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Author
Nose Norton


Location: Plainville
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,626



 
What are your memories of this event from 1992-3?
I have been strictly a Marvel fan all my life, but this story was one that made me cross over into the world of DC.  It was the first time I had ever seen a line of more than 2-3 people at the comic store.  I think it was about 10 people deep, several obviously not comic fans, when I bought my issues, and much longer when I left the shop.  I was able to get 4 of the 7 issues in the crossover, including 2 copies of Superman 75, 1 of which I still have in it's black bag. 
 
I don't blame the comic companies for publishing such events.  They do boost sales in a slumping market, but I do resent what these types of stories have become.  In the old days, a character would be "killed" as a cliffhanger ending to one issue, and then "get better" in the next ish.  Now, it's dragged out, over hyped, and over cross-overed(?) into so many issues that you feel you're wasting your time and money.  But, again, these issues sell more than non-event issues, so who am I to say it's wrong?  I just don't buy them.
 
Anyway, I recently picked up a beat-up copy of the trade, for under $2, and just finished it.  It was a good story, even though it was just a long battle story, most of which was a set up to show how insanely powerful Doomsday was.  I have to admit that it did seem to lose some of it's emotional impact after 20 years.  I'm sure it lost some shock value, even though back then, the finale was certainly not a surprise.  A few things puzzled me, as I wasn't a DC reader at the time: Lex Luthor had hair, and was apparently his son; Supergirl was with him(and what was she really?); Doomsday, who punched someone in the face so hard that his head exploded, slammed a car door on Booster Gold's head, yet didn't kill him (and why would Doomsday do that? His power level is so beyond the need to use a car door as a weapon), but was able to kill Superman.  Also, Superman didn't seem as powerful as I had expected, but wasn't he powered-down after the Crisis?
 
Superman 74 had a great cover.
 
As with many stories from the time, I think it suffered a bit from having a rotating creative team, but still, this was a solid story with good artwork.  Almost immeadiately after finishing it, I won the World Without A Superman trade on ebay.  Should be here next week.
 
Does anyone else have any thoughts/memories/info on this monumental storyline?


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Paste Pot Pete 

Wolfman Pete!

Member Since: Fri Jul 07, 2000
Posts: 11,450


It was the first time I bought two copies of a comic. Because it came in a sealed bag so I bought one to open and one to keep sealed.

I remember I bought every one of the tie-in issues. I was still naive enough at the time to think that like they'd be worth something someday.

PPP





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America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,139



    Quote:
    What are your memories of this event from 1992-3?


I purposely avoided reading it. I have an aversion to temporary gimmicks. This was true of me even as a kid. When Steve Englehart turned Steve Rogers into Nomad, I stopped buying the comic. (That was 1974. I was 13.) When David Michelinie put Jim Rhodes into the Iron Man armor, I stopped buying the comic. (That was 1983.) When Denny O'Neil put Jean-Paul Valley in the Bat suit, I stopped buying the Bat comics. (That was 1993.)

Any way, I knew there was no way in the world DC would keep Superman dead. So I skipped the whole thing. There's no suspense or drama when you know without a doubt the "shocking" twist will be undone. None for me, any way.












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Paste Pot Pete 

Wolfman Pete!

Member Since: Fri Jul 07, 2000
Posts: 11,450


True, true, but if done well a story like the Death of Superman can be quite compelling. You can explore what Superman's friends and the world would do without him.

That's why I actually thought the death of Reed Richards and Doctor Doom in the De Falco days was a good idea too. They were gone for so long that it really explored what it would be like without them.

Whether either of this storylines or others like them were good or successful is definitly up for debate but I think it is silly to dismiss them on principle without actually reading them.

PPP





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America's Captain 

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Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,139



    Quote:
    True, true, but if done well a story like the Death of Superman can be quite compelling. You can explore what Superman's friends and the world would do without him.


That might work for me if I cared even half as much about Superman's supporting cast as I care about Superman. But I don't. I would never buy a comic about Lois, Jimmy, and Perry, if Superman didn't appear in it too.


    Quote:
    That's why I actually thought the death of Reed Richards and Doctor Doom in the De Falco days was a good idea too. They were gone for so long that it really explored what it would be like without them.


Here again, the FF without Reed Richards isn't the FF, for me. One thing I've recently learned about myself, where the FF is concerned, is that I'm a fan of the foursome. I used to think I was mainly a Reed fan, or at other times in my life a Ben fan, but I've come to realize I was wrong about myself. I need the foursome. I learned this by reading the FF Masterworks volumes 4, 5, and 6.


