COLLECTED EDITIONS – SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL VOL. 4

(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.)

Man of Steel Vol. 4A Man of Steel Vol. 4BNuts and Bolts

  • Released on August 24, 2005
  • Original cover price $19.99
  • 192 pages
  • Cover by Jerry Ordway

Contents

  • Introduction: Superman or Superboy?
  • Rampage! from Superman (Vol. 2) #7
  • Homeward Bound from Adventures of Superman #430
  • Better Dying Through Chemistry from Action Comics #590
  • A Twist in Time from Legion of Super-Heroes (Vol. 2) #37
  • Future Shock from Superman (Vol. 2) #8
  • Past Imperfect from Action Comics #591
  • The Greatest Hero of Them All from Legion of Super-Heroes (Vol. 2) #38
  • They Call Him — Doctor Stratos from Adventures of Superman #431
  • Cover Gallery

Notes

  • As you can see this edition was signed by Marv Wolfman.  This is what happens when I don’t think ahead.  Then again when I had him sign this at the 2006 DragonCon I couldn’t have known that one day I would have wanted to post the cover to this site.  Oh well.
  • The introduction gives a break down of why they had to tell the Superboy story reprinted in this book.  There is no credit given so I don’t know who wrote it.
  • This was the volume of the Superman: The Man of Steel series I was most looking forward to when it came out as it contains the two issues that really kicked off my Superman collection/addiction.  Superman #8 and Action Comics #591 were the books that started it all for me and the recoloring done for this trade really makes them pop.
  • It’s funny that I have complained about the reordering of the issues in past volumes and yet feel they should have led this trade off with Adventures of Superman #430 followed by Action Comics #590 and then the Rampage story from Superman #7.  I think the flow would have been smoother because you have Superman disappear at the end of Superman #7, pop up on the last page as Clark Kent, go on two adventures and then reveal what happened between those pages.  There is no perfect way to do it but I think Homeward Bound and Better Dying Through Chemistry would have been solid ways to open the trade.
  • On the other hand the Rampage story and the events of Superman #8 and Action Comics #591 are referenced in Homeward Bound so that shoots my theory down quite nicely.
  • I am glad they included the Legion of Super-Heroes issues for this volume.  While it wouldn’t have ruined the collection if they were left out it is still good to see them included.  It gives you the whole story in one convenient package and the final fate of the Pocket Universe Superboy is quite moving.
  • Still I am slightly jealous of those who are reading this story for the first time in its complete form.  Those issues were impossible to find during my teenage years so it wasn’t until 1996 or so that I was finally about to own them.  Darn buying all of my comics off of the newsstand in 1987.
  • Going back to how this book should have been arranged (which I still feel bad about discussing since I usually don’t like playing armchair editor) ending this volume with the Dr. Startos story was…a mistake.  It is such a weak story.  Again, you could have included that before the first Legion story and lost nothing in terms of the continuity of events.  Sure it would have ended things on a depressing note but at the same time the final pages of the second Legion issue are so strong that giving us sub-par Erik Larsen art and a pretty lame villain right after that just feels wrong.
  • The page count of this trade is smaller than the last.  That must be why they went back to the full page cover galleries instead of putting a bunch of covers on one page.

To follow the series as it progress check out the following links:

More to follow…

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2 Responses to COLLECTED EDITIONS – SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL VOL. 4

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