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I can't do this all on my own... by devilkais I can't do this all on my own... by devilkais
WARNING : If you stayed around to read this, then you have only yourself to blame...

SO, Superman...
the Man Of Steel (appropriate title), Kal of the house of El, the Man Of Tomorrow (, actually that's Captain Comet. Clark's an alien and from the present...), The Last Son of Krypton (YES for THIS narrative AND creative team...No anytime some jackoff retcons that but eh, I got off the bus by that point...) and whatever you wanna call him. To me, the Superman I love anyway, he is Clark Kent: Weirdness magnet and chew toy of a world he never made. I mean seriously once you fucking know it, you'll actually realize that Gotham is a safer city than Metropolis. Oh sure, Gotham is attacked by rejected Looney Tunes characters, hospital escapees and gangsters. Metropolis ? It's fucking CONTROLLED by a douchebag with Telly Savalas' appearance and charisma, another crime syndicate as well as attacked by aliens, demons and bioweapons from another world... and when those are not available, we have murderers, rapists, kidnappers and bank robbers on sundays.
You think Clark's world is hopeful and bright ? That he is strolling around getting kitties off trees ? Oh yeah, he did save a cat right... only to discover that the cat's owner is a kid who will lose his mom to AIDS in a few moments. And the scary part ? It happens just as often as the genuinely funny moments.

While I was familiar with Superman a long time ago mainly due to the "Lois & Clark" show, Smallville, TAS and later through some comics (one of my earliest Supes comic?… BEST COMBO EVER!), I did not get how to approach the character properly. Now, thanks to some means that are best left obscure, I know and that's half the battle ! The title of the comic should not be "Superman", it should be "Clark and friends: Bizarre adventures !"
I am now discovering the full narrative of his story (up till 1999 actually...) and I have to say I enjoy the character and his mythos even more than before. It's one those things where you need to get the big picture !

As a character, Clark is shown as a guy trying to do the right thing and confronted to several hard choices to make as well as his own doubts. When he's in his Superman guise, he's shown as a powerful alien among a fuckton of powerful aliens rather than the whole Good and pure God who can do no wrong that people (erroneously) believe he is, which makes his conflicts all the more impressive. And you don't need superpowers to defeat Superman, as some of the villains here are non-powered and YET managed to hurt him and his loved ones. Wanna know why this is the best Superman ? Well he is honestly just a dude from Kansas who happens to be an alien.
While he is a really nice guy, he has a mild fuse. He generally remains professional and cool-headed but when he's ticked off, he IS ticked-off. He's usually mild-mannered, humorous and polite but he's also proven to be a somewhat strict manager when put in a higher position ( that's right, Supes is very affected by stress!).
And whenever he sees someone in trouble, he never once worries about his own safety. Superman is honestly just a mask he uses to help people because he knows that he would never be able to stand the pressure of being a superhero (then again, it's already fucking hard to begin with...). And he CRACKS at several points through this narrative due to how much focus it takes to do what he does and balance his roles as a reporter and as the last kryptonian.
Another thing ? His favorite movie is "How to kill a mocking bird".

The supporting cast is great, varied and has a life of its own. I did not understand why there were 3 series then 4 then 5 with a zig-zagging storyline, then it HIT ME! It was to give room for the other characters to develop and grow in parallel with Clark! The Daily Planet staff with Perry, Cat Grant, Jimmy or the Metropolis cops like Maggie Sawyer, Dan Turpin and Sam Bradley and the STAR labs and CADMUS programs staff, Dr Emil Hamilton AND the best of all Bibbo Bibowski, who was also voiced by Brad Garett ! Other vigilantes work in Metropolis such as Jose Delgado (who has veeery shitty luck) and Thorn (who proves that dissociative personality disorders can be a good thing !). And let's not forget his folks at Smallville, Pete Ross and Lana Lang (whose comic incarnation looks very similar to Amy Adams !). Clark also dated a mermaid for crying out loud !

Lois Lane however is on a whole other league because she's more a deuteragonist. And she ROCKS. There's no Clark without Lois and no Lois without Clark just as there's no Spidey without MJ and no Spidey without MJ. We get to gradually know more about her as a person. She's headstrong and a risk-taker, She knows the risks her profession require but sticks by it. (BTW, Jurgens said at some point the actress that personifies Lois the way he envisioned her would be Erica Durance.)
Clark and Lois will become a couple in this phase...  Togetherness! What a curiously valid cliché it is! Man I am a sappy bastard...

Now everything drawn here is to show you what I LOVE about this section of the narrative (yeah, 2 others shall be coming and maybe everything will be tied in a giant poster...look with the means I have and my self-taught style, it's honestly the best I can do !).

