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Superman: New Krypton Saga Reading Order

Fifteen years ago, The World of Superman was shaken up by a big crossover story arc involving all the Superman titles in what is called The World of New Krypton – more often reduced to New Krypton. Following the events of Geoff Johns’ Brainiac arc and James Robinson’s Atlas arc on Superman, The Man of Steel must deal with the death of his adoptive father and the fact that 100,000 Kryptonians are now living on Earth, seeing the planet as the New Krypton!

To be more specific, as DC Comics’ official synopsis said ‘The Man of Steel learns that a piece of his home planet Krypton survived – the shrunken, bottled city of Kandor! And when the city is grown to normal size, it looks like Superman finally has the connection to his past he’s been missing all his life as thousands of Kryptonians are suddenly able to walk the Earth. But his happiness soon turns to dread as relations between the Kryptonians and humans dissolve, and the two cultures face a massive clash!’

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Bizarro: Superman’s Deranged Clone is a tragicomic anti-hero NOT!

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The 1950s were another time, especially in the pages of comics like Superboy where strange things happened regularly for our young superhero. As the decade concluded, things would not become more conventionally heroic by today’s standards. Yesterday’s standards, that’s another story. Anyways, Superboy met The Super-Creature of Steel named Bizarro in Superboy #68 (October 1958).

Often portrayed as a distorted and imperfect duplicate of Superman, Bizarro had different origin stories through the years, but he has chalky white skin and distorted features–and is often depicted with a backward “S” symbol on his chest. His actions and speech are often opposite or inverted compared to Superman’s. As a result, he became the source of humorous situations or, on the contrary, tragic ones.

Credits for the creation of the character are often given to writer Otto Binder and artist George Papp, but Bizarro came from the mind of another writer, Alvin Schwartz. He was going to introduce this distorted mirror version of the Man of Steel first in the Superman daily newspaper strip. However, editor Mort Weisinger had reviewed Schwartz’s work and passed the idea to Binder to use in Superboy. The newspaper strip ended up published later and that’s why Alvin Schwartz is not the credited creator of Bizarro.

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House Of Brainiac Reading Order, a Superman Crossover Event

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DC has teased that something evil was coming during Dawn of DC. Something called the ‘Trinity of Evil’. The infamous Amanda Waller took over in her way following the events of Titans: Beast World while Zur-En-Arrh has been a big part of Chip Zdarsky’s Batman run. A Trinity would be incomplete without a third member who happens to be… Brainiac!

The crossover event story House of Brainiac, marks the return of Brainiac as well as the introduction of the Brainiac Queen, the newest adversary in Superman’s rogues gallery! This story is also part of the year-long initiative Superman Superstars, in which a pair of writers and artists tell a mini-arc in three issues in Action Comics and then hand over the title to a new creative team.

As DC Comics explained, House of Brainiac starts with “Brainiac’s Czarnian army invading Metropolis! The Super-Family and all the superheroes of Metropolis join the fight, but will they be enough to hold off Brainiac’s lethal and crazed soldiers?! Can Superman and Lex Luthor learn what Brainiac is searching for? He’s not bottling Metropolis, so what is he collecting instead?”

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Superman’s deaths : Exploring the Multiple Deaths of the Man of Steel in the comics

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It’s no secret that Superman is nearly indestructible, except when he’s in the presence of Kryptonite. But, like all other comic book characters, he is not immune to death. On the contrary, killing off Superman is a popular notion that has been explored several times over the years.

Readers are naturally intrigued by the stories dealing with Superman’s death. Because he is one of the most popular and powerful superheroes, his death has a significant emotional impact as well as a mythical meaning. Those storylines may also have high stakes and epic conflicts in order to create a spectacle based on what Superman means to the readers, his allies, and his foes.

Whatever attracts the readers towards Superman’s death, it is a subject that has been explored throughout the years, from forgettable tales to iconic stories.

Warning! As this article discussed how Superman died in several stories, it is full of spoilers. Tread carefully.

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Jon Kent Reading Order (Superboy, Superman)

Created by Dan Jurgens, Jonathan ‘Jon’ Samuel Kent is the son of Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane. He is a human/Kryptonian hybrid who made his debut as a baby in Convergence: Superman #2 in July 2015. When your father is Superman, chances are you’re not an ordinary kid and Jon possesses some great powers including solar radiation absorption, invulnerability, superman strength, speed and hearing, the capacity to fly, X-Ray Vision, and more.

