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  1. #1
    Mighty Member C_Miller's Avatar
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    Default Next-level Superman recommendations

    Hey all,

    So I'm a pretty big Superman fan, but I don't consider myself especially well read. I've read the classics. Man of Steel, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, Birthright, All-Star, For All Seasons, ect. So right now I'm looking for the stories after the classics. Great stories that either may not be "groundbreaking" or just ones that are forgotten when mentioning the best stories on the character.

    I've been reading the character with regularity since the New 52 started. I have some smatterings from prior to the New 52 though.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Dispenser Of Truth's Avatar
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    The big overlooked Superman stories to read are Elliot Maggin's novels Last Son of Krypton and Miracle Monday, which can be read online at superman-thru-the-ages.com, alongside his other short stories and Samuel Hawkins' wonderful Superboy stories. As far as comics go, some big other recommendations would be Superman #400, Grant Morrison's JLA run (it's great in general, especially when it comes to Superman, and introduced a few elements that popped up in All-Star Superman if you enjoyed that) and maybe Final Crisis, Kurt Busiek's work (a run on the main Superman title, and Superman: Secret Identity), Hitman #34 ("Of Thee I Sing", a one-issue story of Superman bonding with the titular hitman, whose occupation Superman is unaware of), Red Son, Mark Millar's material in Superman Adventures (the spinoff of the 90s Superman cartoon, this has some of Millar's earliest and best work. The series in general is actually wonderful and the best Superman ongoing of that decade, including work by the likes of Scott McCloud), Luthor by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, Peace on Earth by Paul Dini and Alex Ross, and Joe Casey's excellent run (Adventures of Superman #612-624). I'd also pick up collections like Superman in the 40s/50s/60s/70s/80s and Superman vs. Lex Luthor.
    You can follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, if more of my opinions sounds like something you'd like.

  3. #3
    Spectacular Member oldschoolfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Miller View Post
    Hey all,

    So I'm a pretty big Superman fan, but I don't consider myself especially well read. I've read the classics. Man of Steel, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, Birthright, All-Star, For All Seasons, ect. So right now I'm looking for the stories after the classics. Great stories that either may not be "groundbreaking" or just ones that are forgotten when mentioning the best stories on the character.

    I've been reading the character with regularity since the New 52 started. I have some smatterings from prior to the New 52 though.

    Thanks!
    Try these:
    Superman/arkham
    Emperor Joker
    Camelot falls
    Panic In the Skies
    Superman adventures #11and 12

    Precrisis: Kryptonite Nevermore

    In fact, if you can find them precrisis superman from #131 to 150 are really good reads, if you like that style of storytelling.
    All of them are collected if you want to read them in that format.
    Last edited by oldschoolfan; 09-07-2015 at 10:40 PM.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    A couple that are usually mentioned as classics but you didn't list:
    Red Son
    Secret Identity

    After that:
    Camelot Falls
    The Dark Side
    For Tomorrow (many hate it, but I thought it was good)
    Superman and the Legion of Superheroes
    Braniac
    Escape from Bizzaro World
    The Return of Superman (unfortunately you should probably read the lesser Death of Superman and World Without a Superman stories first)
    Son of Superman

  5. #5
    Burn Baby Burn Burning Eyes's Avatar
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    Showcase Presents: DC Comics Presents Superman Team-Ups volumes 1 and 2
    Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman: Trinity by Matt Wagner
    Superman: Exile
    Superman: Eradication! The Origin of the Eradicator
    Superman: Panic in the Sky
    The Death of Superman
    World without a Superman
    The Return of Superman
    JLA by Grant Morrison
    Action Comics #775: What's so funny about Truth, Justice, and the American Way?
    Superman: Ending Battle
    Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
    Superman/Batman: Supergirl
    Superman/Batman: Sorcerer Kings
    Superman: Up, Up, and Away!
    Superman: Secret Origin
    Superman: the Return of Doomsday
    Superman: the Reign of Doomsday
    Justice League of America: The Nail
    Superman: Earth One
    Smallville Season Eleven - a very good (and definitely underrated) presentation of Superman.
    Last edited by Burning Eyes; 09-08-2015 at 03:33 PM.
    Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, Justice League.

    My favorite film trilogy.

