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All Star Superman Cover

Five Great Stories of the Man of Steel

Mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent (that's Superman to you) has seen a lot in his over 70 years of entertaining millions in comics, newspapers, cartoons, TV shows, and films. Many people are familiar with the origin of Supes, that he is the last of a race of Kryptonians sent to Earth to do good, and here are five great, self-contained Superman stories.

1. All Star Superman, Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely

Grant Morrison's two-volume set is an excellent centerpiece for Superman as a force of positivity and goodness, both in his own stories and in comics in general. As Grant Morrison said in an interview with Comic Book Resources about the animated adaptation: "Every writer who does Superman has to make it seem like this is the new definitive Superman. So, even if there has been a lot of different versions, for me it was about finding the core of it. I found that in some of those '50s and 60s comics, what made them great was, just as I said, they were about real human emotions and real human stories, but played out in this huge scale of other planets and people from the future and relatives from other worlds and monsters and robots."

2. Red Son, Mark Millar, Dave Johnson & Kilian Plunkett

What if the rocket that delivered Superman to Kansas in the 50s landed in the Soviet Union instead? How would world politics change as a result? How would everyone's lives change in this new version of history? These are just the opening twists in Millar's Eisner Award-winning tale.

3. Secret Identity, Kurt Busiek & Stuart Immonen

I will bet my library card that this is the best coming-of-age Superman story. We follow a boy named Clark Kent through his upbringing and discovery of his powers in a world that has only had superheroes in comic books. We see the life behind the powers, including what happens when the national media and U.S. government get an eyeful of superheroics. This story is unique for sharing the life (and all that entails) of a Superman who is possibly the only superhero in a world that is not ready for one. Immonen's art places readers in a world that strongly resembles our own, but also in the consciousness of a being whose sense of belonging is hardly certain.

4. The Amazing Transformations of Jimmy Olsen, Various authors & artists

Meet Jimmy Olsen, photographer for the Daily Planet newspaper and all-around pain in Superman's neck. He's a good kid, but constantly gets into trouble to the extent that it's a wonder Superman has a spare moment to pay any attention to crises elsewhere in the world. This collection contains a wild bunch of supremely improbable but nonetheless imaginative and can't-miss episodes in the unlucky life of Jimmy. How many junior photographers can boast of becoming a genie, wolfman, firebreather, or even Bizarro version of himself from day to day? Superman has a cameo in every story to save Jimmy from his tragic run-ins with science fiction, but even he can barely make sense of each cause and effect. As Superman himself puts it at the beginning of one story, "Great Scott! Why is Jimmy stuffing that volcano crater with a battleship? What on earth is his huge, twisted turtle-mind up to?" Or as the rear cover asks, "With friends like these, who needs enemies?"

5. Kingdom Come, Mark Waid & Alex Ross

This entry is a bit of a cheat, as it involves just about everyone in the DC Comics universe. The story looks ahead to the future of superheroes, where a new generation does not play by the rules of the classic heroes. (The old "don't kill" rule goes out the window, to much public fanfare.) The story examines a split in the superhero community as Superman and others from the "old guard" try to lock down younger, undisciplined vigilantes. The size and scope of this story has DC Comics references pouring out of every panel, but the epic events painted in amazing detail by Alex Ross steal the show on page after page, especially in the oversized Absolute Edition.


