Thursday, January 22, 2009

Episode #54: Superman In 2008: The Year In Review

2008 began with the finale of The Third Kryptonian storyline in Superman, as well as the end of the Camelot Falls story in Superman Annual #13. Superman had the three part Insect Queen story, re-introducing the silver age character with a modern twist. We also read the Daxamite story, which seemed a little cliched to me, repeating the all religion equals ignorance plot. The best Superman story was the Atlas story, which almost reflected the Doomsday story of the 1990's.
Action Comics was the better of the two titles, and contained the best Superman stories I have read in a long time through the whole year. My favorite story in the regular titles was Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes. Action Comics Annual #11 told the long over-due conclusion of the General Zod story. Brainiac was another excellent story. Geoff ohns was able to combine the various versions of Brainiac, taking the green-skinned pink-garbed alien and the robot villain and combining them in a way that makes sense. He respects past stories and is able to use what was told before in a way that still allows him to tell the stories he wants to tell. More comic book writers could take lessons from him in this regard. The biggest shock was the ending, with the passing of Pa Kent.
The New Krypton story, encompassing the two Superman titles and Supergirl, is shaping up to be an excellent story to begin 2009. And the return of the triangle numbers from the 1990's Superman titles is a nice touch.
The conclusion of All-Star Superman was the best Superman story of the last three years. That's how long it took for this twelve issue mini-series to be published. This story fits into any era of Superman continuity, and is one of the best Superman stories I have ever read. If I were to rate this story in my top ten list of best Superman stories, which I listed in episode #1 of this podcast, I would have to put it at #4.
Coming up in 2009, along with the conclusion of New Krypton, is Superman: Secret Origins which will be written by Geoff Johns. And DC has released news that Superman will leave Earth, which reminds me of the Superman In Exile storyline from the 1990's. I will feature issues of this story in various episodes of this podcast, to share what I was reading when I returned to comics. Superman will even leave Action Comics, which will be written by Greg Rucka. The Kryptonian heroes Nightwing and Flamebird will take over the title, temporarilly I'm sure. Seeing these characters catches my interest, expecially after reading reprints of the 1960's versions of these characters. And Greg Rucka writing anything is a good reason to pick it up.
Trade paperbacks of these stories coming out in 2009:
All-Star Superman volume II hardcover will be available on February 11, 2009.
Camalot Falls hardcover vol. II, collecting Superman#662-664, 667-668 and Superman Annual #13 on February 25, 2009. Volume I is now abailable.
Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes hardcover, collecting Action Comics #858-863 is available now.
Superman: The Coming of Atlas hardcover, collecting Superman 677-680, will be published on April 8, 2009.
Superman: Brainiac hardcover, collecting Action Comics 866-870, will be released on March 4, 2009.
Superman / Batman: The Search For Krypotonite trade paperback, collecting Superman / Batman #44-49, is now available.
On the movie front, I would like to share my opinion about the development, or lack of, on a new Superman movie. There was a possibly disturbing announcement by a Warner Bro's. movie executive that with thesuccess of The Dark Knight, WB will develop DC characters in movies that will portray the characters as "dark" as the characters will allow. We've all heard some of the crazy Superman movie ideas that thankfully were dropped. It's possible to make a dark Superman movie without making Superman or Clark "darker" and changing them into something they are not. It also seemed to take WB too long to figure out what to do with Superman specifically and DC characters in general. These decisions should have been made within a year after the release of Superman Returns, not after The Dark Knight. WB seems to be losing any momentum they had after the release of these two movies. Marvel Studios has the potential of leaving WB eating their dust. What does WB have ready to release after Watchmen in March? I rest my case.
Finally I want to share a few topics I will explore in 2009 on this podcast. To honor Julius Schwartz on the anniversary of his passing, I will share the tribute issues DC published in the months after his death. For Curt Swan's birthday I will look at the story he co-starred in, I Flew With Superman. And for Julius Schwartz's birthday I will share his birthday issue, Superman #411.
I want to thank everyone who listened to this podcast. I have enjoyed sharing not everything I know, but all I've learned this year about the world of Superman. I am finding there is a lot to be learned about Superman that will fill many episodes of this podcast, which I plan on continuing for a long time.
And thanks, as always, to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
Superman Fan Podcast can be found at Send e-mail about this podcast to
My Pull List is my spoiler free review blog of the comic books I read every week. It can be found at Send e-mail about this blog to
Superman and all related characters are copyright DC Comics.

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