Yesterday I posted the Advance Comics interview that was seen by a reporter from Newsday and turned into a national story.  Here is a copy of that article as printed in the September 4th, 1992 edition of the Atlanta Journal.  This article was on the front page all the way to the left both above and below the fold.  It was either considered big news or it was a really slow news day.

I have no idea if one or both of those options is true.

Here’s the article.

Some bullet points regarding this article:

  • Newsday is a Long Island based newspaper.  I don’t remember if I have mentioned that yet.
  • At the time this article was published the Atlanta Journal was the major evening paper in Atlanta, Georgia.  The morning paper was called the Atlanta Constitution and on Sunday they would join forces to become the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  That is the name of the paper today as they eliminated the two editions in favor of one around 2002.  I remember this vividly as I worked for the AJC from 2000-2002 as one of their carriers.
  • The writer of this article was William S. McTernan.  I tried to find contact information for Mr. Ternan and discovered that he passed away around this time last year at the age of 76.  Very sad.
  • At the top of this article is a picture of Superman by John Byrne from Man of Steel #1.  It is freaking awesome that the Atlanta Journal decided to use this art and then put it on the front page.  Sweet.
  • Right there at the top of the article is the “We don’t really know what death means for a Kryptonian,” quote that I wrote about yesterday.
  • The line about not getting anything from DC but an announcement that a press release would be forthcoming was what sparked my interest in finding out how this story went from a simple article in Newsday to a national story.
  • The quote from Don Simpson that the death was something done to boost sales is a sentiment many people would share.  Why they saw something wrong with that will always baffle me.  As long as the story holds up and is good there shouldn’t be a problem and both of those are true in this case.  I realize they didn’t know this at the time but still.
  • The quote from Glenn Fischette of Fourth World Comics in St. James, New York was interesing.  Fischette linked the lessening of Superman’s powers to the sales on the titles dropping.  I never would have put two and two together on that one but it is as good a theory as any.  He also mentions that he heard from someone in the industry that if Superman does come back he would be more powerful.  Obviously this didn’t happen but it proves that theories that never come to pass are nothing new to comic book fandom.
  • Nothing against Glenn in the previous comment.  Just mentioning it for history’s sake.
  • Fourth World Comics is an awesome name for a comic shop.
  • I did a little digging and it turns out that there is a Fourth World Comics still in existence on Long Island.  I e-mailed the Glenn listed on their website and it turns out he is indeed the Glenn from the article.  Apparently McTernan got the copy of Advance Comics on his own and called Fourth World because it was (and still is) the largest shop on Long Island.  That was neat to find out.

Next time: A little YouTube action featuring a CNN Headline News piece from when the story of Superman’s death broke.

More to follow…


  1. I have a feeling that CNN Headline News piece is gonna take me back 20ish years…if it’s the one I saw as a kid, I haven’t seen it SINCE that morning.

  2. Ah, this takes me back, even if it is Newsday, which really is the only Long Island-based newspaper there is, save for some very local papers. And IIRC, Fourth World Comics was one of the first wave of comics shops to pop up on LI during the 1980s. Glad to see it’s still in business, too.

    I don’t hold to the weaker powers/weaker sales theory, btw. I think it’s more like doesn’t kill anyone = weaker sales.

  3. I borrowed my neighbor’s copy of Newsday today. Still as bad as I remembered.

    I find the snippet Doomsday really interested. A cosmic insane asylum? I like that idea. Has anyone done that?

  4. Dan, you know what the most annoying thing about Newsday is? Even if I wanted to read something in that paper, I couldn’t. Most of their online content is only accessible if you’re a Cablevision customer.

    I mean, really?!

    And back on topic, I can’t wait to see what else Mike’s got.

  5. Wow. I guess it might be because a character’s death had never been publicized like this before, but I find it hard to believe people actually bought this. Poor gullible 1990s-ians.

  6. IIRC, the only other time a character’s death had made news like this at that point was Jason Todd’s. Also, Collin, this was back before everyone knew the exact details of a story before the solicits came out in Previews, as well as back before characters being killed and brought back was considered rather routine. Not so much gullible as caught off guard.

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