1 All Star Superman
2 Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?
3 For The Man Who Has Everything
4 For All Seasons
5 Man of Steel
I think of myself as a big fan of the super man Kal-El and because I discovered Superman before Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985 to 1986) my Superman is the silver age Superman he was the super guy who could move planets, fly backwards and forwards through time, and generally beat the living snot out of any enemy he faced if he chose to do so but being an all round good guy he always pulled his punches and gave his enemies a fighting chance.
Grant Morrison’s All Star Superman is the Man of Tomorrow I wish to see in Action Comics and his own self named title, he’s not only a really good guy he’s also a super scientist with an intellect that rivals Lex Luthor only Brainiac, in all his robot forms, possessed greater intelligence than the last son of Krypton.
My Superman died, kind of, in Alan Moore’s Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? and what a final story it was from Superman exposed his secret Clark Kent identity revealed on television to the world to his final stand against Mister Mxyzptlk who has gone from prankster god to evil god and reigned blood and terror down on Superman and everyone he holds dear. The moment Krypto sacrifices his own life to save Superman still chokes me to this day.
Moore also managed to write perhaps the most heart aching Superman story in For The Man Who Has Everything, the evil, and some would claim mad, super tyrant Mongul manages to do to Superman something no other bad guy managed to do, Mongul tore out Superman’s heart by creating, via biological means, a false reality.
For All Seasons is a dream, this lovely story about what makes Superman so super in the first place and it’s not his Kryptonian heritage, or his Earth born super powers, it’s his adoptive parents and Kal-El’s heart. Wonderful.
John Byrne with Man of Steel managed to take almost fifty years (at the time 1986) of Superman history and form it into a coherent well worked out new post-Crisis version of the Man of Steel. It was at the time DC Comics best comic book series John Byrne became, for me, my favourite creator of my favourite fictional character. I still buy John Byrne’s Superman stories and once I own every collected edition, and so far there are nine volumes, I’ll spend a day sitting around eating crap food, pizza and chocolate, and lose myself in Byrne’s Superman. It’s a day I’m going to enjoy wallowing within.