comics #0 (The TPB is better than the issues, and it's a good character study for Superman, but kinda a weak introduction to everything else. Lois, Brainiac & Luthor especially get shortchanged)
    All Star Superman
    Superman #7 - Rebirth Run
    Superman and the Legion of Superheroes - Johns arc.

  5. #5
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    I take it collections like Superman From the 30's to the 70's (80's) or The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told aren't what you are looking for.

    Action Comics #500
    Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow
    Superman takes a Wife
    The Last Days of Superman (the original 1960's version)
    The first trade of Morrison's New 52 Action run
    Who took the Super out of Superman
    The first Mongul story

  6. #6
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    Birthright
    All Star Superman
    What's So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?
    Death of Superman
    Adventures of Superman: Jose Garcia Lopez
    The Golden Age Superman Omnibus Vol 1
    Kingdom Come

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Clark_Kent's Avatar
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    Oh man. 7 stories to introduce someone to Superman. Hmmm.

    1. Secret Origin. It's not my favorite origin story, but I think it's the most straight forward, easily digestible one while remaining modern. If the reader has never read Superman, then no better place to start than with an origin.

    (the rest are in no particular order)

    Secret Identity. Perhaps the story that understands Superman better than any other, and doesn't even star him.

    Exile, to show that even Superman has human emotions and problems, and can work through them.

    Superman: Brainiac gives you a look at Supergirl, as well as a cosmic story with a creepy Brainiac. The death of Pa is heartbreaking.

    For the Man Who Has Everything, better in every way to WHTTMOT

    Superman #45 by Tomasi & Gleason

    Death / Return. It's important the new reader can see Superman in a "summer blockbuster / Michael Bay action movie" light. This saga goes to some dark places, has massive action setpieces, and is just a wonderful hold on to your seat thrillride. It was one of the first big events I read when I was getting into reading comics back in 1992/93, I had no idea why Lex had red hair or why Supergirl was made of playdoh but I didn't care. Figured it out along the way and it was wonderful.


    Most people will jump straight to All Star, or Red Son, or Morrison's Action or What's So Funny...,but I think all of these would be detrimental to a brand new Superman reader. All-Star is wonderful, but also dense and requires at least some knowledge of the Silver Age. Morrison's Action run is Morrison at his Morrisonian best, and I want my new reader to not be frustrated with what they have read. Red Son, perhaps the best Elseworlds for Superman, also paints him as a bad guy until the final pages. There's many, many wonderful stories for a new reader to check out, but some of Superman's BEST stories might need to wait until they've got their gills wet first.
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    Every post I make, it should be assumed by the reader that the following statement is attached: "It's all subjective. What works for me doesn't necessarily work for you, and vice versa, and that's ok. You may have a different opinion on it, but this is mine. That's the wonderful thing about being a comics fan, it's all subjective."

  8. #8
    AT EASE, LOO-SUH! Superlad93's Avatar
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    * Superman: Secret Identity
    * All Star Superman
    * Up Up And Away
    * Action Comics vol2 0-8
    * Superman: Exile
    * Tomasi's Superman issues 7 and 45
    * The Man of Steel (2018)

    The first two books work as perfect entry points to "getting Superman", and they're also books that can be revisited often as you grow with the character. I kept everything modern with one exception because for the most part it's Superman's best and most comprehensive space odyssey story (but I have mixed feeling on that). Issue 7 of Superman is in there because in addition to being by far the strongest issue of that era, it works as a snapshot of an incredibly important era for the character and his future. Issue 45 because it a bookends 7, but also leads rather nicely into Man of Steel's winds of change.
    Last edited by Superlad93; 08-14-2019 at 02:14 PM.
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  9. #9
    Mighty Member Yoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clark_Kent View Post
    Death / Return. It's important the new reader can see Superman in a "summer blockbuster / Michael Bay action movie" light. This saga goes to some dark places, has massive action setpieces, and is just a wonderful hold on to your seat thrillride. It was one of the first big events I read when I was getting into reading comics back in 1992/93, I had no idea why Lex had red hair or why Supergirl was made of playdoh but I didn't care. Figured it out along the way and it was wonderful.

    Most people will jump straight to All Star, or Red Son, or Morrison's Action or What's So Funny...,but I think all of these would be detrimental to a brand new Superman reader. All-Star is wonderful, but also dense and requires at least some knowledge of the Silver Age. Morrison's Action run is Morrison at his Morrisonian best, and I want my new reader to not be frustrated with what they have read. Red Son, perhaps the best Elseworlds for Superman, also paints him as a bad guy until the final pages. There's many, many wonderful stories for a new reader to check out, but some of Superman's BEST stories might need to wait until they've got their gills wet first.
    I flip flopped on Death & Return. It's definitely one of my favorites, but I feel like even people who have never read a Superman comic will have some working knowledge of it from osmosis through pop culture or BvS.

    I do kinda agree on Morrison's Action run. I wonder if it'd be better to just recommend Action Comics #0 & #1 instead. Gives you a modern take on the radical social justice Superman from the golden age, but saves them from the nanotech Jim Lee abomination as well.

  10. #10
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    I do kinda agree on Morrison's Action run. I wonder if it'd be better to just recommend Action Comics #0 & #1 instead. Gives you a modern take on the radical social justice Superman from the golden age, but saves them from the nanotech Jim Lee abomination as well.
    Doesn't Earth One effectively do the same thing, minus the risk of stumbling into a Morrison head screw while still providing a full story (you're really only going to recommend two floppy issues to a new reader?)?