    Quote:
    Whether either of this storylines or others like them were good or successful is definitly up for debate but I think it is silly to dismiss them on principle without actually reading them.


I dismiss comics on principle all the time! \(cool\)

Heck, right now I'm dismissing the entire output of modern Marvel and modern mainstream DC, as well as Image, Dark Horse, Dynamite, and IDW. I'm not buying any modern comics at all except Thunderbolts (because I moderate the board) and Vertigo titles. I'm doing this on principle. I insist the subject matter of a comic book be as 21st century as the aesthetic. The only line of comics that really is focused on 21st century subjects (no 20th century nostalgia at all) is Vertigo.

I also insist the aesthetic of a comic book be as *20th* century as its subject matter. Since super-heroes are a 20th century subject, I want them produced with a 20th century aesthetic. This doesn't exist except in reprints. So I only buy super-hero comics published in the 20th century. I only buy reprints.

My point in all of the foregoing is that I always have, still do, and always will buy comics (or leave them unbought) on principle.






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katefan




I recall being very cynical of the story at the time because I knew he would not stay dead.  I knew that dead characters came back sometimes but when they brought back Jean Grey over at Marvel I felt my skepticism just ballooned where it came to character mortality.  I mean, it was Jean Grey, tragic death on the moon, killing herself before the Phoenix Force drove her insane again.

And that awesome death was essentially negated.

So yeah, when Superman died?  I knew it was a disgusting cash grab from the get-go and I didn't bother.

By the way, the following video is an awesome analysis of the Death of Superman (Warning: some profanity).

http://youtu.be/0PlwDbSYicM


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Paste Pot Pete 

Wolfman Pete!

Member Since: Fri Jul 07, 2000
Posts: 11,450


I guess we are just thinking of the phrase "On Principle" differently, but I agree with all the other stuff you said, so I'll just focus on that.

You said you "insist the aesthetic of a comic book be as *20th* century as its subject matter."

I think I agree with this, but again it's a phrase I wouldn't have thought of.

the way I'd put it is that we both like the aesthetic of comics from the Silver and Bronze age. What makes a comic a comic from the Silver Age. The short answer is that it was written in the 60's. The long answer is that it was a product of it's time. The culture of the 60's was unique like every time is.

Even if Marvel and DC consciously tried to make Silver Age style comics they couldn't do it. Even if done well (Like Untold Tales of Spider-man" it is self-aware and nostalgic.

Just like you can't make a Film Noir movie today. You could study Film Noir down to the finest detail and set your lighting up just like real Film Noir movies did but you still won't be able to make a Film Noir movie. No matter what it will still be Neo-Noir.

So you either have to accept the new aesthetic whether we are talking about present day comics or 80's and 90's comics. I loved the 80's and 90's comics until somewhere in the mid 90's when I felt like the wheels were coming off the Marvel bus. Everything was big boobs and big guns. Or maybe I was just in High School and thinking about real girls instead of Sue Storm.

And now I can pick up a new comic here or there and appreciate the story telling, but I just have no connection to it.

It's like the phrase "you can't go home again." I remember one time when I came home from college I thought, I should go back and visit my High School. I really don't know why my mind is going to High School again (must be from thinking about the 90's). And I did, and it was the weirdest thing. Suddenly that building I knew so well for four years seemed absolutely alien. I didn't belong there anymore. That's sort of how I feel when I read modern comics.

PPP





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America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,139



    Quote:
    Even if Marvel and DC consciously tried to make Silver Age style comics they couldn't do it. Even if done well (Like Untold Tales of Spider-man" it is self-aware and nostalgic.


Someone with a 20th century mind could produce something with a 20th century aesthetic that was real. I see now that there are three elements, not just two. There's subject matter, aesthetic, and creator's mind.


    Quote:
    Just like you can't make a Film Noir movie today. You could study Film Noir down to the finest detail and set your lighting up just like real Film Noir movies did but you still won't be able to make a Film Noir movie. No matter what it will still be Neo-Noir.


With a 20th century mind you could do it.


    Quote:
    So you either have to accept the new aesthetic whether we are talking about present day comics or 80's and 90's comics. I loved the 80's and 90's comics until somewhere in the mid 90's when I felt like the wheels were coming off the Marvel bus. Everything was big boobs and big guns. Or maybe I was just in High School and thinking about real girls instead of Sue Storm.


I never minded the big boobs and big guns. That stuff, for me, was decorative. It didn't get at the essence.

It's funny that we were talking about doing things on principle, because that is the essence of 20th century mind. The 20th century was all about principles. Even in the 90s, which I guess some people might describe as nihilistic, we didn't have real nihilism. What we had was disappointed idealism. Even those punk bands I was exploring weren't really nihilists. They were disappointed idealists. The hardboiled noir private eye is a disappointed idealist.

