I was working at a comic shop at the time, and the lines out the door and the intense demand for the comic was like nothing I’d seen before, even in the speculation-crazy era of the early 1990s.
The follow-up stories to the death were quite poignant, and I also enjoyed the tales of the four temporary Supermen that were introduced. Though Superman’s return didn’t pack the sales punch of the death, I thought the overall story was handled well.
The more relationship-style comics of that era helped to inspire the TV series “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” which ran in the 1990s starring Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher. Teri Hatcher’s Lois Lane is still probably my favorite conception of the character. The show, again, had its problems, but when it worked, I really enjoyed it.
In 1996, Superman got married to Lois Lane, both in the pages of the comics and on the “Lois and Clark” television show. In 1997, I followed suit and got married; the date of the wedding was August 16, a date notable both as the death of Elvis Presley, and as a line in my favorite Superman story, Alan Moore’s “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”
The next year, I opened Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman; it might be possible from the name to deduce the inspiration for my comics fandom. This summer, we’ll celebrate our 15th year.
Since then, Superman’s had his ups and downs. From 2005 to 2008, Morrison wrote “All-Star Superman,” a 12-issue storyline that melded some of the best aspects of Superman throughout history to create a classic Superman tale. He briefly flirted with parenthood in both “Superman Returns” and the comics “Last Son” by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner. Then his marriage was erased in 2011 as Superman’s history got a restart. The “Action Comics” written by Grant Morrison after the restart are highly recommended. There have been lawsuits over the rights to the character that have at times overshadowed his fictional exploits.
This summer, Superman’s back in movie theaters, as Henry Cavill stars as Superman in Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel.” Given how many times I’ve seen the origin, now, I wasn’t sure how excited I was about it for a while, despite generally liking Zack Snyder. But the new trailer has me motivated. And now, I have three children who haven’t fully experienced the fun of a Superman movie in the theaters. (Two of them were around for “Superman Returns,” but were too little to really remember it.) So, as I’ve done with some of my favorite comic-book stories, I intend to share the experience of a Superman movie with them. (Please, Zack Snyder, don’t make it too gory.)
While the character has his own in-story and out-of-story problems, including lawsuits over the rights, I still appreciate what creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster put into the world 75 years ago: An outsider who believes in truth and justice and standing up for the little guy. Thanks again to them for their truly super creation.
- Matt Price
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