Since his introduction less than ten years later, Jon Kent has lived some wild adventures with his parents, with Clark showing him how to be a responsible person and how to use his powers. Jon took the superhero persona of Superboy and teamed up with his now best friend Damian Wayne/Robin. More recently, Jon Kent has been a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, has taken the mantle of Superman, and was revealed to be bisexual.

Despite being a young character in the DC Universe, Jon Kent has already found his way to the screen and has been played by Jordan Elsass (in seasons 1 & 2) and Michael Bishop (from season 3) in the series Superman & Lois. Jack Dylan Grazer has also voiced the character in the animated film Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2023.

Superman Infinite Frontier Reading Order (with Phillip Kennedy Johnson & Tom Taylor)

Following recent events (with Dark Nights: Death Metal, Generations, and Future State), the DC Multiverse has expanded into a larger Omniverse, where everything was now canon. It was a way for DC to continue what was launched with Rebirth, meaning re-establishing popular past stories and relationships while retaining the new characters and simple backstories from the modern era. DC simply wants the best of both worlds!

This situation leads us to the Infinite Frontier era, where Clark Kent and his son Jonathan Kent are both Superman. Each one of them is the star of his own title, with Clark starring in Action Comics by writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson and artist Phil Hester, and Jon Kent starring in Superman: Son of Kal-El by Tom Taylor and John Timms.

During this period was also published the ongoing series Batman/Superman (vol. 2), Batman/Superman: World’s Finest, and the limited series Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, Superman ’78, Superman and the Authority, and Superman: Red & Blue.

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Last Updated on August 18, 2023.

Superman Reading Order, The Modern Age (Post-Crisis)

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It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman! Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in Action Comics #1 (1938), Superman is an alien from the planet Krypton who fights crime in Metropolis and the rest of the world. Under the costume is Kal-El, who was sent to Earth when he was a baby, and adopted by farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent who named him Clark Kent and raised him in the little town of Smallville. As Clark developed superhuman abilities, his parents taught him to use his talents to help humanity.

Clark relocated to Metropolis to pursue a career in journalism. He landed a job at the Daily Planet, where he met the love of his life and journalist Lois Lane, photographer Jimmy Olsen, and editor-in-chief Perry White. In parallel, he put on a colorful costume and used the codename Superman to fight powerful enemies, including General Zod, Brainiac, and the most emblematic of them all, the narcissistic-genius Lex Luthor.

The superhero genre wouldn’t be the same without Superman. Though there was other before him that could be said to fit the bill, he established the conventions and popularized the whole genre, being the best-selling superhero in American comic books up until the 1980s.

As the DC Universe was becoming more complicated and sales were declining, a new page of history was written following a Crisis like no one else: Crisis on Infinite Earths (see reading order). This was the beginning of the Modern Age and the creation of new instant-classic stories. The event was used to retconned the histories of most of the characters. The idea was to clean up the timelines (something DC is still trying to do, in vain) and to update the superheroes in order to appeal to a contemporary audience. 

This is when this Superman reading order begins. This article doesn’t cover the previous decades (or the Pre-Crisis). Our Man of Steel got a new origin story with the help of John Byrne, and it would only be the first of several ones during this long period. Kal-El’s past was explored, revisited, and modified, as the character lived some bold adventures, even making headlines for dying (something so ordinary today… to die in the comics, not the mainstream media coverage).

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Last Updated on April 8, 2024.

The Death of Superman Reading Order

The Death and Return of Superman Reading Order

ABC launched the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in 1993, where the marriage of Lois and Clarke was discussed during the production. Even if the comics and the show didn’t take place in the same continuity, Warner Bros wanted the Superman brand to stay consistent across all media. They wanted the wedding of the couple to happen at the same time on screen and paper.

What did it mean for the Superman comics? After all, the creative team was planning the wedding of Lois and Clark, and they had to stop and build a whole new storyline. Writer Jerry Ordway made the joke to just kill Superman, and it became the most attractive scenario for the creative team. If they couldn’t marry the Man of Steel, they could kill him… and make comic history!

That’s how the now-classic storyline The Death of Superman was born. It is divided into a trilogy of story arcs: “Doomsday!” (or Death of the Superman) leads to Superman’s Death; “Funeral for a Friend” is focused on the aftermath; and “Reign of the Supermen!” introduced the Supermen. For Lois Lane fans, it’s also an important period, as the death of Superman puts her on the front line, and she was used as the glue between all the titles. After this trilogy, the inevitable happens, titled “The Return of Superman”.

