This past weekend I found out (thanks to my friend Russell Burlingame of that Superman: The Man of Steel Volume 9 has been solicited, at least by Amazon standards.  I appreciated him letting me know that this was coming out next year because I have been a big supporter of that series of trades ever since they started coming out.  One of my posts on this blog was even quoted on the official Amazon listing for Superman: The Man of Steel Volume 8, which was pretty cool, at least to me.

In case you were interested, here is a link for Amazon’s listing for Volume 9.

At the moment there is no information on what comics will be included in this volume.  Way back in 2013 I speculated on what I would like to see with volume 9.  In case you missed it or never read it or just discovered this blog here is what I wrote back then.

BTW- this is all guess work.  I have no inside information.

As my good buddy Thomas Deja would say…”IT’S FLLLLASSSSHBAAAACCCKK TIIIMMMEE!”

Superman: The Man of Steel Volume Nine (Proposed)

This collection was trickier than I thought it would be because this proposal is trying to do three things at once.  The first of those things is keep the page count to a little over 200..  The second is to keep the narrative flow of the issues going.  The third was to give John Byrne’s run a proper send off.  This is what I came up with starting with the cover.

As I mentioned in the previous post I am a big fan of the Ordway covers this line has been sporting, so ideally an original cover by him featuring the new Supergirl or the Kyrptonian villains would be awesome.  If they did have to re-purpose some Ordway art this cover would be fantastic.

However there are two images drawn by John Byrne that would also serve as great covers to this volume as well.  Initially this one was the front runner.

Simple.  Effective.  Makes you wonder the heck is going on, right?  But what if you really want to grab a new reader…someone that has never read this era of Superman before?  What image would make you just have to pick up this book?

This one.

Yeah.  That would do it.

So what issues would I choose to be included in the volume and what order would I put them in?

  • Adventures of Superman #441 – 22 pages
  • Superman #19 – 22 pages
  • Adventures of Superman #442 – 22 pages
  • Adventures of Superman #443 – 32 pages
  • Superman Annual #2 – 8 page Private Lives story
  • Superman #20 – Pages 1-7
  • Doom Patrol #10 – 22 pages
  • Superman #20 – Pages 8-22
  • Superman #21 – 22 pages
  • Adventures of Superman #444 – 22 pages
  • Superman #22 – 22 pages

Total pages count including covers if you give them each their own page – 216

Normally I wouldn’t want them to double up on a title like I am proposing with Adventures of Superman but issue 443 of that title is a bit of an anomaly.  Originally the story in that issue was supposed to be the Adventures of Superman Annual for 1988 but things didn’t go exactly to plan and it got put into the regular title sans ads as it was a 32 page story.

Fun fact; It is also Jerry Ordway’s first Superman story as a writer.

The reason I placed it where I did was that the final pages of Superman #20 leads nicely into #21 so it seemed like a good fit.  If you are curious why I split Superman #20 at page 7 and put Doom Patrol #10 between those pages, well there’s a good reason for that.  The events of Doom Patrol #10 takes place between panels four and five of page 7 of the Superman issue.  Weird but true.

Theoretically I could have put all of Superman Annual #2 into this trade as it was released alongside the issues in this proposed collection.  There are two reasons I left it out.  First the main story is 40 pages and that’s a lot of real estate.  Second and more importantly the main story was written by Roger Stern and my thinking was that since his first official issue of Superman would probably be collected in the next volume it felt right cutting it from this trade as it would allow all of the Stern stories to be kept together.

The reason I included the eight page Private Lives story from the annual is that it was written and drawn by John Byrne.  Since Superman #22 was Byrne’s last issue as writer/artist/writer of the Superman titles it felt right to keep all of the Byrne stories together.  Also it’s a great little piece centering on Dan “Terrible” Turpin getting injured in the line of duty and COMPLETELY misinterpreting Maggie Sawyer’s feelings for him leading to a rather embarrassing confession and seeing more of Maggie than he ever thought he would.

It also has the first appearance of Barrage.  The fact that it wasn’t the only appearance was a surprise to…well, everyone.

There’s another reason to close out the trade with Superman #22.  It has a very uncertain ending.  Superman has just…done something that he has sworn never to do.  There’s this feeling of unease that makes you want to read the next adventure just to see what happens.  How will he deal with this terrible act?  What will the guilt drive him to do?  This could build anticipation for the next volume in the line.

End flashback.

And there you have it.  What I wanted to see in the next volume of the Superman: The Man of Steel line back in 2013 and I stand by it today.

So here comes the part of the post where I ask something of you the audience.

Pre-order this book.

There have been times where a trade has been solicited and then pulled because pre-orders were too low.  I want this line of trades to keep going.  Getting as much of the Post Crisis era of Superman into collected edition is important to me.  If it’s important to you too go ahead and use the link above to pre-order this book.  Russell did and so have I.  We’ve been very fortunate with the collections that have come out recently and I want to see that luck continue.

May 3, 2016 can’t get here fast enough.

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