(vol. 1) June 1939 - September 1986; June 2006 - October 2011 (vol. 2) See 1986 revamp (vol. 3) November 2011 - July 2016 (vol. 4) August 2016 - June 2018 (vol. 5) September 2018 - present
No. of issues
(vol. 1) 488 (#1-423, #650-714), 14 Annuals and 4 Specials (1 Superman Special Edition and 3 Superman Specials) (vol. 2) See 1986 revamp (vol. 3) 57 (#1-52 plus issues numbered 0 and 23.1 through 23.4), 1 Special and 3 Annuals (vol. 4) 45 (#1-45), a DC Rebirth one-shot, 1 Superman Special, and 1 Annual (vol. 5) 4 (#4) (as of December 2018 cover date)
Superman is an ongoing American comic book series featuring the DC Comics superhero Superman as its main protagonist. Superman began as one of several anthology features in the National Periodical Publications comic book Action Comics #1 in June 1938. The strip proved so popular that National launched Superman into his own self-titled comic book, the first for any superhero, premiering with the cover date Summer 1939. Between 1986 and 2006 it was retitled The Adventures of Superman while a new series used the title Superman. In May 2006, it was returned to its original title and numbering. The title was canceled with issue #714 in 2011, and was relaunched with issue #1 the following month which ended its run in 2016. A fourth series was released with issue #1 in June 2016 and ended in April 2018. A fifth series with new issue #1 was launched in July 2018.
Superman volume 1
Due to the Superman character's popularity after his premiere in Action Comics #1, National Allied Publications decided to launch an entirely new magazine featuring a single character, which at that time was unprecedented.Superman #1 appeared on the shelves in the summer of 1939. Superman now also had the distinction of being the first ever hero-character featured in more than one comic magazine. By issue #7, Superman was being hailed on the covers as the "World's Greatest Adventure Strip Character". Perry White, a supporting character who had originated on the Superman radio program was introduced into the comic book in issue #7 (October 1940). Editor Mort Weisinger began his long association with the title with issue #11 (July-August 1941).Jimmy Olsen first appeared as a named character in the story "Superman versus The Archer" in Superman #13 (Nov.-Dec. 1941). In the early 1940s, Superman was selling over a million copies per month. By 1942, artist Wayne Boring, who had previously been one of Shuster's assistants, had become a major artist on Superman.Superman #23 (July-August 1943) featured the first Superman comic book story written by someone other than Jerry Siegel. The story "America's Secret Weapon!" was written by Don Cameron despite bearing Siegel's signature. Siegel introduced Mister Mxyzptlk in issue #30 (September 1944). A more detailed origin story for Superman was presented in issue #53 (July 1948) to mark the character's tenth anniversary. Another part of the Superman mythos which had originated on the radio program made its way into the comic books when kryptonite was featured in a story by Bill Finger and Al Plastino.
Superman was the first DC title with a letters column as a regular feature beginning with issue #124 (September 1958). In the view of comics historian Les Daniels, artist Curt Swan became the definitive artist of Superman in the early 1960s with a "new look" to the character that replaced Wayne Boring's version. Writer Jim Shooter and Swan crafted the story "Superman's Race With the Flash!" in Superman #199 (Aug. 1967) which featured the first race between the Flash and Superman, two characters known for their super-speed powers.
The series reached issue #400 in October 1984. That issue featured work by several popular comics artists including the only major DC work by Jim Steranko as well as an introduction by noted science-fiction author Ray Bradbury.Superman ran uninterrupted until the mid-1980s, when DC Comics instituted a line-wide relaunch with the 1985 event maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths. Folding their vast multiverse into a single shared universe, Superman and his supporting cast would receive a massive overhaul at the hands of writer/artist John Byrne. One last story, which also marked the end of Schwartz' tenure as editor of the series, was published to give a send-off to the former status quo: Alan Moore's Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? The story's first part saw publication in Superman #423, which would be the last issue before the title was relaunched with its legacy numbering as The Adventures of Superman.Superman was relaunched with a new #1 issue in a second volume in 1986, and was published concurrently with The Adventures of Superman.
