Its often said we remember exactly where we were when an event of seismic importance happened in our lives.
In the history of comics (DC or otherwise), few events, if any, equal the scale, impact, importance and historical significance of The Death of Superman.
DC Comics is celebrating the 30th anniversary of this tale with the November 8th release of The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special, written and drawn by the creative teams behind the original Death of Superman story.
You can read more about this special one-shot here:
Also available on November 8th is the Superman #75: 30th Anniversary Special Edition:
If you’ve always wanted to experience buying Superman #75 brand-new on its day of release but have never done so, DC definitely has you covered with the above reprint.
So, the question is: Where were you in '92 when Superman made the ultimate sacrifice?
Were you standing in line at your favorite comic store, eager to pick up Superman #75 and see if the unimaginable had actually happened?
Were you unfamiliar with comics prior to The Death of Superman, but because of the brobdingnagian attention it rightly earned, you were drawn into the medium and have been a steadfast comic fan ever since?
Were you born after 1992, and came to know The Death of Superman through its assorted trade releases (or back issue bin dives, if you wanted the single issues)?
Did you first read The Death of Superman on DC Universe Infinite?
Whatever scenario fits you, share your tale of where you were when you first experienced The Death of Superman and your thoughts on The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special.
I was 12 years old, and in a period of my life when I lived in Cairo (my childhood was split between Egypt & California; long story). Far as this gargantuan event goes…
For years, all I personally knew of Superman were Reeve, Reeves, Super Friends, and scattered episodes of Lois & Clark.
Come 1998 I finally got access to a noisy little thing called a modem, and the internet floodgates were open. They were talking about this electric blue Superman, something for the new millennium (God there was a lot of millennium talk back then). Those articles and news bits would make reference to the previous big change in Superman’s life: his death & return. “Huh, I didn’t know he died. One day I gotta check that out.”
My relationship with comics in general, and DC in particular, didn’t start until 2011. I’ve read Death & Return probably twice in the past 10 years. My comics memory is like a sieve though, so another re-read seems appropriate given the anniversary.
I know, not a very exciting first comment for the thread. I wasn’t hot with anticipation nor did I didn’t stand in line to get my copy, and I missed all the news coverage. It does say something though that it was one of the first “older” stories I checked out when I finally did get into comics. I had it in mind from the articles I read online over a decade before. It didn’t disappoint .
I remember the first time I heard one, and I thought “Is it okay, or did I break it?”
I remember the chit-chat about Superman Blue, then. Mostly from Starlog, as well as assorted toy collecting mags, especially ToyFare, since they were the action figure equivalent of Wizard, and often covered a lot of comic news through figures that pertained to said news.
Keep your eyes on The Modern Age Superman Club in the coming days.
No worries, Skip. I value everyone’s experience, as they’re all exciting and important in some manner.
It certainly does. Do you remember the first “older” story you gravitated to?
I was 22 and it is still the longest line I’ve been in at a comic shop.
The fun part was the previous months. Since the Superbooks were not big sellers and everyone wanted the first Doomsday cameo appearances there weren’t enough to go around. So those of us that had the Superman books on their pull list the longest got the comics and the rest had to wait for reprints.
This was near the end of my collecting days. I was spending around $200 a month on comics through a mail order service that gave a discount. So I had no lines to stand in. I did later own the novelization of the Death and Return of Superman.
I was 7 and about to be 8 when The Death of Superman happened. My younger sister was about to be born. I had only just started reading comics a few months to a year prior. I, of course, knew about Superman, but most of what I had been reading up to that point had been Marvel and whatever I looked cool in 50 cent bins. I somehow ended up owning a copy of the Justice League Spectacular which was probably my only context for Superman in comics up to that point (and it introduced me to the Justice League characters present for his death). Ironically, my true introduction to Superman was probably in the story where they killed him.
When the Death of Superman hype started hitting the national news, DC firmly had my attention. This was the first comic book event that I had to go to my LCS each week for. I was driven like a boy possessed. There were disappointments. As @CaptainYesterday mentioned, most shops were not prepared for the volume of readers this event would drive in. I had to wait and settle for quite a few reprints, so it also introduced me to the concept of reprints. I remember reading those later issues while visiting my mom in the hospital after my sister was born. Not too long after, Knightfall happened and I got to witness Bane breaking Batman’s back. These two stories became the one-two punch that solidified my DC fandom.
