DC has already marked thirty years since the iconic “Death of Superman” storyline by killing off the entire Justice League in the pages of April’s Justice League #75. Now the publisher is reassembling the creative teams who brought the Man of Steel’s 1992 demise for an all-new anniversary one-shot. The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special will feature four stories from each of the creative teams who worked on the four Superman titles – Superman, Adventures of Superman, Action Comics, and Superman: The Man of Steel – at the time of the original storyline.
Per DC PR, here’s a breakdown and previews of the four stories, and all of the creators working on them:
- “The Life of Superman” by Dan Jurgens (W & A), Brett Breeding (A), Brad Anderson (C), and John Workman (L) – A young Jon Kent finds out in school that his dad had died years earlier, as his parents never told him about that fateful day. In the midst of dealing with this emotional news, Jon and Clark need to team up to fight a new villain connected to Doomsday called DOOMBREAKER.
- “Standing Guard” by Roger Stern (W), Butch Guice (A), Glenn Whitmore (C), and Rob Leigh (L) – The epic battle between Superman and Doomsday from the Guardians’ perspective.
- “Time” by Louise Simonson (W), Jon Bogdanove (A), Glenn Whitmore (C), and Rob Leigh (L) – The story of how the death of Superman looked from John Henry Irons’s perspective.
- “Above and Beyond” by Jerry Ordway (W), Tom Grummett (P), Doug Hazelwood (I), Glenn Whitmore (C), and Rob Leigh (L) – A powerful story of Ma and Pa Kent watching their son fight Doomsday live on television and going through Clark’s photo albums with the feeling that their son always prevails.
Along with the four stories, The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special will also include nine pin-ups, from artists including Walter Simonson, Jamal Campbell, Bill Sienkiewicz, Lee Weeks, Clay Mann, Fabio Moon, and Gabriel Rodriguez, among others.
The issue will also, naturally, come with a number of different variant covers. Artists for those covers include Jim Lee & Scott Williams, Dan Mora, Ivan Reis & Danny Miki, and Francesco Mattina. And just like Superman #75, the issue will also be available as a polybagged edition that, along with the standard edition of the comic, includes a commemorative poster and armband. Buy two and keep one sealed! It’ll put your kids through college!
The Death of Superman storyline is one that means a lot to quite a few of us here at The Beat. For more than one of us it was the first story that got us into reading comics. In a statement announcing the new one-shot, writer/artist Dan Jurgens describes how frequently he hears that same story:
Even now, thirty after the “Death of Superman” first came out, every single convention or store appearance I do has at least one person who comes up to me with Superman #75 or the first “Death of Superman” collected edition and says, “This is the book that got me into comics. And I’m still here, reading, all these years later.” Most times, it’s more than one. Sometimes, multiple people arrive at my table at the same time and share their memories, which is always fun to experience.
Their tales are often quite similar. Typically, media coverage of Superman’s death compelled them or a parent to drop by a local store to pick [the issue] up. In some cases, their parents let them skip school the day of the book’s release so they could stand in line to get a copy. Some talk of how their store was sold out and they spent days looking all over town to find one.
I’m not alone in that experience. It’s common for the entire team of writers and artists who worked on Superman at the time. It was a singularly unique moment in comics, when a particular story was covered by every form of national and local media alike.
It’s hard to tell people what those days were like, but every comic shop in the country had long lines of people outside the door waiting to buy THAT BOOK.
All these years later, it’s a great pleasure to get back together with the story’s original creative teams to celebrate a truly exciting time in comics. For those of you who remember those days, The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special will reignite some memories. For those who weren’t around to experience it, well…we hope you get a hint of what it was like.
Most of all, we hope all of you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it all together.
The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special is due out in stores on Tuesday, November 8th. The issue is rush-solicited with a Final Order Cutoff date of Sunday, August 28th (presumably to allow time for the polybagging), so get your preorders in early.