In the 21st century we have real nihilism. The proof is that nobody even realizes they're nihilists. They're so unprincipled that they don't even miss having principles. They don't feel the absence, the void, the emptiness left behind by the disappearance of principles. They just navigate from moment to moment by however they happen to feel. At their best they're compassionate. But they're only compassionate because that's how they happen to feel at the moment. Ten minutes from now they might find themselves in a different mood and suddenly be callous and rough.

What we have at Marvel right now are nihilists trying to write super-hero comics. It's a ridiculous spectacle. Super-hero comics are ABOUT having principles. Nothing could be more alien to a 21st century mind.







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thjan

Moderator

Member Since: Wed Dec 23, 2009
Posts: 2,790



I greatly enjoyed this event.  Yeah, there was a lot of hype and merchandise associated with it, but it also had a great story that I still pull out and read to this day in the form of my old and battered tpb.  I also still have a Superman/Doomsday comic card I bought from my local comic shop, and the poster with the all the heroes carrying and following his coffin framed.  I have a lot of fond memories from that time.

I also followed the aftermath(with the 4 Superman replacements- Steel, Superboy, Eradicator, and Cyborg Superman) and the return of Superman. I didn't enjoy the 4 Superman stuff that much, but I did like it when the real Superman came back.

By the way, does anyone remember the bleeding S-shield shirts that were all the rage around that time?   






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Paste Pot Pete 

Wolfman Pete!

Member Since: Fri Jul 07, 2000
Posts: 11,450


You're right in modern comics everyone is an anti-hero. No one has honor or principles.

PPP





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Gernot 

Manager

Location: St. Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,418


I enjoyed the whole thing and thought it was pretty cool seeing my favorite hero on so many news programs. \:\)

I STILL have the two card sets, and I used to have all of the foil cards and the two \S/ cards but sold all of those years ago. I still pull the cards out (but keep them in their sleeves) and look 'em over from time to time. \:\)



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Iron Man Unit 007




Well anyone should know that killing an icon like Superman is just not impossible and that he would be back.

A few answers for you:

1. Luthor used to wear a kryptonite ring to keep Superman at bay but ended up with terminal kryptonite poisoning and was dying. he apparently died in a plane crash but his mind was transferred into a young clone body and he posed as his son for a time.

2. The Supergirl at the time I think came from an alternate Earth that Superman went to that was conquered by General Zod. If memory serves, at the end of that tale, Superman executed Zod and his crew.

3. Doomsday slammed the car door on Booster Gold due to Booster not being mandated to die, so they just took him off the board without killing him.

4. Superman was powered down after the Crisis, yes.

5. Doomsday is basically a ripoff of the Hulk, when you think about it this whole story was what would happen if Superman fought the HULK. 

After Superman returned and stopped the Cyborg Superman and regained his powers, the Phantom Stranger visited him and Lois and showed them what happened as Superman's memory was a bit foggy. Superman had some trouble realizing that he was indeed dead. The Phantom Stranger showed them the fight, showed them the aftermath and explained things. 

1. Superman always absorbs solar energy but in the fight with Doomsday he was expending more energy then he was absorbing.  Hence why his wounds weren't healing and he was getting more and more injured in the fight.

2. His spirit did go to the hereafter to later be retrieved by Pa Kent and was convinced to fight his way back to life.

3. Superman's body still had solar power in it and it was still absorbing solar energy, hence his wounds were healing and his body was in a deep coma or suspended animation.  The eradicator tried to possess Superman's body but couldn't as Kal-el's spirit returned at the time so Eradicator created a copy to use and took Superman to the Fortress and dumped him into a solar energy matrix to heal and recover but the Eradicator drew power from the matrix to be his own version of Superman/Punisher.

4. Kal-el revives and goes to stop the Cyborg. He is running on minimal solar power but when the Cyborg tried to blast him with Kryptonite, the Eradicator intercepted the blast, absorbed the power added it to his own and purified the energy and let it all channel back into Superman.

5. Doomsday's origins were later revealed to be that he was the product of an ancient Kryptonian genetics experiment to create the ultimate surviving/killing machine, however he couldn't be controlled and killed his creator and kept on killing. He ended up on some world that defeated him and blasted him into space where he ended up on Earth. Doomsday when beaten is said to regenerate and evolve so that he can't be killed the same way twice, whether that is still in effect I do not know.

So basically Doomsday follows the old rule: to truly be able to hurt or kill Superman you have to be from Krypton....or have some Kryptonite.



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