I don't remember when it was, exactly, that I lost interest in Superman. there was a time, from Crisis on Infinite Earths until well into the 2Ks, that I had complete collections of every Superman title published (Superman, Action Comics, Adventures of Superman, Man of Steel, etc.). I do know that I stopped buying Action Comics with #900, four issues before the title itself came to an end. There was a time, in 1986, when DC Comics wanted a new "Superman #1." But rather than cancelling the original series outright, they changed the title to Adventures of Superman with #424. Action Comics continued at that time with #584.

Then, in 2011, DC decided they wanted to revamp their entire line, including Action Comics. #904 was to be the last issue of the original run, but I decided to stop with an even 900. I say I "stopped," but actually I did continue to buy Action Comics and Superman for almost two years into the "New 52" era, but I was no longer interested in maintaining a set of sequentially numbered issues if DC itself wasn't. Except for those four issues of Action Comics, my "complete" run of Superman titles continued for some months to come. Action Comics continues, numbered in the 1000s today, but try finding issues #905-956. 

I know that I didn't bother buying Adventures of Superman when it returned (with a new #1) in 2013. I didn't buy an issue until #16, which featured multiple versions of Superman. I also happened to buy #17 because it featured a story by Jerry Ordway and Steve Rude, but that was it... for both me and the series as that was its final issue.

At that time, Captain comics was doing "Cancelled Comics Cavalcade," a post-mortem on all cancelled series. As much as fans complained about the redesign of Superman's costume (sans red trunks), Cap pointed out that the the then-recently-cancelled Adventures of Superman series featured the classic version and nobody bought it. I didn't even know it! and by that time it was too late. Last week, the Superman Red & Blue series, a favorite of mine, came to an end with its sixth issue. I really enjoyed those out-of-continuity tales, so now I'm contemplating buying Adventures of Superman (2013) #1-15 in hope of reading more of the same. 

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JEPH LOEB & TIM SALE: "Superman for All Seasons"

Superman for All Seasons is, quite simply, the best my favorite the best Superman project of the '90s. For all intents and purposes, it is "Superman: Year One" that runs parallel to John Byrne's Man of Steel (which was very much still in very much in effect in 1998 when this story was serialized). Frank Miller introduced the "Year One" concept, and other lesser creators ran it into the ground, not realizing the the idea was to tell the story of a given character's entire first year, not simply a story from that year. 

But Loeb & Sale cover Superman's entire first year without actually calling it that, focusing instead on four seasons, each told from the point of view of a different character: 1. "Spring" - Pa Kent; 2. "Summer" - Lois Lane; 3. "Fall" - Lex Luthor; 4. "Winter" - Lana Lang. the artwork is incredibly detailed, but what really stands out is the colors by Bjarne Hansen. This is the first series I would recommend for the colors alone (and the last until Absolute Swamp Thing). 

STEVE RUDE:

WORLD'S FINEST

Steve Rude's most ambitious superman project was the three-issue prestige format series he did with Dave Gibbons in 1990. In it, the Joker and Lex Luthor join forces (and switch bases of operation) with the Midway city Orphanage caught in the middle. The front cover painting of each of the three issues sets up the painting on the back cover. what I remember most about this series is that Rude completely redefined the look of both Metropolis as well as (and perhaps especially) Gotham City.

HULK VS. SUPERMAN:

This one-shot's framing sequence takes place after Clark Kent and Lois Lane are married (and after Bruce Banner's marriage to Betty Ross has come to a tragic end), but the main story takes place near the beginning of each character's respective career, circa Hulk #6 (after Hulk defeated the Metal master) and Man of Steel #5 (when Lex Luthor still had some hair). 

LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE #14:

This issue condenses the entirety of Jack  Kirby's Jimmy Olsen into a 56 page tour de force. I often read this one when I can't decide exactly what I want to read. It features the Guardian, Dubbilex and all the characters and situations you might expect, plus it introduces a new POV character, Bernie sobel, the self-interested doorman of the Daily Planet. This time around I didn't find it in my "Steve Rude" box as I had it refiled in my "Kirby Tribute" box. It is written by former Kirby assistant Mark Evanier.

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #17:

Rude's forte is Kirby characters, and this ten-page story, written by Jerry Ordway, fills in some details of the last issue of OMAC, who series was truncated one issue shy of completion of the "Dr. Skuba" story. 

I really liked the Superman/Hulk crossover. Great stuff.

Yes, despite the fact that it ties directly to Hulk comics from the '60s and Superman comics of the '80s, it flawlessly blends both continuities as if they were of the same universe so well that I didn't even feel the need to mention that they weren't. I probably should have mentioned that it was written by Roger Stern, who has experience writing both characters. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Yes, despite the fact that it ties directly to Hulk comics from the '60s and Superman comics of the '80s, it flawlessly blends both continuities as if they were of the same universe so well that I didn't even feel the need to mention that they weren't.

This, right there, demonstrates why continuity is such a straitjacket.* It's already out of continuity to have Superman and the Hulk in the same story, so Superman from the 1980s and the Hulk from the 1960s shouldn't be a problem, but for the Continuity Police, it is.

* No attack on you, Jeff; I know you know better. 

I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to bring the "Superman's Pals" section of this discussion to a close for several days now so that I can move on to the reason I started this thread in the first place: to discuss Adventures of Superman (2011) #1-17. But every post leads to another. I could probably keep this up indefinitely. 

