COLLECTED EDITIONS – BIZARRO’S WORLD

(Collected Editions is a listing of the various trade paperbacks, hardcovers, omnibuses, etc. that are in my Superman collection.  The goal is to not only inventory my collection of trades, hardcovers, etc. but also to display said collection and produce something resembling a resource for other Superman readers, collectors and fans.)

401- Superman Bizarros World A 402- Superman Bizarros World BNuts and Bolts

  • Released on February 13, 1996
  • Original price $9.95
  • 128 pages
  • Cover by Stuart Immonen and Josef Rubinstein

Contents

  • Introduction by “Bogzarro”
  • Bizarro from Superman (Vol. 2) #87
  • Bizarro World! from Adventures of Superman #510
  • War of the Super Powers from Action Comics #697
  • Love and Death! from Superman: The Man of Steel #32
  • Opportunity Lost from Superman (Vol. 2) #88

Notes

  • The introduction by Jon Bogdanove is a lot of fun.  It has some Bizarro speak at the beginning and the end and in between is a fairly comprehensive history of the character.  I appreciate that Bogs (if I can be so informal) not only takes us through the various comic book incarnations of the character but also gives a peak behind the curtain of the story collected in this trade.  The introduction is almost the main reason to buy this book.
  • As Jon goes over in the introduction Bizarro had only one but extremely memorable appearance in the Post-Crisis comics.  To be fair he was also a recurring “villain” on the syndicated Superboy television series but as far as the comics go he was in Man of Steel #5 and did a great job of sacrificing his artificial life at the end of that story.
  • Because of that lone comic book appearance this story felt like a really big deal in 1994.  I remember loving the covers and the fact that we were seeing what I considered to be a classic Superman “villain” again.
  • Other than that there are two other reasons why I not only like this story so much but also why it illustrates what I like about this era of Superman.
  • First, it not only builds from previous sub-plots but it starts to lead into other, bigger stories.  One of the hallmarks of the Post Crisis era was the ability of the creative teams to make the four (and soon to be five) Superman titles feel like an almost weekly comic book.
  • In other words I appreciated the soap opera aspects to this story.
  • Second, the creative teams went out of their way to make me care about the characters in this story.  Bogs discusses the major theme of the inherent right of all sentient life to exist in his introduction and thanks mainly to Lois they do a great job of exploring that theme.
  • The fact that several different writers and artists were able to tell a fairly cohesive story on a regular basis for nearly a decade is something of a minor miracle.
  • This storyline features some early Superman work by future (then-future at any rate) Adventures of Superman artist Stuart Immonen.  I loved his work in the two issues of Superman that he draws during this story and was glad to see him come on one of the regular books not too long from when these issues came out.
  • For those that have read this trade (or will read this trade) and have never read the story in single issue form the final page of the story might seem a little weird.  The bottom 2/3 of the page are whited out.  My personal theory (which is mine alone and does not represent any research I should have done before typing this) is that the powers-that-be that decide what  gets a trade paperback and what doesn’t decided that they would reprint Bizarro’s World but not the story that followed it where Superman’s powers spiraled out of control.
  • So it would make sense to excise that portion of the story to allow the overall narrative have and ending.
  • Of course the fact that there is a major revelation about Lex at the end of the story kind of puts a lie to my theory.
  • Then again you could have left all the powers going out of control stuff and reprinted The Battle For/Fall of Metropolis storyline without mentioning the powers going out of control so…I have no idea.
  • Regardless if you want to see what the page actually looked like here it is.
  • Superman 88 Final PageThis trade ends with a cover gallery, which is great because the covers are really awesome.

TOP FIVE SUPERMAN MOMENTS FROM 1994

For the past four weeks I have been really good about getting From Crisis to Crisis out on Thursdays.  Technically I release the episodes to the Internet on Wednesday night but the Fortress post for the episodes (that usually has exclusive content that the Superman Homepage and Superman Podcast Network posts don’t have) hits on Thursdays.  As you can probably tell this that’s not the case this Thursday.  Thankfully the lack of FCTC this week has nothing to do with a family tragedy or the fact that sometimes Jeff’s and my schedule don’t synch up for long periods of time.  As you are reading this I am out of town.  Way out of town, in fact.  For those of you who don’t follow my other podcasts or missed me talking about it on FCTC I currently live in Fayetteville, GA but I “grew up” in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.  I type “grew up” because we moved around a bit when I was a little kid.  The Lehigh Valley is where I spent the longest stretch and it is also where I started reading the Superman titles and where I graduated high school.

