New Reader Guide: Superman
Welcome to the Austin Books & Comics New Reader Guide! We’re here to introduce some of our favorite books that you may not already know about, and maybe even help you find your next favorite comic series!
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive. The Man of Steel, the Last Son of Krypton. The most famous superhero of all time, bar none. As another 1/3 of DC’s Trinity, Superman has endured as an inspiring symbol, representing the best of what we can be.
In this guide you’ll find the recent Superman ongoing series, as well as some of the more acclaimed miniseries, story arcs, and other series.
All titles are available at the store, and if not we will be happy to special order them for you!
Current Ongoing Series
Introducing Jonathan Kent, the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, as the new Superboy. This series is a twist on the Kent family dynamic, putting Clark into the Pa Kent role, and being forced to decide whether he should encourage his son to embrace his powers, or hide them from the world.
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Action Comics (Rebirth)
Superman returns to Metropolis after some time away, only to find its new protector is Lex Luthor. In the midst of their confrontation they are interrupted by none other than… Clark Kent??
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Patrick Zircher
Concluded Series (New 52)
Superman (New 52)
This series finds Superman in a shocking new status quo: the populace fears him, the media mistrusts him, and he is far from the inspiring figure he is known to be. Not only this, he must face a massive threat to Metropolis that he may be the cause of.
Writer: George Perez
Artist: Jesus Merino, Nicola Scott
Number of volumes: 5
Action Comics (New 52)
As part of the New 52 relaunch, Action Comics features a younger Superman early in his career, having just arrived in Metropolis.
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Andy Kubert, Rags Morales
Number of volumes: 8
Lois and Clark
Effectively using the often-twisty DC continuity, this series centers around the Pre-New 52 versions of Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and their son Jonathan, who have been transported to the (then) current New 52 version of Earth. Operating anonymously and in the background for years, this Superman and his family’s secrets are about to be revealed to the world, with their son caught in the middle.
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Sergio Cariello, Scott Hanna, Lee Weeks
Number of volumes: 1
Batman/Superman (New 52)
It’s well-known that Batman and Superman are the best of friends. However, in the relaunched New 52 continuity, the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel barely know each other. This series depicts the early days of their partnership, and how they went from the heroes of their respective cities to the World’s Finest.
Writer: Greg Pak
Artists: Jae Lee, Ben Oliver, Brett Booth, Jonathan Glapion, Ardian Syaf, Vicente Cifuentes
Number of Volumes: 5
Superman/Wonder Woman (New 52)
This series centers around the romance between the most powerful couple in the DC universe: the Man of Steel and the Warrior Princess of the Amazons, as they fight against not only enemies, but those that disapprove of their pairing.
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Tony Salvador Daniel
Number of volumes: 4
Limited Series, Collections, and Graphic Novels
Inspired by the 1990s animated series, Superman Adventures captures the unique feel of the iconic series, featuring stories by comics legends Paul Dini and Scott McCloud. Full of action and thrills, this series appeals to Superman fans young and old.
Writers: Paul Dini, Scott McCloud
Artists: Terry Austin, Bret Blevins, Rick Burchett, Mike Manley
Number of volumes: 2
Widely considered to be one of the greatest Superman stories of all time, All-Star Superman incorporates numerous Silver Age-esque concepts while portraying Superman as the iconic, inspiring figure he was always meant to be.
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Frank Quitely
Superman: American Alien
Written by Max Landis with a different artist each issue, American Alien focuses on different points throughout Clark Kent’s life as he goes from rebellious Kansas farmboy to the legendary hero we all know, while developing connections to the greater DC Universe as he meets figures like Lex Luthor, Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen, and more.
Writer: Max Landis
Artists: Nick Dragotta, Joëlle Jones, Jae Lee, Francis Manapul, Tommy Lee Edwards, Jonathan Case, Jock, Ryan Sook
This series explored the friendship, camaraderie, and antagonism between the titular characters. It opens with President Lex Luthor declaring Batman and Superman has public enemies, stating that a Kryptonite asteroid headed towards Earth is part of an evil plan of Superman’s. This sends both villains and heroes after the duo, who must work together to clear their names and prove Luthor’s guilt.
