Superman, the iconic Man of Steel, has been a symbol of hope and justice in the world of comics for generations. His adventures have transcended the pages of comic books to become a part of global pop culture. Over the years, a number of story arcs have defined and redefined this legendary character. From universe-altering crises to introspective explorations of his origin, these events have shaped the core of who Superman is. In this article, we’ll dive into the 10 best Superman events in DC Comics, showcasing the creative storytelling and artistic excellence that have kept fans engaged and inspired.
10 Best Superman Events In DC Comics
The Death of Superman
It is a landmark event in DC Comics, published in 1992, that shocked the world by depicting the unthinkable: the death of the Man of Steel. In this gripping storyline, Superman faces off against the brutal and relentless creature known as Doomsday. Their battle rages across the country, culminating in a fatal showdown in Metropolis. The imagery of a fallen Superman, held in the arms of a grieving Lois Lane, became an iconic symbol of loss.
This event not only showcased the physical limits of Superman but also reverberated through the DC Universe, leading to the emergence of new characters and a complex resurrection arc. It remains a defining moment in Superman’s history, symbolizing both his vulnerability and enduring legacy.
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Published in 1985-1986, this massive storyline was penned by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by George Pérez. The plot centers around a cosmic catastrophe that threatens to annihilate the entire multiverse. Superman plays a crucial role, joining forces with heroes and villains across different realities to combat the crisis. The event led to the merging of various parallel Earths into a single, cohesive continuity, streamlining the complex DC multiverse. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” is renowned for its scale, ambition, and impact, reshaping the very fabric of DC Comics. It’s not just a Superman story, but a foundational event that has influenced storytelling within the DC Universe for generations.
A direct sequel to the groundbreaking “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” this storyline, penned by Geoff Johns, brought together various plot threads and characters for a universe-altering adventure. Superman finds himself at the center of a conflict involving alternate Supermen, multiverse manipulations, and moral dilemmas. The story examines the nature of heroism, responsibility, and the consequences of power, with Superman’s unyielding ideals tested in unprecedented ways. “Infinite Crisis” further explores the complexities of the DC multiverse and sets the stage for significant changes in character dynamics and universe structure. The event’s far-reaching impact solidified its place as a seminal moment in both Superman’s journey and the broader tapestry of DC Comics.
“All-Star Superman” is a celebrated 12-issue series that stands as a love letter to the enduring mythos of Superman. Written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Frank Quitely, this 2005-2008 run offers a fresh, yet timeless take on the Man of Steel. Faced with the knowledge of his impending death, Superman embarks on a series of adventures that encapsulate his essence, exploring his relationships, values, and the breadth of his powers.
From touching human moments to grand cosmic feats, “All-Star Superman” captures the core of what makes Superman a hero. The storytelling is imaginative, and the art is distinctive, both contributing to a work that transcends typical superhero narratives. It is a masterful interpretation of Superman’s character and a must-read for fans of the Man of Steel.
Superman: Red Son
Written by Mark Millar and published in 2003, this “Elseworlds” tale poses the question: What if Superman’s spacecraft had landed in the Soviet Union instead of Kansas? The story explores a Superman raised under communist ideology, becoming the Soviet Union’s greatest champion during the Cold War. His actions and beliefs are a mirror reflection of the cultural and political environment he is raised in, providing a stark contrast to the familiar American icon. “Red Son” delves into political philosophy, ethics, and the nature of power, using the character of Superman to explore how upbringing and context can shape identity. It’s a compelling and unique reimagining that adds depth to Superman’s character and legacy.
The 12-issue series that provides a modern retelling of Superman’s origin, skillfully weaving together his early years and the development of his identity as a hero. Written by Mark Waid and published in 2003-2004, this story offers fresh insights into Clark Kent’s transformation into Superman, focusing on his human side, his relationship with his parents, and his connection to his Kryptonian heritage. The series also explores themes of alienation and acceptance as Clark struggles to find his place in the world. With engaging storytelling and vibrant artwork, “Superman: Birthright” manages to pay homage to the character’s rich history while adding new layers to his mythology. It’s a heartfelt and accessible entry point for new readers, and a satisfying reinterpretation for longtime fans of the Man of Steel.
Written by Mark Waid and beautifully illustrated by Alex Ross, this 1996 series is set outside of regular continuity, offering a grim vision of the future. Superman, now older and disillusioned, is drawn out of retirement to restore justice and order. His ideals and methods clash with the prevailing attitudes of the time, sparking tensions among heroes and society at large. “Kingdom Come” is a profound commentary on heroism, power, and morality, using the iconic figure of Superman to explore the cost of losing sight of what truly matters. It’s a deeply resonant and visually stunning work that stands as a classic in the superhero genre.
Superman: For Tomorrow
It is a thought-provoking storyline that spans issues #204-215 of “Superman” (Vol. 2), published in 2004-2005. Written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Jim Lee, this arc sees Superman grappling with complex moral and philosophical issues. After a mysterious event called the “Vanishing” causes millions of people to disappear, including Lois Lane, Superman is consumed by guilt and sets out on a quest to discover what happened. His journey takes him through surreal landscapes and confrontations with familiar foes and allies. The story delves into themes of loss, responsibility, faith, and the ethics of Superman’s powers, offering a more introspective look at the character. “For Tomorrow” is a visually stunning and emotionally rich tale that challenges Superman in ways that go beyond physical battles, exploring the depths of his character.
Superman: Secret Identity
Written by Kurt Busiek and illustrated by Stuart Immonen, this 2004 series is set in a world where Superman is a fictional comic book character. The protagonist, a young man named Clark Kent, has been teased all his life for sharing a name with the iconic hero. However, he suddenly discovers that he has powers similar to the fictional Superman. The story follows Clark’s journey as he learns to navigate life with these new abilities, all while reflecting on what it means to be a real-world Superman. The series explores themes of identity, fame, and the blending of fantasy and reality. “Superman: Secret Identity” stands out as a heartfelt and imaginative take on the Superman legend, offering a fresh perspective on a classic character.
Justice League Vs. Suicide Squad
It is a thrilling crossover event that brings together two of DC Comics’ most formidable teams for a high-stakes showdown. Published in 2016-2017, the six-issue miniseries is written by Joshua Williamson and features artwork from a talented roster of artists. The plot unfolds as the Justice League discovers the existence of the Suicide Squad, a government-controlled team of supervillains, and seeks to bring them down. Meanwhile, a third party with its own agenda manipulates both sides.
The ensuing battle pushes each team to its limits, testing alliances and morality. Superman’s unwavering sense of justice is on full display as he navigates the murky ethical waters of this conflict. Fast-paced and action-packed, “Justice League Vs. Suicide Squad” is an exciting exploration of heroism, redemption, and the blurred lines between right and wrong.
Also Read: Top 10 Superman Comics of all Time