That whole graduating high school thing is the reason I am out of town.  I was part of Emmaus High School’s graduating class of 1994 and this weekend (unless you are reading this after October 18, 2014) is my 20 year class reunion.  I was unable to go to the five and ten year reunion due to work but this time out I was able to swing it so again, as you read this I am either driving into PA with my wife or we are already there settling into the hotel.  I am beyond excited for this trip as I will be hanging out with people I haven’t seen in some time and getting to the homelands is always fun.  I haven’t been back to PA since the summer of 2001 so this is a big deal on a number of fronts.

 So no episode this week but I did want to have something here to kind of fill in that gap.  I thought about posting a house ad or even kicking out another installment of my Collected Editions series but I decided that it might be more fun to think about and then discuss my Top 5 Favorite Superman Moments From 1994.  ’94 was a big year for the Man of Steel and a lot of huge events happened, so it was hard to narrow down five so I stuck with a more general list that is, mostly, in no particular order.

And away we go.

Ad- 1993 Reign of Tomorrow5. The Reign of Tomorrow

 In the interest of full disclosure I did not start collecting the Steel ongoing until 1996 and I wouldn’t read the Supergirl mini-series until some years later.  At the beginning of 1994 my comic book buying was spotty at best.  Sometimes the comic shop had to call me to say that I had books to pick up.  That all changed about halfway through the year when I started going to the comic shop on a regular basis and really changed after Zero Hour.  I started buying Superboy during Worlds Collide and fell in love with the title enough to snap up the back issues in short order and then stick with it until it was cancelled early in the new millennium.  So I can’t sit here and type that the fact that Steel, Superboy and Supergirl all received their own ongoing or mini-series was this huge deal for all of 1994.

What I can say without feeling like a fraud is that the idea that those characters received their own ongoing and mini-series was a big deal to me.  I will admit that I had something of a chip on my shoulder when it came to the Superman titles.  Despite the fact that the Superman titles were enjoying a level of success thanks to the Death and Return saga I was still in the frame of mind that the Super books were the bastards at the family reunion, to quote Dolly Parton from the movie 9 to 5.  Both Robin and Catwoman had already gotten their own titles so Steel, Superboy and Supergirl getting their own books felt like validation.  The fact that DC rolled them out with a bit of fanfare furthered that feeling.  In addition to this house ad there was a giant promotional poster sent to comic shops (which I own) as well as some fun clip and save trading cards that came in either Previews or Advance Comics.

Previews File A Previews File BSo I may not have been there on the ground floor but I was over the moon that it happened.

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MORE FUN WITH INTERNATIONAL EDITIONS…REVISED!

Last week I wrote a bit of business showcasing some of the international reprints that I have managed to collect over the years.  Surprisingly a couple of people that read this blog on a regular basis got in touch with me to either add to the conversation or correct an error I made.  Some people get bent out of shape when someone points out that they’ve screwed up but I like that sort of thing as long as it isn’t obnoxious.

We’ll deal with the correction first.  This is comment was written by Thomas from Denmark.

Just noticed this entry – and While the first issue is probably Hungarian the second numbered Nr. 43 the search is in fact a Danish issue -of Superman “jagten” the title means “the Hunt” .

Thanks for all the great podcasts at views and FCTC and of course this website – love this period!

First, thanks for the kind words about the various podcasts I produce.  It means a lot to me and to Jeff that people dig what we do.

Second, thanks for the heads up about the fact that the Superman Nr. 34 was a Danish reprint and not a Hungarian one.  I feel a little silly now, like I should have done more research but it led to this great comment so I can’t complain.

The next bit of feedback came in the form of an e-mail.  Norbert Zahui sent me the following.

My name is Norbert Zahui, a Hungarian Superman fan, regular visitor of the ‘Fortress’ and a longtime listener of your podcasts.

Imagine my surprise when I checked in yesterday night and saw the cover to one of my Superman books, as the first cover and page you posted are indeed from the third issue of the Hungarian Superman reprint series. (Update: I just saw on the Fortress that Thomas responded to the second reprint being from Denmark) 

As a matter of fact issue 2 of said reprint was my very first comic book. My Mom bought it when I was 6.

You were right about the the contents of the previous issues. Nr. 1 contained the entire first issue of the Man of Steel miniseries. For the first fifteen issues the book was 32 pages long and because there were no ads in these Hungarian reprints (neither in DC nor Marvel ones, just house ads on the interior and back covers) the Superman book consisted of one full issue and half of the next. Sometimes they made the ‘cliffhanger’ work, sometimes the story just stopped until next issue. Later they extended the page number to 50, so now the book had two full American issues. This solo Superman title lasted 18 issues (all covers attached, hope you don’t mind) It ended with the Legion story, issue 18 reprinting Action Comics #591 and Legion of Super-Heroes #38.

Starting from July ’92 Superman shared a book with Batman in a bimonthly series. This was a direct continuation, Superman & Batman #1 reprinting Action Comics #592. Even though I preferred the solo titles, there was something awesome about a book that was half Byrne/Ordway Superman and half Aparo/Breyfogle Batman, especially because from time to time they would include a couple of Who’s Who entries in the books.

