In the previous post I wrote a bit about how volume eight of the Superman: The Man of Steel line of trade paperbacks has been solicited and is even up on Amazon.  This time out I want to speculate on what the future holds for this series and where I would like to see them go in the future.

If the solicitation information is to be believed Superman (Volume 2) #18 is the last issue in Volume 8.  So far DC has been dividing these trades up into (roughly) three month chunks and split things up as the story dictates.  So a 22 page story times 3 equals 66 pages.  Multiply that by 3 and it comes out to 198 pages.  Add in the covers and you have a little over 200 pages worth of material  Volume eight is also going to reprint Action Comics #600, which is the last monthly issue of that title until issue 643 as it was Action Comics Weekly from 601-642.  This means that they can do more than just three months worth of books which would get them even farther down the Post Crisis road..

So what could Volume 9 look like?  Here’s what I would like to see.  Remember…all of this is speculation on my part.  I have no inside information.  This is just me making an educated guess.

Superman: The Man of Steel Volume Nine (Proposed)

This one was trickier than I thought it would be because I was 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.

Adventures of Superman #444However there are two images drawn by John Byrne that would also serve as great covers to this volume.  Initially this one was the front runner.

Superman (Vol. 2) #21Simple.  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.

Superman (Vol. 2) #022Yeah.  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.  For one thing the main story is 40 pages and that’s a lot of real estate.  Another, more important reason is that 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.

So that’s what I would like to see in Volume 9 of the Superman: The Man of Steel series of trade paperbacks.  I haven’t stopped there, though  What about Volume 10?  Come back tomorrow (or click to the next post) and find out.


  1. That seems like a good plan. Should see publication in 2015 if they stick to the schedule for Vols. 7 & 8.

    At nine 200-page volumes it looks like they have enough to do three Showcase Presents volumes of the Byrne run. But I’m not holding my breath for that given the difficulties in producing cheap reprints from that era.

    Marvel is apparently planning a new line of comprehensive color reprints that fit in between Essentials and traditional trade paperbacks price-wise. I hope DC looks into that formula for a lot of its 70s-80s material.

  2. In case you didn’t know…
    It’s listed in Amazon.com

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