I know that people classify this as the Superman from 1986 to 2011, but much like what I said about X-men, it doesn't take a genius to notice glaring lazy retcons or later authors saying "fuck this shit I do whatever I want. ". At least the legion was honest in its reboots ! And a lot of what DC ediotrial claims BTW is bullshit. Hell here's how I classify the player and the setting by periods :
* 1986 - 1999 The dude and world we will discuss. While some plotlines are forgettable, the major stuff is good and offers a right balance of sci-fi craziness and more grounded issues. Also covered by Maxwell Yezpitelok and Don Sparrow in more details.
* 2000 - 2004 Tends to focus more on what Supes means to the world rather Clark Kent himself, which is a step-down compared to his predecessor.Though the plotlines are great, they are great (Manchester Black's whole story-arc is awesome...The Elite is an entire plotline actually. I admit really digging the Kelly's reinvention of Zod). Not a big fan of the insistance on focusing on Krypton though and dropping the urban aspect of the stories did hurt the book. And it can get preachy at times.
* 2005 - Whatever... This is where I can honestly stop giving a shit. Between a good friend of Clark becoming a villain for NO reason whatsoever, Clark written as a whiny wanksplot rather than a badass (good job there, Rucka !), Chuck Austen's handling of the marriage, the BS "twist" of Maxwell Lord being evil the whole time and the JLI being ineffectual (absolutely, they clearly were having their thumbs up their buttholes instead of stopping Despero...). Point is ; Infinite Crisis was NOT worth it, neither was 52 (yeah yeah, Linkara praises it to high heaven. I don't. It's okay as a whole...) and the whole Earth-2 Superman being the original Golden Age Supes ? That's a fucking lie. The New 52 one ? Sod off.

Now I won't go issue per issue, but I'd rather give the main plot points and my favorite issues. It's a shame this era of Supes is not properly collected in TPB but neither is X-Force, Young Justice, L.E.G.I.O.N. or Generation X... and that's sad. I will admit that I am cheating though since this is actually part 2 of this Superman's narrative, the 1st being John Byrne's run. But since a) I have a different comic of Byrne that I wanna deal with  b) I wanted to deal with the Supes creative team that I really dig first.

The main creative team here is composed of Roger Stern (who wrote one of the best Spidey runs... and rocked on the Legion ! MY legion anyway. He's generally teamed with Jackson Guice as main artist.), Jerry Ordway (Great Shazam run and great inker as well !), Louise Simonson (one of my absolute favorite X-men writers. Her main associate is Jon Bogdanove who nails a cartoonish Superman in the best way possible ! ) and Dan Jurgens ( who has one mean hand when it comes to drawing and created Booster Motherfucking Gold !). There are also some good arcs by James D. Hudnall and we will get to it. Point is, I appreciate THESE kinds of writers, they're there to deliver a good story filled with memorable character moments and not trying to go 10 steps ahead of the Kewl curve.

* Exiles:
Last time on "Superman", Clark executed 3 kryptonian criminals who slaughtered the whole population of Earth (it was a parallel universe, but still, it is a bad thing to do !). Due to that he has some PTSD and flips out even developping a new personality as the Gangbuster (title that actually belongs to good old Jose Delgado. Thankfully, Jose doesn't sue Clark for copyright...).
Wracked with grief over this and taken over by trauma Supes exiles himself to wander space to protect Earth's population from himself. Of course stuff happenss in Metropolis in the meantime: Luthor has Brainiac in his labs and Matrix masquerades as Clark Kent who's targetted by Intergang (what a nice job !).
After some tribulations, Clark ends up on Warworld (basically the Death star if it were not made of nitroglycerin...), led by the tyrannical Mongul in his Eric Roberts-like glory. Supes will end up fighting in gladiatorial matches but refuses to finish off his opponents (unwittingly hurting the pride of the title champion, Draaga...). He also meet the Cleric, an extremely ancient alien that kept one of Krypton's most important relics with him for 200,000 years: The Eradicator.
The Cleric also tells Superman that his departure has only deprived Earth of a great hero rather than sparing it from the threat he thought he had become. With his dying words; he offers Clark the Eradicator. After a grueling fight against the tyrant (who flees to fight another day...),Clark to Earth pleased as punch ! But there's  always a serpent in heaven...  

* Day of the Krypton Man:
Sooo... Supes has the Eradicator, for better or worse. THIS storyline is the "worse part" of said acquisition (it makes him lose his job as Newtimes managing editor to begin with). You see, in the distant past, a dying alien race created devices that would preserve their culture. They sent them into space with contact teams to meet other civilizations. Eventually, Krypton answered the call and a small group of these aliens are greeted by Kem-L, who killed them (yeah, Kryptonians are a scary species...) and modified one of the devices. Its new mission is to preserve his ideal of Kryptonian culture by eradicating all others, hence the name "Eradicator" and only obey the house of El.
This plan works a little TOO WELL because the Eradicator's idea of protection is NO ONE LEAVES !  When a group of Kryptonian explorers leave Krypton in search of a new planet to colonize, it alters their birthing matrices and makes them fatally allergic to lead, thus creating the Daxamite race (brilliant...). To further ensure that nobody left Krypton and having been inspired by Jurassic Park, the Eradicator alters Kryptonians by encoding in them a genetic defect so that they will instantly perish if they leave their world.
As such , Clark starts to be influenced by the damn thing and is slowly being changed into an emotionless, cold and detached Kryptonian. To add insult to injury (and why this is one of my favorite Supes stories), 3 badass aliens attack Supes for distinct reasons:
- Draaga , ex-gladiator, who wants to avenge his honor on Warwold and demands another fight to the death. He almost got it BTW ! Will also get something called character development...
- Lobo, the last Czarnian, who's drunk as fuck... and meets the awesomeness that is Bibbo ! I don't need to add anything, you CAN'T go wrong with the Main Man VS Man Of Steel scenario. If you do, then you're a moron...
- Maxima , Queen of Almerac, who wants Superman as a mate.  While she seems haughty and self-centered here, it will be shown that there's a lot more to her as a character. She is proud and believes in the "might is right" proverb initially.Then her appearance as a JL member will show the truth behind Almerac: her species functions and she was formed in order to rule over her planet. Maxima will eventually develop more empathy and even fight FOR her new allies.
When the Eradicator FINALLY endangers Jonathan and Martha Kent, Clark breaks the machine's programming, fights it, and throws it into the Sun. The good news? Nobody will get hurt from that. The Bad news? Solar flares hurt a group of astronauts earlier on that day...