  6. #6
    Mighty Member C_Miller's Avatar
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    How are the other volumes of Man of Steel? I read the first volume, which is the mini, and it seems like the rest of it are when Byrne took over the normal books.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member Johnny Thunders!'s Avatar
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    I would get the Decades Series, the 40s through the 80s. In the 80s book it features the "Miraculous Return of Jonathan Kent". A big deal since the Kents had been gone for decades at that point. It also features the Jim Starlin story "Where No Superman Has gone Before."

  8. #8
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    The decades compilations are a great cheap way to get a snap shot of each of the decades of existence of the character from the 40s to the 80s. Then i'd concentrate on the big ones others mentioned.

    My picks for the rest.
    THE SUPERMAN CHRONICLES VOL 1.
    THE SHOWCASE VOLUMES.
    THE MAN OF STEEL VOL1. (and the other volumes, 7 in total I think)
    The Death and Return of Superman omnibus (the second one released in 2013. Not the incomplete 2007 version)
    DARK KNIGHT OVER METROPOLIS: great collections of various 90s Superman and Batman team ups.

    SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS

    SUPERMAN: NO LIMITS
    SUPERMAN: ENDGAME
    SUPERMAN:EMPEROR JOKER
    SUPERMAN:TILL DEATH DO US PART
    SUPERMAN:OUR WORLDS AT WAR OMNIBUS
    SUPERMAN: ENDING BATTLE
    FOR TOMORROW (not a great story imo, but nice art and you may like it)
    SUPERMAN:UP UP AND AWAY
    LAST SONS
    ESCAPE FROM BIZARRO WORLD
    Any of the Kurt Busiek issues
    BRAINIAC
    The Black Ring (a great Luthor centic story)

    The wedding and Beyond: compilation of the wedding and subsequent honeymoon storyline. Kind of fun if you like the Lois/ Superman relationship.

    As for the current stuff Stick to the Action Comics volumes. It really is all you need imo.
    Last edited by manofsteel1979; 09-08-2015 at 09:58 PM.

  9. #9
    Mighty Member Johnny Thunders!'s Avatar
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    I think of Kingdom Come and Final Crisis as must read Superman comics. I would get the Gil Kane Superman book and the Garcia Lopez hardcover. All those vs. books are worth looking at, Supeman vs. Shazam, Luthor, Braniac, Zod. The Phantom Zone by Steve Gerber, and I can't believe I forgot, Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, and The spiderman team ups.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    On top of many of the recommendations here, I'd also like to throw out Exile, Our Worlds At War, the early 90's Bizarro story (I forget the title/issue numbers, and have no idea if it's collected in trade so hopefully one of our more knowledgeable members can enlighten you here) and the Clone Wars story leading up to Action 700.

    In Exile, written in the 80's, Superman leaves earth because he fears he might not be able to control himself and could pose a danger to humanity. Its the kind of angsty, soul-searching tripe I typically hate in Superman comics, but its Superman exploring deep space and having some really balling adventures, so despite its post-Crisis misunderstanding of what Superman should be, it's fun as hell.

    Our Worlds At War, for me, is the last great Superman epic of the 00's. It ended, ironically, shortly before 9/11 and is essentially a big company-wide throwdown between Darkseid, the American government (lead by President Lex Luthor) and Brainiac. Lots of fun concepts and big crazy ideas. Its not the best Superman story out there. It is, really, rather sub-par compared to many of the stories listed in this thread. But its fun, empty summer blockbuster type entertainment.

    The Bizarro story re-introduces us to the post-Crisis Bizarro and is quite tragic and wonderfully handled. There's also a Toyman story from the same era that drastically re-imagines Toyman as an Arkham worthy psychopath, which I find infinitely more interesting than the dorky D-lister he typically is portrayed as. But again, I couldnt recall issue numbers to save my life so either Google or someone else will have to help you with that.

    The Clone Wars story (or was it Cadmus Wars? I forget, but there's no Jar Jar Binks so either way, you win) unfolded from shortly after Superman's return from death and culminated in Action 700. Really, most of the early 90's "Triangle era" is worth reading, and Action 700 is what capped off everything that the titles had been building towards since Superman died. This was the era that made me a life-long Superman fan (even though I later came to realize how far off base some of their ideas and treatments were :P )
    Higher, Faster, Further....More.

    Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow!

    Bridge Four!

  11. #11
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    On top of many of the recommendations here, I'd also like to throw out Exile, Our Worlds At War, the early 90's Bizarro story (I forget the title/issue numbers, and have no idea if it's collected in trade so hopefully one of our more knowledgeable members can enlighten you here) and the Clone Wars story leading up to Action 700.

