COLLECTED EDITIONS – SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL VOL. 7

(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. 7A Man of Steel Vol. 7BNuts and Bolts

  • Released on February 6, 2013
  • Original price $19.99
  • 189 pages
  • Cover by Jerry Ordway (or at least cobbled together from Jerry Ordway drawn images)

Contents

  • Toys in the Attic from Superman (vol. 2) #13
  • Junk from Adventures of Superman #436
  • Hell is Where The Heart Is… from Action Comics #596
  • Last Stand! from Superman (vol. 2) #14
  • Point of View from Adventures of Superman #437
  • Visitor from Action Comics #597
  • Wings from Superman (vol. 2) #15
  • …The Amazing Brainiac from Adventures of Superman #438

Notes

  • I realize this is my personal bias showing but I am extremely happy that after nearly five years DC released another volume of this series.
  • There is a certain level (and by “certain level” I really mean “a whole lot”) of disappointment that DC didn’t commission an original cover for this volume.  Jerry Ordway drew the previous six covers and they look amazing.  It would have been nice for them to continue that tradition.
  • On the other hand it is nice that they chose to use Ordway artwork for the cover.  The main image is a little flat (Ordway’s words, by the way, not mine) but the bottom image is awesome.
  • Even though it has been almost five years since the last volume of this series came out I love the fact that the spine of this collection matches the previous six.  The DC COMICS logo at the bottom is different but the style and font are the same.
  • There is no introduction to this volume nor is there a cover gallery.  Instead each issue’s cover is placed before the story, which I liked quite a bit.
  • Superman #13 features the first appearance of the Post Crisis Toyman.  I liked what Byrne did with the character.  The fact that he is British is largely forgotten or ignored after this introduction.
  • The first five stories in this volume are Millennium crossovers.  You might think that reading these issues outside of the series it is tying into would be problematic but thanks to the storytelling of the time we’re brought up to speed pretty quick.
  • One of the ways Millennium crossed over into other titles was the idea that each hero had a Manhunter “sleeper” agent in their midst.  Byrne went all in on this idea by not only making Lana Lang a sleeper agent but every child in Smallville born after Superman’s ship landed as well.  While it was more personal for Lana as she was chosen to be the lead agent I both like and am uncomfortable with the idea that every man and woman younger than Superman was violated by the Manhunters.  It’s a cool idea for a story but has a lot of weird implications.
  • Ultimately the idea is largely ignored after this story ends.  It is talked about during the World of Smallville mini-series but after that it is pretty much forgotten, which is probably for the best.
  • Adventures of Superman #437 features the story where Jose Delgado (a.k.a Gangbuster) is temporarily crippled.  This was the first time I, as a reader, saw Gangbuster in action as I missed the first appearance of Jose in costume.  Considering how important that character became to me during the early nineties it’s kind of weird to think that my first exposure to him was at his lowest point.
  • The bombshell dropped on Lois in Action Comics #597 amuses me to no end.  Jonathan Kent tells Lois that the Kents raised Superman alongside Clark as brothers in an effort to throw her off the trail of finding out Clark and Superman were one and the same.  This blows up in everyone’s faces as Lois feels betrayed.  This isn’t the last time Jonathan will come up with a plan that isn’t all that…thought out.  Lois would feel resentful towards Superman and Clark for a very long time and it was only after she thought Clark had died that she actually forgave him.
  • Of course the fact that the creators that followed Byrne chose not to deal with this revelation probably had something to do with it as well.
  • Superman #15 has the first appearance of a villain called Skyhook.  This is one of many characters and storylines that Byrne would introduce during the course of his time with Superman that would be later resolved by Roger Stern.  This is not a criticism, merely an observation.
  • Adventures of Superman #438 featured the first appearance of the Post Crisis Brainiac.  This is another one of those issues I missed first run during my early collecting days.  I rather liked it when I finally got to read it but I have since learned that readers were not all that thrilled with the new Brainiac, at least during his first appearance.  I can see it both ways, really.  It’s not the most dramatic of introductions but it was such a cool idea.
  • The name Milton Fine is a Three Stooges reference.  In case you were curious.

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