The Adventures of Superman
Cover of The Adventures of Superman #649 (April 2006), by Ivan Reis, the "final" issue of the series under that title.
The Adventures of Superman was numbered from issue #424 (January 1987) to issue #649 (April 2006), for a total of 228 monthly issues including issue #0 (October 1994) published between issues #516 and #517 as a tie-in to the Zero Hour limited series and issue #1,000,000 (November 1998) as a tie-in to the DC One Million limited series and nine Annuals published between 1987 and 1997.
When the series was relaunched in late 1986 under its new title, the creative team initially was writer Marv Wolfman and artist Jerry Ordway.John Byrne replaced Wolfman with issue #436 (January 1988) and Ordway became both writer and artist with issue #445 (October 1988). Writer/artist Dan Jurgens worked on the title from 1989-1991. Hank Henshaw, a character who would later become the Cyborg Superman, first appeared in issue #466 (May 1990). By the late 1980s, the plots of the Superman books were often linked. To coordinate the storyline and sequence of event, from January 1991 to January 2002, "triangle numbers" (or "shield numbers") appeared on the cover of each Superman comic book. During these years, the Superman storylines ran with the story continuing through the titles Superman, Action Comics and later in two further series, Superman: The Man of Steel and Superman: The Man of Tomorrow.
Jerry Ordway returned as writer of the title with issue #480 (July 1991).Tom Grummett drew part of #480 and became the main artist on the series with the following issue. The series participated in the crossover storyline "Panic in the Sky" in 1992. During their run on The Adventures of Superman, Grummett and Ordway (along with editor Mike Carlin and others) were the architects of "The Death of Superman" storyline, in which Superman died and was resurrected. It was during that storyline, that Grummett and writer Karl Kesel, created the new Superboy in The Adventures of Superman #500 (June 1993). Other crossovers the series participated in included Zero Hour: Crisis in Time,The Final Night, and Infinite Crisis.
As of the start of 2002, the integration between the Superman titles became less frequent, and the remaining issues of The Adventures of Superman commonly carried self-contained stories. Issue #600 (March 2002) was a double-sized special featuring Superman combating Lex Luthor. The final issue (#649) was part of a three-part crossover with Superman and Action Comics, an homage to the Earth-2 Superman in the wake of events in the limited seriesInfinite Crisis.
For its last two years, The Adventures of Superman was written by Greg Rucka. His stories included the villain Ruin, the attempted assassination of Lois Lane and a number of Mister Mxyzptlk appearances.
Adventures of Superman volume 2
Adventures of Superman was relaunched on April 29, 2013. Unlike the previous volume, the new series is not set in the mainstream DC Universe continuity but instead features anthology style stories with rotating creative teams in the same format as the second Legends of the Dark Knight series. It is released as a digital-first comic with print publication to follow. The first story was to have been written by Orson Scott Card and drawn by Chris Sprouse and Karl Story. Card's participation in the project became an issue. DC Comics responded to a petition that he be dropped with a statement that it supported freedom of expression and that the personal views of individuals associated with the company were not the views of the company. Illustrator Chris Sprouse left the project due to the media attention and some comic book stores announced a boycott. Card's Superman story is now "on hold" and will not be included in either the scheduled print or digital issues and was replaced by a story written by Jeff Parker. The relaunched Adventures of Superman series came to an end with issue #17, released in September 2014.