* Ghost in the machine:
Ladies and gents, meet Hank Henshaw and friends, 4 professional astronauts conducting a radiation experiment designed by LexCorp. Affected by a solar flare, their shuttle had to crash. Due to that turn of event, their bodies began to drastically change. Sounds familiar ? They have the same origin as the Fantastic Four. Except that all 4 here are professional astronauts. And that Henshaw is a nice guy while Reed is a fucking douchebag more often than not. And that I actually feel sorry for these guys while I barely do for the F4.
So 2 members are driven by insanity due to their suffering and commit suicide while Henshaw's body gradually turns into dust while his wife Terri is beginning to phase into an alternate dimension. With Superman's help, they manage to save Terri. Later on, we discover that Hank has turned into a consciousness that can still interact through technology. The good news ? He manages to reform a Johnny-5 style robot body to go see his wife. The bad news ? Terri by that time is devoured by this traumatic experience (and you thought Batman was dark ? HA!) and by seeing Hank in this new body, she cracks and later kills herself.
Thus not having anything for him left in this world, Henshaw beamed his mind into the birthing matrix vessel which had carried Superman from Krypton to Earth as an infant. Clark tries to stop him but does not make it.
After this tragic occurence, Clark begins reflecting on his own mortality and personal life -- he REALLY wants his relationship with Lois to deepen. Good call !

* The Sinbad Contract (By William-Messner Loebs):
This is a fun romp where a kid named Davood Nassur who finds an alien power-belt that gives him lots of power. So powerful that he fucking punks Superman for a while !
We learn later  that that belt was supposed to be there for Lex who really wanted to use it against Superman in order to forget about the fact that he is terminally ill. Anyway, Davood will learn how to handle this piece of tech more responsibly and we llearn that working as a secretary for Lex is an ungrateful task !

* Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite:
Time to talk about that most powerful of Supes foes: Mr Mxyzptlk ! Is he cartoonish and playful ? ABSOLUTELY ! Scary ? Unlike the TAS version where the effects of his presence vanish when he's sent back. THIS Mxy can however let some consequences of his visit both remembered and felt, that's what actually makes him scary. Also Clark and anyone else can only see a projection of Mxy, his true form is not something 3-dimensional beings can comprehend. Mxy's powers are not magical either, they're science-based... well 5th-dimensional science that is. His name (well an approximation he randomly pulled off) is pronounced Mix-Yez-Spit-Lick. And yes I still imagine him sounding like Gilbert Gottfried.
Now any appearance of his through this decade is Gold, from trying to play with Luthor since Clark was in space at the time, having Supes race against the Flash,  to literally turn the world into the"Age of Mxyzptlk" where everyone but Clark (now called Mxyman) and Lex (now a fat hobo with a hook for a right hand...) remain aware of his influence.
THIS storyline however is Mxyzptlk's most diabolical scheme ! He convinces Lex that he can make him fight Superman and square by giving him a chunk of red kryptonite. Unlike the green one (the only one in this narrative BTW... and it DOES affect humans.), it does not seem to have any effect at first but the moment Clark shows up, his powers are cancelled and Luthor beats him up by pounding him with the damn rock (truly a battle of wits !). Supes will now remain powerless unless Luthor reveals to him that Mxy is involved in this scheme... jeesh, I wonder how Lex will shoot himself in the foot this time ?
In the meantime, Clark will have to figure how he can fight crime while powerless and well, reveal to Lois the cause of his absenteism ! DRAT!

* Time and time again:
A lot of fans enjoy this storyline and I can see why. It's not my absolute favorite but it's fun. Clark is thrown through time and has to face Nazis, wizards, demons, dinosaurs, and three different incarnations of the Legion of Super-Heroes (2 I don't give a fuck about and 1 I am halfway interested in...).

* Red Glass:
If you like Injustice, then this story might be right your alley.
Supermanfind himself in the weirdest world ever! People are afraid of him and he has no idea why. The answer comes in the form of a museum where there a collection of alien skulls (apparantly Clark became the Predator or something) and memorials of several villains explaining how they died:
- The Prankster was hurled from space and desintegrated in the atmosphere.
- Metallo got his brain melted.
- Mxy  got encased in a crystal by Brainiac and as such died WITHIN the rock (WEIRD !).
- Brainiac perished by a blow to the head after failing to harness Mxy's powers.
- The Joker was left on a lunar cell and died after 3 days (Ok, I gotta hand it to Hudnall, this is WAY more entertaining than how Injustice started ! I imagine Clark flipping off Bat-fans after this...)
- Darkseid died after a colossal hand to hand battle which ravaged half of Apokolips.
But the fun part is yet to come, Clark can't control his powers anymore ! And shit gets real ! The story goes on to be way weirder  and darker (in the best possible way) and the resolution did make me laugh out loud ! A clue ? You'll find at the top left.