Launched at the end of 1992, The Death (and Return) of Superman was published almost all the year 1993. The creative team consisted of Dan Jurgens, Louise Simonson, Roger Stern, Jerry Ordway, Karl Kesel, William Messner-Loebs, and Gerard Jones on the writer front. Jon Bogdanove, Tom Grummett, Jackson Guice, Dan Jurgens, Dennis Janke, Denis Rodier, Walt Simonson, Curt Swan, and M. D. Bright on the artist front.

One of the biggest best-sellers at DC, The Death (and Return) of Superman had a major impact on the company, as a similar event happened shortly after with Batman: Knightfall (reading order), followed by the deaths of numerous superheroes. Also, some characters established during the arc became recurring characters afterward.

No doubt about it, The Death (and Return) of Superman occupy a special place in Superman and DC history, and today, we revisit it with a reading order, and the different ways to read this iconic story.

What to read before The Death of Superman?

Like a lot of readers at the time of publication, you can just go straight ahead without any required reading before. A few issues teased Doomsday breaking free from his prison, and we have listed them in the issue-by-issue reading order for the occasion.

I just told you no background reading was necessary, but for those out there who like to know a little more, here are a few things to know:

  • The Justice League’s incarnation at the time of this storyline was Justice League International, with Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Guy Gardner, and more. It was written by Dan Jurgens.
  • A few issues during that storyline are part of the Bloodlines event.
  • Not long ago, Luthor faked his own death and transplanted his brain into a clone of himself, which he passed off as his unknown son, Lex Luthor II, raised by foster parents in Australia to protect him from Luthor’s enemy. The charade is completed by an Australian accent, a full head of red hair, and a beard. Luthor uses this opportunity to seduce Supergirl (Matrix at the time). Those issues where those events take place are not really well collected (between Action Comics #660 and #678).
  • Finally, if you simply want to discover more stories with Superman, check out our Superman Reading Order, The Modern Age (Post-Crisis).

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Last Updated on July 23, 2023.

Lois Lane: From her comic book creation to the iconic journalist movie and TV icon

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Lois Lane

Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster in 1938, Lois Lane is now one of the most iconic characters in comics, which is no small feat for a woman introduced as a counterpart and love interest to Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent.

During the past 80 years, the character has lived through numerous crises and evolved with her time. If she is famously known as one of the greatest reporters in the DC universe, she worked hard to have that title, beginning as a sob sister, having scoops stolen by Clark Kent, and at some times, confined to the role of the jealous girlfriend.

Lois Lane will rise to the challenge, helped by TV and movie adaptations, to go beyond what was expected of women of her time, to be an inspiring tough, ambitious, fearless woman who never gives up. Here are a few facts about Lois Lane, from her creation to her prolific career on screen:

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Last Updated on May 8, 2023.

Superman: Doomed Reading Order (from New 52)

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Superman Doomed DC New 52 Reading Order

Superman faces Doomsday in this Superman crossover story arc from the New 52 era co-written by Greg Pak, Charles Soule, and Scott Lobdell, with artwork by Ken Lashley, Aaron Kuder, and Tony Daniel.

Here is the official synopsis: Its name is Doomsday. It came from the Phantom Zone, where the Man of Steel had banished it once before. Bigger. Deadlier. Capable of killing life on Earth. Only Superman can stop it. But even that is not the end. Evil is in its blood. And when that blood is spilled, the innocent will fall — and Superman himself will discover the monster within. The Last Son of Krypton may become a destroyer of worlds himself, leaving the Earth without its greatest protector.

Superman and his allies each must make a choice. If they unleash the monster, will they lose the man? Is this Earth’s last shot at salvation, or are Superman and everyone he cares about…

What to read before Superman: Doomed?

Naturally, you can explore our complete reading order for Superman and Action Comics during the New 52 era. For a more specific start, as Superman: Doomed is mostly a crossover between the titles Action Comics and Superman/Wonder Woman, the setup for it takes place in those two series:

Totally optional, DC also teased Doomsday’s appearance in Batman/Superman #3.1 during Villains Month (part of Forever Evil and collected in DC Comics The New 52 Villains Omnibus).

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Last Updated on April 22, 2022.