Return to the original title
Superman volume 2 reached issue #226 (April 2006) and was then canceled as part of the linewide Infinite Crisis event. The Adventures of Superman was returned to its original title, Superman, with issue #650 (May 2006), as a part of the "One Year Later" banner. Superman had a crossover with Action Comics, titled "Up, Up and Away!" co-written by Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek with art by Pete Woods. This storyline told of Clark Kent attempting to protect Metropolis without his powers until eventually regaining them. Busiek became the sole writer of the series with issue #654 (September 2006) and Carlos Pacheco became the series' artist. The series participated in the weekly series Countdown to Final Crisis, giving a different perspective on certain events shown in the weekly title, such as the events preceding the death of New GodLightray.
Busiek and Pacheco developed an extended storyine featuring Arion coming into conflict with Superman. The plotline concluded in Superman Annual #13.Alex Ross painted the covers for issues #675 (June 2008) through #685 (April 2009).
James Robinson replaced Busiek with issue #677 (August 2008). Robinson's run on the title began with "The Coming of Atlas" story arc and began a link between Superman, Action Comics, and Supergirl that started a long-form narrative with the New Krypton event. The majority of Robinson's run featured Mon-El and the Guardian as the featured characters, while Superman himself had gone to live on the planet New Krypton. Robinson's last full issue was #699, tying into Last Stand of New Krypton, and he finished his run in a short story in issue #700 (August 2010) that returned Superman to Earth.Superman #700 also saw writer J. Michael Straczynski, a self-professed Superman fan who feels a personal connection to the character, take over writing duties with a short story in the issue, and his run on the title began with issue #701. Artist Eddy Barrows, a previous Action Comics artist and one of the artists on the War of the Supermen event, was Straczynski's artistic collaborator. Straczynski and Barrows began a year-long story entitled "Grounded," that sees Superman begin a long walk across the United States to regain the connection with his adopted home that he feels he lost while away on New Krypton. The series ended with issue #714 (October 2011), prior to DC Comics' The New 52 company wide reboot and relaunch.
Superman volume 3
DC Comics launched Superman volume 3 with issue #1 in September 2011 (cover dated November 2011), as part of The New 52. The first three issues saw George Pérez doing the scripting and breakdowns. DC announced in October 2011 that Dan Jurgens would be co-writing and drawing Superman with Keith Giffen. Their first issue was #7 (May 2012). As of September 2012's #0 Issue, Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort became the creative team. DC Comics' All Access webcast announced on February 4, 2014 that John Romita Jr. would be drawing the Superman series in collaboration with writer Geoff Johns. Romita Jr.'s Superman pencils were inked by Klaus Janson. Superman's secret identity as Clark Kent was revealed to the world in a storyline by writer Gene Luen Yang in 2015. This series ended its run with the release of issue #52 (July 2016).
Superman volume 4
As part of the DC Rebirth relaunch, Superman Volume 4 began with issue #1 in June 2016 (cover dated August 2016), including a one-shot DC Rebirth special Superman: Rebirth #1. Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are the creative team, with the Superman series shipping twice-monthly. This volume's 34th issue was also the 800th issue of the Superman series as a whole, with a variant cover done by Tony S. Daniel to commemorate the occasion. The series ended its run with issue #45 (April 2018).
The Superman series had annuals published since 1960. Eight issues of Superman Annual were published starting in Winter 1960. An additional four issues were published from 1983 to 1986 and the numbering continued from the 1960 series.Superman Annual #11 (1985) featured the story "For the Man Who Has Everything" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. When the original Superman series was retitled as The Adventures of Superman, both it and Superman volume 2 received annuals relaunched with #1 issues. The Adventures of Superman Annual ran for nine issues from 1987 to 1997. After The Adventures of Superman was restored to its original title as Superman, its annuals continued the volume 2 annuals.
Adventures of Superman: José Luis García-López collects Superman #294, 301-302, 307-309 and 347; DC Comics Presents #1-4, 17, 20, 24, and 31, and All-New Collectors' Edition #C-54, 360 pages, April 2013, ISBN978-1401238568.
Adventures of Superman: Gil Kane collects Superman #367, 372, 375; Superman Special #1-2; Action Comics #539-541, 544-546 and 551-554; and DC Comics Presents Annual #3, 392 pages, January 2013, ISBN978-1401236748.
