COLLECTED EDITIONS – SUPERMAN: KRISIS OF THE KRIMSON KRYPTONITE

(Collected Editions is a listing of the various trade paperbacks, hardcovers, omnibuses, etc. that are in my Superman collection.  The goal is to not only inventory my collection of trades, hardcovers, etc. but also to display said collection and produce something resembling a resource for other Superman readers, collectors and fans.)

205- KotKK A 206- KotKK BNuts and Bolts

  • Released on August 21, 1996
  • Original Price $12.95
  • 176 pages
  • Cover by Jerry Ordway

Contents

  • Introduction by Roger Stern
  • No Story Title from Superman (Vol. 2) #49
  • Clark Kent — Man of Steel! from Adventures of Superman #472
  • The End of a Legend? from Starman (Vol. 1) #28
  • Breakout! from Action Comics #659
  • The Human Factor from Superman (Vol. 2) #50
  • Rings of Fire from Adventures of Superman #473
  • Certain Death from Action Comics #660

Notes

  • This story was significant on a couple of levels.
  • On the lower level this story was a follow up to a chapter of the Exile story.  In Superman #31 Lex Luthor had to deal with Mr. Mxyzptlk while Superman was…well, exiled in space.
  • During that encounter Mxyzptlk learned a valuable lesson from Lex; how to lie.  So it was neat to see that pay off during this story.
  • The trade also traces the last days of Lex Luthor or maybe the better way to describe that would be the supposed last days of Lex Luthor as Lex doesn’t actually die but that’s a note for another post.
  • Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite was also the first Post-Crisis appearance of Red Kryptonite.  It was Red-K in name only and didn’t possess any of the properties that it did during the Silver and Bronze Age but it was pretty cool to see the creators bring it back.  A common complaint of the Byrne revamp is that he threw the baby out with the bathwater but during his run and afterwards many elements from Superman’s history were reintroduced for a new audience.
  • Finally this was the storyline where Clark proposes to Lois.  This was huge.  Like making the national news huge.  I remember opening the paper one Saturday morning and seeing a piece about the engagement.  It was a big deal for me as a reader too.  I had been buying the Superman titles for about three years at that point and felt I was there for something momentous.
  • Fun fact that I didn’t know at the time but learned later.  When I originally bought Superman #50 it had this cover.

Superman (Vol. 2) #050

  • Notice the copy at the top.  “Historic Engagement Issue.”  It always struck me as odd that they would put that right there on the cover.  I always assumed that it was there to sell books.  Years later when Jeffrey Taylor and I covered this issue on From Crisis to Crisis (with special guest Jon Wilson) I talked about that and a listener wrote in to say that the issue I had was a second printing.  Because I am a completist I tracked down a copy of the first printing.

Superman (Vol. 2) #050 Original

  • Speaking of that cover…Jerry Ordway drew inspiration for this image from the box art for the Superman Aurora Model kit that originally appeared in 1964 and was re-released several times over the next few decades.
  • One of the stories printed in this trade appears in an abbreviated form.  Starman #28 was reprinted without pages 8 and 9 of the original issue.  This was more than likely due to the fact that it had to do with stuff going on in Starman and in all honesty losing the pages didn’t slow the story down at all.
  • Roger Stern wrote a great introduction for this trade but then again I am a mark for introductions.

WHO’S WHO CLASSICS – HOST

Welcome to another installment of Who’s Who Classic, a regular feature here at the Fortress where every Monday I will present an entry from the original series of Who’s Who comics that DC published between 1984 and 1988.  Superman was well represented in those series and I wanted to share the entries with you just in case you have never seen them.  Today’s entry is Host!

HostOr as Jeffrey Taylor and I like to call him…Mummy Rocket Boots!

(originally published in Who’s Who Update ’87 #3 (October 1987)

Remember that you can click on the images to make them larger.

WELL THAT WAS WEIRD…AND KIND OF COOL

Adventures 440 SplashI was at work today when I got the following Facebook message from my buddy Devin Clancy.

Don’t know if you saw this… you are quoted on Amazon’s Man of Steel Vol. 8 page under Editorial Reviews.

He provided me with a link to Amazon listing for Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 8 and since I was on lunch I went to that listing and sure enough under Editorial Reviews was a quote from this blog entry where I discussed finding out that the book was coming out.  I have to admit that it was weird seeing my name there.  I know this isn’t the hugest deal in the world but at the same time there is a big of validation in finding yourself getting quoted somewhere.  I don’t even know how Editorial Reviews work on Amazon or who writes them.  All I know is that it was pretty cool to get that message for Devin.

Now back to obscurity.

MAN OF STEEL CONTEST CIRCA 1986

When Superman #1, Adventures of Superman #424 and Action Comics #584 were published in the latter part of 1986 all three issues included a special mail away contest for a, for lack of a better term, collected edition of Man of Steel.  Smack dab in the middle of each book was this card.

MOS Offer 1 MOS Offer 2 MOS Offer 3 MOS Offer 4I’ve always been curious about what the book actually looked like.  Trade paperback and other collected editions weren’t unheard of in 1986 but they were far from the business model they have become today so this was a big deal.  If I had to guess I would say that the book that DC was offering up to 1000 lucky fans looked like this.

Man of Steel E Man of Steel FI have never gotten a straight answer on what was up with this edition of the collected Man of Steel.  My copy came from Titan Games and Comics.  It was on the shelf for years and for our one month anniversary back in 1999 my girlfriend (now wife) got me a gift certificate to Titans and I used it to finally buy this.  I have written about this book before but in case you missed those posts this isn’t so much a trade paperback as it is all six issues of Man of Steel, ads, covers and everything, all bound together under a very eighties looking cover.  Why do I say it is an eighties looking cover?  Because of the grid design.  For some reason when the personal computer started its rise to power in the eighties grid designs became popular.

