RETURN OF SUPERMAN…DIRECT CURRENTS STYLE

Once again I am pretty sure someone sent or somehow gave this to me.

Once again I do not remember who that person was.

Sigh.

Anyway, here are scans from the issue of Direct Currents (you remember, that awesome magazine/checklist/advertisement DC Comics put out in the late eighties and early nineties that I have talked about before) that focused on the release of Adventures of Superman #500 and the first four chapters of the Reign of the Supermen.  Enjoy!

Direct Currents 63 A Direct Currents 63 B Direct Currents 63 C Direct Currents 63 D Direct Currents 63 E Direct Currents 63 G

DEATH OF SUPERMAN…DIRECT CURRENTS STYLE

Back in the early nineties DC had this awesome little giveaway that you could find at the comic shop called Direct Currents.  On the surface it was one big advertisement for their comics but it also served as a checklist for the DC books that were coming out in a given month.  As the “magazine” was being published around the time of the Death and Return of Superman there was an edition dedicated to the first movement of that event.  Back when Jeff and I were covering that story over on From Crisis to Crisis someone (and I am very sorry that I forget who that someone was) sent me scans of that edition and I just plain forgot to post it.  So I am rectifying that today.

Enjoy and again sorry to whoever sent me this about the whole forgetting that you sent this to me.  Let me know who you are and I will give credit where credit is due.

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SUPERMAN #75 MEDIA COVERAGE ROUND-UP

Today I am feeling kind of basic, which strikes me as a movie quote now that I think about it.  Didn’t John Cusak’s character say that in the movie High Fidelity?  I think he did.  I love that movie.  If I was a complete hack I would write my own version set in a comic book store instead of a record store because, let’s face it, that movie nails the collecting mentality and could easily be applied to just about any fandom.  Sure the ending would have to change slightly but the heart and soul of the piece would still be there.

Anwyay…

Today I have the last two articles sent to me by Christopher J. Warden about the release of Superman #75.  The first one is from the Detroit News and it is…odd.

I am kind of curious where the writer, Rob Allstetter, got the idea that Doomsday had paws.  Maybe he saw the four pages of Doomsday punching the wall  that were at the end of the November 1992 Superman titles and thought, “Hey, that might be a paw.”  Or maybe the editor added that later.  In any case…weird.

After the confusion over whether or not Doomsday has opposable thumbs we move into the gossip and once again there are the, “Increase or decrease in powers,” and “Superman is going to be so much meaner when he gets back,” rumors followed by a new one (at least as far as my research goes) about Lois and Clark breaking up after the resurrection.  It seems strange that a creative team that spent so much time and energy trying to get those crazy kids together would chuck all of that away after Superman came back from the dead.  Then again rumors were probably flying fast and furious at the time, so this one is just as valid as the rest of them.

Finally there is a reference to Superman Returns, which surprised me a great deal.  I know there was talk of a new Superman film at the time but those rumors centered around a continuation of the Christopher Reeve films or a “Young Superman” film with Gerard Christopher.  The title Superman Returns has never come up in any of the articles I have read on the unmade Superman films between Quest For Peace and…well…Superman Returns, which doesn’t mean that it didn’t.  I just haven’t seen it yet.  I am curious where Rob got that name from.

I am also curious if the Rob Allstetter that wrote this article is the same Rob Allstetter that runs the Comics Contiuum.  That would be cool to find out.  An e-mail has been sent.  Updates will be given as they happen.

Update: Yup, it turns out that the Rob from the article and the Rob from Comics Continuum are one and the same.  Seems Rob worked as the Deputy Sports Editor for the Detroit News for about 15 years.  And know you know.

It was neat that the Detroit News went with the Adventures of Superman cover as their graphic.  In full color even.  Awesome.

Before I close up shop for the day here is the final article I was able to find/someone sent me.

“It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a sham.”

And with that one sentence we have the most insulting of the articles I have read.  At least they chose a good image to run with the text.

Next time: Doomsday’s Who’s Who in the DC Universe entry.

Yes, he had one.

More to follow…

ANOTHER DEATH OF SUPERMAN NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

Today I have another newspaper article concerning the release of Superman #75.  This one was sent to me by Christopher J. Warden and is from The Oakland Press, a newspaper out of Pontiac, Michigan I believe that serves Oakland County.

This is a very straight forward piece and I like that.  As I have mentioned in the past these articles amount to little more than puff pieces in the eyes of the media but Bob Gritizinger manages to play it straight and not be dismissive with the subject matter.  Once again we see the rumor that Superman will be a darker character when he comes back but at this point I would have been disappointed if I hadn’t seen it.  I also like the fact that the paper chose to print an actual page from the comic book.

Next time: Finally…the contents of Superman #75.

More to follow…

DEATH OF SUPERMAN NEWS COVERAGE

Another day, another video. This newscast was from Orange County but I have no idea what state Orange County is in.  It was on YouTube though and was one of the few videos I could find so here you go.

Bullet points!