Amazon Says: Cub reporter Jimny Olsen stars in this light-hearted volume collecting his most memorable adventures from the late 1950s and 1960s, guest-starring Superman! Jimmy undergoes st more...
Amazon Says: Cub reporter Jimny Olsen stars in this light-hearted volume collecting his most memorable adventures from the late 1950s and 1960s, guest-starring Superman! Jimmy undergoes startling transformations into Elastic Lad, The Wolf-Man of Metropolis, The Human Porcupine and more in these stories from SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN! less...
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Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar
Amazon Says: Strange visitor from another world who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands… and who, as the champion of the common worker, fights a never-en more...
Amazon Says: Strange visitor from another world who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands… and who, as the champion of the common worker, fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, Socialism and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact. In this startling twist of a familiar tale, a certain Kryptonian rocketship crash-lands on Earth carrying an infant who will one day become the most powerful being on the planet. But his ship doesn’t land in America. He is not raised in Smallville, Kansas. Instead, he makes his new home on a collective in the Soviet Union! From the mind of Mark Millar, the best-selling writer of THE AUTHORITY and Wanted, comes this strangely different take on the Superman mythos. Featuring art by Dave Johnson, Kilian Plunkett, Andrew Robinson, and Walden Wong, with an introduction by film producer Tom DeSanto (X-Men, X2: X-Men United, Transformers), this Deluxe Edition also features an extensive sketch gallery by Johnson, Plunkett and Alex Ross. less...
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Amazon Says: What's in a name? Everything, if you share it with the Man of Steel!  SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY is a 208-page trade paperback collecting the critically lauded 4-issue min more...
Amazon Says: What's in a name? Everything, if you share it with the Man of Steel!  SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY is a 208-page trade paperback collecting the critically lauded 4-issue miniseries written by Kurt Busiek (JLA/AVENGERS, ASTRO CITY) with art by Stuart Immonen (SUPERMAN: END OF THE CENTURY, THOR). Set in the real world, SECRET IDENTITY examines the life of a young Kansas man with the unfortunate name of Clark Kent.All Clark wants is to be a writer, but his daily life is filled with the taunts and jibes of his peers, comparing him to that other Clark Kent — the one with super-powers. Until one day when Clark awakens to discover that he can fly...that he does in fact have super-strength! But where did these powers come from? And what's he going to do about it? less...
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All Star Superman, Vol. 1 by Grant Morrison
Amazon Says: Two of the comics industry's top creative talents, writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely, the acclaimed team behind JLA: EARTH 2, reunite to redefine Superman based more...
Amazon Says: Two of the comics industry's top creative talents, writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely, the acclaimed team behind JLA: EARTH 2, reunite to redefine Superman based on the timeless, essential iconic elements that everyone knows about the Man of Steel. In the first volume, the World's Greatest Super-Hero rescues a doomed group of astronauts on the surface of the sun when he's exposed to massive amounts of solar radiation no one could possibly anticipate how he'll be affected - except Lex Luthor! less...
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All Star Superman, Vol. 2 by Grant Morrison
Amazon Says: In this follow-up to the hit ALL STAR SUPERMAN VOL. 1, the Man of Steel goes toe-to-toe with Bizarro, his oddball twin, and the new character Zibarro, also from the Bizarro pl more...
Amazon Says: In this follow-up to the hit ALL STAR SUPERMAN VOL. 1, the Man of Steel goes toe-to-toe with Bizarro, his oddball twin, and the new character Zibarro, also from the Bizarro planet. And Superman faces the final revenge of Lex Luthor -- his own death! less...
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Amazon Says: DC Comics Absolute Editions set the standard for the highest quality, most in-depth presentation of classic graphic novels. Each oversized volume is presented in a slipcase more...
Amazon Says: DC Comics Absolute Editions set the standard for the highest quality, most in-depth presentation of classic graphic novels. Each oversized volume is presented in a slipcase and includes unique additional material making each Absolute Edition a cornerstone of any serious comic collection. The latest Absolute Collection is the classic KINGDOM COME, written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Alex Ross. This riveting story set in the future pits the old guard—Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and their peers—against a new, uncompromising generation of heroes in the final war to determine the fate of the planet. Published to tie-in with the 10th Anniversary of its original publication, ABSOLUTE KINGDOM COME is packaged in a beautifully designed slipcase that features an all-new painted image by Alex Ross, annotations of the entire series, rare art, promotional images, a gallery of DC Direct Kingdom Come products, a feature on the evolution of a story page and much more. less...
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