* Intergang:
Clark takes care of these assholes by stealing the briefcase of the 2nd in command... without using his powers. Then he publishes an article using those as references and solid evidence. Impressive ain't it ?

* Atomic Skull:
One of the stand-out issues by Simonso, Bognadove and Curt Swan himself! A dude named Joe Martin is gradually transforming into a guy with purple comic vapor around his skull. In his delirium, he believes that he's become his favorite movie character, the Atomic Skull obviously, and starts re-enacting his scenes from the movie. And as you can imagine, it is a RIOT !

* Black Out:
Ladies and gentlemen, I present you Emil Hamilton, the Gyro Gearloose of this book and scientific support in Supes' wonderful cast ! Here he's forced by Mr Z, an ex-nazi with magic powers (it happens !), to bring in Superman so that he shall mind-control  him ! It does not work that well for Mr Z and he and Clark find themselves as amnesiac stowaways, arrive on a savage island with dinosaurs (awesome) where the natives observe them curiously as comedy ensues… . Clark almost gets hitched with the princess of the island (cus she find him sexy) until rescue arrives, providing a cat-fight ! Ain't life grand ?

* Panic In The Sky:
Let's talk about 2 important characters here; Supergirl and Brainiac.

As you know, if you follow closely, I am not that interested in Supergirl. The DCAU is cool enough, but the main comics one ? Meh. Powergirl ? I consider Karen an altogether different character and , bizarre as it is, I don't even relate her to the Superman mythos but to the JLI stuff. Now there IS a Kara Zor-El that Clark will encounter but it shall be in the next installment.
This is where the Matrix Supergirl comes in… . Her development is unorthodox but just as compelling as THIS Superman is. It used to be a sapient protoplasm created by a good guy version of Lex who implanted her with Lana Lang's memories, a form she assumed in Byrne's run.
While she can fly and possesses super-strength , she also has psychokinetic, shape shifting and cloaking/invisibility powers making her more versatile. THIS is the arc where after imitating Clark's form for a while and suffering an existential crisis (yup, it happens), she decided to go on with her Supergirl form. As wholesome and kind she is, this is merely the first step into her evolution as THE best version of Supergirl.

Brainiac now. This is where I've had a revelation. See, I didn't think much of comics Brainiac. Hell I enjoyed the DCAU Brainiac a LOT more! Then I discovered Vril Dox II, I started looking at Dox Senior in a more positive way. And then I have managed to read this Superman run as a whole, it finally CLICKED and this incarnation showed what it really got up its sleeve ! It is a threat because it constantly evolves.
You see, THIS Brainiac is a Coluan and his planet was basically 1984 with brainwashed people except for him  and his clone. It used to be led by the computer tyrants who, learning of Vril Dox I treachery, disintegrated Brainiac's original body. His conscience remained and managed to take over a psychic, Milton Fine, whose mental powers grow over time. Brainiac became more dangerous and vicious with each encounter. He almost won against the team-up of Superman and L.E.G.I.O.N. at its strongest (Dox, Lyrissa, Stealth, Strata, Lobo, Lady Quark,Lar Gand, Telepath and Phase!) ! Those guys are no pushover and he fucking eluded them !
This storyline is where he goes for the record: attacking Earth with a Warworld vessel. He puts Supergirl/Matrix under his control, turns the heroes at some point against one another and surrounds himself with an impenetrable force field that burns the flesh of others AND he almost wins! Almost (CADMUS agent Dubbilex's help , Draaga's heroic sacrifice and Maxima's change of heart were VITAL in here). I know everyone praises Johns' retooling of the Coluan, but honestly stories like this are where 90's Brainiac proves to have a much stronger bite !

* From Lex the Fatso to Lex the Fabio:
Another character that will go through changes in this run is the slimy bastard himself: Lex Luthor. THIS version of Luthor (originated by John Byrne) is every bit as detestable as he is fascinating (much like John Byrne). He used to be Perry White's best friend , which is a refreshing change from the whole "villain as the hero's childhood friend). The reason he despises Superman is because , way back in John Byrne's run, our Kryptonian refused to work for the guy. Feeling that his ego was bruised , Luthor will spend a fuckton of cash trying to screw over Supes, even wearing a Kryptonite ring ...which led to him losing his hand. Not that bright our Mr Luthor, eh ? No bbig deal, he'll calm himself by ruining other people lives.
All details about THIS version of Luthor is in the Hudnall scripted one-shot "Lex Luthor : The Unauthorized Biography". Not only an origin story, it's a visceral tale about how utterly VILE Lex is ! If you are in his way, you'll be removed by hook or by crook. If you can't be bought, you'll be erased. BTW, the 40 cakes he stole ? I think he munched on them because he looks like this blogintomystery.files.wordpres…
Then Lexy got cancer due to the kryptonite poisoning, so he went with the most roundabout plan EVER to survive: cloning ! Yeah he had his spine and brain saved by his team of scientists and  to avoid going to the gym, here is his new body… complete with australian accent and Kung Fu grip ! He manages to convince the press that he is Luthor's secret son...OF COURSE... and is now heir of Lexcorp. The fucker even manages to seduce Supergirl to work for him (damn I gotta get me an accent !).