Superman: Up, Up, and Away! includes Superman #650-653, 192 pages, September 2006, ISBN978-1401209544
^Wallace, Daniel; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1930s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 25. ISBN978-0-7566-6742-9. Superman's runaway popularity as part of Action Comics earned him his own comic. This was a real breakthrough for the time, as characters introduced in comic books had never before been so successful as to warrant their own titles.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
^Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 33: "Perry White muscled his way into comics in a story by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, replacing George Taylor as Clark Kent's gruff but good-hearted boss. The character had originated in The Adventures of Superman radio show earlier in the year."
^Pasko, Martin (2008). The DC Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the DC Universe. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Running Press. p. 46. ISBN0762432578. During [World War Two], overall circulation tripled, as servicemen added comics to their reading habits. At the height of the war, many titles were selling over a million copies a month. Superman topped the list, of course--at first.
^Daniels, Les (1995). "The Superman Style Refining the Man of Steel". DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. Bulfinch Press. p. 28. ISBN0821220764. The image of Superman that eventually became preeminent was Wayne Boring's. By 1942 the former assistant to Joe Shuster was working on his own for DC, turning out pencilled and inked pages for Action Comics and Superman.
^Pasko, p. 63: "In 1943, Superman #23 had contained the first Superman story Siegel could not write himself."
^Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 46: "Jerry Siegel promised that readers had never met anyone more unusual than the 'absurd being known as Mr. Mxyzptlk' and his debut back-up feature in Superman #30 proved his point."
^Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 59: "Superman's origin was retold--and slightly revamped--for this special tenth anniversary issue."
^Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 61: "Kryptonite finally appeared in comics following its introduction in The Adventures of Superman radio show back in 1943. In a story by writer Bill Finger and artist Al Plastino...the Man of Steel determined that the cause of his weakness was a piece of meteorite rock."
^Irvine, Alex "1950s" in Dolan, p. 91: "This issue of Superman was the first DC comic to include a letters column that would become a regular feature, though readers' letters were published in issue #3 of Real Fact Comics in July 1946."
^Daniels "The Superman Family Strength in Numbers", p. 118: "By 1961, Swan's new look would replace Wayne Boring's patriarchal version. Swan's Superman became definitive, and ultimately he would draw, as he says, 'more Superman stories than anybody else.'"
^McAvennie, Michael "1960s" in Dolan, p. 124: "Since the dawn of comics' Silver Age, readers have asked 'Who's faster: Superman or the Flash?' Writer Jim Shooter and artist Curt Swan tried answering that question when the Man of Steel and the Fastest Man Alive agreed to the U.N.'s request to race each other for charity."
^McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 150: "Scripter Cary Bates and artist Curt Swan chose an inopportune time for Superman to meet Terra-Man, a spaghetti Western-garbed menace who rode a winged horse and wielded lethal alien weaponry."
^McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 161: "Fans of John Boorman's 1974 sci-fi film Zardoz, starring Sean Connery in revealing red spandex, could appreciate writer Cary Bates and artist Curt Swan's inspiration for Vartox of Valeron."
^McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p.170 "For the first time since 1947, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's names were back in Superman comics, and listed as the Man of Steel's co-creators."
^McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 180: "Writer Martin Pasko and artist Curt Swan introduced...the Master Jailer."
^McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 182: "Scribe Len Wein and artist Curt Swan brought in Supergirl to support Superman during his successful restoration of the shrunken Kryptonian city of Kandor to full size."
^Manning, Matthew K. "1980s" in Dolan, p. 209 "The Man of Steel celebrated his 400th issue in star-studded fashion with the help of some of the comic industry's best and brightest...the issue also featured a visionary tale written and drawn by Jim Steranko, and an introduction by famous science-fiction author Ray Bradbury."
