So I’m writing this the day after Halloween celebrations, hope you all had a good night – whatever it was that you did. Kicking off my second post with my favourite Superman comic titles, while I’m not a huge fan of Superman in the large part, I do think that a select few Superman titles are among the best of DC’s arcs. I will be creating various lists for favourite comic titles in the future but I’ll be kicking it off with my favourite Superman story arcs, starting with 5th.
Starting the list off is Superman: Last Son of Krypton written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner, and Illustrated by Adam Kubert.
Superman: Last Son of Krypton or ‘Last Son’ is a five-issue story arc from the monthly series ‘Action Comics’. Geoff Johns is probably my favourite DC writer, and one of the all-time greats in my books, and Last Son’s story is no exception. My favourite thing about Superman: Last Son is that it includes the original character, Christopher Kent and adapts the classic Superman villain, General Zod of Krypton into the regular DC universe continuity. Superman: Last Son follows Superman as he finds a small boy, arriving to earth in a similar fashion that he did and also from Krypton. Clark and Lois adopt the boy and name him Christopher. Several major DC characters are part of the story including Lex Luthor, Bizzaro, General Zod, Lois Lane, and Mon-El. Superman: Last Son is a fascinating comic with some really interesting concepts about truth, justice, and our reactions to alien-life, should we ever encounter it. The art feels very peaceful with beautiful blues, reds and yellows, yet delivers atmospheric emotions in times of action and the story, written by Geoff has earned it the place of 5th on my top 5 Superman stories.
At 4th we have Superman: Brainiac written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Gary Frank.
Superman: Brainiac is also a five-issue story arc, and also published in the ‘Action Comics’ series. While Lex Luthor stands as Superman’s most famous adversary, I’d argue that Brainiac is among the most dangerous that the Man of Steel has encountered and this story is a superb showcase. Brainiac is the definition of a classic example of an unstoppable villain; an intellect that makes Stephen Hawking seem dim and extraordinary powers to rival that of Superman himself; while Superman stands for all good that alien life could be, Brainiac stands for all evil that alien life could be which makes him a perfect enemy for Superman even on the level of an idea. Superman: Brainiac is a suspense filled story with twists and turns that see Clark struggle with inner choices and external struggles. Geoff Johns’ writing of this title really sets it aside from so many other Superman books, and Gary Frank’s strokes and use of alien-like colours provide an atmospheric feel.
Coming in at 3rd place is All-Star Superman. All-Star Superman is written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Frank Quitely.
All-Star Superman is a twelve-issue story arc is the story that shows us what is on the Man of Steel’s bucket list. After a mission to stop a shuttle from collapsing into the sun, Superman is blasted with a dangerous level of solar radiation, and it is diagnosed that he has less than a year to live. Superman then decides that he will set off to tie up the threads of his life. The story is quite an exhilarating but emotional read, especially if you were to have a connection with Superman, and the art surpasses anything I thought it could. The issues are episodic and ultimately culminates with an ending that will have you, like me, placing it among your favourites.
2nd place on the top 5 is Superman: Birthright. Superman: Birthright is written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Leinil Francis Yu.
The story of Clark Kent in this tale is the set of events that became the official Superman origin, replacing John Byrne’s 1986 Man of Steel. Superman: Birthright follows a young Clark as he grows up with extraordinary powers, and takes on his day-job with the Daily Planet, all the while learning more and more of his true origin, encountering Luthor’s evil plans, and learning the extent of his powers, the series also is one of the major inspirations for DC’s cinematic 2013 Man of Steel film. Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu work together to create staggering art with a heart-felt story.
In 1st place is Superman: Red Son. Superman: Red Son is written by Mark Miller and illustrated by Dave Johnson, and Kilian Plunket.
Superman: Red Son is a three-issue, prestigious comic. It is such an incredible story; the art is gorgeous, the writing is tremendous and the concept is a rather unique idea. The story merges alternative versions of DC superheroes and alternative versions of political, historical figures such as Joseph Stalin and John F. Kennedy. In Superman: Red Son, Clark’s capsule crashed into Soviet Russia instead of the USA, and he becomes a weapon in the Soviet’s army, and instead of fighting and standing for truth, justice, and the American Way; he is described as a “Champion of the common people who fights a never ending battle for Stalin and Socialism”. Mark Miller has been the author of some outstanding works but Superman: Red Son is my favourite of his. The art is inspiring, a brilliant blend and brush of a darker palette; the colours achieve a tremendous accuracy and create a thoroughly eye-grabbing story.
What are your favourite Superman stories? If you had to narrow it down to 5 titles, which would they be?