Even though I have the 8 Man of Steel trades (I love the fact that DC included the pin-ups to Action #600 in the last volume) and the subsequent trades from this era, I still love these good old reprint issues. If nothing else, they still have the same printing/coloring errors the originals have. Some of them you guys mentioned on FCTC. One in particular from Superman #2 stuck with me for some reason.

On a side note: a couple of months ago I bought the original 1987 German edition of the Man of Steel mini in one 148 page, larger size trade. I thought I’d include scans of the front and back cover and a picture for size reference. It contains a one page introduction to this ‘new’ Superman and the six issues, no cover reprints.

I wish Man of Steel would get the absolute treatment, but I’d be glad if DC would continue publishing the Man of Steel trades past volume 8. I hope we don’t have to wait for the solo Man of Steel sequel to get volume 9.

I’ve rambled on long enough. Love the blog (especially the ‘Collected editions’ section with your comments on the trades). Love the podcasts. It’s always a treat whenever a new Views or FCTC episode comes up online. Thank you!

I’d like to thank Norbert for writing in and dropping this knowledge on me and now on you.  As I have written in the past I love hearing about how Superman was repackaged for an international audience.  As his e-mail indicated Norbert included some photos and I wanted to share them here because they give you an idea of the differences in size and formatting that the Hungarian and German reprints had.

GerMoS_FCGerMoS_BCSuperScale

I kind of want that German reprint now.

Thanks again to Norbert and Thomas for the feedback.  It was very much appreciated.

WHO’S WHO CLASSICS – NEUTRON

Welcome to another installment of Who’s Who Classic, a regular feature here at the Fortress where every Monday I will present an entry from the original series of Who’s Who comics that DC published between 1984 and 1988.  Superman was well represented in those series and I wanted to share the entries with you just in case you have never seen them.  Today’s entry is Neutron!

Neutron

(originally published in Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #26 (April 1987)

Remember that you can click on the images to make them larger.

COLLECTED EDITIONS – SUPERMAN VS. THE FLASH

(Collected Editions is a listing of the various trade paperbacks, hardcovers, omnibuses, etc. that are in my Superman collection.  The goal is to not only inventory my collection of trades, hardcovers, etc. but also to display said collection and produce something resembling a resource for other Superman readers, collectors and fans.)

Superman vs. The Flash A Superman vs. The Flash BNuts and Bolts

  • Released on April 13, 2005
  • Original Price $19.99
  • 208 pages
  • Cover by Alex Ross

Contents

  • Superman’s Race With The Flash! from Superman (Vol. 1) #199
  • The Race at the End of the Universe! from Flash (Vol. 2) #175
  • Race to Save the Universe! from World’s Finest #198
  • Race to Save Time from World’s Finest #199
  • Chase to the End of Time from DC Comics Presents # 1
  • Race to the End of Time! from DC Comics Presents #2
  • Speed Kills! from Adventures of Superman #463
  • Speeding Bullets from DC First: Flash/Superman #1

Notes

  • You know, I feel a little uncomfortable writing this because I don’t want to start things off on a negative note but I am not a fan of Alex Ross’ take on Superman.  For one thing I think he draws him looking middle aged (which doesn’t work for me) and for another I never liked how he drew the symbol.  I appreciated the size but not the proportions.
  • Having said that this is a solid cover and it makes sense that you would go with Alex Ross because he sells books.
  • Thanks in large part to the 1990 live action television series I have been a huge fan of the Flash.
  • While I consider Wally to be “my Flash” I have a large amount of respect and fan love for Barry Allen and especially Jay Garrick.  So this was a welcome addition to my trades and hardcovers collection.
  • The races between the Flashes and Superman feel like they were always a big deal.  I can’t say that for certain because I was either not around or even alive for most of them, but the feeling I get from the first few stories in this book is that any time Superman and Flash raced it was epic.
  • Maybe it was the titles to the stories.  Superman and Flash seemed to always racing to the end of time or to save time or to the end of the universe or to save the universe.
  • They may seem overblown and hyperbolic today but I can’t help but love them and they bring a big ‘ol smile to my face.
  • It was nice to see two of the Post Crisis races get included in this collection.
  • Adventures of Superman #463 was my very first Flash race and it came out right around the time I was getting into the character.
  • The DC First: Flash/Superman story was welcome as well.  There were very few stories where Jay Garrick and Superman teamed up one on one, so it was great to see that the powers that be that decided what would be included in this trade wanted to have all of the Flashes represented instead of just Barry Allen.
  • At one point in the trade they reprint the cover to Limited Collectors’ Edition C-48, which reprinted Superman (Vol. 1) #199 and Flash (Vol. 2) #175 but the unreleased plans of the Fortress of Solitude and a how to draw the Flash feature.  It has a beautiful Jose Luis-Garcia Lopez (Praise Be His Name) and Bob Oksner cover.
  • Speaking of reprinting covers, all of the original covers are in this trade.  The new coloring makes some of them look really nice.