  • I can’t tell if the reporter at the comic shop is being serious or not.  She looks like she is trying not to laugh.
  • The manager of the comic shop is wearing a tie.  I suddenly don’t trust him.
  • Superman #75 wasn’t double sized, but whatever.
  • That Jon Allen guy has serious nineties hair.
  • Did they really just misspell Lois Lane or was that done on purpose.
  • That Shirley Bates woman looks like she would kick your ass if you argued with her.
  • Hey, a Batman cosplayer.  Neat.
  • I wonder how much it cost to rent the coffin.

Well that was fun.  Not earth shaking but it was neat to find.  It goes to show that even television news was covering this event and while it was probably considered a puff piece it the news director obviously thought it was worth reporting on.

Next time: Something a little different.

More to follow…

MID-OHIO CON DEATH OF SUPERMAN VIDEO

Someone sent me a link to to this video.  In fact, I think two people sent me a link to this video, one of them being Travis Fowler.  I forget the other person’s name and for that I am genuinely sorry.  I like to give credit where credit is due.  In any case, this video was shot at the 1992 Mid-Ohio Con, which apparently took place somewhere around the death of Superman.

As always, enjoy.

Bullet points!

  • The use of the John Williams Superman music was a nice touch to this video.  I dug it.
  • It was cool to see the interview with Roger Stern, complete with bow tie and long hair.  He is quick to point out that Doomsday as a story was creator driven and I think that is extremely important.
  • Stern also mentions that Dan Jurgens wanted to do a death of Superman story and create a character that could physically take on the Man of Steel and it seems like those were two separate ideas that just happen to come together in Doomsday.
  • Again, he doesn’t mention the wedding being postponed for the television series.  Let’s hear it for consistency.
  • The story where John Byrne killed Superman and brought him back in the same issue was Action Comics #595, which was also the first appearance of the Silver Banshee.  Now that I really think about it, that issue had a nice riff on the classic Silver Age death of Superman story.  I never really thought about that before.
  • Byrne comes off a little snarky with his comments concerning fan reaction to the news of Superman’s death and how it is just a ploy to sell comics.  To me his comments are fair and to a large extent correct.  Doomsday was conceived partially to draw a little attention to the Superman titles to boost sales and as I have said in the past there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  It just so happened that it was also a really good story.
  • It was cool to see Byrne interviewed as he was the reason I started collecting the Superman books in the first place.
  • It was also cool to see Jim Shooter interviewed.  I have become a big fan of his blog (which you can find by clicking on this link) so it was neat to get this “vintage” bit of commentary as well.
  • The comparison between the death of Jean Grey and the death of Superman was interesting.  I am not sure that I buy it but Shooter’s reasoning is sound and he was quick to point out that Superman’s death was getting more attention simply because of his place in the hearts and minds of the public.
  • The guy doing the interviewing tried to paint James Miller’s comments as being somewhat negative but I thought he was fairly positive about the whole thing.  He made a very valid point and I have to agree that if the creators hadn’t brought Superman back with dignity and then followed through with some fantastic stories that it would have been sad.  I wonder what he thought of Reign of the Supermen?
  • I agree with everything Don Thompson said.  I dug that he stuck to the bright side of the death of Superman, which is odd to write but there you go.
  • As with James Miller’s comments I am curious as to what the comic fan that was interviewed thought of what came after the death and if it changed his mind about the decision to kill the character.

I am glad Travis Fowler and the other person whose name I don’t remember pointed me in the direction of this video.  It, like just about everything else I have posted here, is an interesting artifact and gives the people of today that are just now discovering the story some perspective on what it was like in 1992 when everything went down.  I would have loved to have seen this at the time, especially since John Byrne and Roger Stern were part of it but seeing it now is just as cool.

Next time: Some more television news coverage of the death of Superman.

More to follow…

SUPERMAN’S FUNERAL

Suddenly I am very glad that Hulu exists.

I watched this skit for the first time at the cast party for The Pink Panther Strikes Again.  It aired the Saturday after Superman #75 came out.  The party took place at my friend Ben’s house and Ben’s parents had a projection screen television, so we watched this skit on the wall of his living room.  I vividly remember the stares I got when I said, rather loudly mind you, that Batman should have known who Black Lightning was because they were in the Outsiders together.

I guess I was the only comic geek in the room.

Then and now my favorite part of this skit was Lex Luthor, as played by Al Franken, expressing remorse and admiration for Superman and then saying that he’s glad Superman is dead and that it is going to be a good year for him.  Outside of Chris Farley as the Hulk and Chris Rock (as Robin) looking at the camera at one point that will always make me laugh.

Again, I am very glad that Hulu had this in their archives for SNL because I sure as heck couldn’t find it on YouTube.

Next week: Scans, videos and more scans.  Should be more Death and Return of Superman “fun”.

