Superman Newbie

I recently watched the original Christopher Reeve Superman for the first time (I know: “WHAT?!”). I’ve never been a big Superman fan. I’ve always just known him through Batman or Justice League books, or the animated and other live action films. After watching that movie, I want to dive into some good Superman comics. I loved it! It gave me that kind of excitement and joy that came with getting into comics in the first place. It’s got that golden/silver age goofiness while also having that monumental feeling that it was a huge step forward for comics on the big screen. What are some recommendations for a good Superman entry point and/or the best/must-read Superman stories?

I just read the first volumes of New 52 Action Comics and New 52 Superman. I enjoyed them and intend to see them through to the end (I’m a completionist reader so it’ll drive me crazy if I don’t).

Let me know what you think!


I don’t know if I would start with the new 52.
I would definitely look at All Star Superman, it is my personal favorite story.
If you liked the Donner film read Superman Secret Origin. Also into Superman for All Seasons, Superman: Secret Identity, and Kingdom Come.
I also liked the Superman Rebirth comics too.


If you love Christopher Reeve’s Superman, then the Geoff Johns run is for you:

  1. Secret Origin

  2. Last Son

  3. Escape From Bizarro World

  4. Brainiac


Yeah as I’m reading the New 52 stuff, I can see why it got so much criticism. It seems like a very different Superman than I imagine he traditionally is. And I really don’t like his suit.


Yeah, they tried really hard to make him “modern”, which didn’t really work out.
Rebirth kinda reverts him back to a more “classic” take on the character.


Thanks man!


If you want an earlier entry point, you can start after the Crisis. Superman’s origin was retold in a 1986 miniseries. Afterward, the main Superman series was retitled Adventures of Superman, and a new Superman series was started. Action Comics joined in on the reboot as well, taking on the role of the Superman team-up series from DC Comics Presents.

  1. The Man of Steel
  2. Action Comics #584 onward
  3. Adventures of Superman
  4. Superman Vol. 2

Awesome. Is post Death of Superman stuff worth reading at all?

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It varies from book to book, creative team to creative team


I’m not really into the mid-90s to early-00s stories myself, but the head of the Superman Book Club, @Vroom, really likes those stories. It starts off with Superman sporting his long-hair look, and then Lois and Clark get married, and then Supes gets his electric blue suit, and then Metropolis becomes a futuristic city, and then Lex Luthor becomes President of the United States, and then Superman and Batman end up taking Luthor down, and then Lois and a million other people suddenly vanish, and…it’s just not for me. I prefer the post-Infinite Crisis stories of the late 2000s.


Sweet. I’ve read all of Bendis’s current Superman run cuz I like staying current. I just haven’t read any of the classic stuff. I’ve heard a lot of mixed feelings about Bendis doing Superman. As someone who just jumped onto the character with that book, I actually like it a lot. I’d be interested to know what you guys think having more experience with the character.


I’m a big proponent of Bendis’ Superman. I think he is doing a terrific job so far. Glad to have you join the club :grin:


I don’t hate Bendis run so far but I don’t love it either. Bendis has used the Superman books to bring back two of my favorite hero teams, Young Justice and the Legion of Superheroes. But his actually Superman stories are kinda Meh to me.
I was more into Tomasi & Gleason Rebirth run and the Super Sons spin off.


One of my favorite Superman stories, “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?” Action Comics #775.


If you do want a jumping-on point for the early 2000s stories (which initially retain the triangle numbering but are no longer tightly interconnected like the true “Triangle Era” of the 1990s), then there is a clear place to start:

  1. Superman #151
  2. Adventures #573
  3. Man of Steel #95
  4. Action Comics #760

They occasionally cross over, but they’re more accessible than the 90s stuff. Jeph Loeb and Joe Kelly take over the Superman and Action Comics titles, respectively. As such, you may choose to start with Loeb’s “origin story” miniseries, Superman for All Seasons.


Just read issue 1 of John Byrne’s Man of Steel. Great suggestion. Can’t wait to read more.


Agree with @AlexanderKnox! Byrne is the best imo. His MoS and Superman stuff is the place to begin. Then, for me, I’d start reading Adventures of Superman around issue 451. This is the 4 part story when Dan Jurgens starts writing.


