Here is another one of those things that reminds me how much the world has changed.  Today if you wanted to watch a national news station here in the United States you have a lot of options.  MSNBC, Fox News and CNN are all competing for viewers but back in 1992 it was pretty much CNN.  There were two versions of CNN at the time; normal CNN and CNN Headline News (or just plain old Headline News at times) which featured thirty minute loops of the most popular national and international headlines.  Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the Headline News piece on the death of Superman.

Some thoughts as piece played out:

  • The reporter handling the bulk of the piece (I heard her name but am not even going to try to spell it here) was really crass about the whole thing.  The “it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a corpse” thing really put me off right from the start.
  • It was weird to see the poster that was in the bagged version of Superman #75.  I am curious as to how they got a shot of that so early.
  • There were a lot of George Reeves and Kirk Alyn clips in this piece, which surprised me.  I figured there would be more Christopher Reeve.  Weird.
  • On a similar note it was interesting to see Jack Larsen in there.  Maybe the person putting the piece together really liked the old stuff.
  • I liked seeing the receptionist at DC Comics.
  • Hey, it’s Mike Carlin!
  • Jeffrey and I just covered the Superman Special and Superman #73 on From Crisis to Crisis, so it was cool to see those covers.
  • Could they find a single comic book reader in that store that liked Superman?  I know it was 1992 when the X-Men and Image Comics were the “hot” books but someone there must have liked Superman.  Either that or they just didn’t care to find one because it wouldn’t fit the tone of the story.
  • I was unaware that Infinity War was a dark super-hero.  Sloppy reporting there.
  • So that’s why they kept using the older footage.  To make Superman seem old.  It is all so clear to me now.
  • The sound bites from the other people in the comic shop they visited, including the owner, makes me realize that things really haven’t changed all that much in terms of how fans talk when they come to pick up their books.
  • Wow, they actually referenced the death of the Phantom Zone villains.  Wish they could have done so without making it seem as if Superman choosing not to kill was a bad thing.
  • More to the point Superman was pretty ruthless in his early days, but why do research?
  • Not to pick on a little kid, but there is something amusing about a young boy with his shirt buttoned all the way to the top calling someone else a dork.
  • Wow, the Blaze/Satanus War sure got some love there at the end.

Honestly this is the sort of reporting I expect to see about comic books, not only today but back then as well.  I know that not every news piece on television, the Internet and in print treats the subject of comics as being kind of silly but this one sure did.  Then again this is probably what they thought the general public wanted to see, so I really don’t know who to be annoyed at.

It was interesting to find, though.  I will say that.

Next time: More articles announcing Superman’s death.

More to follow…

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  1. Tom Panarese says:

    It’s also obvious that they gave the editing job on this one to an intern. Wow.

    Loved the one comic store patron with the big scoop-neck T-shirt. I guess he left his gold chains in 1979.

  2. I’ve seen the quote before, but is Carlin’s “We don’t know what death means to a Kryptonian” given context anywhere? Because, given Superman’s origin, that seems an odd way to sell it.

  3. Dan North says:

    This made me both sad and glad that my comic shop is never busy when I go there.

  4. MattComix says:

    I do agree that reports like this treat the subject of comics as being kind of silly and there’s a certain dismissive quality to it. I hate it as much as the next comicbook fan.

    But I also feel over the years like the fandom and the industry take stuff like that just so hard that they want the material to aggressively over-compensate for it. Everybody gets so damn gung-ho about being taken seriously that a lot of the fun has been sucked out of the genre to a point where some fans curl their nose up at the idea of kids reading comics or any comic that is not steeped in darkness and grit.

    I get that nobody wants their favorite genre or story-telling medium derided as somehow inferior but at the same time there’s gotta a point at which we stop feeling the need to apologize to the world at large on whatever level for enjoying something fantastic and colorful.

  5. Jeremy Kossak says:

    I love your coverage so far on this story, and everything else you’ve done. The video clips are great! I actually watched the special feature on the Superman/Doomsday DVD again. Louise Simonson gets so emotional! It’s amazing to see that reaction from writers and artists. One minor note: I don’t know if it’s just me, but Jeff’s audio keeps cutting in and out.

  6. Did anyone else recognize the guy with the Joker tattoo? That was Robert Ben Garant. He was on that show “The State” and went on to be one of the regular characters on “Reno 911.”

  7. penfold says:

    “We don’t know what death means to a Kryptonian.” True, but it’s not like we can ask Jor-El, Lara, Zor-El, the Pre-Crisis Krypto and Supergirl or basically anybody else whoever came from Krypton.


    Incidentally, we can make fun of those Superman haters as much as we want but there are two things to remember-

    01- Bailey and the rest of us paid cover price for those comics.
    02- Those louts not only bought them but likely paid at least $5 to $10 after searching for hours or days or weeks.

    It’s the little things…

  8. Pingback: It Was Twenty Years Ago Today… « Comic Reviews by Walt

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