^Addiego, Frankie (December 2013). "Superman #400". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (69): 68-70.
^Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 220: "In 'Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?', a two-part story written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Curt Swan, the adventures of the Silver Age Superman came to a dramatic close."
^Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 226 "The original Superman title had adopted the new title The Adventures of Superman but continued the original numbering of its long and storied history. Popular writer Marv Wolfman and artist Jerry Ordway handled the creative chores."
^Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 226 "For the second time in his history, Superman's self-titled comic saw a first issue...a new series was introduced...written and drawn by the prolific Byrne."
^Ordway, Jerry (w), Ordway, Jerry (p), Janke, Dennis (i). "Headhunter" Adventures of Superman 445 (October 1988)
^Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 245: "Cyborg Superman, the villain who would go on to plague both his namesake and Green Lantern time and again, debuted with the help of the script and layouts of Dan Jurgens, and the finishes of Dick Giordano."
^Ordway, Jerry (w), Grummett, Tom (p), Hazlewood, Doug (i). "The Big Drain!" Adventures of Superman 481 (August 1991)
^Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 253: "In this seven-part adventure...writers Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Roger Stern, and Louise Simonson, with artists Brett Breeding, Tom Grummett, Jon Bogdanove, and Bob McLeod assembled many of DC's favorite characters to defend the world."
^Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 259: "The issue also featured four teaser comics that introduced a group of contenders all vying for the Superman name...A cloned Superboy escaped captivity in a yarn by writer Karl Kesel and artist Tom Grummett."
^Esposito, Joey (February 6, 2013). "Introducing the All-New Adventures of Superman". IGN. Archived from the original on March 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013. Debuting on April 29, the first digital chapter of Adventures of Superman will feature a story by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston with art by the wonderful Chris Sprouse and Karl Story on inks.
^Truitt, Brian (March 5, 2013). "Artist leaves Orson Scott Card's Superman comic". USA Today. Archived from the original on August 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013. Fans and retailers called for boycotts of the print comic, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender activist website AllOut.org collected more than 16,000 signatures on an online petition asking DC to drop Card from Adventures of Superman.
^Khouri, Andy (October 23, 2006). "Talking Superman with Kurt Busiek". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 26, 2012. Retrieved 2012. Arion of Atlantis, unseen for years until Infinite Crisis, appears before Superman to warn him of hellish times to come.
^Busiek, Kurt (w), Pacheco, Carlos; Merino, Jesus (p), Merino, Jesus (i). "The Fall" Superman Annual 13 (January 2008)
^Robinson, James (w), Chang, Bernard (p), Chang, Bernard (i). "The Comeback" Superman 700 (August 2010)
^ abCowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 341: "The 700th issue of Superman was fifty-six pages long...comicdom's talented writers created very special Superman tales...James Robinson brought his epic run to an end...new Superman writer J. Michael Straczynski gave a preview of his much-anticipated run that would begin in the following issue."
^Segura, Alex (March 8, 2010). "J. Michael Straczynski to write Superman and Wonder Woman Starting in July". DC Comics. Archived from the original on March 13, 2010. Retrieved 2012. Starting in July with Superman #701 and Wonder Woman #601, superstar writer J. Michael Straczynski -- a man who's created layered and compelling characters and worlds on the big screen, on television and across the comic book spectrum--dives head-first into the DC Universe by taking the ongoing writing reins for two-thirds of the fabled DCU trinity.
^Burlingame, Russ (October 16, 2011). "Dan of Steel: Dan Jurgens on Joining Team Superman". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on February 26, 2012. Retrieved 2012. Superman editor Matt Idelson contacted Keith and me and basically said, "Hey! How would you guys like to co-write, conspire and Dan draw Superman?" We started batting around different ideas, thoughts and notes and had a "go" a day or two later.
^Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 214: "The legendary writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons teamed up once again with the just-as-legendary Man of Tomorrow for a special that saw Superman...held in the sway of the Black Mercy."
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