* Blaze VS Satanus:
You know, with shit like this happening over Metropolis, I am amazed they survived THIS long without Superman ! I mean CADMUS and its genetic experiments, alien attacking, STAR labs being led  and now demons leading night clubs and newspapers ? Has the planet gone MAD ?!
Neverthless the two demonic siblings wage war and Clark is caught in-between. All of this because of a depressed employee ! Damn, nobody ever consumes prozac in these books ?!

AND NOW, mes bons amis, the 2 most important plotlines for Clark in this part of the "review". One revisits the very book of Shuster and Siegel but replaces the OG Happy Hooligan Superman with 90's Mr Kent, the other will be the first part of a trilogy I used as a guideline for my posters. And yes, there are plenty of things to talk about that I left but I don't think you have the concept of how vast Supes' world is ! Ready ?

* Crisis At Hand:
If Roger Stern wrote "Superman for Earth" to remind us that pollution will fuck us up (it fucked up Krypton for starters...), Louise Simonson and Dan Jurgens decide to write about marital abuse. Here's the thing though: when Siegel and Shuster had Superman deal with that wife-beater, it had a dark sense of humor to it. It's a revenge fantasy/satire because that Supes is wacko jacko. This Clark on the other hand, not so much. It is displayed in a visceral and disturbingly realistic way. For all his powers, Clark just CANNOT break the abuse circle. If you ever wanted to see Superman driven to nearly executing a guy, this is right your alley.
It's a short read but it sums up the essence of 90's Supes as a character ( I drew him here based on that story...). It's just a crime that it has never been collected...

* The Death Of Superman - Funeral For a Friend - Reign of the Supermen:
Man, I don't like this arc. I FUCKING LOVE IT ! It's one of my absolute favorite Superman stories and you can fucking quote me on that. I know the publication history behind it, it is fairly amusing but as I stated before, I read the fucking things, I don't publish them !
Anyhow what happens here ? And why do I love it so much ? Well, I guess you've noticed that Clark's former victories came thanks to tremedous efforts, trickery or improvisation. THIS time, he will be confronted to something about as easy to control as a tsunami. As I said before, the great thing about this Superman is that he's just a dude who happens to be an alien.…
This new foe more than drives that vital point home. This thing should not even be called a villain; it is 8 feet tall of destruction and life-ending rage ! It can be summed up by this melody . Its origins will be discussed in the next installment, but the best way to describe it is that it's a man-sized version of Godzilla. Sure, it doesn't have atomic breath but it has the same talent for devastation ! The fact that it came randomly is pitch-perfect, because accidents or death do NOT take an appointment with any of us. They just happen and leave us with only our eyes to cry.
The Justice League ( Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Ice, Fire, Guy, Maxima and Bloodwynd) are the first to be alerted of the creature's rampage (that started with the death of a bird, a truck, a tree and bambi's mom). So they decide to stop it (it worked against Despero !) and got thrashed... while it had only one free arm. Booster Gold gets hurled away and can't stop himself till Supes catches him mid-air and decides to join the battle. Booster then names the creature DOOMSDAY, first name: THE.
So Clark faces THE DOOMSDAY... and he gets fucking thrashed too. No seriously, you can't reason with it, you can't mind-control this fucking thing, you can only try avoiding its punches to get a few seconds of respite. At some point, it reaches a supermarket where an ad for a wrestling match is being shown. Upon hearing the word "Bash at Metropolis", THE DOOMSDAY decides to go where the massacre is (thanks God it did not see "Batman V Superman", who knows how enraged it would have become !). If anything it is consistent ! And it CAN talk despite a roaring speech impediment.
When it finally arrives on Metropolis , all the organizations with firearms, lasers and the like throw everything they have at it! It still godzillas its way through the city, determined to massacre any breathing being, no matter the size. Clark realizes that he'll have to go all out on this. He realizes that the end might finally have come. But he'll fucking die dragging this creature WITH HIM ! And he does. Both fall lifeless on the ground...…
After this violent fights and several deaths, Metropolis is left in shambles and this is where we revisit most of the supporting cast to see their reaction to the aftermath. Lois informs Metropolis of what has happened. The Kents can only watch in horror what has happened to their son. Every hero in the DC Universe (even Guy Gardner and Green Arrow, neither of whom had ever personally gotten along with him) sport a black arm band featuring the S-Shield logo. They even respond to his fan mail, especially the emergency letters. Lex Luthor buys Supes a mausoleum (if you can't kill him, bury him. What ? This is Lex we're talking about, he can't spend 5 minutes WITHOUT being an asshole !). Lobo eviscerates the guy who tells him the bad news, angry that he lost a great potential target. The awesomeness that is Bibbo Bibbowski praysand weeps, vowing that he'll honor the memory of his best pal.
Some time later, Project CADMUS stole Superman's body to trycloning him (YEEEES !).It is recovered by Lois Lane and Supergirl with some help from the weirdass ugly yet affable failed clones. They even use a giant frog as means of transportation. AWESOME !
In the meantime, crime in Metropolis became more showy (yeah, Gotham is the crime-ridden hellhole. Suuuure...) and the costumed heroes of Metropolis have a LOT in their hands ! Supergirl, Gangbuster, Thorn and the like but they don't have the street cred Supes had !
This fucking city NEEDS Clark back. So it'll have 4 of "him"...…
After a 3 month hiatus, Jerry Ordway leaving to keep writing his cool Shazaam ongoing and during the Bloodlines event, 4 folks appeared to "replace" Superman (and to let their respective writers have some fun in the process ! Ain't that neat ?! It is...).
- The Man of Steel (courtesy of Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove): Described as the "ultimate Good guy" (he's honestly very reminescent of Jonathan Joestar), John Henry Irons was an ironworker and ex-weapons designer for the military. He was at one time saved by Superman and that near-death experience marked him. Inspired by the man who saved his life , he designed a suit of armor and a hammer as a weapon to go and fight crime. However, Irons  did not claim to actually be Superman, but rather to represent the spirit of Superman and continue his legacy. Proving that being a good person is a matter of choice.