Side story: I can’t remember what grade I was in (4th through 6th), but I had an English teacher that made us do book reports every month. He let us choose what books we read and did the reports on so long as we turned them in on time. For awhile, I only chose novelizations of comics. The last straw for my teacher was my report on The Death and Return of Superman novel. After that, he told me that I couldn’t pick anymore superhero novels. I was furious. But, I ended up reading A Wrinkle in Time for my next book report and enjoyed it, so I guess it all worked out.
I was 14 when Doomsday killed Superman, being a Superman’s fan it was very upsetting, why would DC Comic allow this? I thought I would never see Superman ever again. And yes his death was a big deal at the time.
I’m planning to snag the bagged edition of the anniversary book and the Superman #75 Special Edition.
I have the current trade run of Death/Return (and before that, I had the original trade run from the '90s) and the Dollar Comics and original editions of Superman #75.
However, given the importance of the anniversary and the issue itself, the SE is, for me, a must-get, so as to round-out the anniversary celebration “package” if you will.
I kinda-sorta thought about the 30th anniversary printing of the omnibus earlier in the year, but I held off.
Who knows, though? Maybe Santa will drop by with it.
Nice! Did you get new books in the mail at the same time they hit the shops, or was there a delay?
Good on him for letting you and the other students choose what they want, as that is but one way to get kids interested in literature, rather than having something forced on them as short-sighted teachers often do.
I did a book report on the Batman Forever junior novelization when I was in 7th grade. I got an A+, easy.
Why, that short-sighted son of a-
the rest of my thought is drowned out by a bullhorn
I don’t blame you. If he had a bug up his shorts about superhero-based books, its not for him to force his POV on his students.
He should have been glad you found a type of book you enjoyed and frequently went back to, rather than get pissy over absolutely nothing.
The important thing is that you carried on with DC, no matter what Mr. “Stop reading superheroes!” thought.
SN: A Wrinkle in Time is on my “been meaning to read it since I was a kid and haven’t found the time to sufficiently dive into it” list. One day, one day.
I was 9.
At the time, Batman was my #1 favorite, and I hadn’t read very many Superman comics beyond multi-packs of assorted Byrne issues that I snagged from a local general-ish store that also had multi-packs of Post-Crisis Batman issues.
Even so, Superman was a close-second favorite, thanks to the few comics I had read, along with the Fleischer shorts, the Reeve movies and the Filmation TV series.
I hadn’t read one issue of Death prior to #75, but after I got home with it from my Hastings store (any other Hastings fans about?), I was floored.
“Superman can’t die!”, I told myself.
I have no shame in admitting that I teared up a bit when I read the issue and in the years since, I still tear up a bit when I read the climactic moment. The writing and art combine to hit the emotional buttons they need to in just the perfect way.
Sure, most people didn’t think Superman would stay dead.
However, when you’re a little kid and weren’t yet familiar with how death worked in comics (to say nothing of having no familiarity with what had come in the storyline prior to Superman #75), it certainly seemed like he could have stayed dead.
So, you were in-line, or you hired a stand-in while getting some grub at Big Belly Burger?
I’d go for “100 tacos for $100”, but the Doctor Who marathon wasn’t on, so, there you go.
In some of the interviews with the creative teams, they’ve said they received letters from people who evidently did think he was toast.
Most people did know he’d be back, but I can see how some would think “Well…maybe he is done for and will be replaced.”
Especially since comic fandom hadn’t yet been hit over the head Homey D. Clown from In Living Color-style with constant deaths and returns.
Superman led the charge for all of the other deaths and returns to come, once more proving he sets the standard for everyone else.
Eh. Maybe it was about his feelings on the genre, but he was probably just trying to get me out of my comfort zone. He probably thought I wouldn’t have read anything else if he didn’t. …He was probably right.
I haven’t revisited it since I was a kid, but I remember really liking it…
I was only 3 when Superman died, so I missed the news. At the time I was only interested in Captain Marvel. I started collecting Superman a little after he returned, with the “Trial of Superman” storyline.