When I asked Chuck, the manager of Titans for most of the time that shop was where I kept my pull box, about the book he said he got his copy when he worked for Diamond.  So this edition has always been something of a mystery.  I am not 100% sure that this was the version you received if you won the contest but maybe it was.  Then again there is a mock up cover on the card so maybe I am completely wrong about this.  If anyone has a line on what the book you would have won in the contest looked like let me know.  I would most certainly appreciate it.

WHO’S WHO CLASSIC – SLEEZ

Welcome to another installment of Who’s Who Classic, a regular feature here at the Fortress where every Monday I will present an entry from the original series of Who’s Who comics that DC published between 1984 and 1988.  Superman was well represented in those series and I wanted to share the entries with you just in case you have never seen them.  Today’s entry is Sleez!

SleezCheck out the art team on this bad boy!

(originally published in Who’s Who Update ’88 #3 (October 1988)

Remember that you can click on the images to make them larger.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US

Action 484 Last PageTomorrow my wife Rachel and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  We’ve been together a little over fourteen years and frankly it felt like we were married a few months into our relationship but on December 14, 2003 she did me the honor of becoming my wife.  Through good times and bad Rachel has been my best friend, my lover, my support structure and the best enabler a comic book addict like me could possibly want.  She has truly made me a better man.

Love ya, Sweet Pea.

SUPERMAN 1980

Recently I had the pleasure of appearing as a guest on two episodes of Charlie Niemeyer’s Superman in the Bronze Age.  It was actually part of a crossover between Charlie’s show and one of my podcasts, Views From The Longbox where we teamed up to discuss Superman: From The ’30 To The ’80s, which featured the two-part Miraculous Return of Jonathan Kent story that originally appeared in Action Comics issues 507 and 508.  It was a win-win situation for the two of us because Charlie had been wanting to talk about the Jonathan Kent story and I wanted to talk about Superman: From The ’30s To The ’80s and after months of planning we finally got around to talking about both.  You should head over to both sites and download those episodes if you haven’t done so already.

Anyway, during the episode of Charlie’s show where we discussed Action Comics #507 we came across an ad that looked an awful lot like this.

Hodge Podge AdI call this sort of thing a hodge-podge page because of the varied and eclectic ads that were featured on them.  As Charlie listed off some of the more interesting ads this particular one caught our attention.

Superman 1980 AdAs Charlie talked about it I realized that I actually had this thing.  Back in 2008 my wife and I traveled to Metropolis, Illinois to attend the Superman Celebration that goes on there every year in June.  I bought a lot of neat bits of business while I was up there but this one caught my attention in the gift shop at the Super Museum.

Superman 1980 Cover A Superman 1980 Cover BIt was sealed in a bag so I couldn’t check it out in the store but the price was reasonable so I picked it up and was pleasantly surprised by what I found.  This was exactly what the ad described; an exhaustive index of the Superman comics from the seventies.  Think of this fanzine (which were really popular in the fan community in the sixties, seventies and up through the eighties) as a precursor to the websites and blogs we have today.  The front and back cover are shown above and I think it’s a pretty neat piece of art.  You can’t really go wrong with Superman fighting a dinosaur.  On the inside front cover you found this.

Superman 1980 ADean Ball, the editor of this fanzine and writer of this editorial, was very ambitious in his scope.  I liked that he was putting this out for old and new fans alike and since I have some first hand accounts of how Superman: The Movie drew a bunch of people to the comics it makes sense that such a volume would be necessary.  I also like that he intended this as a supplement to The Great Superman Book by Michael L. Fleisher.  This was a great way to introduce the audience to what they were in for and written to my mind in a very professional yet welcoming tone.

Next up is one of my favorite parts of the fanzine.

Superman 1980 BThe more I read about fan reaction to Superman: The Movie the more I realize that the differences between the movie and the comic were a much bigger deal than I first thought.  I guess it makes sense considering the fact that comic fans may have changed the way they are able to discuss their feelings about the comic books and the comic book movies and television series they read and watch there is very little separating us from our forebearers on a molecular.  Some of the Superman readers from the late seventies did indeed take issue with the liberties that the Salkinds and Richard Donner took with the Man of Steel.  I didn’t get that Dean had a problem with it but it was neat to see the differences laid out for the newcomer to see and learn.

This piece was followed by a handful of features including a two page list of Superman’s appearances in the comics, an article by Dean titled The Theology of Superman, a Superman scrapbook, the review for Superman: The Movie from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and this.

Superman 1980 CThen things shift gears and we move into the index portion of the fanzine.

Superman 1980 DWhen I first read through this fanzine I was under the impression that Dean indexed both Superman and Action Comics but this wasn’t the case.  This volume only has an index of Superman, which really is enough.  Sure the completist in me would have loved to see indexes of Action and World’s Finest and Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes and so on but Dean did a fantastic job with the main Superman title.  He lists the cover date and credits of each book as well as a page count for the stories and then provides a very brief description.  Indexes like this would start to pop up as the eighties wore on and I would hold this up against the best of those indexes.  For what Dean had to work with this is extremely impressive.  One might argue that the fact that it looks like it was typed out on an old, manual typewriter should be held against it but I think that look gives the book a real fan feeling to it.  This was a labor of love and it shows.

So there you have it.  I thought of showing off more of Superman 1980 but to be honest it was kind of a pain to fit on the scanner.  It’s an odd sized magazine with a cardstock cover and if I had scanned any more of the book it probably would have damaged the spine.  I don’t need my books and comics and magazines in super mint condition but I do like them in one piece.  I hope what I did manage to scan gave you a good idea of what this book was all about and if you ever stumbled across this ad like Charlie and I did now you know what it was all about.