- The Metropolis Kid (courtesy of Karl Kesel and Tom Grummet): While looking 16, he is in fact a clone,the 13th of his series, knows it and does not give much thought about it. In terms of personality (and voice in my mind), he can be summed up this way… . He is easily my favorite Superman protagonist!

- The Last Son of Krypton (courtesy of Roger Stern and Jackson Guice): A visored, energy-powered alien Judge Dredd who dealt with criminals lethally. He actually is Stern's revision and develomment of the Eradicator as a character, basically what Superman would be WITHOUT the Kents. While it is still violent, it will prove instrumental in the restoration of Clark to life...

- The Man of Tomorrow (Courtesy of Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding):  also called the Cyborg Superman. Much like the Last Son, he has augmented Kryptonian technology on him. He has shaky memories and his organic parts prove that he is Superman. But he also looks like this… and probably would sound something akin to Metalseadramon here (yeah the giant sea snake… ), how can he NOT be trusted ?
Well he happens to be Hank Henshaw. Yup. The isolation in space AND the reveal that Superman threw the Eradicator in the sun drew Hank to hatred paranoia and MADness ! How MAD is he ? THIS MAD… (admit it, the instrumental version would be the perfect tune for his fight against Supes'team !)

So Henshaw faked being Superman, earning the trust of almost everyone, and teamed with Mongul to obliterate Coast City for the best of reasons (no sarcasm, I am grateful he did it...). The next step was to turn Earth into a new Warworld, partly for venting his bloodthirst and rage at an uncaring universe but also to illustrate his vision of Superman; that of a horrible monster ! THIS shall be the Kryptonian's legacy ! If he has to be damned by his condition then so will Superman ! (he could have done worse. He could have written this shit… but he 's not THAT depraved...)

Thankfully, it is revealed that the Last Son of Krypton stole Superman's body and put it in a regeneration matrix in the Fortress of Solitude. Clark is resurrected (HURRAY !) but powerless (yarruh...). It doesn't stop him from going withing the hostile vessel to confront Mongul and the Cyborg. Thankfully, Steel, The Kid, Supergirl, Eradicator and Hal Jordan  are there to help ! So the final boss battle occurs and Eradicator prove to be the key in Henshaw's defeat !

Clark is back in business, repowered (with no future negative consequence... MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA !) and with longer hair ! So what better way to close this essay ?…

NEXT TIME : A deeper look at the Lois and Clark relationship and the darkest moment in this run's history. Says a lot doesn't it ?
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ImpulsiveSpidercide Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017
Kudos. You've summed up very well why post-COIE Superman/Clark Kent was and is such a great character. Speaking of, now that the apparent miscarriage that was the New 52 has given way to DC Rebirth, what do you think of Superman's role there, since this is supposed to be the same Superman from the DCU before New 52?
devilkais Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2017
On the one hand my good fellow, I am glad Clark has a kid with Lois. On the other hand ?  I am so off the bus and could not give a damn anymore. I have the runs I love to get me some mileage to draw some stuff... also the fact that Jon will never meet the cool supporting cast his dad befriended is kind of a shitty thought to me. And every goddamn wanker working in DC wants to team him with the cancer-causing anal wart that is Damian...
Bear in mind that the Superman I am covering here (and will keep covering in 3 upcoming parts...) is the one from 1986-1999. Here are the different takes and what I think of them…
So the same Superman from the pre-Nu52 Is at least 3 different versions: The Optimal, The Fine enough and The " Fuck this shit I´m outta here !"

