SUPERMAN’S ORIGIN CIRCA 1993

Back in 1993 a magazine called  Superman/Batman Magazine hit the shelves to very little fanfare.  The main reason I remember that time so clearly is that I picked up the first issue in the gift shop at St. Luke’s Hospital during one of my Mom’s stays there right before she passed.  I bought it because there wasn’t anything else there I was interested in reading but that paritcular copy has been lost to the ages or at least lost among the many moves I made in 1994 and 1995.  Thanks to my good friend Alan Leach, Jr. I now have another copy and I am very happy for that even if there is a touch of sadness in remembering where I bought it the first time.

Superman/Batman Magazine was an interesting experiment.  It straddled the two worlds of the then current DC Universe and what has been commonly called the Timmverse of Batman: The Animated Series.  This was before Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond and the two Justice League animated series, so it was kind of novel at the time to see the rest of the DC heroes and villains drawn in that  style.  The first issue contained departments such as A Message from The Batcave, The Daily Planet [Sunday Supplement], Penguin’s Puns and Bird-Brained Jokes, Pullout (a poster of the DC villains drawn in the animated style), The Hero File (this one was about Wonder Woman) and Backstage at DC Comics (this one was an interview with Mike Carlin).  The issue also contained features on trading cards, the martial arts, an “interview” the the then dead Superman and two origin stories done as mini-comic books.  This being the first issue they had an origin for both Batman and Superman, which makes sense given the name of the magazine.

I think it is safe to say that I am known for being a fan of the Post Crisis on Infinite Earths Superman, especially when it comes to the origin.  I like that take though there really isn’t a version of the origin that I truly dislike.  What makes this version of the Byrne origin so awesome is that it was written an inked by Karl Kesel and penciled by the late Mike Parobeck.  It was only six pages long but Parobeck and Kesel packed a lot into those six pages.  So it being Friday and all I thought I would end the week on a high note and post those pages here and once again I send a big ol’ thank you out to Alan for sending me this.  You’re the best, Alan.

This origin covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time.  I was jazzed that Kesel and Parobeck included a lot of what John Byrne brought to the character, especially by showing images of the Byrne’s take on Metallo, Mr. Mxyzptlk and even Klash, the robot Lex Luthor sent after the Man of Steel in Superman (Vol. 2) #10.  These six pages continue to put a big ol’ smile on my face and I hope you liked them as much as I did.

Next week: Nothing is set in stone as of yet outside of the usual YouTube Tuesday and the latest episode of From Crisis to Crisis.  Everyone have a safe weekend and I will see you on Monday.

More to follow…

5 thoughts on “SUPERMAN’S ORIGIN CIRCA 1993”

  1. Very cool, and also very relevant to this week’s FCTC discussion of Lois’ potential “big scoop.” How long did this magazine run?

  2. I remember seeing copies of that on the magazine rack at the grocery store. I never picked any up at the time, though.

    Bibliomike: It only ran for eight issues from 1993-1995. The company that published it (Welsh Publishing or Welsh Publications) was purchased by Marvel, so the mag was canceled.

  3. Michael, once again your welcome, I’m just happy to make a tiny contibution to your continuing quest to show people just how cool, and enjoyable Superman can be. This is truely one of my favorite versions of Superman’s origin. I think people forget how good of a writer Karl Kesel was on Superman and Mike Parobeck was always so underated. Many people don’t understand how hard it is to draw in such a dynamic yet simple almost cartoony style. The poplular “image” style of the time was very sketchy and many artists hid a lack of anatomical knowledge under a lot of hatching and cross hatching Parobeck’s style was clean and had no unecassary lines. I’ve loved Parobeck’s work since the first time I saw it in his Justice Society title and his work on Batman Adventures, both were just amazing and he set a very high bar for the Timmverse titles that I don’t think anyone else ever really met. I know its selfish but I wish he had lived to draw Superman Adventures, I think he would have finally got the credit he deserved. Kesel’s choice to tell the tale with Lois as the narrator was just brillant and I don’t remeber if that had ever been done before. The fact that it sums up the events of Superman from Man of Steel to around Time and Time again is just awesome and I love Parobeck’s interpretation of these events. His storytelling and facial expressions are just fantastic, Lois’s disdain for Clark when she finds out he scooped her and her later love for Clark and surprise to find out he’s Superman are just great. The last half page splash of Superman flying in front of the Planet glove is just bliss, I would have liked the Superman Adventures the cartoon even better if it had been animated in this style. Thank you for posting this, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of your readers and listeners have never seen it and it should see the light of day it really is a great interpretation of the origin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *