Catching up on Krypton and seeing Shazam! has sparked my interest in Big Blue. What would you guys recommend?
WORLD OF KRYPTON (1979):
ADVENTURE COMICS (1935-)
To be a little more specific than titles with decades-long runs, some good ones that people point to a lot are (and Superman isn’t my strong suit, so this is not all we have, just the two I’ve read):
If you want a oneshot, Superman Annual #11 is an absolute classic. I did find it slightly jarring that it is, as I read it, a rather scathing criticism of an interpretation of Superman that isn’t really used all that much today (namely, a somewhat aloof alien obsessed with Krypton, rather than the more human interpretation that’s been favored ever since John Byrne rewrote the origin in the late '80s), but the point is valid for the time and the story itself very well written.
If you want something really long, try the Doomsday/Funeral for a Friend/Reign of the Supermen saga. I found Doomsday and Funeral for a Friend dull and filler-heavy, but I’m in the minority and even I’ll agree that Reign of the Supermen is excellent.
This is a little bit of an underrated mini series, but I would highly recommend Superman: Secret Identity. It’s about a kid in our world who is named Clark Kent. All his life he’s been teased about having the same name as our favorite superhero. One day he wakes up and finds he has super powers. It’s a great story with a lot of heart and shows you what it means to be Superman, even in a world like ours. Written by Kurt Busiek and art by Stuart Immonen. It’s in the comics section.
If you’re hyped after Shazam, I would definitely recommend the Superman/Shazam: First Thunder series, which deals with the two meeting as Billy gains his powers.
If you like Superman Annual #11, aka “For The Man Who Has Everything,” I would also recommend Alan Moore’s other Superman work, “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” Collected under Superman #423 and Action Comics #583, it’s largely considered the end of the Pre-Crisis Superman era, but it works as a great Superman story regardless of your involvement with that era.
Also there’s Superman Unchained, by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee, which is about Superman dealing with an alien visitor who landed on Earth long before he did and has been working with the US Military, and struggling with what his limits should be.
And I would also recommend Superman: American Alien, which details the growth of Superman from a young boy learning how to fly for the first time, to taking his first steps fighting intergalactic villains as Superman, in a take that’s more human than many comic creators in the past have dared.
Try Superman for All Seasons. I’ve always loved the Loeb/Sale stories, especially (some other company’s character): Blue, and their Superman story is equally great.
For a cool single issue, try Action Comics (2011-) #9. Grant Morrison can be a bit of a handful. The current Doom Patrol series contains a lot of his ideas, for a reference point. But if it is your bag, try his whole run on Action.
I thought about recommending Morrison’s run of Action, but it is one of those runs where I think it works best when you can read the entire run, which his ends in #18. So that one I would recommend when DCU gets the whole complete run on the service.
And speaking of which, if/when All-Star Superman gets on here…get on that. It’s not only one of the best Superman stories ever, it’s one of the best superhero stories ever.
The For Tomorrow arc of Superman (1987-2006) is worth a read.
It runs from issues 204-215, features Beautiful Jim Lee art and an interesting story by Brian Azzarello.
Supes is my favorite, so I would say read them all!
There are some amazing recommendations here, guys! I know what I’m reading this weekend!
Like @Jay_Kay I’m very partial to Superman/Shazam: First Thunder. It has one of my favorite Superman moments and I think it captures the spirit of who Superman is as a character absolutely perfectly.
Other choice Superman reads on here:
-The Death and Return of Superman
-the Path of Doom arc of Action Comics (Rebirth series, #'s 957-962)
-the Son of Superman arc from Superman (Rebirth series; consists of the Superman: Rebirth one-shot and Superman #'s 1-6)
Come Tuesday, there will alot more great Superman reads here to peruse and revel in the awesomeness of.