Writers: Jeph Loeb, et al
Artists: Ed McGuinness, et al
Number of volumes: 12
A modern retelling of Superman’s origins, Birthright follows a young Clark Kent as he goes from Kansas farmboy to Daily Planet reporter and the greatest hero the world has ever known. His journeys around the world as a young reporter, combined with his rural Kansas upbringing and alien origin, provide a unique perspective on the value of life and the inherent goodness of humanity.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Leinil Yu
Death of Superman
A truly shocking event for its time, the Death of Superman centered around Superman and his cataclysmic battle against the seemingly-unstoppable beast Doomsday, culminating in the apparent death of both combatants.
Writers: Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson, Roger Stern
Artists: Jon Bogdanove, Brett Breeding, Tom Grummett, Jackson Guice, Dan Jurgens
Superman: Earth One
Part of DC’s Earth One line of graphic novels, Superman: Earth One depicts a young Clark Kent first arriving to Metropolis as he tries to find his place in the world not only as Clark Kent (finding a job, living up to his potential, making his parents proud) but also as Superman (revealing his powers to the world and the consequences that follow).
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Shane Davis
Number of volumes: 3
Superman For All Seasons
A four issue miniseries that depicts Superman from the perspectives of Jonathan Kent, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, and Lana Lang. This coming-of-age story divided by seasons (in the literal and metaphorical sense) depicts Clark Kent making the difficult transition from small town Kansas farmboy to big city reporter, while trying to use his powers to the best of his abilities.
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Time Sale
Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told
A collection of essential Superman stories from over the years, most notably 2001’s “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?”, written by Joe Kelly with art by Doug Mahnke and Lee Bermejo. This story centers around Superman and his conflicts with a new superpowered vigilante group called The Elite, who often kill their foes. Despite public support, Superman disagrees with their methods, showing that there are lines that heroes should not cross.
Writers: Jerry Siegel, William Woolfolk, Edmond Hamilton, Elliot S. Maggin, Jim Steranko, John Byrne, Joe Kelly
Artists: Joe Shuster, Al Plastino, George Klein, Murphy Anderson, Curt Swan, Mœbius, Dick Giordano, Mike Mignola, Karl Kese, Doug Mahnke, Lee Bermejo
In the near future, the superheroes we know have retired, replaced by edgier, more violent vigilantes that cause almost as much chaos and destruction as the villains they fight. When the world comes to the brink of destruction, Superman and his old allies must come out of retirement for one last stand for truth and justice.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Alex Ross
Superman: Man of Steel
After 1986’s seminal Crisis on Infinite Earths event, DC had creator John Byrne reinvent Superman for the modern era. This 6-part miniseries stripped away many of the campier elements of the Silver Age including the varying types of Kryptonite, Superman’s early career as Superboy with the Legion of Superheroes, and the other Kryptonian elements such as the bottled city of Kandor and Krypto the Super Dog. The series also reimagined many supporting characters, changing Lois Lane from damsel in distress to a strong, independent reporter and Lex Luther from mad scientist to scheming businessman.
Writer/Artist: John Byrne
Superman: Red Son
One of the ultimate “What if?” stories, Red Son asks the question of what if the most powerful being on Earth didn’t grow up with a loving family in small town America, but instead came up in the harsh, frozen wastes of Soviet Russia. A brilliant twist on the Superman mythos, this miniseries explores alternate takes on Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Lex Luthor, and others.
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Dave Johnson
Superman: Secret Identity
This alternate take on Superman centers around a young man named Clark Kent who lives in a world where superheroes only exist on the pages of comic books. This Clark discovers that like his namesake, he has superpowers that he uses to help people. A meta take on the Superman mythos, this series explores the idea of what makes a regular person into a hero.
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Superman: Secret Origin
Following the Infinite Crisis event from 2006, this miniseries was the new definitive version of Superman’s origin. Incorporating numerous modern elements into the iconic tale, as well as reintroducing Silver Age concepts such as Superman’s early years as Superboy, the Legion of Superheroes, and more into a modern context.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
Effectively a celebration of the Silver Age version of Superman, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? features Superman facing off against his greatest foes, including a reimagined version of Bizarro, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and more.
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: Curt Swan