"[Hulk vs. Superman] is already out of continuity to have Superman and the Hulk in the same story,"

I can't argue with that (because there is no arguing with that). But there's something about the fact that Roger Stern even made the effort that adds an extra layer of enjoyment for me. Theoretically, if someone new to comics  had read only a dozen comics and those 12 were the first six issues of Hulk and the Man of Steel limited series, without knowing Marvel from DC or which published what, he could enjoy Hulk vs. Superman. Which leads to superman's next "pal"...

NEAL ADAMS: "THE COMING OF THE SUPERMEN"

Did you know that Neal Adams has released no fewer than six complete mini-series over the course of the last decade or so for the Big Two? I think the key to solving Adams' well-known deadline problems is have the entire series in the can before soliciting the first issue. Be that as it may, that tactic doesn't make him any faster and may even cause confusion if the story is tied too closely to "current" continuity.

"The Coming of the Supermen" is a wonderful antic thing ("bonkers" is the word I usually use to describe most of Adams' current work) featuring three substitute "Supermen" from Kandor, Darkseid's father in ancient Egypt and a Sphinx with a lion's face, Highfather's grandson, a loopy version of Lex Luthor and so much more. The three Supermen come from Kandor/New Krypton with little explanation of where it is and no explanation of how it came to be.

A couple of years before "The Coming of the Supermen," New Krypton was featured across all the Superman titles but, by the time of the mini-series' release, the pre-Flashpoint universe had been supplanted by the "New 52" universe and New Krypton no longer made any sense. (Essentially, superman found a way to enlarge Kandor and transplanted it to a new planet in Earth's same orbital path but on the far side of the Sun.) 

This series is well worth reading if for no other reason than to see Neal Adams run wild in Jack Kirby's sandbox, but don't expect it to fit in continuity, even in pre-Flashpoint continuity, really, because Superman and Lois Lane are apparently no married. But, in addition to the aspects already mentioned, you will see Highfather as a shape-shifter and superman turn a Boom Tube inside out! Apparently Adams planned to return to this milieu at some point, because a major revelation is that the "gods" of the Fourth World are actually (somehow) descended from Earth! 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I think the key to solving Adams' well-known deadline problems is have the entire series in the can before soliciting the first issue.

I've long thought that the (several/many) creators like Adams who can't meet monthly deadlines should only be hired for free-standing miniseries (which usually aren't closely connected to current subplots, etc.) and the miniseries should be in the can. Maybe only give them half of the money up-front, like in the movies and TV shows.

That was a concern about José Luis Garcia-López as well, wasn't it?

He was a great penciler who did memorable Superman work, but not a particularly fast one (or so I am told).

I can't remember that one Marvel mini-series where the last issue was late and the reveal was wrecked because the next month's books  - which reflected the aftermath of the reveal -  had come out already.

"...a major revelation is that the "gods" of the Fourth World are actually (somehow) descended from Earth!"

A major development I neglected to mention is that, at the conclusion of the mini-series, New Genesis and Apokolips had both been relocated to New Krypton, each "settlement" taking up a third of the planet and separated by force shields. Travel from sector-to-sector was possible only via Boom Tube. Nothing ever came of that because 1) Adams didn't complete the series in time to be relevant, and 2) by the time it was released, the "New 52" was in place. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

STEVE RUDE:

WORLD'S FINEST

Steve Rude's most ambitious superman project was the three-issue prestige format series he did with Dave Gibbons in 1990. In it, the Joker and Lex Luthor join forces (and switch bases of operation) with the Midway city Orphanage caught in the middle. The front cover painting of each of the three issues sets up the painting on the back cover. what I remember most about this series is that Rude completely redefined the look of both Metropolis as well as (and perhaps especially) Gotham City.

This was a wonderful series that drew very careful parallels between Supeman, Luthor and Metropolis, and Batman, The Joker and Gotham City. (The introductory panels that showcase Metropolis as a shining city of light and Gotham City as a gloomy hellsphere, even in daytime, are standouts.)

But one parallel was missing: There's a scene in which Superman gives Batman a copy of The Mark of Zorrowhich we all know was the movie the Waynes went to see that fateful night when they encountered an anonymous gunman. But there isn't a corresponding scene with Batman returning the favor.

It was established in a later story (in Adventures of Superman, as I recall) what movie set Clark Kent's moral compass: To Kill a Mockingbird.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I think the key to solving Adams' well-known deadline problems is have the entire series in the can before soliciting the first issue.

Richard Willis said:

I've long thought that the (several/many) creators like Adams who can't meet monthly deadlines should only be hired for free-standing miniseries (which usually aren't closely connected to current subplots, etc.) and the miniseries should be in the can. Maybe only give them half of the money up-front, like in the movies and TV shows.

Luis Olavo de Moura Dantas said:

That was a concern about José Luis Garcia-López as well, wasn't it?

He was a great penciler who did memorable Superman work, but not a particularly fast one (or so I am told).

I don't know. I know José Luis Garcia-López didn't do a regular series for the longest time (until he took on Atari Force for its first year, and the "hardcover" Baxter paper edition of The New Titans), but I never heard it was because of his speed or lack thereof. I just thought he didn't do a regular series out of choice. 

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