This is part 1 of my 24-part-series “Super-Heroes: Best Place to start” [Link to the complete list... here!].
To me, the best place to start is:
“Superman for all Seasons” by Joeph Loeb (Writing) and Tim Sale (Art), a trade paperback collection [Link] published in 1999.
What’s the appeal of… Clark Kent?
Clark won a Pulitzer for his work at the “Daily Planet”. He’s a self-aware, fiercely idealistic advocate. A loving husband. And a constant, smart reminder that we can change our worlds… once we harness our power, and work towards our best.
3 other books, good for beginners:
- Superman: Birthright [Mark Waid, Link]
- Superman: Up, up and away! [Kurt Busiek, Link]
- Superman: Secret Identity [Kurt Busiek, Link]
good books for advanced readers:
- Superman: Red Son [Mark Millar, Link]
- Superman: Last Son [Geoff Johns, Link]
- The Death and Life of Superman [Roger Stern, novel, Link]
sub-par or disappointing books:
- All-Star Superman [Grant Morrison, Link]
- Superman/Batman: Public Enemies [Jeph Loeb, Link]
- Superman: Earth One [J. Michael Straczynski, Link]
- Superman: For tomorrow [Brian Azzarello, Link]
- Superman: Strange Attractors [Gail Simone, Link]
common problems / grievances in “Superman” books:
- …endless fistfights / brawls with brutish, one-dimensional monsters, mutants and aliens.
- …extremely likeable side characters… who have nothing to do and hardly change or evolve.
- Every month, “Batman” has nearly one dozen of interconnected, complex titles with a variety of fully fleshed-out bat-characters working in Gotham City. “Superman” does not have that kind of editorial attention / worldbuilding / energy.
Is the current monthly “Superman” book, launched in September 2011, any good?
Yes. Grant Morrison’s “Action Comic” is a faced-paced, engaging starting point for new readers. “Superman” is a little wooden, talky and old-fashioned… but likeable, too.
Interested in other comic book heroes?
I’d recommend “Supergirl”, “Wonder Woman” and “Green Arrow”.
Here’s my full list [Link]!
- 30 years with “Green Lantern”: my interview with Sally Pascale, blogger, feminist and suburban comic book reader [Link]
- An industry in crisis: my interview with CEB, comic book critic at “Collected Editions” [Link]
- September 2011: all 52 new DC books – read and reviewed [Link]
my German comic book journalism:
- Green Arrow und Black Canary: “Helden auf der Kücheninsel” [Berliner Tagesspiegel, Link]
- Supergirl: “Mit dem Kopf voran” [Berliner Tagesspiegel, Link]
- Starman: “Alles ist erleuchtet [Berliner Tagesspiegel, Link]
- Wonder Woman: “Stolz und Vorurteil [Berliner Tagesspiegel, Link]