More to follow…

MORNING CALL DEATH OF SUPERMAN ARTICLE

I believe this article comes from the November 21, 1992 edition of the Morning Call.  For those coming in late the Morning Call is the main newspaper in Allentown, PA and from 1986 until 1995 my family lived just outside of Allentown in a sleepy little community called Wescoville.  November 21st was a Saturday and I remember that weekend very well.  I was a junior at Emmaus High School and that night was going to be the final performance of The Pink Panther Strikes Again, a fun little play I was in based on the 1976 film.  My buddy Larry had crashed at my house the previous night and we were watching television when I found this article.  That’s when it hit me.

Superman #75 had come out that week.

And I didn’t have a copy.

I plan on telling the whole “epic” saga of how I got my hands on the Doomsday storyline on an upcoming episode of From Crisis to Crisis, so I’ll end that particular story there.  What I will go into is the fact that this article brings back a lot of memories for me.  There are two comic shops mentioned in the article; Beachead Comics and Cap’s Comics Cavalcade.  Cap’s was located near what is now called Lehigh Valley International Airport and was something of a mystery to me for years.  I would hear about Cap’s from the other comic collectors I knew in junior high and high school but the one time my Dad and I went looking for it (in those pre-drivers license days) we just couldn’t find the place.  I finally tracked it down when I was a freshmen in college and found it to be a nice comic shop that had the exact same back stock that all of the other comic stores in the area had.  I am not surprised that Cap’s was one of the comic shops the reporter visited to get quotes for her article as it was one of the bigger shops in the Lehigh Valley.

Beachead Comics is a very special store for me.  While it wasn’t where I kept my hold box in November of 1992 it was the first comic shop I ever went to.  It was an old school comic shop that smelled like old paper and had mostly wooden fixtures.  Every time I went there a large white dog slept or rested near the entrance.  That was the shop where I bought Man of Steel and most of the Post-Crisis Superman comics I needed to complete my run when I got serious about collecting the Superman books.  The building was on a corner and the front window, which you can see in what I consider to be the main picture of the article, was always covered in promo posters with Alfred was painted on the front door welcoming you in.  The side of the building had an awesome mural on it.

I took that picture in July of 2001 when my wife (then girlfriend) and I visited Allentown so I could show her where I grew up.  From the looks of it Beachead is still in business, which makes me smile.

As for the article itself, well it reads like the others I have posted.  Once again we get the rumor that when Superman comes back he is going to be, as the reporter puts it, “one tough enchilada.  Not what I would call the most professional journalism I have ever seen but I guess the writer saw this as a puff piece which, in all honesty, it kind of was.

I would love to post the other part of the article but I can’t seem to locate it.  That means one of two things; either I have lost it in the various moves over the years or I never clipped it out.  I am willing to bet I never clipped it out which until today has not been a problem.  So on the off chance that any of you out there reading this lived in the Lehigh Valley in 1992 and clipped out this article (as unlikely as that sounds) I would appreciate a scan.

Odd to think that next year this article will be twenty years old.  That means I have had this little scrap of paper with me for that long and it has lasted through nine moves, one from Pennsylvania to Georgia.  It is almost comforting to know that I still have it.

Next time: I was going to post the contents of the collector’s edition of Superman #75 but I haven’t been able to get all of the bits of business scanned or photographed.  So instead I will leave the subject of tomorrow’s post a surprise but I am fairly sure you will like it.

More to follow…

ANOTHER DEATH OF SUPERMAN ANNOUNCEMENT ARTICLE

As usual…the bullet points:

  • Once again we get a pretty crass opening.  This isn’t surprising but man is it getting annoying.  Yes it is odd to be annoyed by something that happened nearly twenty years ago but I have been reading a lot of these articles for the first time so my reactions are fresh even if the material is not.  It makes me sad that we really haven’t gotten past this sort of patronizing subtext to any national story about the Man of Steel.
  • Hey, a reference to the old Batman series.  That was surprising to see in a story about comic books from this time period and when I write, “surprising” I mean surprising in that not at all sort of way.
  • Once again we get the Mike Carlin, “We don’t know what death means to a Kryptonian,” quote.  It is getting to be comforting at this point.
  • This article was from the Springfield News-Leader, a paper out of Spingfield, Missouri.  J. David Weter (host of PADSMASH: An Incredible Hulk Podcast and co-host of Superman in the Bronze Age with Charlie Niemeyer as well as Green Lantern’s Light with Michael Bradley and some guy named Jeffrey Taylor.) sent this to me.  David is a great guy, a huge Superman fan and a good friend.  Thanks, David!

Next week: More Doomsday related “fun”.

I am starting to feel uncomfortable calling it fun because Superman died and all but the responses I have been getting to these posts have been amazing (so keep them coming) and it has been a real treat to take this trip down memory lane.  So it is fun in a weird way.

More to follow…

NEWSDAY ARTICLE ABOUT THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN – ALTERNATE VERSION

Here, just for grins, is a few scans of another version of the Newsday article that broke the Death of Superman story, this time with Dan Jurgens artwork.

I guess this would be considered an abridged version of the article since it doesn’t have the quotes from Glenn Fischette.  Interesting.

Next time: More media coverage.

More to follow…