Electro-Blue Superman.

Say the words and a certain contingent of Superman fans will either start laughing, cracking jokes or hit the ground and cover their head like a Vietnam Vet hearing a car backfire.

For those of you who have blocked it out of your minds or have only heard about it in hushed whispers I cast your memory back to 1997 when DC decided that the Man of Steel needed a change and the best way to change the character is to give him new powers and a new costume.  It looked a little like this.

Superman HPW 05

Was it the best idea ever? Not really.  As a matter of fact for a long time this was my gold standard of when the Superman books went off the rails.  Now I’m not so sure because there have been a couple of years after that where the books were a true chore to read and this era looks pretty good in comparison.

In any case I didn’t bring you here today to talk about the pros and cons of that storyline.  I am re-reading it so I may do that at some point in the future but for right now I want to show off what four bucks can get you on eBay these days.

Superman 97 Promo 01

This is a packet that was sent to comic shops back in January 1997 to prep for the big change over.  No matter what anyone thinks of the actual story there is no denying that it was a big deal.  I will admit that the text on this packet, “Who says things never change?” is kind of amusing in retrospect but I can’t fault DC’s marketing department for doing their job.

So what came inside this packet?

Superman 97 Promo 02

Superman 97 Promo 03

I am a big fan of comic book promotional posters so these were a real treat.  While I thought the idea of changing Superman’s powers and costumes was wrong headed I did like the costume itself.  Twelve years later I look at these posters as a piece of Superman’s history so instead of being a reminder of a bad story they now serve as reminders of a particular era, so getting these posters makes me smile and yes at some point both of them are going up on the wall.  Don’t know when but they will be there.

Superman 97 Promo 04

Superman 97 Promo 05

These are neat.  They are rack cards for the five Superman titles that were coming out at the time.  A shop owner would put them on the rack behind the particular issues to draw attention to them.  I have no idea what I am going to do with these.  Hanging them on the wall springs to mind but I may just put them behind the several versions of the Superman Red and Superman Blue figures that I have.  In any case I think they’re cool.

So that’s what four bucks will get you on eBay.  In a few weeks I will be covering 1997 on my podcast, Views From The Longbox, so this storyline will be discussed.  I am hoping to have the issues re-read by that point so that I can have a firmer opinion of the Electro-Blue era beyond my memories of what happened at the time.  Maybe I’ll look more favorably on it.

Or maybe I’ll just shake my head and wonder what the hell those people were thinking.  Time will tell.

More to follow…



Episode 22: May 1988 or Superman’s Golden Anniversary

Welcome to the twenty-first episode of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast!  This podcast has a simple premise; examine just about every Superman comic published between Man of Steel #1 in 1986 to Adventures of Superman #649 in 2006 in an informative and hopefully entertaining format.

Part index.  Part commentary.  Part history lesson.  All podcast.

After a week’s absence due to Mike coming down with what was either Kryptonian Leprosy or a really bad flu the boys are back in town to discuss the Superman books that came out with the cover date of May 1988.  This was a big one too as not only was it the month where DC celebrated Superman’s fiftieth anniversary in the comics but also because Action Comics hit the big 6-0-0.  Before getting into that 80 Page Giant Jeff and Mike discuss the return of the Silver Banshee in Superman #17 and the giddiness of Superman as he flies to his date with Wonder Woman in Adventures of Superman #440, which led into the main story of Action #600. That epic anniversary issue had a number of stories in it, all of which get some kind of commentary.  The boys even talk about the pin-ups included in Action 600, so that book gets a top to bottom examination.  Also Mike clues you in on some of the ways the real world was celebrating Superman’s fiftieth anniversary including the exhibit from the Smithsonian Institute.  It’s a long one, but Superman’s golden anniversary deserved it.

You can subscribe to the show in two ways. First there is the RSS Feed and there is also theiTunes link .

If you want to comment on the show or contact the hosts you can always private message Mike and Jeff, at the Superman Homepage, leave comments here or at the Homepage or here or email them by clicking this link.  All questions, concerns, fears, trepidations and cheap shots are welcome. The guys will try to incorporate e-mails into the episodes once the show gets rolling.

Seriously, let us know what you think.



As many of you know I co-host a show called From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast with my buddy Jeffrey Taylor.  For the uninitiated FCTC covers, month by month, most of the Superman books published between lMan of Steel #1 in 1986 and Adventures of Superman #649 in 2006.  That’s a huge chunk of time and some people have expressed a desire to follow along with us.  I was wondering how feasible it would be for someone that doesn’t own  a complete run to find one or at the very least find most of them in trade.  I’m pretty sure if you had the time, money and energy you could do it, but it wouldn’t be easy.

And that got me to thinking.

Since February of 2004 (release date not cover date) every mainstream Superman book (Superman, Adventures of Superman and Action Comics along with Superman/Batman) has been released as a collected edition of some sort.  Usually in hardcover at first and then in softcover and in the case of Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee’s For Tomorrow even an Absolute Edition.  The Godfall arc, all of the Greg Rucka run on Adventures of Superman, the just mentioned For Tomorrow, all of Mark Verheiden’s run on Superman, Chuck Austen’s run on Action Comics, Gail Simone’s work on Action Comics, Sacrifice, the Infinite Crisis crossovers, Up, Up and Away, Last Son, Camelot Falls Parts 1 and 2, the rest of Kurt Busiek’s run, Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Brainiac, The Coming of Atlas and right up to the current New Krypton stuff.  Five years worth of stories are pretty much all there give or take a once and done story here and there.  Someone getting into Superman today would have a very easy time getting caught up without having to track down the individual issues.

But what about that Crisis to Crisis era?

Continue reading SUPERMAN BY THE TRADE