Superman: The Death of Superman

death of superman cover review trade paperback
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Superman finally meets his match

Obviously not the death of Superman

Comic Info

Comic Name: Superman (Volume 2)/Justice League America/Adventures of Superman/Action Comics (1)/Superman: Man of Steel

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Dan Jurgens/Jerry Ordway/Louise Simonson/Roger Stern

Artist: Jon Bogdanove/Tom Grummett/Jackson Guice/Brett Breeding/Rick Burchett/Doug Hazlewood/Dennis Janke/Denis Rodier

# of Issues: 7

Release Date:  1993


Justice League America #69

Reprints Superman: Man of Steel #17-19, Justice League America #69, Superman (2) #74-75, Adventures of Superman #497, and Action Comics (1) #684 (November 1992-January 1993) Doomsday is loose! The Justice League has failed to stop him and now it is up to Superman. It will be his biggest challenge as the unstoppable monster seems to just grow in strength as it tears its way across America. Now, it is a final showdown between the Man of Steel and a creature of sheer evil.  Who will prevail?

Written by Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson, and Roger Stern, Superman:  The Death of Superman collected the Death of Superman storyline that ran in the Superman titles (in addition to a crossover with Justice League America).  The collection became a best seller and was also novelized by Roger Stern.

The Death of Superman storyline rocked the comic world and gave it a major boost. People who didn’t collect comics flooded the comic book shops trying to get the elusive issues that culminated in issue #75 (in this collection they also contain the small Doomsday cameo in Superman: Man of Steel #17). Of course Superman’s “death” was essentially a gimmick, but it was handled very real. There were obituaries and memorandums for him in comics, magazines, newspapers, etc. Even Marvel and other companies put up “In Memory” moments for the Man of Steel.

superman #75 cover death of superman doomsday review

Superman (2) #75

Doomsday was a good villain for Superman in that he was so powerful and other than magic creatures, Superman hadn’t faced a force that was really a physical threat to him. It was fun to see Doomsday tear through the Justice League in issue #69 and that also had an effect on the Justice League and its line-up.

If The Death of Superman story was done today, it probably would have stretched for months or a year, but smartly, DC made it only a couple months, but with more plans after the “death”. The story moves quickly (and had tons of writers and artists working on it) and feels pretty rounded. It almost allows for a “What If” moment for readers who always wondered what would happen if Superman was killed with a free go-back since DC already had plans to revive him (without having to have a lousy “crisis” to rewrite history).

The Death of Superman, much like Batman’s Death in the Family, was a milestone in comics. It probably was the biggest story in the comic world from the 1990s (along with the creation of Image), and it has had lasting effects. Following The Death of Superman, DC put out Funeral for a Friend (which is usually referred to now as World without a Superman), and then Reign of the Supermen which introduced four new “Supermen” along with the return of the Man of Steel (and his bad ’90s mullet). There have been numerous attempts to bring the story to the big screen (Batman v Superman:  Dawn of Justice kind of adapted this in 2016) and there was a small screen adaptation by DC Animation called Superman: Doomsday in 2007.

Related Links:

Superman:  World without a Superman

Superman:  Doomsday (2007)

Batman v Superman:  Dawn of Justice (2016)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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