Welcome to the wonderful world of Superman, @SethMac! :superman_hv_3:

Here are a few very easy to get into Superman reads available on DCU to check out (some may be repeats of other folks’ suggestions, but that just means they’re really worth checking out :slightly_smiling_face: ):

-DC Comics Presents (1978): Wonderful team-up tales of Superman and other characters. This series demonstrates how fantastically versatile Superman is, and it’s also a great gateway for other characters/franchises you might be interested in.

-The Man of Steel (1986): The best retelling of Superman’s origin. John Byrne does no wrong in this mini-series or his subsequent work on Action Comics (1938), which begins at #584, along with his work on Superman (1987) from #'s 1-22.

Byrne also had a small stint on The Adventures of Superman from #'s 441-444, however #441 is the only book of that lot available as a digital single issue right now.

-Superman Adventures (1996): The comic book tie-in to Superman: The Animated Series, this series is one of the best Superman ongoing titles of the last 24 years. It perfectly captures the aesthetics of the show, while also showcasing characters briefly or never seen on the TV show (Mister Miracle and General Zod, among others).

-The Electric Costume: A fun story that introduced Superman’s electricity based look and powers, making him “ready for the next century!”. While his powers and costume change ran from 1997-1998 and constituted assorted storyarcs, the following issues are where Superman’s new look and powers came to be:

  • Superman (1987) #122
  • Adventures of Superman (1986) #545
  • Action Comics (1938) #732
  • Superman: The Man of Steel (1991) #67
  • Superman (1987) #123

-Superman: For All Seasons (1998): A delightful retelling of Superman’s origin, this time by writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale. Loeb can do no wrong with Superman, and this 4 issue mini-series is but one instance of why that is. Tim Sale’s art perfectly captures the wistful atmosphere of Smallville, the big city grandeur of Metropolis and the wonder of Superman, not only as a character, but also in the sense of the overall Superman franchise.

-Superman/Batman (2003) #'s 1-6 and 8-13, the “Public Enemies” and “The Return of the Supergirl from Krypton” arcs, written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Ed McGuinness and Michael Turner, respectively. These stories are PURE. FUN.

-Superman (1987) #'s 204-216: Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee’s underrated gem, “For Tomorrow”. The story is interesting and the art is beautiful. If you want to see Superman and General Zod locked in combat as drawn by one of THE masters of comic book art, Jim Lee, this arc is for you. For Tomorrow has many other highpoints as well, including a fight between Superman and Wonder Woman that is also beautifully rendered, as well as the relocation of the Fortress of Solitude, and the introduction of the mysterious Mr. Orr.

-Superman Confidential (2006) #'s 1-5 and 11: Written by Darwyn Cooke and drawn by Tim Sale, “Kryptonite” features a retelling of Superman’s first encounter with the deadly pieces of his homeworld, and how it would shape him.

-Superman Unchained (2013): The best New 52 Superman series, this 9 issue mini features the writing of Scott Snyder and again, the masterful pencils of Jim Lee.

-Action Comics (2016) and Superman (2016-2018). The two core (main) Rebirth Superman titles. Both are absolutely fantastic and then some.

-Man and Superman 100-Page Super Spectacular: Filed under Superman Confidential (2006) and at the very end of the series, this tale by the legendary Marv Wolfman and artist Claudio Castellini is a modern masterwork.

So, there you go. A variety of Superman reads that are easy to get into, all of which exhibit a ton of fun and showcase The Last Son of Krypton in multifaceted manners that reflect what a wonderfully versatile character he is.

As the overseer of the DC Universe Superman Book Club, I’ve also highlighted many other Superman adventures over there that are worth your time. The club is on hiatus until March 18th, but head over to Community Events to check out the existing entries, or just search for the club, and it should come up for ya.

Enjoy! :clark_hv_4:


@SethMac: Welcome to the world of The Adventures of Superman! Glad to have you aboard! @AlexanderKnox has provided you with a comprehensive reading list that you will find very entertaining. If I can throw my two cents in, seek out the Silver and Bronze Age Superman books here on the app; they will not disappoint. As you delve further into the world of The Man of Steel, you will come to learn the true meaning of these classic words: “…fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!”


Thanks for the welcome @Vroom! I used to dismiss Superman because (like many other people) I thought “he’s too powerful”. I’m starting to realize there’s a lot more to him.