Retro Geek: Out of the BinJune 12, 2014
Welcome to a new installment of comics where we take a look back at some of the great retro graphic novels and story arcs to grace the comic book ages. There is tons of great material out there, and some of them may have been reviewed to death before but we are going to start taking a look at some of the titles you may have forgotten or not picked up in many years.
This week we are going to kick off with a title that everyone should know and most have read.
The Death of Superman
Originally released in 1992, this story arc graced the pages of Superman: The Man of Steel #17-19, Superman #73 – 75, The Adventures of Superman #496 – 497, Action Comics #683 – 684 and Justice League America #69. It has also been collected in graphic novel format with many reprints, making this one of the most easily accessible story arcs out there. The actual death of Superman took place in Superman issue #75 and was reprinted in a total of 7 times due to sales demand. The 1st printing of the death only holds a current value of around $18 (according to ComicBookRealm). You can pick up the graphic novel for relatively cheap at any shop or convention where I have seen it go for as little as $5.00. When issue #75 came out, you had the option of picking up the poly bagged issue which was black with a bleeding Superman crest on it, or the regular newsstand edition.
One interesting fact that many may not have know is that as the actual story wound down each issue had less and less panels per page to the point that when they reached Superman #75, it was told completely through one page splashes in order to maximize the readers experience in the significance of Superman being defeated by Doomsday. The Death of Superman also kicked off a long reigning story arc starting with Funeral for a Friend and Reign of the Superman before we saw his return. In 2007, the story was loosely adapted into an animation called Superman: Doomsday.
The fact that it was so well received by readers may have actually been the worst part of the comic. Many comic collectors saw a return of Superman in under a year and with so many re-printings of the death, the comics worth diminished substantially. The slew of fans looking to buy for collectible investments drove the value down with each and every reprinting as it continued to sell out each time. The first printing sold out worldwide overnight during the release. The stigma following the death and return of Superman is that it burst the collecting bubble of comics and broke ground for comic studios to kill and bring back characters at whim.
For those of you that have not taken the time to read this classic story, you can be assured that the Death of Superman story arc will still leave you satisfied as with any solid Superman arc. We get to watch Doomsday, who was brand new to the DC universe, walk through the then-current roster of the Justice League before being met by the Man of Steel. The battle that ensues is splashed across the pages and it’s a thrilling ride. It’s well worth the read regardless of whether or not you’ve read it before. It has a nostalgic feeling about it and will bring you right back to the 90s again, perfect for the first of what will be many editions of “Out of the Bin”!