  11. #11
    Mighty Member Yoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    Doesn't Earth One effectively do the same thing, minus the risk of stumbling into a Morrison head screw while still providing a full story (you're really only going to recommend two floppy issues to a new reader?)?
    It's been a really long time since I've read Earth One, and I definitely did not like it when I did, but isn't that version of Clark kind of the exact opposite of Morrison's Superman? If I recall correctly, his first instinct is to use his powers and intellect to try to make money for himself (or for Ma Kent maybe?). And he kind of has to be goaded into stopping the villains. I never got past the first trade, so I don't know where it went from there.

    For all the Morrisoning Morrison does in his Action run, those two issues are really great. Like I said, I recommend the World Against Superman trade on the whole, but I think you get everything that that story does in a much easier to digest package in those two issues.

  12. #12
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    It's been a really long time since I've read Earth One, and I definitely did not like it when I did, but isn't that version of Clark kind of the exact opposite of Morrison's Superman? If I recall correctly, his first instinct is to use his powers and intellect to try to make money for himself (or for Ma Kent maybe?). And he kind of has to be goaded into stopping the villains. I never got past the first trade, so I don't know where it went from there.

    For all the Morrisoning Morrison does in his Action run, those two issues are really great. Like I said, I recommend the World Against Superman trade on the whole, but I think you get everything that that story does in a much easier to digest package in those two issues.
    His first instinct was to make money only for Ma and to give her the life he thought she deserved, and once she made it clear she would have none of it and that he should seek to do what he really wants to do he immediately stopped thinking about money and gave his future some serious thinking. I'd hardly call that the opposite of Morrison's Superman (unless Morrison's Superman was somehow seeking to make his Ma broke and I missed that part), that's pretty much just him being a good if somewhat thickheaded son. Never understood the hate that bit got, not once was he shown as being actually greedy or self serving.

    On the flip side I read the first trade of Morrison's run, and as much as I liked the Superman that story presented the plot confused the hell out of me. In fact everything I've read from Morrison since I've found so confusing that I truly believe he writes with the actual aim of befuddling readers, and I haven't a clue why any of his stories are popular (I haven't read All Star, but having read a good chunk of his other work now I'm not sure I would want to anymore). Basically, I'd be wary of introducing any new readers to Morrison, even for just a couple issues - what if they get curious, order the whole book, and then get put off thinking all comic books are some kind of riddle?

    He's got good ideas, but he needs an editor who'll make him rewrite everything until people can read it in one go and not ask, "What the hell?"

    (Not arguing or anything, just really confused by the appeal of this story since I personally found it such a befuddlement, along with several other highly regarded Morrison stories.)

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member Doctor Know's Avatar
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    Seven Stories to hook an audience.

    All Star Superman

    Birthright

    Panic In The Sky

    Death, Reign and Return of Superman

    Action Comic #544-546

    Byrne’s Man Of Steel and Action Comics run

    Last Son


    For visual media.

    Superman Fleischer Cartoon - Mad Scientist

    Superman TAS - Apokolips Now and Legacy

    Batman Superman World’s Finest

    Legion of Superheroes TAS - The Man From The Edge of Tomorrow and Dark Victory

    Justice League TAS - Twilight and Divided We Fall

    Superman The Movie

    Man of Steel

  14. #14
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    Who took the Super Out of Superman - Superman #296 - Superman #297

    At this point I don't really believe in origin stories for Superman but I do think this story gives you a good run down of who the character is and what the inner workings are. Story basically puts the Man of Steel in a very tough spot forced to choose between his two lives and evaluating what they mean to him. Also shows you the cleverness and intelligence of the Superman in its conclusion.

    The Jungle Line -DC Comics presents #85

    Superman is dying! It's a common theme in some of the greater stories in the characters history is him coming face to face with mortality. Like the story above this dips into Superman's psyche and shows him at his wits end, possibly Superman at his most "human". Guest appearance by Swamp Thing.

    Superboy #49

    *Note this refers to the Superboy of precrisis* In Superman loredom there exist two possible childhoods: normal or super. Truthfully I can't say that one is necessarily better than the other because that all comes down to preference but I do feel that I can say one is much more unique. This story helps encapsulate the sort of broad range that a Super childhood gives to flavor Superman's youth with Superman's first encounter with a creature called Metallo.

    Superman #2

    Another common theme with Superman is saving the suicidal and here is the early days origin of that theme. But showing the often forgotten secondary part of it which is that Superman giving people "hope" wasn't some wishy washy thing where he gives speeches and poses it was about doing hard work to show people that hard work pays off. Also shows that Golden Age toughness.

    World's Finest Comics #249

    It'll make you believe Superman and Batman are actually best friends maybe even each others Best friend. You don't see the kind of closeness they have here ever again imo.

    All Star Superman

    Modern day classic. I remember when recommendation list used to look a lot different but this story has outlived most of them and for good reason. Brings a lot of the best elemets of the character into a single tome with art that fits the character better than most.

    Final Crisis

    Not a Superman story per se but the story and it's tie in Superman Beyond show that the idea that Superman was never cool isn't true. The character works best when he's up to his ears in the weird and uncanny, defies the normal guy label he's been pinned with in modern times.



    -I'd give an honorable mention to Action Comics #47. The story I'm pretty sure Morrison pulled some ideas for All Star from. Great story
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  15. #15
    Superfan Through The Ages BBally's Avatar
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    If they're okay with reading novels then Last Son Of Krypton from Elliot S! Maggin would be a good choice, I was going to include Miracle Monday but decided maybe this story is better read in a period of time after he gets into the character.


    I may not agree with the number of changes during that time but John Byrne's Man Of Steel mini series is the most casual reader friendly introduction to Superman lore.
    No matter how many reboots, new origins, reinterpretations or suit redesigns. In the end, he will always be SUPERMAN

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