FCTC EPISODE 175: WORLDS COLLIDE PART 1

FCTC 2013 LogoFCTC_Ep_175_LargeEpisode 175: Worlds Collide Part 1

Welcome to the one hundred and seventy-fifth episode of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast!  This podcast has a simple premise; examine just about every Superman comic published between Man of Steel #1 in 1986 to Adventures of Superman #649 in 2006 in an informative and hopefully entertaining format.

Part index.  Part commentary.  Part history lesson.  All podcast.

One Man.  Two Worlds.  And The End Of All There Is…

This time out Mike and Jeff begin their look at a story that Mike was really looking forward to and Jeff was…not really looking forward to.  Worlds Collide was a 14 part series that crossed over between three of the Superman related books and four of the books put out by Milestone Comics with one special right there in the middle.  We have been seeing a mail carrier named Fred Bentson in some of the Superman books during the Battle For Metropolis.  Fred finally takes center stage during this story and proves to be a threat of universal proportions.  Mike kicks things off with a short history of Milestone Comics and a rundown of who the players from that universe are.  Then the boys jump into the first part, which takes place in Superman: The Man of Steel #35.  Not only do we see the beginnings of the story but also the death of a supporting character.

While they don’t get the full synopsis/review treatment the boys do go over the next five chapters of the story.  The second part takes place in Hardware #17, where we meet (if you haven’t read his title before that is) Hardware and see how Fred’s powers are growing.  Then in Superboy #6 the Kid fights the Parasite and gets drawn into the story.  The teenage heroes team-up (sort of) in Icon #15 as Rocket (of Icon and Rocket fame) gets in on the action.  Steel and Hardware meets for reals in Steel #6 while Superman is mistaken for a fictional character in the pages of Blood Syndicate #16.  The danger kicks into high gear and the full synopsis treatment returns in the pages of Worlds #1 where Fred’s powers reach their zenith and he becomes the entity known as Rift!

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MORE FUN WITH INTERNATIONAL EDTIONS

Every once in a while I like to post covers and such of Superman books as they are reprinted around the world.  Recently I found a two book lot on eBay that caught my eye and since they were on the inexpensive side I went ahead and bid on them.  To my surprise I won the auction and a week or so later they came in the mail.

German Superman 01I am working under the assumption that these are Hungarian reprints.  I could be wrong.  My feeble attempts at research (which boiled down to using Google’s translate feature and going from there) seem to indicate that these were put out in that part of the world in the early ’90s.  One of the things that always fascinates me about international editions of comics I am familiar with is to see how the books are packaged for a foreign audience.  This particular issue reprints the back half of Man of Steel #3 and all of Man of Steel #4 and given the number three is at the top of the cover I am working under the assumption that the first issue reprinted Man of Steel #1 and the second issue reprinted issue 2 and half of issue three.  That’s a bit weird but who am I to judge?

The paper stock is a bit cheap but I have to say that choosing this cover makes up for that.  It’s interesting that they took one part of the cover to issue four and blew that up to make the entire cover to this issue.

Man of Steel #04 If you were curious about what the interior of the comic looked like here’s a random page.

German Superman 02

Apparently the paper stock got a bit better down the road.  At least that’s what I gather from the other issue that was in the lot.

German Superman 03This one caught my attention because the coloring is different from the original, American edition.

Adventures of Superman #449The brighter background and the brighter colors on Superman and Guardian make a difference.  I am not saying it’s better because the original has a moodiness that the reprint lacks.  I was just pointing out the differences for the sake pointing out the differences.

The first page of this issue is almost comical.  The title of this issue was “The Search” and those words were part of the artwork on the splash page.  When they translated this issue into Hungarian they did so with the exact opposite of subtlety.

German Superman 05It’s kind of sad because that was a really good splash page too.

And that’s it for now.  I have another international edition of the Post Crisis Superman but that will wait another day.  Hope you enjoyed this.

WHO’S WHO CLASSICS – MR. MXYZPTLK (POST CRISIS)

Welcome to another installment of Who’s Who Classic, a regular feature here at the Fortress where every Monday I will present an entry from the original series of Who’s Who comics that DC published between 1984 and 1988.  Superman was well represented in those series and I wanted to share the entries with you just in case you have never seen them.  Today’s entry is Mr. Mxyzptlk (Post-Crisis)!

Mister Mxyzptlk B

(originally published in Who’s Who Update ’88 #2 (September 1988)

Remember that you can click on the art to make it larger.