A few days ago Jeffrey Taylor and I recorded episode 128 of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast. In that episode we covered The Legacy of Superman special which was released about a month after the final chapter of Funeral For a Friend and features five stories starring the supporting heroes that were part of Superman’s world at the time. As I was shutting down the computer for night after we finished recording the episode something hit me.
We’re halfway through The Death and Return of Superman.
Well, we’re not exactly halfway through. Doomsday was seven parts counting the Justice League America crossover. Funeral For a Friend was nine parts, again counting the Justice League America crossover. Then there is Legacy of Superman, Supergirl and Team Luthor and Adventures of Superman #500, which depending on how you look at it is either an epilogue for Funeral For a Friend or a prologue for Reign of the Supermen. So that adds up to nineteen books that we have covered thus far. Reign of the Supermen is comprised of twenty comics counting the Green Lantern crossover. So with Legacy out of the way, we are two books away from the halfway point.
Technicalities aside it is a bit surreal to actually be at this point. I have talked and written in the past about the fact that getting to this storyline in and of itself was a bit strange because for the longest time (over two years in fact) it was this impossible goal that seemed way off in the future and “suddenly” here we were. Now we’re at the halfway point and oddly enough the end of Reign of the Supermen still feels very far away even though I know Jeffrey and I will cover it in about the same amount of time as it took us to cover the first half. So it is interesting that even now while we’re in the midst of this storyline the end still feels like it will take “years” for us to get to even though we’re a short three months away from having the whole thing wrapped up.
This journey through the Death and Return of Superman has been an interesting one. On one hand I am reliving a very particular time in my life. On the other hand I am looking at this story through the filter of not only being twenty years (or so) older but also having experienced another twenty years (or so) of Superman comics. What makes me happy and comes as no small relief is that the bulk of the story still holds up incredibly well. Sure I have had nit-picks along the way but overall the Death and Return of Superman as a whole has been a fantastic story that has been equal parts emotion and action. I am curious as to how certain elements of Reign of the Supermen are going to hold up (I am thinking specifically of a villain called The Stinger) but overall I think the story will be a lot of fun to re-read. We’ll see how that works out.
For the moment I will enjoy where Jeffrey and I are with the show. I don’t know if any other storyline we cover will be as emotional or exhaustive as this one is turning out to be. We still have a long way to go with our mandate of covering every Superman book from Man of Steel #1 to Adventures of Superman #649 and when I write “a long way to go” I mean fifteen years worth of comic books. I’m looking forward to getting to all of that, though. As much fun as this storyline has been there are a lot of good (and some bad) Superman stories still left to cover. It should be a fun ride.
More to follow…