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Reading Superman

I recently decided to start a journey of reading as much Superman as possible. Although I've read Superman off and on for most of the time I've read comics, and I feel like I know the character fairly well, there's still a large chunk of the material that I either have never read, or only read a long time ago and have forgotten.

I'm using this reading order as a rough guide. I'm going to use this thread to share my progress and discuss different eras of Superman for those interested.

I will not be reading every issue of Superman / Action. That would be insane (but fun to contemplate doing).

I started off reading Action Comics #1 (available on DC Universe). That service has through issue 50 or so. So I plan on reading all of those. Being the golden age there isn't a ton of world building going on yet. So I decided to read something else in the meantime (I can casually read the golden age stuff at my leisure).

That reading order suggests jumping to Man of Steel, but that seems like you're skipping a whole lot. Do people here agree with that, is the silver age material really something to just jump over? I figure I should at least read Kirby's run on Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen.

Currently I'm re-reading Crisis on Infinite Earths. From there I will likely read *almost all* of the material through the 80s, 90s, and 00s. This will likely include a lot of Justice League stuff as well, at least the Superman centric parts.


  • jaydee74jaydee74 Posts: 1,523
    So, I read a bunch of the silver age stuff and it's pretty fun comics. A lot of the silver age comics are in fact, imaginary comics as they come up with some really out there concepts. I have a book called Superman: From the 30s to the 70s that has a nice sprinkling of both golden and silver age stories. Those comics are worth checking out. There are a lot of really good Superman stories out there to read. I love Superman: Earth 1, volume 1-3. Superman: Secret Origin is another really good story. Also, All-Star Superman is a great 12 issue max-series that has silver age mentality in a modern day comic.
  • mphilmphil Posts: 421
    @jaydee74 Thanks! I said I was skipping over the silver age but I'm actually skipping over the bronze age as well.

    Just to clarify, my focus here is on books that are important to continuity. So not knowing the silver and bronze age books very well, they might be really good, but how many of them deal with continuity at all? Those are the ones I really want to dive into.
  • jaydee74jaydee74 Posts: 1,523
    Ah. Well if you ever change your mind, there are some really fun stories in both the silver and bronze age. Having said that, all the stories I mentioned are more modern stories, created in the last 20 years or so. Superman Earth 1 was written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by Shane Davis and Ardian Syaf. It's a fun retelling of Superman's origin. Superman: Secret Origins was written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Gary Frank. Another sort of retelling of the origin but more in continuity than Earth One. All-Star Superman was done by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.
  • I recommend Superman: From the 30s to the 70s as well. It is how I learned about the history of the character as a kid. You get a sample of each decade up until the early 70s. It is worth it to see how the character has changed.

    If your focus is continuity, then should you only go as far back as the last reboot? I'd argue that many of the elements used today were introduced in those early decades and are worth a look. Yes, most of the stories are self-contained and don't build on each other to a bigger story but some elements, like the introduction of Super girl and the different types of kryptonite, affect later stories in the era are tend to be pulled in to the modern stories in some way.
  • ToneboneTonebone Posts: 845
    Of course none of that continuity matters anymore, does it?
  • mphilmphil Posts: 421
    edited February 28

    I'll have to reread convergence... The Byrne Superman is the Superman in DC right now. I don't know where the Golden and silver age Superman is. Presumably he's whereever he went after COIE? I'll let you know after I've gotten through 80s, 90s, 00's Superman 😀

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