    In Exile, written in the 80's, Superman leaves earth because he fears he might not be able to control himself and could pose a danger to humanity. Its the kind of angsty, soul-searching tripe I typically hate in Superman comics, but its Superman exploring deep space and having some really balling adventures, so despite its post-Crisis misunderstanding of what Superman should be, it's fun as hell.

    Our Worlds At War, for me, is the last great Superman epic of the 00's. It ended, ironically, shortly before 9/11 and is essentially a big company-wide throwdown between Darkseid, the American government (lead by President Lex Luthor) and Brainiac. Lots of fun concepts and big crazy ideas. Its not the best Superman story out there. It is, really, rather sub-par compared to many of the stories listed in this thread. But its fun, empty summer blockbuster type entertainment.

    The Bizarro story re-introduces us to the post-Crisis Bizarro and is quite tragic and wonderfully handled. There's also a Toyman story from the same era that drastically re-imagines Toyman as an Arkham worthy psychopath, which I find infinitely more interesting than the dorky D-lister he typically is portrayed as. But again, I couldnt recall issue numbers to save my life so either Google or someone else will have to help you with that.

    The Clone Wars story (or was it Cadmus Wars? I forget, but there's no Jar Jar Binks so either way, you win) unfolded from shortly after Superman's return from death and culminated in Action 700. Really, most of the early 90's "Triangle era" is worth reading, and Action 700 is what capped off everything that the titles had been building towards since Superman died. This was the era that made me a life-long Superman fan (even though I later came to realize how far off base some of their ideas and treatments were :P )
    The Bizarro story in question was called "Bizarro's World" and it actually can be included in the lead up to CADMUS WAR stuff as a number of major plot points spin out of it. The Bizarro story was collected in a trade once, (I have it!) but it's been long out of print.

    and it's Superman #84 (2nd volume) where Toyman falls to the Dark side...spoilers:
    until Geoff Johns retcons the whole thing as this Toyman is an errant malfunctioning android created by the usual Z-list version of Toyman. Sniff.
    end of spoilers



    I'd also like to add THE DEATH OF CLARK KENT (also in out of print trade btw), and the prelude in the 1994 Superman #0 issues, as Conduit was a bad ass.

  12. #12
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manofsteel1979 View Post
    The Bizarro story in question was called "Bizarro's World" and it actually can be included in the lead up to CADMUS WAR stuff as a number of major plot points spin out of it. The Bizarro story was collected in a trade once, (I have it!) but it's been long out of print.

    and it's Superman #84 (2nd volume) where Toyman falls to the Dark side...

    I'd also like to add THE DEATH OF CLARK KENT (also in out of print trade btw), and the prelude in the 1994 Superman #0 issues, as Conduit was a bad ass.
    Death of Clark Kent was pretty good, yeah. I miss Conduit. I'd like to see what the character would look like now, built off the more classical approach they're using again, where Clark Kent is the quiet, unassuming nerd who blends into the background, rather than the prom king, football star, uber-popular kid he was in post-Crisis.

    Perhaps digital is a better option for the stories I've mentioned....doesnt seem likely they'll be easy to find in print. Maybe the OP will get lucky and find the singles in back issue bins?
    Higher, Faster, Further....More.

    Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow!

    Bridge Four!

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manofsteel1979 View Post
    I'd also like to add THE DEATH OF CLARK KENT (also in out of print trade btw), and the prelude in the 1994 Superman #0 issues, as Conduit was a bad ass.
    God no!

    That story was the final straw in me giving up reading Superman titles in the 90s. Absolute rubbish - but then I don't think there'd been anything decent since the end of Reign of the Supermen (aka The Return of Superman)

  14. #14
    Senior Member ManSinha's Avatar
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    How about Alan Moore's "Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow"?
    For me personally it is a heart rending story and perfect way in a sense to end the Golden Age before John Byrne took over (sorry not a fan of what he did to the character)

  15. #15
    Mighty Member nepenthes's Avatar
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    These aren't super obscure or anything but missing from the OP absolutely among the books you'd want to check out
    - Red Son
    - Kingdom Come
    - Man of Tomorrrow
    - Secret Identity
    - Final Crisis

    Next level is a little more subjective
    - Luthor
    - World of New Krypton
    - The Black Ring
    - Death and Return of Superman
    - JLA

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