I also typed some confessions…
ImpulsiveSpidercide Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2017
Points well made, particularly in your confessions. What do you think would happen if the best versions of Spider-Man and Deadpool were the ones starring in the Spider-Man/Deadpool book?
devilkais Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2017
Well it would be a more, way more violent encounter than that time in Cable and Deadpool 24... in that it would not even be a team-up.
I know Marvel flushed down how Deadpool TRULY is ( because a lazy pandering comic sells way more than one where the authors actually do their research...) but IN-character, Peter would never team-up with the guy UNLESS he had the opportunity to arrest him. I mean, really, people bitch when Spidey teams-up with Venom ( obviously forgetting the fact that Eddie and Peter INVARIABLY betray each other when the job is done) BUT Deadpool, who is a degenerate almost-ghoul and kills willingly for cash, is okay because lulz2FUNRandom. The reason I depict Deadpool as horrific when I draw him ? That is how he generally is, dashes of altruism aside. And, unless it´s been savagely thrown to the trash, Peter is not exactly known for shutting his eyes when his "partner" is using the guns and blades indiscriminately. But no, let´s focus on Deadpool´s sexual orientation instead , screw dynamics, personality and actual on the page deeds  , because that is what is important !
See , the problem I´ve noticed and resented is that comic "fans" rarely bother to notice what´s on page. Popular conscience ? That´s the ground of their arguments apparantly.
ImpulsiveSpidercide Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2017
The funny thing is that in the actual comics, Spider-Man quit the Avengers (Unity Division/Uncanny) because they let Deadpool join, but with Spider-Man/Deadpool, they gradually become something like friends and while Deadpool struggles with being more heroic, Spider-Man starts getting more ruthless and vicious. Kind of incongruous, I'll definitely agree with you there.
devilkais Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2017
I imagine the follow-up: Wade decides to make time for some of his murders (how long one makes for hiding corpses in the walls of his house ?) and Peter vows to surpass the 90´s cartoon iteration of Spider-Carnage in terms of horrors since he´s a scientist.
And before I forget: ever since Bendis, being an Avenger means NOTHING anymore.
ImpulsiveSpidercide Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2017
Point taken. And considering 90s animated Spider-Carnage obliterated multiple universes, starting with his own, and the only reason he could be stopped was that the Beyonder reversed time once the wave of Multiversal destruction reached his dimension, Peter would have to go pretty far to surpass that. Unless you're referring to how he pretty much sacked, pillaged, and burned his version of New York and presumably butchered all the other superheroes because we didn't see or hear about any of them trying to stop him.
devilkais Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2017
I am pointing at both... you know, it´s interesting to see how Spider-Carnage reminds us that Peter can be horrifying when properly twisted and that he´s a powerhouse. I DO see him as able to kill the Avengers in that state, since spiders tend to ambush or surprise their preys...
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EternalCyclops Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I'm curious. Is there ANYTHING Grant Morrison wrote that you happen to like? I'm not one of those rabid Morrison fans who will defend his work no matter how much it comes off like he was high, but I'm legitimately curious if there is anything Morrison wrote that you like.
devilkais Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2016
What do you expect me to like about his writing precisely ? The shitty characterization ? The shock value that NO critic had the gonads to point at despite it being present everytime ? The ungodly appalling way he sabotages his own interesting few concepts by constantly moralizing the industry through meta-fiction (see Animal Man...)? Damian Wayne appearing in every current fucking drawing of the Bat-family (superior to Tim Drake as a does humanity never fail to disappoint, right?) ?
Something I like ? I guess the 52 plotline he wrote about Lobo becoming the pope or Mr Mind possessing Skeets... But that's because I already love those characters so it was not exactly hard for me to get into that.

But enough about that shitty hipster hackand his cretinous throng of sycophants. What says you about Superman ? Are you hyped for the next 2 parts of his bizarre adventures ?
EternalCyclops Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I suppose I'm hyped for the next part of your Superman retrospective. It's just that I noticed that you dislike pretty much EVERYTHING Grant Morrison has written (and not without good reason), so I was just curious if he wrote anything you liked. I won't defend some of the things Grant Morrison has done, like destroying Scott and Jean's marriage, Scott's "affair" with Emma AKA Emma RAPING Scott (the way I like to see it is that Emma does love Scott, but is content with him being with Jean as long as he's happy) or Talia al Ghul RAPING Bruce Wayne (since I plan to use Damian Wayne, that "masterful" origin will be a nightmare for me to get around) and having a time-travelling Bruce Wayne have an affair with his mother (I learned that from the Desk of Death Battle, and I wish I didn't), but I find Grant Morrison to be okay. Not "DEH GREATEST, SMARTEST WRITER" the internet makes him out to be, just okay.
devilkais Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2016
Yeah, a male being raped is totes acceptable apparantly. I believe it's a horrible crime no matter to who it happens but hey, I am not the "provocative Genius" Morrison is.
What books of his do you consider okay ? or even why ?

As for Damian , why would you even bother ? The character is shit anyway. Aside from murdering left and right and getting the Robin moniker without doing anything to earn it, there's nothing of value to him. No Pathos or even comedy whatsoever. Plus, that little shit takes the scene from Dick, Tim , Cass or Jason who are all infinitely superior characters !
Hell, Terry McGinnis is a better option in every conceivable way !
If you insist on Batman and Talia having a son , here's how it's done…
EternalCyclops Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
So far, the only book of Grant Morrison's I've read is All-Star Superman, which I find to be pretty good and a decent entry point into Superman comics. I know there are better Superman comics, but I think All-Star Superman is a good starting point (but that's just me).

As for Damian, I would revise his character to the point he wouldn't have much in common with the original version. I try to take the best parts of any character while removing or altering the worst parts of them. Best example I can think of in this regard is Emma Frost's relationship with Cyclops, which I feel should be like this: Emma Frost does love Cyclops, but is fine with Cyclops being with Jean Grey as long as Scott is happy.
devilkais Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017
That´s Emma´s relationship with Banshee. So I rest my case, it never needed to exist...
EternalCyclops Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
You're probably right, but I can't pretend it never happened now thanks to Death of X.
devilkais Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2017
I can. It´s based on pure bullshit so logically, forgetting or not acknowledging it is the right and logical thing to do.
(1 Reply)
L1701E Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2016
:iconclapplz: I am impressed, dude. I am very impressed. I am in awe of your artistic prowess, especially on these big projects. They must be a nightmare to plan out and draw.

I also enjoy reading your thoughts on various eras. I do think 90s Superman is rather underrated, mainly because the hot thing at the time was Image, anything with an X, and the many "Bad Girl" comics running around.
devilkais Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2016
Thanks a lot man ! This the first morsel of a bigger drawing I have in mind. I love to do this for my favorite series or redo it when I feel my old posters are not up to snuff anymore...
Actually the bad girls stuff was present even before (nowadays it's become a way to push whatever ideological delusion the author has etc...) much in comics as it is in exploitation cinema.
For the X-books, well they've never been better than THAT era. Why ? Because of these guys… and cuz the heroes were heroic.  Seems obvious but man do writers miss the point...
And trust me , the next part gets much darker for Clark !
adamantis Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2016  Hobbyist
Good stuff :nod:  I still think this period is superior to the confused New 52 reboot by comparison. It had some great writers, with decent one issue stories as well as excellent arcs and events, but more than that it built up the world and character of the modern age Superman, and that just hasn't been matched. It wasn't perfect, but then what is.
devilkais Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2016
Superior to the New 52 ? Dude that's like stating the obvious. Try "superior to post 2003 DC" and you're closer to how I see it. I think I called For Tomorrow a proper epilogue , then left (ironically , Hush is where I closed the book on Batman !) 
Considering Superman is actually an obscure character (people know the icon, but the guy himself? hah !… ), I knew I had to sink my teeth in. Hell, the only Superman in comics I saw that can compare to this one is from Landis' American Alien mini (which is everything RIGHT about Clark. Unlike All-star which is a fucking LIE and everything I dislike about the franchise.)
I will deal with the next 2 parts (1994-1996) and (1997-1999) in a similar fashion. After that, there are stories I like especially with Joe Kelly, but I think that Superboy and Supergirl were generally stronger (until Johns fucks their shit up hard...).
Since it's always a pleasure to hear from you…
L1701E Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2016
You are the first person I have ever heard dislike All-Star Superman. My only complaint about it was Frank Quitely's art. I never warmed to it. But I did love how Morrison embraced the Silver Age.
devilkais Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2016
Well I can explain why I don't like it.
People always tout it as the best Superman ever (which is bullshit...) while it's in its entirety a big fat lie.
It took everything that does not work with the franchise and packed it in 12 issues ! The uber-convenience , the utterly haxxed Supes, the shitty Quietly faces, the 0 stakes in it ... see there's a very good reason the Post-Crisis version (the one I am making posters of) perdured . It's because it avoided the conveniences that this series gorges itself with ! Hell, Man Of Steel for all its faults at least put Clark in a situation that is way over his head. In All Star ? I feel he could belch and the galaxy would fade away or something. Even his so-called "incoming doom" does not work for me.

Also, if it was a faithful recreation of Silver Age Supes, he'd be at least a hilarious jerk ! The silver Age Superman is NOT some benign all-powerful deity, he's basically Lobo WITHOUT the fall guy/relatability of the Main Man... 
American Alien on the other hand is everything right about Clark and his world packed in 7 issues.
hotwar696 Featured By Owner Edited Nov 21, 2016
WOW now that was a read. Anyway I think I will have to disagree with you on death of Superman. My problem with the story is that it is essentially just one big fight between Doomsday and Supes. It did not need to be five issues in fact it should have been three at most. One top of that I am not a big fan of these stories were somebody you know is not gonna stay dead dies. Knight fall did way better by having Bruce Wayne just be crippled instead of straight up killed.  Not to mention the lead up to Batmans demise was far more memorable.

Don't get me wrong. It is still WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better then the travesty that was Todd Mcfarlanes Torment.
devilkais Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2016
To me , it was perfect the way it is. It NEEDS to show how dangerous Doomsday is and how Clark is , when you come down to it , JUST A DUDE. Though Doomsday's next appearance is actually my favorite appearance of the creature.
Well "the near-fatal coma of Superman" or "the Eradicator saves the day for Superman" aren't exactly that appealing as titles. Plus you underestimate the trauma this will lead to in the next installment. It will lead Clark to mature even more ...
Knightfall is a completely different beast to me. Batman's stubborness is what majorly helped Bane. It's a story about how the sense of duty can be detrimental to its holder. But HERE ? Clark and the JLI were in a do or die situation, so it's a story about inevitable events. And Doomsday is a symbol of how fucking scary and out of our control the universe is out there (then again the cosmic DC Universe is a frightening place !). 
Jose-Ramiro Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, this is super cool.
devilkais Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2016
Thanks my Good fellow !
Jose-Ramiro Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
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