|Format Ongoing series|
Genre Superhero comics
|Publisher DC Comics|
Creators Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster
|Schedule ListQuarterly: #1–5Bimonthly: #6–85Eight times a year: #86–232Monthly: #233–423, #650–714Monthly: #1–52Bimonthly: #1– present|
Publication date List(vol. 1)June 1939 – September 1986June 2006 – October 2011(vol. 3)November 2011 – July 2016(vol. 4)August 2016 – present
Number of issues List(vol. 1)488 (#1–423, #650–714) 14 Annuals and 3 Specials(vol. 3)57 (#1–52 plus issues numbered 0 and 23.1 through 23.4) and 3 Annuals(vol. 4)10 (as of January 2017 cover date
Writer(s) ListVol. 1:Cary BatesKurt BusiekDon CameronBill FingerGeoff JohnsElliot S. MagginAlan MooreMartin PaskoJames RobinsonJim ShooterJerry SiegelLen WeinVol. 3:Keith GiffenDan JurgensScott LobdellGeorge PérezGene Luen YangVol. 4:Peter J. TomasiPatrick Gleason
Penciller(s) ListVol. 1:Joe ShusterWayne BoringAl PlastinoRoss AndruCurt SwanJosé Luis García-LópezDick DillinStuart ImmonenPete WoodsRenato GuedesKarl KerschlCarlos PachecoEddy BarrowsVol. 3:Kenneth RocafortGeorge PérezHoward PorterJohn Romita Jr.Vol. 4:Patrick Gleason
Adaptations Man of Steel (2013), Superman Returns (2006)
Main characters Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor
Similar Action Comics, The Superman Family, Superman/Wonder Woman, Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity, DC vs Marvel
Superman is an ongoing American comic book series featuring the DC Comics superhero of the same name. The character 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 ran in 2016. In June 2016, a fourth series was launched with new issue #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.
Julius Schwartz became the title's editor with issue #233 (January 1971) and together with writer Denny O'Neil and artist Curt Swan streamlined the Superman mythos, starting with the elimination of Kryptonite. Elliot S. Maggin began his long association with the title with the story "Must There Be a Superman?" in issue #247 (Jan. 1972). Writer Cary Bates, in collaboration with Swan, introduced such characters as the supervillain Terra-Man in issue #249 (March 1972) and the superhero Vartox in issue #281 (Nov. 1974). Issues #272 (Feb. 1974), #278 (Aug. 1974), and #284 (Feb. 1975) of the series were in the 100 Page Super Spectacular format. Superman #300 (June 1976) featured an out-of-continuity story by Bates and Maggin which imagined the infant Superman landing on Earth in 1976 and becoming a superhero in 2001. The tale was an inspiration for Mark Millar's Superman: Red Son limited series published in 2003. DC's parent company Warner Communications reinstated the byline for Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster which had been dropped decades earlier and the first issue with the restored credit was Superman #302 (August 1976). Martin Pasko and Swan created the Master Jailer character in issue #331(January 1979). The bottle city of Kandor, which had been introduced in 1958, was restored to normal size in a story by Len Wein and Swan in Superman #338 (August 1979).
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 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 series Infinite 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 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 God Lightray.
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 "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 Rebirth special Superman: Rebirth #1. Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are the creative team, with the Superman series shipping twice-monthly.
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.
See also List of Superman comics